Table of Contents
|INTRODUCTION||The EDITOR||Page 13|
|DISCOVERY AND EARLY SETTLEMENT OF THE COLONY||The Hon. W. Fox, M.H.R.||17|
|THE NATIVE RACE||The Hon. Sir D. MCLEAN,K.C.M.G., M.H.R., Native Minister||26|
|PRESENT FORM OF GOVERNMENT||The Hon. W. GISBORNE, Commissioner of Annuities||32|
|CLIMATE, AND MINERAL AND AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES||Dr. HECTOR, Colonial Geologist.||35|
|ANIMAL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS||Mr. TRAVERS||40|
|SOME OF THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE COLONY||Mr. WOODWARD, Public Trustee.||43|
|NOTES, STATISTICAL, COMMERCIAL, AND INDUSTRIAL||Ditto||54|
|LATEST STATISTICS||Mr. BROWN, Registrar-General||68|
|Mr. BATKIN, Secretary to the Treasury||68|
|Mr. SEED, Secretary to the Customs||68|
|PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT||Mr. KNOWLES, Under Secretary for Public Works||75|
|IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT||Mr. HAUGHTON, Under Secretary for Immigration||76|
|OFFICIAL DIRECTORY||Mr. COOPER, the Under Secretary||85|
|OTAGO. — Furnished by the Superintendent of Otago, Mr. MACANDREW, M.H.R.||Prepared by Mr. J. MCINDOE||92|
|CANTERBURY.—Furnished by the Superintendent of Canterbury, Mr. ROLLESTON, M.H.R.||Prepared by Mr. W. M. MASKELL||121|
|WESTLAND.—Furnished by the Superintendent of Westland, the Hon. J. A. BONAR, M.L.C.||Prepared by Mr. J. DRISCOLL||157|
|MARLBOROUGH.—Furnished by the Superintendent of Marlborough, Mr. SEYMOUR, M.H.R., Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives.||Prepared by Mr. A. MASKELL||164|
|NELSON.—Furnished by the Superintendent of Nelson, Mr. CURTIS, M.H.R.||Prepared by Mr. C. ELLIOTT||173|
|WELLINGTON.—Furnished by the Superintendent of Wellington, the Hon. W. FITZHERBERT, M.H.R., C.M.G.||Prepared by Mr. H. ANDERSON||185|
|THE MANCHESTER "SPECIAL" SETTLEMENT||Prepared by Mr. A. F. HALCOMBE||215|
|HAWKE'S BAY.—Furnished by the Superintendent of Hawke's Bay, Mr. ORMOND, M.H.R.||Prepared by Mr. W. W. CARLILE||218|
|TARANAKI.—Furnished by the Superintendent of Taranaki, Mr. CARRINGTON, M.H.R.||Prepared by Mr. C. D. WHITCOMBE||227|
|AUCKLAND.—Furnished by the Superintendent of Auckland, Mr. WILLIAMSON, M.H.R.||Prepared by the Rev. R. KIDD, LL.D., assisted by Mr. T. W. LEYS.||243|
|MOUNT EGMONT AND RANGES, TARANAKI||19|
|SKETCH OF A MAORI CHIEF||30|
|GOVERNMENT HOUSE, WELLINGTON||33|
|AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT, SHAG VALLEY, OTAGO||41|
|SUPREME COURT, AUCKLAND||51|
|COURT HOUSE, OAMARU, OTAGO||54|
|GOLD QUARTZ MINING||61|
|PANORAMA OF THE CITY OF WELLINGTON||84|
|DUNEDIN, FROM THE BAY||97|
|SKELETON OF THE EXTINCT MOA||145|
|HOKITIKA RIVER, FROM THETOWN OF HOKITIKA||156|
|FRANCIS JOSEPH GLACIER. From a Sketch by the Hon. W. Fox||161|
|PHORMIUM TENAX, OR NEW ZEALAND FLAX. From a Photograph by Mr. MUNDY||169|
|PANORAMA OF THE CITY OF NELSON||173|
|RIVER GREY, FROM GREYMOUTH||179|
|SUBURBS OF NAPIER||221|
|PANORAMA OF NEW PLYMOUTH||227|
|GOVERNOR'S HOUSE, AUCKLAND||255|
IN order that this Handbook may be fairly estimated, it is necessary to explain the manner of its preparation. Most of the works about New Zealand have been written either by those who have made only a short visit to the Colony, or who, possessing an acquaintance with some particular part or parts of the two Islands, have been still unable, however much inclined, to do justice to the several Provinces into which New Zealand is divided.
The colonization of New Zealand has been conducted by several communities, which, as organized and initiated, were perfectly distinct in their character, their objects, the bonds that held them together, and their plans of operation. As might be expected, the isolation in which these communities dwelt assisted for some time to intensify the distinctness of their characteristics. Of late years, the isolation has yielded to the intercourse consequent upon larger facilities of communication. At first, some of the Provinces occasionally heard news of each other more rapidly from their communications with Australia than from their direct communications. But for many years past steamers have abounded on the coast, and there has been much intercommunication. The consequences are that the Provinces know more of each other; they have in many cases exchanged settlers and residents; and the old exclusiveness has assumed rather a character of ambitious competition for pre-eminence in the race for wealth and material advancement. The railways and roads which are being constructed will much increase the intercommunication between different parts of the Colony, and will tend to further reduce the Provincial jealousy that still survives. But not for a long time to come, if ever, will the characters the settlements received from their early founders be entirely obliterated.
The object of this Handbook is to give to those who may think of making the Colony their home or the theatre of business operations, an idea of New Zealand from a New Zealand point of view. To do this, it was necessary to recognize the distinctions which have been already explained. No one man in New Zealand could faithfully interpret the local views of the various Provinces. It was, therefore, determined that the book should consist of a number of papers, some devoted to the Colony as a whole, but most of them independent accounts of separate localities. In editing these papers, the difficulty arose of deciding whether to permit a certain amount of overlapping of narrative, some little discrepancy in statement of facts, and yet larger difference in elaboration of views, or to so tone down the papers as really to frustrate the purpose which led to their separate preparation. The decision was in favour of preserving the distinctness of the papers, even at the risk of affording grounds for carping criticism. In some of the papers, extravagant exhibitions of local favouritism have been much toned down, but enough has been left to supply clear evidence to the reader that there is hardly a Province in New Zealand, the residents in which do not consider it specially favoured in some respects beyond all the other Provinces. To ignore this feeling—the legitimate and in some respects valuable outcome of the original system of settlement— would be to fail to convey a homely view of New Zealand.
It must be clearly understood that when, directly or by implication, comparisons are instituted between different Provinces, they are the writer's, not the editor's. Not that it should be supposed the Provinces of the Colony are uniform in their conditions. A long line in the ocean, trending nearly north and south, New Zealand, for its area, extends over many degrees of latitude, and possesses much variety of climate. There is also wide variety in natural and physical features, and in resources, whether mineral or agricultural. In "specialities," therefore, there is no doubt much difference in the capabilities of the Provinces, and perhaps, to some extent, it would be well if this were more generally admitted, and efforts were made to develop in each Province its own proper capabilities. Success naturally induces imitation, and hence, perhaps, the existing industries may have become too deeply grooved. The fact that sheep and wheat have been so successful in the South, does not make it a necessary consequence that they are the most suitable productions for the North. Amongst the benefits an influx of population will bestow on the Colony, may be anticipated that of an impetus being given to new industries, suitable to the circumstances of the several parts of the Colony, but which in the early days were overlooked.
Those who incline to make New Zealand their home should not form extravagant anticipations of it. It is not paved with gold, nor is wealth to be gained without industry. Our countrymen of the United Kingdom may form an idea of it if they suppose it to be a very thinly-peopled country, with numerous points in common with the Islands of Great Britain, but possessing, on the whole, a much better climate, free from pauperism, more free from prejudices of class, and, therefore, opening to the industry and ability of those who have not the adventitious aid of family connections to help them, a better road to advancement; a country in which there is a great variety of natural resources, and which, therefore, appeals to persons of much variety of taste; a country which may boast of some of the most magnificent scenery in the world; a country in which the natural wonders of many parts of the globe are congregated. Norway, for example, would not be ashamed of the fiords of the West Coast of the Middle Island: the glaciers there would also respectably contrast with glaciers elsewhere. The hot springs of the Lake district are more marvellous than the geysers of Iceland. It is a country with an immense extent of seaboard compared with its area, with splendid harbours, many, if not extensive, rivers, fine agricultural land, magnificent forests, and lastly, one which, besides possessing in abundance the key to manufacturing wealth — coal — has alluvial and quartz gold deposits, in working which, those whose tastes incline them to mining may always find a livelihood, with the possibility of attaining large wealth by a lucky discovery. Though sparingly populated, it is not denied the benefits which science has opened to modern civilization. The telegraph penetrates its length and breadth, and railways are being constructed throughout it. In course of time, it must carry a population of millions, and every acre of available land must become valuable. Yet with the knowledge that this must be, there is so little capital, not required for industrial uses, that millions of acres of land are open to purchase at prices which, a generation hence, will probably represent their yearly rent. There are not many instances of vast accumulations of wealth in individual hands. It would be as difficult to find a millionaire in New Zealand, as it would be in England to find a labourer enjoying anything approaching the advantages enjoyed by the New Zealand labourer. Money is more widely distributed. The small tradesman, the mechanic, or labourer, in short, any one who is fitted to make New Zealand his home, and who is not incapacitated by ill health, may, with ordinary frugality and industry, and without denying himself a fair share of worldly enjoyment, save money, and become, if his ambition point in that direction, a proprietor of acres.
New Zealand has, apparently, when tested by its population, a heavy public debt; but when tried by the only true test, the burden which the debt bears to the earnings of the people, it compares favourably with older and more settled countries, although the public debt of the Colony includes works, such as railways, water-works, roads, and bridges, which in other countries are either the results of joint-stock enterprise, or of local taxation, or of loans not included in the general indebtedness. Again, in the Colony, against the public debt there is to be placed an immense and valuable estate in the land which still belongs to the Crown. The charge per head upon the population, on account of New Zealand's public debt, taken as a whole, was some months since computed to be £1. 17s. 4d. per annum. That total was thus composed: — On account of Colonial indebtedness, exclusive of Public Works and Provincial, 18s. per head; on account of Public Works, 6s. 8d.; on account of Provincial Loans, 12s. 8d.; making together £1. 17s. 4d. But taking the test of the average earnings of the population, the charge per head on account of New Zealand's total indebtedness, is computed to be 2.4 per cent. on the average earnings, while in the United Kingdom it has been computed at 28, and in the United States, at 2.7 per cent. In the former, the cost of railways, and of other public works which are here regarded as "Colonial," is not included; in the latter, the State debts are included. Exclusive of Provincial indebtedness, the Colonial debt, including that for railways and some other public works, is computed to be equal to an annual charge per head of about 1.6 per cent. on the average earnings of the population. The Provincial indebtedness is secured on the Crown lands, and these, at a moderate estimate, are worth at least four times the amount of the Provincial debts. It is to be remembered that fresh arrivals, from the increased wants they create and work they supply, not only participate in the average of earnings, but on the whole add to the average, whilst they diminish the amount per head of the indebtedness of the country. So that what is going on in New Zealand, and what will continue to go on until the Colony is reasonably peopled, is a tendency to increase the average earnings and to diminish the average burden of the public debt, or if that debt is being added to, the average burden on the profits of the people may still remain unincreased.
Whilst these papers were in course of preparation, the Census was being taken. It has not been found possible to incorporate many of the results with the various statistics throughout the pages of the book; but a separate paper is presented, showing as much of the information obtained from the Census as at the latest moment is procurable. Some interesting revenue returns are also given. It will be observed that the two-great branches of revenue, the Colonial and Provincial, are alike increasing in a remarkable manner.
In the pages of the Handbook, frequent reference is made to the various land laws in force in the Colony. The natural disadvantage of many varieties of land laws is, to some extent, compensated by the larger range of choice of conditions presented to the intending settler. Without giving an epitome of the different systems, it may be observed that the object of them all is to promote settlement, their framers holding, in many cases, distinct views as to the circumstances and conditions most likely to promote that object. It is important to remember this, because from it follows the fact that the tendency of all amendments in the land laws, or modifications in the mode of applying them, is in the direction of making the land more available for settlement. For example, an arrangement has just been made between the General Government and the Provincial Government of Wellington, whereby the latter agrees to four blocks, of not less than 20,000 acres each, being selected out of the best land in the Province, to be surveyed into sections of from 50 to 500 acres each. It is agreed that every other section of these shall be open to the free selection of any purchaser, at prices to be fixed in advance: the purchase-money to be paid in instalments, extending over five years. Under this plan, any industrious person, possessed of good health may become a freeholder. Some of the differences in the land laws arise only partly through opposite opinions as to what is most likely to promote settlement, and are principally to be set down to the different nature of the lands and the circumstances of the Provinces. In Otago, for instance, where the desire is to make the land laws in the highest degree liberal, a new system is being adopted, of deferred payments, with conditions of cultivation. In Canterbury, one simple plan has been adopted from the first. Any one may select from the Crown lands throughout the Province, at the price of £2 an acre, cash, without conditions of cultivation and residence. In Auckland, some extent of land is given away in the shape of free grants of forty acres to persons who fulfil the prescribed conditions of cultivation and residence. Other Provinces have modifications or varieties of these several plans; in all, the desire is to see the land cultivated, and from that desire will probably, sooner or later, arise a nearer approach to uniformity of system. The Assembly last year passed an Act, under the provisions of which every person approved by the Agent-General, who pays his own passage to the Colony, may claim a free grant of land to the value of £20 for himself and for any adult member of his family, whose passage is also paid. Two children are reckoned as an adult. The Crown grant of the land is to be conditional on occupation and use, but the immigrant is to be allowed to remain five years in the Colony before selecting his land, and he may select it in any part of the Colony where land is open for sale.
Let it not be thought that for all persons New Zealand is a suitable home. It is a land of plenty to the colonist who can do work such as the Colony requires, or who can employ others to do such work for him. But it is no suitable home for those who cannot work or cannot employ workers. The mere ability to read and write is no sufficient justification for a voyage to New Zealand. Above all, let those be warned to stay away who think the Colony a suitable place to repent of evil habits. The ne'er-do-well had better continue to sponge on his relations in Great Britain, than to hope he will find sympathy for his failings and weaknesses in a land of strangers: strangers, moreover, who are quite sufficiently impressed with the active and hard realities of life, and who, being the architects of their own fortunes, have no sympathy to throw away on those who are deficient in self-reliance. This warning is not altogether uncalled for. It is astonishing how many people are sent to the colonies to relieve their friends of their presence, no heed, apparently, being given to the fact that these countries are not at all deficient in temptations to evil habits, and that those who are inclined to such habits had much better stay away. An instance not long since came under the writer's notice. A wealthy settler received a letter from an English gentleman of whom he had not before heard. The writer explained that his acquaintance with a mutual friend induced him to write and to introduce his son, the bearer, who was visiting New Zealand for the purpose of settling there. He was sorry to say his son had not been successful at home in anything he had tried. He had had to give up the army, and was so very weak and easily persuaded, that it was hopeless to put him to anything in England. The writer would, he said, be content if the gentleman he was writing to would give his son a home and £100 a year till he could do something better. The young gentleman who presented this letter at once intimated that a loan of £10 would be acceptable. He received it. The day was Saturday: on the Monday following, he called again for a further loan—the first £10 was gone. He was naturally denied, and the next intelligence of the young hopeful our settler received, was an order for the payment of a considerable debt. Such prodigals are not suited to the Colony. It would be better to kill the fatted calf on their account, without any intervening absence. Young women of good character, and who are not disinclined to domestic service, need not hesitate to venture to New Zealand. The demand for servants is such that employers are only too glad to obtain respectable young women, and to teach them in part their duties. That demand—for the information of the unmarried daughters of Great Britain, we may observe—is occasioned by the difficulty that exists in keeping servants for any length of time, on account of the readiness with which they are able to get married. The single young man who comes to New Zealand is not long in finding the means to comfortably furnish a house; and, naturally, he thinks that she who shows herself well versed in discharging domestic duties, will be able to make his home a happy one. A short courtship, a brief notice to her employer, and another home is set up in New Zealand; another notice appears in the local papers, "Wanted, a nurse," or housemaid, cook, or general servant, as the case may be. This is all very homely; but the romance of the Colonies is of a very domestic nature—"to make homes" is another mode of expressing "to colonize."
It would not be doing justice to New Zealand to avoid mentioning one other circumstance, though to do so might lead to the appearance of a desire to praise the Colony. All, however, who have a knowledge of New Zealand will corroborate the statement that this Colony gains a singular hold upon those who for any time have resided in it. There are very many persons who have realized a competency, who have nothing to bind them to the Colony, and who yet prefer remaining in New Zealand to living elsewhere. The pleasures and advantages the Old World offers, appear to weigh as nothing with them, when compared with the enjoyments and freedom of life in New Zealand. The climate and the scenery, together with the intimacies which rapidly spring up in colonial life, are no doubt the reasons for this strong liking. For health-restoring properties, the climate of New Zealand is wonderful. There are numbers of persons enjoying good health in the Colony who years ago left England supposed to be hopelessly afflicted with lung disease, their only hope—that in New Zealand the end might be a little longer deferred. This is not written in selfishness, for it is by no means desired to make New Zealand a sanitarium. But this Handbook is not prepared with a view to its consequences. The design, as has been said, is to give a New Zealand view of New Zealand; and it is hoped that, in its pages, the merits and demerits of the Colony will alike be apparent. The order in which the Provinces are dealt with is from south to north, and quite independent of their relative size and importance.
The Editor expresses his acknowledgments for the assistance he has received, in revising the papers, from Mr. E. Fox.
Wellington, New Zealand, May, 1874.
Table of Contents
NEW ZEALAND appears to have been discovered and first peopled by the Maori race, a remnant of which still inhabits parts of the Islands. At what time the discovery was made, or from what place the discoverers came, are matters which are lost in the obscurity which envelopes the history of a people without letters. Little more can now be gathered from their traditions than that they were immigrants, not indigenous; and that when they came, there were probably no other inhabitants of the country. Similarity of language indicates a northern origin, probably Malay, and proves that they advanced to New Zealand through various groups of the Pacific Islands, in which they left deposits of the same race, who to this day speak the same, or nearly the same, tongue. When Cook first visited New Zealand, he availed himself of the assistance of a native from Tahiti, whose language proved to be almost identical with that of the New Zealanders, and through the medium of whose interpretation a large amount of information respecting the country and its inhabitants was obtained, which could not have been had without it.
The first European who made the existence of New Zealand known to the civilized world, and who gave it the name it bears, was Tasman, the Dutch navigator, who visited it in 1642. Claims to earlier discovery by other European explorers have been raised, but they are unsupported by any sufficient evidence. Tasman did not land on any part of the islands, but, having had a boat's crew cut off by the natives in the bay now known as Massacre Bay, he contented himself by sailing along the western coast of the North Island, and quitted its shores without taking possession of the country in the name of the Government he served; a formality which, according to the law of nations (which regards the occupation of savages as a thing of small account), would have entitled the Dutch to call New Zealand theirs—at least so far as to exclude other civilized nations from colonizing it, and conferring on themselves the right to do so. From the date of Tasman's flying visit to 1769, no stranger is known to have visited the islands. In the latter year Captain Cook reached them, in the course of the first of those voyages of great enterprise which have made his name illustrious.
Cook was a self-made man. He began life as an apprentice on board a Whit by collier engaged in the coasting and Baltic trades—the roughest experience that could be had of the business of the sea, but an excellent school to make a practical seaman. But to be a mere practical seaman did not content Cook. After becoming a mate in the merchant service, he entered the Royal navy, and by strenuous perseverance and diligent use of leisure hours, he became an excellent mathematician and astronomer, and a skilful nautical surveyor. He had some experience of war in fighting against the French in Canada, and he executed some useful surveys on the coasts and rivers of that, country; and when it was determined by King George III. to prosecute new voyages of discovery into the little-explored southern seas, Cook's ability was recognized, and, with the rank of lieutenant in the navy conferred upon him, he was appointed to conduct the expedition.
The first of Cook's voyages of discovery began in August, 1768, when he was sent to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus, an astronomical event of great importance, which required considerable skill and knowledge to note in an intelligent manner. Having performed this duty, his instructions directed him to visit. New Zealand, of which nothing more was known than the little that Tasman had told: After a run of eighty-six days from Tahiti, having touched at some other places, he sighted the coast of New Zealand on the 6th of October, 1769. On the 8th he landed in Poverty Bay, on the east coast of the North Island. It is interesting to those now in the colony, or intending to go there, to know what appearance it presented at the time of Cook's arrival. The aspect of most countries from the sea is less prepossessing than their internal features, and this holds good of the greater part of the east coast of both islands of New Zealand. Portions of the west coast of both, however, present views, from the deck of a ship, unsurpassed in any part of the world. For instance, the hundred miles of Southern Alps, whose snowy peaks pierce the sky at a height of nearly 14,000 feet, their sides clothed with dense evergreen forests, in the very bosom of which lie gigantic glaciers, and their base chafed by the resounding surf of the Pacific Ocean. Then there is the stately cone of Mount Egmont, rising near 10,000 feet, in solitary grandeur, from an undulating wooded plateau almost on the margin of the sea. There are also the stupendous precipices of Milford Sound shooting up sheer many hundreds of feet from an almost fathomless depth of ocean, frowned down upon by the snowy summits of the great Alpine range, while cascades of nearly 1,000 feet fall headlong down their sides. These great features remain to this day as they were at the period of Cook's arrival. Nor has the general character of the country, as a whole, been much changed, in its principal features by the progress of colonization. More of it, no doubt, was then in a state of nature; but much of it is so still. Dense forests, exhibiting new and beautiful forms of vegetation, including the gigantic scarlet flowering myrtle (one of the largest forest trees), the graceful tree-fern, and the bright eastern-like Nikau palm, clothed the mountain slopes and much of the undulating lower country. Elsewhere, vast plains of brown fern, or coarse yellow and hay-coloured grasses, or big swamps bearing the farinaceous raupo and the native flax of the country, the well-known Phormium of commerce. Then there was the feature with which the voyagers, from their long visits to Queen Charlotte's Sound, would be so familiar,—the little retiring cove, with its sandy ox pebbly beach, its few acres of level green, backed up by steep hills covered with lofty trees, and an underbrush of velvety shrubs, arranged by the hand of Nature far more tastefully than could have been done by the Loudons or Paxtons of the civilized world. Ship Cove, Cook's favourite rendezvous, was one of these beautiful nooks—a spot where, as he observed, if a man could live without friends, he might make a model home of perfect isolated happiness. To every Englishman, whose colonizing taste has been inspired by his boyish reading of Robinson Crusoe—(and with how many is not this the case ?)—these charming little bays seem to realize the exact idea of his imagination; and if he could be content to live as Robinson lived, with his little flock of goats, his parrot, and his faithful dog, "the world forgetting, by the world forgot," these are the spots where he would be provided with the surroundings necessary to carry out the idea, and give him all that his fancy could paint or his heart could wish. While there are large tracts of country in New Zealand which present no pleasant feature except to the calculating mind of the sheep-farmer or the agriculturist, there are others, and they are neither few nor far between, such as those to which we have alluded, which combine all the grandeur and beauty that can delight the eye of the most fastidious lover of nature, the painter, or the poet. And much of this must have lain under Cook's eye during his visits to the country.
The spot where Cook landed, however though by no means repulsive, was not one of the most inviting portions of this country to look at. Hills of no great height or grandeur, backing a moderate-sized flat at the head of a bay, whose horns were two not very commanding white cliffs, did not afford a prospect either very imposing or very inviting. At the present time it is the site of a very prosperous and flourishing European settlement; but at the time of Cook's visit it was all barren and unoccupied, except by a few Natives of unfriendly character. No fields of waving corn, no cattle luxuriating on meadows of the now celebrated Poverty Bay rye-grass, drowsily chewing the cud, or waiting with distended udders for the milking-pail.; no hamlet, no church spire, no cottages with children running in and out, no sign of civilization, material plenty, or social life. It must have required an eye of faith to see it as it now is, and to believe that in just one hundred years it would exhibit the picture which now it does.
The circumstances of Cook's first landing were unfortunate. "We landed," he says,
"abreast of the ship, on the east side of the river, which was here about forty yards broad; but seeing some Natives on the west side, with whom I wished to speak, and finding the river not fordable, I ordered the yawl to carry us over, and left the pinnace at the entrance. When we came near the place where the people were assembled, they all ran away; however, we landed, and, leaving some boys to take care of the yawl, we walked up to some huts, which were about 200 or 300 yards from the waterside. When we had got some distance from the boat, four men, armed with long lances, rushed out of the woods, and, running up to attack the boat, would certainly have cut her off if the people in the pinnace had not discovered them, and called to the boys to drop down the stream. The boys instantly obeyed, but being closely pursued, the coxswain of the pinnace, who had charge of the boats, fired a musket over their heads. At this they stopped and looked round them, but in a few minutes renewed the pursuit, brandishing their lances in a threatening manner. The coxswain then fired a second musket over their heads, but of this they took no notice, and, one of them lifting up his spear to dart it at the boat, another piece was fired, which shot him dead. When he fell, the other three stood motionless, as if petrified with astonishment. As soon as they recovered they went back, dragging the dead body, which, however, they soon left that it might not encumber their flight. At the report of the musket we drew together, having straggled to a little distance from each other, and made the best of our way back to the boat, and, crossing the river, we soon saw the Native lying dead on the ground."
The account which the Natives themselves gave of their impressions on Cook's arrival is recorded by Mr. Polack, who had it from the mouths of their children in 1836. "They took the ship at first for a gigantic bird, and were struck with the beauty and size of its wings, as they supposed the sails to be. But on seeing a smaller bird, unfledged, descending into the water, and a number of parti-coloured beings, apparently in human shape, the bird was regarded as a houseful of divinities. Nothing could exceed their astonishment. The sudden death of their chief (it proved to be their great fighting general) was regarded as a thunderbolt of these new gods, and the noise made by the muskets was represented as thunder. To revenge themselves was the dearest wish of the tribe, but how to accomplish it with divinities who could kill them at a distance, was difficult to determine. Many of them observed that they felt themselves ill by being only looked upon by these atuas (gods), and it was therefore agreed that, as the new comers could bewitch with a look, the sooner their society was dismissed, the better for the general welfare."
It is not much to be wondered at that any further intercourse with the Natives at this point should become impossible. Other collisions, attended with similar fatal results, followed on succeeding days, and on the 11th (three days after his first landing), Cook weighed anchor and stood away from "this unfortunate and inhospitable place," as he calls it, and on which he bestowed the name of Poverty Bay. "as it did not afford a single article they wanted, except a little firewood." Had his subsequent experiences been as unpropitious, he would probably not have reported to his countrymen at home so favourably of New Zealand.
There is no doubt that the problem of initiating intercourse with a people of the temper exhibited by the Maoris, and so little civilized as they were, was one difficult of solution. An strangers had never but once before visited the country, and that in the very hasty manner in which Tasman came and departed, and at a place remote from that at which Cook arrived, the Maoris could hardly be expected to appreciate the relations which ought to exist between themselves and their visitors. It must have been a new sensation to most of them, to know that there were such things as strangers; still more, strangers resembling themselves so little and differing of themselves so much. If the inhabitants from the "black country" of Staffordshire, in 1870, exhibited their appreciation of the stranger by "heaving a brick" at him, it is not surprising that the first impulse of the Maoris of Poverty Bay should be to hurl their spears at the "coming man." Cook's idea of meeting such a hostile greeting was, as he tells us, first by the use of firearms to convince the savage of the superior power of the white man, and then to conciliate him by kindness and liberal dealing. Whether any other method were possible, he does not seem to have been allowed by the Natives time to consider; the first collision being, in a manner, forced upon him within five minutes of his arrival, though the challenge was perhaps too hastily accepted.
He soon, however, discovered that the country was not all made up of "Poverty Bays," nor were the Natives, when wooed with a less rough courtship, altogether incapable of access, or entirely obnoxious to strangers. In Tolago Bay, Mercury Bay, Hawke's Bay, the Bay of Plenty, the estuary of the Thames, the harbour of Waitemata, in Whangarei, and at the Bay of Islands, and lastly, at his favourite rendezvous of Queen Charlotte's Sound, he was able to procure the refreshments which Poverty Bay had failed to supply, and he established a footing with the Natives which, if it had in it more of the spirit of barter than of hospitality, was less deterrent than the attitude taken up by those who greeted him on his first arrival, and which ended in the unfortunate events to which we have before referred.
There was no object of greater interest to him than the newly-discovered Maori race, with whose habits and character he was specially instructed to make himself acquainted. He found them savages in the fullest sense of the word. Some writers who have given the reins to their imagination have pictured savage life as a state of Arcadian simplicity, and savage character as a field on which are displayed all the virtues which adorned humanity before civilization brought vice, confusion, and trouble into the world. More truly has it been observed that "the peaceful life and gentle disposition, the freedom from oppression, the exemption from selfishness and from evil passions, and the simplicity of character of savages, have no existence except in the fictions of poets and the fancies of vain speculators, nor can their mode of life be called with propriety the natural state of man." (Whately, Pol. Econ.) "Those who have praised savage life," says Chancellor Harper, of Maryland, "are those who have known nothing of it, or who have become savage themselves." Cook's experience fully verified these views. He found the Maoris almost entirely unacquainted with mechanic arts, their skill limited to the ability to scoop a canoe out of a tree, to weave coarse clothing out of the fibres of the native flax, to fabricate fishing-nets, to make spears, clubs, and other rude weapons of war, or still ruder ornaments for the adornment of their persons, their huts, or their canoes. Beasts of burden they had none, — the women supplied their place. Stone hatchets were the substitute for axes and all cutting tools. The country is full of iron ore, but the use of the metal was entirely unknown. They had no wheeled carriages. Their agriculture was limited to the cultivation, apparently, of two roots—the kumera or sweet potato, and the taro, another esculent plant. Their food consisted of those plants, of eels and sea-fish, rats, occasional dogs, wild fowl, and human flesh; and their nearest approach to bread was the root of the wild edible fern, a not very wholesome or palatable substitute. Cereals they were without. Their religions notions were of a confused order, involving good and evil demons, but without any idea of worship or prayer. Their priests wielded a sort of half moral and half political power in the institution of the taboo, to which they subjected whom they pleased, and the infringement of which involved punishments of the severest sorts. But the one absorbing idea of the race was war. Every tribe and almost every family was at war with every other. Their time was almost wholly spent in planning or awaiting invasions of their neighbours, or in the bloody struggles which resulted; the consequence being, as Cook observes, a habit of personal watchfulness which was never for a moment relaxed. Female infanticide was a common and established practice, which appears to have reduced the proportion of females to males, to something like seven to ten. Female virtue was entirely disregarded before marriage, and not much valued afterwards; while, to crown the whole, cannibalism was the universal practice of the race. Cook had been specially instructed to institute inquiries on this point. There were many persons at home who were sceptical on the existence of cannibalism among any people. The result of his daily observations was to leave no doubt of its existence, and to establish the fact that it was not merely an occasional excess to which those who practised it were impelled by fury and the spirit of revenge against an enemy, but that human flesh was their almost daily and habitual food. A provision-basket was seldom seen without having in it a human head, or other evidence of the fact. It is true that they told him that they ate only their enemies; but so incessant were their invasions of each other, that enemies were never wanting, or if the supply failed, slaves taken in former raids were substitutes at hand, and constantly killed in cold blood for the purpose. Much has been said and written of the deplorable fact that the foot of civilized man treads out the life of the savage; and there are not wanting those who impute to colonization the extinction of the Maori race. A moment's reflection on their habits of life as described by Cook, and still more what we have since learned, must convince any one that their decadence had set in long before his arrival; for it was impossible that any people whose habits of life were such as theirs, and who lived within a circumscribed area, could long continue to exist. We do not believe that the advent of the pakeha has in any degree accelerated the inevitable event, perhaps the reverse has been the case.
Cook did what little was possible towards improving the condition of the New Zealanders. He tried, but failed, to establish the sheep and goat: neither long survived the attempt. He was more successful with the pig, which rapidly increased, till, at the time of arrival of the colonists, nearly the whole Islands were found thickly stocked with wild herds, the descendants of his original importation. He also left the potato behind him, which succeeded well, and to a great extent supplemented the kumera, taro, and fern root. He also planted and gave to the Natives the seeds of other vegetables and garden plants; but though their remains may be seen in the wild cabbage or turnip, and some other degenerated plants, the Natives appear not to have succeeded in their cultivation. He also scattered among them a good many English tools and implements, and some articles of clothing, which, though no doubt soon worn out, gave the Maori a taste for European luxuries and necessaries of life.
We can add little to the picture we have drawn of New Zealand at the time of Cook's arrival. Reference to the accounts of his voyages will supply, in a most graphic and interesting form, the details of the events and observations which space has compelled us to summarize. To those who may wish to know more of the Maori in his primitive state and earliest transition, we recommend Judge Maning's most interesting volume of "Old New Zealand," and his not less graphic description of the war in the North. A volume in the Family Library, published by Knight, entitled "The New Zealanders," contains an authentic and original account, written by a sailor, who was shipwrecked, and lived several years in the country, between the period of Cook's visit and the arrival of missionaries and traders, and will well repay perusal. There are numerous other publications, many of which will give further information.
Cook visited New Zealand several times during his three voyages of discovery, and altogether spent 327 days in the country or circumnavigating its coasts. He quitted it for the last time in February, 1777, just two years before his melancholy death at Hawaii, in the Sandwich Islands. Within a few years afterwards New Zealand began to be occasionally visited by whaling ships; but, with the solitary exception of the shipwrecked sailor whose record is above referred to, no European is known to have resided there before 1814. In that year the Rev. Samuel Marsden, Colonial Chaplain to the Government of New South Wales, visited the lands, and, under his auspices, and on his urgent representations, the Church Missionary Society in England established a mission, the headquarters of which were located at the Bay of Islands. From this time traders from New South Wales began to establish agencies for commercial purposes; and individual Europeans, who were employed by Sydney merchants, or who traded on their own account, became attached to numerous native villages, where they were treated with considerable respect, and regarded as the valuable property of the particular hapu or chief who had had the good luck to secure their residence among them, accompanied by the various advantages which flowed from their presence. Then numerous whaling and lumbering establishments were planted by the Sydney merchants on the coasts of both Islands. These consisted of the very roughest specimens of the sailor class, of runaways from ships, or refugees from the convict prisons of Botany Bay. Alliances were contracted between these men and native women, from which sprang a numerous progeny of half-castes. These whalers and sawyers had many fine characteristics about them: they were brave and hardy, pretty well disciplined in all that concerned their business, and many of them experienced in mechanic arts. Low, exceedingly, as the morale of many of them was, it was yet above that of the savage; and there is no doubt that, to a great extent, their presence tended to bring the native nearer to civilization than he was before. There were, however, spots of deeper darkness than the rest. As the whaling fleet of the Pacific increased, hundreds of ships made Kororarika, in the Bay of Islands, the only town or village then established by Europeans, the place of their periodical refreshment. Their crews, released after a long detention on board ship, plunged into the lowest dissipation, in which the natives became their partners, and the town of Kororarika, which had grown into a considerable place on the strength of the whaling trade, was at times turned into a veritable pandemonium. For proof that this is no exaggeration, we refer to the first of Dr. Lang's letters to Lord Durham (1839), where the reader will find the testimony of an intelligent eye - witness, and facts in detail, but which, bad as it is, scarcely reveals so dark a picture as has been painted to us by other persons who spoke from their own knowledge and observation. Exactly opposite, at Pahia, on the other side of the beautiful bay, in one of its pleasantest coves, with a bright beach of golden sand, washed by the ripple of the sea, stood the mission-station, with its church and printing-office, and there the sacred Scriptures were being translated and printed in the Maori language, as quickly as it could be mastered by the missionaries who had undertaken the work of converting the Maori race. Thus, as everywhere, flowed alongside of each other the tides of good and evil, and the choice between the two was offered to the Maori, as it has been offered to others all the world over, and ever since the world began.
The irregular kind of colonization which was thus going on was attended with innumerable evils, and was beyond all control. It was not possible that the expediency of interference could long escape the attention of the Government of Great Britain, whose subjects were principally engaged in it; nor were the philanthropy and enterprise of the nation less alive to the opening for exertion on their part which the circumstances of the case afforded. So the British Government interfered. First they appointed a "Resident Magistrate," the Rev. Mr. Kendall, one of the missionary body; then a "Resident," Mr. Busby. But these "wooden guns," as the natives called them, were entirely without power, and the effect of their presence very little felt by either Maoris or Europeans. The Colonial Office of the day did foolish things about recognizing the Maori people as an independent nation, and bestowing on them a national flag, thus abandoning the right of occupation resting on Cook's discovery, and rendering it necessary, at a later period, to accomplish a surrender of sovereignty by the natives (though sovereignty was a thing they had never known), in order to prevent the French from taking the possession which the British Government had waived, and turning the country into a colony, or, perhaps, a penal establishment. The action of the Government was also hastened by that of the New Zealand Company, which, wearied out by long negotiations, at last precipitated, without the co-operation or consent of the Government, that systematic colonization which has since peopled the islands with a British population, and of which we shall now give a brief account.
Cook, during his life, had urged on the British Government the colonization of New Zealand, and Benjamin Franklin, the American statesman, had proposed an organization in England for the purpose. But nothing practical was attempted till about 1837, when Lord Durham, as the representative of a number of gentlemen who called themselves the New Zealand Land Company proposed to the Government that they should be incorporated, with powers to colonize the country. The negotiations were at first friendly, and the Government favoured the plan; but ultimately misunderstandings arose, when the New Zealand Company determined to take the matter into its own hands, and despatched its preliminary expedition on the 12th May, 1839, under the command of Colonel William Wakefield, who held instructions to purchase land from the Natives, and to select the site of the first settlement. He arrived in August of the same year, and selected Port Nicholson, in Cook Strait; and on the 22nd January following, the first batch of immigrants arrived. In twelve months they had increased to upwards of 1,200 from Great Britain, besides a few from Australia.
The object of the founders of the New Zealand Company was chiefly to revive systematic colonization, and to conduct on fixed principles operations which had certainly, since the colonization of the British Colonies in America, been left very much to haphazard. South Australia was founded by nearly the same persons, and on the same principles, and almost at the same time; but the colonization of New South Wales and Tasmania, so far as they existed outside of the convict establishments, which were their nucleus, may be said to have been founded without any principle, and the result lift to chance. The founders of New Zealand colonization sought to transplant to its shores, as far as possible, a complete and ready-made section of the society of the old country, with various social orders, its institutions and organizations, maintaining also, as far as circumstances would admit, the relations of the different classes of the population as they had existed at home. Above all things, they believed that the failure of other colonies to become duplicates of the old country, was owing chiefly to the indiscriminate manner in which the waste lands of the Crown had been disposed of, and to the defective proportion which, as a consequence, existed between capital and labour. They determined to remedy this by the adoption of what was known as the Wakefield theory, which consisted mainly in fixing the price of the land so high as to prohibit, for a considerable time at least, its purchase by the labouring man, thus compelling him to work as a labourer till he might be supposed to have compensated the capitalist or the State for the cost of his importation to the colony. The immigration fund was to be supplied by the land sales.
The application of these principles can hardly be said to have been tested at all in the three first founded of the Company's settlements—Wellington, New Plymouth, and Nelson. Its inability to put the colonists, for many years, in quiet possession of the lands it had sold to them, its long and ruinous controversy with the Imperial Government, and the consequent exhaustion of its resources, precluded altogether the experiment receiving a fair trial in the settlements mentioned. In Otago and Canterbury, however, founded at a later date, there were fewer, if any, obstacles, and the remarkable success of those settlements is by many attributed to the principles on which they were founded. The elements of class association (the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of England being respectively taken as the bonds of union), and the high price of land which has been maintained, though with modifications of the original scheme, have no doubt had much to do with the form into which society in those settlements has developed itself, though the unforeseen discovery of gold, and the existence of great pastoral resources, which formed no element in the Wakefield scheme, have perhaps contributed more to the great prosperity of those settlements than any special principle on which they were founded.
Those who are now seeking a home in New Zealand, can scarcely appreciate the feelings of the early colonists, or the trials and difficulties they had to encounter. To descend from the deck of a ship 15,000 miles from home, at the end of a, weary-voyage of from three to five months' duration, on to a shore unprepared for their occupation, without a single house to shelter them, with no friend or fellow-countryman to welcome them, quite uncertain as to the reception they would meet with at the hands of the savage race whose territory they were peacefully but aggressively invading, with few of the conveniences of civilized life, or the appliances for creating them, except so far as they brought them with them in very limited quantities—how different from the experience of those who now arrive in the colony, where, though many external differences present themselves, they find all the machinery of social life, and the general aspect of everything very much as they left them at home. The immigrant who now lands at Lyttelton, Dunedin, Auckland, or Wellington, finds himself surrounded by numbers of his own countrymen, dressed like himself, hurrying about on the various businesses common on the wharfs of any considerable seaport of the old country: he sees shops, with plate-glass windows, and English names above the doors, filled with the latest novelties from London, Birmingham, or even Paris; cabs plying for customers; omnibuses rumbling along the streets; hotels innumerable; churches and schools in moderate numbers; public buildings exhibiting pretentious feats of architectural skill; asphalte pavements and macadamized streets leading out to suburbs thick with comfortable and even handsome mansions, surrounded by well-kept gardens, gay with brilliant flowers and semi-tropical vegetation. Amidst all this he may, perhaps, in any of the towns of the North Island, notice a stray Maori or two, not, however, clad in the dirty blanket or rough flax mat, but "got up" in fashionable European costume, with polished boots, silk hats, gold watch-guards, and probably a silver-mounted riding-whip; and only distinguishable from the other passers-by by the dark skin, and, perhaps, the ineffaceable tattoo. In the early days the settlers felt that they were "colonizing,"—adding a new province to the Empire. Now, the new arrivals "immigrate," entering into the labours of those who went before them. The former was, perhaps, the more "heroic work." The latter is probably the most profitable, and certainly the least laborious. If it is colonizing at all, it is colonizing made easy; and the immigrant may so far congratulate himself that it is so.
Having described the character of the native race, as it was at the period of Cook's arrival, and painted it in the dark colours which truth demanded, it is only fair to say that before systematic colonization commenced it had undergone a great change.
The teaching of the missionaries, if its results were somewhat superficial, had yet penetrated to almost every part of the country. This, and the example of civilized life exhibited in the mission homes scattered over a large area, had done much to qualify the worst features of savage life, and to soften the ferocity of the Maori character. Wars were less frequent, cannibalism nearly extinct. Intercourse with the European trader and whaler, if less elevating, had yet broken down the prejudice against the Pakeha (or stranger), and inoculated the Maori with a taste for European conveniences and luxuries, which could be best gratified by the permanent residence among them of larger numbers of the foreigners. The pigs and potatoes which Cook had left behind had multiplied exceedingly, so that there was an abundant supply of surplus food, without which the new comers would have been but badly off; and the aptitude of the native for trade and barter, and his desire to possess whatever the European had to offer, from muskets to Jews' harps, made him very willing to bring his stores to market. In short, circumstances had, in the' order of Providence, ripened to the point when colonization was possible, which at any earlier period it would probably not have been.
It only remains briefly to mention the order in which the various settlements were formed.
WELLINGTON, as already stated, was founded by the New Zealand Company in 1840. Preliminary expedition for selection of site, August, 1839.
AUCKLAND, established by the first Governor, Captain Hobson, in the same year. It remained the seat of Government till 1865, when, by Act of the Colonial Parliament, and the selection of certain Commissioners appointed at its request by the Australian Governors, Wellington became the capital.
NEW PLYMOUTH, also founded by the New Zealand Company, in September, 1841. Preliminary expedition, August, 1840.
NELSON, founded by the Company in October, 1841.
OTAGO, founded in March, 1848, by a Scotch company working in connection with the New Zealand Company, and by means of its machinery, under the auspices of the Free Church of Scotland, and with an appropriation of a portion of its lands and pecuniary resources to Free Church purposes.
CANTERBURY, similarly founded in December, 1850, in connection with the Church of England.
HAWKE'S BAT was originally a part of Wellington Province, but separated from it, and created a province of itself in 1858.
MARLBOROUGH, originally part of Nelson, separated in the same manner in 1860.
Descriptions of these several settlements, which, under the name of Provinces, now form the political divisions of the colony, with their local history, will be separately dealt with in subsequent chapters of the present volume.
AMONG the numerous races of men with which the Briton has been brought into contact, there is none which has excited more interest than the native race inhabiting New Zealand, and none which has displayed more capacity for adapting itself to the new ways introduced by the Europeans. By nature brave and warlike, and quick to avenge real or fancied insult, the Maori has nevertheless almost altogether discontinued the practices of his forefathers. The intertribal contests of forty years ago are now unknown, and, following the example of their white neighbours, tribes are seen referring to Courts of Law those disputes respecting land which formerly could have been decided only by a conflict. The same readiness of adaptation is shown as to agriculture. From the time of the earliest traditions, the Maori has been a cultivator of the soil. He was well versed in the nature of the lands best fitted for the esculent roots he planted—the kumera or sweet potato, and the taro, or yam. The potato, introduced by Captain Cook, was eagerly adopted and carefully tended. The fruits brought to the knowledge of the Maori by the early missionaries, such as peaches, grapes, apples, plums, melons, and vegetables like the pumpkin, cabbage, bean, &c., were speedily appreciated and propagated; and when, with the influx of Europeans, agricultural implements were imported, he soon rendered himself familiar with them, and the plough with its team of bullocks replaced the old clumsy implements. Whatever may have been the agricultural industry to which the European has devoted himself in New Zealand, he has found native imitators. Maoris keep sheep, and shear them; grow wheat, maize, and other cereals in large quantities; start flour-mills; rear cattle and pigs; and are quite ready to welcome the introduction of any new culture, such as that of the hop or the mulberry. It was qualities of adaptation such as these, and the spread of Christianity among the natives, which drew attention to the Maori race, and which have caused regret for the decrease of their numbers. How rapid that decrease has been, may be judged when it is known that in 1820 the Native population was roughly estimated at 100,000 souls, and that now it amounts to only about 40,000; 37,000 of whom are in the Northern Island; the remaining 3,000 being found in the Middle Island.
When considering the merits and attractions of the colonies or countries to which population is invited, the intending emigrant who inclines favourably to New Zealand is often deterred from giving further thought to this Colony, because of what he is told, or of what he reads on the subject of the Maoris. Their past savage life and customs—their old cannibal habits, and the fiery disposition which kept them for years at warfare with the Europeans, now in one part of the island, now in another—are familiar to the readers of the numerous boo d pamphlets respecting the Colony, such statements have been accepted as proof that all Natives are hostile and that emigration to New Zealand virtually means settling in the midst of a barbarous population, always on the lookout for plunder.
A statement of facts explanatory of the present condition of the Maori race will enable an opinion to be formed as to the correctness or otherwise of the notion that the colonist in New Zealand is exposed to danger from the natives.
It is a fact that the Maori is warlike by nature. Before the appearance of Europeans in the country, intertribal wars were incessant; and after the arrival of Europeans, various causes led to conflicts of more or less importance and duration between the white man and the coloured—conflicts, however, which never became a war of races; for, whenever a body of natives took up arms, there was always found a still larger number who espoused the cause of their new friends, the "pakeha," or stranger.
With regard to the fighting proclivities of the Maoris, and the prominence which has been given to them, there are two remarks to be made. In the first place, the Maori people, as found by the Europeans, were possessed of a certain degree of civilization, the remains, it is thought, of a higher state from which they had degenerated. They recognized the rights of property; they had a code of laws and honour; they had a religion, with a dim idea of a future state; and their minds were gifted with the power of expansion—that is, they could, and did, easily learn. Having no other way in which to employ their intellectual faculties, they devoted them chiefly to one art—that of warfare; and but three occupations found favour with them—war, planting, and fishing. To find a comparison for the stage they had thus reached, and one which is to their credit, we need only look to Great Britain. The Ancient Britons stained or painted their bodies, if they did not tattoo themselves; and they fought lustily amongst each other, until the Romans came and established colonies in their midst. In the second place, the prominence given to the fighting qualities of the Maori arises from his having been brought before the world after the newspaper had become part and parcel of colonization. We have not upon record any sensational telegrams, daily leading articles, or even weekly records of the dangers and difficulties overcome by the early settlers in America; though tradition and local histories inform us of numerous disasters, of wholesale massacres, and of defeats sustained at the hands of the Red Indians, before the white man could firmly plant his foot upon the soil But with New Zealand and the Maori it has been different. The world at large, reading accounts of past troubles and present occasional disputes, and knowing little or nothing of the actual condition of the Maori race, has accepted it as a fact that perpetual strife exists between the colonist and the native.
A simple account of the Maoris in past times is necessary to show the glaring contrast between the man-eating chiefs of two generations ago, and their well-dressed descendants, who not only have votes, but who sit in both branches of the Legislature.
There is not any record as to the origin of the Maori race. Its arrival in New Zealand is, according to tradition, due to an event which, from its physical possibility, and from the concurrent testimony of the various tribes, is probably true in its main facts.
The tradition runs that, generations ago, a large migration took place from an island in the Pacific Ocean, to which the Maoris give the name of Hawaiiki, quarrels amongst the natives having driven from it a chief whose canoe arrived upon the shore of the North Island of New Zealand. Returning to his homo with a flattering description of the country he had discovered, this chief, it is said, set on foot a scheme of emigration, and a fleet of large double canoes started for the new land. The names of most of the canoes are still remembered; and it is related that the immigrants brought with them the kumera, the taro, seeds of the karaka tree, dogs, parrots, the pukeko, or red-billed swamp hen, &c. Strong evidence that there is truth in this reported exodus, is supplied by the facts that each tribe agrees in its account of the doings of the principal "canoes"—that is, of the people who came in them—after their arrival in New Zealand; and that there is also agreement in tracing from each "canoe" the descent of the numerous tribes which have spread over the islands. Calculations, based on the genealogical sticks kept by the tohungas, or priests, have been made, that about twenty generations have passed since this migration, which would indicate the date to be about the beginning of the fifteenth century. The position of Hawaiiki is not known, but there are several islands of a somewhat similar name.
It is believed that the Maoris were originally Malays, who started from Sumatra and its neighbourhood, during the westerly trade winds, in search of islands known to exist to the eastward; and who, after occupying some of those islands, migrated to New Zealand. There is some evidence in support of the alleged Malay origin of the Maoris, or rather there is evidence of descent from a race possessed of higher knowledge than any shown by the Maoris since Europeans first mixed with them. Thus, they now possess the vaguest ideas of astronomy; but in former times they knew how to steer by stars, and old Natives still pretend to be able to point in the direction of Hawaiiki. Again, the recurrence of the seasons for planting and reaping was known by astronomical signs, and each season was ushered in by festivals which were held when certain conjunctions were seen in the heavens. But now there remains only superstition, which promises success or failure to war parties in accordance with the relative positions of the moon and a particular star.
In 1642, Abel Jan Van Tasman, the first European who is known to have sighted New Zealand, found the Natives numerous and fierce; and three of his men were slaughtered at a spot in the province of Nelson, still known as Massacre Bay. During his first voyage in 1769, and on his subsequent visits, Captain Cook learned the warlike character of the Maoris; and in 1772, the French captain, Marion du Fresne, experienced it, he and fifteen of his men being killed at the Bay of Islands, partly in revenge for desecration of places held sacred by the Natives, and partly because a previous visitant, De LunéAville, had put a leading chief in irons.
In 1814, an event occurred which was destined to be of the greatest importance to the natives. In that year, the Rev. Mr. Marsden, from Sydney, New South Wales, landed with some companions at the Bay of Islands, and commenced to preach, to teach, and to study the language. Gradually other missionaries came to then assistance; but, though they toiled hard for years, were generally respected, and made some converts, they were powerless to stop or to check the frightful slaughters which took place as tribe after tribe obtained firearms. The first to acquire them, the Ngapuhi, who inhabit the country to the north of Auckland, overran the greater portion of the Northern Island, slaying and eating those who could offer no resistance to the new weapons. But gradually the supply of muskets and ammunition was increased, tribes became once more on an equal footing, and the same result took place which attended the discovery of gunpowder in Europe—conflicts became rarer, and the slaughter in action was largely diminished.
Soon after 1830, Christianity began to spread, and by 1860 it had acquired a hold over almost the entire native population. Protestant and Roman Catholic clergymen went through the land, and did their best to root out old superstitions, to substitute for them the teachings of the Scriptures, and to promote education. Gradually they brought about a marked change. Churches and schools were built; there was outward observance of religion; old customs fell into disuse; and even when a section of the Maoris rose against the authority of the Government established by the white man, they still retained the faith he had imparted to them.
It was not until 1864, when there was a revival of old superstitions and beliefs, mixed with a creed perverted from the Old Testament, that Christianity among the Maoris received a blow. "Hau-hau" (from one of the most frequent ejaculations in their prayers) was the name given to the new religion. It was accepted as a national one by the tribes then in rebellion, and the influence of the missionaries among them came to an end. But many who eagerly adopted Hau-hauism at first, have since given up it and rebellion at the same time, although some tribes, it is true, still adhere to its doctrines.
But the writer has to deal with the Maori as he is, and with his present condition—not with the past condition of the small section of the race which was in active rebellion a few years ago; nor with the chances and changes of the struggle, carried on at first mainly by Imperial troops under Imperial officers, but brought to a close by colonial forces under colonial officers, after the withdrawal of the British forces.
As a rule, Maoris are middle-sized and well-formed, the average height of the man being 5 ft. 6 in.; the bodies and arms being longer than those of the average Englishmen, but the leg bones being shorter, and the calves largely developed.* The skin is of an olive - brown colour, and the hair generally black; the teeth are good, except among the tribes who live in the sulphurous regions about the Hot Lakes, near the centre of the North Island; but the eyes are bleared, possibly from the amount of smoke to which they are exposed in "whares," or cabins, destitute of chimneys. The voice is pleasant, and, when warlike excitement has not roused him to frenzy, every gesture of the Maori is graceful. Nothing can be more dignified than the bearing of chiefs assembled at a "runanga," or council, and this peculiar composure they preserve when they adopt European habits and customs, always appearing at case, even in the midst of what would seem a most incongruous assembly. In bodily powers, the Englishman has the advantage. Asa carrier of heavy burdens, the native is the superior; but in exercises of strength and endurance, the average Englishman surpasses the average Maori. As to the character of the natives, it must be remembered—if most opposite and contradictory qualities are ascribed to them—that they are in a transition state. Some of the chiefs are, with the exception of colour and language, almost Europeans; others conform, when in towns, to the dress and the customs of white men, but resume native ways, and the blanket as the sole garment, as soon as they return to the "kainga," or native village. The great majority have ideas partly European, partly Maori; while a small section, professing to adhere to old Maori ways, depart from them so far as to buy or to procure articles of European manufacture, whenever they can do so. They are excitable and superstitious, easily worked upon at times by any one who holds the key to their inclinations and who can influence them by appeals to their traditionary legends; while at other times they are obstinate and self-willed, whether for good or for evil. As is usual with races that have not a written language, they possess wonderful memories; and when discussing any subject, they cite or refer to precedent after precedent. They are fond of such discussions; for many a Maori is a natural orator, with an easy flow of words, and a delight in allegories which are often highly poetical. They are brave, yet are liable to groundless panics. They are by turns open-handed and most liberal, and shamelessly mean and stingy. They have no word or phrase equivalent to gratitude, yet they possess the quality. Grief is with them reduced to a ceremony, and tears are produced at will. In their persons they are slovenly or clean according to humour; and they are fond of finery, chiefly of the gaudiest kind. They are indolent or energetic by turns. During planting time, men, women, and children labour energetically; but during the rest of the year they will work or idle as the mood takes them. When they do commence a piece of work, they go through with it well; and in road-making they exhibit a fair amount of engineering skill.
* Doctor Thomson's valuable work has been consulted in preparing this portion of the sketch.
It has been already stated that the Northern Island of New Zealand contains a native population of about 37,000; but it must not be imagined that these are in one district, or that any considerable number are assembled in one place. In fact, they are divided into many tribes, and are scattered over an area of 28,890,000 acres, or 45,156 square miles, giving less than one native to the square mile. The most important tribe is that of Ngapuhi, which inhabits the northern portion of the North Island, within the Province of Auckland. It was among the Ngapuhi that the seeds of Christianity and of civilization were first sown, and among them are found the best evidences of the progress which the Maori can make. Forty years ago, the only town in New Zealand, Kororareka, Bay of Islands, existed within their territories. Their chiefs, assembled in February, 1840, near the "Waitangi," or "weeping water," Falls, were the first to sign the treaty by which the Maoris acknowledged themselves to be subjects of Her Majesty; and although, under the leadership of an ambitious chief, Hone Heke, a portion of them, in 1845, disputed the English supremacy, yet, when subdued by English troops and native allies (their own kinsmen), they adhered implicitly to the pledges they gave, and since then not a shadow of a doubt has been cast on the fidelity of the "Loyal Ngapuhi." Their leading chief died lately. He was a man to whom the Colony owed much, and who may be taken as a type of the Maori gentleman of rank. Tamati Waka Nene (Thomas Walker Nene) was in his youth a distinguished warrior, and assisted in the raids made by his people on the tribes to the southward. Converted to Christianity by the missionaries, he was one of the first chiefs to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, and by his arguments he was instrumental in inducing others to sign, and he remained faithful to the engagements into which he entered that day. His adhered to the Government in every difficulty and trouble which arose, and to the day of his death he was a stanch supporter of English rule, setting to his people an example which they have honourably followed. His funeral was attended by a large number of both races; and, according to his desire, his body was buried in the church cemetery at the Bay of Islands—thus breaking through one of the most honoured of Maori customs, namely, that a chief's remains should be secretly interred in some remote spot, known to but a few trusty followers. During his lifetime he was honoured by special marks of distinction from Her Majesty, and after his death the Government of New Zealand erected a handsome monument to his memory. Since then, the Ngapuhi have given another proof of the good feeling which the New Zealand Government have caused. In 1845, the British forces lost heavily before a "pa," or native fort, called Ohaeawae, then held by a section of Ngapuhi in arms, and the slain were buried near the spot where they fell. Recently, however, the natives, in their desire to prove their friendship, have erected a small memorial church, in the graveyard of which they have with due honour reinterred the exhumed remains of their former foes; thus giving additional evidence of the complete extinguishment of old animosities and jealousies.
A glance at the map will show the progress which is being made with road-works in this part of the Island. Many of the roads are being constructed by native labour, under the management and superintendence of a native gentleman holding a seat in the House of Representatives. In travelling through this district, it is not uncommon to see comfortable weather-board houses adopted by the natives instead of the "whare;" and European dress is found to have to a great extent supplanted the primitive attire of olden days. Indeed, the profits realized by digging kauri gum, and by disposing of produce, stock, &c., with the high prices obtained for labour on public works, or in the kauri pine-forests which constitute the timber wealth of the district, enable the Natives to procure the comforts of dress and of living to which they have now become accustomed. To the north of Auckland, the two races have approached nearer to each other than in any other parts of the Island; and half - castes, a handsome and power-fully-built race, are numerous. The present generation of British settlers has grown up side by side with the Maori youth; and true friendship exists between the settler and the native.
Throughout the Colony, the social condition of the Natives is a trustworthy indication of the intercourse which they have had with Europeans. Among the Ngapuhi, at places like the Thames Gold Fields, near Auckland, about Napier, and on the west coast of the Province of Wellington, where the Maori has been brought into close contact with Europeans, there are the same evidences of an upward progress. The style of living is changed; the whare has given way to the substantial house; the blanket or flax mat is replaced by broadcloth; and, as a matter of course, improvement in living induces improvement in mind. In the out-districts, where settlements have been established only a few years, the Maori is still in a half-and-half state. In his own village, he conforms in his habitation, his food, and his clothing, to the ways of his fathers: but poor or careless must the Maori be, especially if a young man, who cannot appear neat and smart in English dress when on a visit to the neighbouring township. In such wild districts as the mountainous inland regions, ancestral habits have full sway; and at one locality, between the English settlements on the Waikato River and Lake Taupo, there exists a remnant of what may be termed the "National party;" who, however, though they may inveigh against "pakeha" customs, are not the less ready to dispose of their produce to the nearest trader, and to invest the proceeds in the purchase of English manufactures.
The Middle Island Natives, as before stated, number but 3,000, and they are spread over an immense extent of country, living in groups of a few families on the reserves made for them when the lands were purchased—for the whole of the Middle Island has been bought from the native owners by the Government. Whatever may be the cause, it is a fact that the natives of the Middle Island are apathetic and careless, as compared with their brethren in the North.
There are two special features apparent in the condition of the Natives. The first is the energetic revival of agriculture, to which a stop had been put during the troublous times. On such a subject it is impossible to collect statistics; but the evidence of persons well acquainted with the race goes to prove that every year greater breadths of land are brought under cultivation; that strenuous exertions are made to obtain the best implements; and that the labour of every tribe is directed to recouping the losses sustained during times of agricultural inaction. The second feature is the anxiety displayed for the education of children, and for their instruction in the English language. Nothing has more largely contributed to this than the admission of Natives, not only to the Legislative Council and the House of Representatives, but also into the ranks of the Executive Government. The Natives have thus been induced to take a deep interest in the proceedings of Parliament, and they make it their business to become well acquainted with all that goes on in each House. The discussions which take place in Parliament are criticized in even remote villages. The ignorance of our language by the Maori members is seen to be to their disadvantage; and so the Maoris of the present day are constant in their applications for schools. For the support of them, a sum is granted annually by the Legislature, which has to be supplemented by the Natives, who give lands as endowments for the schools, procure timber for the buildings, assist in their erection, and contribute towards the salaries of the teachers. The system adopted is one of numerous day-schools established wherever children are found in some numbers; and a strict rule is that the Maori tongue is not to be used within the school. The children are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and history; the girls learning also to sew, to wash, &c. They all receive lessons in tidiness, cleanliness, and order, which cannot but be salutary. In addition to the village schools, there are a few establishments, chiefly founded by religious bodies, but mainly supported by the State, where Native children are boarded. There are already forty-nine of these Native schools, with 1,268 scholars. Others are contemplated. There has not yet been time for any visible results; but the progress made by the pupils generally is such as to give good hopes for the future.
It has been said that the whole of the Middle Island has been purchased from the Natives; but this cannot be said of the Northern Island. Here the Maoris still possess a vast extent of country—too vast for them to make any use of. It was by purchase that the lands were acquired on which are situated the flourishing settlements of the North Island; and it is by purchase from the Native owners that fresh lands are being obtained, whether by the Government or by private persons. In many instances, also, large tracts are leased from the Natives, and are occupied by settlers as sheep or cattle-runs. It is, however, one of the laws of the colony, that whatever areas of land a tribe may desire to sell or lease, it shall retain a sufficiency to enable it to maintain itself; and, consequently, large reserves, made in the interest of Native sellers, are to be found in each island.
As the immigration (assisted) and public works undertaken by the Colony proceed, additional value is given year by year to the land still held by the Natives, who are aiding largely in the opening up of the country. By the Maoris generally the scheme of intersecting the Northern Island by railways and by roads has been hailed with pleasure. They have taken readily to road-making; and, by their labour, highways have been opened into the interior, along which coaches now run, passing over country which but a short time ago was accessible only by the roughest horse-tracks.
The foregoing brief sketch shows the difference between the New Zealand Native as he now is, and the wild savage he is too often falsely represented to be.
THE form of government of New Zealand is as free as any in the British dominions. Executive power is nominally vested in a Governor appointed by the Queen; but he is bound to act, as is her Majesty herself, in conformity with the principles of Responsible Government, which, for practical purposes, vests the direction of affairs in the representatives of the people. In cases of direct Imperial interest, the Governor would no doubt act under orders of the Imperial Government. Legislative power is vested in the Governor and two Chambers—one, called the Legislative Council, consisting at present of forty-nine members nominated by the Governor for life; and the other, the House of Representatives, elected by the people, from time to time, for five years, and now consisting of seventy-eight members. Although the House is elected for five years, it can be dissolved by the Governor at any time, and thereupon a new election must take place. The special privileges which vest in the House of Commons regarding the raising and appropriation of public moneys, also vest in the House of Representatives. Any man of twenty-one years and upwards, who is a born or naturalized British subject, and who has held for six months a freehold of the clear value of £50; or who has a leasehold with three years to run, or of which he has been in possession for three years; or who is a householder having occupied for six months a house, in a town, of the yearly value of £10, or if not in a town, then of the yearly value of £5,—can, by registration, qualify himself to vote for the election of a member of the House of Representatives. Every man who has for six months held a miner's right on a gold field, is entitled to vote in a district partly or wholly situated within the limits of the gold fields; provided that no such person is otherwise qualified to vote within such district. Any person qualified to vote for the election of a member of the House of Representatives is also, speaking generally, qualified to be elected a member of that House. There are, however, certain special disqualifications for membership, such as grave crime, bankruptcy, and paid office (other than what is called political) in the Colonial service. Pour of the members of the House are Natives, elected under a special law by Natives alone.
The Colonial Legislature, which meets once a year, has power generally to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of New Zealand. The Acts passed by it are subject to the disallowance—and in a very few cases are required to be reserved for the signification of the pleasure—of her Majesty. But there have not been, in the course of the twenty years since the Constitution was granted, more than half a dozen instances of disallowance or refusal of assent. The Legislature has also, with a few exceptions, ample power to modify the Constitution of the Colony. Executive power is administered, as before stated, in accordance with the usage of Responsible Government as it exists in the United Kingdom. The Governor represents the Crown, and his Ministers must possess the confidence of the majority in the House of Representatives. Except in matters of purely Imperial concern, the Governor, as a rule, acts on the advice of his Ministers. He has power to dismiss them and appoint others; but the ultimate control rests with the representatives of the people, who hold the strings of the public purse.
The Colony is divided into nine provinces, each of which has an elective Superintendent, and a Provincial Council also elective. In each case the election is for a period of four years; but a dissolution of the Provincial Council by the Governor can take place at any time, and it necessitates a fresh election both of the Council and of the Superintendent. The Superintendent is chosen by the electors of the whole province; the members of the Provincial Council by those of electoral districts. Any person who can vote for the election of a member of the House of Representatives, can vote (in a province) for the election of a Superintendent, or (in a district) of a member of the Provincial Council; except that holders of miners' rights cannot vote for the election of a Superintendent, though they can for that of Provincial Councillors. A qualification to vote in any of these cases is also a qualification to be elected.
Provincial Legislatures, consisting of the Superintendent and Provincial Council, pass Ordinances subject to disallowance by the Governor, or, when reserved, to the signification of his pleasure. There are certain subjects, such as Customs, Superior Courts
of Law, Coinage, Postal Service, Lighthouses, Crown Lands, &c., respecting which Provincial Councils cannot legislate; and on all other matters their legislation is controlled and may be superseded by any Act of the Colonial Legislature inconsistent therewith. Otherwise, Provincial Councils can legislate for the peace, order, and good government of their respective provinces, and can raise and appropriate Provincial revenue. The administration of Provincial government is vested in the Superintendent, sometimes with and sometimes without any advising or controlling Executive Council, and is regulated by Provincial and Colonial laws.
Legislation concerning the sale and disposal of Crown lands and the occupation of gold fields is exclusively vested in the Colonial Parliament; but the administration of such laws, and the appropriation of revenues arising thereunder, are practically dealt with by Superintendents and Provincial Councils. As a rule, resolutions passed by a Council respecting modifications of the land laws of its province, are given effect to by the Colonial Legislature.
There are also, in most towns in the colony, municipal bodies, such as Mayors and Town Councils in England, invested with ample powers for sanitary and other municipal purposes; and there are in various country districts elective Road Boards, charged with the construction and repair of roads and bridges, and with other local matters. There are also in each Province central and local Boards of Health, appointed under a Public Health Act, and having authority to act vigorously, both in towns and in the country, for the prevention and suppression of dangerous infectious diseases.
The above short summary of the system of government in New Zealand, suffices to show that the leading characteristics of the British Constitution—self-government and localized self-administration—are preserved, and in fact extended, in the New Zealand Constitution; that there is ample power to regulate its institutions, and to adapt them from time to time to the growth and progress of the Colony, and to its varied requirements; and that it is the privilege of every colonist to take personal part to some extent, either as elector or elected, in the conduct of public affairs, and in the promotion of the welfare of the community.
Table of Contents
NEW ZEALAND comprises two large islands, known as the North and South Islands, with one of smaller size called Stewart Island. They are situated in the South Pacific Ocean, nearly at the antipodes to Great Britain.
The islands form one extended line for a distance of nearly 1,200 miles, their general direction being towards the south-west; but a straight line from the North Cape to the South Cape would not exceed 900 miles in length. Their average breadth is about 120 miles; but no part is anywhere more distant than 75 miles—or rather more than the distance from London to Brighton—from the coast. Their area is nearly 100,000 square miles; almost equal to that of Great Britain and Ireland. Their distance from Great Britain is about 12,000 miles, and from Australia about 1,200.
The NORTH ISLAND is about 500 miles long, its greatest breadth being about 250 miles. Its area is about 44,000 square miles, or rather less than that of England.
The SOUTH ISLAND is about 500 miles long, its greatest breadth being 200 miles, with an area of 55,000 square miles, or about the size of England and Wales. It is separated from the North Island by Cook Strait, thirteen miles across at the narrowest part—a feature of the greatest importance to the country, from its facilitating intercommunication between the different Provinces without the necessity of sailing right round the Colony if it was in one island.
The North Island is divided into four Provinces, viz., Auckland, Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, and Wellington. Taranaki and Hawke's Bay lie on the west and east coasts respectively, between the two more important Provinces of Auckland on the north and Wellington on the south.
The South Island is divided into five Provinces, viz., Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago, and Westland. (Southland was for a short time an independent. Province, but now again forms part of Otago.)
Nelson and Marlborough are in the north, Canterbury in the centre, Otago in the south, and Westland to the west of Canterbury, being separated from the latter Province by the chain of the Southern Alps.
New Zealand is very mountainous, with extensive plains, which, in the South Island lie principally on the eastern side of the mountains, and in the North Island on the western side, the interior and more mountainous parts being covered with dense forest, containing almost inexhaustible supplies of fine timber.
In the North Island the mountains occupy about one-tenth of the surface, and in the South, nearly four-fifths; but in the South Island the greater part of the mountains are open, well grassed, and used for pastoral purposes.
Forest, or, as it is called in the Colony bush, is also sufficiently plentiful on the plains on the western slopes of both Islands; and a very large export trade is done in timber. The rivers are very numerous, and of large size in proportion to the area of the country; but, owing to its mountainous character, they are rapid in their course, and in only few instances navigable.
In the northern half of the North Island the mountains do not occupy so much of the land as in other parts, and do not exceed 1,500 ft. in height, with the exception of a few extinct volcanoes that reach to 2,000 ft. and 3,000 ft.
Towards the middle part of the Island are several very lofty volcanic mountains, one of which, Tongariro (6,500 ft.), is still occasionally active. Ruapehu (9,100 ft.), which is in the centre of the Island, and Mount Egmont (8,300 ft.), in Taranaki, near the west coast, are extinct volcanoes that reach above the limit of perpetual snow, Egmont being surrounded by one of the most extensive and fertile districts in New Zealand.
To the eastward of these begins the main range of New Zealand, which, broken only by Cook Strait, reaches to the extreme south of the country; but this range, which, in the South Island, is known as the Southern Alps, is crossed at intervals by low passes, which are of great value to the country, by affording easy means of communication between the east and west coasts.
The greatest height of the main range in the North Island is 6,000 ft., so that even the loftiest peaks are not covered with snow at all seasons of the year; but in the South Island the Alpine peaks rise to from 10,000ft. to 14,000 ft., and, like the Alps of Europe, contain in the higher regions valleys filled with glaciers or masses of sliding ice, derived from extensive snow-fields, which form the sources of the principal rivers that intersect and fertilize extensive downs and plains in their course to the sea.
The changes of weather and temperature are very sudden; calms and gales, rain and sunshine, heat and cold, often alternating so frequently and suddenly as to defy previous calculation; so that there cannot be said to be any uniformly wet or dry season in the year. But although these changes are sudden and frequent, they are confined within very narrow limits, the extremes of daily temperature only varying throughout the year by an average of 20°, whilst in Europe, at Rome, and other places of corresponding latitude with New Zealand, the same variation amounts to or exceeds 30°. In respect to temperature, New Zealand may be compared either with England or with Italy, but London is 7° colder than the North, and 4° colder than the South Island of New Zealand, and is less moist.
The mean annual temperature of the North Island is 57°, and of the South Island 52°, that of London and New York being 51°, while at Edinburgh it is only 47°, the heat in summer being tempered by the almost continual breezes, and the winter cold being not nearly so severe as at any of the above-mentioned places, except in the uplands and extreme south.
The mean temperature of the different seasons for the whole colony is, in spring 55°. in summer 63°, in autumn 57°, and in winter 48°. January and February, corresponding to July and August in England, are the two warmest months in New Zealand; and July and August, corresponding to January and February in England, the two coldest, excepting in Nelson and Wellington, at which places the mean temperature is lowest in June and July.
At Taranaki the climate is remarkably equable, and snow never falls near the coast. At Wellington it is very variable, and subject to frequent gusts of wind from the hills that surround the harbour. Nelson enjoys a sheltered position and clear sky. In Canterbury the seasons are more distinctly marked, the frost in winter being occasionally severe (though it never freezes all day near the coast), and the heat in summer often very great. The winter in
Otago is decidedly colder, and severe frosts, with deep snow upon the upland plains, are common in the winter. Stewart's Island is subject to violent winds and frequent fogs.
Strong winds are prevalent throughout the Colony, and particularly in the Straits.
Rain falls frequently, but seldom in such excessive quantity, or for periods of so great length, as in Australia; the heaviest rain seldom exceeding two days' duration, excepting on the West Coast, whilst it is rare for a fortnight to elapse without a shower.
The rainfall for the year 1871 was 54½ in., the average rainfall in England being about 45 in.
A very large number of the population of New Zealand are occupied in mining for gold, which for the last twelve years has formed one of the most important exports of the Colony. The gold is obtained in two forms, viz., as alluvial gold (which is washed from the sand and gravel which occupy valleys in the mountain ranges), and as veins in quartz reefs.
Alluvial gold is chiefly found in the South Island in the Provinces of Otago, Westland, and Nelson, in which districts mining operations are carried on over an area of almost 20,000 square miles.
The quantity of gold exported from those Provinces up to 31st March, 1874, amounted to 6,421,061 oz., of the value of £25,273,379. Although apparently most of the richest deposits have already been discovered and worked by the miners, there is still a vast field for the employment of this alluring and reproductive description of labour, especially when mechanical appliances and the systematic introduction of water power have been more generally applied. Already the pursuit of gold, which at first was followed by individual miners, has become a more settled industry, and small communities of a permanent character now occupy districts that would have remained unexplored and unoccupied had it not been for the stimulus afforded by the search after the precious metal.
The auriferous sand, or gold drift, as it is usually termed, is of three distinct kinds:—First, that which is found in the beds of rivers, and which is worked by small parties of miners, as the process requires no large expenditure of capital to effect the separation of the gold. Secondly, immensely thick deposits of gravel, of more ancient date, occupy the wider valleys and the flat country, from which the gold can only be obtained by means of a considerable expenditure and large engineering works for the purpose of bringing a supply of water for undermining and working the auriferous deposits. This description of mining is of a more permanent description than the former, and provision has been made by the Colonial Government for assisting the miners by the construction of water-races, which will supply the means of profitable employment to a much larger number of persons than at present gain a livelihood by this description of mining. Thirdly, along the sea coast the continued wash of the waves produces a sifting action on the sands which are brought down the rivers and drifted along the shore, thus producing deposits of fine gold, which, by the aid of simple mechanical contrivances, afford employment to a large number of diggers, who can labour without incurring the hardships and privations which attend the occupation of the miner in the more inland districts.
The extraction of gold from the lodes, or quartz reefing, as it is termed, is still in its infancy in New Zealand except in the Thames district of the Province of Auckland, in the North Island, where gold quartz has been mined since 1852. At this place the mountain range which forms the Colville peninsula is intersected by veins of quartz impregnated with gold and silver; and though the district as yet tested by the miners is a very insignificant portion of the whole area of country of a similar character, it has already produced precious metals to the value of £3,051,461.
The Thames mines are chiefly worked by companies, which have in some instances gained enormous fortunes, though in many cases, from over speculation and defective management, they have proved failures. Labour can only be employed in this description of mining by combination and the employment of capital, but the mining companies are often formed of working men, who hold shares, besides which they afford employment to a large number of miners, who receive good wages; and the miners so employed, while they cannot expect the rich prizes which occasionally reward those who work on the alluvial diggings, are yet more certain of steady and remunerative employment.
The latest discoveries on the gold fields have led to the development of quartz reefing in the South Island, and as alluvial mining gradually engrosses less exclusive attention, it cannot be doubted, from the experience of other gold-producing countries, that there will be found many more localities in which quartz reefing will become a permanent industry.
Other valuable metals, such as silver, mercury, copper, lead, chrome, manganese, and iron have been discovered in various parts of the Colony, and in due time will be profitably worked when the circumstances of the labour market permit. Ores of the last-mentioned metal—iron—are remarkably abundant, and are already attracting attention, so that several mining and smelting companies have been formed, the operations of which will afford a very considerable employment for labour.
Coal-mines have been opened in all parts of the Colony, the coal being of two distinct descriptions, viz., that which is adapted for steam purposes, or black coal, and brown coal, a variety which, though too bulky, and giving out its heat too slowly to be useful for steamers on long voyages, is, nevertheless, of great value for steamers on coastal voyages, for stationary engines at manufactories, and for domestic use, being quite equal, for the latter purpose, to much of the coal that is used in Germany and Austria.
The black coal seams occur chiefly on the West Coast of the South Island, in several distinct coal-fields, which cover an area of nearly 100 square miles. The principal coalfields are in the vicinity of shipping ports at Collingwood and the Buller and Grey Rivers; but the last-mentioned places are only at present accessible to vessels of moderate size, so that the difficulty of shipping the coal has retarded the development of the mines, which would at first have to compete with the extensive mines of New South Wales that at present supply nearly all the steam coal used in New Zealand.
The construction of railways and other works, however, is now in active progress for the service of these coal-fields, and as they are subdivided and let by Government on extremely favourably terms to lessees, it may be expected that in a short time several mines will be in full working order, and that thriving communities will spring up in the above-mentioned places. Mining of brown coal, deposits of which are scattered over all parts of the Colony, though not likely, except in a few instances, to support such large mining communities as the black coal, will yet afford, in time, extensive employment. Already, near some of the centres of population, there is a large trade in this description of coal, while many country districts where firewood is deficient, depend entirely on it for fuel. Its value, therefore, in assisting in the future development of the country, can hardly be over-estimated. Some of the more extensive deposits of brown coal contain seams of great importance, and of such superior quality as to approach that of the true black coal; as, for instance, at Kawa Kawa, in the Bay of Islands; in the Waikato, south of Auckland; the Malvern Hills near Christchurch, and the Clutha Valley, near Dunedin; and in Southland.
As a natural product derived from the decomposition of coal-seams, it is proper to mention the occurrence of petroleum or rock-oil springs in various parts of the Colony, particularly at Taranaki, on the West Coast, and in the vicinity of Poverty Bay, near the East Cape, in the North Island. The quality of the petroleum in the latter place is quite equal to that obtained in Canada and the United States, as it yields, by a simple refining process, 60 to 75 per cent. of commercial kerosine. Companies have been formed for extracting this rock oil, but the works are not yet sufficiently advanced to determine whether it will be a profitable speculation in the present state of labour in the Colony, and the very low price of the imported article. A liberal bonus has, however, been offered by the Government with the view of fostering this industry, the development of which, in recent years, has led to so much prosperity in certain districts of the United States of America.
Allusion has been made to the area of country occupied by mountain ranges in New Zealand, and the general position they occupy with reference to the geography of the country; and it may be further stated that, with the exception of the Alpine ranges, every part of the country is more or less adapted for settlement of some kind. A clearer idea of the value of the country, and the purposes to which it is applicable, is, however, obtained by a comparison of the rock formations, the decomposition of which produces the soils, as shown in the following table, from a study of winch it will be found that in the whole Colony there are about 12,000,000 acres of land fitted for agriculture, wherein the form of surface is suitable, and about 50,000,000 which are better adapted for pasturage; but from these estimates allowance must be made for about 20,000,000 acres of surface at present covered by forest.
It would be beyond the scope of this paper to describe in detail the endless varieties of soil which are found in New Zealand, but attention may be drawn to the chief peculiarities:—
|North Island.||South Island.||Totals.|
|1. Fluviatile drifts, one-third agricultural||8,447||6,286||14,733|
|2. Marine tertiary, two-thirds agricultural (rest pastoral)||13,898||4,201||18,099|
|3. Upper secondary, coal-bearing, pastoral||2,390||2,110||4,500|
|4. Palaeozic, pastoral||5,437||20,231||25,668|
|5. Schistose, pastoral||15,308||15,308|
|6. Granitic, worthless||5,978||5,978|
|7. Volcanic, one - sixth agricultural (rest pastoral)||14,564||1,150||15,714|
|Square miles .||44,736||55,264||100,000|
In the north of Auckland, including the lower portion of the Waikato Valley, light volcanic soils prevail, interspersed with areas of clay marl, which, in the natural state, is cold and uninviting to the agriculturist, but which, nevertheless, under proper drainage and cultivation, may be brought to a high state of productiveness. The latter are, however, almost universally neglected at the present time by the settlers, who prefer the more easily worked and more rapidly remunerative soils derived from the volcanic rocks.
In the western district, which extends round Taranaki and Wanganui, the soil is all that can be desired, and is probably one of the richest areas in the Southern Hemisphere. The surface soil is formed by the decomposition of calcareous marls, which underlie the whole country, intermixed with the debris from the lava-streams and tufaceous rocks of the extinct volcanic mountains. The noble character of the forest-growth which generally covers the area, proves the great productiveness of its soil, although at the same time it greatly impedes the progress of settlement.
In the central district of the North Island, from Taupo towards the Bay of Plenty, the surface soil is derived from volcanic rocks of a highly siliceous character, and large areas are covered with little else than loose friable pumicestone. Towards the coast, and in some limited areas near the larger valleys, such as the Waikato and the Thames, and also when volcanic rocks of a less arid description appear at the surface great fertility prevails, and any deficiencies in the character of the soil are amply compensated for by the magnificence of the climate of this part of New Zealand. On the eastern side of the slate range, which extends through the North Island, the surface of the country is generally formed of clay marl and calcareous rocks, the valleys being occupied by shingle deposits derived from the slate and sandstone rocks of the back ranges, with occasional areas of fertile alluvium of considerable extent. It is only the latter portions of this district which can be considered as adapted for agriculture, while the remainder affords some of the finest pastoral land to be met with in any part of the Colony.
In the South Island the chief agricultural areas are in the vicinity of the sea coast, but there are also small areas in the interior, in the vicinity of the Lake districts, where agriculture can be profitably followed. The alluvial soil of the lower part of the Canterbury plains and of Southland are the most remarkable for their fertility; but scarcely less important are the low rolling downs, formed by the calcareous rocks of the tertiary formation, which skirt the higher mountain masses, and frequently have their quality improved by the disintegration of interspersed basaltic rocks.
On the western side of the Island the rapid fall of the rivers carries the material derived from the mountain ranges almost to the sea coast, so that comparatively small areas are occupied by good alluvial soil; but these, favoured by the humidity of the climate, possess a remarkable degree of fertility.
By the proper selection of soil, and with a system of agriculture modified to suit the great variety of climate which necessarily prevails in a country extending over twelve degrees of temperate latitude, every variety of cereal and root crop may be successfully raised in New Zealand; and with due care in these respects, New Zealand will not fail to become a great producing and exporting country of all the chief food staples.
Until the systematic colonization of the Islands, New Zealand was very destitute of terrestrial or animal life suitable to the wants of civilized man, the only mammals being a small rat, a dog (which had been probably introduced since the Islands were peopled by the present race), and pigs, the produce of some animals left by Captain Cook and the navigators who succeeded him. Soon after the establishment of the settlements in New South Wales, an intercourse sprang up between Sydney and the northern parts of the Islands, which were also frequently visited by whale-ships; and through the agency of the early missionaries and other visitors, many useful animals and plants were then introduced. In more recent years all kinds of domestic animals, many of very high quality, have been imported, including valuable continental breeds of sheep and the American llama. Domestic poultry of almost every species has also been introduced, and, through the agency of the Acclimatization Societies, many species of game (such as hares, pheasants, partridges, black game, red grouse, quail, &c.), and a host of the smaller birds of Europe and other countries, have been spread throughout the Islands. The rivers of New Zealand, too, which formerly produced only the eel and a few small salmonoid fish of little value, are gradually being stocked with trout; whilst perch, tench, and carp have also been satisfactorily acclimatized.
The seas around New Zealand, however, always make up, by the abundance and large variety of the valuable fish which they produce, for the scantiness of the terrestrial fauna. Amongst these we may name the hapuka (a very large species of cod), the king fish, frost fish, butter fish, red schnapper, moki, barracouta, kawai, sole, dory, flounder, and many others all in considerable quantity and of delicious flavour; besides which, shoals of mackerel and pilchard occur during certain seasons of the year. Oysters, mussels, crayfish, and other mollusca and Crustacea of great value and of excellent quality abound, requiring only proper systematic culture to become a source of wealth to the Colony. There is no doubt, in fact, that the New Zealand fisheries, which have hitherto, been little looked after, but are now being protected under legislative enactments, will become of considerable importance with the spread of trade and intercourse. As regards the vegetable productions, it would occupy too much space in a publication like the present to give any proper account either of the indigenous or introduced flora. The indigenous forest of New Zealand is evergreen, and contains a large variety of valuable woods, amongst which we may name the puriri, the matai (or black pine), the rimu (or red pine), the kahikatea (or white pine, whose timber is, for its lightness and toughness, well adapted for the manufacture of packing-cases, &c.), the totara (a species of yew), the hinau (from the bark of which a very valuable tannin is extracted), and various species of beech. Most of these trees produce excellent timber for ordinary building purposes, many of them yield handsome furniture woods, whilst the beech is one of the most valuable shipbuilding timbers known, seasoning easily and being extremely durable. Amongst the smaller plants, the Phormium tenax, or New Zealand flax, is of especial value; whilst large tracts of country are covered with indigenous grasses of high feeding quality, which support millions of sheep, and have thus been productive of great wealth to the Colony. Many of the more valuable trees of Europe, America, and Australia have been introduced, and have flourished with a vigour scarcely ever attained in their own natural habitats. In many parts of the Colony the hop grows with unexampled luxuriance; whilst all the European grasses and other useful plants produce returns equal to those of the most favoured localities at home. Fruit, too, is abundant all over New Zealand. Even as low as the latitude of Wellington, oranges, lemons, citrons, and loquats are found; whilst peaches, apples, pears, grapes, apricots, figs, melons, and, indeed, all the ordinary fruits of temperate climates, abound. Roots and vegetables of all kinds grow abundantly: and, in fact, it may truly be said that nearly all the useful orchard and garden productions of England are now known in New Zealand, and come, under proper treatment, to equal perfection. Agriculture, too, is beginning to be followed out upon an extensive and improved system; and as the colonists are giving themselves more and more to this mode of life, there can be little doubt that, with the increase of population—which, from the Government scheme of immigration may well be expected to be rapid—more attention will be paid to it, and more capital be invested in it.
Table of Contents
NO account of New Zealand would be complete that did not include a notice of some of those institutions of social life that in England are the outcome of the ages during which it has been evolving its grand history, but which, having been transplanted to the Colony, have taken toot and flourished as in most congenial soil. It is indeed marvellous that at the close of a period only extending through one-third of a century, or about the average term of one generation, there should be found in a colony at the antipodes of Britain, churches, colleges, schools, literary and scientific societies, libraries, museums, and other institutions of similar character, such as in the most highly-favoured countries are marking an age of progress, and aiding in its development.
Side by side with these there have also grown up many institutions which, while connected with and to a large extent working by the machinery of Government, are nevertheless strictly social, and tend to aid the people in their various businesses, to facilitate kindly as well as commercial intercourse, and to foster those habits of prudence and forethought without which neither persons nor communities can be permanently prosperous. Some of these will form the subjects of this paper.
Savings Banks were formed at a very early date in the history of the Colony, and in 1858 an Act was passed for their regulation, as a consequence of which, savings-banks were opened in all the chief towns of the several Provinces.
In 1867 Post Office savings-banks were instituted, in which year the private savings-banks (which were then ten in number) received £71,378. 2s. 2d., and repaid £80,784. 5s. 7d. retaining funds to the amount of £85,658. 14s. 5d. at the credit of 4,223 depositors, giving an average of £20. 5s. 8d. to each account. During the same year forty-six branches of the Post Office savings-bank were opened, receiving (from the 1st of February) £96,372. 7s. 10d., and repaying £26,344. 18s. 2d., leaving (with interest added) £71,197. 14s. 1d. at the credit of 2,156 depositors, being an average of £33. 0s. 5d. to each account. In this first year, therefore, the receipts of the Post Office savings-banks exceeded those of the private savings-banks by nearly two-fifths, whilst the withdrawals did not amount to one-third of the sums withdrawn from the latter; thus leaving the accumulations in the Post Office savings-banks to approach as nearly to those in the private savings-banks as 14 is to 17. From that time the deposits in the Post Office savings-banks have increased with marvellous rapidity, so that at the end of the year 1872 there were ninety-one offices open, while during the year the sum of £430,877 was received, the sum of £313,176. 7s. 11d. was repaid, and a total of deposits was left amounting to no less a sum than £490,066. 7s. at the credit of 13,566 depositors, being an average of £36. 2s. 5d. at the credit of each account.
This great increase was not (as might be supposed) counterbalanced by any corresponding diminution of receipts or balances in the private savings-banks. The number of such banks was reduced to seven, three having been merged into the Post Office savings-banks, but the remaining seven received £56,780. 12s. 6d., and repaid £40,784, 18s. 4d. in the year, adding as the result £15,995. 14s. 2d. to their amount of deposits, the total of which at the end of the year was £106,936. 11s. 1d. at the credit of 3,723 accounts, being an average of £28. 14s. 6d. to each account. Thus, though the number of banks and depositors had decreased, the deposits had increased by £21,277. 16s. 8d., becoming just one-fourth in excess of the amount they had reached when the Post Office banks were opened. It is evident, therefore, that the latter had supplied a want, and been largely instrumental in encouraging provident habits in the community; for not only is the whole of the £490,066. 7s. an addition to the accumulations of 1867, but there is a further addition of upwards of £21,277 likewise.
The following table (extracted from the Annual Statistics of the Colony) shows the details of the private savings-banks for the year 1872:—
TABLE showing the NUMBER of SAVINGS BANKS (other than those connected with the Post Office) in NEW ZEALAND; the respective DATES of their ESTABLISHMENT; and the NUMBER of DEPOSITORS in the Year 1872, distinguishing the European and the Aboriginal Native Depositors.
|Where Situated.||Date of Establishment.||Numbers having Deposits in the respective Banks on the 31st Dec., 1872.||Total Amounts to the Credit of such Depositors on 31st December, 1872.|
|Europeans.||Maoris||Total.||Of Europeans.||Of Maoris.||Total.|
|Average of Deposits, £28. 14s. 6d.|
|£. s. d.||£. s. d.||£. s. d.|
|Auckland||1,847||1,304||6||1,310||36,181 6 11||49 10 0||36,230 16 11|
|New Plymouth||1,850||69||5||74||1,925 6 1||274 10 6||2,199 16 7|
|Napier||1,864||180||...||180||4,233 4 7||...||4,233 4 7|
|Nelson||1,860||533||...||533||11,916 5 10||...||11,916 5 10|
|Hokitika||1,866||256||...||256||6,850 13 4||...||6,850 13 4|
|Dunedin||1,864||1,224||1||1,225||40,189 17 10||1 4 5||40,131 2 3|
|Invercargill||1,864||145||...||145||5,314 11 7||...||5,314 11 7|
|General Totals||...||3,711||13||3,723||106,611 6 2||325 4 11||106,936 11 1|
Comparing the state of things in the Colony with what has taken place in England, the contrast is very remarkable, though there also the Post Office savings-banks have been a most signal success. From the latest return (that for 1872) it appears that the deposits in the Post Office savings-banks there had amounted to £19,318,339, but it also appears that, in the period between the formation of the Post Office savings-banks in 1861, and 1871, the deposits in the private (or "Trustee") savings-banks had been reduced from £41,259,145 to £38,640,022; so that nearly one-seventh of the deposits in the Post Office savings-banks would seem to have been withdrawn from the Trustee savings-banks; and yet, although the latter bad suffered to the extent of upwards of two and a half millions sterling, their deposits almost exactly doubled those of the Post Office savings-banks.
This contrast with the state of things in England would in all probability be still stronger, but for two causes which in this Colony have always tended to reduce the amounts that have found their way into the savings-banks, both of which causes have been even more operative of late years than formerly. One of these is the facilities which are given by the ordinary banks to persons of comparatively small means to open accounts with them. As a consequence of this, numbers of persons keep banking accounts who would never have thought of keeping such in England, and, indeed, would not have been able to keep them.
The other cause that tends to reduce the amount of deposits, is the almost universal desire to buy land. This desire is manifested in every class of the community, and certainly not the least strongly in that numerous class who in the Colony find themselves in a position to become landholders, which, in their native country, would have been all but physically impossible to them. It is, therefore, constantly happening that as soon as, say, £50 is laid by, it is withdrawn and invested in the purchase of land; and even Natives of New Zealand have been known to place money in a savings-bank, and add to it from time to time, until enough was accumulated to purchase some coveted piece of land in or near to an European settlement.
If, therefore, the amounts in the various savings-banks were small instead of being just upon £600,000, it would still be true that savings-banks are more useful than their founders could have hoped for, and are performing an important part in the settlement of the country; and it is quite possible that another year or two may prove their utility—however paradoxical the statement may appear—by the deposits being laregly reduced, and the money used for land-purchases, as the country is made accessible by roads and railways.
The following table will show the yearly progress of savings-banks in the Colony from the year 1867 (inclusive):—
|Amount of Deposits.||Private Savings Banks.||Post Office Savings Banks.||Totals.|
|At close of year 1867||85,658||14||5||71,197||14||1||156,856||8||6|
|Added in year 1868||Dr. 5,561||8||0||92,321||1||6||86,759||13||6|
|Added in year 1869||8,976||10||10||67,792||9||8||76,769||0||6|
|Added in year 1870||4,358||16||3||64,060||16||4||68,419||12||7|
|Added in year 1871||3,879||19||3||62,282||12||11||66,162||12||2|
|Added in year 1872||9,623||18||4||132,411||12||6||142,035||10||10|
In the year 1869 an Act was passed enabling the Government to grant life assurances and annuities on the security of the colonial revenue. This differed from the Act passed in England some years previously, as the latter only allowed insurances or annuities to be granted for very small sums, while the New Zealand Act imposed no limit upon the amount. The business of the office actually commenced in March, 1870, and, as was expected, its beginnings were small, yet by the 30th of June fifty-three persons had availed themselves of the advantages it offered, by effecting insurances to the amount of £27,800. The business of the office has gone on steadily increasing, so that on the 30th of June, 1873, the Commissioner was able to report that 2,901 persons had effected insurances for an aggregate sum of £1,085,649, and also that sixty persons had provided endowments amounting to £6,500, while seventeen others had paid for annuities of the value of £950. 15s. 8d. per annum. Thus 2,901 heads of families had secured that in the event of their decease, an average sum of nearly £375 should be paid to those they might leave behind them—a sum which would "keep the wolf from the door" until other means of support might be secured. There is this further advantage in that which has bean done. Those 2,901 persons (or families) have submitted to the deduction of a sum equal to £10. 12s. out of the yearly income of each one, to secure a prospective benefit. While this proves the existence of a spirit of self-denying forethought, the opportunity of using some portion of the yearly earnings in this way tends, like its kindred institution the savings-bank, to foster habits of care and prudence.
It would not be fair to suppose that the system of Government insurances in England should show results relatively equal to those that have been secured in New Zealand, because there the Government insurances are for very limited amounts while great facilities exist for effecting life insurances with private offices; yet, when looking at what has been done in the Colony, it would hardly have been expected that the results in England would have been so small as they are. The English Act was passed in 1864, yet at the end of 1871—nearly seven years after—there were only 2,709 insurances current, for sums amounting in the whole to £208,070. Besides these, there were current 1,798 contracts for immediate annuities, and 258 for deferred annuities, the amount of both classes being £42,167.
There are other life assurance offices doing business in New Zealand, and an Act was passed in the last session of the Assembly, giving persons the power to register their policies against deposits previously made in a Government office by the grantors of the policies.
The statistics of the Post Office, like the other statistics of the Colony, exhibit an increase that is far greater than anything that could have been caused by an increase of the population, without a more than corresponding increase of prosperity. The office has so grown in the thirty-three years during which it has been established, that it can show the following as the statistics for the year 1872:—
Comparing the increased use of the Post Office with the increase of the population for the periods given, these results are obtained:—
Between 1853 and 1857 the population increased. 57½ per cent., but the letters received and despatched increased 130 per cent., though newspapers only increased 6 per cent. Again, between 1857 and 1872 the population increased 461 per cent., and in the same period the letters received and despatched increased 1,960 per cent., and newspapers 510 per cent. Thus between 1853 and 1857 the rate of increase in letters was more than twice the increase of population, and between 1857 and 1872 the rate of increase was more than four times the increase of the population. The following table will show this more clearly, as it gives (as nearly as may be) the numbers of letters and newspapers passing through the Post Office for every individual of the population, young and old:—
|No. of letters received for each individual (man, woman, and child)||2⅓||3||12¾|
|No. of letters despatched||2⅚||3⅓||12|
|No. of newspapers received||3⅓||5⅓||10|
|No. of ditto despatched||3¼||4⅝||6½|
It must be added that the postal revenue of the Colony has increased from £4,100. 2s. 1½d. in 1857, to £46,162. 13s. 5d. in 1872, and this, too, notwithstanding repeated reductions in the rate of postage.
A large part of the increase in the number of letters has been caused by the diminution of rates. Instead of 1s. for a "single" letter conveyed a little more than 100 miles, the rate is now 2d. for the half-ounce from any place in the Colony to any other place in the Colony, excepting within the limits of towns, in which the postage is only 1d.; while the postage to Australia is but 2d., and 6d. to the United Kingdom. Newspapers are conveyed between any two places in the Colony at a postage of ½d., and to any place beyond the Colony at 1d.; and book and pattern parcels are conveyed at about half the rates for letters. All postages are prepaid by stamps, which have been used since 1858.
There were at the close of the year 1872, 533 post offices in the Colony, of which 14 were "chief" or accounting offices, and 91 were money-order and savings-bank offices. Letters are delivered once or twice in a day in all towns, merchants and others have "private boxes" in the post offices of most towns of importance, and pillar letterboxes and receiving-houses enable persons to post their letters without inconvenience. The arrangements for the conveyance of mails are also very extensive, so as to meet the requirements and convenience of the public. The Postmaster-General, in his report for the year 1872, states,—
"During the year, there were 233 inland mail services in operation; 66 being performed by coach and mail-cart, 102 on horseback, 10 on foot, 38 by water, and 7 by railway. The aggregate of the distances to be travelled for the 223 services was 6,768 miles; and the total number of miles travelled was 1,180,364, at a cost to the department of £21,838."
Besides this there is a mail service to Australia, by steamers running between Auckland and Sydney, and between the southern ports and Melbourne; thus enabling communication to be held with Australia about five times in each month. There are also two mail services in each month between the Colony and England; one by which the mails are carried to and from Melbourne, and thence to and from England viâ Suez; and one viâ San Francisco and New York. For the first of these the Colony pays £5,000 per annum for the portion of the service between New Zealand and Melbourne, and a proportionate amount of the cost of the service between Melbourne and England according to the number of letters forwarded by it. The second service has been undertaken jointly by the colonies of New South Wales and New Zealand at a gross cost of £80,000. The receipts for postage both in the United Kingdom and the colonies will very much reduce the cost of this service, of which each colony pays half.
Very much, therefore, has been done to make the Post Office in New Zealand a worthy imitation of the vast and mighty postal establishment of Great Britain.
One of the most important developments of the Postal department has been the establishment of the money-order system. It was first brought into operation in the, Colony on the 1st of August, 1862, but its growth with regard to places outside the Colony was very gradual, as some delay and difficulty was experienced before the other Australian colonies could be induced to co-operate. The following table, extracted from the report of the Postmaster-General for 1873, will show the progress made from the commencement to the 31st of December, 1872, being a little less than ten years and a half:—
|In the Colony.||United Kingdom.||Australian Colonies.|
|In the Colony.||United Kingdom.||Australian Colonies.|
These figures show that between 1863 (the first complete year of the system) and 1872, the number and amount of orders issued in the Colony increased nearly fourfold, and that in the same period the number of orders paid in the Colony increased tenfold, and their amount between ninefold and tenfold, the amount in the latter year being just nine and a half times as large as in the former.
In the Colony, as in England, the amount for which any money order can be drawn is limited to £10, nor can more than one for that sum be obtained in favour of the same person by the same remitter on any one day. The commission charged on inland orders is 6d. for sums under £5, and 1s. for sums exceeding £5; on orders payable in the Australian colonies, double the above rates; and on orders payable in the United Kingdom, rates varying from 1s. on sums under £2, to 5s. for sums exceeding £7. For inland orders by telegraph, a commission of 4d. in the £ sterling is charged, besides 1s. for the transmission of the message.
This, which has been entirely the growth of the last few years, is now becoming one of the most important institutions of the Colony, and is entirely in the hands of the Government. Its commencement was due, partly to the necessities of military service in the districts south of Auckland, and partly to the impetus given to the Southern Provinces by the opening of their gold fields. There were enormous difficulties to overcome, the country being to a large extent rugged and wild, while the Islands being divided by Cook Straits, rendered it necessary to undertake the laying of a telegraph cable to connect them; yet notwithstanding this, the work has been pushed on so rapidly that in July, 1873, the Telegraph Commissioner reported "that 2,356 miles of line had been completed, carrying 4,574 miles of wire." The entire cost, inclusive of the cable, was also stated to have been £224,580. It may be added that when about thirty miles more of line has been constructed in the neighbourhood of New Plymouth, every place of importance in the Colony will be brought into telegraphic communication.
The following extracts from the report already quoted will show the work that had been done during the year 1872-73:—
"During the year, there were transmitted 568,960 telegrams of all codes, being 157,193 more than the previous year, or an increase of over 38 per cent.
"The number of money order telegrams sent was 5,791, representing £28,106,16s. 8d., being an increase of 2,755 messages, and of more than £14,000 as compared with 1871-72. The amount of commission collected by the Post Office was £770. 1s. 4d.; and deducting therefrom £289. 11s. as fees for the telegrams sent, there was left to the Post Office £480. 10s. 4d., or rather more than £1. 14s. per cent. on the total sum transmitted. Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, and their sub-offices; issued the largest number of orders; while Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin paid the largest number.
"The length of line maintained was 2,314 miles, at a cost of £9,479. 5s. 4d., or an average of £4. 1s. 11d. per mile. Thirteen new offices were opened, and 20 cadets were trained in the Learner's Gallery, and draughted to different stations.
"The total earnings for the year were £51,364. 6s. 4d.; so that, deducting the cost of the signals, department, and maintenance of lines, and charging the receipts with 6 per cent. on the capital expended (£224,580. 11s. 11d.), there remained to the credit of the department, on the year's business, about £870.
"In some of the Provinces, 25 telegrams have been transmitted for every 100 letters posted, and for the whole of New Zealand 19 telegrams have been despatched for every 100 letters posted. Last year, the average for the Colony was 17.02 of telegrams per 100 letters. The total number of telegrams transmitted was 568,950, or an average of rather more than 2 per head of the population of the Colony—a proportion which is not equalled in any other colony or country."
The following table, extracted from the same report, is also interesting, as showing in detail the large amount of work the telegraph is doing, as compared with that which is being done by the Post Office. As will be seen at a glance, the number of letters has increased year by year, but the number of telegrams has increased much more rapidly. Thus, in 1867-68, when the number of interprovincial letters was 1,938,578, the proportion of telegrams was less than 5½ to each 100 letters, or about one-eighteenth part; but in 1872-73, when the letters had increased to 2,878,372, the number of telegrams was more than 19¾ for each 100 letters, or almost one-fifth part. The letters, therefore, had increased about 48½ per cent., but the telegrams had increased by no less than 436 per cent., or just nine times the rate of increase of the letters.
TABLE showing the Number of INTERPROVINCIAL LETTERS forwarded during the Year ended 31st DECEMBER, 1872; Number of TELEGRAMS despatched in each PROVINCE during the Year ended 30th JUNE, 1873; and Proportion of TELEGRAMS to every 100 LETTERS; together with a similar Return for the previous Year:—
|Number of Letters.||Number of Telegrams.||Proportion of Telegrams sent for every 100 Letters.||Number of Letters.||Number of Telegrams.||Proportion of Telegrams sent for every 100 Letters.|
|Total No. of Letters||2,878,372||2,418,021||2,626,947||2,374,060||2,749,488||1,938,578|
|Total No. of Telegrams||568,960||411,767||312,874||185,423||146,167||106,104|
|Proportion of Telegrams to every 100 Letters||19.76||17.02||11.91||7.81||6.12||5.47|
While it is gratifying to see that already the telegraph is to so large an extent self-supporting, it is to be remembered that this is notwithstanding—or perhaps in consequence of—the large reductions that have been made in the scale of charges. For upwards of four years the charge was by a "mileage" rate, which made the cost amount to from 2d. to 6d. per word. This was altered on the 1st of September, 1869, to a uniform rate of 2s. 6d. for the first ten words, and 6d. for every additional five words or fraction thereof. This was again altered, on the 1st of April. 1870, to 1s. for the first ten words, and 6d. for each additional five words; and, finally, on the 1st of November, 1873, the charge was still further reduced to 1s. for the first ten words, and 1d. for every word additional, neither addresses nor signatures being counted unless they together exceed ten words. The Press telegrams have always been sent at considerably lower rates than those charged for ordinary messages.
One novel and important application of the telegraph, noticed incidentally above, deserves to be more particularly referred to. This is the engrafting of the money-order system on to the telegraph, so that money may be remitted from any part of New Zealand to any other within reach of the telegraph wires, without the inevitable required by the course of post. That this is a great convenience to the public is shown by the fact that, from the 15th of June, 1870, when the system was introduced, to the 31st of December in that year, 927 orders were sent through the telegraph for sums amounting to £4,266. 11s. 7d. During the following year the orders were 2,485, and the amount, £11,332. 1s.; and in the year 1872 they had increased to 4,503 orders, representing the sum of £21,669. 18s. 8d. All this has been done without accident or loss; and although the rate of charge for such orders considerably exceeds the cost of those sent through the post (being 4d. for each pound sterling, besides 1s. for the message), yet it is evident that this use of the telegraph may be regarded as a very successful experiment.
There are now ninety-five telegraph stations in New Zealand, and messages are conveyed from any one station to any other at the uniform rate stated above. Messages can also be sent to or through England from any telegraph office in the Colony, being sent by steamer to Sydney or Melbourne, and forwarded from thence by wire to London.
In the last session of the Colonial Parliament an Act was passed authorizing the Government to unite with the Governments of New South Wales and Queensland in guaranteeing the interest on a sum not exceeding £1,000,000 sterling (provided that such guarantee shall not cost New Zealand more than £20,000 per annum), for thirty-five years, to any company or person "for the construction, maintenance, and working of a telegraph cable from New Zealand to New South Wales," and a "through cable" from Normantown, in Queensland, to Singapore. When this shall have been carried into effect, New Zealand will be in direct telegraphic communication with Australia, and, through Australia, with Great Britain and the rest of the civilized world. Thus, within half the average duration of human life, the time required for communication between New Zealand and England will have been reduced from an average of five months to something less (probably) than as many hours.
In connection with the Telegraph Department, it is pleasing to bear testimony to the ability and energy of the general manager, Mr. Charles Lemon. Having read in an English publication a paper by Mr. R. S. Culley, giving an outline of his successful attempt to transmit messages simultaneously in opposite directions along the same wire, Mr. Lemon instituted a series of experiments, and himself succeeded in this interesting and very valuable extension of practical telegraphy. Mr. Lemon recently coupled two of the wires in the cable across Cook Straits, which separate the North from the South Island, and had connections made with the Wellington and Blenheim offices, which are the working ends of the cable. He had thus a circuit of thirty-two miles of land wire and eighty-two miles of cable; and through it there were transmitted from each end simultaneous messages, the signals being clear and strong, although the battery-power used was less than is ordinarily employed in working the cable. It is believed that Mr. Lemon's arrangement will be found applicable to longer lengths of wire than that stated above; and it is hoped that a practical adaptation of it will soon be made.
At all events, the arrangement may be said to have doubled the capacity of the Cook Straits cable.
The difficulties in the way of conveying land and readily giving good titles has been felt in New Zealand as in other colonies; and in 1870, the system introduced by Mr. Torrens in South Australia was introduced in New Zealand. It is somewhat amended, to suit the circumstances of the Colony, and is found to work exceedingly well.
To illustrate the nature and extent of the change from the old system, let it be supposed that a town acre had been originally laid out of a rhomboidal shape, having its side lines at an angle of say sixty degrees to the line of street. Let it further be supposed that the purchaser of this acre, desiring to make his land rectangular, effected exchanges with his neighbours on either side, giving triangular pieces of his land for pieces of theirs of similar shape. There would thus be three sets of deeds to complete the title to his land, each of which might require the production of original titles as well as powers of attorney, the non-production of any one of them rendering him unable to deal with his estate, and all requiring to be recapitulated, should he desire to sell or mortgage it. To quote the words of Mr. J. S. Williams in the "Handy Book on the Land Transfer Acts," issued by the Government: "In these processes there is no finality,—they have to be repeated upon every fresh transaction; and as each transaction entails a fresh deed, the chain is lengthened, and every new dealing becomes more complicated than the preceding one. The lawyer, of course, expects to be paid for his labour in investigating titles, and for his responsibility in damages to his client in case a title proves defective. Hence the expense of transactions, and with the expense, no corresponding advantage, for a man has no guarantee for the goodness of his title beyond the skill of his lawyer."
Under the new system, if the owner of land puts it under the Act, one searching examination is made by the officer appointed for that purpose, and when he is satisfied, a certificate of title is issued to the landowner, on a form printed for the purpose, having, therefore, all its terms absolutely fixed, requiring only the name of the proprietor and the particulars of the land and its encumbrances (if any) to be filled in, and by this all doubts are for ever quieted, for (again to quote Mr. Williams), "from thenceforth the certificate of title is conclusive evidence that the person named in it is entitled to the land it describes. The certificate of title operates as a Government guarantee that the title is perfect. It is indefeasible, and there is no going behind it."
There is also a further convenience secured by the Act. A person who has sold land that had not previously been brought under the Act, may apply to have it brought under, and that the certificate may be issued to his purchaser. The certificate thus operates as a conveyance without any additional expense.
As it is just possible that injustice may be done in some rare instances by the issue of a certificate to a wrong person, a fund is created by a charge of one halfpenny in the pound on the value of all land brought under the Act, out of which any person who has suffered injury through the issue of a certificate may receive fair compensation. It is gratifying to add that no claim of this kind has been made in the three years during which the Act has been in operation, and that the Assurance Fund now exceeds £5,000, showing that land to the value of nearly two and a-half millions of money has been brought under the Act.
It is further to be observed that in respect of all lands purchased from the Crown since the 1st of March, 1871, the titles are necessarily issued under the Land Transfer Act. It follows that no newly-purchased land can be subject to the complications that occurred under the former system.
The one operation of bringing land under the Act having been effected, all further dealings with the land are carried out by means of printed forms, which can be filled up by any person of ordinary education. In this way land can be sold, leased, mortgaged, or otherwise dealt with, while in case of a mortgage being paid off, a simple receipt, indorsed upon the copy of the mortgage held by the mortgagee, and also upon the copy in the Registry Office, operates as a reconveyance, without the necessity for a fresh deed. Special provisions are made to meet the engagements entered into by members of Building Societies when they become borrowers, thus securing the applicability of the Act to all the requirements of the community.
There is another institution peculiar to New Zealand called the Public Trust Office. This was created by an Act passed in 1872, and the purposes of the Act have been described thus:—
"The appointment of a Public Trustee
is an attempt to insure the faithful discharge of trusts, and at the same time to relieve persons from being obliged to burden their friends with the responsibilities of trustees. Farther, the Public Trust Office Act pro poses to substitute a permanent officer for guardians who, with the best possible intentions, are liable to be incapacitated for the duties they have undertaken, by removal, change of circumstances, or death. A guardianship is thus established which will continue long after the individual who first exercised it will have ceased to act."
The Act was brought into operation on the 1st of January, 1873; and by another Act passed in that year, the charge of intestate estates and the estates of lunatics was also devolved upon the Public Trustee. The office being so entirely novel, having as its only precedent that of the Accountant-General of the Court of Chancery in England, will naturally require time to develop its usefulness; but already it has been taken advantage of to an extent that demonstrates the advantage of such an institution. Executors who saw that they were likely to be burdened with trusts continuing over many years, have declined to act, knowing that the estate would be taken charge of by a public office; and already it is known that, in making their wills, the owners of large properties have made the Public Trustee their executor and trustee for their children; while in one case, the trustee under a marriage settlement, who had power to delegate his trust, finding himself failing in health, and being anxious to secure the property of the children of a deceased sister, applied to the Public Trustee to take charge of the estate. Further, as the Act says that whenever the Supreme Court may appoint a trustee, guardian, or committee of a lunatic's estate, it may appoint the Public Trustee, it has been expressed by one of the Judges that it is a satisfaction to the Court to be able to appoint a public officer instead of having the name of some person proposed, into whose fitness for the office the Court would have to inquire.
It must be added that, for the protection of persons placing property in the Public Trust Office, the Colony is made ultimately responsible; but at the same time, to preserve the public funds as far as possible from loss in this way, no trust can be received, nor any property parted with, without the consent of a Board, of which the Colonial Treasurer and the Attorney-General of the Colony are members; nor can any money be issued without the signature of one of the Commissioners of Audit.
The following newspapers are published in the colony:—
OTAGO.—Dunedin: Daily Times, Guardian, Evening Star, daily; Witness, Southern Mercury, Tablet, weekly. —
Oamaru: North Otago Times, twice weekly.—Lawrence: Tuapeka Times, twice weekly. —Tokomariro: Bruce Herald, twice weekly. —Waikouati: Herald, weekly.—Naseby: Chronicle, weekly.—Clyde: Dunstan Times, weekly. — Cromwell: Argus, weekly.—Arrowtown: Observer, weekly. — Queens-town: Wakatipu Mail, weekly. — Invercargill: Southland Times, Southland News, thrice weekly; Weekly Times and News.—Riverton: Western Star.
CANTERBURY. — Christchurch: Lyttelton Times, Press, Star, daily; Times, Press, weekly; Illustrated News, monthly.—Timaru: Herald, South Canterbury Times, thrice weekly.
MARLBOROUGH. — Blenheim: Express, twice weekly; Times, weekly.—Picton: Press, weekly.—Kaikoura: Herald, weekly.
NELSON.—Nelson: Evening Mail, daily; Colonist, thrice weekly.—Westport: Times, twice weekly; News, weekly; Charleston: Herald, twice weekly; News, weekly.—Reefton: Courier, daily; Inangahua Herald, thrice weekly. — Lyell: Argus, twice weekly.
WESTLAND. — Hokitika: West Coast Times, Evening Star, Westland Register, daily; The Leader, weekly.—Greymouth; Grey River Argus, Evening Star, Gaily; Argus, Press, weekly.—Ross: Guardian, thrice weekly.
WELLINGTON.—Wellington: Independent, Evening Post, Tribune, daily; New Zealand Mail, weekly; Waka Maori, fortnightly.—Wanganui: Chronicle, Evening Herald, daily; Chronicle, Herald, weekly.—Greytown: Wairarapa Standard, twice weekly.
HAWKE BAY.—Napier: Herald, Telegraph, daily; Times, twice weekly; Telegraph, weekly.
TARANAKI.—New Plymouth: Herald, News, twice weekly.
AUCKLAND.—Auckland: Southern Cross, New Zealand Herald, Evening Star, daily; News, Herald, weekly.—Thames: Advertiser, Evening Star, daily.—Coromandel: The Mail, News, thrice weekly.—Tauranga: Bay of Plenty Times, weekly.—Gisborne: Poverty Bay Standard, twice weekly.—Waikato: Times, thrice weekly.
Various denominational or special publications, trade-circulars, &c., are omitted from this list.
Table of Contents
THE numbers and condition of the people Males naturally claim attention first. An in- Females complete return exists for the year 1843, from which it is estimated that the population in that year was,—
The following table shows the numbers at the end of each quinquennial period since 1851:—
TABLE showing the NUMBERS of the PEOPLE and their CENTESIMAL INCREASE for each of the following Quinquennial Periods.
It cannot fail to be observed, that while it is thus shown that the population increased just tenfold in twenty years, a very large and abnormal portion of that increase occurred between the years 1856 and 1866, from which it might be surmised that the discovery of gold took place somewhere within that period. That such was the fact will be shown in a subsequent part of this paper. It may be added that the estimated population at the end of 1872 was,—
In 1848, Mr. Domett states that out of the people then in New Munster, 26.51 per cent. (or a little more than one-fourth) had been born in the Colony. Supposing these proportions to have remained about the same until 1851, the population at that date may be divided thus:—
|Persons born in the Colony||7,080|
At the census in 1871* it was found that the people were divided thus:—
|Persons born in the Colony||64,052|
* The census was taken in February, 1871, The numbers given in the preceding table are those at the close of the year.
The persons born in the Colony were thus a fraction less than one-fourth of the population, or somewhat less, relatively, than in 1851.* The numbers of immigrants had increased in the twenty years from 19,627 to 192,341, or nearly tenfold; whilst the numbers born in the Colony had increased from 7,080 to 64,052, or more than ninefold. More correctly, the numbers who had come from elsewhere to settle in the country had increased 980 per cent., and the numbers of those born in it had increased 905 per cent. It thus becomes evident that New Zealand has continued to present inducements sufficient to cause a continual influx of persons from Europe and from the neighbouring colonies.
* If the proportion stated by Mr. Domett had been maintained, the numbers born in the Colony would have been 67,970, instead of 64,052.
Another point worthy of notice is, that in 1858 the proportion of males above 21 years of age to females of similar ages was as 28 to 17 nearly; while in 1871, the proportions were as 37 to 19. In other words, in 1858 out of every thousand persons above 21 years of age, 619 were males and 381 females; but in 1871, out of every thousand, 660 were males and 340 females. This larger increase of adult males than of females is what might reasonably be expected as a result of immigration; and that it is due to this cause is shown by the fact that in 1858 the proportion of males under 6 years to females of that age was as 13 to 12, while at the census of 1867 the proportions of those under 5 years (the ages having been taken differently to those in the former census) was as 279 to 271, and at the census of 1871 the numbers were almost identical—23,369 males and 23,209 females.
The proportion of bread-winners has also more than kept pace with the numerical increase of the population, for in 1858, out of every 1,000 persons nearly 310 were males between the ages of 18 and 60, while in 1871 (taking the nearest ages given, viz., 15 to 55), there were 364 males out of every 1,000. The wealth-producing power of the community had thus increased in 22 years by nearly 17½ per cent. in addition to the extent to which it was increased by the addition that had been made to the population.
The enormous ratio of increase will be best understood by observing that in the ten years ending in 1872 the population of Great Britain had increased just 8 per cent., while New Zealand, in the same period, had increased 70 per cent. Yet how much room there is for increase may be seen by comparing the number of the population living on a square mile in England and New Zealand. The area of England and Wales is stated to be 58,320 square miles,* while the area of New Zealand is computed to be 102,000 square miles, two-thirds of which are fitted for agriculture and grazing. There is, therefore, more available land in New Zealand than in Britain, while the population of New Zealand is not quite one-eightieth part of that of England and Wales. Thus, it is stated that in that portion of the United Kingdom at the census of 1871, there were 389 individuals on every square mile; and in New Zealand at the same time there were not 4 persons on each square mile of available land.† Such figures speak for themselves.
It is gratifying to note that with the increase of the numbers of the people in the Colony, there has been an increase in their comforts also. The numbers of houses are a proof of this. These have increased from 12,812 in 1858, to 57,182 in 1871. In 1858, in each 100 houses there were 463 inhabitants. In 1871 there were only 448. The improvement in the social condition of the people is proved by the fact that in 1871 there were 1,806 more houses than would have been required to give the same accommodation that was given by the houses of 1858. According to the census of 1871, the number of persons in each 100 houses in England and Wales was 533.
* These figures, and also those relating to New Zealand, are taken from "The States-man's Year Book" for 1873, but it is not stated whether any allowance had been made for portions of the United Kingdom which cannot be profitably occupied.
† In 1872 there were rather more than four persons to each square mile, or 411 on every 100 square miles.
The houses, too, were of a better class in 1871 than they were in 1858. Taking, first, the materials of which they were constructed, the proportions of the different kinds in each 1,000 houses were as follows:—
|Built of wood||795||804|
|Built of brick and stone||24||27|
|Built of other materials*||181||169|
Taking, again, the number of rooms in each house, the comparison is equally favourable; but the comparison must be made from the numbers given in 1861, as in 1858 the number of rooms was not taken. The proportions for each 1,000 houses are,—
|Houses of 1 or 2 rooms||472||402|
|Houses of 1 or 3 rooms||125||132|
|Houses of 1 or 4 rooms||144||178|
|Houses of 1 or 5 rooms||67||79|
|Houses of 1 or 6 rooms and upwards||192||209|
* Including raupo buildings and tents.
A still more important matter is the state of education among the people. There is a difficulty in making comparisons in this particular, because, in 1858, the population was divided in the educational returns into those who were under 12 years of age and those who were above 12; but in 1871 the division was made at 15 years of age. To obviate this as far as practicable, the numbers for the year 1858 have been altered by adding to the number of children under 12, one-half of the number returned as between 12 and 18, and deducting a similar amount from those above 12; the numbers who could read and write being taken to bear the same proportion to that number that the whole number able to read and write bore to the whole population. Further, the number attending schools was taken as bearing the same proportion to the half of those between 12 and 18, as the whole number attending school bore to the whole number of children and youths between 6 and 18 years of age. In this way it is estimated that in 1858 out of every 100 children of the school-age (6 to 15), 54 could read and write, and 51 were attending schools, of which three-fifths were attending day-schools, and the other two-fifths were attending Sunday-schools only. Of the whole population of all ages, rather more than 63 out of every 100 (635 out of every 1,000) could read and write.
In 1871, out of every 100 children between the ages of 5 and 15, 59 could read and write, and nearly 72 were attending school, of which more than three-fourths were attending day-schools, and less than one-fourth were attending Sunday-schools only. Of the whole population rather more than 69 out of every 100 (692 out of every 1,000) could read and write. The proportion who could read and write was thus 9 per cent. greater in 1871 than in 1858.
The vital statistics remain singularly similar. In 1858, for every 1,000 persons alive at the commencement of the year, 44 children were born during the year, and 10 persons of all ages died. In 1871, for every 1,000 persons, 41 children were born and 10 persons died. In England and Wales, in 1871, 36 children were born for every 1,000 of the population, and 22 persons died.
In 1858 there were 62 criminal convictions in the Supreme Court, and 1,169 convictions in the Resident Magistrates' Courts, besides 1,418 convictions for drunkenness. There was, therefore, 1 person out of every 48 convicted of some offence, besides 1 person out of every 42 convicted of drunkenness.
In 1871 there were 144 criminal convictions in the Supreme Court, 18 in District Courts, and 6,824 in Resident Magistrates' Courts, besides 4,682 convictions for drunkenness. This was equal to 1 person in 38 being convicted of some crime, and 1 person in 57 convicted of drunkenness. These proportions are painfully large, and it is singular to observe that, while the criminal convictions had increased nearly 26 per cent., as compared with those of 1858, the convictions for drunkenness had decreased by nearly 36 per cent. The following table will show the variations in the different Provinces:—
TABLE showing the Comparison between CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS and CONVICTIONS for DRUNKENNESS, for each Province in New Zealand, in the Years 1858 and 1871; with the Proportions of each to the Population of the several Periods.
|No.||Proportion to Population.||No.||Proportion to Population.||No.||Proportion to Population.||No.||Proportion to Population.|
* The proportions for Nelson and Marlborough, taken together, are—offences, 1 in 56; drunkenness, 1 in 111.
† The proportions for Canterbury and Westland, taken together, are—offences, 1 in 31; drunkenness, 1 in 85.
|Auckland||229||1 in 79||737||1 in 25||1,758||1 in 35||1,940||1 in 32|
|Taranaki||41||1 in 65||35||1 in 75||93||1 in 48||36||1 in 124|
|Wellington||198||1 in 59||373||1 in 32||627||1 in 46||383||1 in 63|
|Hawke's Bay||23||1 in 66||...||...||81||1 in 75||95||1 in 64|
|Nelson||200||1 in 46||57||1 in 163||419||1 in 54*||198||1 in 114|
|Marlborough||1 in 46||57||77||1 in 68||53||1 in 99|
|Canterbury||267||1 in 46||57||1 in 48||1,434||1 in 33†||454||1 in 103|
|Westland||1 in 34||185||573||1 in 27||277||1 in 55|
|Otago||273||1 in 25||31||1 in 224||2,024||1 in 34||1,246||1 in 56|
|Totals||1,231||1 in 48||1,418||1 in 42||6,986||1 in 38||4,682||1 in 57|
N.B.—For the year 1871 the numbers given in the census are taken, as that is the latest detailed account showing the population of the different Provinces. The results are not strictly accurate, as the same numbers give the total proportion of offences to population as 1 in 37, instead of 1 in 38, as given above, the latter being the true proportion to the estimated population at the end of the year.
There are no means at hand for comparing these results with similar ones in England, but apparently the convictions in the Superior Courts in New Zealand are more numerous (proportionately) than those in England and Wales, the numbers there (in 1871) being 1 out of every 1,900 of the population, and in New Zealand, 1 out of every 1,648.
Other items usually included in statistical returns will appear in other sections of these papers.
It must be added that all the details here given apply exclusively to the European population, with the few half-castes living among them. No accurate and complete census of the Native race has ever been made, though it has been partially done more than once. The numbers were estimated in 1842-43, by the Bishop of New Zealand, as about 100,000; but those who knew the Natives more intimately, thought that 70,000 would have been more nearly correct. The last attempt at enumeration made them about 36,000, but this was several years ago, and it is probable that their numbers at present do not exceed 30,000.
The imports and exports of the Colony afford the readiest mode for estimating its commercial position, while the comparison of amounts at different periods has a special interest as showing the growth and development of various industrial pursuits, and the decay or extinction of others that were once of considerable importance.
In the year 1872 the imports were valued at £5,142,951, and the exports (of New Zealand produce) £5,107,186.
The value of the principal items of import in that year were, apparel, boots, shoes, hats, caps, &c., £415,970; drapery, haberdashery, and woollens, £889,922; ironmongery and iron, £190,634; spirits, £145,717; wine, £79,738; tea, £177,722; sugar and molasses, £384,180; tobacco and snuff, £77,474.
The principal items of export were, gold, valued at £1,730,992; wool, £2,537,919; grain and flour, £118,733; kauri gum, £154,167; Phormium (New Zealand flax), £99,405; hides and tallow, £90,551; preserved meats, £161,840.
Oil and whalebone, which in the early days of the Colony were regarded as its staple product, had become too insignificant to mention; while gold constituted more than one-third of the exports, and wool more than one-half. Flax had scarcely increased in proportion to the population, and timber had become a very small item; but grain and other agricultural produce had became considerable. The item "preserved meats" indicates a new industry, and the same may be said of leather, of which there was exported to the United Kingdom nearly 3,000 cwts. Of the whole, the item kauri gum is the only one whose production is due to the aboriginal natives, and to this they are stimulated by the presence of European purchasers. Among the imports, the altered condition of the people and the country is indicated by the importation of coals to the value of £162,549; machinery valued at £62,794; and railway and telegraph materials valued respectively at £118,319 and £6,466.
The shipping return for the year was as follows:—
|Aggregate burden||300,302 tons|
|Aggregate crews||13,866 men|
|Aggregate burden||285,366 tons|
|Aggregate crews||12,802 men|
Customs duty received in year, £813,278; land revenue (exclusive of gold), £504,717; gold fields revenue and gold duty, £114,055.
The proportions per head of population were:—
|Imports, per head||18||8||0|
|Exports, per head||18||5||0|
|Customs' duty, per head||2||18||0|
|Land revenue, per head||1||16||0|
|Gold duty, &c., per head||0||8||0|
|Ditto per head of population||£10. 16s.||£18. 8s.|
|Ditto per head of population||£5. 15s.||£18. 5s.|
|Ditto per head of population||£1. 6s.||£2. 18s.|
|Ditto per head of population||10d.||£1. 16s.|
|Gold duty and revenue||...||£114,055|
|Ditto per head of population||...||8s.|
The item "gold" appears so conspicuously in the returns of 1872, and is in itself of such importance, as to claim more than a mere passing notice.
The first time in which gold was regarded as of sufficient consequence to deserve to appear in a separate table in the annual returns of the Registrar-General was in 1858, in which year the value of the gold exported was declared to be £52,444, and it was also stated that gold to the value of £40,442 had been exported in the previous year, of which about £40,000 was the produce of New Zealand. In 1861 the value suddenly increased from £17,585 (the amount for 1860), to £752,657, the large increase being entirely due to Otago, which exported gold to the value of £727,321, or within one-thirtieth part of the whole amount.
The jurors' report on the Otago Exhibition of 1865 gives an account of the discoveries of gold in New Zealand to that date, and from it the following particulars are extracted:—It is there stated that gold was first found in Massacre Bay by an exploring party under Captain Wakefield, in 1842, "but the discovery did not attract much attention at the time." Nothing further seems to have been done until 1852, when gold was discovered at Coromandel, but only about 1,100 ounces were obtained, and the search was given up. In 1856 gold was found in several localities in Otago, but without any immediate result. In the same year gold was again discovered in Massacre Bay, and about a thousand persons soon collected there, who worked with some success, obtaining the gold that has been mentioned as exported in 1857. Discoveries were also made in that and the succeeding years in Otago, yet public attention does not seem to have been aroused until June, 1861, when Mr. Gabriel Reed made the great discovery of gold in one of the tributaries of the Tuapeka River, flowing through the ravine that is still called Gabriel's Gully, after the name of its discoverer. From that time discoveries of gold were made in various places in Otago, also on the west coast of the Province of Canterbury (now Westland), and finally at the Thames, in the Province of Auckland, the result of all which has been that there had been exported from New Zealand to the end of 1872 the enormous quantity of 6,718,248 ounces, valued at £26,084,260.
The increase in the quantity of wool exported from the Colony is also very striking. In twenty years, that is to say from 1853 to 1872, the quantity increased from 1,071,340 lb., valued at £66,507, to 41,886,997 lb., valued at £2,537,919. New Zealand now stands third on the list of the wool-producing colonies from which the United Kingdom draws so large a proportion of its supplies of the raw material for one of its principal manufactures. The largest quantity is sent from Victoria, the next largest from New South Wales, and New Zealand follows as the third. Other remarks on this subject will be found when the increase of stock of all kinds is spoken of.
The recent years have also witnessed a marked development of industrial pursuits, both in the way of joint-stock companies and private enterprise. Since the passing of the Joint Stock Companies Act, in 1860, each year has seen various companies "floated," but principally for gold-mining purposes or processes connected therewith. There were also steam-shipping companies, gas companies, saw-mill companies, and one insurance company, whose operations are still very extensive. Besides these, there was a woollen factory in Nelson, and many local companies in various parts of the Colony for working flax, erecting public buildings, and other objects of local interest, besides two or three companies for preserving meat, the works of at least two of which were on a very extensive scale. The last census has shown that at the close of the year 1870, there were in operation 77 mills for grinding and dressing corn, 161 flax-mills, 109 saw-mills (including, in many cases, sash, door, planing, and moulding works), 69 breweries, 22 boiling-down and meat - preserving works, 3 brick and tile yards and potteries, 49 fellmongeries, tanneries, &c., 21 malt-kilns, 38 collieries, 16 iron and brass foundries, and 191 factories for various other purposes. These mills and other works and factories employed 7,177 hands, of whom 129 were females. 116 of the mills were wrought by steam, of the aggregate power of about 2,500 horses, and 178 steam-engines, of a power exceeding that of 3,000 horses, were employed in the various factories, besides 92 steam, 17 water, and 470 horse thrashing-machines; 736 reaping-machines, 12 steam-ploughs, and 28 steam-harrows. The annual production of butter was 5,199,072 lb.; and of cheese, 2,547,507 lb.
There were also 28 societies established under the Land and Building Societies Acts in operation in the Colony at the time of the census, with an aggregate of 4,659 members, paying monthly contributions that amounted on the average to £12,937. 3s.
The following tables, which were appended to the financial statement of the Hon. the Colonial Treasurer for 1873, will show the relative circumstances of Victoria, New
South Wales, and New Zealand, as respects flax, exported from each respectively, for their imports and exports, and also the rela- the six years ending the 1st December, tive values of gold, wool, grain, timber, and 1871:—
TABLE showing the Total Value of IMPORTS and EXPORTS of VICTORIA, NEW SOUTH WALES, and NEW ZEALAND, for the Six Years ending 31st December, 1871; with the Kate per Head of Population.
|NEW SOUTH WALES.|
|NEW ZEALAND, including Aboriginal Natives (36,000 in Number at present).|
|AVERAGE OF SIX YEARS.|
|Now South Wales||475,532||6,114,096||12||17||2||6,332,836||13||6||4|
|Ditto including Natives||271,597||4,805,291||17||13||10||4,491,696||16||10||9|
In this Table the British and Foreign Goods exported from each Colony has been deducted from both Imports and Exports, leaving as Imports the goods retained in the Colony, and for Exports the produce or manufactures of such Colony.
TABLE showing the value of GOLD, WOOL, GRAIN, and other AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE (including Flour, Butter, and Cheese), TIMBER, and FLAX, exported from the Colonies of VICTORIA, NEW SOUTH WALES and NEW ZEALAND, for the Five Years ending 31st December, 1871; with the Rate per Head of Population.
|ARTICLES.||Victoria||New South Wales.||New Zealand.|
* The amount of Gold Coin produced in the Mint in Sydney from Gold received from other Colonies has been deducted from the Total Export of Gold as shown in the Export Return of New South Wales.
|Average of 5 Years.|
The returns of land in occupation, and of the various kinds of stock held by the settlers, form perhaps the best test as to the actual settlement of the country. The unsettled state of titles to land derived from the Natives operated very prejudicially to the earlier settlers in Wellington, and the "Native difficulty" still stands in the way of the acquisition of land in the North Island; but much has been done to remedy this, and the returns show how eagerly land is sought after and purchased wherever it is available. The improved demand for wool, and its increased price, have also tended to foster the desire to purchase land; and, as an effect of this, large tracts of country which were formerly held as "runs" only, are now freeholds, and, in not a few instances, estates are held by individuals of an extent that would form no inconsiderable part of an English county. That this great increase in land purchases has been the result of a steady growth, may be shown by comparing the receipts for land sales for the last fifteen years (as given in the following table), and also by comparing the quantities stated in the returns of 1858, as compared with those given in the census of 1871:—
TABLE showing the REVENUE derived from SALES of LAND for each of the Years from 1858 to 1873, both inclusive:—
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1858||147,539||9||2|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1859||223,564||3||8|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1860||195,447||1||3|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1861||284,727||1||6|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1862||508,171||12||10|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1863||381,568||13||0|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1864||593,222||0||10|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1865||330,423||16||2|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1866||522,626||6||2|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1867||276,690||7||5|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1868||173,215||0||4|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1869||115,587||3||4|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1870||80,109||16||8|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1871||118,633||12||10|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1872||381,353||1||8|
|Year ending Dec. 31, 1873||1,038,310||13||4|
|Total for sixteen years||£5,371,190||0||2|
This shows an expenditure of nearly £335,700 per annum in the purchase of land from the Crown, so that even if the land averaged £1 per acre, there must have been an addition to the landed estate of the community of nearly 340,000 acres in each of sixteen consecutive years.
Comparing the quantities shown in the census of 1858 with that in the census of 1871, there were, at the first period, 235,56½ acres of land fenced, and 141,007½ acres under crop; and at the second, 6,778,773 acres fenced, and 1,042,042 acres under crop. The fenced land was thus nearly 29 times as much as it was thirteen years previously, and the land under crop nearly 7½ times. The proportions of the land to the population, by which it was held, had also largely increased; for in 1858 there were but 4 acres fenced, and 2⅓ acres under crop for each individual; while in 1871 there were nearly 26½ acres fenced and 4 acres under crop. The quantity of freehold land held by individuals was not shown in 1858; but in 1871 it was 5,647,838 acres, or about 22 acres for each individual. Supposing the number of houses to represent the number of families in the Colony, there would be, at the latter period, an average for each family of 98¼ acres of freehold land; while, including freehold and leasehold lands, there were for each family 118 acres of land fenced, and 18¼ acres under crop.
The high price of labour has tended to prevent grain from being cultivated to the extent it should be; but the introduction of agricultural machinery is doing something to remedy this, and the returns for 1873 show that there were 131,797 acres in wheat, 96,956 acres in oats, 15,266 acres in barley, besides 12,623 acres in potatoes, 33,588 acres in hay, and 19,845 acres in other crops; while the expected crop of the year was 3,188,696 bushels of wheat, 325,101 bushels of barley, 2,618,085 bushels of oats, and 62,125 tons of potatoes. The great advantages of soil and climate possessed by the Colony are thus being turned to account, and it may be expected that grain and flour will yet figure largely among articles of export.
The increase of stock of all kinds is equally remarkable. Horses, cattle, and sheep were among the earliest imports to the Colony; and in the year 1851 it is stated that there were therein 2,890 horses, 34,787 head of cattle, and 233,043 sheep. In 1858, these had increased to 14,912 horses, 137,188 head of cattle, and 1,523,316 sheep; but in 1871, the numbers were 81,028 horses, 436,592 head of cattle, and 9,700,629 sheep. Thus, in thirteen years (or, indeed, in little more than twelve, as the census of 1871 was taken in February of that year,) the horses had increased more than five times, the cattle four times, and the sheep six times. Of the wool which the sheep produced, it may be observed that in 1858 the Registrar-General called attention to the great increase that had taken place from an export valued at £66,508 in 1853, to an export of £254,025 in 1858, the value having thus been nearly quadrupled in five years. In 1871 the value of the wool exported was £1,606,144, being more than six times the amount in 1858. The actual increase in quantity was much greater than is indicated by the value; for in 1858 wool was valued at an average rate of 1s. 4d. per lb., and in 1871 at less than 10¼d. Thus, while the value had increased sixfold, the quantity had increased nearly tenfold. In the eighteen years between 1853 and 1871, the value of wool exported increased twenty-four-fold, and the quantity thirty-five-fold, the average value in 1853 having been estimated at nearly 1s. 3d. per lb.
The collieries are as yet in their infancy; but promise to be of the greatest value before long. Railroads and other means of transit are being provided, and it is highly probable that within a short tune New Zealand may be exporting coal, instead of expending (as already stated) £162,549 during one year for importing it. Besides this, the immense stores of iron and other metals which the Colony possesses, will all become available as fuel is provided for reducing them to a metallic state, and thus making them fit for the many purposes for which at present they have to be imported.
Out of the population of the country, 68,913 persons—or more than one-fourth of the whole—were described in that census as being engaged in trade, commerce, manufactures, agricultural pursuits, or mining; or as being mechanics, artificers, and skilled workmen; besides 14,312 persons described as labourers. There were also 594 males and 743 females engaged as teachers.
These notices of the industrial and commercial statistics of the Colony would be incomplete without they included some statements relative to the banking establishments that are doing business therein, especially as returns are published every quarter, in a form prescribed by law, showing their assets and liabilities so classified that the details become as useful for statistical purposes as any of the returns of the census.
In 1858, when the Act was passed requiring returns to be sent to the Treasury for publication, there were but two banks that had branches in New Zealand, and one of these had only recently entered the field. The bank that first established itself in the Colony was the Union Bank of Australia,* which sent out a manager to Wellington, and formed a local directory there, immediately after the arrival of the first settles. It also sent out a portentous-looking iron safe containing its cash, but it is popularly believed that the amount of money which that safe contained, and which it must be assumed was all that the bank thought necessary to send to commence business with, was the very modest sum of £500! About eighteen years after this, in December, 1858, when the first returns were published, the banks held £187,257 in coin, £2,624 in bullion, and £1,772 in securities of the Colonial Government, while they had notes in circulation to the amount of £86,026. At the same time they had received and held Government deposits amounting to £74,244, other deposits not bearing interest amounting to £179,264, and deposits bearing interest amounting to £227,759. On the other hand, they had discounted bills and notes to the extent of £520,702, and had advanced money in various ways to the extent of £114,539. Their total liabilities at this date were £600,507. 0s. 7d., and their assets £848,955. 16s. 1d.
These figures show that the banks had found a much wider scope for their operations than had been anticipated when the Union Bank commenced; but from this date the expansion of their business went on with marvellous rapidity, until the date of the last returns published (that of September, 1873), at which time the population of the Colony may be estimated as being about five times as large as it was in 1858. The number of banks had increased to five,* with branches and agencies scattered all over the country, two of them having been formed in or for the Colony, and having to a large extent a local proprietary. The five banks held among them coin amounting to £1,344,799, bullion £252,980, and Colonial Government securities £157,600. Their notes in circulation were £701,439; they held Government deposits amounting to £990,244; other deposits not bearing interest. £2,431,782; and deposits bearing interest, £1,411,916. They had discounted bills and notes to the amount of £2,216,896, and had made other advances to the extent of £3,297,857. Their total assets were £7,763,746. 1s. 11d.; and their total liabilities, £5,745,348. 15s. 3d. Thus their assets were more than nine times greater than they were fifteen years before, and their liabilities about nine-and-a-half times greater. The following table will show this more distinctly:—
* A bank wan started in Kororarika about the same time, but it did not do much, and is believed to have collapsed at a very early date.
* The return shows the names of six, but one was in process of being absorbed in another that had purchased its business.
TABLE showing the TOTAL ASSETS and LIABILITIES of the BANKS in the COLONY of NEW ZEALAND, in the Form prescribed by "The Bankers' Returns Act, 1858," for the Quarters ending respectively on the 31st of December, 1858, and the 30th of September, 1873.
|—||December, 1858||September, 1873.|
|Coined gold and silver and other coined metals||187,257||0||10||1,374,799||2||9|
|Gold and silver in bullion or bars||2,623||14||1||252,980||0||10|
|Notes and bills of other banks||7,987||14||10||29,417||9||2|
|Balances due from other banks||...||290,087||1||10|
|Notes and bills discounted||520,702||6||3||2,216,896||2||5|
|Colonial Government securities||1,772||7||1||157,600||0||0|
|Debts due to the banks||69,570||10||6||2,817,162||11||8|
|Securities not included under other heads||44,968||5||8||480,694||13||5|
|Notes in circulation||86,026||2||701,438||15||10|
|Bills in circulation||33,212||19||6||40,639||17||0|
|Balances due to other banks||...||...||...||169,327||9||8|
|Deposits not bearing interest||179,264||7||2||2,431,782||5||7|
|Deposits bearing interest||227,759||5||1||1,411,916||7||1|
The significance of these figures will become more apparent by observing some of the facts which they disclose. Thus the indebtedness of the community to the banks is shown to have increased from £835,241. 2s. 5d. to £5,514,753. 7s. 6d., or nearly ninefold, but the indebtedness of the banks to the Government and the public for notes in circulation and deposits had increased from £567,294. 1s. 1d. to £5,535,381. 8s. 7d., or almost tenfold. Putting these facts into another form, it may be said that in 1858 the banks had advanced to there customers £67,947. 1s. 4d. out of their own capital, but in 1873, the whole of their advances did not equal their notes in circulation, and the money of the public deposited with them, by the sum of £20,628. 1s. 1d. This is a fact of great importance, as it shows that, so far as the banks are concerned, the whole business of the Colony is being carried on by means of its own capital, and not by borrowed money. It is also noticeable that the amount of the notes of the banks in circulation considerably exceeds that of the floating (or unfunded) debt of the Colony. Possibly some day the Colony that has the ultimate liability in respect to this note-circulation, may claim to have the profit also.
The rate of interest on advances has been materially reduced within the last two or three years. Until then, 10 per cent. was the ordinary, or it might be said the minimum, rate, for much higher rates were often paid, the single exception being that interest added to accounts by the Supreme Court was fixed at 8 per cent. The rate of discount at the banks was nominally 10 per cent., but really 11 and 1-9th per cent., as 10 per cent. interest was deducted from the amount of the bill. Bank discount has since been reduced as low as 5 per cent. (although it has again risen to 6 per cent.), and advances on real property are freely made at 7 per cent., and even 6 per cent. has been taken in exceptional cases. This has permitted many things to be undertaken that would have been impracticable previously, while the public burdens have been lightened through the advantageous rates at which money has been raised.
The reduction in the rate of interest has operated most beneficially to all who are engaged in agricultural and pastoral pursuits. To a very large extent these are being carried on by means of money borrowed for purchases or improvements, and while even a high rate of interest becomes (in effect) only a moderate rent, when the interest is reduced, the borrower is enabled, without extra effort, to reduce the principal, and thus in a comparatively short time he may be relieved of the whole burden.
In closing these brief notices, it must be repeated that while so large a portion of the land remains unoccupied, and the population is so sparse that there is scarcely one person—man, woman, or child—for every 160 acres of the estimated amount of land suitable for agricultural or pastoral purposes, it is strictly correct to regard all that has been done as only preparative, so that the statist who shall "take stock" of the progress of the next twenty, or even ten, years, will scarcely regard the present as a fair starting-point. The opening of the country by roads and railways, the establishment of factories in which the raw material produced in the Colony may be converted into articles that are now imported from abroad, and the impetus that these again give to the increase of population, will all so act and re-act upon each other—population causing production, and production stimulating the growth of population—that steps in advance will be made with a rapidity that will be scarcely credible when they become facts, and to anticipate which would seem to many to be mere idle dreaming.
THE population of the Colony (exclusive of aboriginal Natives) on the night of the 1st March, 1874, was as follows:—
|Province of Auckland||67,345|
|Province of Taranaki||5,843|
|Province of Wellington||29,730|
|Province of Hawke's Bay||9,218|
|Province of Nelson||22,560|
|Province of Marlborough||6,143|
|Province of Canterbury||68,770|
|Province of Westland||14,845|
|Province of Otago||85,082|
|Chatham Islands, estimated for |
31st December, 1873, as no
census returns have as yet
Being an increase, since the census of February, 1871, of 43,291, or 16.88 per cent. on the population of 1871. The above numbers cannot be considered as absolutely correct, as the compilation from the Household Schedules is only in progress. No material alteration is anticipated.
It is not yet possible to tell what proportion the males bear to the females. In 1871, however, the proportion was 100 males to 71.2 females.
The total deaths in New Zealand during the year 1873 were 3,645, with an estimated mean population for the year of 287,753. This gives a death-rate of 12.66 per 1,000 persons living. The mean death-rate of England for a period of 30 years, viz., from 1838 to 1868, was 22.40 per 1,000 persons living. Although the death-rate is apparently so much lower than in England, yet some allowance must be made for the fact that the immigration to New Zealand has chiefly consisted of persons not past the prime of life, and that, therefore, the proportion of aged people is not so great as it is in England.
In the census of 1861 the proportion of persons, in England and Wales, of 65 years of age and over, was 46.2 per 1,000 of the population.
In 1871, in New Zealand, the proportion of persons of 65 years of age and over was 107 per 1,000 of the population.
The following table shows the death rate of some of the Australian Colonies for the year 1872:—
|New South Wales||12.58 per||1,000|
|Do., average of six years||15.49||1,000|
The European States average 1 death in 34 to 40 persons, living.
Russia averages 1 in 50.
New Zealand averages 1 in 90.
In the month of February, 1873, the number of acres in grain crop was as follows:—
|Acres.||Estimated Produce: Bushels.||Average No of Bushels per Acre.|
Estimating the wheat at 5s. per bushel, the wheat crop in 1873 was worth £797,174.
The number of acres under these several crops in the various Provinces, in February, 1873, and the corresponding number of acres of the same crops in February, 1874, so far as at present ascertainable, is given:—
The total number of acres under these grain crops in 1873, was 244,021, and in 1874 was 264,014½.
The following figures give the estimated average yield per acre of the grain crops mentioned, in the various Provinces in 1873:—
|Hawke's Bay bushels||25¾||20||24½|
The average yield of wheat per acre in the undermentioned Australian Colonies was:—
|In New South Wales, 1873||10.32|
|In Victoria, 1872||13.45|
|In South Australia, 1873||11.50|
|In Tasmania, 1873||18.62|
|New Zealand average, 1873||24.19|
The average yield of wheat for the United States for 1872 was 12 bushels per acre.
The amount of land in permanent artificial grasses in the month of February of the years 1873 and 1874 respectively, was as follows:—
The returns of Marlborough for 1873 are not given, as inquiry recently made shows that much hill land, on which some grass seed had been scattered, was returned last year as land in artificial grass. As the returns this year are more reliable, the comparison between the two years cannot fairly be made.
The above figures only refer to land laid down to artificial grasses, and do not include the extensive tracts of country covered with native grasses, and on which a large number of stock is depasturing.
The account of the stock is only taken at the time of the census, and cannot yet be given for this year. In February, 1871, the numbers of sheep, cattle, and horses in the Colony (exclusive of stock belonging to aboriginal Natives) were respectively:—
TABLE showing the Mean Temperature, Maximum, and Minimum, of the Atmosphere in the Shade, also the Total Rainfall registered, for the Year 1872, at the undermentioned Places:—
|Temperature of Air in Shade.||Mean Daily Range.||Total Rainfall.|
|Mean.||Maximum recorded.||Minimum recorded.|
|Mongonui||62.9||91.0 on 20 Jan.||35.0 on 27 June||15.0||46.900|
|Auckland||60.2||90.4 on 3 Feb.||34.0 on 10 July||18.9||42.096|
|Taranaki||58.4||83.4 on 31 Dec.||31.0 on 5 Aug.||17.0||63.640|
|Napier||59.7||94.0 on 6 Feb.||30.0 on 16 Aug.||17.0||23.940|
|Wanganui||56.7||88.0 on 21 Feb.||30.0 on 16 Aug.||16.6||38.120|
|Wellington||55.8||83.0 on 22 Dec.||81.6 on 16 June||11.6||50.945|
|Nelson||56.7||90.0 on 24 Jan.||25.0 on 27 July||20.9||78.610|
|Christchurch||53.6||95.7 on 24 Jan.||21.6 on 16 June||15.0||19.741|
|Hokitika||54.1||82.4 on 21 Feb.||27.4 on 15 Aug.||12.0||123.210|
|Dunedin||51.4||88.0 on 28 Jan.||27.0 on 15 Aug.||14.7||27.393|
|Queenstown||51.4||83.2 on 31 Dec.||21.5 on 15 June||16.7||28.880|
|Southland||49.6||85.0 on 18 Jan.||17.0 on 14 June||18.7|
AVERAGE RATE OF WAGES in the several PROVINCES in 1873.
|Farm Labourers||6s. 6d. per day||20s. perwk. with board||35s. perwk. with board||25s. perwk with board||25s. perwk. with board||£60 per an., with board||25s. per wk. with board||18s. to 22s. with board||22s. to 35s. with board|
|Reapers||17s. peracre||8s. per day, with board||10s. per day with board||10s. per day with board||40s. perwk. with board||...||40s. per wk. with board||20s. to 25s. per wk., with bd.||55s. per week, with board|
|Female Farm Servants, per week, with beard||10s.||5s. to 10s.||13s. to 15s.||...||...||£52 per an.||£28 per an.||10s. to 12s.||20s. to 80s.|
|Shepherds, per annum, with board||£35||...||£52 to £60||£30||30s. perwk.||...||£55 per an.||£50 to £60||£55 to £80|
|Stock Keepers, ditto||£35||...||£52 to £60||£50 to £60||...||...||£55 per an.||£50 to £60||£65|
|Station Labourers, ditto||£30||...||£52 to £60||£50 to £60||25s. perwk.||...||£55 per an.||£45 to £52||£50 to £55|
|Masons, per day, without board||11s. 6d.||8s. to 9s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||20s.||9s.||12s.||12s. to 15s.|
|Bricklayers, ditto||10s. 6d.||8s. to 9s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||20s.||9s.||103. to 12s.||12s. to 16s.|
|Carpenters, ditto||10s. 6d.||8s. to 9s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||...||8s.||9s. to 11s.||12s. to 14s.|
|Shipwrights, ditto||12s.||...||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||...||9s.||...||...|
|Smiths, ditto||10s. 6d.||10s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||9s.||9s. to 10s.||12s.|
|Wheelwrights, ditto||10s.||8s. to 9s.||9s. to 15s.||10s. to 12s.||10s. to 12s.||16s.||9s.||10s. to 11s.||12s. to 14s.|
|Servants, Married Couples, without family, with board||£62||£60||£60 to £80||£65 to £75||£80||...||£80||£60 to £70||£60 to £100|
|Grooms, per week||45s., without bd.||...||20s., with board||20s. to 25s., with board||20s. to 25s. with board||£130 per an. with board||20s., with board||£45 to £50 an. with board||30s., with board|
|Gardeners||21s. per wk. with board||8s. per day, without bd.||22s. perwk. with board||25s. to 30s., with board||20s. to 25s., with board||14s. per day, with board||8s. per day, without board||£50 to £60 with board||8s. to 10s. day, without board|
|Female Cooks, per week, with board||15s.||25s.||12s. to 20s.||12s. to 14s.||25s.||30s. to 35s.||£35 per an.||£30 to £35 an.||30s. per week|
|Laundresses, per week, with board||13s.||25s.||10s. to 15s.||12s.||...||20a. to 25s.||£35 per an.||£25 to £30 an.||...|
|Female House Servants, per week, with board||10s.||£30 per an.||10s. to 15s.||10s. to 12s.||15s. to 20s.||16s. to 20s.||£28 per an.||£20 to £25 per annum.||£30 to £55 per annum|
|Needlewomen, per week, with board||15s.||15s.||15s. to 18s.||...||21s. perwk.||5s. to 6s. per day without board||4s. per day, without board||£25 per an.||18s. to 30s., with board|
|General Labourers, per day, without board||7s.||5s. to 6s.||7s. to 8s.||8s.||8s.||10s. to 12s.||6s.||7s. to 8s.||8s. to 11s.|
|Seamen, per month, with board||£5 10s.||...||£5||£6||£310s to £7||£6 to £8||£7||£5 to £7||£5 to £8|
|Miners, per day, without board||7s. 6d.||...||...||...||10s.||12s.||12s.||8s.||10s.|
|Dressmakers, without board||25s. perwk.||3s. per day||...||...||...||30s. to 35s.wk.||...||...||...|
|Storekeepers' & Drapers' Assistants||£3 per wk. without bd.||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||50s. to 60s. per week, without board|
|Engine Drivers||£2 15s.||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||153. per day.|
|Bushmen||25s. perwk. with board||...||...||...||10s., without bd.||10s. to 12s. per day.||...||...|
TABLE showing the Average PRICES of PROVISIONS and LIVE STOCK in New Zealand in the Year 1873.
|* District of Otago.|
|Beer, per hhd||5||0||0||7||0||0||6||0||0||7||10||0||5||0||0||5||10||0||5||0||0||84s. to 126s.||9||0||0||6||0||0|
|Brandy, per gal||1||2||0||1||4||0||1||2||6||1||5||0||1||3||0||1||1||0||1||1||6||1||3||0||1||1||0||1||4||0|
|Bread, wheaten, per lb.||0||0||3¼||0||0||2¼||0||0||1⅞||0||0||21||0||0||2||0||0||2¼||0||0||21||0||0||2||0||0||1½||0||0||2½|
|Butter, fresh, per lb||0||1||2||0||0||10||0||0||7½||0||1||6||0||0||10||0||1||0||0||1||2||0||0||8||0||1||0||0||1||0½|
|Batter, salt, per lb||0||0||10||0||0||7||0||0||6||0||1||0||0||0||7||0||0||9||0||0||10||0||0||8||0||1||1||0||0||11|
|Cheese, per lb||0||0||9||0||0||10||0||0||61||0||0||10||0||0||7½||0||0||7||0||0||9||0||0||8||0||0||6||0||0||9|
|Coffee, per lb||0||1||8||0||1||10||0||1||6||0||1||3||0||1||6||0||1||5||0||1||6||0||1||10||0||1||6||0||1||7|
|Flour, per 196 lb||1||12||0||1||9||0||1||7||0||l||13||0||1||10||0||1||8||0||1||4||6||1||5||0||1||4||0||1||1||6|
|Grain—Wheat, per imperial bushel||0||6||0||0||5||0||0||5||6||0||5||0||0||7||0||0||5||3||0||5||0||0||4||6||0||5||6||0||4||6|
|Live Stock—Cattle (horned) per head||9||0||0||6||0||0||£4to£10||50s.to£10||9||0||0||7||0||0||6||10||0||£3to£6||£5||to||£10||6||0||0|
|Goats, per head||0||5||0||1||0||0||0||5||0||0||10||0||0||14||0||2||0||0||0||5||0||...||1||0||0||0||10||0|
|Horses, per head||18||0||0||9||0||0||£2 10s.to£35||30s.to£30||20||0||0||£15to£50||20||0||0||£20to£40||£10to£100||£10to£40|
|Sheep, per head||0||19||0||0||14||0||8s.to12s.||4s.to20s.||0||10||0||0||11||6||0||5||0||4s.to9s.||9s.to12s.||0||9||6|
|Swine, per head||1||5||0||0||15||0||2½d.to3½d.lb.dead||per||lb.||4d.||2||5||0||1||0||0||15s.to40s.||4s.to6s.||5d.perlb.|
|Meat—Beef, per lb||0||0||4½||0||0||4½||0||0||4½||0||0||4½||0||0||6||0||0||7||0||0||4½||l.to4½d.||0||0||3½||4d.to6d.|
|Mutton, per lb||0||0||3||0||0||3½||0||0||3||0||0||3||0||0||4½||0||0||5||0||0||31||2d.to3d.||0||0||3||3d.to6d.|
|Pork, per lb||0||0||5½||0||0||5½||0||0||6½||0||0||6||0||0||7||0||0||7||0||0||5½||0||0||6||0||0||3||0||0||5½|
|Milk, per quart||0||0||4||0||0||4||0||0||5||0||0||4||0||0||6||0||0||6||0||0||4||0||0||4||0||0||3||0||0||4|
|Rice, per lb||0||0||3||0||0||4||0||0||3||0||0||3||0||0||4||0||0||4||0||0||4||0||0||4||0||0||2||0||0||4|
|Salt, per lb||0||0||1||0||0||1½||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||1½||0||0||0¾||0||0||1||0||0||0¾||0||0||1½|
|Sugar, per lb||0||0||5½||0||0||5¾||0||0||5||0||0||5||0||0||6||0||0||6||0||0||5¾||0||0||6||4d.to6d.||0||0||5½|
|Tea, per lb||0||3||0||0||3||0||0||2||3||0||2||9||0||3||3||0||2||9||0||2||6||0||3||6||3s.to3s. 6d.||3s.to3s. 6d.|
|Tobacco, per lb||0||4||0||0||4||6||0||4||6||0||5||0||0||4||6||0||6||0||0||6||0||0||4||6||0||4||9|
|Wine, per gallon||0||15||0||1||0||0||0||14||0||1||0||0||0||18||0||0||15||0||0||15||0||1||10||0||0||12||0||13s.to23s.|
TABLE showing the CUSTOMS REVENUE at the several Ports of NEW ZEALAND during the year 1873.
|HEADS OF REVENUE.||Rates of Duty.||Auckland.||Thames.||Russell.||Mongonui.||Hokianga.||Tauranga.||Poverty Bay.||New Plymouth.||Wanganui.||Wellington.||Napier.||Wairau.||Picton.||Havelock.||Kaikoura.||Nelson.||Westport.||Greymouth.||Hokitika.||Okarito.||Littleton and Christchurch||Akaroa.||Timaru.||Oamaru.||Dunedin.||Invercargill and Bluff.||Riverton||Chatm. Islands.||Totals in 1873.||Totals of Revenue in 1872.|
|* This includes 1,936 gallons, at 6s. per gallon, removed to Excise Warehouse for mixing with New Zealand distilled spirits.|
|Spirits, per gal.||12s.||51419*||5,502||1,043||155||548||62||2,695||3,493||11,241||24,434||12,746||2,752||699||579||530||9,508||7,258||16,557||13,182||660||39,696||184||7,379||5,055||68,152||9,674||2,469||...||497088 gals.||*297672||278,532|
|Spirits, New Zealand, per gal.||6s.||4,893||102||29||...||49||...||207||101||64||170||291||...||...||...||...||68||144||302||292||...||726||20||146||86||11,412||564||110||...||65920 gals.||19,776||15,517|
|Cigars and Snuff, per lb.||5s.||2,889||488||...||...||...||...||43||...||131||1,401||477||...||1||...||...||469||469||1,010||827||15||1,431||...||129||53||4,148||117||38||...||56544 lb.||14,136||11,864|
|Tobacco, per lb.||2s. 6d.||21,158||1,521||177||417||652||49||585||660||2,303||6,618||4,180||497||203||192||147||3,926||2,162||4,782||4,092||160||10,387||...||1,582||1,036||26,021||2,342||850||...||773592 lb.||96,699||90,792|
|Tobacco, Sheepwash, per lb.||3d.||38||...||...||...||...||...||...||1||53||74||15||18||...||...||...||4||...||...||...||...||36||...||...||14||7||...||...||...||20800 lb.||260||376|
|Wine, per gallon||4s.||5,366||416||51||...||53||...||166||204||1,116||4,030||1,561||154||46||47||21||1,481||723||2,074||1,265||72||6,330||16||835||360||8,770||866||193||...||181080 gals.||36,216||53,230|
|Ale, Beer, &c., in Bottle,||1s. 3d.||2,490||134||1||...||...||...||50||25||275||2,569||316||73||...||...||...||825||277||498||396||9||2,068||...||115||46||3,134||254||25||...||217280 gals.||13,580||12,853|
|Ale, Beer, &c., in Wood, per gal.||1s.||639||13||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||67||...||...||...||...||...||83||8||30||...||...||547||...||17||30||1,412||106||13||...||59300 gals.||2,965||2,193|
|Tea, per lb.||6d.||12,857||207||17||6||6||...||190||349||1,447||5,376||1,786||312||200||...||35||2,685||1,100||2,337||2,395||3||8,426||20||900||527||16,228||1,458||291||...||2366280 lb.||59,157||52,907|
|Coffee, Cocoa, &c., per lb.||3d.||1,284||4||...||...||...||...||3||...||30||908||109||9||5||...||...||414||78||153||233||...||1,014||...||4||...||2,440||154||7||...||547920 lb.||6,849||6,095|
|Coffee, Roasted, per lb.||5d.||2||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||1||4||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||2||3||...||...||...||576 lb.||16||54|
|Sugar and Molasses, per lb.||1d.||20,501||455||32||70||11||13||306||685||1,834||8,683||2,942||752||215||84||9||6,320||1,454||3,373||3,892||39||12,473||46||1,106||788||25,316||3,179||607||...||22842960 lb.||95,179||89,251|
|Firearms, each||5s.||27||4||1||...||...||...||3||1||6||25||5||...||...||...||1||17||...||...||5||...||53||...||...||...||22||7||...||...||708 No.||177||103|
|Powder, Sporting, per lb.||6d.||138||...||...||...||...||...||...||1||...||50||7||...||...||...||...||57||2||1||25||...||62||...||...||...||69||...||...||...||16480 lb.||412||437|
|Shot, per cwt.||10s.||185||...||...||...||...||...||...||5||7||56||20||...||...||...||...||32||2||3||11||...||82||...||5||...||111||6||...||...||1050 cwt.||625||548|
|Goods by Measurement, per cubic foot||5s.||12,947||121||...||3||...||...||20||186||168||5,969||1,066||17||62||5||2||2,894||222||956||1,054||...||7,080||...||328||106||20,361||700||241||...||218043 c. ft.||54,512||79,351|
|Goods by Measurement, per cubic foot||3s.||2,762||20||...||...||...||...||18||50||46||1,098||202||9||2||...||...||386||59||267||174||...||1,122||...||42||5||4,249||94||39||...||70967 c. ft.||10,645||16,378|
|Goods by Measurement, per cubic foot||2s. 6d.||2,076||8||...||...||...||...||...||30||36||1,068||117||36||4||...||...||284||87||265||365||...||935||...||8||...||2,785||123||24||...||66008 c. ft.||8,251||10,384|
|Goods by Measurement, per cubic foot||2s.||555||9||...||...||...||...||9||18||65||430||126||...||...||...||...||161||4||17||29||...||288||...||22||8||915||43||3||...||27020 c. ft.||2,702||3,286|
|Goods by Measurement, per cubic foot||1s. 6d.||13d||...||...||...||...||...||...||4||1||269||85||10||...||...||...||168||2||...||1||...||2,085||...||136||230||1,443||173||54||...||63960 c. ft.||4,797||7,840|
|Goods by Measurement, per cubic foot||1s.||1,878||20||...||...||...||...||3||58||129||1,158||124||11||8||...||...||507||42||154||177||...||1,834||...||30||17||2,912||126||10||...||183960 c. ft.||9,198||10,693|
|Goods by Measurement, per cubic foot||6d.||363||1||...||...||...||...||...||18||30||248||19||...||4||...||...||50||5||46||48||...||204||...||8||4||593||38||3||...||67280 c. ft.||1,682||2,080|
|Goods by Measurement, per cubic foot||3d.||113||...||...||...||...||...||...||5||10||104||11||7||...||...||...||64||1||9||10||...||120||...||5||2||337||7||...||...||64400 c. ft.||805||801|
|Goods by Weight, per cwt.||5s.||55||...||...||...||...||...||2||...||1||20||...||...||...||...||...||...||1||4||4||...||7||...||4||...||24||6||1||...||516 cwt.||129||...|
|Goods by Weight, per cwt.||4s.||982||10||...||...||1||...||5||23||160||790||222||7||11||...||...||264||32||131||81||...||1,288||...||29||15||1,953||164||9||...||30885 cwt.||6,177||6,781|
|Goods by Weight, per cwt.||3s. 6d.||6||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||2||9||...||...||4||...||...||62||28||68||42||...||16||...||4||...||23||24||...||...||1646 cwt.||288||608|
|Goods by Weight, per cwt.||3s.||105||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||4||64||8||...||...||...||...||21||...||7||5||...||45||...||17||...||91||6||4||...||2380 cwt.||357||365|
|Goods by Weight, per cwt.||2s.||565||...||...||...||...||...||...||11||31||266||26||2||2||...||...||108||16||27||36||...||413||...||10||3||578||32||3||...||21290 cwt.||2,129||2,513|
|Goods by Weight, per cwt.||1s.||810||7||...||...||5||...||6||13||77||1,081||286||44||2||...||2||282||27||63||60||1||1,049||...||66||2||2,147||169||29||...||124560 cwt.||6,228||6,307|
|Goods by Weight, per lb.||3d.||1,437||8||...||...||...||...||...||9||145||562||101||13||...||132||25||102||161||...||970||...||16||17||2,073||92||6||...||469520 lb.||5,869||5,958||...||...|
|Goods by Weight, per lb.||2d.||104||...||...||...||...||...||1||...||16||91||...||...||7||2||...||4||...||...||...||...||...||134||13||...||...||48840 lb.||407||...||...||...||...|
|Goods by Weight, per lb.||1d.||3,149||17||...||...||1||...||...||25||159||1,812||163||20||5||...||...||658||194||460||508||...||1,537||...||37||32||3,374||177||41||...||2968560 lb.||12,369||17,366|
|Goods by Weight, per lb.||½d.||563||...||...||...||...||...||...||5||27||430||42||5||7||...||193||31||101||390||221||...||...||...||3,448||755||50||...||3008640 lb.||6,268||8,326||...||...|
|Goods by Weight, no rates given||...||3,263||36||...||...||...||...||49||16||143||2,038||491||59||14||...||2||454||183||590||710||...||1,868||8||144||33||4,635||418||15||...||...||15,169||...|
|Opium, per lb.||20s.||43||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||...||2||...||...||...||...||...||2||...||...||...||...||10||...||...||...||2,354||...||...||...||2411 lb.||2,411||2,071|
|Ad valorem, per cent.||10||25,783||326||1||...||...||20||285||451||1,619||12,825||4,243||145||63||3||4||5,996||840||2,717||2,248||44||16,547||3||1,406||419||48,361||2,533||215||...||...||127,097||3,263|
|Ad valorem, per cent.||5||47||1||...||...||...||...||...||...||6||67||...||...||...||...||...||38||1||13||12||...||77||...||8||11||23||8||...||...||...||312||293|
|Other Duties not specified above||...||12,081||265||...||1||1||16||158||398||3,704||865||114||25||...||1||2,110||707||1,894||2,558||16||5,327||2||150||171||12,906||823||90||...||...||44,383||33,863|
|Totals of Customs Revenue in 1872||...||172,055||12,980||1,597||690||1,889||No port.||No port.||6,289||17,070||64,683||25,182||4,617||1,391||708||707||31,352||22,303||40,903||37,370||1,366||98,074||21||11,717||6,452||225,140||23,064||4,748||13||...||...||813,279|
The Measurement Duties were abolished by "The Customs Tariff Act, 1873," which imposed an ad valorem duty of 10 per cent. in lieu of them, from the 29th of July, 1873.
CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT, Wellington, 30th April, 1874.
W. Seed, Secretary and Inspector.
COMPARATIVE TABLE of REVENUE COLLECTED by the COLONIAL GOVERNMENT, for the Ten Years ended 1872-73.
|Ordinary Revenue.||Territorial Revenue.||Total.|
|* The financial year ends on the 30th June.|
|Financial Year 1863-64*||706,683||3,352||710,035|
|Financial Year 1864-65||731,685||24,392||756,077|
|Financial Year 1865-66||903,360||7,738||911,098|
|Financial Year 1866-67||1,058,029||17,994||1,076,023|
|Financial Year 1867-68||980,707||10,168||990,875|
|Financial Year 1868-69||1,015,843||6,056||1,021,899|
|Financial Year 1869-70||1,018,360||11,028||1,029,388|
|Financial Year 1870-71||936,188||1,862||938,050|
|Financial Year 1871-72||1,031,083||4,059||1,035,142|
|Financial Year 1872-73||1,119,904||35,506||1,155,410|
REVENUE COLLECTED by the COLONIAL GOVERNMENT during the Nine Months ended Saturday, 28th March, 1874.
|1st July, 1873, to 28th March, 1874||£1,009,874||£75,858||£1,085,732|
COMPARATIVE TABLE OF REVENUE, Colonial and Provincial, for the Ten Years ended 31st December, 1873.
|COLONIAL.||PROVINCIAL.||Total Ordinary.||Total Territorial||Total Colonial and Provincial|
IMMIGRATION and public works, from 1853, when the present Constitution was first established, to nearly the end of 1870, exclusively devolved on the several Provinces; and it may be said that, except to a limited extent in the Provinces of Otago and Canterbury, they had, from various causes, almost ceased to exist for a number of years previous to the latter date. Even if the Provinces had generally been able to administer those two great departments of colonization, it became evident that an administration conducted by independent local authorities with distinct local interests and functions, would necessarily be disjointed, and wanting in system and comprehensiveness. The term "Public Works" is used here in relation to works of a colonial character, and in which more the one Province is concerned.
In. 1870 the Immigration and Public Works Act and cognate Acts were passed, and the policy contained in them may be shortly described as follows:—
The Colony was to incure a liability, spread over a course of years, amounting altogether, territorially and pecuniarily, to about nine millions, which were to be expended in specified proportions on the under-mentioned objects:—
Main railways throughout each Island.
Roads through the interior of the North Island.
The purchase of Native land in the North Island.
The supply of water on gold fields.
The extension of telegraph works.
The administration of these services was vested in the General Government, and the responsibility, subject to some exceptions in which its action depended on the previous concurrence of Provincial authorities, devolved on the General Government. These exceptions have been abolished by subsequent legislation.
As soon as the session of 1870 closed, it became necessary to organize a department to undertake the special duties, and this department was supervised as required by the Act, by a Minister of Public Works. At first, while the organization was in progress, and the practical work was in its early stage, the Colonial Secretary acted as Minister of Immigration and Public Works; but in the course of a year, when adequate funds were raised, and important works and immigration on a large scale had been begun throughout the whole Colony, a special Minister was appointed, and shortly afterwards there was one for each Island; but in the latter part of 1872 the whole department was divided into two, namely, Public Works and Immigration, and each was placed separately in the charge of a Minister. This arrangement is still adhered to, and the large increase of the duties of each service, and consequently of the department in charge of that service, and the great importance of those duties, render such a division at present absolutely requisite.
Since its organization the department has constructed in the North Island roads of various descriptions to the extent of 1,150 miles, a large proportion being good traversable dray-roads; also about 500 miles of bush tracks, which, although only at present available for horse traffic, have been selected with great care as suitable routes for dray-roads hereafter. The expenditure on these roads and tracks has been about £300,000. There are now being constructed several hundred more miles of similar roads, which will be the means of opening up nearly all parts of the North Island for settlement.
In the South Island similar roads have been completed on the west coast, to the extent of over 60 miles, and about the same length is now under contract or surveyed ready for contract. They have been laid out with the view of enabling the gold-digging community to get about with ease, and of opening up that part of the country for settlement.
It may here be remarked that before the creation of the Public Works Department of the General Government, many thousands of miles of good and substantial roads had been constructed by the various Provincial Governments throughout the Colony.
The construction of railways has been very vigorously proceeded with. The department has contracted for the completion of over 550 miles of railway throughout the country. In addition to this, Parliament has sanctioned a further length of 360 miles, for which surveys and plans are rapidly being prepared. The whole of the above railways are to cost, when completed with their equipments, about £5,500,000. It is estimated that there are now between 3,000 and 4,000 men constantly employed, and that a still greater number will be required during the next two years to complete the lines above mentioned as having been sanctioned by Parliament.
In addition to the lines under contract, 40 miles of railway constructed by the department are now open and in full working order, as well as a further length of 70 miles constructed by the Provincial Governments of Canterbury and Otago, making a total throughout the Colony of 1,020 miles of railway either open or in various stages of progress.
The department has likewise undertaken the construction of several large water-races on the gold diggings, which, when completed, are calculated to provide remunerative work for several thousand miners and others over a period of many years. For these races Parliament has voted £300,000.
There are also several large coal-fields now in process of rapid development. When these mines are in full work, they will afford permanent employment for many thousand persons of all classes.
It is not necessary further to particularize the work of each department than to state that the conduct of Immigration is in the charge of the Immigration Minister; and that the Public Works,—the remaining services created by the various Immigration and Public Works Acts except the purchase of Native land, which devolves on the Native Minister,—are in charge of the Public Works Minister.
This short sketch will, it is hoped, succinctly and intelligibly show the nature of the departments to which occasional reference is made in this pamphlet, and the special object of which is to give practical effect to the Immigration and Public Works Policy of 1870.
THE conduct of immigration to New Zealand was entirely in the hands of the Provinces up to the end of the year 1870, and the moneys expend in the introduction of immigrants were derived from Provincial revenue; each Province providing according to its requirements and means. The Public Works and Immigration Act of 1870 provided for the application of £1,000,000 out of the loan then authorized to be expended upon the introduction and location of immigrants throughout the Colony. Energetic measures were at once taken by the Government to give effect to this important portion of the Act. The Agency in England received full instructions, and the Provinces were invited to co-operate with the General Government, by setting aside and preparing land for the settlement of the immigrants. A staff of immigration officers was appointed throughout the Colony, whose duty it is to receive and care for the immigrants upon arrival, house them in the depots, and forward them, when required, to the country districts. The details of management were entrusted to a newly-organized department under a responsible Minister, having charge also of the Public Works. In 1873 it was found advisable to separate the work, and the present Immigration Department was established, of which the Hon. the Premier of the Colony is the present Ministerial head. The system first adopted was that of granting assisted passages to suitable classes of persons duly selected by the Home Agency, or nominated by their friends in the Colony and approved of by the Agent General; but as it was found by experience that the required money payments seriously checked the flow of a very desirable class of immigration, the Government decided upon making immigration absolutely free, not only providing passages to the Colony in the finest vessels which can be chartered for the purpose, but in all cases where their circumstances render it necessary, bringing the emigrants to the port of embarkation and supplying them with outfit. This system came into force in the month of October, 1873, and has been attended with very satisfactory results. Besides the emigrants from the United Kingdom, a number of Scandinavians have been introduced into the Colony under arrangements with business firms in Hamburg and Christiania. These have been located chiefly in special settlements in the thickly-timbered country in the Provinces of Wellington and Hawke's Bay, and they are reported to be thriving and well doing in every way. It is proposed to extend this class of immigration during the next two years, as being especially suitable for the settlement of forest lands, of which there is a large area in both Islands.
The establishment of special settlements in various parts of the Colony, where immigrants will be assisted to obtain freeholds under a system of deferred payments or otherwise, is proposed in order to afford opportunities to men with families, whose means are moderate, but who are in a position to place some small amount of capital upon the land. "The Immigrants Land Act, 1873," has further provided in this direction, by authorizing free grants of land to the value of £20 to every immigrant and each adult of his family who after being approved by the Agent-General may have paid their own passages to the Colony; such grants, of course, to be contingent upon actual residence on the location selected.
The present position of the New Zealand immigration scheme may be thus summarized,—1. Absolutely free passages* to the Colony with, in some cases, assistance for transit to port of embarkation, and outfit. 2. Reception of the immigrants upon arrival in the Colony by officers of the Government, and for a few days their housing and maintenance in comfortable depots. 3. During those few days immigrants are rationed at public expense, and if they do not find employment at or near the ports, are forwarded to depots up-country. 4. Immigrants nominated by their friends in the Colony are forwarded, if so required, free of expense, to the place of residence of the person nominating.
The number of immigrants introduced by the General Government, under the Public Works and Immigration Acts, up to the 31st March last, amounted to 17,879 souls, of whom 7,738 were nominated by their friends. In bringing these to the Colony, ninety-one ships were employed, the average length of voyage being under ninety days. The immigrants introduced have been immediately disposed of; in fact, the supply of all kinds of labour has been, and remains, inadequate to the demand. There have been occasional instances where artisans, having only knowledge of one branch of a particular trade, e.g., "fitters," &c., from the manufacturing towns, have found a difficulty in accommodating themselves to the requirements of the Colony; and, as a rule, workmen of this class should not be encouraged to emigrate to New Zealand. Country mechanics, general blacksmiths, farm labourers, shepherds, ploughmen, and female domestic servants are certain of employment, with good wages and comfortable homes. To illustrate practically what is really the state of things in the Colony, we print the following extracts from letters written by their friends to persons whom they wish to induce to emigrate. These letters, being upon forms furnished to the nominators and sent in with the applications, are forwarded post free by the immigration officers:—
* It is not intended to continue for any length of time to give free passages. Shortly, the immigrant will probably be required to give a promissory note for the repayment of at least a portion of the cost of passage.
Extract of Letter from A. B. to WILLIAM D., of Newington Causeway, London.
MR. D.,—I am sure if you come to this Colony you will get steady employment at your trade at painting, paper-hanging, or plumbing. You could get 12s. a day, and as many places for your family at good wages.
I should also advise Mary's husband to come out, as here is from 8s. to 9s. per day offered for men of his occupation on the railway. I do not know his name, so I cannot send him a copy.
Yours, March, 1874.
Extract of Letter from DANIEL H. to G. J., of Lambeth Walk, Lambeth, England.
I MAT tell you New Zealand is the best part of the colonies for a poor man to come to, as there is plenty of work for industrious persons, and good wages. I remain, dear friend,
Extract of Letter from GEORGE S. to THOS. S., of Flushing, Falmouth, Cornwall.
DEAR BROTHER,—You say you would like to come out to New Zealand: come, by all means, and come at once; the wages you would get here is more than double (from 8s. to 10s. per day), and living just as reasonable as in England. You need not be under any anxiety, as there is plenty or work for a good workman like yourself. I shall be glad to see and to entertain you. There are a great number of young fellows at Flushing who would do well out here instead of half starving at home. You can try to induce them to come with you, and as many respectable females as you can possibly get. They can all come by the same application and by the same ship as you would come by. Hoping in a short time to see you out,
When you write to the Agent-General, don't forget to ask to be allowed to embark at Plymouth instead of London, as this would be a great saving of money. It cost me about £5 to get to ship from Flushing.
Extract of Letter from JAMES M. to MARTHA F., of Paisley, Scotland.
DEAR MARTHA,—I advise you to take this opportunity to come to New Zealand. Your relations have all done well. If you value your children's success in this world, you should embrace this opportunity. You will get a free passage, and I believe, by application to the Agent-General, you may sail from Glasgow, and any of your friends or relations may apply to the Agent-General, and they may come with you. You may consult with my cousin, Mrs. Jean L., and I believe she will both advise and assist you to go, you and family, and Margaret McM., and as many young girls as you can get, of a respectable character, but not otherwise. If you come I will receive you at Wellington: rest satisfied on that point.
Copy of Letter from CHARLES McN., Bootmaker, Christchurch, to JOHN S., Gates-head-on-Tyne, England.
10th December, 1873.
DEAR JOHN,—I have this day nominated you and your family as people specially fitted for good colonists. My reasons for nominating you are three. First, we need good and steady men, such as you are, to assist in settling the country; second, your own prospects would be very much better than they are in England; and third, the prospects of your daughters would be increased a hundred-fold. For instance, such a girl as your oldest daughter must be by this time, would receive, as a nurse girl, from £15 per year upwards. As another instance of what a girl can do as a machinist, I have one; she is now about sixteen years of age; I pay her 10s. per week; I do not find her; she is very smart, of course; her hours of work are from half-past 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and you could depend on getting from 50s. to 60s. a week yourself, and most things as cheap as they are in England; and before I close I might say, you can have all the comforts of life here as fully as you can in Gateshead-on-Tyne.
Time would fail me to write half the advantages of this place over England. One great advantage is the hours of labour in our trade are much shorter, being from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Another, schooling for children for next to nothing. Churches of all denominations. Good Templars' Lodges in great numbers. Building Societies, out of which you can acquire cottage and freehold for little more than a rent by monthly payments in the course of a few years. These and many more are within the reach of every steady, prudent man. In nominating you it is your and your family's good I seek; but should you think it would not advantage you to come here, do not come, as this costs me nothing, nor will it do, come or not come.
Should you make up your minds to come (for mark, I want you all to come willing or not at all, it is very important for all to be willing), and should outfit or passage to London stand in the way, apply to our friend William H. I will instruct him, by to-morrow's mail, regarding that, so if you are minded to come there will be nothing for you nor for me to pay, save you will have passage to London to pay, and anything you may have to get from our mutual. friend W. H. If you come, let me know, and I will look out for you. So no more from
Copy of Letter from MARY G., of Canterbury, N.Z., to PATRICK B., of Galway, Ireland.
8th December, 1873.
DEAR UNCLE PATRICK,—If you come to this country, it is not one shilling a day you will have as at home, but from five to ten shillings per day here. If you were to remain at home all the days of your life you never would be out of poverty. You can see yourself, all that left home, to your own knowledge, how well they are doing in this country, sending money home to their parents and friends. Single women get from £20 to £35 a year here, single men from £40 to £60 a year and found. Married couples, without family, get from £60 to £100 a year, house, and found. Provisions of all kinds are much cheaper here than at home. Beef and mutton from 2d. to 5d. per lb. Bread, the four-pound loaf, 7d. Milk, 3d. per quart. Eggs, 1s. per dozen. Ham, 6d. to 10d. per lb. Clothing reasonable enough. Tradesmen of all kinds do well here: at present are getting from ten to twelve shillings per day. If you should come, you may some day have a place of your own freehold for ever; and I have no doubt that you will be thankful for the chance of coming out free, as a good many who have come out on the assisted emigration are doing well Mr. Charles J. K., I have no doubt, if you should require, would write for you to the Agent in London.
I am, dear Uncle and Aunt,Your ever fond Niece,MARY G.
P.S.—I have sent for my father, mother, sisters, and brother, the same time as I did for you, that you may be together. I have also sent for Patrick C., wife, and family, who will do well here.
Copy of Letter from JEREMIAH R., of Canterbury, N.Z., to BESSIE F., of Coolatin, County Wicklow, Ireland.
8th December, 1873.
This is a very good country for all that are inclined to get on. You will get from £20 to £25 a year, and when you wish to many, you will have no difficulty in getting a husband. I like the country very well. I am sure if the people of Ireland knew what a fine country it is, many would come out. I got employment at once at £1 per week, for eight hours' work a day. I get overtime at the same rate. I also have the best of board and lodging. I am living with W. D. from my own country. More demand or single girls and men than for married couples. There is now free immigration here. If you know of any person like yourself, they will have no difficulty in getting out by writing. I think it will cost you £1 for outfit.
Copy of Letter from JESSE W., Canterbury, New Zealand, to DANIEL W., Brinklow, near Coventry, Warwickshire.
13th January, 1874.
DEAR BROTHER,—I hope you will make up your mind and come to New Zealand at once: it will be the best day's work you ever done. You will be sure of immediate employment at good wages when you land. Food is very cheap, and wages high: you will be able to save more every week here than you are earning where you are now. New Zealand is a fine and healthy country; no one can help but like it. Any man may do well that will work.
Letter from Rev. M. L. C. to CHARLES A., of Gloucester Street, Commercial Road, E., London.
12th January, 1874.
Take a few hundred young men and women with you, particularly carpenters and tradespeople, or farmers with a little money. We want a few thousand Irish here from Tipperary. I wish there were a few of them near the home agents to help Irish or English Catholics out here.
Extract of Letter from AGNES P., to CHARLES T., of Shetland.
13th January, 1874.
I write you to inform you that joiners here are getting 12s. a day; that the country is healthy; that the voyage, though long, is pleasant and not dangerous; and to invite you to come out along with Mary if you are now married to her. You can get a free passage on applying as directed above.
Extract of Letter from A. M. to THOMAS M., of Shetland.
18th January, 1874.
I invite you all to come out here; we are getting fine wages. The country is fine and healthy. Wages are—for labourers, 8s. a day; carpenters, 12s.; blacksmiths, 10s. to 15s.; shoemakers, £3 a week; tailors, £3 a week; servant girls, from 10s. to 15s. a week. My girls are engaged at 10s. a week and the other two at 12s. and 13s. Sailors are getting £8 a month. We are all getting 8s. a day. Come away; and if your daughter is married, let her and her husband come.
Extract of Letter from JEMIMA S. to MARY C. H., of Shetland.
18th January, 1874.
Some of the people of Unst do not wish emigration to New Zealand to go on, lest they should have to pay larger wages to their servants, but I am glad I came. I have 12s. a week in a nice family, and am well and happy. I wish you to imitate me and come here, where you can be well and get something like wages. I am getting just about eight times the wages I got in Unst. Give information to all the girls you know in Unst. There is a great demand for servant girls at wages from 10s. a week to 15s. and even 20s.
From the Southland Times.
Copy of a Letter from RICHARD GOLDING, an immigrant by ship Scimitar, to the Barrack Master, Immigration Depôt, Invercargill.
DEAR SIR,—I cannot take leave of you without expressing my best thanks to you for your kindness and the never-tiring energy and trouble you have taken to secure the immigrants good places and good pay. Through your kindness, I have secured a good place, at good wages, and a good home to go to. On our arrival you received us with great kindness, and much credit is due to you for the way you treated us. You had a good supper ready for us the minute we came to the depôt. I can safely say you did all you could to make us welcome and happy. We have not received such kindness and treatment since we left home as we have received in this depôt. I find, for cleanliness and comfort, this place beats all that I have been to yet. I am requested to thank you by my fellow-immigrants for your never-tiring kindness to them since our arrival here. Many of them could not write to thank you; others got employment so quick that they did not have time to do so. I promised I would do it for them. I shall forward a copy of this letter to Dover, Kent, England, to Colonel Couchman, R.A.; Major Dickson, M.P. for Dover: the Earl of Gilford, Lady Cock-bourne, and Colonel Henderson, Chief Commissioner of Police, London (whose service I have just left to come here). This is a fine country for a young man to come to, and a man with a family can do well in this place. There is plenty of work, and good pay for eight hours' work. I have myself left a good home to come here, and I am fully paid for my trouble in coming out here. I should advise every one that wants to better his position in life to come here. The above-named gentlemen will have a copy of this letter to get published in the English papers. I promised to send them a true account of the treatment received here. You may publish this, if you think fit.—I am, &c.,
An Immigrant's Advice to her Sisters.
24th January, 1874.
BRING as few things as you can, luggage being one of the most troublesome things possible for single women. Each of you must have one box that you can get at, once a month, during the voyage. Into it put all your best things. Each must also have a large carpet-bag with a good lock. In it put twelve shifts, to save washing, for if you have to wash them with salt water it spoils them—old ones will do very well; also eight or ten pairs of stockings and two flannel petticoats, besides the one you have on, so that you may have enough to last through the voyage. Have also a red flannel jacket to wear at night, and plenty of pins and needles with you, as well as any work you could bring to do during the voyage, knitting or sewing, thread for tatting, or anything you can get. Each must have her own bag, which you will be allowed to keep in your berth, and you will get to them when you like. Let the boxes be properly addressed, and stitch an address on each of the bags. You should have a small box for three shilling tins baking powder, or you will have nothing to eat but ship biscuits. You get your flour weighed out to you, and you can mix the powder in it and it will make very good bread. Don't omit that. Carbonate of soda and tartaric acid might do, but not so well as the baking powder. A large tin of biscuits would be a good thing to bring. Some brandy and a little ginger wine is also good to have. The female emigrants are divided into messes of six or eight persons, and each mess has a table. You must keep a good look-out for your own sharp, and keep all your own things locked up. Be frank, obliging, and kind to all, but make a friend of no one, and keep your tongue still, for there is always some scandal and bother going on: so be advised, and keep by yourselves on the voyage. I forgot to tell you to have a hat on when you leave home, not too good to wear on board ship, and have some bits of stuff in your carpet bag to trim it up after a while, as it will soon get to look shabby. Also have a dress in your bag to wear on Sunday, with collar and cuffs. You must also have some light print frocks to wear in the tropics. You would need three, which you can have in your box, as you will get them out, there being a general turn-out of boxes to let the people get their light things for the heat. After that comes the cold, for which you must have worsted cuffs and a good warm jacket to wear all day, also a shawl or cloak to take round you, for the cold is severe. All your dirty clothes you will get washed at the immigration barracks when you land. Have some little bits of things to put round your neck. They help to make you look tidy. Above all, do not answer any letters that may be written to you by any of the sailors or passengers, for as they are not allowed to speak, they write. You know they dress and go to church on board just the same as on land. Be sure to have your Bible and some of Spurgeon's sermons handy to read. Also have a coarse apron to put on when it is your turn to wash up the dishes for your mess.
From Chambers's Journal, Feb. 14th, 1874.
SINCE specifying some of the circumstances which recommend New Zealand to favourable consideration, we have received fresh information from a friend in the Colony, on which every reliance may be placed. In his letter, dated from Wellington, 23d November, 1873, he says, "We are now offering free passages to all who can pass the selection. We do not want paupers or infirm people; but persons able and willing to work, of all kinds, are in urgent demand, especially good domestic servants, A ship, the 'Helen Denny,' came in last week from London, with 130 immigrants—a mere drop in the bucket. I went yesterday to Mount Cook barracks to see them. They were a very tidy, respectable body. Some girls from London were among them. One, a smart little lassie, aged seventeen, had been in service since she was eleven. In her last place she got 3s. per week. Here she was already engaged at 10s. The climate seemed to strike them. One also remarked, 'How clean all the people are!' This does not strike us who are used to it, but any one who knows the back slums of every big town in England and Scotland, must observe a marked contrast in the appearance of the people in our colonial towns. All dress well, and the women of the very humblest rank, I think, extravagantly so. But wages being good and employment abundant, and no accumulation of a depraved idle class, squalor and poverty are not to be seen. It is undoubtedly pleasing to see the tidy smartness of the young women, married and single. People are here more simple in their habits than is the case at Melbourne. There the overplus of wealth, along with a degree of recklessness, have led to an artificial and bloated style of living. Carriages and luxurious houses are there the rage—a result being that many get into difficulties. Here, things are taken more naturally. As regards immigration, I enclose a summary of wages offered to artizans and others, from a local paper."
The following Letter, written by MR. JOHN FRASER, of Christchurch, in the Province of Canterbury, is copied from an Edinburgh paper, the Daily Review, of 11th Dec. 1873.
SIR,—The facilities at present afforded by the Government of New Zealand for the conveyance of immigrants to this Colony, and the kindness with which they are treated on their arrival, ought certainly to be taken advantage of by an immense number of the working classes of Great Britain. My best way to bring these advantages under your notice is by giving a brief account of the manner in which those who came here with me three months ago were treated by the immigration authorities, both throughout the voyage from England and on our arrival here; also by briefly alluding to the prospects and inducements held out in this Colony for immigrants, and by comparing these with what is to be met with in the United States of America or Canada. In order, therefore, to show my competency to judge of the contrast between these nations as fields for immigration, allow me to inform you that I have been in almost every State in the American Union, also in all the principal provinces and towns in Canada, and through-out several of the leading nations in the Continent of Europe, and that under circumstances whereby I had every opportunity to see and know the real state of matters there, and not what they are represented in emigration pamphlets and other accounts, written expressly for the sake of trade and not for the sake of the poor emigrants, who, in many cases, only become victims to misleading advertisements.
The ship chartered for our conveyance was one of the strongest and most seaworthy that could be found in England, being built of Indian teak in the days when stability was considered before speed, and material was thoroughly seasoned before it was put in use. Our voyage was somewhat longer than the average run, but the confidence we all had in the old ship's stability, owing to her having survived the terrific storm we encountered in the Bay of Biscay on the 2nd of February last, as well as the excellent quality and sufficient quantity of provisions served to us throughout the voyage, would have prevented any comments upon that subject, were it not that we, unfortunately, had simple fever on board. I am sorry I cannot speak in the same terms of the bedding provided for those who came out on the assisted passage scheme. The mattresses consisted of wool, hair, and a mixture of rags or tailors' parings. Now it is this last part of the mixture that I don't approve of, as it has (at least) a tendency to carry disease on board. I remember seeing one of the pillows cut open by the young men, and it contained the same mixture as the beds, with an addition of still more objectionable ingredients. The only other arrangement that I considered deficient was the want of ventilation by means of "jalousees" between the compartments between decks, especially between those that had only one hatchway or inlet to them; also, the want of private doors in bulkheads, to be used only by the surgeon-superintendent on ordinary occasions, but in the event of any alarm or accident in one compartment that the passengers could be removed without the danger of going on deck. This last arrangement would have saved a great exposure to danger, and several injuries sustained by the passengers and crew when our ship was disabled in the Bay of Biscay.
After the usual inconveniences of a long confinement on board ship, we arrived at the port of Lyttelton, Canterbury, in the latter end of June (the middle of winter here), and as we had fever on board were very properly and to our advantage ordered into quarantine, on Ripa Island, where we were received with great kindness by the master and matron, Mr. and Mrs. Plumber. We spent the next ten days there; every one cleaning up and preparing his kit for colonial life, the men working a few hours daily, making paths, &c., around the buildings, which were not quite finished for our reception. The arrangements made upon this little island for the comfort of unfortunate immigrants are certainly very good, and the hospital wards and all the other arrangements for the comfort and separation of the sick are upon the most modern and approved principle. During our stay there we were supplied with abundance of fresh provisions, and whatever was required for the use and comfort of the sick was granted on demand.
On the 8th of July we were taken on board a small screw steamer and conveyed to Lyttelton, where we all expected to be thrown upon our own resources; but not so—a train was there in readiness to convey us to barracks, near Christchurch, where all those who had no friends to go to might remain, free of expense, until they got employment. At the same time, the authorities advertised that so many of different trades were there awaiting employment, and the result was that nearly all of them were engaged the next morning at the following rates of wages:—Married couples, £60 per annum, and found; single men, farm labourers, £36 to £52 per annum, and found; boys, £10 per annum; single women, general servants, £20 to £30; and nurses £12 per annum. All those who had the good fortune to be tradesmen got from 10s. to 12s. per day of eight hours, that being a day's work here. In a few days more we were scattered all over the Province, the Immigration Officer forwarding those that had friends up the country to their destination free of expense. All these facts will clearly show that it is not necessary to have much money at the time of landing in this Province to insure success; on the contrary, those who have money will not accept a rough-and-ready job until their money is spent, and necessity compels them to do so; whereas the man that had no money at the time of landing took the first employment he got the chance of, and by the time the other man commences work the cards are changed, and the one who landed poor, and may be penniless, is better off than the other. I always found this to be the case in America and Canada as well as here. It is now about three months since we came here, and during that time I have frequently come across several of my fellow-passengers, both men and women, and after an interchange of the usual congratulations, "How are you getting on, and what are you doing?" are invariably the next questions, and in every case the answer has been—"First-rate." I am happy to say that I have hitherto been able to return the same answer. I will now give the price of provisions, &c., that they may be compared with the above rates of wages:—Beef, 3d. to 4d. per lb.; mutton, 2d. to 3d. per lb.; 4 lb. loaf, 5d. to 6d.; tea, sugar, coffee, butter, cheese, eggs, &c., about the same price as in the old country. House rents and coals are half as much again, or 50 per cent. more than at home and clothing, boots, &c., about 15 to 20 per cent. more than at home. A working man can live in any of the boarding-houses in Christchurch for 15s. to 16s. per week, and have a variety of butcher meat three times a day. Spirituous liquors cost 6d. a glass everywhere here; but "God forbid" that any person will come here with the intention to drink his surplus money. If there should be such a person, allow me to inform him that there is a well-conducted lunatic asylum here, and that one for drunkards is in course of erection; in either of which it is more than likely he will end his days. "The Mysteries of Glasgow Whisky" would be a joke to the "Mysteries of Christchurch Spirits," if they were similarly dealt with and exposed in the public papers. The class of people that is required here is the actual working class,—men and women who are neither afraid nor ashamed to work, and not very particular what kind of work they turn their hands to. All such people are bound to better their condition by coming here, not only as servants, working shorter hours and better fed and paid than at home, but with the prospect of being either landowners or business people after a few years of toil: what they could never aspire to in the old country. It is not the man or woman who always enjoyed a luxurious life in a comfortable situation in the old country that realizes most the advantages of coming to a country like this; but the poor, hard-wrought man who could barely afford from his small earnings a sufficiency of the necessaries of life to himself and his family. I do not mean to say but the first man will make more money here than in the old country; but there is a considerable difference between gratifying the mind with a heavy purse, and satisfying the cravings of a hungry appetite with a good dinner.
I cannot say much from my own experience about the climate of this Province, owing to my not being here a whole season; but from what I hare seen and learned from the most reliable sources, I consider it thoroughly adapted to British constitutions. The past winter has been very mild; there has been a great deal of rain, but no snow upon the plains. The nights are, in proportion, colder than the days, and the changes more sudden than at home. I can neither say much upon the subject of land-purchasing, only that I see from the daily newspapers so many hundreds of thousands of acres being sold weekly, and the average price is about £2 per acre. The greater part of this Province is a vast plain, without wood, so that the land can easily be ploughed and a crop got off the first season. I have been informed that for about 12s. an acre it can be got ploughed; so that for less than £3 per acre the land can be bought and put under crop, except the price of seed. Cattle are very cheap here. A good four-year-old horse can be bought for £20, and a very good serviceable horse can be bought for half that sum, and even for less money. A good milch cow can be bought for £4. 10s. to £5. 10s. Articles of husbandry and machinery are more expensive than at home; but from what I have ascertained from landowners here, it does not require such a large sum as a stranger would be apt to think to start a man in a comfortable farm of his own.
Christchurch, the capital of this Province, contains a population of about 10,000 souls, the result of three-and-twenty years' habitation; also churches of different denominations, banks, museum, zoological garden, orphanage, lunatic asylum, and a prison; from all of which it must be admitted that this is a thriving Colony.
I will now, for comparison, briefly relate an immigrant's treatment on arrival at New York. After the usual international preliminaries are gone through, the Custom officers come on board and commence to examine the luggage. Every box and parcel is ransacked without mercy, and in some cases the contents thrown upon deck without being at all particular what injuries they may sustain. Every package is then labelled with a numbered brass ticket, a duplicate of which is given to the owner to redeem it at Castle Gardens. Immigrant and luggage are then transferred to a steam-tug, or a barge, to be conveyed to the landing-stage. After landing, the immigrants have to pass a gate in single file, and enter their names, profession, and destination in a book; after which an official mounts a rostrum and gives them a few good instructions, such as "those that have friends up the country to go to them at once; those who can go up country to look for work to do so without delay, as their stay in town will be expensive, and their prospects to get employment not so good, &c., &c.;" after this they are set at liberty to procure employment as best they can. There is an employment agency there, but where several thousands are landed day after day, a very small per-centage indeed find employment there. There is also a money exchange office, where the full value is always given without imposition. As soon as a number of immigrants make their appearance outside the building, they are accosted by a legion of "land-sharks," for whom no falsehood is too great, and no scheme to extort money too base. This class of men, or rather "licensed impesters," are to be met with at all the landing-stages and principal railway-stations in America There is still another class of imposters to be guarded against, and that is employment agents: they will tell the "greenhorn" that so many situations of different kinds at various salaries are at their disposal, and by paying a certain sum he can have one of them "through their influence," if he is found suitable. Almost invariably the applicant is found "unsuitable," and not only forfeits the agent's commission, but during the interval—which, if it can possibly be effected, will be several days—he is not only losing time, but incurring expense. Now, suppose that a man gets employment there at a higher pay than in Great Britain, yet he has insurmountable difficulties to contend with, which, in my opinion, will more than outweigh his advantages. There are the extremes of climate. In summer the heat is almost tropical, and in winter the cold is almost polar. Besides these, a British subject is an alien there, and cannot be admitted into any Government employ until he takes the oaths of affiliation, and disclaims any future allegiance to his mother country; so that he has neither voice nor vote in the affairs of the county, town, or State, in which he resides. I admit that many thousands have bettered their circumstances by emigrating from Great Britain to America, but I maintain that if these people had only used the same exertions in this province as they were compelled to do there, they would have acquired much greater results with still greater case. The security of life and property is another great consideration, and I must say that there are good laws and institutions in America; but the law is not enforced there as strictly as it is here, and that may account, to a certain extent, for the uncertainty of life and property. There is still another reason for it as well, and that is the great influx of ill-disposed people that resort to it from all the nations of Europe and elsewhere every year. No sensible person will for one moment think that the sea voyage across the Atlantic will change their habits, though it may cure them of the bile. I must not leave you under the impression that every one the immigrant meets with in America will attempt to take advantage of him. He will meet with people of the most noble minds and purest motives there, who will not only give him good instruction, but actually exert themselves to do him a good turn and procure employment for him. The United States of America are, in my humble opinion, the most independent nation in the world, because they are self-supporting; but as a field for immigration, I cannot in any way compare their advantages with those of this Province, where no uncivil Custom officers ransack your baggage on arrival; no land-sharks impose upon and mislead you; no extremes of climate burden your daily toil; where employment is not only easy to be got, but actually procured for immigrants (the demand being always greater than the supply); where the laws are purely British, and strictly enforced by an efficient police force, rendering life and property as safe as in any part of Great Britain; and where the immigrant upon his arrival is entitled to all the privileges, and if competent, may occupy any position or office in the Province without the ceremony of affiliation or disclaiming future fidelity to his mother country.
I will now very briefly refer to Canada as a field for emigration, and I am sorry that my experience there will not enable me to advise any person who can live comfortably in Great Britain to go to that Dominion with a view to better his condition. Not only has he the extremes of climate to endure, which will prevent his working more than eight or at the most nine months in the year, but the rate of wages is not much better than in the old country. A labouring man who will get a dollar (4s. 2d.) a day in Canada will get 7s. to 8s. in this Province. I have seen strong able men working in different capacities, in Canada for 75 cents (3s. 1½d.) per day, and enduring the rays of a scorching sun to burden their toil. I admit that there is plenty of work for many thousands of immigrants in the back woods of Canada, but I consider that the immigrant's great object should be "wages under easy circumstances," not "labour under disadvantages," such as he will meet with in Canada. When I say that I have seen more men looking for work in Canada, and could not find any, than ever I saw in Great Britain, in proportion to the population, it may be thought that I am prejudiced against Canada; but I am not, and this is truth. From published statistics it will be seen that so many thousands are annually emigrating to British North America, but I am prepared to say that twelve months after landing one-third of them (at least) are only to be found in the United States, where they are much better paid. Provisions are cheaper than in Britain, but it must be remembered that a long winter is to be provided for, when no work can be done. The great inducement in Canada is the free-homestead principle of acquiring land; but what is land to a poor immigrant, without means to cultivate it? Nor at the present rate of wages there can he have any great hopes of acquiring means to keep himself respectable. The amount of money necessary to clear one acre of land in Canada will buy and clear from three to five acres in this Province, and that without any loss of time. There are no provisions made by the Canadian Government for the maintenance of immigrants until they find employment; on the contrary, they caution them to be prepared with means for that purpose; and I can only say that the more he is prepared the better for himself. Canada is an extensive Dominion, rich in timber, agriculture, and minerals; but as a field for emigration it will only rank second to the United States, which I have already classed as second to this Colony. The same religious privileges and rights of nationality are enjoyed by British immigrants in Canada as they have here; but the extremes of climate are insurmountable difficulties to contend with, not only to the working man, but to the farmers as well, as they have to stall-feed their cattle there for about five months in each year; while in this Province of New Zealand they are neither housed nor fed but by what nature provides for their wants in the fields.
I have not, as yet, been to Australia; but from the fact that a great number of the people here have come from there, I conclude that this is at least as good a field for immigration, with a much more preferable climate.
I have now given you a brief summary of my observations and experience in those parts of the world that are the chief "fields for emigration," hoping that they may stimulate a desire in the bosoms of at least some of my friends and acquaintances, who have to work for their daily bread, to seek it where, by honest labour, it is to be found plenteously and with considerable ease. It may be thought by some that I have judged rashly; and if such should be the case, my reply is, that it is while the scenes of poverty and distress, that are daily met with in the old country, are fresh in a person's memory, that he can best see the advantages of riches and plenty such as are everywhere to be met with here. The subject is one that would require a volume to be written upon to do it justice; but I have neither time nor desire to become a historian. I have here truly and conscientiously, and without scruple or prejudice against one place more than another, given you the substance of my experience in those parts of the world, and should any of my friends or others be guided by it, and better their condition, I shall consider myself amply rewarded for my trouble.
Table of Contents
Composed of the Governor, a Legislative Council appointed by the Crown for life, and a House of Representatives, containing seventy-eight members, elected for five years.
Julius Vogel, C.M.G., Premier, Colonial Treasurer, Postmaster-General, and Telegraph Commissioner.
Sir Donald McLean, K.C.M.G., Minister for Native Affairs.
Edward Richardson, Minister for Public Works.
William Hunter Reynolds, Commissioner of Customs.
Secretary for Crown
Lands and Land Claims Commissioner.
Minister of Justice and
Commissioner of Stamp Duties.
Daniel Pollen, Colonial Secretary.
H. A. Atkinson, Minister of Immigration.
Wiremu Katene—Without portfolio.
Wi Parata—Without portfolio.
Acland, J. B. A.
Baillie, W. D. H.
Bartley, T. H.
Bonar, J. A.
Brett, De R. J.
Grace, M. S.
Johnson, G. R.
Kenny, W. H.
Lahmann, H. H.
Mantell, W. B. D.
Menzies, J. A. R.
Miller, H. J.
Ngatata, W. T.
Nurse, W. H.
Peacocke, J. T.
Peter, W. S.
Pharazyn, C. J.
Pillans, F. S.
Rhodes, W. B.
Richardson, J. L. C.
Richmond, M., C.B.
Russell, H. R.
Taylor, C. J.
Taylor, J. P.
Waterhouse, G. M.
Whitmore, G. S.
Wigley, T. H.
Clerk of the Council—L. Stowe.
Clerk-Assistant—G. W. Jordan.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Speaker—Sir F. Dillon Bell.
Chairman of Committees—Arthur Penrose Seymour.
Andrew, J. C.
Atkinson, H. A.
Bell, Sir F. D.
Bluett, W. J. G.
Bradshaw, J. B.
Brandon, A. de B.
Brown, J. C.
Brown, J. E.
Buckland, W. T.
Carrington, F. A.
Creighton, R. J.
Cuthbertson, J. R.
Gillies, J. L.
Gillies, T. B.
Harrison, W. H.
Ingles, H. A.
Johnston, W. W.
Kenny, C. W. A. T.
Luckie, D. M.
Mervyn, D. H.
Murray, W. A
O'Conor, E. J.
Ormond, J. D.
O'Rorke, G. M.
Parker, G. B.
Reynolds, W. H.
Richmond, A. J.
Seymour, A. P.
Shepherd, T. L.
Stafford, E. W.
Steward, W. J.
Taiaroa, Hori Kerei
Thomson, J. W.
Tolmie, W. A.
Tribe, G. H.
Wakefield, E. J.
Wales, N. Y. A.
Webb, H. R.
Williams, J. W.
Wilson, Sir Cracroft, K.C.S.I., C.B.
Wood, R. G.
Clerk of Parliaments—F. E. Campbell
Clerk of Writs—G. S. Cooper
Deputy Clerk of Writs—A. C. P. Macdonald
Second Clerk-Assistant—J. P. Stevenson
Interpreter—T. E. Young
Assistant Librarian—Ewen McColl
SUPERINTENDENTS OF PROVINCES.
Taranaki—Frederick Alonzo Carrington
Hawke Bay—John Davies Ormond
Wellington—Wm. Fitzherbert, C.M.G.
Westland—James Alexander Bonar
Marlborough—Arthur Penrose Seymour
Governor and Commander-in-Chief—The Most Noble the Marquis of Normanby, K.C.M.G.
Clerk of Executive Council—Forster Goring.
PREMIER—Hon. Julius Vogel, C.M.G.
Secretary to Cabinet—G. S. Cooper
Secretary to Premier—E. Fox.
Colonial Secretary—Hon. Daniel Pollen
Under Secretary—G. S. Cooper
Assistant Under Secretary—A. C. P. Macdonald
Chief Clerk—A. M. Smith
Clerk—R. H. Govett.
Minister of Justice—
Under Secretary—R. G. Fountain
Chief Clerk—C. J. A. Haselden
Record Clerk—E. F. Norris.
Assistant Law Officer—W. S. Reid
Minister of Public Works—Hon. E. Richardson
Under Secretary—John Knowles
Chief Clerk—C. T. Benzoni
Record Clerk—N. W. Werry
Clerks—G. Ward, C. A. Baker, F. Clayton
Sub-accountant—R. E. Bannister
Clerks—L. E. St. George, W. C. Callcott
Assistant Engineer-in-Chief—J. Blackett
Superintending Engineers—H. P. Higginson, South Island; C. B. Knorpp, North Island
Engineers—H. Czerwonka, R. P. Orme
Chief Draughtsman—H. C. W. Wrigg
Draughtsmen—T. Perham, A. Koch, F. Bull, W. G. Sealy, C. Palmer, W. H. T. Stewart, C. Wood, K. Douglas, J. Gibbes, A. A. Wrigg
Junior Draughtsmen—C. H. Pierard, G.R. Card
Record Clerk—H. T. Pycroft
Computer—C. A. Knapp
Engineer—A. G. Fowler.
District Engineers—J. Stewart, Auckland; J. T. Stewart, Manawatu; C. Y. O'Connor, Christchurch; F. H. Geisow, Greymouth; W. N. Blair, Dunedin; W. Brunton, Invercargill; A. D. Dobson, Westport.
Resident Engineers—W. H. Clark, Waikato; A. C. Turner, Tauranga; J. Breen, Rangiriri; D. M. Beere, Te Aute; W. H. Hales, Wanganui; S. Harding, River-head; C. Weber, Napier; G. M. Wink, Wellington; J. R. Rees, Wanganui; E. Evans, Westport; D. W. McArthur, Greymouth; B. H. Darnell, New Plymouth; A. D. Austin, Nelson; A. Dobson, Picton; T. D. Triphook, Rangiora; E. Cuthbert, Southbridge; J. H. Lowe, Oamaru; G. P. Williams, Oamaru; D. A. McLeod, Waitaki; W. Paisley, Tokomairiro; W. E. Brunton, Invercargill; Alex. Aitken, Grahamstown.
Colonial Architect—W. H. Clayton
Accountant—W. A. Gardiner.
COLONIAL TREASURER'S DEPARTMENT.
Colonial Treasurer—Hon. J. Vogel, C.M.G.
Secretary to the Treasury, Receiver-General, and Paymaster-General—C. T. Batkin.
Accountant to the Treasury—J. C. Gavin
Clerk for Loan and Trust Accounts—T. Truman.
Chief Clerk—W. H. Warren
Clerks—T. H. Boughton, W. G. Holdsworth, P. P. Webb, W.T. Thane, J. Gandy, J. Powne, E. L. Mowbray, F.K. de Castro.
Chief Clerk and Cashier—W. Best
Clerks—J. H. Gillard, J. B. Heywood, M. McCredie, J. McGowan, J. C. Davie, D. Cumming, C. Meacham, W. E. Cooper, C. L. Woledge, T. J. Davis, G. J. Clapham, C. F. W. Palliser, F. Sheppard, C. O'H. Smith.
Public Trustee and Accountant in Bankruptcy—J. Woodward
Clerk—C. D. de Castro.
Chief Clerk and Accountant—H. E. de B. Brandon
Clerks—Edward L. Ingpen, William Withers.
Auditor-General—C. Knight, M.D., F.R.C.S. Comptroller—J. E. Fitz Gerald, C.M.G.
Deputy Auditor and Chief Clerk—J. G. Anderson.
Clerks—C. H. Snow, James Davis, Henry Hartwright, R. E. E. Plimpton, L. C. Roskruge, R. O'Connor, H. Halse, F. Back, J. Churton, C. L. Wiggens.
Postmaster-General—Hon. Julius Vogel, C.M.G.
Accountant, Money Orders and Savings Banks—J. K. Warburton
Chief Clerk—J. W. Wilkin
Dead Letter Clerk—H. Morrow
Clerks—G. M. Nation, L. Halliwell, W. S. Rodger, W. Hickson.
General Manager—C. Lemon
Chief Clerk—A. T. Maginnity
Electrician—W. H. Floyd
Clerks—G. Gray, J. G. Corbett
Cadets—S. Cimino, C. Storey, E. C. Corliss, W. Wardrop
Mechanician—H. F. Smith
Storekeeper—J. T. Williamson.
Commissioner — Hon. W. H. Reynolds
Secretary and Inspector of Customs—W. Seed
Chief Clerk—W. France
Clerks—H. W. Williams, G. W. Ewart.
Chief Inspector—W. Seed
Marine Engineer—John Blackett, C.E.
Inspector of Steamers and Nautical Assessor—R. Johnson
Inspector of Steamers and Engineer Surveyor—J. Nancarrow
Examiner of Masters and Mates in Navigation, &c.—R. A. Edwin, Com. R.N.
NATIVE AND DEFENCE OFFICE.
Native Minister—Hon. Sir Donald McLean, K.C.M.G.
Under Secretary for Native Affairs—H. T. Clarke
Assistant Native Secretary—H. Halse
Acting Under Secretary for Defence—Lieut.-Col. W. Moule
Chief Clerk—T. W. Lewis
Accountant—R. J. Gill
Translator—T. E. Young
Record Clerk—W. J. Morpeth
Clerks—A. Boughton, F. N. Russell, F. W. Riemenschneider, G. H. Davies, R. Whitaker, W. C. Higgin
Commissioner of Native Reserves—Major
Charles Heaphy, V.C.
Secretary for Crown Lands (also Land Claims Commissioner)—
Under Secretary—C. E. Haughton
Chief Clerk—H. J. Masters
Clerks—O. Wakefield, H. E. Leadam, F. Samuel
Draughtsman and Assistant Inspector of Surveys—J. W. A. Marchant
Assistant Draughtsman and Clerk to Land Claims Commissioner—G. Fannin.
Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages—W. R. E. Brown
Clerks—W. Teague, E. J. Von Dadelszen.
Manager of Geological Survey and Curator of Colonial Museum—J. Hector, M.D., F.R.S.
Clerk—R. B. Gore
Draughtsman, &c.—John Buchanan
Inspector of Stores—Lieut.-Colonel E. Gorton
Chief Clerk—C. A. Humfrey
Clerks—John Curry, Sydney Dando.
Minister for Immigration—Hon. A. A. Atkinson
Under Secretary—C. E. Haughton
Accountant—J. F. Ballard
Clerks-E. O. Gibbes, R. Lynch, G. T. Waitt.
Immigration Officer—H. Ellis
Thames—D. G. McDonnell
Taranaki—W. R. Hulke
Wellington—H. J. H. Eliott
Wanganui and Rangitikei—A. F. Halcombe
Napier—G. T. Fannin
Greymouth—J. S. Wylde
Hokitika—F. A. Learmonth
Christchurch—J. E. March
Timaru—F. Le Cren
Invercargill—W. H. Pearson.
Accountant—C. G. Knight
Clerks—R. U. H. Vincent, T. J. Boyes, and W. W. Knowles
Cadets—J. H. Dean, J. H. Richardson, and S. W. D. Irvine
Travelling Agents—T. F. McDonough, F. E. Wright, H. Clapcott, and W. J. Mooney.
DEPARTMENTS OF THE GENERALGOVERNMENT INTHE PROVINCES.
Auckland—Sir G. A. Arney.
Wellington—A. J. Johnston
Nelson and Westland—C. W. Richmond
Canterbury—H. B. Gresson
Otago—H. S. Chapman.
District Court Judges—
Auckland and Grahamstown—T. Beckham
New Plymouth—H. E. Kenny
Napier, Waipawa, and Gisborne—T. S. Weston
Westport, Reefton, Charleston, Ahaura, Hokitika, Greymouth—G. W. Harvey
Timaru, Oamaru, Tokomairiro, and Invercargill—C. D. R. Ward
Otago Gold Fields—W. Gray.
Registrars of the Supreme Court—
New Plymouth—H. E. Kenny
Napier— D. Guy
Wellington—A. S. Allen
Nelson—E. W. Bunny
Christchurch-E. S. Willcocks
Dunedin—E. ff. Ward
Onehunga, Papakura, and Waiuku—R. C. Barstow
Wangarei—H. R. Aubrey
Hokianga—S. W. Von Sturmer
Waimate and Russell—E. Williams
Waikato—W. N. Searancke
Tauranga—J. M. Roberts
Maketu—F. E. Hamlin
Opotiki—H. W. Brabant
Poverty Bay—S. Locke, W. K. Nesbitt, and J. H. Campbell
Taupo—S. Locke and D. Scannell
New Plymouth—H. E. Kenny
Wellington—J. C. Crawford
Wanganui—J. T. Edwards
Patea—H. F. Turner
Upper Wanganui—R. W. Woon
Marton, &c.—W. J. Willis
Wairarapa—H. S. Wardell
Napier—H. B. Sealy
Wairoa—F. F. Ormond
Blenheim—S. L. Muller
Christchurch—C. C. Bowen
Kaiapoi—G. L. Mellish
Hokitika—G. G. FitzGerald
Greymouth—W. H. Revell
Dunedin—J. Bathgate and I. N. Watt
Port Chalmers—A. R. C. Strode
Oamaru—T. W. Parker
Hawksbury—J. W. Murdoch
Tokomairiro—J. P. Maitland
Lawrence—E. H. Carew
Arrowtown—H. A. Stratford
Switzers—J. N. Wood
Clyde—W. L. Simpson
Naseby—H. W. Robinson
Invercargill and Riverton — H. McCulloch
Chatham Islands—S. Deighton
Stewart's Island—J. B. Greig.
Auckland—H. C. Balneavis
Hawke's Bay—J. T. Tylee
Wellington—J. C. Crawford
Wairarapa—H. S. Wardell
Wanganui—J. T. Edwards
Marlborough—S. L. Muller
Westland—G. G. FitzGerald
Otago—I. N. Watt
Auckland—F. M. P. Brookfield
Hawke's Bay—J. N. Wilson
Wellington—C. B. Izard
Wanganui—C. B. Borlase
Canterbury—T. S. Duncan
Westland—S. M. South
Otago—B. C. Haggitt
Southland—T. M. Macdonald.
Westland—S. M. South
Westland North—J. B. Fisher
Timaru—J. W. White
Oamaru—T. W. Hislop
Taranaki—A. S. Douglas
Nelson—E. W. Bunny
Marlborough—J. D. Bamford
Canterbury—T. W. Maude
Westland—J. M. Batham
Dunedin—E. ff. Ward
Secretary and Inspector—
Collectors of Customs—
Thames—H. F. Andrews
Wangarei—R. H. Aubrey
Poverty Bay—G. F. Harris
New Plymouth—R. Chilman
Wellington—H. S. McKellar
Wanganui—J. G. Woon
Napier—J. M. Tabuteau
Lyttelton and Christchurch—W. Mills
Invercargill and Bluff Harbour—A. J. Elles.
Sub-Collectors of Customs and Officers in Charge of Ports.
Mongonui—E. W. Patieson (acting)
Onehunga—H. N. Brewer
Hokianga—S. Von Stunner, officer in charge
Havelock—W. Whitehorn, officer in charge
Kaikoura—J. Goodall, officer in charge
Russell—E. B. Laing, officer in charge
Wairau—J. Barleyman, officer in charge
Okarito—R. J. La Nauze, Sub-Collector
Akaroa—R. A. Buchanan, officer in charge
Timaru—C. E. Cooper, Sub-Collector
Oamaru—T. W. Parker, Sub-Collector
Riverton—B. Bailey, officer in charge
Chatham Islands—S. Deighton, Sub-Collector
Stewart's Island—J. B. Greig, Coast-waiter.
Auckland—S. B. Biss
Taranaki—L. Von Rotter
Hawke's Bay—John Grubb
Wellington—E. D. Butts
Marlborough—J. F. Winstanley
Nelson—Sydney J. Dick
Canterbury—J. J. FitzGibbon
Greymouth—J. F. McBeth
Auckland—D. A. Tole
Taranaki—C. D. Whitcombe
Wellington—J. G. Holdsworth
Hawke's Bay—H. B. Sealy
Nelson—H. C. Daniell
Canterbury—W. G. Brittan
Otago—J. T. Thomson
Southland—W. H. Pearson
Westland—G. G. Fitzgerald.
Chief Clerk and Accountant—
James G. Fox.
James J. Stevenson.
Samuel C. Anderson.
Inspectors, 1st Class—
William C. Lyon
John H. H. St. John
John M. Roberts
Henry F. Turner.
Inspectors, 2nd Class—
John B. Thomson.
Sub-Inspectors, 1st Class—
William A. Richardson
Forster Y. Goring
Frederic C. Rowan
Walter E. Gudgeon
William J. Gundry
Frederick J. W. Gascoigne
Sydney A. B. Capel
William H. Northcroft
Henry C. Morrison
Arthur A. Crapp
Thomas N. E. Kenny
John R. Watts.
Sub-Inspectors, 2nd Class—
Arthur S. B. Forster
Frederick C. Smith
Charles W. Ferris
Alexander H. McLean
John T. Marshall
Instructor of Musketry—
William G. Stack.
Patrick J. O'Carroll.
Frederick W. Armitage
William L. Jackson
Superintendent - His Honor John Williamson, M.H.R.
Executive Council—Provincial Secretary, John Sheehan, M.H.R.; Provincial Solicitor, A. Beveridge; Provincial Treasurer, G. M. Reid; without office, P. Dignan.
Superintendent—His Honor William Fitzherbert, C.M.G., M.H.R.
Executive Council—Provincial Secretary and Treasurer, Henry Bunny, M.H.R.; without office, George Hunter, M.H.R., W. H. Watt.
Superintendent—His Honor Oswald Curtis, M.H.R.
Executive Council—Provincial Secretary, Alfred Greenfield; Provincial Treasurer, Joseph Shephard; Provincial Solicitor, Albert Pitt.
Superintendent—His Honor William Rolleston, M.H.R.
Executive Council—President, William Montgomery; Provincial Secretary, Edward Jollie; Secretary for Public Works, T. W. Maude; Provincial Solicitor, T. E. Joynt.
Table of Contents
THE portion of the Middle Island of New Zealand known as the Province of Otago, was, previous to the arrival of the first immigrants, occupied by a few white men engaged in pastoral or whaling pursuits, and by a small number of Natives. In 1840, a missionary from Sydney was located at Waikouaiti, where a small settlement had been established, and his charge extended to the south of the Clutha, a few individuals being sparsely settled there. Otago was originated as a special settlement, and a block of 400,000 acres having been purchased from the New Zealand Company, the carrying out of the experiment was entrusted to a committee of laymen belonging to or sympathizing with the Free Church of Scotland. The Association, as the scheme was named, despatched the ships "Philip Laing" and "John Wickliff" with the first emigrants from Britain; both vessels arriving safely in March, 1848. At that early period, the navigation of the south portion of the Colony was considered dangerous, as thoroughly reliable charts did not exist, and the coast was known only to the few whalers on the station. The prospects were not very cheering to those harbingers of the present community, and doubtless the hearts of many of them failed them, while sailing up the harbour, on seeing on both sides steep hills densely wooded to their summits, without a patch of open land except the barren sands at the Maori settlement. The discomfort of being conveyed in open boats, along with their household effects, from Port Chalmers, and landed on the shores of the town of Dunedin, its surface an entanglement of scrub and flax, without a roof to cover or protect them or a known face to welcome them, and the dread uncertainty as to how or where provisions could be obtained until they could grow their own, the time of their arrival being near the beginning of winter, must all have tended to damp their enthusiasm. Now-a-days, such doubts or discomforts cannot exist. Accurate charts and splendid lighthouses along the coast command the mariner's confidence; and on arrival at the Heads, a powerful steamer is ready to tow the immigrant ship up the harbour, both sides of which are now, to the hill tops, studded with snug homes and luxuriant clearings. On the ship berthing at Port Chalmers or the Bluff, the train carries the passengers either to Dunedin or Invercargill, both handsome cities, replete with comfort, where anxiously-expectant friends, acquaintances, or employers anxious to employ labour, and to whom the news of the arrival of the ship has been flashed by the telegraph, are waiting to receive the strangers either with a hearty friendship's welcome or a profitable business engagement.
The pioneers of the settlement were neither daunted nor discouraged by their difficulties. Bracing themselves to suffer hardships, to endure fatigues, to do their duty, they did it nobly and well, a fact attested by the solid foundation on which the institutions of the Province rest, the character the settlers have gained, and the success which has attended their efforts.
The preliminary labour of clearing the land and building houses—some of them as primitive as unskilled hands could make them—being so far effected, moral and intellectual requirements were at once attended to. On the first day of September, 1848, the first public building, to be used as a church and school, was opened, the average attendance of scholars being forty, although on some days it reached seventy. This was under the auspices of the Association and connected with the Free Church. A few months later, the first newspaper, the Otago News, was published, and in May, 1849, a public library was opened. Following in close succession, building societies were started, and a Mechanics' Institute, which has now grown into the flourishing and highly-valued Athenæum, with its library, reading, and class rooms.
At the close of the first year of the settlement, the population consisted of:—
|Town of Dunedin||240||204||444|
|Town of Port Chalmers||23||10||38|
|The Customs Revenue was||£1,258. 5s.||2d.|
Notwithstanding the visible signs of material progress, and the means for mental improvement which were provided, elements of discord existed in the young community; and, judging from the newspapers and other documents, the strife was a hard and bitter one, the questions in dispute being,—
Was the settlement to continue a class one?
Were the soil and climate suited for agriculture?
The utter impracticability of the first was shown ere it was fairly put in operation, a few months bringing it to a sudden termination.
The News took a strong position with reference to the second question, maintaining that Otago was not suited for the growth of cereals—and certainly there was a show of reason for this view, as little was done to test the soil, settlers finding it easier to make a living by stock-raising than by cultivating—and several efforts were made to form a company to import flour. But a decided answer has been given in the affirmative, by the fact that to the very places from which it was intended to draw the supplies of breadstuffs for Otago, she now sends out of her abundance. The last ship which sailed to Sydney took a large quantity of flour and oatmeal, the produce and manufacture of the Province.
The settlement continued slowly but steadily to advance, receiving additions to its population both from the home country and the neighbouring colonies. A writer of the time says, "The impression became prevalent in Australia, that Otago will become not only the greatest cattle district of New Zealand, but of the Pacific generally." Upon the retirement of the New Zealand Company, in 1850, and the granting of a constitution to the colony, Otago was erected into a Province, and its original boundaries were so extended as to include all the country south of the Waitaki.
The meeting of the first Provincial Council on 30th December, 1853, marks the first epoch in the history of Otago. Prior to this date, there was no responsibility for the conduct of public affairs. Now, there was a responsible body possessing considerable powers, and a largely-extended estate to administer. In his opening address, the superintendent said, "A return mail from the seat of government (Auckland) is just in the same category as a return from England, business in the meanwhile being in a state of abeyance and confusion. Meanwhile, it is our duty to do all that we can for the public good." How was this done? Assembled in a small, unpretending wooden building, described at the time as "one of the most elegant buildings in Dunedin, capable of containing from 80 to 100 people," and "an erection the like of which no other settlement in New Zealand could boast," the Council at once commenced business and proceeded to set their house in order. The monetary condition was "Treasury grant closed, land fund reduced to nil, and the Province left with two-thirds of the general revenue (£1,480) to do all for themselves and as they best can." What they had to do was, provide for expense of government, form roads and build bridges, attract immigration, attend to education, and open up communication with other Provinces and the outer world. To accomplish all these objects with an income of £2,000 a year must have been a pleasing task! Yet a determined start was made, and the Province began, and still continues, its onward march.
The governing machinery was at first neither extensive nor expensive; it has now assumed considerable proportions.
The principle of subsidizing local efforts for the construction of roads and bridges was adopted at the first meeting of the Council. There is scarcely a district which is not intersected and opened up by local roads, and the main roads formed and kept up by the Government render it safe and pleasant to travel in all directions. Some of the bridges by which the rivers are spanned combine great strength with elegant design. The only possible means of travelling or bringing goods to market in early days was by bullock-sledges, accomplishing from ten to fifteen miles a day: wheeled vehicles could not get along. So well, however, was the forming of roads pushed on, that a stage coach began, in 1858, to run between Dunedin and Tokomairiro, a distance of thirty-six miles; and in a few years later the same mode of conveyance was established to all parts of the Province.
Immigration received the immediate and careful consideration of the Council. An ordinance was passed, appointing agencies in Edinburgh and London, to procure emigrants and arrange for their passages. The Edinburgh agency still exists, and has been the means of sending a large number of the inhabitants to this land. In addition to the permanent agencies, special agents were despatched to Australia and Britain, to put the attractions of the place before parties intending to emigrate, and the result was a large influx of suitable and much-needed population. A contract was also entered into with Messrs. P. Henderson and Co., of Glasgow, to establish a regular line of ships direct from the Clyde, which resulted in a complete success, and presents a picture of fortunate navigation having few parallels. During the seventeen years this contract has been in operation, about 250 ships have been sent from home carrying emigrants, and have loaded for home with cargo, every vessel arriving safely at her destination. Of all the passenger fleet trading between Great Britain and Otago since its settlement, only two have not been accounted for.
Intercolonial and provincial steam navigation soon pressed itself on the attention of the Council, as the produce for export and the requirements for import were becoming extensive; accordingly, a bonus for a steamer was offered, and the "Queen," a locally-owned vessel, which had been plying for a short time, was specially engaged to make the trip monthly between Melbourne and Port Chalmers. Additional steamers were soon obtained, and regular communication established. The produce of wool and grain increased so rapidly that vessels were laid on the berth to load for London direct with wool, and for Melbourne with grain and other products.
The price of money was a serious drawback to the progress of the Province, interest as high as 20 per cent. being required on loans where ample security for the principal was given. Monetary transactions were conducted through the storekeepers—not a very convenient method—until a branch of the Union Bank was opened in 1858. Now there are five different banks, having branches in all the centres of population, and money is so plentiful as to be obtained on good security at six per cent.
While carefully advancing in material prosperity, equal attention was paid to education and religious requirements. As the settlers spread themselves over the country, those in charge of ecclesiastical affairs provided additional churches, and brought out ministers to superintend them. The Council was also forward in making provision for the teaching of the young, and the education system of Otago, which has succeeded so well and been so deservedly praised, was initiated in the first session of that body.
The advantage of opening up the southern portion of the Province, in which there were large tracts of splendid land both clear and timbered, was early recognized, and sites for the towns of Campbelltown and Invercargill being fixed, the country was surveyed, and very soon a large number of sections were bought and settlers located thereon. Complaints were made by the inhabitants that this outlying district was not receiving its due share of attention from the authorities; and a memorial was, in terms of "The New Provinces Act, 1858," presented to the Colonial Government, requesting that the district might be detached from Otago and erected into a new Province. This was granted, and in 1861 the Province of Southland was created, with an area of 2,300,000 acres. Embarrassments, however, so accumulated on the little Province, that in 1870 it was found advisable to reunite it to Otago, which was done, and it now partakes of the general prosperity.
The discovery of the gold fields in 1861 may be considered the next epoch in this history. Rumours of the existence of gold had before this date been freely circulated; but until the discovery, by Gabriel Read, of the gully which bears his name, no payable workings had been opened up. The extraordinary richness of this gold field, together with the ease with which the gold was obtained, at first hardly obtained belief; but as specimens of the precious metal arrived in town day after day by trustworthy messengers, who were in hot haste to get back again, the fever became general, and every man, tradesman and storekeeper, left his occupation and was "off to the diggings." The report of this really rich gold field soon reached the adjacent Provinces and Colonies, and a great "rush" was the consequence—thousands arriving in a single day. For a time, other occupations were forgotten; but the excitement gradually subsided; the lucky digger having a good many pounds to his credit, and high prices ruling for every article that could be raised, soon induced many to return to their legitimate industries, and leave the more precarious trade of gold-finding to men who followed it as their profession. The discovery of the Tuapeka gold field was followed, in 1862, by the Dunstan, the Lakes, Nokomai, and several others, which have proved to be very valuable, and afford employment to a large number of men. The portion of the Province in which the gold fields are situate had hitherto been an almost unknown country, and to the energy and enterprise of the gold-seeker the credit is due of opening it up much sooner than it would otherwise have been. The risk these hardy men undertook deserved reward, as the result of their efforts has been of incalculable advantage to Otago. The quantity of gold exported from the Province up to March 31, 1874, was 3,257,864 oz. and its value, £12,762,892.
A short summary of the social condition of the Province will form an appropriate finish to this chapter. Taking the labour and cost of living questions first, it is found that from the earliest days of the settlement the working men insisted on the eight hours' system, carried their point, and have been able to maintain it up to the present time. When extra hours are worked, extra pay must follow. The subjoined table will show the comparative rates of pay and prices of provisions:—
|Beef, per lb.||6½d. to 7d.||7d. to 9d.||4½d. to 7d.|
|Bread, per 4 lb. loaf||9d.||1s.||5½d. to 6d.|
|Batter, per lb.||1s. 9d. to 2s.||1s. 10d. to 2s. 2d.||8d. to 1s.|
|Candles, per lb.||8d.||1s. to 1s. 2d.||8d. to 8½d.|
|Cheese, per lb.||1s. to 1s. 6d.||1s. 4d.||7d. to 1s.|
|Coffee, per lb.||1s. 4d. to 1s. 6d.||1s. 9d.||1s. 3d. to 1s. 9d.|
|Eggs, per dozen||1s. 6d. to 2s.||2s.||1s. 2d. to 1s. 3d.|
|Flour, per 100 lb.||13s. to 17s.||25s. to 28s.||12s. to 14s.|
|Firewood, per cord||14s. to 18s.||26s.||18s.|
|Milk, per quart||4d.||7d.||5d.|
|Mutton, per lb.||6d. to 7d.||7d. to 8d.||3d. to 5d.|
|Pork, per lb.||6d. to 8d.||6d. to 8d.||4d. to 6d.|
|Potatoes, per ton||140s.||120s.||80s.|
|Sugar, per lb.||4d. to 6d.||6d.||4d. to 6d.|
|Tea, per lb.||2s. to 2s. 6d.||3s. to 3s. 6d.||2s. 9d. to 3s. 3d.|
|Timber, per 100 feet||16s. to 20s.||20s.||16s. to 20s.|
|Mechanics, per day||5s. to 7s.||9s. to 10s.||12s. to 15s.|
|Labourers, per day||3s. to 4s.||6s. to 7s.||8s. to 10s.|
Dwelling-houses were always scarce and commanded high rents. To overcome this difficulty, and enable every man to become his own landlord, the first building society was started early in 1850, and has fulfilled in every respect the expectations of its promoters, and done an immense amount of good. These societies have continued to multiply and increase.
To make life as pleasant as possible in the small community, holidays were kept; clubs to promote horse-racing, cricket, and other healthful games were formed; many enjoyable evenings were spent at balls and music parties; and lectures were regularly delivered by the leading men, in addition to the advantages of a public library and Mechanics' Institute.
A gaol was one of the institutions the early settlers found provided for them on their arrival, although its utility was very doubtful for a specially-selected community: and in 1850, a Judge of the Supreme Court for Otago was appointed at a salary of £800 a year. Almost all the prisoners confined in the gaol up till the period of the gold discovery, were either runaway sailors or committed for trivial offences; and the honest old gaoler had the duties of a father to perform, rather than those of an officer of justice. Even since the golden era, crimes of great enormity have been extremely few, considering the promiscuous character of the new arrivals. No doubt, daring offences were perpetrated, but the number was comparatively small. The natural features of the country did undoubtedly contribute to this result, as the possibility of concealment or escape was a slender one; but the principal preventive of crime was the thoroughly efficient police force which was organized immediately on the gold fields being declared. This force has elicited the highest praise from the Supreme Court Judges as well as from the neighbouring Provinces; and, it is gratifying to add that it still continues to merit the same character for steadiness, carefulness, discipline, and moderation.
Otago is in length about 160 miles, and in breadth 195 miles, and is estimated to contain 15,500,000 acres. It may be said to possess every description of scenery, both along the coast line and in the interior, the features being eminently of a Scottish type, whilst the names given to places have strongly stamped this character. Along the eastern and southern coast line, the principal harbour is Otago, which is a long arm of the sea, into which vessels of very heavy draught can enter with safety. Steam tugs are always at command, should the wind prove adverse. The channel to Port Chalmers is somewhat winding, but, reaching the port, a large fleet can lie at the piers, or anchor in the different bays, in smooth water and under shelter of the land. Bluff Harbour, the first port of arrival and last of departure for the Suez mail steamers, is a safe one for vessels of any tonnage. The other harbours are chiefly used for coasting vessels. The west coast is a succession of sounds or inlets, some of them of immense size, with great depth of water, easily taken, and quite landlocked; but as this portion of the province has yet to be settled, a more detailed account need not be given.
All the principal rivers discharge on the east and south coasts, several of them being navigable for many miles, by coasting steamers and vessels. Their lengths, compared with the size of the province, together with the volume of water they discharge, are hardly credible. The principal one is the Clutha, estimated at 220 miles in length, having its source north of the Wanaka Lake, at a height of 974 ft. above the sea-level, and calculated by the late Mr. Balfour, marine engineer, to discharge 1,690,000 cubic feet of water per minute. The quantity of water is greater and its temperature lower during summer than winter, this being caused by the melting of the snows on the western ranges of mountains. Several tributaries flow into the Clutha, the most notable being the Pomahaka, Manuherikia, Cardrona, and Kawarua, the latter draining Lake Wakatipu. The Taieri River flows through the plain of the same name, and is a sluggish stream for a large portion of its course. It is reckoned as 150 miles long, although the distance from its source to its mouth, as the crow flies, is not above 45 miles. The Mataura is 120 miles in length, the Oreti 130, and the Waiau and Mararoa, by which Lakes Manipori, Te Anau, and Mavora are drained, about 140 miles. The Waitaki, flowing eastward 130 miles, and the Awarua flowing westward, form the northern boundary of the Province.
Lakes are numerous, and some of them of large extent: in the north, the Wanaka, covering 75 square miles, and the Hawea 48; in the south-east, the Waihola and Waipori, 5½, the Tuakitoto and Kaitangata, 3¾; in the interior, the Wakatipu, 112, and the Manipori, 36; and in the west, Te Anau, 132, and M'Kerrow or Kakapo, 10 square miles.
Mountain-ranges traverse the Province from north to south generally; the back-bonelying near the west coast; thus accounting for the easterly flow of the rivers. The principal peaks in different directions are Mount Aspiring 9,049, Earnslau 9,200, Ben Nevis 7,650, Titaroa 5,643, Hamilton 4,674, Maungatua, 2,980 ft. in height. The snowline is 8,000 ft.; but all the mountains attaining this height are on the west side.
Although the forests handy to market or a shipping port have to a large extent been thinned out, there are still immense tracts which have not been touched, for want of access; but now that roads and railways are bringing them within reach, a supply of timber for railway, building, and other purposes, sufficient to meet the demand for many years to come, can readily be obtained. Longwood and Waiua forests alone contain upwards of 1,000 square miles, and almost the entire western sea-board is a dense bush of most valuable timber.
The area of land fitted for agricultural pursuits is computed at 9,000,000 acres, and is distributed in every direction. From the northern boundary (the Waitaki River), south to Dunedin, a distance of about eighty miles, and from the coast inland, an average breadth of forty miles, the land consists of extensive plains and downs, with here and there a few hill ranges, some of the peaks of which rise to 4,000 ft.; but generally the spurs and ridges are well rounded and of easy slope. Further in the interior are the Upper Taieri, thirty miles long by fifteen broad; Upper Waitaki, twenty by fifteen; Upper Clutha, forty by ten; Manuherikia, forty by eight; Ida, thirty by six;—all magnificent plains, besides other valleys of smaller extent but of great fertility. South from Dunedin to the Clutha River, and thence to the Mataura, after crossing Saddle Hill, which is cultivated to its summit, the long reach of the Taieri, Tokomairiro, Clutha, and Mataura plains extend for about 120 miles, with a breadth varying from ten to forty miles, the hills on either side, not of great height, noted for their long rounded or flat-topped spurs and rich sloping gullies. From the Mataura south to the ocean and west to the Waiau River, a breadth of sixty miles, and of similar length, the country is almost a dead level, occasionally interrupted by hills of moderate elevation. The interior, in which the gold fields are principally situate, is much more mountainous and broken, but possesses fine straths and glens, admirably adapted for the labours of the husbandman.
The peculiarly healthy character of the climate is attested by the fact of so many strong, active children seen in all directions, their stout limbs and ruddy countenances a subject of general remark by strangers visiting the Province.
Originally, the Province was divided into two counties of almost equal area, the 169th degree of east longitude being the boundary: they were named Bruce and Wallace respectively. It is now parcelled out for different purposes, either political, social, or industrial. The political divisions are, first, for the election of Representatives in the General Assembly, or Colonial Parliament, numbering eighteen, and returning nineteen members. The next is for the election of the members of the Provincial Council, numbering thirty-four districts, with forty-six members. The social divisions are the educational districts (elsewhere alluded to) and Road Board districts, of which there are forty-six. The powers of the road trustees are similar to those of Town Councils. These boards have effected a great amount of good in their respective districts, and are considered one of the best institutions of Otago. The industrial districts are—First, agricultural, known as hundreds, numbering thirty-six, and containing in the aggregate over 2,000,000 acres. Keeping pace with the demand for land for settlement, new hundreds are proclaimed, and these are taken from the second industrial division, namely, pastoral land or runs. The occupier of land on lease for grazing purposes must fall back before the settler, who has the prior and superior claim, and which cannot be overlooked. Gold-digging is the next but not the least important industrial division to be noticed. There are now ten gold fields, embracing an area of 10,000 square miles, not by any means all taken up for digging pursuits, but over which the gold-seeker is at liberty to prospect, and to "spot" any claim be may fancy a payable one. Within the gold fields, what is termed agricultural leases can be obtained; which means that a piece of land known not to be auriferous can be selected, fenced, improved, and settled on, at a yearly rent of 2s. 6d. an acre, and at the end of the third year it can be purchased at 20s. an acre.
The towns of this Province next claim notice. There are about seventy recorded on the map, and of these over forty contain a number of inhabitants. Sixteen of them have become of so much importance as to possess a mayor and council for the management of their affairs, and eleven of these incorporated towns can boast of having newspapers published in them. The sites for all the towns have been selected in localities where special industries were likely to be established, or at points of the main roads considered suitable. A short description will be given of the principal ones.
Dunedin, being the largest and most important city, not only in the Province, but in the Colony, first demands attention. It stretches along the head of the bay, and has a north-east aspect. A large number of the dwelling-houses are built on the hills embraced within the boundaries, and the fine foliage trees with which they are in general surrounded, give a highly picturesque appearance to the scene. Decidedly the best view is obtained in approaching by water. As the prospect is opened up, a pleasing impression is made on the visitor; and on nearing the jetty, the numerous chimney-stalks, and the sound of manny hammers, give the idea of busy industry. Roads from all parts of the Province converge on Dunedin as the capital: the main north road by the Northeast Valley; the main south road by Caversham; the road to the interior by Stuart-street; Maclaggan-street; Pine Hill; the road to Otago Heads by the Peninsula. By all these routes very fine views of different parts of the city are obtained. The area is 865 acres. There are 90 streets, each 66 ft. wide, the greater number being metalled, having curbed and asphalted pavements, and well lighted with gas. The length of Princess-street and George-street, the one being a continuation of the other, is 2½ miles, or if the extension of the city through the suburbs of Kensington, Forbury, and St. Kilda is included, there is a straight line of street four miles in length, and almost level. The longest from east to west is High-street, about one mile. In the centre of the city is the Octagon, and around the landward sides a belt of 560 acres is set apart for the recreation of the inhabitants. The banking establishments and retail houses are mostly in Princes-street and at the south end of George-street. Some of the shops would do credit to Princes-street, Edinburgh, after which city Dunedin and its streets are named. The wholesale houses are mostly situate in some of the quieter streets, but are gradually being attracted closer to the terminus of the railway. The timber and iron works are distributed to the north and south of the Octagon. A considerable proportion of the industries of the Province have their principal seat in Dunedin. The public buildings are handsome and numerous: amongst others may be mentioned the University, High School, Custom House, Post Office and Provincial Government Buildings, Hospital, Lunatic Asylum, Benevolent Asylum, Masonic Hall, Caledonian Grand Stand, churches, particularly the First Church (pronounced the finest ecclesiastical edifice south of the equator); the banks, warehouses, and free and bonded stores; and as private buildings, the residences of the principal citizens. The places of resort for information, recreation, or amusement are the Athenæum (with its reading-room and extensive library), the Museum, Botanical Gardens and Acclimatization Grounds, the Princess and the Queen's theatres, music and concert halls, recreation-grounds north and south, racecourse, and public baths. The corporation affairs are managed by a mayor and councillors, whose attention is chiefly occupied at present in promoting measures for the sanitary improvement of the city, and in arranging for a Town Hall, with offices attached, intended to be the finest structure in the city, and to cost £30,000. The police arrangements are part of the system in force throughout the Province, being under the charge of the Provincial Government, by whom the expenses are defrayed. By private companies a good supply of excellent water and gas is laid through all the streets and into most of the houses. Two morning papers and one evening paper are published daily, besides four weekly and seven monthly periodicals. The Chamber of Commerce, Association of Underwriters, Law Society, and others of a similar description, are important institutions. Edina has been distinguished by the name of "Modern Athens"; Dunedin, with its salubrious climate, its attractive scenery, its elegant buildings, its enterprising citizens, its noble institutions, and its comprehensive provision for a liberal and classical education, bids fair to claim the title of the "Athens of the South." The population at the census, February 1871, was 14,857; at the census 1st March, 1874, the number was over 18,500; showing an increase of about 3,700 in the three years. If the suburbs are included, the number will amount to 26,000.
Port Chalmers is the principal seaport-town of the Province. It is built on a peninsula jutting into the harbour, halfway between the Heads and Dunedin, and at it a great proportion of the commerce is conducted. It claims to be the oldest town in the settlement. At the railway pier and in the stream, there are always large vessels loading for or discharging from different parts of the world. The large addition which is being made to the pier will give increased facilities for trade, and the patent slip, floating dock, and stone graving-dock (the only one in the Colony—measuring 328 ft. by 50 ft. in width, having 22 ft. of water on the sill), make it an attraction for ships requiring cleaning and repairs. The time-ball by which chronometers are adjusted is dropped daily at noon, and is erected, along with the signal-station, on the hill on the west side of the town. The building of wooden vessels, together with ships' smithwork, are the staple industries of the town; and the vicinity is famous for a hard blue stone, much used for house-building. A start has also been made in sawing a flag-stone suitable for footpaths and courtyards. There are several substantially-built churches, a grammar-school, banks, stores, and hotels. Gas has already been introduced, and the Town Council are arranging for a water-supply. The population, including sailors on board the shipping, in March, 1874, was 2,887.
Oamaru, in the extreme north, is decidedly the maritime town of Otago. It is situated on a terrace overlooking the Southern Ocean. The vast expanse of water, and the healthy and refreshing atmosphere, render the locality an inaugurating one. The bay or roadstead offers inducements for sea-bathing which will not be overlooked, and in a short time bathing-machines, with all their appliances, will be profitably engaged here. It is the shipping port of the largest pastoral and agricultural, and perhaps mineral, districts in the Province. The quantity of wool, wheat, oats, barley, and grass seed produced in the district around is very great; and the quality may be judged, when stated that flour with the Oamaru brand commands the highest price in the market. The building-stone is unrivalled, and can be got in any quantity. Limestone, cement, pipeclay, and coal exist in abundance; and the substantial breakwater which is being rapidly built, will greatly facilitate shipment, and offer shelter in any weather to coasting vessels. In building the breakwater, concrete blocks, weighing over 30 tons, are used. These are made on the shore, lifted, carried, and placed in position by a steam crane made in Dunedin, only two or three men being required in the operation. The town has an imposing appearance from the sea. The streets are wide and regular; and several fine buildings substantially constructed and profusely ornamented with stone from the vicinity, confirm the impression when one has landed. As regards population, it is the second town of the Province, the number in 1874 being 2,829.
Palmerston is situated at the junction of the Dunstan Road with the main North Road, and is rapidly rising into importance. Hampden, Moeraki, and Waikouaiti are coastal towns, with fine country around them.
Southward from Dunedin, the first important town is Milton, near which the junction of the road and railway to the Tuapeka gold fields is made. Being in the centre of one of the oldest settled agricultural districts, and having energetic and persevering residents, it has become the most flourishing inland argricultural town in the Province. Agricultural implements, coach-building, lime-burning, brick and tile making, are the main industries. Glazed tiles are principally made in Milton, and the Corporation have effected great improvements in forming the streets and attending to sanitary matters. Population, 1,161.
Balclutha is a stirring township on the banks of the Clutha River, and is making strong efforts to overtake some of its older rivals. Population, 430. There is a very fine bridge, of wood, across the Clutha River at this point.
Invercargill is the principal town of the late Province of Southland, and is well placed near the head of the New River estuary. Some of the main streets are two chains in width, and all of them are laid off at right angles. Considerable advance is being made in the material and architecture of the buildings, and the merchants are possessed of great energy and perseverance. The first railway in Otago was constructed to connect this town with its shipping port at Bluff Harbour, a length of twenty miles. The line was constructed under the Southland Provincial Government. A continuation of the railway for an additional twenty miles connects it with Winton, a splendid district of country, and branch lines are being pushed forward in other directions. Large quantities of wool and grain are produced, and are shipped direct from the Bluff to London and Melbourne. The extensive forests around the town give an immense trade in shipping timber to less-favoured localities. Nearly twelve million feet are sawn annually. Another feature of the trade is the export of preserved meats from the works at Woodlands. Two newspapers are published in the town. In 1871, the population was 1,952; in 1874, 2,484: increase, 532.
Riverton is a beautifully-situated town at the mouth of Jacob River. In addition to the local trade and the export of grain, seal-fishing occupies a considerable degree of attention, and the opening up of the Orepuki gold fields, and the immense timber forests adjacent, will give the town a considerable impetus.
The towns in the interior of the Province are for the most part in the centre of mining districts. Lawrence, on the Tuapeka gold field, was the first created. It is the seat of a considerable amount of industry, and its residents are alive to every opportunity of promoting its prosperity. In the Tuapeka district, the gold-mining is principally confined to what are called alluvial workings. Immense sums have been expended by the miners in bringing in water from distant streams, some of the races being twenty to forty miles in length, winding round hillsides (which are often tunnelled), or carried across gullies by fluming or pipes. By means of the water, the face of the working is washed down, and all the soil carried away, leaving the stones behind, which must be removed, and the gold, which, being the heaviest metal, and in very small particles, is gathered with the refuse dirt at the bottom, and carefully separated by a process of washing. An idea of the quantity of water needed may be formed when it is stated that the height of the face to be washed down at the celebrated Blue Spur is 110 ft. by a width of 600 yards. To assist the work of the water, shafts are driven into the face, chambers formed, and large quantities of powder used for a single explosion, bringing down many thousand yards of stuff, which is all washed away. Many men are employed in mining here, whose supplies and material are furnished by the merchants in Lawrence. The town is well built, and, like all the Government towns, regularly laid off, no street being less than a chain wide. There are a Grammar School, several churches, banks, Athenæum, mills, breweries, hotels, and every other requisite.
Proceeding further into the interior from Lawrence, up the valley of the Clutha, the next towns of importance are Alexandra, at the junction of the Manuherikia River, a distance of sixty-eight miles; Clyde, on the banks of the Clutha, seven miles further on; and Cromwell, at the junction of the Kawarau, thirteen miles further. At the latter town, the Clutha is spanned by a suspension-bridge 350 ft. long, 15 ft. wide, and capable of sustaining a heavy traffic. The mining in these districts is of different descriptions. When the great river is low, its banks are stripped and the material carried to a higher level, where it is subsequently washed, the refuse carried back into the river, and then lost to sight. Often, the workmen unfortunately find that, without any warning, a month's hard work is in an hour or two lost, without the possibility of saving, by a sudden rise of the river sweeping all their stuff away. Another mode of gold-finding is dredging the bottom of the river by machinery, bringing the precious metal along with the silt to the surface, where it is saved. A novel dredging-machine has lately been built for this purpose, being a strong cigar-shaped tube, of iron, with an opening in the floor, in which four or six men can be placed. It is to be sunk to the bottom, and the inmates will collect the stuff, and work at it in their prison house, air being forced down to them from above to enable them to exist. Quartzmining is still another method. In this case, the gold exists in the solid rock, which has to be blasted, sent to the surface, and there crushed to powder by powerful stamping machines driven by steam or water power. The veins of quartz run into the mountain-side or dip downwards; in either instance, hundreds of feet have often to be gone over in what is called "bringing the stone to grass," that is, to daylight. All these workings require skill and carefulness in carrying them on. Although the digger at times makes lucky finds, it is no more than he deserves for the energy and industry he has to exercise.
Proceeding onwards from Cromwell, and crossing the streams Roaring Meg and Gentle Annie, Arrowtown is reached after twenty-six miles, and Queenstown after forty. The latter is prettily situated on the shore of Lake Wakatip. As in all the other towns, the residents here are doing their utmost to make their town attractive, each one trying to excel. The great distance from the early agricultural producing districts making carriage very expensive, caused the settlers here to try what they could do in raising grain. When gold miners first went into the Lake district, it was alleged that not even a potato could be grown there; but in fact, the district not only now produces much fine wheat, so that a very large flour-mill is kept constantly employed, but various fruits are cultivated, and they ripen earlier and better than in districts around Dunedin.
The other gold field towns, Hamilton and Naseby, are on the road from Dunstan to Palmerston. Each is a municipality, and vies with its neighbour in progress, both relying on gold for their prosperity.
Otago is estimated to contain over 9,000,000 acres of land fit for agricultural purposes, and in addition, about 1,500,000 acres under forest, which when cleared will to a large extent be of especial value. The general character of the soil is of a fair average, while in several districts, north, middle, and south, it is very rich, strong, and deep, tempting the farmer to grow a succession of wheat crops without alternating or supplying the waste by manuring. This practice is not now followed to such an extent as formerly. There is, of course, a large amount of steep and broken country, but the great improvements that are being made in agricultural implements render the tillage of such land comparatively easy. Land which a few years ago was considered unfit to work, or unprofitable if wrought, is now readily taken up and proved to be light to plough, and to yield a good return.
Loams, clays, gravel, and peat, all resting on farmable subsoils, are similarly diversified as in Britain, but their virgin character and the influence of the temperature render them much superior in productiveness and less costly to work. Extensive plains, downs, straths, glens, and gently-sloping hill-sides, none of them requiring much outlay for drainage, and all of splendid soil, fitted to produce any crops suited for a temperate climate, are spread over the province, and only await the energy of the husbandman, to whom they will yield a generous return.
The best proof of the fertility of the soil is afforded by practical tests. The produce, as ascertained by careful returns, for crop 1872-73, from the 3,705 holdings or farms in the Province, gives as the average yield per acre—wheat, 29⅓; oats, 30⅓; barley, 27 bushels; potatoes, 5⅙ tons.
For Crop 1873-74, the return is as follows:—
|No. of Holdings.||Acres broken up not under Crop.||In Wheat.||In Oats.||In. Barley.||In Potatoes.|
|Average per acre||...||...||29¾||...||33¼||...||29¾||...||4⅔|
Authoritative returns for other crops are not obtainable, but are known to be equally satisfactory.
Public—or as they are called, "waste"—lands are sold on several principles. The original and still the leading method is the hundred system, which means a large piece of agricultural country selected within given boundaries, and surveyed into sections of from 50 up to 200 acres. On this being completed, the land is declared open for application on a day fixed by advertisement, and at the uniform price of £1 an acre. In making the application, a deposit of 10 per cent., or 2s. an acre, is paid; and if one applicant only puts in a claim for any number of sections, he is forthwith declared the purchaser, pays the balance of purchase-money within ten days, and gets a certificate of purchase, on which the Crown grant is issued. If more than one person applies for the same land on the same day, the sections so applied for are advertised for sale by auction, and the highest bidder becomes the purchaser. Only those who purchase land within a hundred have the privilege of running stock on the unsold portions; and a licence to depasture is issued according to a fixed scale, the cost being yearly 3s. 6d. a head for great cattle and 7d. a head for sheep. This assessment, after paying cost of collection, is applied to form and make roads within the hundred. The holder of land has the privilege of free grazing for a certain number of stock. After the expiry of seven years from the date of the proclamation of the hundred, any land remaining within it unsold may be put up to auction at 10s. an acre, and knocked down to the best bidder. There are no conditions attached to this system of sale, either as to the extent of land one man can purchase, or as to residence or cultivation.
Another method of selling Crown lands, and one highly favourable to a man of small means who wishes to settle on and work the ground, is the deferred payment system. Blocks of land, not exceeding 5,000 acres in one block, or more than 30,000 acres in any one year, are selected, surveyed, and declared open for application. A lease or licence to occupy not more than 200 acres, at a yearly rent of 2s. 6d. an acre, payable half-yearly in advance, is issued, and the holder of the lease is bound not to sublet during its currency. He must within three years enclose the land with a substantial fence, and cultivate one-tenth part of it. Half the cost of fencing can be recovered from the adjoining occupier. On payment of the tenth year's rent, the land becomes the freehold property of the occupier.
An additional mode is, free grants to immigrants, whereby every man paying his own passage to New Zealand is entitled to £20 worth of land for himself, and, if he has a family, to a like portion for each adult member. Those who may be counted members of the family, and for whom the full amount of land can be claimed, are wife, child, grandchild, nephew, or niece over 14 years of age, and if under 14 years, land to the value of £10 can be claimed.
The prevailing system of land sales as described, regulates the area of land in the market at one time for sale. Sometimes the demand is great, and sections are eagerly and rapidly bought up; thus causing for a short period a scarcity. But the delay is not such as to cause much inconvenience.
Several new hundreds are about to be proclaimed, and so soon as the classification of the land in the Southland district is completed, which will be very soon, a large extent of first-class agricultural country will be open for sale.
The blocks set aside on the deferred payment principle comprise land of very superior quality, and it is expected that the area and number of such blocks will be greatly increased.
Immigrants claiming under the free-grant system have the whole unsold country open to them for selection; and when it is stated that country as good for settlement as any already taken up can be obtained, the inducement is very great, especially when it is considered that the facilities which the improved means of transit afford, give a value to the land which it did not formerly possess.
For pastoral purposes, very little new country is available; the expectation is, however, that when the leases at present held of very large runs expire, those runs will be subdivided, so that a greater number can engage in this pursuit, and make the Province show a larger return than it has yet done from this source. By the outlay of a little capital and labour, the carrying capacity for stock may be increased tenfold.
The original design of the settlement was to provide freeholds for all who were ready and willing to occupy and cultivate them. To a very large extent this plan has been carried out: still, it was impossible entirely to prevent speculation by those colonially called "Land Jobbers." Whether the land is in the hands of the Crown or of private parties, no legislation can prevent this trade. But holders of large estates, when they find a good opportunity, throw their properties into the market for sale, and if the prices offered show a good profit, a bargain is generally struck. There are no entail laws here, and land can be as easily and cheaply transferred as almost any other article.
There are constantly Crown properties for sale, in farms of from 200 to 300 acres. One of these specially deserves notice, viz., 8,000 acres in the Winton district. Higher class land could not be obtained anywhere. For strength, depth, and richness it cannot be surpassed. The Carse of Gowrie, the Lothians, or the finest agricultural districts of England or Ireland, do not excel it, and the climatic influences are as favourable as in the south of England. An inducement is held out to buyers by spreading the purchase-money over three years, at a reasonable rate of interest. Good practical farmers, who even now, with the high prices ruling for grain, are struggling hard to make both ends meet, would, on such soil, with such advantages and so little cost for manures, soon become independent.
The holders of small freehold properties, say from 100 to 300 acres, are not, except in a few cases, disposed to let their farms. Farming is, and has been for some time, a profitable occupation—good prices and a ready market; and this accounts, to some extent, for the small number of farms in the market to be let. Occasionally such instances occur: these, however, must be held as the exception rather than the rule; and when they do occur, the amount of yearly rent demanded per acre is equal to the price at which the land was originally bought. It is a question for the new arrival to consider, whether he would not do better to secure a freehold at the upset price, although he would be longer in bringing produce to the market, than to pay a large rent for land in a condition ready to produce or already producing. In the first case, he has rougher work to undertake and more hardships to endure; but he has the satisfaction of being his own "laird," and of having no rent to pay. He has fresh, unused soil on which to commence work, and can arrange his farm to his own mind. The objection that the locality in which he can select land is at a greater distance from the market, is overcome by the fact that the railways now being constructed will make land situated at one hundred miles' distance more convenient of access than it was at ten miles' distance a few years ago, and the cost of carriage will also be less.
Besides the occasional "small farm to let," it is proposed by one or two companies, holders of large tracts of country which have been fenced, ploughed, and cropped, or laid down in grass, to cut them into ordinary sized farms, and to offer them on reasonable terms to approved tenants. To a considerable extent this will provide a supply to meet the demand which may arise.
Wheat, per bushel of 60 lb., 4s. 9d. to 5s.; flour, per ton of 2,000 lb., £11 to £13; oats, per bushel of 40 lb., 2s. 6d. to 4s.; oatmeal, per cwt., 15s. to 18s.; barley, per bushel of 50 lb., 4s. 3d. to 4s. 9d.; malt, per bushel, 8s. to 9s. 6d.; rye-grass seed, per bushel of 20 lb., 3s. 2d to 6s.; rye-grass hay, per ton, £5; oaten chaff, per ton, £4 to £6; oaten hay, per ton, £3. 10s. to £5; potatoes, per ton, £3. 10s. to £4; turnips, &c., per ton, 25s. to 30s.; native flax, per ton, £14 to £18; rape-seed, 22s. per cwt.
Wool, from 9½d. to 2s. 2d.; hides, 4s. to 20s. each; skins, 7d. to 5s. 9d. each; beef, 20s. to 25s. per 100 lb.; mutton, 2d. to 2½d. per lb.; veal, 5d. to 7d. per lb.
Leather, 1d. to 4d. per lb.; bone dust, £6 to £7. 10s. per ton; boots, 6s. per pair upwards; flax rope, £40 to £44; preserved meats, 2½d. to 6½d. per lb.; soap, per cwt., 188. to 32s.; clothing, from 25s. per suit upwards; hats and caps, from 1s. to 21s.; ploughs, single, double, and treble mounted, from £10 to £25; drays, single and double horse, £21 to £25; waggons, six to eight horse, £60 to £75; spring carts and buggies, £18 to £50; reaping machines, £30 upward; chaff-cutters, £10 upward; saddlery, riding, from £6; harness, carriers', £10 upward; bricks, per 1,000, £2. 15s. to £3; tiles, per 1,000, 20s. to 40s.; ale, per hhd., £4 to £7; porter, per hhd., £5. 10s. to £6; whisky, per gallon, in bond, 8s. to 9s.; geneva, in bond, 6s. to 8s. 6d.; aerated waters, per dozen, 2s. to 3s.; compounds, per dozen, 8s. to 140s.
The fish, great and small, which abound in the ocean around the coasts of the Province, have hitherto contributed very slightly to its prosperity in comparison with what they might have done. Strangers have been profitably pursuing, in these waters, the trade of whaling, and thus carrying away the profits which should have accrued to Otago. To organize and fit out a thoroughly efficient fleet of whalers would cost a comparatively small sum, as vessels and crews are at command. The suitableness of the port for this trade has from the first been recognized, and in former times was made good use of; but now, when the facilities it offers have been greatly increased, the trade has dwindled down to catching a few whales at the mouths of the harbours by means of whaleboats. It is proved that the whales have become much more numerous of late; and if regulations were enacted and enforced against the indiscriminate slaughter to which they were subjected, they might yet become as plentiful as formerly.
Sealing, also, as a kindred occupation, merits notice. A few boats are at present engaged in this trade, chiefly hailing from the southern ports; but it is capable of considerable extension, the oil and skins yielding a good profit, and finding a ready market.
Curing small fish might be made a sure source of wealth to a large number of fishermen. Fish are very abundant, and, although somewhat different to those which frequent the British and Newfoundland banks, are, when properly cured, of first-rate quality, and there is a market for any quantity in adjacent countries. The method of curing adopted in Newfoundland might be suitable for some of the kinds of fish, the cost of salt being thus saved.
It is a question whether salt could not be produced here by evaporation at a cost less than that of the imported article.
Leaving the waters and turning to the land, the industries which present themselves to the enterprising colonist are numerous.
Glass-works for window-glass, bottles, and crystal are urgently required, and the requisite materials for the manufacture of all descriptions are plentiful and at hand. The Dunedin bottlers alone would require for their present trade from 300 to 400 dozen bottles a day; and with the prospect of a trade embracing other colonies, India, and China, which is sure to be opened up, this quantity would be enormously increased.
Superior clay for pottery, delfware, and fire-bricks has been discovered in several localities, and at the present time a company is being formed to establish this trade at Green Island in connection with the collieries.
In addition to the branches carried on at the foundries, the casting of holloware and fire-grates would be a profitable investment.
Roofing slate and flags for paving are imported to a large extent. In several districts stone adapted for the purpose can be procured, and these articles will, on the extension of the railways, become items of considerable production.
True granite of different colours abounds on the West Coast, and the ease with which it can be procured and shipped indicates that that portion of the Province will become famous for its quarries.
The natural products of the soil, and what it can be made to produce, open abundant prospects of labour to the skilful and industrious.
The large consumption of paper of all sorts which is daily going on, attracts attention to its manufacture as an industry not yet in operation; and the bonus offered by the Government, and the facts that various tree fibres as well as a grass similar to Esparto are in abundance, both well adapted for the finer description of paper, and that the refuse from the flax-mills, which is valuable for the coarser sorts, can be had in plenty and at a cheap rate, point to this trade as one that must shortly be established. Preliminary steps have been taken to commence it.
Sugar-making from beetroot has long been pointed to as one specially suited for Otago. The clayey loams of the plains are eminently fitted for producing the root of the quality and size which experience has proved yields most saccharine matter, and the climate is equally favourable for maturing. Beet sufficient to carry on a large export trade, as well as supply the colonial demand, could easily be raised, and would prove a source of great profit to the agriculturist.
Another enterprise in which the Province must embark is the growth of flax and hemp. Every element of success exists, and there is only wanted skilful adaptation of labour to bring about a profitable result. It will not do for the farmers to confine their attention to the production of the ordinary grain crops alone, as these change so much in value. The growth of flax and hemp commends itself for their immediate adoption. The fibre which each produces is in constant demand both for home and foreign trade, and the prices usually ruling are highly remunerative. Besides the fibre, the seed of the flax yields a high price, and if not exported as seed it can be pressed so as to produce oil, mush used by painters, and the residue be sent Home as cake for cattle-feeding.
Strong efforts are being made to start a woolpack and bagging manufactory, to bring the native flax into repute. If, in addition thereto, inducements were offered for the culture of hemp to be manufactured into fabrics, from coarse cordage and sailcloth to hand and table linen, a source of great wealth and industry would be opened up, for which the Province can supply every requisite except the labour, which might be obtained from the north of Ireland, where the flax industries are the staple of the country, and the east of Scotland, where flax and hemp goods are principally manufactured.
Growing rape for oil and feeding-cake could also be gone into by the farmer with confidence.
Clover seed is another product well worth attention. White clover particularly grows so luxuriantly and spontaneously as to be almost accounted a weed. Ripening early, and with the simple machinery needed for cleaning, a large quantity of seed could annually be produced for export.
Hops grow very freely and produce an abundant crop, whilst the steadily-increasing demand, and the prices ruling, are great inducements to holders of land in favourable localities to grow shelter to protect the vine from the gusts of wind which prevail during summer. It will take some years to grow a supply sufficient for the provincial trade: meanwhile, the introduction of a few hands acquainted with the growing, handling, and drying of this valuable plant would be advisable.
Chicory is another agricultural product which is largely imported, when it might be successfully cultivated.
The growth of trees whose bark is adapted for tanning purposes also claims attention. The Tasmanian wattles which chiefly contribute to this purpose, grow freely and quickly in the Province, and in a few years the bark alone would pay the planter well.
Dairy farming is another branch of industry needing development. Cheese factories with good management would produce a first-class reliable article, not only for the limited local consumption, but for other markets.
In the south and west parts of the Province there are large and splendid forests, which, although not containing any true pines or conifers, produce wood very valuable for strength, durability, and the high polish it takes.
The trees most prized at present for railway and carpenter work are—Totara (from the Bluff Harbour hundreds of thousands of sleepers are being shipped for the neighbouring Province of Canterbury, besides providing those necessary for Otago railways); red, white, and black pine are next in demand, for building and furniture-work; and for wheelwrights, coach and cabinet makers, goi, rata, bokako, birch, manuka, maple, and other sorts, are coming more into repute as they are tested.
Licences are granted by the Government for cutting timber either by pit-saws or sawmills, certain areas being prescribed and conditions attached. The southern railways afford great facilities for bringing the sawn timber to a shipping port; and on the west coast the numerous sounds or harbours, all having good access and shelter, as well as bold water along their coasts, enable vessels to make fast to the cliff on which the trees are growing, and to load with great ease. For driving power on the low-lying forests, steam-engines are most in use, as they can be bought and worked at a cheap rate. For hill forests, water power is abundant, so that, as regards quality of timber, supply, facilities for sawing, and convenience for shipping, every inducement is held out for extended enterprise; and the great and increasing demand, together with the prices, render success certain to those embarking in the trade.
Gold, as yet, has been the most valuable mineral discovery. It is found in almost every district in the Province, from Marewhenua to Orepuki, and from Awarua to Wakawa, either alluvially or in quartz, giving good ground for the remark that it would pay to wash all the soil of the Province and to crush its granite rocks. The great value and extent of the gold fields can hardly be estimated. At the present time, their development depends, to a great extent, on individual exertion, so that very large gold fields are not yet available, awaiting the combination of capital and labour. The occupation of digging is an exciting one, causing many of its discomforts to be overlooked. Mining is less precarious in Otago than in most other places: still it is not the occupation best suited for new arrivals or the generality of immigrants.
Coal comes next in order of value. From the earliest days of the settlement, coal-seams have been more or less worked. The distribution of this great source of wealth is very general, and it is in beds of great breadth and thickness. Brown coal, or lignite, is at present most in demand, being made largely distributed and nearer the centres of consumption. The coals of Kaitangata and Kakanui are of superior quality, and as better means of conveyance are opened up, and the price consequently reduced, their merits will be more fully recognized. Bituminous shale has been discovered in different places, and inquiries are being made as to its value and extent.
Oamaru stone ranks as of first importance. Easily obtained and plentiful, workable with a carpenter's chisel and saw, capable of being cut and carved to any design, of a light, cheerful colour, and becoming harder the longer it is exposed to the atmosphere, it will soon make the district from which it is obtained a scene of constant and increasing labour. Its value and superior quality have already been recognized in the Colony of Victoria, and one of the best public buildings in Melbourne is now being erected of it. In Oamaru and Dunedin it is in very general use. In the Oamaru district, also the material from which Portland cement is made has been discovered, and promises good results.
Lime is abundant, and kilns are at constant work on the Peninsula, and at Waihola and Kouroo.
Ironstone of a very superior quality has recently been discovered in the district of Riverton on the south-west, and at Catlin's Cove on the south-east, from which great results are expected to be obtained.
Antimony is already an article of export, and is steadily increasing in supply. Specimens of copper ore, plumbago, and cinnabar have been obtained on the Carrick ranges, Dunstan district, analyses of which show them to be valuable. Different descriptions of useful clay are also abundant, and will amply repay the labour of practical hands.
Should Otago present no other inducement, her mineral resources alone would be a great attraction; but when combined with her other advantages, no country can offer greater promise of prosperity to the industrious, steady emigrant.
The manufacturing interests of Otago are varied, extensive, and extending. As the cultivation of the soil was the first pursuit in which man was engaged, the preparation of its products for his support claims first notice.
There are at full work at the present time nearly thirty grain-mills, driven either by water or steam power, some of them able to produce fifteen tons of fine flour daily. For a considerable portion of the year, several of these mills are at work on the double-shift system, so that the quantity of flour sent to market is large. That the machinery employed is on the most approved principle, and that the management is in practical hands, is certain from the fact that the provincially-manufactured article has completely shut the market against foreign competition, and has, in addition, been largely and profitably exported to supply the wants of neighbouring Provinces and Colonies. Several of the mills have also appliances and machinery for oatmeal, and pot and pearl barley, all of which are produced largely.
Biscuit-makers have established for themselves a wide-spread reputation, so that both hand and steam power are in constant work to meet the demand which the quality of the article has created.
To provide the farmer with manure, and thus enable him to produce the largest quantity of grain, and of the best description, several bone-mills are in constant work, producing hundreds of tons annually.
But manuring the land with the most approved stimulants will not produce any description of crop to the fullest extent without proper attention is paid to drainage. To meet this necessity, pipe and tile manufactories have been established both in towns and country districts; and this working of the clay is not confined to the ordinary requirements of the farm for drainage, but extends to brickmaking, which has assumed large proportions, requiring the services of a great number of hands in different capacities. Salt-glazed pipes, for railway and sewage purposes, have also their producers; whilst flower-pots, vases, and other useful and ornamental articles, are produced in endless variety.
The brewing of the Province is in high repute, and although at present of large dimensions, is not sufficient for the home trade and exportation. Dunedin is the principal centre of this business, six extensive establishments being in full work, and an additional one in course of erection. The estimate of the aggregate production is over 1,500 hogsheads per month.
Distilling has also an extensive representation, as in the one distillery existing, over 6,000 gallons of proof spirits are produced each month, in addition to a large quantity of malt supplied to brewers.
Coming now to man's second department of labour, viz. the pastoral, the shearing of the sheep having been performed—for which the shearer is this year paid 20s. a hundred head, with rations—scouring the wool and other processes employ a considerable amount of labour. Choice wool being selected, it passes into the newest industry of the Province—its manufacture into cloth and other material. This industry will rank amongst the foremost in importance. It is true, an attempt was made in early days, by a worthy weaver from Paisley, to produce webs by the hand loom, but that slow process not meeting with success, the Mosgiel Woollen Factory may fairly claim to be first in the field. This establishment occupies a fine healthy site on the Taieri Plain, and around it the cosy cottages of the workers, with their tidy garden-plots, are situated. Every appliance which modern invention has produced, to enable the factory to bring to market the best of its kind in every department, is at command; and as a result, its tweeds, blankets, knittings, and worsteds have been pronounced so excellent as to require a large addition to the buildings and machinery, to permit of the orders on hand from the Colonies, India, and Great Britain to be executed. The factory is now in the hands of a registered company, and with the extension of the trade an additional supply of skilled labour will be required. A second factory of a similar kind will also shortly be at work.
The material, being finished at the mills, is brought into town, where several factories keep a large number employed in making it up into wearing apparel and other goods, as many as 400 to 500 hands being recently wanted by one factory alone.
Hat and cap manufacturing has two firms in the city giving it their sole attention, and producing every style, colour, or shape which the most fastidious could desire, and at prices which defy importation.
Leaving the wool, and coming to the skin and hide branch, several extensive tanneries are in full and constant work, employing a considerable amount of labour. From the steam-mill grinding the bark, through all the different processes necessary to produce leather of every description, the best methods of operation have been adopted, the wants of the local trade supplied, and a large quantity exported.
Men and boys are wanted to enable the different branches of the boot-factories to keep pace with the requirements of this rapidly - progressing indispensable trade. There is no use in sending away the leather to be made into boots and shoes, and in that shape sent back again, when boots and shoes can be made as well in the Province. The importance of this industry may be judged from the fact that one firm turns out over 120 pairs a day, and only wants labour to increase this number.
To save any waste of the raw material at the tannery, the manufacture of glue has been established, competent judges pronouncing in its favour, and the manifests of homeward-bound ships showing it as part of their cargoes.
Having disposed of the wool, skins, hides, and bones of the animals, the utilizing of the carcase forms an important question. It would require at least one hundred times the present population to consume the surplus stock in the Province. It must either be thrown away or turned to profitable use. The latter course has been adopted, and several meat-preserving establishments have been started to prepare the beef and mutton to help to feed the under-fed population of the old country. Tallow is also an important item. In both of these branches slaughtermen, butchers, tinsmiths, coopers, carpenters, and other trades are largely employed.
Nor should the first-rate quality of the soap and candles made be overlooked. Soap-making is a staple manufacture, several works being in active operation in preparing this indispensable article of domestic comfort.
Material for agricultural and pastoral manufactures having been introduced by the settlers, what has been done in regard to native products? Besides preparing the native flax for export to the extent shown in Table 3, a very large amount has been manufactured into rope, ranging from 4 in. in diameter downwards. From some cause, the flax trade has not been flourishing lately; still there is no need to despond. Probably in a few years the native fibre will be exported in a manufactured state, not in flax and tow, as at present.
The timber trade in its different branches of manufacture is one of the greatest in the Province. Saw-mills exist, containing circular saws from the largest size to medium, cross-cut with radial bench, all the saws sharpened by patent machine; planing, tonguing, grooving, moulding, tenoning, mortising, shaping, boring, and turning machines, producing flooring, skirting, moulding, architraves, buckets, tubs, broom-handles; and every article necessary for house-building and furnishing, can be readily obtained. An idea may be formed of the extent of the trade when it is stated that one house, during the past twelve months, sold glazed windows of a money value of £4,600; and panel doors, £5,150.
From the largest and heaviest stage-coach or wagon to the handsome chariot, light buggy, express, or common cart, the coach-builders of Dunedin are prepared to execute any orders entrusted to them.
Furniture and cabinet makers are also developing their trades to an extent that surprises every one. Some of the largest and most commodious warehouses in the city are connected with this trade.
Workers in all sorts of metals are busy plying their trade from day to day. Taking the iron department as first in importance, some firms give their attention principally to riveting, and from their shops the incessant clatter of the hammer indicates great activity. Iron vessels, boilers, vats, tubes, girders, and works of a similar character, indicate the prosperity of the establishments.
Equal in importance with the previous branch are the machine shops, where will be constantly found in course of construction land, marine, and hydraulic engines; quartz-crushing, flax-dressing, and lithograph printing machines; wool, tin, and calendering presses; plate and tin rollers; and preparations are being made to build locomotives. To show what this trade can do, a crane to lift 40 tons weight has been satisfactorily made in Dunedin.
Other houses make standards for wire fencing, castings of various designs and patterns, galvanized piping, spouting, ridging, and a specially patented iron fluming.
Tin, copper, brass, lead, and zinc manufactures give employment to a great number, especially to the boys of the community; and the ease and exactness with which every item can be wrought, twisted, moulded, cast, or hammered, either by machine or hand, has made these trades special features of industry.
The limits of this Handbook prevent particular notice being given to every trade, so that what is to follow must be condensed.
Mills for grinding coffee, spices, rice, and such-like commodities are in steady operation, and a large portion of these necessary articles of consumption in the Colony are ground and prepared in Dunedin.
Several factories to supply liqueurs, aerated waters, &c., also afford employment; and at the Vienna Exhibition, a certificate of merit was awarded to an exhibitor from Otago. Wines made from the different fruits grown, are daily gaining favour, and the latest enterprise in this direction is cider, equal to that of Devonshire.
Monumental and ornamental work in stone is a prominent trade, and one house makes varnish and polish to meet any demand. Paper bags, ink, and blacking have their producers.
The Peninsula can boast of a cheese-factory on the American principle, which has been in operation for some time, and is annually improving the quality and increasing the quantity of its products.
Cod-liver oil cannot be overlooked as an industrial pursuit. The Port-Chalmers-made oil, from its purity, clearness, and other qualities, has drawn forth the approbation of the medical faculty, and the producer is fully occupied in supplying the orders that are sent to him from other places.
To conclude this chapter without reference to the building of wooden vessels would be an omission. Although the trade is not in a very lively condition, yet it gives signs of improvement. A more grave fault would be the omission of agricultural implement works, in which Otago excels. There is now no necessity to import horse gear, hay-rakes, harrows, hoes, yokes, cultivators, grubbers, subsoil, single, double, or treble furrow ploughs, reaping, mowing, or thrashing machines, or any other farm requisite, as these are all made in Otago, with the particular recommendation that they are made by men who know the country and the kind of implement required. Cart, coach, and saddle harness, in all the different styles of manufacture, can be obtained from Dunedin and up-country makers.
There is a large demand for all kinds of labour; of course, in some trades much greater than others. For instance, the supply of female domestics for town and country is quite inadequate to the demand. Farm servants and labourers are also in great demand in all the agricultural districts. Good wages, carefulness, and cheap land soon enable the farm servant to start farming on his own account. For railway construction, saw-mill purposes, road-making, and generally for unskilled labour, the demand is large, and many useful works are at a standstill for want of men suited for such work. Brickmakers and layers, masons, carpenters, turners, blacksmiths, engineers, boiler-makers, wheelwrights, printers, workers in brass, copper, and lead, could, to a considerable number, find employment, the demand for labour not being confined to one locality, but extending over the whole Province.
Bakers, per day, 10s. to 11s.
Blacksmiths, per day, 11s. to 14s.
Boiler-makers and riveters, 10s. to 12s.
Bricklayers, per day, 12s. to 15s.
Brassfounders, per day, 10s. to 12s.
Carpenters and joiners, per day. 12s. to 15s.
Coach-builders and painters, per day, 12s. to 15s.
Coopers, per day, 9s. to 10s.
Dairymaids, per annum, £40 to £50, and found.
Domestic servants, per annum, £30 to £40, and found.
Engineers and drivers, per day, 12s. to 15s.
Farm servants, per annum, £52 to £55, and found.
Gardeners, per day, 10s.
Labourers, per day, 8s. to 10s.
Masons, per day, 12s. to 14s.
Mechanics, per day, 12s. to 14s.
Painters and paperhangers, per day, 11s. to 12s.
Ploughmen, per annum, £55 to £60, and ound.
Plumbers, per day, 11s. to 13s.
Plasterers, per day, 11s. to 13s.
Saddlers and harness-makers, per day, 0s. to 12s.
Shepherds, per annum, £55 to £60, and found.
Quarrymen, per day, 11s. to 13s.
Tanners and curriers, per day, 11s. to 15s.
Upholsterers and cabinet-makers, per day, 12s. to 14s.
Tailors, per day, 8s. to 10s.
Watchmakers, per day, 12s.
Wheel and cart wrights, per day, 10s. to 12s.
The meals of hired servants, male or female, are not doled out in miserable pittances, and of the cheapest articles the market can supply; on the contrary, servants fare well, if not sumptuously, every day. The common home practice of having weekly allowances of tea, sugar, &c., made up at the grocers, of inferior quality to that supplied for the family, is quite unknown and would not be submitted to.
PROVINCIAL PUBLIC WORKS.
The simple statement that the Provincial Government has expended, almost every year since its establishment, an increasing amount on public works, would of itself indicate the foresight shown in the past, and be a guarantee for the future. Possessing, from its own resources, a large revenue without any taxation, and having a resolute, enterprising community, the public works of the Province must be carried on with increasing alacrity. The lament is, "the labourers are so few while the works are so many." For the current year, about £290,000 have been appropriated for expenditure on forming and maintaining roads, bridges, railways, and tramways, carrying on harbour works, such as breakwaters, jetties, dredging and reclaiming, and erecting buildings for public purposes. Nor is the outlay of public money for similar purposes at all likely to be lessened, as every mile of railway constructed, road made, bridge built, or jetty erected, either opens up new country, gives greater inducement for settlement, or removes difficulties and expense in the transport of produce; and, as a consequence, will require the progressive movement to be carried on for many years, until every part of the Province is easily and rapidly accessible. At present, great activity is shown: no less than eight different lines of rail leading from seaports to agricultural and other districts are under construction.
As previously noticed, building societies form a leading feature in the history of the Province, commencing with the first year of its existence, and progressing until now, when the number amounts to sixteen, all in active prosperity. Some of them are conducted on the terminable principle, others on the permanent, and some of them combine both. The entrance fee varies from 1s. per share to 2s. 6d., and the shares range from £10 to £100 each, the fortnightly or monthly subscription varying according to the value of the share. The prosperity and importance of these societies may be judged from the facts that dividends or bonuses equal to eight per cent. per annum have been declared, and that the amount of business transacted ranges from £5,000 per annum to £30,000. To working men, these societies have proved of immense advantage, enabling them to secure a freehold or erect a building on easy terms; and a fact highly favourable in their history is, that hitherto all of them have been conducted soundly and satisfactorily—there have been no failures and no swindling. The number of the operative class who possess freeholds and free houses would not have been so great had such societies not existed, and it is gratifying to find that the interest taken in such institutions by the upper and wealthier classes is extending. A meeting was recently held in Dunedin, to form an association for the purpose of purchasing land and building self-contained cottages, of stone or brick, and each having four or five rooms, and selling them to the occupiers on the deferred-payment principle, so that the rent paid weekly will go towards purchasing the freehold. In addition to high wages and cheap provisions, the prospect of thus obtaining a freehold home of his own is offered to the provident tradesman and his frugal wife, which it will be their own fault if they do not speedily realize.
From the number of sects which exist, it will be seen that the greatest toleration prevails. According to the last census, and from this source all the figures in this chapter are derived, there are about one hundred different forms of belief professed in the Province. Strictly speaking, no one of these bodies has State aid or endowment; for although the Presbyterians have land reserves which yield a considerable revenue, those reserves were not made by the Government, but were a distinctive feature of the Otago scheme, when a class settlement was intended. The reserves are vested in trustees, and the rents are spent in building churches and manses, on scholarships, and in payment of the salary of £600 a year to the Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy in the University. None of the money goes for ministers' stipends.
The Presbyterian Church, being the first planted in the Province, has the largest number of adherents, ministers, and churches. It is not connected with any particular branch of the same persuasion in Britain, but is composed of members from the United Presbyterian, Free, Established, and other Kirks in Scotland, as well as English and Irish Presbyterians. Its work is carried on through a synod, consisting of four presbyteries, containing thirty-nine full charges and fifty-five stations. In all the charges and in thirty-seven of the stations, service is held every Sunday, and in the remaining eighteen, once a fortnight. Additional ministers are constantly arriving. The means of support is a sustentation fund, to which each of the congregations contributes, and which yields an average of £200 a year to each minister, which is in general supplemented by the congregation. Each minister has also a manse, and in country districts, a glebe attached. The total sum collected by this body for last year was £14,560. The number of adherents is 32,189.
Episcopalians rank next in point of numbers, being set down at 16,809. About four years ago, the Province was erected into a diocese, and ecclesiastical affairs are administered by a bishop, with at present one archdeacon and fifteen other clergy licensed to charges. These, together with lay representatives chosen by the several parishes and parochial districts, form the synod of the diocese. All the fully-constituted parishes have parsonage-houses, and the clergy in the country districts have under their care such subordinate places as may be reached from their respective centres. There are also fourteen lay readers in places which cannot as yet receive the regular ministrations of a clergyman. Candidates for preparation for holy orders are now received, and in certain cases students in theology are permitted to present themselves for examination by the Principal of the College, without residence.
In regard to numbers, Roman Catholics take the third place, showing a total of 7,405. This church is presided over by a bishop, with ten clergymen, having twenty-one churches and chapels, in which the usual forms of worship are regularly and strictly attended to. There are also eight schools, and one convent in which religious education is given.
The adherents of the Wesleyan Methodists are 3,075; Baptists, 1,303; Congregational Independents, 1,051; Lutherans, 484. Each of these bodies has handsome and substantial buildings, in which service is regularly held. The majority of them have Sunday schools, Bible classes, and Young Men's Associations attached to them, the whole of which are carried on with great earnestness and zeal.
The number of Hebrews in the Province is 293. They have a synagogue in Dunedin. The other sects are numerically small.
The settlers of Otago have from the outset manifested great interest in the advancement of education. The following is a classification of the educational institutions which are maintained wholly or in part from the Provincial revenue or from public endowments:—1. District Common Schools in almost every locality where twenty educable children or upwards can be collected together. 2. District Grammar Schools in the chief centres of population. 3. A Boys' and a Girls' High School in Dunedin. 4. A University in Dunedin. 5. A School of Art in Dunedin, 6. Athenæums, Mechanics' Institutes, and public libraries in nearly all the villages, towns, and inhabited rural districts. To these may be added, 7. An Industrial School near Dunedin, for the maintenance and training of boys and girls whose parents are criminal or dissolute. 8. A school in connection with the Otago Benevolent Institution, for the board and education of orphans and other destitute children. 9. Two Free Day Schools in Dunedin, for neglected poor children.
With the exception of the University, the whole of these institutions are to a greater or less extent under the control of the Otago Education Board, which is composed of His Honour the Superintendent, the members of the Provincial Executive, and the Speaker of the Provincial Council. The following is a summary of the duties committed to the Board by the Education Ordinance:—To exercise a general superintendence over all the public schools; to define the limits of the educational districts; to promote the establishment of schools wherever needed; to direct the expenditure and due application of all moneys appropriated by the Provincial Council for the purposes of education; to manage the education reserves; to fix the qualifications of teachers; and, through its inspectors, to inquire into and to report, from time to time, upon the state of education and the condition of the several schools within the Province. The composition of the Board was in former years the subject of much consideration and discussion, and it was at length constituted, as at present, on the principle that as the expenditure on education is mainly defrayed from the Provincial revenue, it is indispensable that so large an amount of public money should be placed at the disposal only of a Board whose members are directly and entirely responsible to the Provincial Council.
Subject to the general supervision of the Education Board, the schools are placed under the immediate control of School Committees elected annually by the owners and occupiers of land and householders in the respective educational districts. Each Committee must consist of not less than five nor more than nine members, a majority of whom must be parents of families.
There are four classes of District Schools—Grammar Schools, Main Schools, Side Schools, and Temporarily - subsidized Schools. The Grammar Schools, of which there are already five, are situated in the chief centres of population. As a rule, the Grammar School comprises three different departments—an infant and needlework department, under a matron and assistants; an intermediate school, under the second master and assistants; and an upper school, under the head-master, who, in addition to exercising a general control over the whole establishment, is charged with the duty of giving instruction in the higher branches of education to the more advanced pupils. The Main Schools are established in the more populous districts, where, as a rule, an average attendance of upwards of forty pupils can be secured. When the attendance is sufficiently numerous in any Main School, a school-mistress, or a teacher of sewing, and one or more pupil-teachers, are employed in addition to the head-master. The Side Schools and the Temporarily-subsidized Schools are for the most part placed in more recently-settled localities, where the children are young and few in number. The qualifications of the masters of the Grammar and Main Schools are fixed very high, and they may be described as corresponding to the qualifications usually required of Scottish burgh and parish schoolmasters respectively. No election by a School Committee is valid until the teacher elected has produced a certificate of qualification from Her Majesty's Committee of Privy Council on Education, a recognized Education Board in any British Colony, or the Board's Inspector of Schools, and such other evidence of fitness and good character as may be required by the Board. No one can attain the full position of a Grammar or Main school teacher who cannot furnish satisfactory evidence of good character, respectable scholarship, and experience and success in school teaching. Many of the present teachers have attended Government training schools in Britain or in the colonies, and a number of them have been students of a University. A less stringent rule is followed with regard to the admission of Side and Temporarily-subsidized School teachers, when trained or experienced masters cannot be obtained. Good character, youth, and a fair amount of scholarship, together with the probability of proving an efficient instructor of youth, are in such a case sufficient to secure a temporary appointment on trial. It is in the power of any person so appointed to obtain a full certificate of competency, after satisfactorily undergoing probation for a sufficient period. Many of the Side School teachers, however, possess superior qualifications, and only hold their present appointments in the hope of securing higher positions as they fall vacant.
With a view to avoid the inconvenience which might ensue if a teacher's engagement could not be determined by the School Committee, "without fixing upon him the stigma of crime or moral delinquency," it has been provided that all engagements under the Education Ordinance shall be deemed yearly engagements, which may be determined, after the expiry of the first year, by three months' notice on either side; but, as a means of protection from improper and undue local influences, no School Committee has power to determine a teacher's engagement without the sanction of the Board previously obtained. A competent, prudent, and faithful teacher's tenure of office may, therefore, be regarded as quite fixed and secure.
The Board, out of funds voted by the Provincial Council, pays salaries at the following rates:—To head-masters of Grammar Schools, £200; Main School teachers, £100; Side School teachers and school-mistresses, £75; Temporarily - subsidized School teachers, £60; sewing teachers, £25; and these salaries are augmented by the School Committees from the school fees, subscriptions, or other moneys raised locally. The Board also erects the school-houses and the teachers' residences, and supplies maps and other school appliances. It pays two-thirds of the cost of keeping the school buildings in repair, the whole of the salaries of pupil-teachers, and the school fees of orphan and destitute children. The remainder of the expenses are defrayed from the school fees or moneys raised locally. The school fees generally may be regarded as moderate, when the rates of wages and other remuneration are taken into account. It was attempted, from 1862 to 1864, to provide for a large proportion of the school expenditure by means of local rates on houses and lands; but owing mainly, it is believed, to the great difficulty experienced in equitably and economically assessing property in so young a Colony, the rates were abolished in 1864, by almost general consent.
In the course of the last fifteen years numerous portions of land of various areas have been set apart as an educational endowment. The annual proceeds of this endowment are as yet comparatively small; but in course of time these reserves will produce a revenue which will go far to maintain the public schools of Otago without aid from the ordinary annual revenue of the Province or Colony. These ordinary educational reserves are in addition to the magnificent reserve of 200,000 acres granted by the Crown for the endowment of the University of Otago.
The Synod of Otago has the control of a valuable educational endowment, and it has resolved to endow chairs in the University of Otago as the educational fund at its disposal may from time to time permit. Already the Synod has endowed a Professorship of Moral and Mental Philosophy in the University, to the extent of £600 per annum.
A High School for Boys has been maintained in Dunedin since 1863. This institution was established with a view to impart instruction in "all the branches of a liberal education—the French and other modern languages, the Latin and Greek classics, mathematics, and such other branches of science as the advancement of the Colony and the increase of the population may from time to time require." The school fees are £8 per annum.
A Girls' High School was established in Dunedin three years ago, and it has been numerously attended. The ordinary course of instruction in this school embraces a thorough English education, namely, reading, grammar, composition, elocution, history, natural science, geography, writing, arithmetic, class-singing, drawing, French, and industrial work. Music (piano), singing (private lessons), gymnastics, dancing, German, and other branches, are taught by visiting teachers as extra subjects. The school fee for the ordinary course is £8 per annum for the junior, and £10 for the senior classes. There is a boarding establishment in connection with each of the High Schools, for the accommodation of pupils from a distance.
The University in Dunedin may fitly be said to form the copestone of the public educational system of Otago. A very handsome, commodious, and centrally-situated stone building, which is reported to have cost over £30,000, has been set apart as a University. As already mentioned, 200,000 acres of land have been granted as an endowment for this institution. The present rental of this valuable estate is considerable, but it may be regarded as trifling in comparison with what may be reasonably expected when the existing leases fall in. The following chairs have already been instituted and filled by distinguished graduates of British Universities; viz.—Classics (including Latin, Greek, and the English language and literature), mathematics and natural philosophy, chemistry (theoretical and practical), and mental and moral philosophy. A fifth chair (anatomy and physiology) has been recently resolved upon, and steps have been taken to secure the services of a competent professor from the Home country. Arrangements have also been made for the delivery of lectures on law, mineralogy, and other subjects during the university session. The average attendance of students during the three sessions already past has been about eighty.
A valuable and carefully-selected library for the University is in the course of formation. It is intended that this library shall also, to a large extent, serve the purposes of a free public library. A suite of rooms in the University building is occupied as a Provincial Museum, under the curatorship of Captain Hutton, who is already widely known as an able and enthusiastic naturalist. The contents of the Museum are, even now, comparatively numerous and valuable, and it is expected that a separate and suitable building for a Museum will be erected before long.
A School of Art has been maintained in Dunedin for the last four years, under a very skilful and enthusiastic master, who, in addition to teaching the classes in the institution, gives regular instruction to nearly a thousand of the elder pupils of the public schools in the city and suburbs. The school was attended in 1873 by twenty-seven teachers and pupil-teachers, by thirty-five ladies at the afternoon class, and by eighty artisans and youths in the evenings. Instruction is given in freehand drawing; outline from copies and from the round; shading and painting from copies and from the round; painting from nature, in water-colours and oil; drawing and painting the human figure; designing, practical geometry perspective, mechanical and architectural drawing, &c. The drawings and paintings already executed by a number of the students in the several classes evince great talent and industry. The drawing-master reports that the good conduct and diligence of the students while in school are "beyond all praise." The school is already in possession of an extensive and valuable collection of casts, models, copies, &c., and additions are made to it from time to time. The School of Art is at present accommodated in the University building, but it is expected that a suitable building will soon be erected for this valuable and useful institution.
* "I went round the town [Lawrence], and visited the
Athenæum, or reading-room. In all these towns there are libraries, and
the books are strongly bound and well thumbed. Carlyle, Macaulay, and Dickens
are certainly better known to small communities in New Zealand than they are to
similar congregations of men and women at home. The schools, hospitals,
reading-rooms, and University were all there, and all in useful operation; so
that life in the Province [of Otago] may be said to be a happy life, and one in
which men and women may and do have food to eat and clothes to wear, books to
read, and education to enable them to read the books.
"—Anthony Trollope's "Australia and New Zealand," vol. II., pp. 336 and 347. London edition..
"The progress achieved in all the other elements of material prosperity is equally remarkable; while the Provincial Council has made noble provision for primary, secondary, and industrial schools; for hospitals and benevolent asylums, for Athenæums and Schools of Art, and for the new University, which is to be opened at Dunedin next year."—From a despatch respecting Otago, by Governor Sir George Bowen, in 1871; quoted by Trollope, who follows up the extract by the statement, "I found this to be all true."
Athenæums, Mechanics' Institutes, and public libraries,* to the number of about eighty, are in successful operation throughout the Province. These institutions are very liberally aided by the Provincial Government, both as regards the erection of buildings and the procuring of books. "In nearly every town of the Province there is now a reading-room in connection with the public circulating library. They are supplied, in greater or less abundance, with newspapers and the standard English periodicals, and are daily resorted to by the members. Some of them are open during the entire day and evening, some only in the evening." It is stated in the Education Report for 1872, upon good authority, "that the public library books were not only to be seen in the more comfortable and accessible dwellings in the settled districts, but that it was no uncommon thing to find recently-published English books of a high class, bearing the Board's stamp upon them, in the shepherd's solitary abode among the hills, and in the digger's but in gullies accessible only by mountain bridle-tracks."
The Dunedin Athenæum and Mechanics' Institute possesses a handsome and commodious building, a valuable library, and a very large roll of members. The Otago Institute for the promotion of Art, Science, Literature, and Philosophy, has been established for about four years, and has a large number of members, and a library of books relating principally to natural history and science.
The public schools and other educational institutions of Otago are wholly unsectarian. It is provided by the Education Ordinance that in every public school, "the holy Scriptures shall be read daily;" that "such reading shall be either at the opening or close of the school, as may be fixed by the teacher;" and that "no child whose parent or guardian shall object, shall be bound to attend at such times." The teachers under the Board have been enjoined to avoid the use of reading books or text books, and the employment in the course of ordinary school instruction of any words or expressions, calculated to give just ground of offence to the members of any religious denomination. The Board has also enjoined that "no religious catechism or religious formulary which is distinctive of any particular denomination or sect, shall be taught during the school hours in any school connected with the Board." The public schools are consequently attended by the children of parents belonging to all denominations and sects.
In Dunedin and a few of the larger towns, schools have been established in connection with the Roman Catholic Church. In addition to a numerously-attended Roman Catholic elementary school, there is in Dunedin a day and boarding school for the higher education of girls, under the charge of an accomplished lady superioress and other highly-qualified teachers. The first day school in the Province in connection with the Episcopal Church has quite recently been opened in Dunedin. There are no week-day schools maintained in connection with any other religious body, but almost every congregation of the different denominations has a Sunday-school or schools.
In Dunedin and some of the more populous localities, there are also private elementary and upper schools, conducted with more or less success, and attended in the aggregate by a considerable number of pupils.
There is now a comparatively large number of Provincial and other exhibitions to the Grammar Schools, the Boys' and the Girls' High Schools, and the University. These exhibitions are of the annual value of about £30, and are open for competition to pupils of the public schools, and the other youth of the Province, of both sexes.
The total number of pupils who attended the Public Elementary and Grammar Schools of Otago in the course of the year 1872, was 9,828. The number of schools was 127, in which 190 teachers of all kinds were employed. The number of scholars in these schools learning the higher rules of arithmetic, during 1872, was 857; algebra or geometry, 211; English grammar, 3,921; geography, 4,125; British history, 2,284; Latin, 337; Greek, 10; French, 242; drawing or mapping, 1,425: book-keeping, 267; singing from notes, 2,223; sewing (girls), 2,116. The attendance at the Boys' High School reached 137 during the same year; and 125 were enrolled as pupils of the Girls' High School. The number of students who attended the University in 1872 was 70.
The following is a summary of the expenditure on public school education for the year 1872:—
|1. Derived from votes of the Council (for Provincial current expenditure)||9,068||4||5|
|2. Derived from votes of the Provincial Council (for school buildings)||4,638||0||9|
|3. Rents of Education Reserves||10,931||9||3|
|4. School fees and local contrioutions||12,754||9||5|
|5. Add University expenditure during the same period||3,503||3||2|
This is at the rate of upwards of 10s. per head of the gross population of the Province, and is exclusive of the money expended for education at the private and the denominational schools. The amount voted by the Provincial Council at its last session was £18,000 for the erection and enlargement of school buildings during the year 1873-74. The sum voted for the current expenses of the schools during the same period was £25,676. This is inclusive of the reserved rents.
The newspaper must be recognized as a most important educational power. The following is a summary of the newspapers at present published in the Province:—Two morning and one evening daily, one tri-weekly, three bi-weekly, twelve weekly, and six monthly newspapers or periodicals. They are for the most part conducted with ability and spirit, and are well supported by the public.
There can be no doubt that the numerous and excellent educational facilities now existing and in contemplation, together with the great salubrity and the bracing and invigorating qualities of the climate of New Zealand, affecting most beneficially, as they cannot fail to do, the mental vigour of both teachers and scholars, will render possible to the youth of Otago a degree of intellectual strength and development scarcely attainable, and certainly not to be surpassed, by the youth of any of the other colonies of Britain.
In Dunedin, a substantially-built, commodious, and well-ventilated central hospital is maintained at the sole cost of the Government, to which patients are admitted free, and have immediate attention from the resident surgeon and stated visits from the Provincial surgeon. The cost of this hospital for the last year was £4,946. In addition to the inmates in this and all the other hospitals, out-door patients have advice given and medicine dispensed free of cost. If patients are able and willing to pay, they are charged reasonable rates. The reason why the Dunedin hospital is supported solely at public cost is, that patients whose diseases are chronic or of long standing are removed from the other hospitals into it. At Invercargill, Oamaru, Lawrence, Queenstown, Dunstan, Switzer's, and Naseby, hospitals are also established, supported by public contributions and grants in aid to an equal amount from the Government.
A Benevolent Institution, under the management of a committee of citizens, has been established at Caversham. It is a fine brick and stone building, and is intended for young children who may be orphans or deserted and for infirm persons. The Government contributed largely to the cost of the building, and subsidize subscriptions and collections at the same rate as for hospitals. The amount contributed by the people last year for this patriotic institution was £5,955, and the Government gave an equal sum.
The Lunatic Asylum for the Province has been erected adjacent to Dunedin, and is sustained at an annual cost of about £4,500. Inmates possessed of means, or having friends willing to contribute, can be lodged in separate apartments from the main building. Everything which experience has shown to be for the benefit of this unfortunate class has been provided. Gardens, bowling-greens, cricket, concerts and balls, together with whatever may conduce to relieve this saddest of all misfortunes, is carefully and regularly supplied.
An Industrial and Reformatory School has also been established, to which the Magistrates have power to commit neglected and criminal children for a given number of years, to whom trades or occupations are taught. The children are brought up in the religion of their parents, so far as that can be ascertained, and to their welfare, after being discharged, attention is paid. The cost of maintenance for the past year was £1,439. Parents are compelled, when able or found, to pay for the maintenance of their children at this school. The practical result of the institution is that crime is nipped in the bud, the police having instructions to bring all neglected children before the Magistrates.
Invercargill has also had a Ragged School in operation for some years, which is subsidized by the Government at the same rate as hospitals.
Within the last few months, a Female Refuge or Home has been set on foot in Dunedin, the management of which is confided to a committee of philanthropic ladies, and to which the public revenue has contributed £350.
During the past year, the Provincial Government has also paid for the service of chaplains for the various institutions in town, £300; to medical officer for vaccination, £130; for relief to destitute persons, £121; and for burying the indigent, £129: showing a total amount contributed from public funds and private charities for the year ended 30th June, 1873, of £26,000.
Institutions of a more private and less pretentious character, but at the same time not less valuable or worthy of notice, are numerous. Friendly Societies, instituted to help members in time of need, are plentiful, largely supported, and in a flourishing condition. The great majority of the inhabitants of every class belong to either Oddfellows, Foresters, Masonic, Templar, or Temperance Lodges, and receive the advantages, if they so choose, accruing from those useful and well-managed bodies. The Caledonian Society also comes under the same class, spending a good portion of its funds in relieving cases of distress, inciting to emulation, and providing evening classes for the benefit of apprentices and lads engaged during the day and anxious to improve their education. The latest bodies of the kind that have been started are called "County Associations," in which settlers who come from the two most northerly counties in Scotland, Caithness and Sutherland, have taken the initiative. These associations have as their leading features, assisting poorer county-folks to come to this land of promise, and giving them assistance and advice on arrival. Though last mentioned, the Fire Brigade is of high importance, the members generously, without compensation, denying themselves many comforts and undertaking dangerous risks, in the beneficent work of saving life and property at fires.
The demand for dwelling-houses in the towns and country districts exceeds the supply, consequently rents are high, this being one of the few disadvantages immigrants have to contend with in the Province. In Dunedin, a small cottage of only two apartments cannot be had under 7s. a week, and four-roomed houses rate from 12s. to 14s. a week, and it is difficult to find any even at these rents. Although buildings are being put up as fast as men can be obtained to erect them, the supply does not overtake the demand. To country towns and districts the same remarks apply as to scarcity, but the rents are somewhat lower.
What the working classes are doing, and what new arrivals will find to be to their advantage to attend to as soon as possible, is, to secure each a section on which to build houses of their own. According to the locality, the prices of sections vary. In Government townships the upset price is from £3 per quarter acre; in private townships it is much higher. In the suburbs of Dunedin, prices range from £50 a quarter acre, and the terms of payment are one-third cash, and the balance spread over two or three years, at eight per cent. interest. The building societies, and in some cases the sellers of the land, are willing to advance money to enable the purchaser to buy the material necessary to build the house, charging reasonable interest, and taking payment by instalments.
The cost of a cottage of four rooms, with provision for extension at a future time, may be fairly set down at about £150, including everything.
Taking a moderate example: Suppose a labourer to earn, with broken time, £2 a week, equal to £104 a year. His family, averaging five members, can live very well on 3s. a day, making per week £1. 1s.; firewood and clothing, 5s.; rent or interest, &c., 8s.; total per week, £1. 14s.; leaving 6s. a week, say, £15 a year to the good. In thirteen years the whole cost of his property would be cleared off. This case does not take into account the reduction of interest as the debt is being paid off, nor any earnings the younger members of the family may make. These are a set-off against school fees and any family additions, or other contingencies. There are few steady labourers but can earn more than the above estimate, and live at considerably less expense, while mechanics and skilled workers will double the amount.
It is to most people a severe trial to sever the link that binds them to Home. To leave the land of their birth, the land of their sires, with all its associations and relationships, and try their chance in a foreign land, especially if that land be an unknown one and inhabited by a strange race, requires a daring and determined spirit. The attractions which Otago presents to the intending emigrant remove, to a large extent, these formidable objections. The appearance of the country, its climate, its people, and its institutions, will make the immigrant feel at once at home. It offers to the workman tenfold better chances of bettering his condition than the overcrowded countries of Europe afford. It will be his own fault if he does not succeed and prosper. He is surrounded with all the advantages and with none of the disadvantages to which he has been accustomed. He has a large variety of occupations from which to select, as men do not stick very strictly to their own trades; he has a fine, healthy, bracing climate in which to work; if his occupation be outdoor, the number of days in the year on which he can work is more than in Britain; his hours of labour are shorter, being eight, and if he work overtime it is at increased wages; his daily pay is at least one-half more than at Home, whilst the price of provisions is considerably cheaper, clothing almost as cheap, and far less fuel for firing is required. He can in a short time, by the exercise of ordinary economy, save as much as will enable him to buy a section of land and build a house of his own, with a garden attached, in which he can employ himself in his leisure hours. Ample provision is made for the education of his children, so that, if so inclined, he can enter them at the infant school and carry them through a college or university training. Let his religious belief be what it may, he has liberty to follow it, and in most cases he will find professors of the same faith with whom he can associate. Libraries and reading-rooms are numerous, and can be joined at a cheap rate. He has abundant means of recreation and amusement to which he can resort. Savings-banks, and building and friendly societies, in which he can place his savings, are on a sure footing and in a prosperous condition, and the credit of the Colony is the security for his life assurance. He has as orderly and law-obeying a community as anywhere exists from which to choose his circle of friends. There is scarcely a parish or town in Scotland, England, or Ireland from which an immigrant can arrive, without finding an old acquaintance or friend to bid a hearty welcome, and perhaps renew former intimacy—old settlers who came from the same "country" are forming associations to facilitate this object. Good metalled roads open up the country in all directions, and for ten shillings he will get a seat in a four-horse coach to carry him a fifty-miles' journey and back again; and in a year or two railways will convey him to the extreme ends, north or south, and for a considerable distance into the interior of the Province. If he is a farmer, there is abundance of first-class land from which to make his selection, and he can choose the conditions on which to pay for it. Every implement he may require can be obtained cheaply, of the newest pattern, of the best workmanship, and on the shortest notice. For drainage and artificial manures he will be at little cost. The weather for seed-time and harvest is highly favourable, and a ready and profitable market awaits his crops, for which he is paid at once in cash. He has no obnoxious game, hypothec, or entail laws to hinder his prosperity, and the foot of the tax-gatherer rarely treads his threshold.
In providing an outfit, emigrants should not encumber themselves with a large stock of clothing or furniture. They will find, on arrival, that everything required can be procured at very little more money than at home, and dress can be adapted to the fashions of the place. All that is necessary is simply enough to keep them comfortable during the voyage. A few pounds in cash in the pocket will be of more advantage than large boxes filled with bed and body clothes; the expense of storing or moving about from place to place is serious. They should bring any surplus money by bank-draft or post-office order, and not in gold or notes, as these may be lost, whilst the money order is safe. On arrival, if they have friends who expect them, no time should be lost in joining them, as staying about the town is very unprofitable. The immigration agent will furnish, on this as well as other subjects, every information as to the cheapest and best route to be taken. Coaches and steamers start daily for all parts of the Province, and fares are very reasonable. If the immigrant is looking out for work, he should not be too particular in accepting an offer, although it is not just what he wants: far better to set to work at once, than to idle about and get a doubtful name; nor should he be exorbitant in demanding extreme wages, for however good a tradesman he may be, a man with colonial experience is more valued and sought for than a "new chum," though a short time will put the "new chum" on his proper level. Different trades or branches of trade are not yet nicely or narrowly defined in the Province, so that a gardener is generally expected to be able and willing to groom a horse and drive him; young men and lads for country work will be required to milk cows, as that part of dairy husbandry is usually performed by males; and artisans at times may find it to their advantage to be able to handle a pick and shovel, perhaps on a new gold-field, or to work on the harvest field behind the reaper or mower, when the precious fruits of the earth are in danger of being lost from want of labour to gather and garner them. In a new country, a man should not only be ready to turn his hand to anything, but also to keep his eyes on everything going on around him. He does not know what may be his position in a few years, or what great improvements on old notions his observation may enable him to effect.
Immigrants should land with a firm determination to prosper; and by steady perseverance, sobriety, and strict attention to a few simple points, success is certain.
They should carefully avoid taking up too soon with easily - formed associates: although such may turn out, in the long run, good friends, there is the danger of their being the reverse. Avoid frequenting hotels as far as possible: in themselves they are necessary institutions, but they are not intended for working men, especially strangers, whose own homes are in the neighbourhood of their work. Avoid getting into debt for domestic articles. Buy provisions, clothing, fuel, and furniture for cash. This can easily be done by arranging for wages being paid weekly or fortnightly, and if the amount is not sufficient to obtain some small article considered necessary, better wait a week than have it on credit. Shake off the bad, ruinous habits of passbooks, so common at home, and in a new country strike out a good and prosperous course. By so doing, better goods will be obtained at cheaper rates, their custom will be sought after by the best shopkeepers, and easy minds will be the result. "Out of debt, out of danger." Exceptions to this rule are—Obtaining land on deferred payments, and borrowing money from building societies to erect a dwelling-house. In these cases, the debtor is to a certain extent his own creditor, and participates in the profits which he assists to make. Practise a rigid economy for a year or two. Frugality of habits, and denial of some of those luxuries and pleasures which older settlers indulge in, will be of great advantage. Take great care to save the first hundred sovereigns. It is far more difficult to save the first than the second or any subsequent hundred, as the profits of the first go a long way to make its successors.
With attention to this advice, and with the ordinary prudence and common sense for which Britons are celebrated, the immigrants will bless the day they landed in Otago and made it their home.
Table of Contents
THE foundation of the Province of Canterbury dates from 1848, in which year a number of men of influence in England, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Lyttelton, and the present Duke of Manchester, formed themselves into what was called the "Canterbury Association for Founding a Settlement in New Zealand," which was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1849. The portion of the Colony in which the Association was to establish its members was for some time not fixed, as it was doubtful whether the plain adjacent to Banks Peninsula, or a tract of land near Wairarapa and Manawatu, in the present Province of Wellington, was the better adapted for their requirements. Captain (afterwards Sir George) Grey, the then Governor of New Zealand, in a despatch to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated December 6th, 1848, somewhat strongly advocated the choice of the latter district; but a great obstacle to the carrying out of this idea was found in the difficulty of acquiring the land on reasonable terms from the Native owners. On the other hand, the whole of the enormous tract of country lying between the river Hurunui (the southern boundary of Nelson) and Port Chalmers, or Otago, and stretching from sea to sea, had already been ceded by the Maori owners to the Europeans. On August 25th, 1848, Governor Grey forwarded to the Secretary of State for the Colonies a copy of the agreement by which the chiefs and people of the Ngaitahu tribe formally made over to Colonel Wakefield, agent of the New Zealand Company, all the country comprising what are now known as the Canterbury Province, the Province of Westland, and great part of Otago, for a comparatively small sum of money. This cession did not, however, include Banks Peninsula itself, as the Natives had already sold the whole of that block to a French Company, whose settlers were actually residing on it. The New Zealand Company made no attempt to colonize the large area they thus acquired, further than by handing over to the new Canterbury Association an extent of 1,000,000 acres on the plains. This was afterwards increased to 2,400,000 acres. In 1849, Captain Thomas, agent for the Association, wrote from Auckland to Governor Grey, stating that he had examined the harbour of Port Cooper and the surrounding country, and having found the land suitable for the purposes of the Association, he formally requested His Excellency's sanction to Port Cooper as the site of the Canterbury settlement. This was granted; the surveys of the harbour and plains were at once pushed on, and preparations made for receiving the settlers sent out by the Association. In the meantime, negotiations were also being carried on between the New Zealand Company and the French Association who held possession of Banks Peninsula; and on October 12th, 1849, the directors of the former Company announced to the Colonial Office that they had taken over all the property and interests of the French, or Nanto-Bordelaise, Company, in New Zealand, for the sum of £4,500.
On December 16th, 1850, the first emigrant ship from England arrived at Port Cooper, and the actual commencement of the settlement may be said to have then taken place.
The design of the Canterbury Association, as put forward in the prospectus issued in 1848, was to establish in New Zealand a settlement complete in itself, having as little connection as possible with the other centres of population in the Colony, and composed entirely of members of the United Church of Great Britain and Ireland. The Committee of Management proposed to reserve to themselves the right "of refusing to allow any person of whom they might disapprove to become an original purchaser of land." This is not the place to discuss the theory of the scheme of the founders, nor to detail the rapid steps by which the Church of England settlement, as proposed, became an ordinary community of mixed denominations. It will be sufficient to say that long before the establishment of representative government for the Colony, by Act of the Imperial Parliament in 1852, grave doubts were expressed, even by some of the managers of the Association themselves, of the success of this part of the scheme; and, in point of fact, Canterbury offered so many material and temporal advantages to immigrants of all kinds and classes, that the wall of exclusiveness was soon broken down, and the community became, like all other communities, an aggregation of settlers from various countries and of various denominations.
The affairs of the Canterbury Association were managed in England by a Committee, and Mr. John Robert Godley was sent out by them to conduct their public business in New Zealand. Mr. Godley arrived in Canterbury in the year 1850, and remained as its resident official head until 1853: then, the elevation of the settlement into one of the Provinces of New Zealand, under "The Constitution Act, 1852," and the annulling of all previous charters to the separate little colonies, rendered the further continuance of the Association needless. During his term of office, Mr. Godley's remarkable energy, activity, and earnestness of purpose contributed most powerfully to the success of the settlement, and he left New Zealand for England followed by the general regret of the colonists—regret which was increased by the knowledge that his unwearied attention to his work, and to the welfare of those under his charge, had entailed upon him a permanent loss of health and strength. The first superintendent of Canterbury under the new Act was Mr. James Edward Fitzgerald, another original member of the Association, who held office till 1857. He was succeeded by Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse, Superintendent from 1857 to 1863; Mr. Samuel Bealey from 1863 to 1866; Mr. Moorhouse again till 1868; and Mr. William Rolleston from 1868 to the present time.
In the three years which elapsed between the arrival of the first settlers and the meeting of the first Provincial Council, the Canterbury settlement made remarkable progress, and actually became in that short time not only self-supporting, but able to export largely to other colonies. This progress has been, almost without a check, continued to the present time. The revenues of the Province, both from sales of Crown lands and from other sources, have been steadily and rapidly increasing. In 1858 Mr. Godley was able to announce to the friends of the Colony in England that the Province of Canterbury alone, with a population at that time of 7,000, raised a revenue of £96,000; seven times as much, per head, as the revenue of England, and nearly twice as much, per head, as the revenue of the Colony of Victoria, "the richest community in the world up to this time." This, of course, was exclusive of the revenue raised in the Province for the general colonial purposes of New Zealand. For the year ending September 30th, 1873, the revenues of the Province of Canterbury, also exclusive of Colonial revenue, amounted to almost £650,000, the estimated population being 53,700.
Canterbury contains that portion of the Middle Island, bounded on the North by the river Hurunui (the southern boundary of Nelson), on the east by the sea, on the west by a line drawn along the ridge of the Southern Alps (the boundary of Westland), and on the south by the river Waitaki (the northern boundary of Otago). The area of the Province is about 8,693,000 acres, of which 2,500,000 form a vast plain sloping gently down from the mountain ranges to the sea. There are also large tracts of undulating downs capable of cultivation. On the eastern edge rises Banks Peninsula, a hilly district, comprising about 250,000 acres, and composed of a number of peaks, ridges, and basins, the remains of long-extinct volcanoes. The capital of the Province is Christchurch, situated on the plain at the northern edge of the peninsula, and about five miles from the sea, on the small river Av. Christchurch proper contains an area of rather more than one mile square, with (in 1871) 7,931 inhabitants; but large numbers of people reside outside the city itself, and the population of the town and its immediate suburbs was, in that year, 12,466. The port town is Lyttelton, on the harbour of Port Cooper, one of the basins of Banks Peninsula, connected with Christchurch by a railway, having a tunnel through the hills. Its population in 1871 was 2,551. In the northern part of the Province there are the towns of Kaiapoi (population 868), Rangiora, Leithfield, and Oxford, besides many smaller villages. West of Christchurch there is no important town. To the south are Timaru (population 1,418), Geraldine, Temuka, Ashburton, Southbridge, Leeston, &c., and many villages. On the peninsula itself are Akaroa (on a fine harbour), and smaller settlements in almost every bay. The population above, of the towns is taken from the census returns of 1871; owing to natural increase and immigration, the numbers have since then been considerably enlarged. The total population of the Province in 1871 was 46,801; and at the end of 1873 it was estimated at about 54,000.
From the mountain ranges on the west to the sea on the east many rivers flow across the Canterbury plain. As a rule, these rivers are extremely rapid, not running in deep streams between well-defined banks, but shallow and flowing on shingle beds, sometimes more than a mile wide. The chief of these are the Waimakariri, the Rakaia, the Rangitata, and on the northern and southern boundaries, the Hurunui and Waitaki. Smaller ones are the Waipara, Ashley, Selwyn, Ashburton, Hinds, Opihi, &c. These rivers when low are, as a rule, easily forded, but when in flood are often very dangerous. They are, however, now rapidly being bridged, and in a year or two there will be no danger on the main lines of road in the Province.
Canterbury is divided for various purposes into several districts—First, General Assembly electoral districts, returning twelve members: second, twenty-four Provincial Council districts, returning thirty-nine members: third, thirty-eight road districts, administered by Boards of five members each, having the control of the roads and smaller bridges—these do not include the towns of Christchurch, Lyttelton, Kaiapoi, and Timaru, which are governed by Municipalities: fourth, eighty-four educational districts. As population and settlement progress the numbers of these will be increased. As the whole Province is in one way or another included in the above divisions, and as the general character of the country does not vary much, it is not possible to name any distinctive features peculiar to any one division. The Province may be considered as divided into three longitudinal zones — the mountain zone, comprising the whole western and part of the northern portions, and almost exclusively devoted to pasturage; the central or plain zone, comprising almost all the rest of the Province, pastoral in those portions as yet unbought from the Crown, agricultural in the rest; and the peninsular or eastern zone, partly timber-producing forest, partly pastoral, partly devoted to cheese-making and dairy farming. On January 1st, 1873, there were in Canterbury 2,595,950 sheep over six months of age; and a return of the agricultural produce of the Province, compiled in February, 1873, gave the following amounts:—
|Acreage broken up but not under Crop.||Wheat.||Oats.||Barley.||Hay.||Potatoes.||Other Crops.||Sown Grasses.||Total under Crop, including Sown Grasses.|
|Acres.||Acres.||Yield, Bushels.||Acres.||Yield, Bushels.||Acres.||Yield, Bushels.||Acres.||Yield, Tons.||Acres.||Yield, Tons.||Acres.||Acres.||Acres.|
From the separate return published, showing the acreage in cultivation and the produce thereof in the different divisions of the Province, it is found that the chief wheat-producing districts are the Ellesmere and Courtenay in the centre, the Eyreton and the Kowai in the north, and the Geraldine and Seadown in the south. Those producing the most oats and barley are, for the north, the Kowai, Eyreton, and Mandeville; for the centre, the Courtenay, Lincoln, and Ellesmere; and for the south, the Geraldine district. The area under permanent pasture is spread fairly over the Province. The average yield of grain for the Province appears to be, for the year 1872 — Wheat 21, oats 22½, barley 19, bushels to the acre, and the year was not a favourable one. The figures in the last two columns do not show the whole area in English grasses, as there are large tracts, notably on the peninsula and in the more swampy portions of the Province, where English grass has spread luxuriantly without any previous cultivation.
The means of communication in Canterbury, by roads, railways, and telegraphs, are being rapidly extended. The telegraph system in operation includes a line, part of the trunk line through the Island, from north to south in the Province, with stations at every convenient place; and lines from Christchurch to Hokitika (on the West Coast), to Lyttelton, and to Akaroa. These telegraphs are under the direction of the Colonial Government, and messages are sent to any part of the Colony at a very moderate tariff.
The roading of the Province has been carried on energetically since its foundation. Up to the year 1863, the roads were constructed and maintained by the Provincial authorities, and in the comparatively small area to which, while settlement was as yet not far extended, their operations were confined, the Government expended a sum of £250,000 on roads and bridges between the year 1850 and 1863. In the last-mentioned year, the Provincial Council passed the first Roads Ordinance, relegating the administration of the roads to Boards elected in the several districts established by the Ordinance. With various amendments this system has been maintained, so that there are now thirty-eight road districts. The Boards are enabled to carry out their functions, first, by means of grants from the Provincial Treasury; secondly, by grants from the Colonial Government; thirdly, by rates. In the early years of the settlement, it was intended that, of the price paid to the Treasury for Crown lands, £1 per acre should be devoted to making roads and bridges where the land was purchased. This plan was, however, not systematically carried out, and an arrangement was afterwards made that 25 per cent. of the land fund should be expended in this direction. This likewise it was not found possible to strictly perform, and the grants to Road Boards from Provincial funds have been usually made according as the exigencies of the public service permitted or prevented large appropriations to them. The total sum voted to Road Boards by the Provincial Council, from 1863 to October, 1873, amounted to rather over £200,000. This was exclusive of large sums spent by the Government on roads and the more important bridges. For instance, the great western road from Christchurch to Hokitika absorbed about £150,000; and the Provincial Council, during one financial year alone, from September, 1872, to September, 1873, voted £160,000 for roads and large bridges, beyond the Road Board grant. The second source of revenue of the Boards is from grants from the Colonial Government. These date from 1870, and depend upon annual votes of the General Assembly. Thirdly, the Boards derive revenue from rates, under the Roads Ordinances passed by the Provincial Council since 1863. The maximum ordinary rate permitted to be levied is one shilling in the pound on the annual value of the property in the district; but the Board can, if necessary, raise special rates, not exceeding two shillings in the pound, for works of emergency. The rating capabilities of the different districts vary considerably, according to their position and the character of the land.
In the greater portion of the Province, owing to the level nature of the country, road-making has not been difficult, and metalled roads are now rapidly forming a network over its surface. In some districts there is greater difficulty, owing to the presence of hills, gullies, or streams; but generally the state of road communication in Canterbury is very good and safe. It is a condition of the sale of Crown lands, that every section purchased shall have a road to it laid off on the map, so that no land is left without the means of being rendered easily accessible.
There are no industries peculiar to any one district of the Province, beyond the division (not, however, well defined) between its agricultural and pastoral portions. But mining for coal, iron ore, and other minerals, stone quarries, brick and clay works, &c., may be said to be confined to the hilly regions; flax-mills, meat-preserving works, &c., to the plains.
The climate of Canterbury is, as a rule, so far like that of England that it is quite suited to English people. Although at times the wind blows very hard, and especially from the N.W. in summer, yet there is so little severe winter, and the summer heats are so moderated by breezes, that the climate may be considered an excellent one. In some years the Province is visited by severe droughts—one, for instance, lasting through the summer season, from September to April, without rain; in others there has been an excessive rainfall; but these are exceptional cases. From abstracts of the monthly returns for 1872 (a remarkably hot and dry year), it appears that the mean maximum temperature in the sun at Christchurch was 120.8° (highest, January, 160.2°); the mean minimum temperature at night 19.3° (lowest, June, 5.2°); the mean temperature in the shade for the year, 53.6°. These figures denote an equable climate peculiarly adapted to Englishmen; and the effect of this is shown by the fact that trees and plants from Home flourish with great luxuriance, whilst others, which an English winter would destroy, grow without danger in the open air. It must be understood that the above remarks apply chiefly to the eastern or lower part of the Province; naturally, amongst the mountains, and higher from the sea, the climate is somewhat changed. There is more rain, more cold in winter, and less heat in summer. But in no part can the Province be said to have a bad or inclement climate.
In a report on the climate of New Zealand, by Dr. Hector, published by command in 1869, the annual mean temperature of Canterbury for the eleven previous years is given as 55.1°, and the mean annual rainfall at Christchurch, for the same period, 31.656 inches.
Roughly speaking, the land in Canterbury may be divided into mountain and plain. The mountains, as a rule are too steep to be susceptible of cultivation, but contain numerous small valleys which will some day be worked. Their sides, except on the most elevated portions, where snow lies for the greater portion of the year, are well grassed and are excellent sheep pasture. The plain land varies considerably. On the east, next to the sandhills of the coast itself, a broad belt of remarkably rich soil runs throughout its length; the slope farther inland becomes lighter and drier, and in some parts stony, but easily cultivated, and requiring generally no more preparation for the plough than burning off the native grasses. Higher up is often found another belt of richer land, until the foot of the hill is reached. The lower country is well watered, and the whole plain is intersected by rivers, creeks, and watercourses, though in the higher portions, in summer, there are sometimes trying droughts. That the country generally is very well adapted for agriculture is shown by the quantities of the various cereals grown, and the excellent quality of the English grasses which are now being largely cultivated throughout its extent. The lower hills, and more especially the peninsula, are rapidy being covered with English grass and clover, which spread of their own accord, killing the native pasture, and are, in consequence, every year able to carry larger numbers of stock. In the wetter and richer lands, grow large quantities of Phormium tenax (native flax), and these require to be destroyed before the land can be ploughed; but the soil beneath is usually so productive as to well repay this cost, and, moreover, the plant itself may, in many localities, be made a source of profit by sending it to a flax-mill.
The principle of the land regulations of Canterbury is free selection at a sufficient price. Briefly, they may be summed up as follows:—With the exception of reserves for towns or for public purposes, the whole of the land of the Province is open for sale at £2 per acre. The purchaser has only to select the piece he requires, put in an application to the Waste Lands Board, pay the price, and possess the land. He first receives a "Licence to occupy," the land is then surveyed as quickly as possible, and a Crown grant is prepared, signed by the Governor of New Zealand, and handed over to him. Priority of application gives a prior right of purchase. Land sales are held at Christchurch twice every week. Such are the main features of the regulations, and that they are successful is shown by the enormous quantities purchased from the Crown in the last twenty years; the acreage sold up to 1st October, 1873, being 1,101,583 acres, realizing £2,203,166. There are, however, certain restrictions in the sale:—1. No section of rural land, containing less than 20 acres, is sold as above: pieces of less than that area are put up to public auction at an upset price of £2 per acre. By an Act of the General Assembly passed last session (1873), auction sales of such pieces are to take place every three months: the land, if not then sold, is open to purchase at the same price. 2. Every section of rural land is sold in one block, and, except where the natural features of the country, or frontage lines (roads, rivers, public reserves, &c.) prevent it, of a rectangular form. 3. All sections of rural land are sold subject to a right of laying out a road or roads across them, if found necessary, on survey. This right of course ceases as soon as the Crown grant is issued.
Until purchased from the Crown, as above stated, the waste lands may be rented for pasturage. (All the land available for this purpose has been long ago taken up.) The tenant does not receive a lease of the land, or acquire any right whatever to the soil, or the timber growing on it, but only a licence to depasture stock on it; any person being at liberty to buy at any time wherever he pleases, provided the piece he wants is not already in the possession of another owner, or reserved by the Government. The pasturage rents are not high. The "runs," as they are called, vary from 5,000 acres upwards; and, under the present regulations, the tenant pays a rent of £1 per 100 acres. For the year 1873, the pasturage rents of the Province amounted to £50,000, representing 5,000,000 acres. In 1880, the whole of these licences cease and determine, and other regulations will doubtless be made. Naturally, some runs, as those on the plains, are constantly exposed to being purchased by free selectors as freehold. Others, as in the hills, will only partially ever be used for any other purpose than feeding sheep. Under the regulations of the Canterbury Association, the tenants of the waste lands, or "runholders," were allowed a right of pre-emption over 250 acres of land round their homesteads. Afterwards, this right was extended so as to cover and protect certain improvements, such as fencing, &c., which they might erect on their runs. In 1867 these provisions, having been found to act as a check to the settlement of the country, and to prevent purchase by free selectors, were repealed, and pre-emptive rights are not now granted. There are, however, considerable areas still held under these old rights. Any person wishing to purchase a section in this condition must deposit the price of the land (at £2 per acre) with the Waste Lands Board, and the holder of the right is allowed six weeks to buy the land. If he does not buy it, the person originally applying becomes the owner. These pre-emptive rights cease and determine in 1880.
Large reserves of waste lands have been from time to time made by the Provincial Government for various public requirements, such as education, ferry, road, or railway purposes, cemeteries, race-courses, recreation grounds, and public parks, &c., &c. According to the regulations, these reserves are temporarily made by the Superintendent, and, if agreed to, confirmed by the Provincial Council at its next session. If afterwards it is found desirable to throw any of them open for sale, it must be done by Ordinance of the Provincial Council.
In convenient places, as required, townships are reserved, surveyed, and sold, by sections, in sizes determined by the Superintendent and Provincial Council. These sections are put up to auction, usually at the upset price of £50 per acre. Many of the towns and villages in the Province are, however, portions of private property, divided and sold by their owners.
In the year 1869, a return was laid on the table of the Provincial Council, classifying the land in the Province, and showing the results of—1. Total acreage. 2. Land sold to date. 3. Number of acres reserved. 4. Estimated acreage of good arable land unsold. 5. Acreage of first and second-class grazing land unsold. 6. Land worthless or of little value. The following table shows the totals:—
|Total Acreage.||Land Sold.||Reserves.||Good Arable Land.||Grazing Land.||Land worthless, or of little value.|
|Educational.||Other purposes.||1st Class.||2nd Class.|
From the date of the table to January, 1874, 359,208 acres were sold. Deducting this amount (which has not by any means been all of the class "good arable land") from the totals in columns 5 and 6, (3,690,557) there remains, as likely to be sold, 3,331,349 acres. It may, however, be supposed that a proportion of this is high downland, and will take some time to pass into the hands of private owners. Making a large deduction for this, there yet remains probably an area of 2,000,000 acres available as good land for settlement. But from this again has to be deducted the quantity reserved for public purposes since 1869, amounting to, for general education, 33,180, and for other public requirements about 12,000 acres; total, say, 45,000 acres: also, the land to be taken for railways and roads, the quantities of which cannot well be estimated. There are, besides, large areas temporarily reserved, but not yet confirmed by the Council. Probably the acreage withdrawn from sale under the two columns 5 and 6, from 1869 to 1873, for all purposes, may be taken at not less than 100,000 acres; leaving, therefore, 1,900,000 acres for settlement. It is not, however, easy to say how much of this would be "good arable land."
Under column 7 may be placed the reserves for higher and technical education, amounting at present to about 320,000 acres.
The reserves for general educational purposes, 51,596 acres, are open for lease in blocks of 100 acres and upwards, on reasonable terms; and 25,961 acres have been let to various tenants.
As stated above, a very large proportion of the available good land of Canterbury has been purchased from the Crown, and, in point of fact, for some distance round the various centres of population, it may be said to be, as a rule, under cultivation. The return already given shows that in February, 1873, there were 367,228 acres cultivated (including land then broken up, but not under crop). We may add to this at least 10,000 acres as broken up since February, making a total of 377,228 acres under cultivation. The land purchases to October, 1873, were 1,101,583 acres; there remain, therefore, not less than 724,355 acres of freehold to be improved. Of this quantity, however, some portion is hilly, or already naturally grassing itself: but it is clear that there are several hundred thousand acres in private hands awaiting cultivation. The chief reason why these lands have not yet been improved is the absence of population; and if farmers with small capital could be introduced in sufficient numbers, a very large proportion of this acreage would be cultivated. It would of course be a question for the immigrant whether he would purchase land from the Crown at £2 per acre, at a long distance from a market, or at a higher price from a private individual within easy distance. But in case he should decide on the latter, there would not be any difficulty in his acquiring at a fairly reasonable price the land he might want.
As a general rule, immigrants would not find it easy to rent small improved farms. In the first place, men who have bought and cultivated blocks of land in Canterbury, have generally done so with the intention of permanently settling on them. Of the number of sections held by absentees, or by persons who have bought land as a speculative investment, those pieces which have been let were taken by the tenant in their unimproved state. Secondly, the freehold owners would not be inclined to let improved land, with fences, cultivations, or homesteads, to new comers unknown to responsible persons here. They would always prefer as a tenant a man who had been some little time in the country. Of course, these remarks apply more particularly to immigrants of the farming class arriving with small capital. The difficulty would naturally be far less provided they could satisfy the landowner of their solvency.
But the case is different as regards unimproved land. As already remarked, there are large numbers of sections merely awaiting increased population in order to be brought under cultivation. It is, however, difficult to lay down any scale as a guide to the average renting value of land. In England, a land agent in any county would be able to state almost exactly the value of any farm either for sale or lease; but it is impossible to do so here. In Canterbury, a farm, say in the north, on the Ashley Downs, thirty miles from Christchurch, might perhaps be let for a lower rental than one in the Ellesmere district at the same distance from town, and higher than one in Oxford district. Distance from a market, or from a line of railway, or a shipping port, besides the varying quality of the land, has so marked an effect on the value, that no rule can be laid down on this subject. It may, however, be stated that good unimproved land, at a reasonable distance from town, may be had at a rental of from 3s. to 6s. per acre. Poorer land might be taken at a less, richer at a higher rental. The rich and valuable farms near Christchurch often carry a rent of from 20s. to 60s. per acre.
A system is frequently adopted of letting land to farmers for a short term, the rent to be paid by the crops. The rental and conditions vary in the different districts. A common plan is to lease land for two years, the tenant to fence it, take two crops off it, lay it down in grass, and return it to the owner. According to the position and character of the land, the rent varies. Sometimes, the tenant pays a bushel of wheat per acre, the owner finding the grass seed; sometimes, the tenant takes the whole crop in consideration of fencing the land. Sections near town, or in the rich low lands near the coast, would of course be let under different conditions from the higher and drier soils farther inland.
There is also a system of letting land under a purchasing clause; in fact, selling on deferred payments. This is not so much in vogue as formerly, for in bad years the tenants, finding that they were not working the land to a sufficient profit, exhausted the soil by continual grain crops, and left it either before or at the end of their term without completing their bargain, the land being rendered less valuable than when they took it.
On the whole, it may be said that an immigrant arriving with a small capital would find no difficulty in renting an unimproved section, and that at profitable rates; but that it would not be easy for him to get an improved farm, unless he was known to be in a position to work it properly.
The two chief articles of production in Canterbury are wool and grain. But besides these a large export trade is carried on in flax; provisions (preserved and cured); skins, hides, and leather; dairy produce; and a number of miscellaneous articles. The return given below shows the total quantities and values of the various exports from the Province for the year, September 30th, 1872, to September 29th, 1873. This period has been taken as it represents the whole of an export season of wool (shearing commencing about the end of October) and almost entirely that of grain. But it must be remarked, firstly, that the return does not show the full exporting power of the Province in either of the above staples, as a considerable quantity of each is sent to the port of Oamaru, in the adjoining Province of Otago, and is, therefore shown in the returns for that Province. Secondly, the return takes no account of the quantities of grain or other produce consumed in the Province itself. According to the return already given, it appears that the total estimated grain produce in February, 1873, was 2,519,326 bushels of wheat, oats, and barley. The harvest, however, did not yield as favourably as was expected, and a reduction has therefore to be made from this amount. The quantities of grain exported during the twelve months appear, as under, to be 906,955 bushels, besides 2,350 tons of flour, bran, &c., which may be taken to represent about 90,000 bushels more, making a total of about 1,000,000 bushels exported. There remains, therefore, a large quantity of grain produced, and not shown as exported. The same remarks apply to dairy produce (the greater part of which is consumed here) and to cured provisions (hams and bacon). With regard to wool, skins, and hides, flax, and preserved meats, the figures given would more nearly represent the production (excepting the quantities sent viâ Oamaru), as almost the whole of these are sent away to other countries. The manufacture of leather, although rapidly becoming more important, cannot, as yet, greatly affect the return.
The values of these various articles fluctuate in different years. The following is taken from the Lyttelton Times weekly price list, and may be considered as a fair sample of the values at the beginning of November, 1873:—
Wheat is quoted at 4s. 9d. per bushel; oats, 4s. 5d.; barley, 6s. 9d.; flour, from £11. 10s. to £12 per ton; butter, 7d. per lb.; cheese, 7d. to 7½d.; bacon and hams, 8d. to 8½d.; wool may be said to be worth, all round, 1s. per lb. At the same time, shorn wethers were sold at 10s. a head; wethers in wool, from 13s. to 14s., and up to 20s.; fat lambs, 7s. to 13s., according to quality; while mutton is quoted at 2¼d. per lb. for shorn, 3½d. for unshorn sheep. Fat cattle, about 20s. per 100 lb.; store cattle, from 30s. to £4. 10s. each. Best sheep-skins, from 4s. to 6s. 7d. each; inferior, from 1s. 3d. to 3s. 7d.; lamb-skins, 8d. to 1s. 6d. each; salted hides, 4¼d. per lb.; fresh hides, 4d.; horse-skins, 6s. each.
Of course, these values vary according to the season of the year, the state of trade, and the ruling values in the English or Colonial markets.
RETURN showing the Quantities and Values of Articles Exported from Canterbury, for the Year ending 30th September, 1873:—
Wool. — 13,098,387 lb., valued at £799,090.
Grain, Wheat, Oats, and Barley. — 906,955 bushels, valued at £204,000.
Flour, Bran, Sharps, &c. — 2,350 tons, valued at £30,000.
Sheep-skins.—79,510, valued at £13,884.
Hides.—10,089, valued at £7,410.
Provisions (including both cured and preserved meats). — 10,848¼ cwt., valued at £35,196.
Dairy Produce, Butter, and Cheese.—2,118¼ cwt., valued at £7,667.
Phormium (Flax).—1,489¾ tons, valued at £34,237.
Miscellaneous—Valued at £29,604.
Total Value of Exports, £1,161,088.
AVERAGE PRICES of GRAIN and FLOUR in CANTERBURY from 1869 to 1873.
|Wheat, per bushel:—||s.||d.||s.||d.||s.||d.||s.||d.||s.||d.|
|Average for five years, 4s. 4½d.|
|Flour, per ton:—||£.||s.||£.||s.||£.||s.||£.||s.||£.||s.|
|Average for five years, £12. 5s.|
|Oats, per bushel:—||s.||d.||s.||d.||s.||d.||s.||d.||s.||d.|
|Average for five years, 2s. 9d.|
|Barley, per bushel:—||s.||d.||s.||d.||s.||d.||s.||d.||s.||d.|
|Average for five years, 4s. 8d.|
The average prices of grain here shown appear to be considerably below English prices: yet farming evidently pays in Canterbury. One reason for this is, perhaps, the comparative cheapness of many necessaries of life here.—(See return given below.) But, besides, almost all harvest operations are performed by machinery, and the farmer is therefore enabled to make a profit out of a lower price than he would obtain at Home. Moreover, at least as yet, farmers here have not been obliged to enter into such heavy expenses for superior and scientific farming as their English brethren.
The difficulty of obtaining a supply of skilled labour has hitherto prevented the establishment in the Province of many industries, and various proposals have from time to time been made with a view of promoting them. In 1870, a Select Committee of the Provincial Council on this question sat for some time and presented a report embodying various suggestions. A system of bonuses, as advocated in this report, has been repeatedly tried, but has not hitherto met with much success, owing to the immense difficulty of obtaining skilled labour at such prices as would render manufactures remunerative.
The preparation of Phormium fibre can hardly now be called a new industry, though the high rates of wages have not allowed it to be carried on so generally as might be desired. Many of the mills which were in operation in Canterbury a year or two ago have been closed from this cause, and those that are still being carried on cannot be said to be worked to great profit. Still, if a sufficient number of labourers were introduced, this industry, for which a practically unlimited supply of raw material is available, is capable of being largely extended and profitably worked, especially as it does not require highly-skilled artisans. Ordinary labourers are quite equal to the general work of a flax-mill, as at present arranged.
The Select Committee before referred to recommended in their report that assistance should be given by the State to start factories for cheese (on the United States plan), beetroot sugar, woollen goods, Roman and Portland cement, and to encourage sericiculture, forest-tree planting, and coal and iron mining. A Committee of the House of Representatives, appointed during the last session at Wellington, on "Colonial Industries," repeated some of these recommendations, and added fish-curing and paper-making to the list. All of these industries could with great advantage be introduced into the Province, as the raw materials for most of them already exist in large quantities, and those for the rest could be easily obtained. Two woollen factories already started, one in Nelson and the other in Otago, have met with very considerable success; so much so, indeed, that it has been thought worth while in England to manufacture cloths and send them out to this Colony for sale under the names of "Nelson tweed," and "Mosgiel tweed." There is an unlimited supply of raw material for this industry in this Province, and it has often been remarked with wonder that Canterbury has not long ago possessed a woollen factory. It is understood that measures are being taken for promoting a company with this object. Probably before long the scheme will be fairly launched.* For the cultivation of beetroot for sugar, the climate and soil of Canterbury appear to be well adapted, and it is hoped that steps may soon be taken in this direction. With regard to cheese factories, the pasture land is so extensive and rich, and the quality of the stock yearly becomes so much improved that there is no reason why a cheese factory as suggested should not be successful. Large quantities of cheese are now produced, especially in the districts on Banks Peninsula, and it is readily sold at good prices.
The production of tinned and preserved meats is carried on at several places in the Province, but is capable of being further extended, as the sale of these articles in the English markets is rapidly increasing year by year, and the meats from Canterbury have always obtained a good name. The Canterbury Meat Export Company took prize medals at the Intercolonial Exhibition at Christchurch in 1872, and at the late great Exhibition at Vienna. Cured meats are at present largely manufactured and exported, and there is room for yet more workers in this branch. The curing of fish has been commenced by the Canterbury Deep Sea Fishing Company, and has, so far, been highly successful. The coast appears to teem with useful and excellent fish, and a further extension of this industry may be expected.
It appears that materials for the manufacture of cement exist in the Province, and as this article is becoming every year more and more required, there is a good opening for starting its production here.
It is probable that the tow and refuse fibre from the Phormium plant will be available for the manufacture of paper, an article for which a large market is open in the Colony. This industry, it is to be hoped, will also before long be established here.
* A Joint Stock Company, under influential auspices, has been formed since this paper was written.
Sericiculture has for some little time been carried on in a small way, and, from the appearance of cocoons exhibited in Christchurch in 1872, successfully. The mulberry grows well in the Province, and the cultivation of silkworms, already begun by one or two persons, will probably soon be prosecuted more extensively.
The above represent the chief industries suggested by the various Committees as likely to flourish in Canterbury. There is no doubt that with a more numerous population, and a chance of obtaining labour at reasonable rates, they could all be profitably and extensively prosecuted. Our communications with other countries are every year becoming more rapid and easy, and new markets are being made available to us.
Canterbury cannot be called a well-timbered country. On Banks Peninsula, there are the remains of forests formerly very extensive, and a large quantity of timber is still sawn in that district. But already the peninsula is becoming cleared of its wood, and probably the supply of native timber from the different bays will not last for many years more. In the Little River district, on the south-west side of the peninsula, is situated what is now the chief area of forest land, principally consisting of totara, rimu, and black and white pine trees. The mountain ranges of Canterbury are in many parts densely wooded, but the forests as a rule consist of birch (Fagus) trees, and these are not of much value for sawn timber, though they make excellent posts, rails, or bridge piles. At Oxford, in the north of the Province, a considerable timber trade is carried on, the forest there containing birch, rimu, totara, and pine. Some patches of timber also occur at Mount Peel, on the Rangitata, Waimate, and other places in the south of the Province. But the supply is not by any means equal to the demand in Canterbury, and in consequence large quantities of timber have to be imported.
The owners of land are every year more and more turning their attention to tree-planting. The Canterbury plains may be said to have been practically woodless when the first settlers arrived. Now, however, young plantations are visible in every direction, and as trees grow with great rapidity, soon render the country more cheerful and homelike. The Australian gum-trees of various descriptions, English forest-trees, and pines, cedars, and cypresses of all sorts, are being more largely planted every year; and an Act of the General Assembly, providing that any person planting one acre of trees should be entitled to receive for it two acres of Crown land, is already beginning to have an excellent effect.
Forest land can be bought in Canterbury in the same manner as any other, namely, at £2 per acre; and in the wooded districts the law provides for allowing licences to be taken out for cutting timber on certain conditions.
The minerals as yet discovered in Canterbury are:—
Coal.—All along the eastern side of the ranges bordering the plains, extensive seams of brown coal, generally of good quality, occur, which in a few localities have been altered by volcanic agency to bituminous or even anthracitic coal. Some smaller brown coal basins occur also inland, amongst the mountains, and at various points in the north and south. The first-mentioned seams will offer an almost inexhaustible supply of brown coal for all domestic as well as for industrial and locomotive purposes in the Province.
Mines on a small scale have been opened in some places, such as the Malvern Hills, Ashburton, &c. The coal has been for many years in use for domestic purposes, but the want of easy communication and the high price of labour have hitherto prevented its being properly worked. Before a Select Committee of the Provincial Council on Coal Supply, 1873, a mine-owner gave the following, amongst other evidence:—"I call mine a brown coal. I have had a good demand for it. I sold the coal at 16s. a ton, delivered one mile and a half from the pit's mouth. I think that, with a fair demand, I could deliver it at the pit-mouth for 12s. a ton. Drays were coming a distance of twenty and thirty miles for it. If we had a road. we could get coal enough to supply all Christchurch, provided it takes and we can get men to work it." Other coal-owners gave similar evidence. A railway is now in course of construction to these seams, and probably in another year or two they will be much more extensively worked.
From various analyses made and scientific and practical opinions expressed regarding Canterbury coal, it appears that while not so valuable as what are called "true" coal, it is quite adapted for industrial purposes. The same sort of coal is very largely used in Germany, in fact in some parts almost exclusively. Tests of the coal for steam generating, blacksmiths' purposes, and gas-making have been made, and the result, especially for the former purpose, has been most favourable. The anthracitic seams, which occur chiefly near the gorge of the river Rakaia, have not yet been worked for sale; they are reported to be of considerable extent, and the coal is said to be excellent.
Clay Iron Ore.—Beds several feet thick occur in many localities, either close to or in the neighbourhood of the brown coal. The ore is of good quality, but has not hitherto been worked.
Fireclays.—These are found in the same series of beds which contain the seams of coal. They have, to a certain extent, been already used for making drainpipes, fire-bricks, and pottery; and these industries are every year becoming more important and extended. Samples of pottery from these clays were exhibited at Christchurch in 1872, and were forwarded to the great Exhibition at Vienna in 1873:
Quartz Sands.—Beds of these, adapted for glass-making, and equal in quality to the best glass sands of Germany (from the brown coal beds), which are so largely exported from that country to England, are found in great abundance, and will no doubt in future offer materials for an important industry. They have not yet been worked.
Limestones.—There are some fine compact limestones (marble) in the Malvern Hills and other places, which are excellent material for limekilns, and some of them will probably be extensively used also for ornamental purposes.
Building Stones.—These, of various qualities, grain, and structure, can be obtained in great quantities all over the Province. Banks Peninsula furnishes fine dolerites (bluestones), quartzose trachytes, and trachytic sandstones, which are already used largely in building. The first-named rock can also be obtained in the Malvern Hills, and in the Timaru district, where it often offers fine material for millstones. Some districts, as Ashburton, Malvern Hills, &c., contain fine quartzose porphyries, in blocks of any size; and the newer sedimentary beds furnish also a great quantity of calcareous sandstones, of splendid quality for building purposes. The working of these last is being gradually extended, and they will become still more useful as soon as proper facilities for transport are provided.
Manganese has been found in many places in the Province, as have also indications of copper ore and other minerals, but they have not been thoroughly examined.
As yet, the mills in Canterbury are of only two kinds, flour and flax. Of the first there are many, and as any portion of the country becomes settled, new ones are erected. Canterbury produces far more of breadstuffs than is required by its population, and therefore does not import them. The mills are of all kinds—wind, steam, and water; and the average price for gristing may be taken to be 9d. per bushel of wheat and 6d. per bushel of oats.
Flax or Phormium mills are also to be found in many districts in the Province. This industry, however, which a year or two ago, when the new process of dressing the Phormium fibre came into general use, promised so well, has unfortunately not answered the expectations formed of it. The causes of its decline cannot well be entered into here; but it appears that the fibre has had to contend, in the home markets, with very great difficulties, and, moreover, it is not yet certain whether the process adopted by the millowners is the one best calculated to clean it. Of the mills started a few years ago, many have been closed, but there are still several left, and these give employment to a large number of hands.
There are three large establishments for the manufacture of preserved meats, several where sheep and other stock are boiled down for tallow, bacon and ham curing factories, iron foundries, saw-mills, and other industrial establishments.
It may be said that in Canterbury there is a demand for almost all kinds of labour. It has before been remarked that if a sufficient supply of labour were obtainable, many new industries would be started and probably worked to profit. As regards trades and occupations already pursued in the Province, they all feel the effects of the high rates of wages, but probably the farmers and owners of rural land suffer the most. It has been of late years difficult to procure sufficient labour at harvest time, and moreover large tracts of land, otherwise quite ready for cultivation and settlement have been unavoidably left unimproved. The introduction of agricultural machinery to a large extent has somewhat neutralized the evil, but a great deal remains to be done before the farmers can derive their proper benefit from the land. The want of speedy and sure means of communication with markets is of course a great drawback to the prosperity of the agriculturists, and in this respect also the scarcity of labour has had a most injurious effect; for although the great railway scheme adopted by the Colonial Legislature is bring carried out as rapidly as possible, and very large sums of money have besides been voted by the Provincial Council of Canterbury for roads, bridges, and other works for improving communication, tenderers for the different contracts have in many cases found it extremely difficult to procure the necessary men for their work; and it has often been proposed that large public works of this nature should be stopped during the summer months, in order that the men should be rendered available for harvesting. In many cases the Road Boards, under whose control most of these works (except railways) are placed, have found it very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to obtain tenders for them at anything like reasonable rates.
In the building trades, the scarcity of labour has brought about a considerable rise in prices, and works of this class have now to be paid for much more dearly than in former years. As the general prosperity of the Province has had its natural effect by stimulating the desire for improved buildings, and the towns and villages are, in almost every case, rapidly extending their boundaries and filling their streets with houses, it need hardly be said that there is a great demand for labour in the above trades.
The following returns have been compiled as a guide to the ruling rates of wages in Canterbury. The first is a return showing the wages at which immigrants were engaged on their first arrival in the Colony in the year 1873, in the eight ships there named. These ships have been taken as including the greater portion of the year and different seasons. The return is made up from one furnished by the Immigration Office. It is to be remarked that in every case the demand was greater than the supply, and that the immigrants were all engaged within a day or two of their arrival.
Return No. 2 is the rate of agricultural wages and prices, from information supplied by a large employer of labour, whose initials are placed at the head of the return.
Return No. 3 shows the rates of trades wages, from information given by several employers, whose initials are also appended to it.
Married men (farm labourers), £75 per annum, and house.
Single men (farm labourers), £35 to £40 per annum and found.
Grooms, £40 per annum and found.
Ropemakers, 7s. per day of eight hours.
Tailors, 8s. per day.
General labourers, £30 per annum and found.
Boys, £10 to £18 per annum and found.
Housemaids, £25 per annum and found.
General servants (female), £20 to £30 per annum and found.
Nurse girls, £10 to £18 per annum and found.
Married couples (man to do general work; woman to cook, &c.), £60 per annum and found.
Single men (farm labourers), £50 to £52 and found.
Carpenters, 10s. per day of eight hours.
Saddlers, 10s. per day of eight hours.
Smiths, £2. 2s. per week.
Bootmakers, £2 to £3 per week.
Boys, £10 to £15 per annum and found.
Cooks (females), £30 per annum and found.
Housemaids, £20 to £25 per annum and found.
General servants (female), £25 to £30 per annum and found.
Nurse girls, £12 to £15 per annum and found.
Married couples (man to do general work; woman to cook, &c.), £60 to £70 per annum and found.
Married men (farm labourers), 30s. per week, with cottage.
Single men (farm labourers and ploughmen), £50 and found.
Carpenters, 10s. per day of eight hours.
Boys, 8s. to 12s. per week and found.
Housekeepers, £35 per annum and found.
Nurses, £25 per annum and found.
Housemaids, £25 per annum and found.
General servants (female), £25 per annum and found.
Nurse girls, £12 to £16 and found.
Married couples (man to do general work; woman to cook, &c.), £55 to £65 per annum and found; £78 per annum with house only.
Single men (farm labourers and ploughmen), £40 to £50 per annum and found. In nearly all cases a bonus of £10 offered if remaining twelve months.
Carpenters, 10s. per day of eight hours.
General servants (female), £20 to £25 per annum and found.
Married couples (man to do general work; woman to cook, &c.), £60 per annum and found.
Married men (farm labourers), £78, cottage and firing.
Single men (ploughmen), £40 to £52 and found, with bonus of £10 after twelve months.
Carpenters, 9s. per day of eight hours.
General labourers, £40 to £52 and found, with bonus of £10 after twelve months.
Cooks (females), £35 per annum and found.
Nurses, £20 per annum and found.
General servants (female), £25 to £30 per annum and found.
Nurse girls, £15 to £20 per annum and found.
Married couples (man to do general work; woman to cook, &c.), £60 to £70 per annum and found.
Married men (farm labourers), £50 to £60 per annum, self found, and cottage for family.
Single men (farm labourers, ploughmen, and gardeners), £50 to £55 and found.
Carpenters, 8s. to 10s. per day of eight hours.
Bakers, 20s. per week and found.
Boys, £15 to £26 per annum and found.
Cooks (females), £30 to £35 per annum and found.
General servants (female), £20 to £30 per annum and found.
Nurse girls, £15 to £20 per annum and found.
Danes and other Foreigners.—General servants (female), £20 per annum and found. Nurse girls, £12 to £15 per annum and found.
Married couples (man to do general work; woman to cook, &c.), £60 to £70 per annum and found.
Married men (farm labourers), £50 to £60, self found, and cottage for family.
Single men (farm labourers, ploughmen, and gardeners), £50 to £55 per annum and found.
Carpenters, 8s. to 10s. per day of eight hours.
Bakers, 20s. per week and found.
Boys, £15 to £26 per annum and found.
Cooks (females), £30 to £35 per annum and found.
General servants, £20 to £30 per annum and found.
Nurse girls, £15 to £20 per annum and found.
Danes and other Foreigners.—General servants (female), £20 per annum and found. Nurse girls, £12 to £15 per annum and found.
"Cardigan Castle," November, 1873.
Married men (farm labourers), 30s. per week, with cottage and firing; or £52 per annum, everything found.
Single men (farm labourers), £52 per annum and found.
Carpenters, 10s. per day.
Bakers, £2 per week.
General labourers, 7s. per day.
Boys, £20 to £30 per annum.
Cooks (females), £30 per annum and found.
Nurses, £20 per annum and found.
Housemaids, £20 per annum and found.
General servants (female), £25 to £30 per annum and found.
Nurse girls, £12 to £16 per annum and found.
Danes and other Foreigners.—Families, engaged for bush-work on the peninsula, 6s. per day, with house and firing. General labourers (males), £40 to £45 per annum, with bonus of £5 if approved after twelve months; found.
Rates of Wages and Prices of Agricultural Labour, from information given by W. B. T., an Employer of. Labour.*
Married couples (man only to work), 30s. per week, with cottage and firing.
Single men, £52 per annum, and found.
Harvest wages, 10s. per week extra.
Hands taken on for harvest, 30s. to 35s. per week.
Men with threshing-machines, 1s. per hour.
Domestic servants in country (women), £30 per annum and found.
Domestic servants (girls), from £15 to £25 per annum and found.
* Harvest wages during the season 1873-4 were somewhat higher than those given in this return.
Ploughing, if let by contract, from 6s. to 8s. per acre breaking up.
Harvest work (tying and stooking), if let by contract, from 7s. to 10s. per acre, according to crop.
Threshing, by machine, to contractor, as a rule, 4d. per bushel.
Fencing, say for three sods, three wires, 5s. per chain of 22 yards, materials found.
Rates of Trade Wages, from information given by various Employers.
Carpenters (good), 10s. to 11s. per day of eight hours.
Masons (good), 11s. to 12s. per day of eight hours.
Bricklayers (good), 12s. to 14s. per day of eight hours.
Plasterers (good), 12s. per day of eight hours.
Painters (good), 10s. per day of eight hours.
Plumbers (good), 12s. per day of eight hours.
Blacksmith, 10s. per day of eight hours.
Engineers, 10s. per day of eight hours.
Iron-turners, 10s. per day of eight hours.
Moulders, 10s. per day of eight hours.
Millwrights, 10s. per day of eight hours.
Pattern-makers, 10s. per day of eight hours.
Riveters, £2. 10s. to £3 per week.
Finishers, £3 to £3. 10s. per week.
Bootmakers generally, £2. 10s. to £3 per week.
Curriers (good), £4 per week.
Apprentices or youths, first year, 10s. per week; second year, 20s. per week; third year, 30s. to 40s. per week.
Junior hands, 40s. to 50s. per week.
Experienced hands, new arrivals, 50s. to 60s. per week.
Experienced hands, of Colonial experience, 80s. per week.
First-class saleswomen and milliners, 50s. to 60s. per week.
Second-class saleswomen and milliners, 20s. to 40s. per week.
Hours of business, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Saturdays, when 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The "ration" system, strictly speaking, is not common in Canterbury. On the large sheep runs, where shepherds have to be kept at out-stations sometimes several miles from the homestead, the men usually come in once a week and draw their provisions, which consist generally of flour, tea, sugar, and meat. There does not appear to be any particular scale for rationing labourers, and, practically, men who have not to find themselves, are supplied by their employer without stint. The low price of provisions makes it not worth while to adhere to any strict scale or limits.
There area very large number of Provincial public works in progress or contemplated in Canterbury. From various causes, the Province has during the last year or two experienced a wonderful increase of prosperity, and, consequently, the sums of money paid into the Provincial Treasury for waste lands of the Crown, have reached a very great amount. The lands sold during the twelve months ending 30th September, 1872, were 59,485 acres; in the twelve months ending 30th September, 1873, 257,340 acres; realizing, therefore, for the two years £633,650. This sum is distributed by the Provincial Council for various public works, and necessarily there is a great demand for labour to carry them out. The extension of the main railways throughout the country is under the control of the Colonial Government, and the money expended upon those now in course of construction does not therefore come out of the Provincial Treasury. As regards the labour question, however, this difference is quite immaterial; and in the following enumeration of the public works in Canterbury, the railways in course of construction are included in the same category as other works. It may be remarked that two railways, one from Christchurch to Lyttelton, and one from Christchurch southwards as far as the River Selwyn, which were completed entirely by the Province, still require a considerable amount of labour on them by way of maintenance. This is especially the case with regard to the great tunnel at Lyttelton, where, owing to the decaying of the rock in several places, workmen are constantly employed in lining the roof and walls with brick and cement. Up to the beginning of 1873 there were finished and opened in Canterbury, chiefly from Provincial revenue, about fifty miles of railway, including the two above mentioned and another from Christchurch northwards to Rangiora. These railways are constructed on what is called the "Irish" gauge, 5 ft. 3 in. wide, and, by Act of the General Assembly, certain other lines in the Province, as named below, are to be made on the same gauge. The remaining lines are to be constructed on the narrow, or 3 ft. 6 in. gauge.
Since the beginning of 1873, a further extension of the Southern Railway, ten miles, to the south bank of the river Rakaia, bus been opened. The bridge, nearly a mile long, over that river, is a combined cart and railway bridge, being floored with asphalte.
The railways in course of construction, or likely to be soon commenced, first claim attention. In the first class are:—
The extension of the Northern Railway a distance of fourteen miles from the present terminus at Rangiora to Amberley, a village on the bank of the northern branch of the river Kowai. This includes a bridge, three-quarters of a mile long, over the river Ashley, which is now approaching completion. It will be a combined railway and foot-bridge, the Provincial Council having voted a sum of £1,200 for the latter purpose. There will also be two smaller bridges over the branches of the Kowai. The contract for the construction of this line has been let at a cost of, for the Ashley bridge £21,000, and for the remainder of the line £21,600. The line is to be on the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge.
A branch railway, 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, from Rangiora to Oxford, twenty miles. This line is almost completed.
A branch railway from the Rolleston station on the Southern Railway, to the Malvern Hills. This, which is also on the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, will terminate in the immediate vicinity of the coal-fields and deposits of iron ore. It is nearly completed.
A branch railway from the Racecourse station on the Southern Railway to South-bridge, a township near Lake Ellesmere. This line will connect Christchurch with perhaps the richest agricultural district in the Province. It is being constructed on the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge.
The extension of the Southern Railway, twenty miles, from the Rakaia to the south branch of the river Ashburton. This work, on the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, will probably be finished about April, 1874.
A line from Timaru to Temuka, twelve miles, 3 ft. 6 in. gauge. It includes three large bridges and some heavy cuttings, and is in course of construction.
A branch railway from Washdyke, a station on the Timaru and Temuka line, to the Point, seven miles, 3 ft. 6 in. gauge. This is a work paid for out of Provincial funds.
In addition to these works, a large amount of labour is expended yearly on the present lines, as, for instance, in the case of the bridge over the river Selwyn, which, having become decayed, requires an expenditure during the coming year of £11,000; and the conversion, which has been resolved on, of the Southern line from broad to narrow gauge, at a cost of £8,000. The estimates of the Provincial Government for the year 1873-74 contain under this head a total of £160,000.
The second class of railway works includes those already authorized by the General Assembly, but not actually in course of construction, and those which will, probably in the course of the next few years, be undertaken. Under this head come the lines from the Ashburton to Temuka, and from Timaru to the river Waitaki, completing the southern trunk line through the Province; and an extension of the northern line from Amberley to the river Hurunui, an instalment of the trunk line to the West Coast and Nelson, which may be looked forward to as likely to become necessary before long. It is probable that other connecting lines will shortly be required, such as a line from Oxford to Malvern (perhaps extending farther south to join the western districts more intimately together), and branch lines on the plains of the Ashburton and Rangitata.
Of the Provincial works contemplated or already undertaken, the chief are those proposed for the improvement of Lyttelton harbour. These, which include massive stone breakwaters, wharves, jetties, railway extensions, &c., are estimated to cost nearly £180,000, and their completion will of necessity require some years' labour. Contracts for works costing the greater part of this sum have lately been let by public tender, and a large number of hands will be wanted for them. Possibly, as time goes on and the traffic in the harbour increases, still further works of this class will have to be undertaken. Those already proposed will, however, give employment to a small army of workmen.
There are a great number of Provincial works of a miscellaneous character included in the estimates for 1873-74. Some of these have been already commenced, others are for the present postponed on account of the scarcity of labour. Schedule B of the Estimates, "Buildings and Works," includes sums amounting to about £100,000 for "Buildings" (in this sum being £42,500 for ordinary schools), £158,200 for "Bridges," £29,140 for various "Roads," and £36,360 for "Miscellaneous" works; the total of the schedule amounting to £340,975. Most of these bridges are under contract; but a great number of the largest works, amounting to more than £100,000, have not as yet been touched. Schedule B also includes a sum of £60,000 to be distributed to the various Road Boards in the Province; and as this sum is further increased by the amount of the rates levied by the Boards in their respective districts, there is an ample field for the employment of labour in this direction. The Road Boards, the contractors for railways and other Government works, and the Government itself, found during the past year very great difficulty in procuring labourers, and on this account many important works had to be postponed.
There is one item in the list of "Miscellaneous" works which may excuse a passing remark, viz., the sum of £15,000 for "Water Supply, Malvern to Rolleston." Between these two places lies a stretch of plain land, mostly good, but unfortunately not well watered. It is proposed to bring down across this plain, water from a river near the hills, and to distribute it over the country. It is probable that the actual cost of this work will amount to very much more than the sum named. But, besides affording employment to a number of labourers in its construction, the work will render available for settlement a large area of agricultural land, within easy reach of a market, and as yet unbought from the Crown.
There are certainly in Canterbury a very large number of public works of all descriptions, either at present under contract, or awaiting tenders, or proposed, which will offer employment to immigrants. The enormous revenue now derived from sales of Crown lands may not continue to flow into the Treasury at its present rate for many years more; but there are not now any signs of its ceasing, and the sales every week are as large as ever. In consequence of the great scarcity of labour the question has been seriously discussed, whether it would not be advisable to lay by for a time the greater part of the revenue, and only proceed with a few of the most absolutely necessary works; and the farmers and sheep-owners are often put to serious inconvenience by the difficulty of procuring labourers for shearing or harvest, owing to the numbers engaged on the public works. Moreover, the price at which contracts can profitably be taken has of late years very considerably risen.
Canterbury offers to the industrious immigrant of the labouring class a certain prospect of employment, at good wages, for some time to come. In a new country, there is always so large a quantity of work to be performed in bringing the waste land into cultivation, and there are so many public works required to properly develop the resources of the country, that labour must be in demand. That there have been, and probably will be again, times in which the lowering of the prices of our productions in the home markets produces a bad effect on the general prosperity, and thence naturally on the rates of wages for labour, is not to be denied; but labouring men, owing to the generally low prices of the necessaries of life, can support these periods of depression far more easily here than in older countries, and the "bad times" are not, as a rule, of long duration.
For the "small farmer" class there could be no better field than Canterbury. Land is easily procurable, and the greater part of it is well adapted for cultivation. The increase, every year, of the quantity of cultivated land is a proof that agriculture in the Province has hitherto been successful. The great drawback, up to the present time, has been the want of easy communication; but the extension of the railways, and the network of roads now stretching over every portion of the Province, are rapidly producing an alteration for the better in this respect.
Canterbury will, it is hoped, in a very few years be so far provided with railways, that every district will have easy means of communication with the markets, and the roads, under the direction of the various Boards, are every year rapidly improving. It may be mentioned, as interesting to farming immigrants, that, owing to the general mildness of the climate, no special care has to be taken of stock in the winter time. Sheep and cattle can be left out in the fields all the year round: horses have usually, if running loose, a rug placed over them in winter. Severe frosts are unknown: snow, on the plains, seldom lies more than a few hours. Usually, no further preparation of the land is required for the plough than burning off the native grass. Agricultural machinery is coming into use more and more each year. Reaping and threshing machines have been common for a long time past; but steam cultivation has not as yet been found profitable. A system of reaping, as used in South Australia, by stripping off the ears of corn, instead of cutting it low down to the ground, is being tried, and, it is believed, with some success.
A glance at the wages table will show that men are in demand for almost every trade, and, in fact, ordinary mechanics are perhaps better off than any other class at the present time. With regard to mechanics especially engaged in industries, it is probable that although manufactures and mining industries are as yet hardly in existence, it will not be long before they are started in Canterbury. Amongst those most likely to be promoted in the next few years, may be named woollen mills, iron works, potteries, coal mines, sacking and bagging factories (from Phormium fibre), and paper mills. Indeed, the absence of skilled workmen has been the chief reason why these industries have not been already undertaken.
The following return, from information by (R.W.), a large dealer in stock, gives the ruling prices:—
Draught horses (fair), from £20 to £40; first-class horses fetch up to £80.
Working oxen (not much in use), £10.
Milch cows, £5 to £8, say average £6. 10s.
Mixed cattle, consisting of cows, heifers, and steers, £3. 10s.
Merino ewes, 4s. 6d. each; Merino wethers (lean), 5s. each; Merino wethers (fat), 8s. each.
Cross-bred ewes (from Merino ewes and long-wool rams), 10s.; ditto wethers, 15s.
Average price of fat bullocks, 20s. per 100 lb.
Average price of fat wethers, 2½d. per lb.
Pure long-wool sheep bring high prices according to breed and condition.
These prices must be taken as the average of the year. They vary from time to time, particularly as regards sheep, in the value of which the fleece forms an important element.
The following may be taken as a fair average of prices of the ordinary necessaries of life for 1873:—
Tea, say from 2s. 6d. to 5s. per lb.
Sugar, say from 5d. to 6½d. per lb.
Bread, say from 6d. to 7d. per 4 lb.
Butter, say from 9d. to 1s. 2d. per lb.
Cheese, say from 6d. to 9d. per lb.
Mutton, say from 2d. to 3d. per lb.
Beef, say from 3d. to 6d. per lb.
Bacon and hams, say from 8d. to 9d. per lb.
Fish, say from 4d. to 6d. per lb.
Beer (Colonial), say from 90s. to 170s. per hhd.
Beer (English), say £10. 10s. per hhd.
Coals, say from 50s. to 75s. per ton.
(The last article is chiefly imported from Newcastle, in Australia. It is probable that the opening of the Canterbury coal mines will soon reduce the price very materially.)
Fowls, say from 4s. per couple.
Ducks, say from 5s. to 6s. per couple.
Geese, say from 6s. to 8s. per couple.
As far as can be ascertained, the following list comprises the most important ecclesiastical organizations in the Province; but, as has been already observed, the populalation comprises members of almost every form of Church and sect, and even includes several Chinese. There are, therefore, probably many who are not contained in the list below.
The Church of England in Canterbury is governed by a Bishop (who is also Primate of New Zealand) with a chapter and canons. The cathedral in Christchurch, designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, is not yet much more than commenced. Some years ago a sum of over £6,000 was expended in constructing the foundations, which are very massive, and for a long time no further steps were taken in the matter. In 1873, however, £5,000 was devoted to the commencement of the walls, to a height of about 9 ft. all round; and it is expected that gradually the work may be proceeded with, though the size of the building will necessarily cause its completion to be considerably delayed. The total cost of the work is estimated at £50,000. There are, besides, nine churches in Christchurch and its suburbs, one at Lyttelton, and others in the various country towns and villages. Services are also held, when possible, at many of the up-country residences and stations.
The Roman Catholics of Canterbury form part of the Diocese of Wellington. In Christchurch, there are services at the chapel every morning, and on Sundays in the evening. There are also chapels at Lyttelton, Timaru, Temuka, Rangiora, Akaroa, Leithfield, and occasional services are held at various country places as opportunity occurs. There at present but five priests in the Province, but hopes are entertained that the number may soon be increased. Adjoining the chapel in Christchurch is a Convent of Nuns of the order of Our Lady of Missions, who conduct a large school for girls, well attended by scholars of all denominations. There is also a boys' school attached to the church at Christchurch, and to that at Lyttelton.
The Wesleyan Methodists have two large chapels in Christchurch, and others in the suburbs, in Lyttelton, Kaiapoi, Timaru, and many country places.
The Presbyterians have also two chapels in Christchurch, and several ministers stationed in different parts of the Province.
There are, besides, in the towns and more populous country districts, congregations, with many chapels, of Baptists, Independents, United Methodists, and of other religious bodies. The Jews have a synagogue in Christchurch. During 1873 a church was erected in the capital for the use of those emigrants from Germany or Scandinavia, who belong to Protestant denominations.
The affairs of the Church of England, which has large landed property, are managed by the Capitular Body, a Diocesan Synod, and a body of Trustees; and there is also a Commission specially appointed to supervise the work on the cathedral. The Catholics, Wesleyans, and Presbyterians conduct their affairs in the manner usual in each case.
There are branches of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge connected with the Church of England, and the Bible Society, of which persons of many denominations are members.
The Province of Canterbury has, especially of late years, devoted large sums of money and enacted various Ordinances for the furtherance of primary and superior education. It will be convenient to divide the subject into several branches, and then to summarize the information. The divisions will be,—1. The system adopted for primary education; 2. The provision made for increasing the teaching power; 3. The establishments and endowments provided for higher education; 4. The New Zealand University in connection with Canterbury; 5. The probable prospects and present administration of the revenues and property appropriated to the purposes of education.
The present remarks will be confined to public education; but there are, both in Christchurch and the country, many private schools, elementary and otherwise, where large numbers of children are educated.
The first Ordinance of the Provincial Council relating to this matter was passed in the eighth session, 1857. It was a short and simple enactment of which the most important clauses provided that certain sums of money, amounting to £2,200, should be divided between the Church of England, the Wesleyans, and the Presbyterians, and the charge and control of the schools were handed over to them. School fees were to be paid, and an Inspector of Schools was appointed.
In 1863, another short Ordinance was passed, appointing a Board of Education, under whose control the public schools of the Province were placed, and who were empowered to decide upon applications for grants of public money in aid of schools. In this Ordinance, mention is made for the first time of "Local Committees" for district schools. The first step was also then taken towards withdrawing the control of public education from the various religious bodies.
In 1864, a still further advance was made. "The Education Ordinance, 1864," provided—1. That on application from the inhabitants of any locality, the Board of Education might take steps for proclaiming such locality an educational district. This was to be done by taking a majority of the votes, for or against, at a public meeting of householders and landed proprietors. 2. That if a district were thus formed the meeting should proceed to elect a School Committee, who should take charge of educational matters within the district. 3. That the Board of Education should have power to grant to the districts, for the establishment of new schools, any sum not exceeding three-fourths of the estimated cost of the necessary buildings, the Local Committee providing the other fourth. 4. That for this last, and other school purposes, the Local Committee should have power to raise within the district a rate payable by every householder, such rate not to exceed 20s. for each house. 5. That the Board might make, to any school established under the Ordinance, an annual grant of £75, but that no alteration, except as specially provided, should be made in respect of schools established before the passing of the Ordinance; such schools, however, to be placed under the charge of Committees. 6. That schools established in connection with any particular religious denomination should be entitled to receive special giants in aid, the control of the religious teaching in such schools being left to such denomination. Religious instruction in the district schools was to be under the control of the Local Committee. No special grant made as above provided was to exceed £2 for every child in average attendance. 7. Provision was made for the inspection of all public schools. 8. Three schools, namely, Christ's College Grammar School and the High School (both in Christchurch), and the High School, Lyttelton, were excepted from the Ordinance, and were to receive annual grants in aid of from £200 to £300. Such are the most important provisions of this Ordinance, which, as may be seen, was a long step in advance of those which preceded it.
A short and not important Ordinance was passed in 1865, referring only to matters of detail in connection with the Local Committee.
Another short Ordinance, referring to the collection of the rates above mentioned, was passed in 1868, but was in the same year repealed.
In 1871 an Ordinance was passed consolidating and amending the law relating to education. Its principal provisions were —1. That in educational districts a rate, not exceeding 6d. in the pound on the annual value of the property in the district, might in certain cases be levied for the purpose of erecting or maintaining the school buildings. 2. The amount to be granted by the Board of Education towards erecting new schools was raised from three-fourths to five-sixths of their estimated cost, the district providing one-sixth. 3. The school fees hitherto charged in the district schools were made to cease in 1872, and instead thereof every householder residing within a radius of three miles from the school was to pay an annual sum of 20s. and a further sum of 5s. for every child between the ages of six and thirteen. Not more than 20s. was however to be paid for any number of children by any householder, so that the maximum amount to be contributed by him could not exceed £2 per annum. The provisions of the foregoing Ordinances relating to grants in aid of denominational schools and to religious instruction were embodied also in this Ordinance.
In 1872 an Ordinance was passed providing that existing clauses relating to the election of School Committees should not apply to the towns of Christchurch, Timaru, Lyttelton, or Kaiapoi, but that in those places certain other proceedings should be taken.
In a subsequent session of 1872, the Ordinance of 1871 was repealed, and another passed, re-enacting many of its provisions, and introducing certain amendments, but not interfering in any very important way with the existing system.
In the next session, no Education Ordinance was passed, but a resolution was carried in the Council to the effect that it was desirable, in order to place the means of elementary education within the reach of as many children as possible, to include within an educational district every locality in the Province where there were at least twenty-five children between the ages of six and thirteen years. The effect of this resolution was to bring under the operation of the Ordinances the towns mentioned above. It is necessary here to go back a little, in order to show how this change affected the whole system of primary education. As before observed, the Education Ordinance, 1864, provided that special grants in aid might be made to denominational schools, and the words were added, "such schools shall not be included in any educational district." This provision remained in force, being re-enacted in the various Ordinance, until 1872; and as Christchurch, Timaru, Lyttelton, and Kaiapoi were not educational districts, the denominational schools in those towns received grants in aid from the Board of Education. By the passing of the above resolution, these schools would be deprived of this assistance. No steps were, however, for some months taken by the Board of Education to carry the resolution into effect.
In 1873, an Ordinance was passed to consolidate and amend the law relating to public education in Canterbury, and this Ordinance is at present in force. The previous enactments were, to a great extent, retained, so far as related to the establishment of the Board of Education and Local Committees, and the general distribution of funds. The main alterations were—1. That the Superintendent might proclaim as an educational district any locality where it might seem necessary (thus including the towns). 2. That no provision was made in the Ordinance for any assistance to denominational schools, which were, therefore, not in future to receive any aid from the State.
From the above résumé, it will be seen that, starting from a system under the control of the various denominations, assisted by grants from the Treasury, the Province has at the present time arrived at a system, of which the most important features may be stated as follows:—
All primary public education is under the control of a Board of eight members, appointed and removable by the Superintendent. The Board entertains and decides upon all questions as to the distribution of public money appropriated by the Provincial Council for establishing new and aiding existing district schools. Teachers, inspectors, and other officers are appointed by the Board. The Province is divided into districts, according as the increase of settlement renders them necessary, the number of these at present being eighty-four. As the country becomes populated, more districts are required; and the Superintendent has power, if he thinks fit, to proclaim any locality an educational district. Schools in these districts are built, as required by the Board of Education, the inhabitants providing one-sixth of the necessary cost. The householders of each district annually elect a Local Committee, who, under the Board, have control over educational matters in their district.
No fees are charged in any public school, but every householder residing within a radius of three miles from the school has to pay £1 per annum, and a further sum of 5s. for every child he has between the ages of six and thirteen. It is, however, provided that no person shall be liable to pay for his children more than £1, so that in no case does a householder pay more than £2 per annum towards the maintenance of the school, whatever may be the number of his children.
Children of parents residing more than three miles from a school may attend on payment of 5s. each per quarter.
In all schools under the Board, the system of elementary education comprises reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, geography, history (sacred and profane), and English grammar. No child is compelled to be present at the teaching of history whose parents or guardians object thereto. Military drill is taught in the schools.
Clause 62 of the Ordinance provides that the Committee of any school may set apart either one whole day or two half-days in each week, during which ministers of religion may impart religious instruction to children belonging to their various denominations, provided that no children shall be allowed to attend such instruction except on a written request from their parents or guardians.
The salaries of the teachers are fixed according to the number of children attending the schools, but no male teacher receives less than £130, and no female teacher less than £60 per annum.
Such are the main features of the Canterbury educational system. It will be seen that, whilst the State has decided to be in no way connected with any religious denomination, it has taken steps to place within the reach of every child in the Province the means of obtaining, at the lowest possible price, instruction in the various branches mentioned above.
It remains to be stated what are the funds appropriated by the Provincial Council towards the establishment and maintenance of schools for primary education. First, in each session votes have been taken for school buildings, salaries of teachers and officers, and other expenses of the department, rising from the vote of £2,200 in 1857, to £72,000 voted during 1873; and for the year ending 30th September, 1874, there is again an amount of over £72,000.
It is evident that votes such as these, depending upon the state of the revenue and the will of the Council, would not offer a certainty for the future to the Board of Education; and if they were to cease suddenly, the burden of building new schools and maintaining those already built would be thrown entirely on the ratepayers. But besides the annual votes of money, the Board of Education have another source of income to rely on, namely, the revenue from the lands reserved for ordinary educational purposes. From a return furnished by the Steward of Reserves, it appears that to the present time, 51,596 acres have been so reserved, and that of these, 25,961 acres have been let to tenants. The rental of these lands varies according to their quality. The remaining 25,000 acres have not been as yet rented, but are sure to be so before long.
These reserves are let by public tender, in blocks of not less than 100 acres each, applications being considered once a month.
With so many schools urgently required in so short a time, it is evident that a necessity exists for providing efficient teachers. The Provincial Council have therefore voted, during the current year, a sum of £14,000 for the erection of a Normal School, where teachers may be properly trained. The foundation - stone of this building was laid in December, 1873, and the erection is being proceeded with. The funds necessary for its maintenance will of course have to be provided hereafter.
For many years (in fact almost since the first settlement of the Province) there has been carried on, in connection with the Church of England, a highly useful and effective establishment for higher education, under the name of Christ's College and Grammar School, or "The College." Although, strictly speaking, an Anglican school, the college is open to and is made use of by scholars of all denominations, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews; and the quality of the teaching has been so good, that the school has attained what may be called a pre-eminent position in New Zealand. The Rev. J. C. Andrew, who was appointed in 1873 as inspector of this and kindred institutions under the New Zealand University, reported in most favourable terms of the efficiency of the Christchurch College; and the position which its students take in the examinations for scholarships (Provincial or University) affords similar testimony. Up to 1873 the college received from the Provincial Council an annual grant in aid. This has now been discontinued, as before stated, and the school depends upon its own resources, which are, however, quite sufficient to maintain its efficiency.
Coming to the higher educational establishments supported by the State, we find that at various periods the Provincial Council has made large reserves of land for these purposes. Firstly, for a "Classical School," the income at present available for which is £764 per annum. Secondly, a "School for Technical Science," in conjunction with the Museum and Library, with an income (in 1873) of £1,030. Thirdly, a "College of Agriculture," income in 1873, £1,009. Fourthly, a "School for Superior Education," income in 1873, £1,016. In 1873, the Council passed an Ordinance establishing and incorporating a Provincial College, with a large and influential Board of Governors, and in this institution those mentioned above have been merged. The Provincial College has not, of course, as yet had sufficient time to be fairly started, but the Board of Governors have taken steps to procure a competent staff of professors, and there is no doubt that in a year or two the institution will be in full working order. The area reserved for these purposes is about 350,000 acres.
The work hitherto done in the direction of superior education by the "Canterbury Collegiate Union" will be adverted to in considering the next portion of the subject.
It is not out of place to mention, in connection with higher education, the Canterbury Museum, the Public Library, and the various libraries and institutes in the Province. Of the first-named, it is not too much to say that it would be creditable to any country. The collections placed in it are varied and complete, and well arranged, and cannot fail to be of great use in future years as a means of education. Moreover, lectures on scientific subjects have been delivered at the Museum, and now that it is incorporated with the Canterbury College, its educational usefulness will be very largely increased.
A Mechanics' Institute and Library has been in existence in Christchurch for some years, but, owing to various causes, has not been so generally useful as might have been desired. During the present year, however, this institution has been taken over by the Provincial Government as the nucleus of a public library, and a sum of £5,000 has been (devoted to the purchase of a first instalment of books, &c. It may be hoped that Canterbury may hereafter possess a public library, if not as large, at least as useful as those of Melbourne and Boston.
Libraries, book clubs, and institutes are to be found in almost every district in the Province. Every town and almost each village has one, and a vote of £5,000 passed by the Provincial Council, in 1873, for distribution amongst such institutions, has greatly stimulated their increase.
The Board of Education set apart each year a sum of money for a number of scholarships. There are at present twenty of these, of the value of £40 each, tenable for two years, and open to all scholars in the Province, whether from the district schools under the Education Ordinance, or schools such as the college, or under private tuition. With the increasing population, and the spread of educational institutions, the number of these scholarships may probably be expected to be increased.
The University of New Zealand is of course a colonial institution, not confined to any particular Province. It was established under an Act of the General Assembly in 1870, and application has been made to the Imperial Government for a charter to it. For various reasons, this has not yet been obtained, but it will doubtless not be long delayed. In the meantime, the University has commenced its career, and may be considered to be fully established as far as this country is concerned. Its work in the various Provinces is carried on by the affiliation to it of the higher educational bodies. In Canterbury, the body so affiliated has been called the "Collegiate Union," and was formed by an amalgamation for this purpose of the Christchurch College and the Museum. At present, the Collegiate Union is in process of being brought under the new Provincial College, which will become the institution affiliated to the New Zealand University. Hitherto, the Union has worked by means of lectures, open to the public, which have been delivered by various gentlemen, on classics, mathematics, modern languages, history, natural science, English literature, and jurisprudence. The Governors of the Provincial College propose to provide a regular staff of professors in the following branches:—Classics, mathematics, history, English literature, modern languages, natural philosophy, biology, chemistry, mental philosophy, political economy, and jurisprudence. Although necessarily a work of time, it is hoped that few years will pass before instruction can be efficiently given in these subjects.
The University does not, however, confine itself entirely to working through the affiliated institution. It grants degrees in the same manner as other universities, and, moreover, from the funds at its disposal, establishes scholarships, of which the number and value depend, as yet, upon the revenue available. This is not the place to enter fully on the university work, but enough has been said to show what benefit the Province of Canterbury derives from it.
The necessary information on this head may be gathered from the foregoing remarks. Briefly, the funds available in Canterbury for education are derived, firstly, from annual votes of the Provincial Council; secondly, from areas of land set apart as reserves and endowments; thirdly, from rates and contributions from the people. The first amounts are expended, for primary education, by the Board appointed under the Ordinance as above stated; the second are administered by a "Steward of Reserves," who has power to let the lands to tenants on certain conditions; the third are paid over to the Board and dealt with by them, as are the first. It is evident that the first, or the annual votes of the Council, are dependent on the state of the Provincial revenue, and may therefore be expected to be not always so large as they have been of late years. The second and third sources of revenue, depending on the increase of population, which is a matter of certainty, and the general prosperity of the country, which is, to all appearance, probably also increasing, may fairly be expected to grow larger every year.
Summarizing as briefly as possible, it may be stated that, as regards primary education, the system in force in Canterbury is secular or undenominational, in which the State, refusing to recognize any responsibility for giving more than the rudiments of material and commercial instruction, has placed the means of obtaining such instruction within the reach of the poorest inhabitant. The multiplication of school districts, the abolition of school fees, and the provision that no person shall pay more than £2 per annum for having his children taught, whilst all have to pay something whether they have children or not, have rendered it easy for any one to insure for his family the benefit of instruction in at least those subjects enumerated in the Education Ordinance. As regards higher education, the Provincial authorities have been evidently eager to supply ample facilities; and, with the various district schools, the colleges, museum, and lecture-halls, with their attendant scholarships and other incentives to progress, there seems to be in Canterbury almost every provision made befitting so young a country for instruction for the young.
Exclusive of several private hospitals maintained by various medical men, there are in Canterbury two hospitals, one at Christchurch and one at Timaru, with a casual ward in Lyttelton for cases of accident in the harbour, on board ship, &c. The Christchurch Hospital is situated on the banks of the Avon, in a healthy position, and surrounded by tastefully laid-out grounds. The annual vote of the Council for its maintenance amounts to a little under £5,000 at present. The hospital has now accommodation for about 130 patients, and a further increase is contemplated, which will admit about 70 more. In 1873, about 1,300 out-patients were also treated. New and extensive fever wards have recently been built, containing excellent accommodation, and capable of being quite isolated from the rest of the building. The staff of the hospital consists of one resident house-surgeon, two visiting surgeons, two visiting physicians, one ophthalmic surgeon, and four consulting surgeons and physicians. According to the regulations, patients are supposed to pay towards their maintenance £1 per week for the first six weeks, and 10s. per week afterwards, whilst in the hospital; but, practically, the institution is kept as much as possible for those who cannot afford to pay for medical advice, and who are admitted gratis.
The hospital at Timaru is a similar institution, of a smaller class, maintained by the Government at a present annual cost of about £1,200.
This is established in Lyttelton, on a site overlooking the harbour. It is capable of accommodating about 120 children, and is managed, at a present annual cost of about £2,500, by a master and matron, with a staff of nurses. It is a purely public institution, and is very satisfactorily conducted. The children, as soon as they are old enough, are apprenticed to various trades, or sent out to situations as domestic servants, &c. There were, about the close of 1873, 94 children in the Orphanage.
This is situated on a piece of land containing about 50 acres, three miles from Christchurch. It will accommodate about 160 patients. Large additions have lately been made to it, and the male and female wards are now entirely distinct and separate. There is also a separate establishment in the same grounds for the reception of confirmed drunkards, who are sent for various periods to the lunatic asylum by the Magistrates. The institution is entirely a public one, but if the relatives of patients can afford it, they have to pay a small sum per week for their maintenance. The annual cost to the Province is about £8,500.
The system adopted in the asylum is, according to modern practice, one of kindness and moderate control. The buildings are lofty and well ventilated, the food good and plentiful, and every care is taken to provide, where possible, recreation and amusement for the patients. Christchurch, which possesses a theatre and several halls for various entertainments, is hardly ever without the presence of some professional performers, and many of these, besides the local amateurs, take opportunities of giving entertainments to the patients at the asylum.
Besides the above local institutions, the Provincial Government of Canterbury provides liberally for the maintenance of those who, from accidents, or old age, or other causes, are unable to support themselves.
The Charitable Aid Department, which in 1873 cost £4,500, had recently under its charge about ninety persons, mostly widows and children, or women deserted by their husbands. These are not collected in any separate establishment, but are assisted by the Government according as their necessities require. A number of men who have, from various causes, so far lost the use of their limbs as to be incapable of doing any but light work, are employed under this department in work in the public domains, planting on the railway lines, &c., where the labour is easy and does not require great despatch.
The above are the chief purely charitable institutions maintained at the public expense in Canterbury. One more should, however, be here spoken of, though not strictly in the same category. It is the reformatory or industrial school. Consequent on the rapid increase of the population of the Province, especially in the towns, it became necessary to establish some institution for reclaiming from evil the boys and girls whose parents neglected to look after them. It was therefore decided, in 1872, to build, on a piece of land about eighteen miles from Christchurch, a large industrial school, and this is now in operation. It is intended, when the school is fairly in working order, that the inmates shall be taught various trades and occupations, for which the building itself, and the large piece of land surrounding it, will be made available.
A few words should be said of private charitable institutions. There are many of these in connection with the various religious denominations, such as the Benevolent Aid Society, the House of Refuge for Females, the Society of St. Vincent of Paul, &c. There are likewise branches of different benefit societies—Masons, Odd-fellows, Foresters, and the like.
Altogether, it may be said that Canterbury is well provided with charitable institutions of various kinds, both public and private; whilst, on the other hand, it must be remembered that there is not the same need for them here as in older countries; for the low price of the necessaries of life, the high wages, and general prosperity of the people, render it much more easy, especially to persons of the working classes, to gain a subsistence, and to attain to a certain amount of luxurious living.
|Cottages, two-roomed, 24 ft. ×12 ft. (in town)||£45|
|Cottages, two-roomed, 24 ft. ×12 ft. (in country)||£50|
Ruling rates of rent for dwelling-houses in town:—
Four-roomed cottages, from 10s. to 12s. per week.
Six-roomed cottages, from 15s. to 20s. per week, according to position, &c.
Family houses, from £70 to £120 per annum, according to position, &c.
The system of immigration adopted by the Colony of New Zealand is, practically, a free one.
The ships employed to bring out immigrants are very carefully chosen and thoroughly inspected before starting. They are all under the provisions of the Passenger Act. There is always a doctor on board, and a matron in charge of the single women, and these, with the captain, on arrival in port, receive, according to their efficiency and good conduct, gratuities from the Government. The 'tween-decks of all the ships are divided into three compartments, kept carefully distinct and separate, for single men, married couples, and single women. A liberal scale of rations has been adopted, under which each immigrant receives beef, pork, preserved meat, vegetables, tea, coffee, &c., and bread. Children under twelve years of age are specially provided for.
Immediately after the sailing of an immigrant ship from England, the Agent-General for New Zealand forwards to the Colonial Government, by overland mail, a list containing the names and occupations of all on board. A summary of this list is published in the local papers, with an advertisement stating that applications for the classes of labour therein specified will be received by the Immigration Department. Each immigrant ship is, on arrival, immediately visited by the Health Officer and the Immigration Commissioners. If the state of health is satisfactory, the Commissioners go on board and inspect all the arrangements. The immigrants are mustered, and inquiries made as to comfort, discipline, and general conduct of all on board.
The immigrants are asked if they have any complaints to make, either of the quality or quantity of the provisions and water supplied to them, and generally if they have been comfortable and satisfied on the voyage.
All the compartments of the ship, the surgery, hospitals, lavatories, closets, &c., are inspected, and any defects noted. In case of complaints or bad conduct on the part either of the officers in charge or of the immigrants, a strict inquiry is instituted before the report of the Commissioners is sent in.
As soon as the inspection is over, the immigrants are Landed with their luggage and proceed by special train to the depôt at Addington, a distance of about eight miles, where they are comfortably lodged in large and well-ventilated apartments, and treated with the greatest care by the master and matron.
Two days are allowed for washing and mending clothes, &c., but those immigrants who are going to relations or friends, may leave immediately their friends come for them. On the third day the engagements take place.
Careful provision is made for the protection of single women, both on the voyage and after arrival, and no person is admitted into the engagement-room who is not personally known to the officers of the department to be of good character, unless he brings a certificate to that effect from some respectable householder.
Each engagement is superintended by an officer of the department, and duly entered in books kept for that purpose. The current rates of wages are posted in each of the compartments of the depôt. Generally, every care is taken that the immigrant shall be thoroughly well informed of the state of the labour market, so that he shall not be imposed on by persons endeavouring to engage servants at rates lower than those current.
Amongst the questions put to immigrants on arrival is the following: —"Have you any remarks to make with regard to the promotion of emigration at home ?" The following are amongst the answers lately given, and are fair average specimens:—J. M., married, from Jersey, says: "There is no difficulty in the way of any Jersey people obtaining a passage if they are willing to come. Dr. Garrick (the local agent) makes everything easy. The dread of the voyage stops a great many from coming. I shall write describing our treatment on the voyage; it was much better than I expected." W. W., married, says, "Let emigrants write home describing the country truthfully, and also a description of their treatment on board ship, and after arrival in New Zealand." E. A., single man, says, "Work is so bad in London, that many hundreds would come out if they were not afraid of the long voyage. Letters home from emigrants would help to do away with that feeling." M. A. H., single woman, says, "Many single women that I know are afraid of the voyage, and the treatment they will receive upon arrival. If they could be informed how comfortable we were on board, and in the depôt here, many would come out."
It will be seen from the foregoing remarks that, in point of fact, the immigrant to Canterbury has, in reality, no trouble, and nothing special to do on his arrival. From the time when he reaches the depôt in England, whether in London, Plymouth, or elsewhere, everything is done for him by the Government. The regulations regarding his comfort on board ship are strictly carried out, and the vessels themselves are carefully selected. The provisions supplied are good and plentiful, and on his arrival here, if he has friends to go to, he is at liberty to join them as soon as he likes. If not he is comfortably lodged and fed, and every possible facility is placed in his way for obtaining a good situation.
Applications for married couples, single men, and single women, are received at the Immigration Office for some weeks previous to the arrival of an immigrant ship.
Upon the engagement day, due notice of which is given by advertisement, employers attend at the barracks, and select according to priority of application.
It is the duty of the Barrack Master to point out to persons applying for married couples or single men, those whom he has ascertained to be suitable for the situations, and generally to assist employers and immigrants in making the necessary arrangements for engagement.
It is the duty of the Barrack Matron to assist persons desirous of engaging female servants, by pointing out those suitable for the situations, and generally to assist employers and immigrants in making the necessary arrangements.
A list of the class of immigrants available for hire, and the current rate of wages, will be posted in all the compartments of the barracks.
Any employers unknown to the Immigration Officer may be requested to bring an introduction from a respectable householder.
All agreements are made in writing by employer and servant, and witnessed by Immigration Officer. The original agreement is kept as a record, a copy being given to the person employed.
Any immigrant who refuses a reasonable offer of service, will be required to leave at once. The fact of such refusal must be reported immediately to the Immigration Officer, and by him to the Government.
Immigrants who have accepted service must leave the barracks without delay, and cannot be re-admitted.
Accommodation in the barracks will be afforded to immigrants newly arrived for one week after landing, and no longer, without special permission from the Immigration Officer.
No person is allowed to enter the barracks except by an order from the Immigration Officer.
All immigrants accommodated in the barracks must be in their rooms by 9 o'clock p.m., and must rise at 6 o'clock from the 1st September to the 31st March inclusive, and at 7 a.m. from the 1st April to the 31st August. The berths and floors must be swept and cleaned out before 8 o'clock a.m.
Immigrants will be expected to air their bedding daily, and observe strict cleanliness at all times.
All slops must be carried to the places appointed for that purpose.
No immigrant must write upon, or in any way damage any of the buildings.
No fire or light shall be kept burning in any room in the barracks after 9 p.m., except under the direction of the Immigration Officer.
No smoking will be allowed at any time in any of the rooms of the barracks.
No immigrant will be allowed to remain in the barracks after obtaining employment, except with the permission of the Immigration Officer.
Any immigrant leaving the barracks before being engaged, unless authorized by the Immigration Officer, will not be readmitted.
Any person who shall use obscene language, become intoxicated, or violate any of the above rules, will be immediately expelled from the barracks.
The Immigration Officer may require adult immigrants to do four hours' work daily during their stay in the barracks.
The laws of Canterbury are like those of the other Provinces of New Zealand, of a threefold character. Firstly, there are the various English laws applicable to the Colony; secondly, the Acts of the General Assembly of New Zealand; thirdly, the various Ordinances passed by the Provincial Council, which are, of course, valid only within the boundaries of the Province. These laws are administered, firstly, by the Supreme Court, the Judge of which holds his office under the Colonial Government, although the necessary buildings and other expenses are borne by the Province; secondly, by Resident Magistrates, of whom there are, in the Province, five, holding their Courts at Christchurch (with a subdistrict at Leeston), Timaru, Lyttelton, Kaiapoi (with sub-districts at Oxford, Rangiora, and Leithfield), and Akaroa (these officers are also under the Colonial Government); thirdly, by Justices of the Peace, of whom, in the various parts of the Province, there are at present 129. These gentlemen receive no salaries. Besides, the Province is divided into districts for the purpose of Coroners' inquests.
The Police Department is under the control of the Provincial authorities. The force, an exceedingly efficient one, is at present composed of a total, including officers, of 65 men, or about one to every 800 of the population. The amount of crime in Canterbury is not great: for instance, it has always been a subject of remark that a crowd here is invariably orderly. The Police force, however, is highly organized and in excellent order, and as they are distributed in as many places as possible, they contribute very largely to the safety and peaceable condition of the Province.
Gaols have been constructed and are maintained by the Provincial Government in Lyttelton (for long service prisoners), in Timaru, in Christchurch, and at Addington (for female prisoners). In Lyttelton Gaol, the convicts are employed in various works. Hitherto, they have been occupied in constructing the breakwater in the harbour, of masses of rock from the adjacent cliff; now, however, this and other extensive harbour works, to a proposed cost of £170,000, are being constructed by contractors, in the ordinary way, and other employment has to be found for the prisoners.
The usual facilities for transacting business are of course not wanting in Canterbury. There are five banks in the Province—the Bank of New Zealand, the Bank of Australasia, the Union Bank of Australia, the Bank of New South Wales, and the National Bank of New Zealand (Limited). These, besides their head offices in Christchurch, have branch establishments and agencies in various country towns, such as Lyttelton, Kaiapoi, Timaru, Ashburton, Rangiora, &c.
The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, and the Trust and Agency Company of Australasia, have also offices in Christchurch and other towns.
Several insurance companies are likewise established here, such as the London and Liverpool and Globe, the Royal, the London and Lancashire, and others, of English origin, and the South British, National and Standard Companies, started in the Colony.
Christchurch, Timaru, Kaiapoi, Lyttelton, and Rangiora possess Fire Brigades, of which the organization and efficiency are highly spoken of.
There are several Building and Investment Societies, which render very valuable assistance to those who are desirous of acquiring a comfortable home, but have not all the necessary capital. Thus, for instance, a person who desires to receive assistance towards building, according to the rules of one of these Societies, executes a mortgage of the property to the Society, and receives from it advances periodically during the continuance of the work. Those advances can be repaid by monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly instalments. For instance, if £50 is borrowed, both principal and interest can be repaid in fourteen years by a monthly payment of 10s. 4d., or by a quarterly payment of £1. 11s. 3d., or by a half-yearly payment of £3. 3s. 2d.; or it can be repaid in six years by a monthly payment of 17s. 11d., a quarterly payment of £2. 14s. 2d., or a half-yearly payment of £5. 9s. 6d. The borrower can, if he wishes, at any time redeem the loan by giving three months' notice, and paying the balance of the principal then actually due, without further payment. The fees and charges are exceedingly moderate. These Societies are much used in Canterbury, and are found to be of great assistance: almost every one is enabled to build himself a comfortable home, and the towns are full of cottages belonging to working men, many of which are erected with the help of one of the Building Societies.
Associations such as the Meat Export Companies, the Flax Association, Chamber of Commerce, and the like, require a passing mention, especially the first, which, thanks to the opening of a steady trade with Europe in preserved meats, have done a great deal towards establishing in this country a greater certainty in the values of stock than did exist, and have therefore very largely benefited the agricultural portion of the community.
There are at present three Agricultural and Pastoral Associations in the Province of which one holds its annual show of cattle sheep, implements, and produce, at Christ church, on November 9th in each year with a ram fair and grain show in the autumn. A second is established at Timaru, and a third at Leeston, and both of these also hold annual shows. The influence of these societies, and the impetus given by them to stock-breeding, have largely contributed to raise Canterbury to a high rank as a country for pure stock of all classes. There is now hardly a ship coming to Lyttelton from England which does not bring out valuable sheep or cattle, selected carefully from the best herds and flocks in the old country.
There has been an Acclimatization Society in existence in Canterbury for some years past, and its labours have been, as a rule, very successful and highly useful. Its funds are obtained by subscription, but the Provincial Council has, in most years, added a liberal grant from the Treasury. The Society import every year numbers of birds from England, and, in consequence, in many parts of the Province are found numbers of thrushes, blackbirds, yellow-hammers, linnets, skylarks, goldfinches, bullfinches, and other birds of the like class. A year ago, rooks and starlings were introduced, and they are now rapidly increasing. Excepting in the forests, the smaller native birds are not abundant in Canterbury, and until the Society introduced those from England hardly any were to be seen. Now, however, these latter are spreading so fast that in a few years, it is hoped, they will be found everywhere; and as the Society turns its attention more particularly to the introduction of those birds which are useful for destroying grubs, flies, and caterpillars, they cannot fail to do a great deal of good. But besides these, the Society (and, it may be mentioned, many private individuals) have most successfully introduced game and fish of various kinds. Of the first, pheasants, partridges, and hares are thoroughly acclimatized and fast spreading over the country. In some parts of the Province pheasants may be seen in almost every field; partridges are rapidly increasing, chiefly in the northern district; hares are apparently doing well and breeding. Of fish, the Society have introduced the trout, some thousands of which have been turned out in the various rivers, and in 1873 they successfully accomplished the feat of bringing young salmon from England. These last are as yet too young to turn out; but it is hoped that, now they are here, they will take kindly to their new home, and, when sent to the sea, increase and multiply. In the way of native game, New Zealand is not so well supplied as some other countries. The principal game is wild ducks (of which there are several species), wild pigeons, parrots, and the swamp hen, a large and beautiful bird, common in the marshes and reedy creeks. It may also be mentioned that the red deer, which have at various times been introduced into the Colony, and turned out in the mountains, appear to be still alive and probably increasing, although, owing to their habits and the difficult nature of the country, they are not often seen. It is, on the whole, probable that Canterbury, originally so poorly provided with varieties of game, will in a few years be amply supplied in this respect.
Canterbury colonists have always given great attention to the planting of trees and the production of flowers and fruits. There is a Horticultural Society in Christchurch, holding three or four shows every year; and as the climate is, as a rule, admirably adapted for gardening, and trees grow rapidly and well, the Province is fast changing its appearance from that of an open, bare plain to a well-wooded and ornamental country.
A passing reference may be made to the public amusements of the people of Canterbury. There is a Jockey Club in Christchurch, which holds its chief race meeting during three days in November, with an autumn meeting at some time about April; and there are few centres of population in the country districts which do not manage also to hold annual races. There are boating clubs at Christchurch, Lyttelton, and Kaiapoi (annual regattas, besides other races, being held at these places), and cricket clubs in the chief town and many country places. There is a theatre in Christchurch, and other halls for concerts and entertainments; and, in fact, there are made in Canterbury much the same endeavours to obtain rational amusements as there are elsewhere, the quality depending, of course, on the means available for the purpose.
The foregoing pages are believed to contain a plain, impartial description of the Province of Canterbury. It may be gathered from them that whilst there may be, in certain directions, defects which may not exist in older countries, yet, though no more likely than any other place to be perfect, Canterbury certainly offers advantages to various classes of settlers, some of which may be briefly stated as follows:—
First, the small farmer, or the gentleman with small capital, will find it a country where he can, if he choose, select a piece of land and possess it for ever, knowing that although the times may be now and again less favourable to him than usual, every year that passes over the Colony renders the chances of permanent depression less and less. He will find his property secure, the climate, as a rule, excellent, and the cost of living low; and he will also find that, allowing for periods of temporary inconvenience, which must necessarily come here as they come elsewhere, in the long run he, in common with his neighbours, is steadily and surely rising to prosperity.
To the immigrant of what is called the working class, whether mechanic or ordinary labourer, Canterbury offers a certainty of abundant employment at good wages, with the accompanying advantage of having within reach, at the most moderate prices, not only the necessaries, but many of the luxuries of life.
Domestic servants, seamstresses, and other female workers, will find plenty of employment, and in a short time discover the difference between a life of penurious drudgery at homo and one of fairly paid work here.
To all classes the Province offers easy means of procuring for their children, at the lowest possible rates, a sound elementary education, with opportunities of extension to the highest branches.
And, as regards social condition, it may be said that all are more free here than at home. There is less interference of one with another, and no excessive subservience of class to class. Moreover, the popular ideal of "colonial" life will not be found. The old days, when it was considered right to model behaviour partly on an Australian partly on an American pattern—the days of the blue shirt, the cabbage-tree hat, and the stock-whip — the days of almost unlimited drinking and swaggering — have long ago passed away. People in Canterbury conduct themselves in the same manner as people do at home, the one great difference being, that no rowdyism is tolerated, and that, in the streets or the fields, or in the crowds at the various social gatherings, no rags, or beggars, or evidences of misery and destitution, are to be met with.
IN 1861 the whole of the land comprising the Province of Westland was purchased by the Government from the original inhabitants. There were not more than thirty of them in the Province at that time (at the last census there were sixty-eight Maoris in the Province). The Natives of this Province had formerly been subject to frequent attacks from the Natives of the North Island, who made predatory excursions to the Middle Island in search of greenstone, for which this Province is noted. Twenty-five years previous to the Government purchasing the land of the Province, two Native commanders, Niho and Takerei, after having served under Te Rauparaha in attacking the Native settlements on the East Coast of this Island, proceeded with their followers down the West Coast as far as the Hokitika River, killing and taking prisoners nearly all the existing inhabitants. Niho and Takerei settled at the mouth of the river Grey, and parties of their followers formed detached settlements on the coast north of the Grey, and as far south as Bruce Bay. The Natives have no claims to any lands in the Province, except to a few reserves that have been made for their use, and to secure to them a right to any greenstone that may exist in those reserves. In 1864 gold was discovered in the Province, at the Hohonu River, and a rush of miners from the other Provinces then set in to the Greenstone. Discoveries of gold were soon made at the Totara, Waimea, Saltwater, Kanieri, Grey, and Okarita districts.
The Province of Westland extends from the Province of Nelson on the north to the Province of Otago on the south, and from the Province of Canterbury on the east to the sea coast on the west; its boundaries being, on the north the river Grey, on the south the river Awarua (flowing into Big Bay), and on the east the watershed of the Southern Alps. Its divisions are, the Municipalities of Hokitika and Greymouth, and the Road Board districts of Paroa, Arahura, Kanieri, Totara, and Okarita.
The Municipality of Hokitika includes the town of Hokitika, situate on the north bank of the river of that name, and one square mile of land on the south bank of the river opposite the town. Hokitika is the seat of local government, and is the principal town in the Province. It has a large trade with the Australian colonies, and exports (besides gold) great quantities of timber.
The Municipality of Greymouth includes the town of Greymouth and some adjoining land. Its chief export (besides gold) is coal. A railway is being constructed to connect the town with the coal mines, situate about seven miles up the river.
The Paroa district extends from the river Grey to the Teremakau River. Its chief towns are Marsden and Greenstone; the others being Paroa, Clifton, Maori Creek, and Orima. In this district, the whole line of beach, and the terraces some little distance inland, have been or are being worked by gold miners; and in most of the tributaries of the Grey River and New River, gold mining is carried on. At the Greenstone township, miners, with the aid of water power, supplied to them by the Hohonu race, are washing away the sides of hills and high terraces. There has been a large quantity of land purchased from the Government in the Paroa district. All the sections in the town of Greymouth have been sold, and a great deal of the land along the south bank of the river Grey, and along the roads that are in course of construction in the district, has been taken up. Two stations, each containing 2,500 acres, have been purchased in the neighbourhood of Lake Brunner. Along the rivers and lakes in this locality, there is plenty of agricultural land available for settlement.
The Arahura district lies between the Arahura and Teremakau rivers. It contains the important mining district of the Waimea, with its towns of Goldsborough and Stafford. The Waimea, one of the oldest diggings in the Province, still supports a large mining population; and when the Waimea water-race is constructed, employment will be furnished for a much larger population, as nearly the whole of the terraces and sidlings are gold-bearing. Water to command the ground at a high level is only wanted to make this district flourish.
The Kanieri district includes the land between the Arahura and Hokitika rivers and the land on the south bank of the Hokitika River, as far as Lake Mahinapua. Besides the Kanieri, Kokatahi, and Mahinapua townships, this district contains the mining centres of Blue Spur, Big Paddock, Woodstock, and Eight-Mile, and the farming district of the Kokatahi Valley. Gold mining, timber-cutting, and farming are the chief industries of this district. A company is now-engaged bringing in water from Lake Kanieri to the mines. The works connected with this undertaking will be finished about September, 1874. In several cuttings along this line of race gold has been found, and the race, when finished, will help materially to increase the yield of gold in the district. The whole of the timber exported from the port of Hokitika is cut in the Kanieri district. There are large areas of agricultural land, not sold, in the Kokatahi Valley, and between it and the Hokitika River.
The Totara district extends from the Kanieri district to the Mikonui River, and includes the town of Ross, and the mining districts of Donoghue's, Donnelly's Creek, and Redman's; the tributaries of the Totara and Mikonui rivers being all auriferous. The mines near Ross were worked chiefly by steam power: gold has been found in them in six different layers, in depths from 50 ft. to 450 ft. Most of these mines are at present flooded out, and perhaps will remain so till capital is introduced into the district to work the mines on an extensive system. A large race (surveys and plans of which have been prepared) to carry water from the Mikonui River, to near Ross, is much needed, and would prove reproductive, as the deep claims can be worked with water-power far less expensively than with steam. The main industry of this district is gold mining, which is extensively carried on in the terraces.
The Okarita district comprises all that part of the Province between the river Mikonui and the southern boundary of the Province. Gold mining is the only occupation followed in this district. There are scarcely any mines being worked inland, except up one or two of the rivers; the miners rest satisfied with obtaining gold easily in the beach workings. In many of the beaches of this district (as well as in other parts of the Province), after bad weather and a heavy sea, the sand on the sea-beach is found impregnated with gold, and, after the sand has been scraped off the beach and the gold extracted, there is likely to be, after the next heavy sea, a similar quantity of gold found in the beach sand in the same localities. The district has had but little attention paid to it, either by the miners or settlers. It has two splendid harbours—Bruce Bay and Jackson's Bay; and rivers with good entrances and depth of water. It has easy access to the Province of Otago and the East Coast, by the saddle at the head of the Haast River, and it possesses large tracts of auriferous land, fine agricultural land, and splendid grazing country and timber. A few months since gold was found near the Haast: about 200 miners went there, but the rush taking place during a continuance of wet weather, may of the miners returned. Those who remain there appear to be getting payable gold, and no doubt it will not be long before an extensive gold-field will be discovered, and attention be called to the place. A great deal of land in this district, principally along the river banks, is taken up for pasturage purposes as cattle runs. There are blocks of land in this district laid off for special settlements, to enable settlers to obtain land on easy terms.
Of the total area of Westland (4,442 square miles) the mountain ranges and forest lands occupy 2,843,141 acres, the rivers and lakes 29,759 acres, and open country 172,800 acres; making in all, 3,045,700 acres. The Governor may, on the recommendation of the Provincial Council and Land Board, authorize the sale of blocks of land, not less in area than 160 acres, at 10s. per acre; or blocks of 20 acres and upwards may be purchased of the Land Board at £1 per acre. In the immediate vicinity of townships or other centres of population, land in blocks from 1 to 10 acres in extent may be purchased at auction, at an upset price of £2 per acre. The price of land in the towns of Hokitika, Greymouth, and Okarito is £48 per acre; and in the towns of Marsden, Greenstone, Goldsborough, Stafford, and Kanieri, £35 per acre. No charge is made for surveying and pegging out any land purchased from the Government.
For the purpose of forming special settlements in the southern portions of the Province, three blocks in the Okarita district have been set apart; one, containing 20,000 acres, between the Mikonui and Wanganui rivers; one, containing 50,000 acres, from the Saltwater River southwards for seventeen miles, of a depth of three miles and a quarter; and one of 50,000 acres, extending from the Haast River to two miles south of the Arawata River. The land in these blocks is classed as town, suburban, and rural, and can be purchased at the price of lands in the other parts of the Province. If not sold, it may be disposed of by being leased for seven years, in the following manner:—Unsold town lands, in sections of not less than one-quarter acre, nor more than half-acre, to one person, at a yearly rental of 30s. per acre; suburban lands, in blocks of not less than 10 acres, at 6s. per acre per year; and rural lands, in blocks of not less than 25 nor more than 250 acres, at an annual rental of 3s. per acre. If at any time of continued residence the lessee shall purchase the land held by him under a license at the upset price, the rental paid prior to the purchase shall be considered as the deposit made at the application to purchase the land, and, upon the balance being paid, the purchaser shall be entitled to a Crown grant; and if during the seven years' lease the lessee wants to leave, the Land Board can dispose of the land by auction, and whatever amount the land fetches above the rent due and expenses of sale, will be handed to the lessee as valuation for his improvements. Any lessee holding and occupying a lease as above for seven years, shall be entitled, at the payment of the seventh year's rent in advance, to a Crown grant, without further payment. All the moneys received from the sale or leasing of lands in the special settlement blocks shall be applied to defray expenses in forming settlements, making and constructing roads and public works in settlement, in endowing and maintaining schools, &c., and maintaining communication either by sea or by land with each settlement.
There is land throughout the whole of the Province abounding with timber, and easily accessible from the sea coast; and the few inland tracks lately cut show that some of the best agricultural land in the Province exists between the low-lying hills and the main range. In cutting, quite recently, the Waitaha prospecting track for a line of road, thousands of acres of open land, with 6 ft. to 10 ft. of rich black soil, were found, and would prove fit locations for extensive farms.
There is scarcely any improved land in private hands open for sale to persons of small capital. Most of the holders of improved lands have themselves made the improvements. Any one anxious to secure a homestead, with a market to dispose of his produce, will find it a not very difficult task in the Province of Westland, where the land can be easily purchased from the Government.
The chief productions of Westland are gold, timber, and coal. The value of gold is £3. 16s. per oz.; sawn timber, 8s. per hundred feet (superficial); timber in logs, 5s. per hundred feet (superficial); coal, at the pit's mouth, 10s. per ton; at Greymouth, the port of shipment, 18s. per ton; and in Hokitika, 25s. per ton. These prices of coal will be much lower when the railway is completed from the coal mines to Greymouth.
All the rivers of Westland, and the bays in its southern parts, abound with fish. If parties of men would organize, and settle in the southern parts of the Province, they would find fish-curing a profitable occupation, more especially if they fitted out boats for whaling (as whales are frequently cast on our shores), and seal-catching. At seasons when fishing may be dull, the settlers could prospect for gold, as the whole of the coast is auriferous. There are men scattered in the southern parts of this Province who, for the last five or six years, have been gold mining, and doing nothing else. These men will not leave the districts, preferring to remain there, notwithstanding the difficulties and expense of obtaining provisions. There are blocks of land set apart for special settlements, and immigrants can easily obtain homesteads in the southern parts. Bruce Bay and Jackson's Bay, both well sheltered, are good localities for the establishment of fishing stations. The Government offer a bonus of 4s. per cwt. on all cured fish exported up to the end of 1879.
Flax is found in all parts of the Province, the moist climate of Westland being very favourable for its growth; yet nothing has been done to utilize it. On the banks of the rivers, and in the swamps, flax grows luxuriantly. Samples of the only kind dressed by the Maories, have the appearance of delicate glossed satin. Another kind, the tai, is remarkable for its length of fibre and great strength. The making of flax into rope and all kinds of cordage could be carried on advantageously in Westland, as its supply of flax is inexhaustible. If properly cultivated, and by stripping only the outer leaves of the flax plant twice a year, each acre of land would yield more than two tons of marketable flax.
In other parts of New Zealand, where the climate is not so favourable for the growth of flax, swamps have been drained, and, immediately after, the plants that had a stunted growth of 2 ft. commenced growing till they attained a height of 9 ft. or 10 ft.
From the unlimited supply of easily-wrought wood found here, cabinetmakers and carpenters, especially those with a knowledge of machine-made notions, such as doors, window-sashes, tubs, clothes-pegs, articles of turnery, &c., will find the Province a fit place to exercise their skill and ingenuity. Shipbuilding could be largely and easily carried on in any of the bays or main rivers of the Province.
Sites with water frontages to any of the rivers can be easily obtained, and a supply of bark being at hand, tanneries could be cheaply worked, and would yield large profits to the owners, as the demand for leather is very great, most of the population being engaged in mining, or on roads and public works, or in the bush. If tanneries were established, boot factories would pay.
Brickmaking could be profitably carried on in the Province: there are only two brickyards, one at Greymouth and one at Hokitika. On account of the high price of bricks, there is hardly a brick house in the whole of the Province. There is an immense supply of fire-clay of first-class quality near Greymouth, from which bricks have been made that have stood the test in several furnaces much better than the English imported article.
The manufacture of potash and pearlash, essential oils, extraction of gums, and the exportation of ice might prove profitable. The manuka trees would make excellent hop-poles, lasting as long as iron, and saving the cost and trouble of dipping the poles, as is done in the hop counties of England.
The forest lands of the Province occupy more than two-thirds of its total area. The timber consists chiefly of black, red, white, and silver pines; black, red, and white birches; mairo, totara, rata, kawhaka, cedar, and manuka.
Lately there has sprung up a demand for white pine timber, and from the port of Hokitika alone, during the quarter ended 30th September, 1873, there were exported to Melbourne 1,330 logs, containing 446,430 ft., besides deals, making in all 485,000 ft. Hokitika also, during the same three months, exported to other New Zealand ports 687,300 ft. of sawn timber. The rivers in the Province are not more than four or five miles apart, so that in districts where there are no roads, the timber can be easily floated down to the coast. A license to cut timber in any part of the Province can be obtained on payment of 10s. per month, or £5 per year, and the Land Board may reserve any land for the sale by auction of the timber thereon.
Although gold mining is the chief and most alluring of the occupations followed in Westland, yet in many parts of the Province other metals and minerals have been found: amongst them, coal, principally found on the south bank of the Grey River (opposite the Brunner mine), at Lake Kanieri, in several places in the Ross district, at the north of the Okarita lagoon, and at the Paringha River. A company is now opening up the Grey mine, and parties are similarly engaged at the Kanieri mine.
Gold-bearing quartz reefs have been found near Langdon's Ferry, Grey River, at the Taipo River, up the Hokitika River in several places, near Kanieri Lake, at Redman's in the Ross district, and in many other parts of the Province.
Lead and silver ore (galena) has lately been found at the Waitaha River, and copper at the Paringha River, and in some of the bays. From the southern parts of the Province, beyond the settled districts, reports of copper discoveries have been received. Iron and tin have also been found in the Province.
The only mills in the Province are sawmills, three being in Hokitika, three at Greymouth, and in nearly every township there is one or more mills to supply the local demand for timber. There is a foundry at Hokitika, and one at Greymouth. A rope manufactory is being started at Greymouth, one being already in full work on the opposite side of the river at Cobden.
Miners, navvies, agricultural labourers, and men handy with the axe for bushmen, are in great demand here. The contractors for the construction of public works at present find difficulties in obtaining labour. When the Waimea and other races are fairly started, the difficulties of obtaining labour will be very much increased, and when the races are finished, there will be employment for twice the number of our present mining population. Ground that is considered, with the appliances at hand, to be too poor to pay wages, can with water be profitably worked.
The following are the rates of wages here:—Labourers on roads and public works, 10s. and 12s. per day of eight hours; carpenters and tradesmen, 16s. ditto; sawyers at mills, 16s. ditto; labourers and bushmen, 10s. ditto; miners in mines in or near the towns, £3 per week; miners in mines distant from the townships and in the southern parts of the Province, £4 to £5 per week; form labourers, 30s. to 35s. per week, with board and lodging; coal miners, 4s. per ton, working in a seam of coal from 12 ft. to 21 ft. thick.
It is not customary in Westland for employers to ration their labourers: the latter are either paid weekly wages and supply themselves with food, or else they have their meals with their employers. If labourers desired rations, farmers would not think of allowing them less than
10½ lb. flour, 4 oz. tea, 2 lb. sugar, and 12 lb. meat per week.
The following public works in the Province are either in course of construction, or are likely to be commenced within a year or so:—Main road completed from Hokitika to Okarita, and from thence to the southern boundary of the Province.
Road from Greenstone (Pounamu) to Lake Brunner, and to the boundary of Province of Nelson.
Road from Taipo River to Nelson Province viâ Bell Hill.
Surveyors are now engaged surveying trial lines for a line of railway to connect Hokitika with the main line of railway on the East Coast, Canterbury.
The Kanieri race is being pushed vigorously on, and the Mikonuirace and Waimea race are expected to be taken in hand shortly. The other races constructing at present are, the Hibernian race and New River race— both in the Paroa district. Besides these works in course of construction, the extension of the Hohonu race, Totara and Jones' Creek, the Alpine and the Okarita Lake races, and the roads and public works in hand will give employment, for years to come, to ordinary labour.
Every labouring man may feel himself perfectly independent in Westland. If he is not contented with the employment offered him, he can always provide for himself by gold mining, with the chances of obtaining much more than a mere living. From the records, there never was a district that exported so much gold in proportion to its population as Westland has done since its first settlement.
The price of ordinary farm stock, sound and in good condition, is—For working bullocks, £9; working horses, £30; mixed cows, £4; and sheep (60 lb. carcase), 10s. per head.
The following are the prices of the ordinary necessaries of life:—
Flour, 8s. per 50 lb. bag.
Mutton and beef, 3d. to 6d. per lb.
Butter, 9d. per lb.
Potatoes, 5s. per cwt.
Cheese, 10d. per lb.
Ham and bacon, 9d. to 1s. per lb.
Tea, 2s. 6d. per lb.
Sugar, 5d. per lb.
Churches of all denominations are supported by voluntary contributions. They receive no state aid, excepting the land reserved in the several townships for the use of each religious body.
The Church of England.—All that part of the Province south of the Teremakau is in the diocese of Christchurch, and that north of the Teremakau is in the diocese of Nelson. Churches are established in Hokitika, Greymouth, Kanieri, Ross, Goldsborough, Stafford, and a Maori church at the Arahura. All these churches have Sunday-schools attached to them.
The Roman Catholic churches are connected with the diocese of Wellington, and are in the following places:—Hokitika, Greymouth, Ross, Goldsborough, Stafford, Greenstone, Maori Gully, Five-Mile Beach, Okarita, and a church is in course of erection at Kanieri. A priest visits the settlements in the southern parts of the Province, as far as Hunt's Beach, every three months. In connection with these churches, catechism is taught every Sunday.
Presbyterian churches, under the Presbytery of Westland, are in Hokitika, Greymouth, Stafford, Ross, Eight-Mile, and Hau-Hau. Each Presbyterian church has its Sabbath school, the total number attending being 344 children and 48 teachers.
The Wesleyan Methodist Church has in the Province 3 resident ministers, 9 churches, 8 reading stations, 12 lay preachers, 55 Sunday-school teachers, and 10 Sabbath schools.
A Lutheran minister occasionally visits the Province, and holds Divine service in the several towns.
The Hebrew congregation have a synagogue in Hokitika.
The Government set apart reserves of land for educational purposes. In the towns of Hokitika, Greymouth, and Ross, each denomination has its school; besides these, there are many private schools in the above towns. The Provincial Council vote a sum of money (about £1,000 per annum) for educational purposes. This sum is handed to the Board of Education—composed of members of the different religious denominations—for distribution to the schools, to supplement the school fees and aids granted by School Committees, and received by the teachers as salaries. The school buildings have been built, in the large towns by the religious bodies, and in the small towns and other localities by Local Committees. None has been built by the Government.
The principal hospital is at Hokitika, but there is another at Greymouth and one at Ross. These are supported by voluntary contributions and Government aid. The Province being divided into districts, each district has its Hospital Committee, who raise money to supplement the Government vote for hospitals.
There are in Hokitika a lunatic asylum and a Benevolent Society.
The rents for ordinary dwelling-houses in Hokitika and the country townships are, for a four-roomed cottage, 6s. to 8s. per week; but at Greymouth the rents are at least half as much more than in Hokitika. Land being so cheap, persons generally own the cottages they live in. There is a Building Society at Greymouth, and the Hokitika Savings Bank makes liberal advances at reasonable rates to small borrowers. The cost of erecting cottages, both in town and country, is at the rate of about 5d. per cubic foot: that is, a two-roomed building, each room about 10 ft. square with 8-ft. walls, would cost about £35.
No one with a family should attempt to come here without some money to keep him and his family for a few weeks, to give him time to look around for suitable employment; but it is different with single men and women. If they desire it, they can get employment the day they arrive in the Province.
The climate of Westland is so uniform that the same clothing may be worn in the hottest day of summer and the coldest day of winter. The nearest port to ship for is Nelson: from thence in a few hours one can arrive in Westland.
Table of Contents
THE Province of Marlborough is situated at the north-eastern extremity of the Southern Island, its boundaries being on the north, a portion of the Strait dividing the two Islands, on the east the coast line down to the mouth of the River Conway, and on the south and west the Province of Nelson.
Its total area is about three million acres, of which 200,000 acres may be described as agricultural land, 1,300,000 acres as well suited for pastoral occupation, 50,000 acres forest land fit for cultivation after clearing, and the remainder hilly or mountainous country, heavily timbered, or of a rugged and bleak aspect. At the present time, there are about 18,313 acres broken up, and cultivated or sown in artificial grasses, about 525,000 acres have been disposed of to settlers, and there remain about 2,500,000 acres still in the possession of the Crown, and to be obtained under the Provincial waste lands regulations.
The physical geography of the country may be described as a succession of parallel valleys and mountain ranges, running something like north-east and south-west, the most northerly and westerly valleys being those of the Pelorus and the Rai, to which further reference will be made in regard to the valuable timber trade which is carried on in the districts formed by them. In the valley of the Wakamarina, a tributary of the Pelorus, discoveries of gold of no small magnitude have been made. The Wairau Valley, the next in a southerly direction, is mainly an extensive plain, comprising some 100,000 acres, the land being of a rich loamy character, similar in many respects to the plain of Canterbury, the vegetation consisting of extensive fields of the most luxuriant growth of flax, and in the drier portions and at the bases of the hills, of fern and tussock grass. This fertile plain is watered chiefly by the rivers Omaka, Opawa, and Wairau, with their tributary streams; the rivers themselves being navigable for a distance of about twelve miles by coasters and small steamers, and the smaller streams supplying abundant water-power, easily made available for mills and factories of various descriptions. Further still to the south are the Awatere, Clarence, and Kaikoura districts, a great portion of which is at present occupied by extensive sheep-runs; but the excellent quality of the land, and its evident capability for agricultural purposes, point out that, at no distant date, these will become the centre of a large producing population. Already at the southern extremity of the Province, and gradually but steadily encroaching upon the pastoral lands surrounding it, is situated a farming settlement of increasing importance, with a town and port of its own, called Kaikoura.
What is now the Province of Marlborough formed, under the Constitution Act of 1852, a part of the Province of Nelson, the northernmost of the three original divisions of the Southern Island, and continued so up to the time when the energy of the settlers in the Wairau and surrounding districts succeeded in severing the political connection of the north-eastern from the remaining portion of the Province, and giving to the latter the advantages of local self-government. On the 1st of November, 1859, availing themselves of the provisions of "The New Provinces Act, 1858," the inhabitants of those districts separated from the parent stock, and forming a new division under the name of the Province of Marlborough, entered upon a career of independence and self-government.
The Local Government of the Province is similar in most respects to that of the eight other Provinces of the Colony, being, however, somewhat less complicated in its action than that of the Provinces first established under the Constitution Act. Up to the year 1870, the Provincial Government undertook the entire charge of receiving and disbursing that part of the public revenue not under the control of the General Government of the Colony; but at that date the Province was subdivided into five lesser divisions or counties, viz. Wairau, Picton, Awatere, Kaikoura, and Pelorus, each having its Road or County Board, with power to levy rates, within certain defined limits prescribed by Act, for the maintenance of its roads and other local purposes. The governing bodies of the towns resemble those in other parts of the Colony, with like powers of rating and of making regulations for order and regularity.
At the time of the dismemberment of the original Province of Nelson, the population of the separated districts forming the new Province of Marlborough was about 1,000; at the census taken in 1871 it was somewhat over 5,000; and at the census in March, 1874, the population had increased to 6,143. Small as were the resources of the new Province at the time of separation, that movement was the commencement of an era of prosperity and progress. Roads were formed, population increased, absenteeism was gradually replaced by bonâ fide settlement, and communication between the various districts was opened up. Year by year its industrial capabilities have increased, until at the present time, in proportion to its size and population, it may be considered one of the largest exporting Provinces of New Zealand. In wool, it rivals Canterbury; in timber, Auckland; in the development of the flax industry, it is second to none; while in agricultural and general produce it also holds a high position. Nowhere in the Colony has local self-government been enjoyed with such a zest as in Marlborough, showing the healthy interest taken by the settlers in the welfare of their country; and however strongly at times the battle of politics may have raged, it has never interfered with the principles of good government. Nowhere else in New Zealand have public affairs received so much attention, or been carried on with such economy. The seats in the Provincial Council, the Road and Education Boards, the Borough and Town Councils, have all been filled by active and zealous men, seeking no remuneration for their services, but freely devoting their time and energies in the endeavour to further the development and advance the prosperity of the Province.
In point of beauty, and even grandeur of scenery, the Province of Marlborough may compare favourably with any part of the Colony. The Pelorus Sound towards the north presents an aspect perhaps unequalled for variety and romantic grandeur. Resembling in many respects the lochs of Scotland, the heavily-timbered slopes and clear running streams of the interior recall the picturesque quietness of the Devonshire valleys; and these joined to the distinctive features of the New Zealand bush, combine to form a picture which is elsewhere unsurpassed. It may be described as a beautiful inland sheet of water, with innumerable arms and deeply-indented bays; so that although the main channel is not more than thirty miles long, it comprises a coast line of upwards of five hundred miles. Separated from the Pelorus Sound by a neck of land about three miles wide, Queen Charlotte's Sound, a sheet of water of a similar character, having two outlets, the north channel being the larger. This is used by vessels entering from the north or west. The other entrance, or Tory Channel, scarcely a quarter of a mile in width, is used in communication with Wellington and the east coasts of both Islands. At the bottom of this sound is situated the port of Picton, a small but prettily-situated town, deriving its principal importance from being the nearest port in the South Island to Wellington in the North Island. Large quantities of timber are shipped from this port to all parts of the Colony; and when the railway connecting it with the interior of the Province, now in course of construction, has been completed, it will in all probability become the entrepôt of a large and important export trade.
The northern counties of Picton and Pelorus may be said to be entirely occupied by the timber trade and industries connected with it. These districts have also been proved to be highly auriferous, and a considerable number of men are at the present time employed both at alluvial digging and at the quartz reefs.
On the level plains of the Wairau, farming operations and the manufacture of Phormium fibre almost exclusively prevail, while the southern districts of Awatere and Kaikoura are mainly occupied by extensive sheep-runs. The principal town in the district of Wairau is Blenheim, the seat of the Provincial Government, and a number of smaller townships, more or less developed, are scattered at intervals throughout this part of the Province. Blenheim is situated nearly in the centre of the Wairau plain, and at the junction of the Omaka and Opawa rivers. These rivers, being navigable for vessels up to 100 tons, constitute it a shipping port of no small importance, and a large and increasing export and import trade is carried on with the two neighbouring Provinces of Wellington and Nelson. Large quantities of wool, flax, and tallow are also shipped at this port for transhipment to the English trading vessels which annually visit the commodious harbour of Port Underwood, situated about twelve miles from the mouth of the Opawa River. The overflow of this river, which occurs occasionally after heavy downfalls of winter rains, has given the town of Blenheim and the surrounding neighbourhood a somewhat unenviable notoriety as a district liable to destructive floods, but the effect of these inundations has been considerably exaggerated. By means of the protective works already executed, and of these still in course of construction, their frequency has been much diminished, and a slight and temporary inconvenience is now the only evil resulting from them.
The regulations for the sale or letting of the waste lands of the Province of Marlborough, differ in many respects from those in force in other parts of the Colony. Sale by auction is here the main principle of the manner of its disposal; and for the purpose of determining a certain upset price, all unsold Crown lands are classed under one of the following headings:—
Suburban (being land in the vicinity of townships, or sites for towns).
Rural (land suitable for agricultural purposes).
Pasture (being such as, from its hilly and broken character, and the inferior quality of its soil, appears unsuitable for agricultural purposes).
Townships and villages are laid out by the Government as they are required, and in the meantime sites are reserved from sale. The surrounding land is also laid out and reserved as suburban.
Rural, or agricultural, and pasture lands are open to be applied for by any person. As soon as possible after application is made, a surveyor is sent by the Government (at the applicant's expense) to make the necessary survey. The Waste Lands Board, which consists of the members of the Executive Council of the Province and the Commissioner of Crown Lands (an officer of the General Government), then proceeds to assess the value of the land applied for, and to fix an upset price, at which it is submitted to public auction and sold to the highest bidder, 10 per cent. of the purchase money being required at the time of sale, and the remainder within one month from that period. Land for which no bid is made at a public auction sale, may be purchased at any time within two years, by paying the full amount of the original reserved price.
Besides this manner of disposing of the waste lands, there is a provision in the land law of this Province, by which persons may acquire land in payment of the execution by them of public works, such as roads, bridges, buildings, &c.; and under this provision some thousands of acres have been granted within the last few years. The system prescribed by the Waste Lands Act is as follows:—The Provincial Government advertise for tenders to execute the road or other work which is required, and the lowest eligible tender is accepted. The successful tenderer then selects a block of land, which is assessed in the same manner as land for sale by auction, and on his signifying his approval of the assessment, the work is proceeded with, and the land reserved from public sale for the space of twelve months. On the completion of the works, the contractor is entitled to receive a Crown grant of the land selected by him.
Pastoral leases and licenses are granted over unoccupied pastoral lands to any person who applies for them, the terms being, for leases fourteen years, with the right of renewal at the expiration of that period at double the original rent, and for licenses fourteen years. The license differs from the lease by simply giving the right of grazing over the land taken up; while the lease, of course, gives the exclusive right of using the land for the full term of its duration. The rent under a lease is determined by the Waste Lands Board, but the Act prescribes that it shall be charged upon the carrying capability of the land, at the rate of 3s. 6d. a year for each head of cattle, and 7d. for each sheep. The rent under a license is 1d. an acre for the first seven years, and 2d. an acre for the second term of seven years.
Licenses for felling timber on the forest lands of the Province are also issued to bushmen and settlers, the fee being £1 per acre per year.
Mineral lands, or those supposed to contain minerals, are let under lease by the Waste Lands Board, for any term not exceeding 21 years.
The average assessed price of the Crown lands in this Province at the present time may be quoted as follows:—
Town lands, £15 to £100 per acre.
Rural lands, £1 per acre.
Pasture lands, 7s. per acre.
Bush or forest lands, £1. 5s. per acre.
Mineral lands (mostly held under lease).
The practice of renting improved farms is not very general in this Province; but little difficulty would be experienced by persons wishing to do so, and favourable terms could be obtained.
The principal articles of production in Marlborough are, agricultural produce of all kinds, wool, flax, tallow, malt, hops, and timber. The level lands of the Wairau and vicinity are eminently adapted to the raising of most descriptions of cereals, whilst the mild temperature of the seasons is especially favourable to the successful carrying on of farming operations. The size of arable farms varies from 10 to 20, and up to 2,000 acres. The latest improvements in agricultural machinery are in use in most districts; on one large estate, steam cultivators have been successfully employed for several seasons.
At the census in 1871, the cultivated land in the Province amounted to 28,313 acres: 22,126 acres were in sown grasses, 2,686 acres in wheat, 1,139 acres in oats, and 1,438 acres in barley. The average yield of the cereal crops may be said to be—Wheat, 25 bushels; oats, 40 bushels; barley, 30 bushels to the acre; while returns of upwards of 60 bushels are not uncommon. The coat of preparing unimproved land for a grain crop may be estimated at from 30s. to £2 per acre. Threshing and harvesting operations are generally contracted for by persons possessing the necessary machinery, the usual course being for the contractor to find the labour required at a certain price, the farmer lodging and feeding the hands, and supplying the fuel necessary for the engine. The average cost of threshing is about 7d. per bushel, but may vary slightly in proportion to the scarcity of labour.
In relation to the subject of farming in this Province, a reference to the meteorological returns may be useful and instructive. Taking the last five years, the reading of the thermometer shows a mean temperature of 53.4, the highest mean being 64.3 and the lowest 42.8. In regard to the seasons, the mean of spring was 59.5; of summer, 63.1; of autumn, 53.4; and of winter, 43.9; all the above observations being taken at 9 a.m. Slight frosts occur in the winter, and snow is occasionally, but rarely, seen except in the mountainous districts. The climate of the Province is exceedingly equable, and resembles somewhat that of Devonshire, with, however, considerably less rainfall, and probably gives a larger number of working days than any other part of New Zealand. Geraniums, verbenas, fuchsias, and most plants which in England are termed greenhouse-plants, live out the winter here without protection; and vines have, to some extent, been successfully cultivated, as espaliers, in the open air.
Chief amongst the productions of the Province of Marlborough at the present time may, perhaps, be placed wool.* A large extent of country, a great part of which for many years will probably be unsuitable for any other purpose, is devoted to the depasturing of sheep. In 1872, the land held under lease as run land amounted to 1,280,000 acres, and the export of wool for that year was 1,600,000 lb., representing
* The return of the wool export obtained from the statistical reports does not correctly state the actual quantity exported from this Province, a considerable portion being shipped at Wellington, of which no account is taken here. This is also true of other products.
a value of £81,500. A considerable number of men find remunerative employment on the sheep-stations at all times of the year, but more especially at the busy time of shearing.
Another staple article of production and export, closely connected with the preceding, being usually carried on under the same management, is tallow. The carrying capabilities of the runs not sufficing for the steady increase of the stock depastured on them, and the low price of meat not affording a payable market for the surplus to any great extent, it becomes necessary to find other means for its profitable disposal; and for this purpose boiling-down establishments are generally to be found on large stations. At these, considerable quantities of tallow, obtained from the surplus stock by rendering it down by means of steam in immense vats or boilers, are packed in casks and exported to England, the hams and tongues cured, and the skins either dressed on the spot or dried and packed in bales for exportation. For these operations, a large number of men for the various departments are naturally required, and good wages are obtained by them. The preservation of meat in tins has not yet been attempted here, the scarcity of the particular class of labour required being probably the principal obstacle to its introduction.
We come now to another of the important industries carried on in the Province, that of timber. The prosecution of this trade for export is almost entirely confined to the extensive area of timbered land situated in the northern part of the Province, in the bays and inlets bordering on the Pelorus Sound, and in the districts adjoining the shipping port of Havelock. Between that port and the southern boundary of the Province of Nelson, lies the valley of the Rai, which embraces about 20,000 acres of land, comparatively level throughout, and well watered by the Rai River and its tributaries. The whole of this district is covered by the best descriptions of timber, and the land itself, when cleared, is of the finest quality. No settlement has yet been made in this valley, but it has lately been surveyed and laid out in sections by the Provincial Government, and will shortly be thrown open for selection. It is also proposed to construct a tramway through the heart of this district from the port of Havelock, which will be the means of greatly facilitating the shipment of the sawn timber. Some idea of the importance of the future timber trade of the Rai Valley may be gained from the fact that it has been estimated that the proposed tramway will open up 50,000 acres of forest land, which, taken at the low rate of 10,000 ft. to the acre (the lowest price at which sawn timber is sold being 8s. per 100 ft.), would realize about £2,000,000.
The principal forest trees consumed in the timber trade of these districts are white pine, rimu, matai, and totara; many of these reaching a height of 100 ft. and upwards, growing exceedingly straight, and being usually without branches up to a distance of 20 ft. or 30 ft. from the ground.
In the neighbourhood around Picton and Havelock are situated from fifteen to twenty saw-mills, the machinery being driven either by steam or water power. All these are in full work, and give employment to a considerable number of sawyers, engineers, axemen, splitters, teamsters, and general labourers. At some of the mills it is the practice to employ all the labour required, from the felling of the tree to the export of the finished article; the wages given being, for mill hands, from 10s. to 12s. a day, and for those employed in cutting and carting, from 8s. to 10s. Many men, however, especially those living at a distance from the mills, prefer cutting the timber on their own account, paying the Government license, on the land they have selected. The felled logs they afterwards dispose of to the mill-owners, transporting them either by rafting or by means of bullock teams. The usual price paid for timber in the log is 3s. per 100 ft. and a constant and almost unlimited demand at this rate can be maintained for many years.
In the preparation of the Phormium fibre, Marlborough has been, from the first introduction of the industry, one of the principal exporting districts. At present, there are about eight mills, with from two to six machines in each. Many men are also employed in cutting and carting the raw material to the mills, for which they are usually paid by the load. The operations of stripping, washing, and bleaching are carried on by men and boys, who receive wages varying from 10s. to 15s. a week for boys, and from 20s. to 25s. a week for men, board and lodging being also found. The scutching of the fibre and packing it in bales for export, is generally undertaken by contract, the ordinary price given being at the rate of 30s. per ton. Whenever practicable, water power is employed to drive the machinery necessary for the extraction and preparation of the fibre, and this has, of course, a considerable advantage over steam power, in the saving of the fuel and labour required for the latter. The state of the flax trade at present cannot be considered as satisfactory, owing to circumstances affecting the English market; but there can be no doubt that a little time will remove the difficulties retarding its development, and that it will ultimately produce one of the largest and most remunerative articles of export. At the Peninsula mill, in the Wairau district, may be seen the latest improvement in flax machinery. This is a machine invented by Mr. Pownall, which differs from the ordinary stripping machine by more closely imitating the scraping process employed by the Natives. Up to the present time, the powers of this new machine have not been sufficiently tested to allow of a report being made upon its perfect success, but it has been proved to turn out fibre of a very superior quality to that produced by the older machines, and less labour is required to work it.
In abundance and quality of the raw material, and facilities for producing the manufactured product at a paying price, no other Province, perhaps, possesses so many advantages as Marlborough.
The cultivation of hops is carried on in most parts of the Province, the soil and climate being especially adapted to the growth of this plant, which, with ordinary attention, will produce an abundant harvest, as it is not here subject to blight. The manufacture of malt is also beginning to attract attention, and several malthouses exist in the Province. One of these is situated about three miles from Blenheim, and is probably the largest in New Zealand.
Amongst the industries which might be carried on with advantage, in addition to those at present in operation, or those which are capable of improvement and development, may be mentioned fish-curing, rope and woollen factories, paper-making, preserves from fruit, fellmongering in all its branches, and meat-preserving. The Pelorus and Queen Charlotte Sounds would form admirable stations for fish-curing on a large scale. Fish of all kinds, and oysters, are plentiful; and the herring-fishery offers every inducement for a profitable investment. At present, although the industry is not prosecuted to any great extent, the Picton bloaters are famous in all parts of the Colony. The culture of oyster-beds would also be found profitable, and capable of great extension.
Factories for the supply of woollen fabrics and the manufacture of rope, woolpacks, and other kinds of bagging from the Phormium fibre, could be advantageously worked, as the cost of sending home the raw material is such as to afford considerable inducement to local enterprise. Paper might be made from the refuse fibre and tow, and it has been proved that this material would produce an article of very superior quality. Fruits of all kinds which grow in the southern part of England are very plentiful. From them, jams and preserves could be manufactured for export, and a ready market could confidently be relied on.
In fellmongering and wool-scouring a much larger trade could be carried on than at present. Large numbers of skins are exported in the raw state, and many more absolutely wasted for want of the necessary appliances, labour, and capital.
Meat-preserving in tins should, before long, form one of the principal articles of the export trade of the Province. For this it possesses particular advantages, and capital and enterprise are the only things required to cause this industry to prove a profitable speculation.
For most trades requiring the application of machinery, admirable sites could be selected, possessing every advantage of easy communication with the centres of population and the shipping ports, and water-power is readily obtainable, in consequence of the number of streams and the abundance of water supply afforded by the proximity of the mountain ranges.
Many other industries could be instanced, needing only enterprise, capital, and a sufficient supply of ordinary and skilled labour, to insure their proving profitable. In labour, however, this part of the Colony is unfortunately deficient; but it is hoped, and may reasonably be expected, that the present scheme of immigration will before long supply this much-needed requirement, and thus afford an impetus to the undertaking, on a large scale, of many of the enterprises for which the Province of Marlborough is peculiarly adapted.
The chief mineral discovered in the Province, and the only one which has as yet been worked, is gold. This has been found as an alluvial deposit in payable quantities in the valley of the Wakamarina. It has also been found under the same circumstances on the opposite watershed, viz., that leading to the valley of the Wairau, and in more or less quantities over the whole of the district north of the Wairau River, extending westward as far as the boundary of the Province. In 1866, the news of the discovery of a payable alluvial gold field in the Wakamarina district caused considerable excitement, and attracted a large number of persons from all parts of the Colony, and even from Australia. The auriferous district comprised a small tract of land in the neighbourhood of the town of Havelock,—then a small village in the bush, occupied by a few persons employed in the timber trade, but which, from the influx of population, speedily rose to some importance and magnitude. Rich, however, as was the district, it was soon found that the gold-producing area was of a very limited extent; and in the course of about twelve mouths it appeared to have been entirely worked out. It has, nevertheless, since then maintained about 100 miners, who are understood to make good wages. Practical miners concur in believing that before many years the source from which the alluvial deposits found in the valleys were washed down will be discovered, and that a large extent of gold-bearing country will be opened up.
The country north of the Wairau River is thickly intersected by gold-bearing quartz reefs. Some of these, at Cape Jackson, in Queen Charlotte Sound, are being worked, and are proving to be rich, and others will shortly be in operation in the Pelorus Sound, at a short distance from Picton.
The general aspect of the country north of the Wairau, the frequent presence of quartz reefs, and, in the lower parts of the valleys, of alluvial deposits, have always pointed out those districts to experienced miners as being rich in the precious metal, and there can be no doubt that, as the population of the Province increases, important discoveries will be made.
Dr. Hector, the General Government Geologist speaking of the Wakamarina gold-field, says:—"Gold was obtained on terraces along the sides of the valley, and in the river bed, the wash everywhere resting on water-worn bars and ledges of greenstone, slate, and alphanite breccia. From the wash in other streams traversing the same formation being barren of gold, I infer that in this instance it must have been derived from some distance, or from towards the source of the stream in the central ranges."
Antimony has been found to exist in payable quantities in the neighbourhood of Mahakipawa, in the Pelorus Sound, and preparations are being made to work it at Endeavour Inlet, in the north of Queen Charlotte's Sound.
Copper has not yet been discovered in a lode, but such quantities of loose ore have been found on the surface, that there is no doubt of the existence of payable lodes, which only require capital to bring them into notice.
Coal occurs under similar circumstances, in the valleys of the Wairau and Clarence, but has not yet been discovered in any considerable quantity. In his abstract report of the geological survey of New Zealand, referring to the coal measures of this Province, Dr. Hector says:—"The easterly coal formation of the Province of Marlborough is very small. It crops out at places along the coast with a dip to the east, but it hardly appears inland at all, except at the Amuri Bluff, where a few yards of coal may be found. The evidence is pretty conclusive that a large coal formation exists, under the sea, along the coast between Cape Campbell and Banks Peninsula, and if these small brown coal formations are only found in small isolated basins, several may exist along the line."
Hematite has been found at Mahakipawa, and is capable of being worked to great advantage.
All kinds of labour may be said to be in demand in this Province; but the classes most particularly required are ordinary farm labourers, carpenters and mechanics, navvies, bush hands, shepherds, miners, and domestic female servants. At the time of harvest, the dearth of labour to gather in the crops, more especially as this operation is generally carried on about the same time as that of sheep-shearing, has been severely felt for several seasons past. At that time of the year, in order to meet the demand, it has been found necessary to completely stop work at many of the flax-mills and at other works—these industries, however, finding plenty of employment for a large number of men during the rest of the year. Carpenters and mechanics have also been very scarce of late, in consequence of the great increase in the building trades, and have been able to command excessively high wages. The railway and other General and Provincial Government works at present in progress are well able to absorb a considerable number of men of various trades and occupations for some time to come; in fact, the want of the necessary labour prevents many undertakings from being carried out, and seriously retards the completion of those in course of construction. Shepherds are much required on the sheep-stations, and are especially welcome if they can bring sheep-dogs with them. By so doing, they can command constant work at high wages. In the present state of the mining industry, there is a demand for a few good miners, and when the mines become more fully opened up and developed, a considerable amount of skilled labour will be required, both in the erection and working of the necessary machinery, and in the extraction of the ores themselves. The supply of domestic female servants has been for some time totally unequal to the demand, this class being most particularly inquired for. They can obtain high wages, and have no difficulty in finding situations immediately on landing.
The following may be considered to be the usual scale of wages throughout the year, and at the present time many representatives of each class could find employment at these rates:—
Carpenters, 10s. to 12s. per day (at present 14s. per day); mechanics, 12s. per day; farm labourers, 8s. per day, or 20s. to 25s. per week, and found; teamsters, 8s. to 10s. per day; axemen, 10s. per day; splitters, 10s. per day; saw-mill hands, 8s. per day to £4 per week; flax-mill hands—men, 20s. to 25s. per week, and found; ditto, boys, 10s. to 15s. per week, and found; navvies, 8s. to 10s. per day; shepherds and station hands, £50 to £70 per annum; bakers, £2 a week, and found; butchers, 30s. a week, and found; painters and glaziers, £3 a week; storemen, £2. 5s. to £3 a week; printers, ruling colonial rates; brewers, £2 to £3 a week; cooks, £30 to £50 per annum, and found; general female servants, £30 to £50 per annum, and found; housemaids, £30 to £40 per annum, and found; farm labourers and flax-mill and station hands are, as a rule, found in board and lodging when engaged by the week or for a longer period, and rations are generally given, ad libitum; but when limited to a fixed scale, consist of flour, 12 lb.; sugar, 3 lb.; tea, ¼ lb.; and other small articles as required. It is, however, unusual to give rations, and when men are found, they are generally supplied with unlimited quantities of cooked food of good quality, the usual plan being for the station or mill owner to contract with some person at a fixed rate per head, and to supply the necessary articles to him also at a fixed price.
Ample employment is always to be found by contracting for the public works initiated by the General and Provincial Governments and the Local Boards. Of the former, the Picton and Blenheim Railway, now in progress, needs a very much greater number of men than are at present engaged upon it; and of the latter, works of many descriptions, such as bridges, roads, and buildings, are from time to time let by public tender.
The present prices of ordinary farm stock in this Province may be quoted as follows:—
Draught horses, £22 to £50; saddle-horses, £8 to £30; working bullocks, £25 per pair; milch cows, £6 to £12; weaned calves, 10s. to 15s. each; sheep, 3s. to 8s. each. Good bullock-drays may be obtained at from £20 to £30 each, or even at lower prices, this mode of transport being little used now-a-days, except in the bush or mountainous districts. Horse-drays are worth from £22 to £24; harness, from £3 to £4 the double set. Ploughs range, according to the maker, from £8 to £10, and other ordinary farm implements in proportion.
The following quotations are the average retail prices, in most parts of the Province, for the usual necessaries of life:—
Flour, 16s. per 100 lb.; tea, 2s. to 3s. 6d. per lb.; sugar, 5d. to 6½d. per lb.; butter, 9d. to 1s. 6d. per lb.; eggs, 9d. to 1s. 6d. per dozen; milk, 3d. per quart; sperm candles, 1s. 1d. per lb.; tallow candles, 10d. per lb.; cheese, 9d. to 1s. per lb.; bacon, 9d. to 1s. per lb.; mutton, 4d. per lb., and by the half sheep, 3d. per lb.; beef, 4d. to 6d. per lb.; pork, 5d. to 6d. per lb.; firewood (delivered in town or at reasonable distances), £1 to £2. 2s. per cord; coals (delivered in town or at reasonable distances), £2. 15s. per ton.
The price of ordinary clothing and drapery may be considered to be an advance of from 40 to 50 per cent. on English prices.
Farm produce at present commands high prices, merchants and storekeepers giving for wheat 5s. 6d. per bushel; oats, 5s. per bushel; barley, 4s. 6d. per bushel; hay, £5 per ton; potatoes, £5 per ton.
The usual rent in towns, of a cottage suitable for a small family, may be set down at from 5s. to 8s. a week; and to build one of this kind detached would cost from £60 to £100. Timber, delivered, is charged at from 10s. to 12s. per 100 ft.; shingles for roofing, 11s. per 1,000; while doors and windows are generally imported in a complete state, and sold at moderate prices.
It will thus be seen that the Province of Marlborough offers considerble inducements to emigrants of various classes. The demand for labour is very great, and the supply totally inadequate; the wages given are consequently high, while the cost of living may be seen from the quotations given to be exceedingly low. Emigrants possessing a little capital may easily secure land on which to settle and form homes for themselves; and by taking up small contracts either on road work, in the bush, or on farms, a steady and industrious man will in a short time be able to obtain a comfortable independence.
The educational system of the Province is under the control of the members of the various Road Boards and Borough Councils, which are constituted Education Boards for the purpose of undertaking the establishment and management of the schools within their respective districts. The necessary funds for the maintenance of these schools are raised by a rate levied upon all property ratable under the provisions of the Roads Act, it being, however, provided that this shall not exceed 2d. in the pound, for each year, on the annual letting value of the property rated. Besides the sum accruing from this source, all fees received for publicans' licenses are paid over to the Education Board of the County or Borough within the limits of which the fees are levied. In all the public schools, the instruction given is purely of a secular character. The number, at present established is about fifteen, with from twenty-five to ninety scholars at each; and it is incumbent on the Education Boards of any district, whenever it is shown to their satisfaction that twenty children are residing at a greater distance than three miles from an existing school, to provide one for their benefit. The Education Boards also grant sums at their discretion in aid of efforts made by private individuals or associations for the promotion of education, such schools being subject to the inspection of the Board.
The principal religious denominations in the Province are—Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan. All of these have places of worship at or near the centres of population, and their ministers visit the out-lying districts as occasion may require. The Roman Catholics, on account of their objection to the system of secular education, have also established their own schools, which are not, however, confined exclusively to their body, but are thrown open to children of all religious denominations. They are well attended, and satisfaction is expressed by parents sending their children to them at the class of instruction given. The charge at these schools is at the rate of about 15s. a quarter for each child.
Depôts for receiving and accommodating immigrants until they are able to obtain employment have been erected near the towns of Picton and Blenheim, and to these immigrants are transferred immediately on landing, being supplied with comfortable hoard and lodging free of cost. It is seldom, however, that any have occasion to remain at these depôts more than two or three days.
Immigrants should bring out with them as little baggage as possible. Articles of household use will not be found very much more costly here than in England, and much of what might be considered a proper outfit before leaving Home, would probably be found unsuitable to the requirements of this country and to the climate; added to which, the cost of removal from place to place, until a final settling down is effected, makes it undoubtedly more desirable for new comers to bring out the money in their pockets than a quantity of goods which may prove of little use. In purchasing articles of clothing for their outfit, intending emigrants should bear in mind that the climate of this Province is, in summer, not unlike that of the Isle of Wight, and in winter somewhat warmer.
Table of Contents
THE success which attended the first colonizing effort of the New Zealand Company, in forming the settlement of Wellington in 1839, induced that body, in the early part of 1841, to bring out the scheme of a second settlement, to be named after England's greatest naval hero, Nelson. It was proposed that this should consist of 1,000 allotments, each to comprise 50 acres of suburban and 150 acres of rural land, to be sold at 30s. per acre, and that a town acre should be given with each allotment. It was further agreed that 100 allotments should be added as reserves for Natives, so that the entire settlement should consist of 221,100 acres, which were expected to realize £300,000.
The money to be derived from the sale of the lands was thus appropriated:—
|To defray expenses in selecting and establishing the settlement Public purposes, for rendering the settlement commodious and attractive:—||50,000|
|To religious uses and endowments||£15,000|
|To establishment of a college||15,000|
|To encouragement of steam navigation||20,000|
|The Company for its expenses and profits||50,000|
As very little about New Zealand was known in England at that time, no site could be assigned to the settlement, and Captain Arthur Wakefield, a