John Plimmer was born in Shropshire, England in 1812. He worked with his father as a builder and carpenter, trades which would help him greatly in his new home of Wellington. John and his wife Eliza and their three children came to New Zealand as steerage passengers on the ship Gertrude, as part of the New Zealand Company's emigration scheme.
They arrived in Wellington on 31 October 1841 after a four month voyage. You can read more about Mr. Plimmer by following the link above.
This statue is at the bottom of Plimmer Steps, which is the lane that runs between Boulcott St and Lambton Quay. "The man & the dog" stautue is much photograped by and with visitors to Wellington. It is also an easily recognised, named meeting place. This photo is not usual as it is a photo of visitors taking and being photographed with John Plimmer and his dog Fritz. The lady being photograpphed is patting Fritz's back.
In his later years, in recognition of his contribution to the city of Wellington, Plimmer was unofficially bestowed the title "Father of Wellington". Plimmer is remembered in many Wellington landmarks: Plimmer steps, with the oak tree and the statue of John Plimmer and his dog Fritz, Plimmer house on Boulcott St, the bell of the Inconstant which hangs in St Alban's church at Pauatahanui, and the settlement of Plimmerton.
John Plimmer's grave can be found in a peaceful corner of the Bolton St cemetery, in the heart of the city he loved, and to which he contributed so much.