Concept

Matiu / Somes Island

Summary
Matiu / Somes Island is the largest of three islands in the northern half of Wellington Harbour, New Zealand. The island is 24.9 hectares (62 acres) in area, and lies 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of the suburb of Petone and the mouth of the Hutt River. Matiu / Somes Island was used as a place of refuge by pre-colonial Māori. Middens and other remnants of habitation have been found on the island. There is also a long and varied European history. The island was used for human quarantine from 1840 until the 1920s. Ships arriving in Wellington Harbour with infectious passengers or crew would disembark them at Matiu / Somes Island for care and treatment before berthing in the city. During both World War I and World War II, "enemy aliens", including long-term residents of New Zealand who originated from enemy countries, were interned on the island. Anti-aircraft gun emplacements were also built on the island during World War II and their remains can be seen today. The island was used for an
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