1866 - The New Zealand Handbook (11th ed.) - CHAPTER IX. WHAT A MAN CAN DO IN NEW ZEALAND...

E N Z B       
       Home   |  Browse  |  Search  |  Variant Spellings  |  Links  |  EPUB Downloads
Feedback  |  Conditions of Use      
  1866 - The New Zealand Handbook (11th ed.) - CHAPTER IX. WHAT A MAN CAN DO IN NEW ZEALAND...
Previous section | Next section      


[Image of page 99]



On these important Subjects we are able to lay before our Readers the following contribution from one whose long personal experience of New Zealand, and of colonies generally, well qualify him, we think, to speak with authority on the topics of which he treats.

Primrose Hill, Regent's Park,
JULY 1, 1866.

Still taking warm interest in a young Colony where some of my happiest years have been spent

[Image of page 100]

I gladly put off Highland Streams 1 for awhile to comply with your request for a short Paper on the various openings now existing in New Zealand for the profitable employment of capital and labour.

For the information of your Headers, interested in those pastoral and agricultural pursuits on which I have first touched, I would observe that "New Zealand Farming and Grazing" has long been a favourite study of mine, that many of my friends are still extensively engaged in the "Rural Life" in New Zealand, and that, in a small way, I have, myself, for many a day, plied the axe and turned the furrow, there.

I may perhaps remark, too, that some years ago now, the "combination" of advantages offered by New Zealand as a Country, in which a man, of the rigid stamp, might create a pleasant "Home," by means of Plough and Fleece, induced a large party of my people, accompanied by my late father (an old, experienced Lincolnshire agriculturist) to pack up and be off thither; while I would further observe that, should pleasure or profit again lead me to a Colony, New Zealand is the one I should again choose. Indeed, though I might go to many a Colony to make money, New Zealand is the only one in which I would care to "live;" and, after having visited Canada and the States, Australia and the Cape, 2 the con-

[Image of page 101]

clusion I have come to in respect to New Zealand is this--that, while a man; of the right emigrant metal, "does as well" in New Zealand as he does anywhere else, he finds there, a goodness of climate and a goodness of society, combined with a "pleasantness of life" which he can find nowhere else.

Each of our dozen great colonies and emigration fields boasts some attractions--one offers us this thing, one offers us that; and taking, as I trust I do, a broad and catholic view of colonies and of their fruitfulness to the mother country, I ever wish success to each and all of them. It is, therefore, from no puny desire to detract one iota from the merits of our great American, African, and Australian Possessions, that I express my conviction that in "combination" of natural and social advantages they, are, all, substantially inferior to New Zealand --a conclusion, too, signally supported by the following pregnant fact which all of our "emigrating people" would do well to ponder on, namely this--that there is now in New Zealand a considerable body of Colonists made up of persons who have actually re-emigrated or removed to New Zealand, from Nova Scotia, Canada, the States, the Cape Colony, Victoria, and New South Wales!

The space to which I have thought it right to confine my remarks in this little Work, has compelled me to write on every topic with brevity; but, I would observe, that whenever any of your Readers desires to obtain fuller information on any point I have touched on--or, indeed, to obtain information and advice on any New Zealand matter--I shall always be happy to afford it, by replying to his Inquiries directed to my present London address, as above, or to my Publisher, MR. STANFORD, 6, Charing Cross, when his Letter would be forwarded on to wherever I was staying; or by giving him an "Interview" when in Town,

I am, Dear Sirs,
Yours truly,

[Image of page 102]


It has been well said that the four most pregnant events ever happening to man on earth are Birth, Death, Marriage, Emigration; and, truly, there is no step whereon a man should ponder more before he takes it than on that of moving himself and his family to some New Land. A man, too, contemplating Emigration, weighing its "pros and cons," is a man worthy of one's liveliest sympathy and support--to me, indeed, the British Emigrant is a far more interesting British production than the British Peer, for the latter is born to the Estate, while the former creates it, and, wherever he goes, "makes the Desert blossom like the Rose." Entertaining views like these, therefore, I shall ask leave to preface my humble Paper on New Zealand's Industrial Pursuits by a word or two on certain elementary "Truths," of Emigration from which your Emigrant Readers, wistfully looking, perhaps, at our young "Britain of the South," may, possibly, be able to draw some little comfort, encouragement, and support.

1. --In the last fifty years, no fewer than 6,000,000 of our people 3 have departed from. the Mother Country to our various Emigration Fields; and a familiarity with the moving influences and causes of Emigration

[Image of page 103]

would enable us, safely, to say that one half of this vast exodus has been created by the "reports of success" sent back by the other half. Emigration, indeed, might truly be termed a specific for the malady of "poverty and ill-doing;" and, satisfied on this cardinal point, the more stolid type of Emigrant might care little to inquire why Emigration was such a specific. But, the more advanced and curious, contemplating the great step of Emigration, and fully believing in its virtues, might well like to be able to give a reason for the faith that was in them. They see that the 99 men in the 100 who did not succeed in the Old World, are the 99 who do succeed in the New, and they might well like to be able to explain this--to be able to point to what was the natural, the fundamental, politico-economical, cause of Emigration's being so universally beneficial to mankind; and, to such, I would say that, to me, the "reasons and the cause" seem to lie in the following truths, namely these. We know, that industrial combination of Capital and Labour operating on Soil, and on the productions and accompaniments of Soil, mainly creates the wealth of all old countries--but, in old, densely-peopled countries, like England, there are so many millions of people struggling to share in and divide this wealth, that very many of them get but very little of it; while very many, trampled down in the battling crowd, get none at all. Now, industrial combination of Capital and Labour, operating on Soil, and on the productions and accompaniments of Soil, mainly produces the wealth of New Countries; and though, here, there is far less of that which we may term the "artificial" producer of wealth, namely "Capital and Labour," there is far more of what we may term the "natural" producer of wealth, namely, Soil, and the now Soil is richer, far, in unrifled treasures. Thus, the wealth produced, the profits obtained, in a rich young virgin country like New Zealand, are proportionately much greater than the wealth produced, the profits obtained, in an old, half-used-up, long-squeezed country

[Image of page 104]

like England, France, or Germany; and in the young Colony there is but such a handful of people to share in and divide this "wealth," that each member of the community secures to himself a goodly portion of it.

2. --Again, our Embryo-Emigrant, contemplating the transplantation of himself and wife, and bairns, and books, and household gods, to some New Land, might, I think, draw further solace from the reflection that the Human Being, both to himself and to others, is a far more valuable Being, so to speak, in a "New" Country than in an "Old" one--where, indeed, he might almost be described as a drug in the market, a bit of waste surplus, of less account among millions of his fellows than patent mangle, or prize pig. In a young, virgin, Land, like New Zealand, teeming with the natural elements of wealth, and undergoing the fructifying process of colonisation and civilization, all Man's social and political institutions, all his industrial pursuits, enterprises, and careers, are only beginning to be developed, everything is growing--whereas, in an "old" country, like England, these things are already developed, some of them, indeed, perhaps decaying. Hence, relatively, there is far more of Man's work to do in a new community, emerging from the wilderness, than in an old community, massed in cities. But, not only is there more work to do in the new community --even, relatively, there are far fewer people to do the work. With upwards of 30,000,000 souls pent up in our little British Isles, if, in any walk of life, a bit of good work is to be had, a guinea to be earned, scores start up to battle for it. But, in our vast colonial possessions, the Human Being is, comparatively, so scarce a Being, that instead of there being a dozen Men for one "opening," there are a dozen "openings" for one Man. Indeed, in New Zealand, all the young pursuits, careers, and industries of the Country--her agriculture in its two great branches, her mining enterprises, her commercial pursuits, and a dozen Industries springing from or allied to these--are, all, demanding more hands and heads; all demanding

[Image of page 105]

more capital and labour; more men, women, and children, for their development and support; and, for a century to come, New Zealand's chiefest want will be her "Want of People."

3. --Again, many a Small Capitalist who has done me the honour to consult me about New Zealand, has expressed misgivings as to his, or his family's personal fitness for, and ability to undertake, the New Life in the New Land; and such misgivings are not uncommon among the "embryo-emigrant" orders of our people. It is well they should be, for, undoubtedly, the first question to ask in contemplating emigration is, not whether New Zealand be good enough for A. and his family--but whether A. and his family be good enough for New Zealand. Yet even on this point, the right man for a Colony, may take heart. If by "fitness" for emigration be meant merely our willingness to accept that active, out-door, hand-using life which emigration to New Zealand entails, each of us can and must answer for himself. There is the emigration "fruit" guarded, let us say, by the emigration "thorns," and we may cither take the fruit despite the thorns, or leave the fruit through fear of them. But, if by "fitness" for New Zealand emigration, be meant the ability to perform, or to learn to perform, the functions of a New Zealand Colonist's life, doubts and fears may instantly be dismissed; and on this subject I may, perhaps, be permitted to quote the following remarks on "Qualifications for Emigration," which appear in the second edition of a little Work of mine, bearing the somewhat ambitious title of New Zealand, the "Britain of the South:"-- "If asked to name the two most success-ensuring qualities which an emigrant of the capitalist or small-capitalist class could carry to New Zealand, I should say Pluck and Patience. It is not so much the clever, brilliant man, as the sober, steadfast, hopeful man who climbs highest in the colony. Great talents are good in a colony, and great talents go to a colony--but they are not, relatively, so useful to a man in a young country

[Image of page 106]

as in an old one. All the industrial occupations and pursuits of the Young Land are conducted in so simple, so primitive, a way, that almost any man may conduct them with success. In the professions, in commercial pursuits, in all the common businesses of life in England, any man, however clever, competent, or persevering he may be, may have some astute rival at his door, who has had the tact to tickle the public into the belief that he is a more clever, competent, or persevering man; and who, thus, carries off the loaves and fishes, and the largest spoil. But there are few or no Pursuits in the broad fields of a young colony where a Man will lose ground because of the presence of any better Man than himself; and though fools don't emigrate because they have not sense enough, fools--steady fools -- unquestionably might emigrate and do well.

"This easiness and simplicity of all our New Zealand Pursuits renders a special training for them quite unnecessary. In a new country, we say any man can do anything. That venerable aphorism of our schools, the "Ne sutor ultra crepidam," may be a golden maxim for all old-world workers--it rules none but veritable cobblers in a colony. Life in a Colony is not a narrow, circumscribed, routine life, closely hedged in and trimly squared by tyrant form and custom. In a Colony, there is none of that microscopical subdivision of labour under which one man blows one note, and one pin passes through a hundred hands. In a Colony, the development of our individual humanity is not altogether arrested by the progress of the social principle; there, our claws are not pared; there, each of us is something more than the revolving wheel of a machine; and there, with equal certainty and success, Soldier beats sword into ploughshare, Sailor steers harrow, Merchant turns Farmer, Farmer turns Merchant, Lawyer acquires an estate by deed of axe, not by deed of pen; doctor, tossing physic to the dogs, thrives better on fine Wool than once on fine Ladies; and, with the old "Arcadian" simplicity revived, the Milking Stool

[Image of page 107]

might become fit Throne for the fairest Daughters of men.

"Indeed, in one of the commonest and most agreeable of our New Zealand Pursuits--the purchase of wild land and the gradual creation of landed Estate by Plough and Fleece--many Colonists, so far from deeming it necessary that the Emigrant should have had any "old-world" experience of agriculture, contend that the active professional or town-bred man often succeeds better, that is, makes quicker first progress, than the home-bred farmer. They assert that the old-world farmer, trained up to a highly artificial old-world system, a man of a class remarkable for prejudice and the slow reception of new ideas, has a great deal to unlearn when he lands in New Zealand. and that he will lose time in clinging to many old-world fashions which are utterly unsuited to the new life in the new land. Whereas soldier, sailor, mechanic, merchant, trader, lawyer, doctor, having nothing to unlearn, no prejudices to disgorge, the mind being the "tabula rasa," will at once adopt that simple new-world practice which they see so successful around them; and this argument is very forcibly supported by a fact which I have remarked not only in New Zealand, but in Canada, Africa, Australia, and elsewhere, namely, that some of the finest Estates one goes over, have been created by Men who scarcely knew beans from barley, or long wool from a short, before they emigrated.

"In truth, experience of all colonies shows that the new duties of a Colonist's life are very easily learned, and very effectively performed, by our emigrant families of the capitalist and small capitalist classes who embrace a colonial career. Paterfamilias and the boys soon grow knowing in ploughs and cunning in wool; Mamma distinguishes herself in the dairy; while as to young ladies of the "nez retrousse" order, who may persist in protesting that they can't help mothers and maids in the kitchen, they are at once to be subdued by being submitted to the operation of a sumptuary

[Image of page 108]

law of Draconian severity shearing them, while recalcitrant, of scarlet cloak and crinoline."

4. --Lastly, let us offer a word on those natural feelings of repugnance at leaving what we call home and friends. What is "home?" Is it the particular four brick walls within which we happened to be born? If so, scarcely one of us ever lives in home. Is it the particular city, town, village, hamlet, or clachan we happened to be born in? If so, such home is often changed by a man half a dozen times in his life; as when he moves from Connaught to Cork, or from Cornwall to Cumberland, or from Scotland to Liverpool, or from Londonderry to London. Home, I take it, is that place where, for the time being, a man sets up his house and household gods, where he has his wife and bairns and books; and if he carry these things with him, he carries his Home with him, whether he migrate from Nottingham to New Zealand, or from Nottingham to Northumberland; and the Roman was right when he said "Where I am well off, there is my Country."

As to leaving Friends, Friends are of two sorts, your dear friends and your dinner friends--those who would lend you £100 and those who would not. As to the latter, they are gay agreeable people, social butterflies who know the sunny side of the peach, who drink your wine, shawl your wife, escort your daughter, and render you and society a thousand little services. But we may leave them and live. As to our half-dozen dear friends, if we could carry them with us, the movement would be a perfect one. Sometimes, if we try, we can carry one or two of them with us; when we cannot, we must e'en say good-bye for awhile and see them by letter. When a man emigrates, he emigrates to secure certain substantial benefits for himself, his wife, his children--these are his nearest and dearest friends, and these always go with him. Moreover, he will make plenty of friends in New Zealand. The very fact of his having chosen that country in preference to any other, makes him a popular man the moment he steps ashore. He is in no one's way there, he will push no

[Image of page 109]

one down the hill in climbing it himself, and he is received in a spirit of freemasonry by a community of his equals, who like him have left the old Land to better their fortunes in the new.

As to leaving the Land of our birth-- "Omne solum forti patria est"--but in going to New Zealand do we, virtually, leave the Land of our birth any more than when we go to Jersey, to Scotland, to Ireland? New Zealand, rightly regarded, is an integral part of Great Britain--an immense sea-joined Devonshire. An Englishman going thither, goes among his countrymen, he has the same queen, the same laws and customs, the same language, the like schools, the like churches, the like press, the like social institutions, and, save that he is in a country where trees are evergreen, and where there is no winter, no opera, no aristocracy, no income tax, no paupers, no beggars, no cotton mills, he is, virtually, in a young England.

Neither does he in any sense become less an Englishman, or an inferior sort of Englishman. National boasts -- Cressy, Trafalgar, Waterloo, Shakspeare, Newton, Bacon, Pope, Burns--belong as much to the Briton in New Zealand as to the Briton in Mid-Lothian or Middlesex. The New Zealand Colonist has at once all the bright recollections of the old England he has left, all the bright prospects of the young England he has reached: the past glories of the old Land, the dawning splendours of the New.

No degeneracy of race, either, no personal inferiority, is the attribute of emigration. Emigration is an enterprise which calls for pluck, bottom, energy, enterprise, all the masculine virtues: The feeble minded, the emasculate, the fastidious, the timid do not emigrate; they bow their necks to the yoke, ply the distaff, and spin wealth for the great at-home; and it is the Strong and the Bold who go forth to subdue the wilderness and "make the Desert blossom like the Rose." That ever snarling, mock Diogenes, the Saturday Review, ignorant as impudent on colonisation matters, stigmatizes all Colonists as "Bagmen." Colonists might

[Image of page 110]

well retort that the "Bagman" element of the English Race was most predominant near Temple Bar; and that the 200,000 pioneering Colonists of New Zealand would probably count in their ranks more men naturally fitted to battle with Nature, to sway the senate, to "set the squadron in the tented field," than any promiscuously taken 200,000 of their countrymen at-home.

Having thus offered for the consideration of your embryo-emigrant Headers certain "Truths of Emigration," which may possibly tend a little to cheer them on their path, I proceed to describe the various "openings" now existing in New Zealand for capital and labour, enterprise and skill--or, in other words, to point out what a man may find to "do" there should he go there-- and I arrange my subjects in the following order:--



This has been a leading Industry in New Zealand, and ten or a dozen years ago young men, with £2,000 or £3,000, could nowhere embark in a more manly, pleasant, profitable occupation. Leasing tracts of wild land from the Government at less than a penny an

[Image of page 111]

acre, young Squatters, 4 sticking up a hut or two for Selves and Shepherds, cleared a few acres for stock-yard and paddock--drew in their barrels of flour, chests of tea, bags of sugar, from the nearest store--took mutton from the plain, pig and pigeon from the bush--saw their flocks multiply on the wild herbage of the run, with little care or labour to themselves--sent down their annual, dray-borne, wool-harvest to their banker-merchant at the Port--rode into the Settlements as business or pleasure prompted--practised a rude but hearty hospitality among themselves--ever welcomed the Stranger at their gates--and formed in New Zealand, as their fellows had long formed in Australia, a frank, jovial, high-spirited, pastoral aristocracy--a brotherhood of bronzed Bush Centaurs, "bearded like the Pard," and creating, in the golden fleece, the Colony's best Export and most certain source of expanding wealth.

There are still many hundreds of men of this goodly stamp in New Zealand, still engaged in this tine, al fresco, pursuit; but Sheep-Farming, on this system, has now almost reached its limits in New Zealand, owing to the circumstance of the wild sheep-grazing lands of the Colony being now taken up; 5 and, so far as regards the basis of the pursuit, namely the power of hiring from the Government tracts of pastoral country at a nominal rent, we may half parody the noble Moor, and say, the "Squatter's occupation's gone."

[Image of page 112]

I, however, am not one who regards this check to the extension of "squatting" sheep farming at all as a colonial calamity. In the earlier days of a new Country, when there is a wilderness of wild land and a sparse, pioneering population, it is an industry most fitting for, and beneficial to, the young community-- but, as population flows in and towns arise, and where, as in New Zealand, soil and climate enable the plough cheaply to quintuple the feeding powers of the herbage, it is an industry which may be most profitably superseded by that of sheep farming on the field, or "grass-sown," system.

Squatting, too, has ever been, and from the very nature of it must ever be, a pursuit far more suitable for single young men, than for settled, house-dwelling, family, people. The cheap production of wool and mutton is no doubt a meritorious and profitable achievement; but it is not the "be all" and the "end all" of emigration. I speak from pretty wide experience when I say that three-fourths of the flower of our upper class emigrants, the families who carry with them £5,000 and £10,000 to New Zealand, go thither with these aspirations, namely, those of buying two or three square miles of good land where, by plough and fleece, by the judicious application of their capital, aided by some labour of their hands, they may gradually create a snug Estate of their own:--an Estate rapidly rising in value, (partly from the improvements they effect in it, partly from the causes named at page 119): an Estate annually increasing their modest income; one giving them a pleasant country life, not too remote from schools and towns; and one affording them a safe anchorage in the new Land from which, as time rolls on and children rise, they may push out their arms and profit by any of the numerous little "openings" for the employment of accumulated capital, or for the employment of talent, energy, and respectability which a young and growing Colony, like New Zealand, offers to us all.

Now, "Squatting" opens to a Man little or nothing

[Image of page 113]

of this sort. A Squatter, be he lord of 10,000 or 50,000 sheep, Peasant's son or Peer's, is only a mere Tenant of the Bush, only a mere Lodger in the Wilderness. His life, however pleasant, is a life far more suitable for one of our bachelor brotherhood, some pastoral Robinson Crusoe, expatriating himself to a colony for a dozen years, in order to make his £10,000 or £20,000 and then to return and reward "expectant" Jane, than for the married man, or man with a family, who emigrates to a colony hoping to make it his own and his children's "Home."

Sheep Farming on the "Grass-sown" system, on the contrary, gratifies this desire, common to all Men, for the possession of Land; and enables a man and his family to surround themselves with domestic comforts, and to create, by degrees, a snug little Estate and safe harbour of their own. And, owing partly to the growing belief that grazing, though a more costly pursuit to commence than Squatting and slower in early return, will eventually prove even a more lucrative pursuit; owing partly to the incoming of a fresh land-buying Population, and to the well-founded fear of the Squatters that if they don't buy the lands they rent others will, 6 there can be no question, that before many years are over, Squatting in New Zealand, becoming a Pursuit almost as extinct as the Moa, will be abandoned for "sown-grass" Grazing; and that while, under this system the Individual's profits may remain as great as before, the Colony, in another decade or two, instead of having an annual export of pastoral produce worth five millions sterling, may have an annual export of pastoral produce worth even ten.

Though, however, no young man, say A, B., could

[Image of page 114]

now go to New Zealand with his couple of thousand or so and commence the Squatter life, as he might have done a few years ago, he might still partly indulge his "squatting" tastes, in this way. Some of the runs are not half "stocked-up," and, here, a runholder would occasionally be found who would be willing to make some "arrangement" with A. B., under which he might invest a few hundreds or a thousand or more in buying a certain number of ewes to be placed on the run--he, residing on, or near it, himself, learning the craft, with the Proprietor as companion; and, either as a small partner, or as one having some arranged "interest" in the Run, receiving a certain share of its annual profits:-- when, after he had become a practical Colonist, and been seized by the natural ambition to have "acres of one's own," he might make a purchase in the neighbourhood, or in some other which he might have learned to like better, and commence the creation of one of the two first varieties of "New Zealand Estates" described at page 135. 7

SHEEP. --In natural advantages constituting a perfect habitat for the Sheep, there is no Country, in either Hemisphere, superior to New Zealand. The surface, for the most part, is hilly or undulating; the soil is light, percolative, and freely impregnated with all congenial oxides, sulphates, and phosphates; the climate is the happy mean of temperature and moisture; no destructive animal exists, 8 and there is a perpetual natural pasturage, with a profusion of the finest water--a rare combination of natural gifts, creating marked exemption from disease, 9 prolificness, fat and early mutton, fine wool, and heavy fleece.

[Image of page 115]

The present number of New Zealand's entire flock, which has been increasing at the rate of nearly doubling itself in a period of four years, must now be approaching 6,000,000. Nine-tenths of it consist of the progeny of the imported Australian Merino, improved and enlarged by the finer feed and climate, and by the introduction of some thoroughbred merino Rams from Saxony, and elsewhere.

The existing New Zealand Merino may be described as an animal weighing about 15 lbs. per quarter, and clipping 3 1/2 and 4 lbs. fleeces at once fine and long. But when improved breeding is more generally attended to, and when the natural advantages of soil and climate are turned to full account, the New Zealand Merino may, I think, eventually, be raised into an animal weighing 18 and 20 lbs. per quarter, 10 and clipping a 4 1/2 and 5 lbs. fleece of the finest combing wool--worth 2s. or even 2s. 6d. a pound.

Indeed, to show what New Zealand is capable of doing in wool, even in these early days, I may mention a little fact of which New Zealand sheep farmers are justly proud. One of their body, Mr. Rich an eminent North Island breeder, being over in Europe, inspecting the continental Merino flocks, visited "Rambouillet," the royal sheep breeding establishment near Paris. Here, he showed a sample of his New Zealand fleeces to the Superintendent, Baron Damier, who was so much struck with it that he purchased of Mr. Rich some specimens of his Antipodean flock, which have since been shipped to France for the purpose of improving even the famous "Rambouillet sheep."

The Merino will probably ever remain Ovine King of South Britain; but, as "sown-grass" Grazing becomes more common, some heavier-fleeced, long-wool, Sheep will probably take possession of our lower-lying, richer, pastures. And, speaking as one of a family who, father and son, have been Lincolnshire graziers for 300 years, I should say that of sheep of this famous description none would prove more profitable than that magnificent animal the Improved Lincoln, as seen in the "Branston Flock" 11 --an animal which, on such grass as many districts in New Zealand are capable of producing, would probably attain a weight of from 30 to 40 lbs. per quarter, and clip an 8 and

[Image of page 116]

10 lbs. fleece of lustrous long wool, worth, for the Huddersfield and Bradford market, 2s. a pound.

The following card of the proprietor of the "Branston Flock," together with the Wood Cut (from a Photograph) of one of its "Prize Ewes," given at the end of this little volume, will show the reader what our Improved Lincoln Sheep may now be made:--

Five Miles from Lincoln,
Begs to inform New Zealand and Australian Sheep Breeders that he can supply them with pure bred Lincoln, Long-wool, Rams and Shearling Ewes.

MR. MARSHALL has already supplied Rams for New Zealand, Australia, the Cape Colony, Natal, Buenos Ayres, North America, Canada, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Prussia, and Austria; and Breeders desiring increased size, and weight of wool, will find it in this Flock, several specimens of it having clipped from 16 lbs. to 22 lbs. of wool, of a money value of from 35s. to 45s. each sheep.

The Branston Sheep, during the last three years, have obtained prizes at the Battersea, Lincoln, Hamburg, Worcester, Boston, Sleaford, Northampton, Newcastle, Gainsborough, Birmingham, and Smithfield Shows; and the Ewe which obtained the "first prize" at the last Birmingham and Smithfield Fat Cattle Shows was one of the heaviest ever killed, weighing 67 lbs. per quarter.


This is a branch of our New Zealand Rural Industry which, owing to the greater apparent attractions of the "Golden Fleece," has hitherto been much neglected by our Colonists. New Zealand's bush-born Bos, too, is not exactly the placid animal which Janet sleeks at Islington; indeed, if not well welted now and then, he assumes the buffalo, dismaying dairy-maids and charging stockmen. Again, the life of a cattle station is a ruder life than even that of the sheep run, and, in its wilder, rougher-riding, attributes, bears much the same relation to sheep farming as fox hunting may do to thistle-whipping. As, however, all the "wild-pasture" sheep land is taken up in New Zealand, while there are millions of acres of cattle land still open, "cattle farming" is a pursuit which might now be most profitably extended. Dairy produce commands high and

[Image of page 117]

steady prices, both in New Zealand and Australia; young steers for working bullocks, and heifers for the suburban farms, are in great and constant demand; and the consumption of butcher's meat is rapidly increasing; while, looking at the fatness and fine quality of New Zealand beef, and at the suitability of her climate for the curing process, we may discern the existence of a very strong probability that a large "Provision Trade" will, eventually, be created in New Zealand, supplying, in part, the rising Australian and Indian Marine.

CATTLE. --New Zealand, in her natural state, is even a more suitable country for cattle than for sheep, inasmuch, as while the latter thrive only in the open grassy country, cattle, a far more browsing stock than sheep, will not only thrive there, but will also fatten and multiply in the great bush districts of the colony, 12 where the wilderness of vegetation would make the country impenetrable to the weaker, more timid sheep, or where the rough, shrub-and-leaf feed would be distasteful to that more dainty, grass-loving, animal.

The present number of New Zealand's entire Herd amounts to about 270,000, and has been increasing at the rate of nearly doubling itself in a period of 4 years. Like the Sheep, the New Zealand Cattle are mainly the progeny of Australian imported animals, improved and enlarged by soil and climate; but, unlike the Sheep, they are of no particular breed: short-horns, long-horns, no-horns, are so mixed and blended that Youatt himself, could scarcely name the predominant strain.

The New Zealand beef, however, like the mutton, is prime butcher's meat, equal, when properly fed and dressed, to our own, which is the finest in the world. Four-year, wild-grazed, bullocks will sometimes weigh 1000 and 1200 lbs. During my last visit to the Colony I saw a small herd, fed chiefly in the bush and wild shrubberies of the New Plymouth Waitera District, which would have produced beef fit for a Christmas Show.

Cattle, too, far more patient and enduring on our rough Colonial roads than Horses, working in far cheaper gear, and needing far less care, are much used in New Zealand for farm and draught purposes. They are capable, also, of doing the State great service in breaking through, smoothing down, and improving, wild tangled districts of country at first too rough and vegetation-smothered for the feeble Sheep; and I must confess, though it be heresy to say so, that, looking at the fine beef

[Image of page 118]

he gives us, at his heifer's rich dairy produce, at his strength and patience in plough and dray, at his pioneering services in the bush, I esteem the New Zealand Ox quite as much as the New-Zealand Sheep, and protest against the stuck-up Merino, with his golden coat and descent from the Ram of Colchis, being allowed, by common consent and the connivance of Squatters, to make himself out as so much bigger and better an animal in New Zealand than (when once broken in) his modest neighbour, the plodding Bullock.


I use this term in order to mark a very substantial distinction between the "results" of Farming and Grazing in New Zealand and Farming and Grazing in England. In England, 99 men in 100 who farm and graze, farm and graze all the days of their lives, and no more possess a foot of Land of their own at the end of their time than they did at the beginning. They are mere Tenant Farmers, farming their Landlord's acres, Landlord farming them, and Landlord having far the best of the bargain. But, in New Zealand, the man who devotes himself to rural pursuits, who orders the Plough and rules the Flock, not only lives, and lives well, by farming and grazing, but, while so doing, creates for himself and family a nice freehold Estate. For Land, in England, there are now so many, and such an annually increasing number of, applicants that it is fast becoming a costly "luxury," no more within reach of Farmers and Graziers, and of the great bulk of the People of the British Isles, than are diamonds and precious stones. But, in New Zealand, for the ten years' rent-money of a decent English Farm, a man may buy Land enough for a Manor: there, every man may gratify that common desire of our nature to have "acres of one's own;" and, thus, while he is Farming and Grazing, he is also "creating an Estate."

But not only is it that Farming and Grazing in New Zealand is attended by the additional gain of the

[Image of page 119]

creation of an Estate--it is, further, the creation of an Estate which, over and beyond the regular increase in its value derived from cultivation and improvement, derives an annual increase in value from a cause quite independent of cultivation and improvement. If, in 1866, an English Tenant Farmer, 1 in 100, say, does manage to buy the Farm he rents, and if, in 1870, he wants to sell it again, he may get a little more, or a little less, than he gave for it. But, in New Zealand, if a Man buy his 500 or 5000 acres of Wild Land in 1866, say at £1 per acre, he might sell it in 1870 for £1 if not for £2 per acre more than he gave for it; and he might do this by a law almost as certain as gravitation. The Reader must remember that in all popular young emigration fields, like New Zealand, there is an annually-increasing rise in the value of the fee simple of land arising from the constant incoming and operation of fresh capital and labour. Hundreds, indeed thousands, of New Comers are arriving in New Zealand every year, most of whom, sooner or later, get to work on the wild lands lying around the little Settlements already planted, where they fell the forest, plough up valley and plain, create gardens, orchards, pastures, corn fields; extend roads, villages, and markets; and reduce the surrounding wilderness to a civilized and cultivated country. In this way, 100 or 500 or 5000 acres of wild, back land bought tomorrow, say, at 20s. an acre, land lying, in these days, miles away from civilization, might, in 1870, be in a well-settled District, and in 1875 be in the very centre of a Township, within a mile or two of some river-port; and thus, from its improved position and neighbourhood, and without having had a penny expended on it, might be worth, in the market, full double, perhaps quadruple, what it had originally cost.

Of course, the continuance of this steady rise in the value of Land in New Zealand depends mainly on the continuance of New Zealand's popularity as a British Emigration Field. If any great national windfall were to enable the 30 millions of people cooped up in these

[Image of page 120]

little British isles to dispense with emigration; or if any new Country were discovered as superior to New Zealand as New Zealand is to most other Countries, the rapid rise in the value of land in New Zealand would cease. But these are contingencies which we may dismiss from our calculation: it would be easy to show that in all human probability there will be a greater emigration from the United Kingdom and Europe during the next quarter of a century than there has been during the past; while, as to "New Countries," the geography of the world is known, and the discoverers of the sources of Nile will never discover a Country superior to New Zealand. Indeed, looking at the certainty of a continuance, if not of an increase, of emigration from Great Britain and Europe, owing to the annually increasing "pressure of population;" looking at the waning popularity of America as a high-class emigration field; 13 looking at the door just opened into Australasia via Panama, we may safely conclude that there will be an increased rather than a diminished flow of capital and labour to the Antipodes; and that, judging by the experience of the past, we might say that the future increase in the value of the soil in New Zealand, arising, in part, from the continuous incoming of fresh Capital and Labour, is a thing so certain, that the farming and grazing proprietor of Land would be warranted, for some years to come, when making out his annual balance sheet, in adding, to the credit side of the Farm Account, 15 or 20 per cent, profit on the first cost of his acres.

Though, however, these "estate-creating" advantages peculiar to Farming and Grazing in Now Zealand, have long been apparent, yet, owing partly to the quicker-coming profits of "Squatting," partly to its comparative independency of hand labour, partly to its remarkable

[Image of page 121]

fitness and adaptation to the state of things prevailing in the rough, early years of a young Country, "Squatting," and not "Farming and Grazing," has, hitherto, been the chief Rural Industry of New Zealand. Now, however, as Home Markets for farm produce are yearly growing better through the free incoming of a gold-digging and a general immigrant population; now that roads and water carriage to markets have been multiplied; now that improved implements and machinery have reduced the outlay for hand labour; now that all squatting Sheep land is taken up; and now, and above all, that people are growing more and more convinced that New Zealand is not a country like Australia, whither men expatriate themselves, to become Squatters for twenty years and the day their "Golden Fleece" is gained hurry home to show it, but a country in which men may create a beautiful Home and live long to enjoy it--now that these varied considerations are beginning to operate, "Estate-creating" is a New Zealand pursuit every year becoming a more popular one--as, indeed, is most strikingly evidenced by the pregnant fact, revealed to us by our late Agricultural Statistics, that in the last four years the quantity of "fenced" land in New Zealand (mainly in pasture) has actually increased from 400,000 to 1,300,000 acres.

In short, "Estate-creating" by means of plough and fleece--a far higher and better pursuit than Squatting, or trading, or mining, or grubbing about for gold--is undoubtedly destined to become the leading pursuit of the most influential portion of New Zealand's community; and any practical agriculturist who may do me the honour to weigh the following observations on the agricultural and pastoral capabilities of New Zealand, with their attendant "farming notes," will, I think, agree with me that, well aware as we may be how much truth is imperilled by any exaggeration of language, we might, still, most reasonably assert that in happy combination of "agricultural and pastoral advantages" New Zealand is entitled to rank as the

[Image of page 122]

very first Country in the world--a Country which may well become the "Granary of the Pacific," the great Cornucopia, the great Sicily of the South.

CLIMATE. --First, in glancing at the varied agricultural merits of New Zealand, let us remark her Climate, that most precious gift which agriculture can receive from Nature--for Art, which can make a poor soil rich, is powerless over winds and weather, and droughts still parch, tempests still rage, storms still devastate, as they did when rural Maro sang, and "sacred plough employed the kings and awful fathers of mankind." Those "Arctic winters" which, in our North-American colonies, lock up the land in ice and snow for a third of the year, and which make the due provision of winter-keep for stock a grievous tax on the produce of the farm--those "torrid heats" and withering "droughts" which scourge the farms and stock-stations of our African and Australian Colonies, are, in New Zealand, quite unknown.

Recollecting that the North is the hottest quarter, that the seasons are reversed, and that January is the chief harvest month, a good general idea of the climate may be formed by imagining it to be the climate of England with about half the cold of the English winter, but with an atmosphere more breezy, rarified, and pure. The rain-fall is greater than in England, but there are more fine bright sunny days; and owing to the combined operation of the constant breeze, the porous subsoil, and the hilly, undulating character of most of the country, drained as it is by countless brooks and streams, the effects of the heaviest rains soon disappear. There is neither tropical rainy season, nor, as before observed, is there anything approaching even, to the real droughts of Africa and Australia; and though the duration of periods without rain is perhaps rather longer than in England, any climatic disadvantage in this respect is more than balanced by the greater certainty in New Zealand of two dry and brilliant months for harvest weather. 14

[Image of page 123]

All vegetation, too, is evergreen. Forests, wild shrubberies of small bush, grassed plains, are alike clothed with verdure winter and summer, autumn and spring; and the effects of such a climate with such a vegetation are these:-- that the operations of reclaiming and cultivating land can be carried on almost equally well at all seasons of the year; that, when the first conditions of successful agriculture are complied with, all our English grain, root and fruit crops are fine in quality and heavy in yield; that little or no winter keep is necessary for stock; and that all our domestic animals multiply fast, are free from many of their European diseases, mature early, and present to the eye that clear, sleek, glossy look of coat and skin so dear to the eye of the grazier.

SOIL. --Though the singular luxuriance of vegetation in New Zealand be owing more to pre-eminent goodness of climate than to pre-eminent richness of soil, yet is the soil, for the most part, a virgin soil of fair natural fertility, and one remarkably "easy to work." Indeed, owing partly to the genial climate; partly to the general light character of the soil, there is probably no country in the world where, when the land has once been broken up, the operations of ploughing and tilling can be performed with more ease, certainty, and despatch, in all seasons of the year.

Some Arthur Young, surveying the agriculture of our New Zealand counties in the year 1900, may define a dozen varieties of soil; but in these days, or rather in this paper, it may suffice to say that, now, in New Zealand, we recognise three chief Soils:--

1. The warm, light, shallow, volcanic Soils, such as those distributed largely over the splendid province of Auckland.

2. The light vegetable Loams -- prevailing in the Taranaki province; but found also in Hawke's Bay, Otago, Auckland, and, more or less, in all the provinces.

3. The Clays, more light than heavy--found in both Islands, but not generally in any over proportionate plenty.

WATER AND WATER POWER. --Next to Climate, the most remarkable feature of the agricultural superiority of New Zealand is the abundance, the seeming superabundance, of ever-running water, generally of the purest, softest quality. Perhaps we can hardly have too much of a good thing like good water, the blood of the earth; but certainly, those who would paint the lily and perfume the rose, might assert that, in these early days, half the streams which New Zealand possesses would be better for her than the whole. 15 Nevertheless, my English

[Image of page 124]

agricultural readers, and assuredly our parched-up pastoral friends in South Africa and Australia well know that too many streams are better than too few. We may say, too, that not only are the thousand and one streams of New Zealand great gifts for her flocks and herds, useful land boundaries, and fine additions to her beautiful scenery, but that they would probably supply water-power enough to drive half the machinery in the world. In these rude days, the New Zealand cultivator no more dreams of making use of the water-power wasted at his feet than of getting the plough to work before 10 A. M.; but, though irrigation may never be practised in New Zealand, the day will surely come when the agricultural and cheap food-producing capabilities of the Colony will be sensibly increased by some use being made of her present waste wealth of waters.

WILD LANDS, AND MODES AND COST OF CLEARING. --The farmed and grazed lands of New Zealand consist of three chief sorts, namely Fern Land, Grass Land, Forest Land.

Pure fern land is covered with a dense, luxuriant growth of the Pteris esculenta fern, four and six feet high, 16 dotted with a bushy shrub called Tutu, a small palm-like tree called Ti tree, and a handsome, reedy, grass-like shrub, called Toetoe, and is best cleared in this way:--choosing a dry, gentle-breezy day, in any month, the fern is fired to windward, when the fire, creeping slowly through, shrivels up the shrubs, and consumes the tops and branches of the live fern, together with all dead bottom stuff. The charred fern stalks are then swept down with a stub-scythe, raked in ridges, and burnt; and the tutu and other stumps grubbed up, thrown in heaps, and burnt or carted off. The land is then broken up six or seven inches deep, with a strong iron plough (wrought-iron share) drawn by two or three pairs of oxen. After lying a week or two to dry and pulverize, it is harrowed, and the fern root is then raked up, heaped, and burnt. A light cross-ploughing is then given, when the soil, after lying in a kind of maiden fallow for three or four months 17 will be reduced to a fine tilth, fit for crop. The expense of this process varies from £3 to £4 per acre, according to the heaviness of the fern and tutu.

Grass Land, more abundant in the South Island than in the North, consists of coarse grasses, here and there intermingled

[Image of page 125]

with scrubby fern, flax, dwarf tutu, toetoe, and ti-tree. Where these intermingled shrubs grow strong and thick, they are swept down with bill-hook or brushing-bill and burnt off; but the lighter, more open lands of this description may be broken-up and cross-ploughed at once, lie fallow a month or two, and then receive the crop. The cost of reducing Grass Land to seed state varies from £1 to £2 per acre.

Bush Land is the common forest land. Before the spring month of September, the brushwood should be slashed down with the bill-hook, and all the trees, not exceeding three feet or so in diameter, thrown by the American axe and cross-cut saw. The few larger fellows, those more of the Trafalgar-square column size, are let alone: the fire, and then the want of shade and shelter kills them, when, gradually becoming blanched by the weather, they stand up in bush clearings like huge forest ghosts, What with work, what with sport, in America, Canada, the Cape Colony, Australia, and New Zealand, I have toiled pretty hard at several things, and should say that for bringing out the muscle, and arousing the combative, do or die spirit of the Anglo-Saxon, nothing better could be devised than to give him an axe and a barrel of beer and to set him down before ten or twenty acres of good solid New Zealand forest. The smaller trees and brushwood, forming what we call the "fallen stuff," lie withering and drying through the summer, and are burnt off in autumn. If the first, or running, fire acts well, everything will be consumed save trunks and heavy branches, when the latter are lopped off, the trunks rolled together, and the whole slowly burnt up in heaps. The cost of clearing and burning off bush land, so that grass seed or wheat may be sown on the ashes, varies from £3 to £5 per acre. The ugly stumps remain in the land about four years, when the smaller ones may be torn out with a pair of good bullocks and a strong stump chain, and the lighter lands of this description made roughly ploughable.

Bush Land is richer soil than either Fern or Grass Land; and for small dairy and garden farms, where there is family hand labour at command, or for hop grounds, orchards, kitchen gardens, or home paddocks, bush land is best; while looking at its value for timber fencing-stuff and fuel, at the shade and shelter it affords, at the increased beauty it gives the scenery, everyone, in buying a lot of land, likes to have a portion of it, say a fourth or a fifth, Bush land. But the process of first clearing and cultivating it is, comparatively, so slow and laborious, that nine-tenths of all our agricultural operations are, as yet, carried on on Fern and Grass land.

DRAINAGE. --Here and there, as on the rich low-lying seaboard of the Canterbury Plains, and in the little manure-bed Raupo Swamps and alluvial bottoms found in all districts, the agricultural Lands of New Zealand are improvable by drainage; but, speaking generally, they may be called Lands where, owing to

[Image of page 126]

the combined operation of porous subsoil, sunny breezy atmosphere, hilly undulating surface, and countless brooks and streams, the drainage is so good by nature as to need little improvement from art.

FENCING. --Near the forests, the cheapest fencing is the split post and rail; but the commonest fence is the 6 ft. ditch and 3 ft. bank, or a smaller ditch and bank with light post and rail, and sometimes furze at top, while stout galvanised wire fencing is now coming into general and economical use. Furze is a nasty straggling thing, but it grows with great quickness, and in these rude days is found useful in the open country both as fence and breakwind. Quick also grows well in some of the provinces, but it is subject to blight, and is not so commonly used as the more humble furze. For home-field fences, the wild rose, broom, geranium, and two or three of the native plants are sometimes mixed with furze, and form fences of great beauty impervious to man or beast. In the North Island, however, perhaps the best live fence will eventually be formed by that quick-growing vegetable bulwark the Osage orange: the plant has been introduced into some of the New Zealand nurseries, and, after many inquiries, I find that the seed may be had at Carter's, 238, Holborn.

The cost of fencing varies considerably, according to the nearness of timber and the easy-digging character of the soil. I have known it done for 12s. a chain; but perhaps the present average cost of the larger ditch and bank would be about 15s., and of the smaller, with light post and rail at top, about 20s. a chain--the expense of parti-fencing being borne by the two proprietors.

FARM BUILDINGS. --As yet, there are not many mansions in New Zealand. Here and there, on the estates of colonists of ten and twelve years' standing, a handsome house and homestead, with all things fitting, will be found; but, at first, small capitalist families going on land, wisely content themselves with putting up a dwelling of some temporary, make-shift character-- generally a building of the rough verandah-cottage order, in which they may enjoy robust health and much comfort until a good part of the little estate is cleared and fenced, cropped and stocked, and they have earned the right of treating themselves to a residence and out-buildings more commensurate with their annually-improving circumstances and their independent landed-proprietor position. A substantial wooden verandah cottage of this order may cost from £150 to £200; a good raupo cob or clay building from £50 to £70; but these smaller, more humble erections are frequently put up wholly or in part by the settlers themselves, when their cost in paid-away cash is next to nothing, for there is little or no labour to pay for, and the materials lie free at hand.

I may here, too, just hint that any family going on Land, would

[Image of page 127]

do well to add to their outfit a small box of carpenter's tools-- not the flimsy gimcracks, glittering in what are called "Emigrant's Tool Chests," but such strong useful things as are enumerated in my work on New Zealand. I, myself, took lessons in the noble art of Carpentry for six months before I went to New Zealand, and can assure the reader that a few good tools, and the rough ability to use them, which Paterfamilias and the boys soon pick up, will be found singularly useful in the many little jobs of building and construction which have to be done in the work of converting even a small bit of New Zealand wild land into a New Zealand farm.

ROADS. --PROXIMITY OF MARKETS. --Within a radius of from 20 to 30 miles of most of the nine provincial capitals, the main roads of the colony are now pretty good; but as we advance further inland, the roads are still often little more than rough tracks, studded, in wet weather, with many a mud-pit and slough of despond; and, generally, we might say that the tractive power which would draw two tons at home would not draw more than one in New Zealand.

Owing, however, to the peculiarly lengthy configuration of the country, giving it a coast line of more than 3,000 miles, with a breadth varying from 50 to 200; owing to the excellent system, on which a large portion of the cultivable land has been surveyed and laid out, and to the number of shipping places found in almost every district, agricultural and pastoral produce requires, comparatively, but little cartage in New Zealand to convey it to some port, or inland creek, or river-planted market; so we may say that if the interior roads are bad they are not both bad and long.

LABOUR. --IMPLEMENTS. --MACHINERY. --Here, at last, among the many great natural agricultural advantages enjoyed by New Zealand, we come to the sole thing which has any tendency to check the rapid progress of the plough; and this, the comparative "dearness of hand labour" is an evil far less practically formidable than would generally be supposed. The present rate of farm labour varies from 5s. to 6s. a-day; but assuming, as we safely may, that by "assisted passages" and "free grants" New Zealand wisely continues to attract population to her shores, and that no large portion of her labour force be absorbed by permanent gold fields. 18 I incline to think, taking an average of the next ten years, that the price of farm labour will not be found to exceed 5s., and may possibly be as low as 4s. a-day. This,, even, is double the English price; but, in overbalancing per contra, we must remember that the New Zealand cultivator has no penny of rent, tax, or tithe, to pay. Again, operating as he

[Image of page 128]

is, on fresh virgin land where seed, soil, and climate, alone, almost produce the crop, the additional stimulant of labour proves so powerful a stimulant that the effect of two labourers on a New Zealand farm is probably as great as that of three on an English farm, where their labour is expended on a long-used, dry-squeezed, partially, exhausted soil.

Nevertheless, this higher price of labour, comparatively little as in actual practice it may be felt, forms an additional reason why the New Zealand Estate should generally be devoted, say, in the proportion of three-fourths, to sheep-grazing, stock-breeding, and dairy-farming, having the remainder, only, in corn: an additional reason why the New Zealand Agriculturist should arm himself with the best labour-saving tools and implements, and the best of the simpler forms of our agricultural machinery. Indeed, so necessary is this that though, as a general rule, in emigrating to New Zealand, a man cannot well take too much "money" and too few "things;" yet anyone now moving to New Zealand with the settled Plan of purchasing Land and creating a little Estate, by Plough and Fleece, should not fail to provide themselves with one or two of Howard's famous Ploughs and Harrows as packed in small compass for exportation by the London Office of the House, at 4, Cheapside.

ARABLE CROPS. --Wheat: For "certainty of crop," so far as this may arise from rarity of blight or climatic injuries, for good harvested condition of crop, and fair average yield, New Zealand will, one day, rank high among the wheat growing countries of the world. Wheat is best sown in May or June, the months answering to our English November and December. 50 and 60 bushels per acre are occasionally obtained; I have myself, on a small piece of "light bush" land, had nearly 70; and, if common fair farming were practised, the soil and climate would, I think, be found quite equal to the general production of 30. But the present average yield of the wheat crop of New Zealand cannot certainly be estimated at more than three quarters per acre--a yield, though, one-third greater than that of Australia, and one too, obtained where good tillage of soil, with due rotation of crop, are conditions of good husbandry very generally neglected; and where, indeed, the cultivator appears, often, to labour under the impression that when he has once broken up the new land, and cast down the seed his work is done.

Barley and Oats, though liable on new Lands to be attacked by a ravaging caterpillar, sadly needing the attentions of the English finch and sparrow, are grown with great success. Fine samples of the Norfolk Chevalier Barley, first introduced, I think, by my brother and myself, are now seen in the markets; while our Lincolnshire Poland Oat has been grown at Taranaki weighing the almost incredible weight of 50 lbs. the bushel. I may here remark, too, that as frequent change of seed is good practice in New Zealand, any one going out to engage in agricultural pursuits would do well to procure among his farming

[Image of page 129]

friends peck or bushel samples of any particularly fine wheat, oats, barley, or grass seeds, for which their localities might be famous. All seeds should be put up (dry) in bags, and then be enclosed in some zinc-lined case or cask.

Pulse Crops. --These, as yet, have been but little grown. Judging, however, by their luxuriance in the garden there is no doubt that when an improved system of agriculture shall call for a greater variety and alternation of crop, peas and beans will be grown as successfully as anything else.

Root Crops. --Potatoes, next to wheat, have hitherto been the most common crop in New Zealand. They are generally set in the North Island in September; but the Canterbury and Otago agriculturists prefer planting a month later. The quality of potatoes is so fine that the Irishman might go to New Zealand to taste them, and the crop is a certain one. On common lands, without manure, 5 and 6 tons per acre is a fair yield; but I remember that on the rich bush soil of a portion of my brother's little farm in Taranaki 12 tons per acre were occasionally obtained.

Turnips, Carrots, Parsnips, Onions, and all root and vegetable crops, are very prolific, and of fine quality. From 25 to 30 tons per acre of turnips is not an uncommon yield. Incredible as it may seem, nearly 40 cwt. of the white Altringham carrot (nearly 150 tons per acre) 19 have been obtained from two rods of ground; 300 lbs. of onions (nearly 25 tons per acre), have been obtained from one rod of ground; carrots of 9 lbs. weight have been exhibited at Canterbury Horticultural Shows, and cabbages weighing 50 lbs. have been grown in Otago.

Hops. --A few acres of hops have been grown, and have answered well, particularly at Nelson. The sorts introduced, however, have often been of inferior quality; and any agricultural emigrant from our hop counties would do well to carry with him cuttings of the finest varieties of his district. Brewing is certain to grow into a considerable business, and to create a large and profitable demand for hops.

Grass Crops and Pastures. --New Zealand is perhaps even a finer country for Grass than for Grain; and about 300,000 acres have already been seeded down. A small portion of this, largely-increasing, area consists of meadow land mown for hay, for although dry winter food is not necessary for stock, a little good hay is relished by cattle and horses, and bay is now being required for livery and stable purposes in the towns. Nine-tenths, however, of the grass lands are lands which have been seeded

[Image of page 130]

down into permanent pasture--for the further experience of every year is showing us that the following remarks, made some years ago now, by Mr. Weld, one of New Zealand's most practical Shepherd Princes, are substantially true.

"In no country do artificial grasses thrive and flourish more luxuriantly than in New Zealand, and by their cultivation, and by fencing, and in some cases by draining, the capabilities of a given area of good land to maintain stock might be increased tenfold. With greater abundance of capital and labour, and considering the increasing value of land, I have no doubt that the system of laying down wild lands in grass will, year by year, be more extensively and profitably adopted; for there is much of the land in New Zealand which, when cultivated, grassed, and fenced, will keep eight sheep an acre, all the year round, and be proportionately good for Cattle."

Mr. Weld is here speaking of our "best" Lands--but there are millions of acres in New Zealand which, laid down in large paddock pastures, would, the year through, carry five sheep to the acre.

The only point, indeed, on which there is now any substantial difference of opinion in New Zealand on the great question of Paddocks and Grazing versus Runs and Squatting, is that of the best mode, and the first cost, of getting the Paddocks--here, indeed, doctors still differ; but the majority of our most practical men would now, I think, endorse the following propositions:--

1. That the question of the mode and cost of converting wild lands into farm-pastures turns, mainly, on the point of whether it be necessary to break up and till the land, or whether the seed may be sown on the rough unbroken surface.

2. That unquestionably, there are portions of all open-country districts where, owing to certain peculiarities of soil, surface and indigenous vegetation, the land must be cleared, ploughed, and worked for grass seed. But, that in almost all open-country districts there is a breadth of land where, say, after a little slashing-down and burning-off work, and a rough surface-fraying harrowing, grass seeds may be sown at once, in strips or bands, and be safely left to spread over the whole surface, to take full possession of the soil, and to turn themselves, quickly, into good permanent Pasture. 20

[Image of page 131]

3. That on the first description of land, where the soil might have to be regularly cleared, ploughed, and worked, the expense (including seed and fencing) of converting wild open-land into 50 and 100 acre paddocks might perhaps be put down, taking one district with another, at about £3 per acre; 21 while on the second description of land, where burning, harrowing, seed, and fence would comprise the chief outlay, and reckoning on some aid from the process named in the note below, 22 large paddock pastures in New Zealand could now be created from the wild land at an expense of from 30s. to £2 per acre.

LIVE STOCK. --Sheep and Cattle have been described at pages 114 and 117. The Horse in New Zealand, like the Sheep and Ox, is mainly the progeny of importations from the Australian continent; and the Horse, like the Sheep and Ox, and like every living creature, from cat to man, transplanted from Australia to New Zealand, has grown to be a bigger animal in his island home. The New Zealand Horse, however, has been vastly improved by the pretty free introduction of some of the best blood of the English turf. Many years ago, on the occasion of my first expedition to New Zealand, a fellow-passenger (the Hon. Henry Petre) took out two thorough-breds for stud purposes, and his example has since been so well followed by other spirited colonists that, if the length of the Epsom course were doubled, there are now New Zealand Horses which might run a very fair race for the Derby.

On the turf, indeed, young New Zealand is quite a chip of

[Image of page 132]

the old block. Well-conducted annual races take place in most of the chief settlements; while the Nelson men, who for horses may be called New Zealand's Yorkshiremen, no longer content to carry off the blue ribbon at home, have gone forth to seek fresh victories in Australia. A few years ago, at the Sydney "Home-Bush" Races (the Epsom of Australia), two New Zealand mares, Zoe and Zingari carried off the honours of the day; and their spirited owner, Mr. Redwood, of Nelson, who had taken over these specimens of New Zealand blood to New South Wales (a voyage of 1,200 miles), was entertained at a public dinner by the Sydney turfites in honour of the event. Again, once at the Australian Champion Races, held at Melbourne, where eighteen horses started for the "Champion Stakes," Strop, a Nelson horse, carrying 10st. 4, came in fourth--the distance, over a rough heavy course, being 3 miles, the time nearly 6 minutes, and the value of the stakes nearly £3,000. For the second event, however, the "Melbourne Handicap," another Nelson horse, Camden, came in first and won his party several thousand pounds.

Australia, too, is running a good race with New Zealand in the matter of blood stock, as my Sporting Readers will, I am sure, be gratified to see by the following remarks of the Pall Mall Gazette, copied by the Times of June 28th:--

BLOOD STOCK IN AUSTRALIA. --A wonderful sale of racing stock is reported to have taken place in Australia, which throws even Mr. Blenkiron's last and greatest success into the shade. Some years since Mr. Hurtle Fisher, who lives near Melbourne, at Maribyrnong, imported from this country a number of our best horses and mares; among them Mr. Parr's Fisherman and Mr. Hawke's Marchioness. On the 10th of last April the Maribyrnong stud was sold by auction. Forty-three horses, of which nine were yearling colts and eight unweaned filly foals, fetched £26,305, rather more than £600 each. The nine yearlings fetched 5,055 guineas--502 guineas each; 11 horses and mares in training. 11,540 guineas --1,049 guineas each; 14 brood mares, 7,080 guineas--506 guineas each; and eight unweaned filies, 2,110 guineas--263 guineas each. A four-year-old colt by Fisherman--Marchioness, fetched 3,600 guineas.

The number of Horses increased from 30,000, in 1861, to upwards of 60,000 by the end of 1865.

PIGS. --Of English sty-fed Pigs and native tame-kept Pigs, the number, altogether, is very great. Wild Pigs, too, though the cover is so thick and the creature so shy that few of them are seen, so abound in certain remote wild bush districts as to have led us to imagine that New Zealand must have been the teeming country which happy Hood had in his eye when he wrote--

"There is a land of pure delight,
Where omelets grow on trees,
And roasted pigs come crying out,
'Oh, eat me, if you please I'"

The animal fattens kindly, and produces hams and flitches equal, I think, to any I ever saw at-home. The editor of one of the New Zealand papers--turning for the moment from Brutus

[Image of page 133]

and Public Virtue to Pork--lately told the world that "five large Pigs were killed at Wellington this week, the smallest of which, when cleaned, weighed nearly a quarter of a ton."

Prices of Corn and Wool. --By the admirable New Zealand "Blue Book" for 1864, just forwarded to me by that able Officer of the New Zealand Government, J. B. Bennett, Esq., Registrar-General, the wholesale export prices of the Agricultural and Pastoral Produce snipped from New Zealand in that year were as follows:--

£ s. d.


0 6 0

per bushel.


0 4 0



0 5 0



4 0 0

per ton.


0 14

per lb.

These figures, I apprehend, represent the shipping value of the produce at the port--not the prices obtained by the cultivator from the merchant. These figures, however, are satisfactory, even so regarded; while looking at the growing "home" demand, and at the increasing populations of the great cities of Melbourne and Sydney, 23 I think we may safely say that during the next ten years the four great arable crops will, on the average, bring the New Zealand farmer fully the following prices:--Wheat, 6s.; barley, 5s.; oats, 4s.; and potatoes, £4 per ton. Wool comes under quite another category, and, looking at the increasing demand in Europe for good wool clothing, 24 the New Zealand grazier, on the average of the next

[Image of page 134]

ten years, is far more likely, I think, to make 1s. 6d or 1s. 9d. per lb. of the golden fleece than 1s. 3d or 1s. 4d.


Prime Breeding ewes per head

20s. to 25s.

Fat wethers per head

20s. to 25s.

Pat oxen per head

£12 to £15

Store stock per head

£5 to £8

Working steers per pair

£25 to £35

Horses, ranging for the most part between

£25 to £40

Fat pigs per lb., live weight

3d. to 4d.

Butter, fresh per lb.

1/6 to 1/9

Butter, salt per lb.

1/ to 1/3

Bacon per lb.

8d. to 10d.

Milk (near towns) per quart


Eggs per dozen

1/6 to 2/0

Fowls, ducks, turkeys, geese, easily reared but little attended to, and near the towns fetching excessive prices.

Garden produce: fruits, honey, peas, beans, onions, carrots, &c, &c, easily raised, but little attended to, and near the towns fetching high prices

Hay: good grass or oaten hay, near the towns per ton

£6 to £8

N. B. --Occasionally in Sydney and Melbourne hay is £15 and £20 per ton.

With respect to these prices and the probability of their continuance I would offer the following remarks:--

As to Ewes, bearing in mind that a large portion of New Zealand can be laid down in pastures at a small first cost--that such pastures might well sustain 30,000,000 of sheep--that in all human probability, as shown by the note at page 133, there will be a steady and increasing European demand for wool--that the gradual abandonment of "squatting" for "grazing," is a change which has commenced, and which will go on spreading just as surely as seed spreads into plant-- bearing these things in mind, we may, I think, safely conclude that, for the next decade, prime breeding ewes in New Zealand will be worth a pound per head.

As to Wethers, fat Wethers, prime fat Wethers, there is some difference of opinion. It may be that moved by my prodigious advocacy, by the Panama Route, and by other causes and attractions, most of the emigrant world will soon be moved to go to New Zealand, when legs of mutton, there, might fetch a shilling a pound. Or, it may be that most of the emigrant world will not be moved this way, and that when we have the fat pastures

[Image of page 135]

in New Zealand which we shall have, fat Wethers may multiply so fast there as almost to crowd out the Men. So grave a matter, however, must not be treated in this light style; and, returning to that befitting frame of mind which the subject demands, I would say that for many years to come there is every probability of our having good meat markets in New Zealand through and by the rapid increase of our New Zealand born, and our Immigrant, population -- that more unlikely things have happened to Sheep than that prime New Zealand Wethers may some day grace the butchers' shops of Melbourne and Sydney--that mutton hams are not bad--that bountiful science may discover means of converting some of the finest meat in the world, New Zealand mutton, into some preparation of dry preserved meat which would prove a cheap dainty to the half-starved millions of Europe--and, that if the worst comes to the worst, and we have to "boil down," 25 the New Zealand Wether will be found a most substantial, respectable animal, whose weight of tallow, whose skin and many-crop fleece, will allow him to "boil" in peace, in debt to no man, and to leave his Grazier copiously compensated for his keep.

At to Cattle, looking at the great development of which Dairy Farming is capable -- at the great demand which must arise for working oxen as the plough gets more into work-- at the possibility of a beef-curing, ship-provision, Export Trade springing up--there appears to me to be no reason to suppose that the above-named prices will, for the next few years, suffer any material reduction.

As to Dairy produce, glancing at the increasing population of New Zealand--at the large and increasing tonnage of shipping annually entering the ports--at the fine markets found in the great neighbouring cities of Melbourne and Sydney--the New Zealand cultivator, or rather his wife and daughters, may, I think, safely calculate on dairy produce maintaining, on the average, for some years, the almost extravagant prices standing in the above quotations.

New Zealand's Three Model Farms. --Bearing in mind the various facts set forth in the preceding pages, and remembering that a great "Pastoral Revolution," turning Squatters into Graziers, is surely at hand, I think we may venture to predict that the greater part

[Image of page 136]

of the agricultural industries of New Zealand will, eventually, be carried on in, and represented by, three chief sorts or classes of farms, which may be named the "Garden Farm," the "Mixed Farm," the "Great Grass Farm."

The first will often be one of from 50 to 100 acres, lying on the skirts of some rising town or village, and its proprietor often some industrious ex-labourer or mechanic, or retired tradesman, invalid emigrant, or professional man--farming either for profit and a living, or partly for pleasant variety and occupation. Here, there will be "fine orchard and kitchen-garden, two or three corn-fields, and a couple of good paddocks; and here the live stock will be pigs and poultry, half-a-dozen dairy cows, and often a few good sheep.

The "Mixed Farm" will be one of from 200 to 500 and 1000 acres, and its proprietor, frequently some old-country agriculturist, or other small-capitalist emigrant, who with his family will do a share of the farm work. Here, about one-third or one-fourth of the land will be devoted to corn and root and hay crops, and the remainder to pasture; and here there will be a good dairy, a score or two of cattle, and a good flock of well-bred sheep.

The great "Grass Farm" will be an estate of from 2000 to 3000 and 5000 acres, and here the proprietor will frequently be one of the present Squatters, or one of the numerous capitalist emigrants now moving to New Zealand. Here there will be a little corn and hay land, with plenty of space left for garden, orchard, shrubberies, shelter, and may be for game cover; but, here, four-fifths of the wild land will gradually have been converted into 50 and 100 acre paddocks, where will be seen a splendid flock of merinos, with here and there some heavier sheep, often a little stud of blood horses, and a herd of choice cattle.

Profits of Farming and Grazing. --In the foregoing remarks, sufficient data and particulars have, I hope, been given to enable attentive Readers to form a fair

[Image of page 137]

idea of the profits and advantages now to be realized by emigrating to New Zealand, and engaging there in agricultural and pastoral pursuits. It is my deliberate opinion, and one, I think, which nine Colonists in ten would endorse, that if, as we fairly ought, we count the actual value of the property created, the improved social position of the family, and the brighter prospects of the children, any sum, from £500 to £5,000, or £10,000 to £20,000, could now be employed in grazing and farming and estate-creating in New Zealand in such a manner as, at the expiration, say, of ten years, should exhibit "results" at least twice as good as those which, with an equal capital and in an equal period, could now be worked out by the most active, energetic man, farming and grazing in any county of the Mother Country, from the Land of Cakes to the Land's End.

Concluding Remarks on Estate-creating. --Though it will be seen that the substance of a portion of the following observations was given at page 107, yet the point discussed is so practically important, and I think so encouraging to Embryo-Emigrants, that I will e'en touch on it again. In England, where we have a minute subdivision of labour and employment, farming and grazing, for the most part, are businesses carried on only by farmers and graziers, just as professions are carried on by professional men, and shopkeeping by retail traders. But, in New Zealand, it is not so. There, the common desire of mankind for land, for "acres of one's own," and the almost equally common desire for a rural life, 26 are so easily gratified, and there, too, farming and grazing are such simple, easily-learned pursuits, that, sooner or later, almost all members of the community are found to engage in them. In New Zealand, and, indeed, in all the colonies which I have

[Image of page 138]

seen, full half of all the agricultural and pastoral business of the country is carried on by men who had no knowledge whatever of such business before they emigrated. Half the finest estates in Canada, the Capo Colony, Australia, and New Zealand, have been created by such men as retired officers, ex-professional men, and men originally belonging to the trading and commercial classes of the Mother Country; while many of the most successful of the smaller cultivators, proprietors of the prettiest 50 and 100-acre farms, originally landed in colonies as mechanics, shopkeepers and artizans.

In New Zealand, too, it is no uncommon circumstance to find families with two strings to their bow; that is, families who, while employing themselves partly in some other pursuit, will buy land and do a little in the way of farming and grazing. Thus, the mechanic working at his trade, the Storekeeper attending to the Store, will frequently have his 50 or 100 acres near at hand, on which he, or some of the working force of his family, will find pleasantly-varied and profitable employment for a day or two in the week; and, thus, the professional man, the public-office man, the capitalist, while attending to the light duties of their occupations, or looking out for snug investments at 10 and 12 per cent., will frequently be found to be men who as partners, or in their own persons, or in those of some relatives or sons, are connected with, if not directly engaged in, Agricultural and Pastoral Pursuits, and men, too, who are often pretty large proprietors of land.

I state these facts to disabuse my readers of any erroneous impression which they might form, that though they would like the "rural life" in New Zealand, they would not be successful in it because they had had no prior experience of it at-home. No doubt an intelligent Scotch or English agriculturist would set to work on wild land in a colony with more confidence than the man who scarce knew beans from barley; but the old country farmer, accustomed as he

[Image of page 139]

has been to a plethora of cheap labour, to the refinements of chemical manures, to a high tillage "garden" sort of farming, has often a great deal to unlearn when he gets to work in the New World; and practical experience in all colonies, from Canada down to the Cape, from the Cape to Australia and New Zealand, proves that, in new countries, agricultural and pastoral pursuits are quite as successfully embarked in by emigrants of all classes as by the particular few who have been accustomed to such pursuits at home.

Though, however, a knowledge of farming and grazing as practised in the old country is not a necessary and not even a very valuable qualification for the successful conduct of such pursuits in a colony, there is one qualification which families who may think of emigrating to New Zealand with the view of purchasing land and creating a little estate by plough and fleece must ever possess, and that is, not the ability and willingness to become hewers of wood and drawers of water for life, but the ability and willingness to use their own hands for awhile in work of field and house.

The day will come in New Zealand when we shall see our gentlemen farmers and our country squires riding round their properties on their bits of blood, and doing enough in only directing the labour they employ. But in these more primitive times when farm-labour is 5s. a-day, when domestic servants are scarce and costly, and when every one--high and low--works a bit and finds himself all the better, all the less "Banting," all the lighter and brighter, for it, the emigrant-family, be they who they may, small capitalists or large, going to New Zealand with the design of going on land, must go prepared--master and mistress, sons and daughters--not only to "look after" the high-priced labour they employ, but to bear a hand themselves in the varied, the varied and pleasing, work which out of doors, and indoors is ever going on.

If, only, capitalists and small capitalists going to New Zealand will go prepared to do this for awhile, and to laugh at the little "roughings" and make-shifts of

[Image of page 140]

their first "settling down," it is but sober truth to say that in all human probability they will in a few years place themselves and their families in a position of comfort and independence in New Zealand--a position based on the possession of that safest of all properties, landed property--which it would have been a mere idle dream to have hoped to attain by faint-hearted clinging to the Old World.

Having thus discussed the great Rural Industries of the young Colony, let us turn to the other "Pursuits and Occupations" in New Zealand, now, open to the various orders of Emigrants who may think of making a new and better "Home" there.

The remarks offered on this Subject must, however, be brief--for, in the first place, I see that my space is nearly exhausted; and, secondly, as agricultural and pastoral Pursuits, leading to the acquisition of snug Farms and good landed Estates, are the Pursuits in which, wholly or in part, most orders of the New Zealand community ultimately engage, all other callings and avocations are but of secondary or subordinate importance, and need only be glanced at, here, as the frequent "stepping-stones" to the kingly Plough and the "Golden Fleece."


Various ores and minerals have been found in New Zealand, and it is quite probable that others will be discovered as the Country becomes more opened up by settlement. The slight search hitherto made has been confined to a few spots; and, in regard to what her mineral kingdom may ultimately give forth, New Zealand, even yet, except in gold, is little more than the "Terra incognita" of Cook. Indeed, accidental discovery, rather than settled search, seems ever to have

[Image of page 141]

revealed the world's precious ores; while they have sometimes lain, undetected, for years under our very eyes. After twenty years' occupation of the Country, the upsetting of a dray revealed the copper lodes, and created Adelaide's "Burra-burra:" hundreds of shepherds roamed the plains of Victoria for a quarter of a century, little dreaming that they walked on Gold; and though no Country can have less need of mineral wealth than New Zealand, a few years more may prove her to be as rich below the surface as she is above, and on, it.

With the signal exception of Gold, however, none of the discovered New Zealand minerals can be said to have been worked--nor do I regard this at all as a matter for regret. It seems to me that with millions of acres equal, under good farming, to the average production of thirty bushels of wheat per acre, and with millions of acres equal to the support of millions of fine-wool sheep, all lying waste and wild, New Zealand's most legitimate Pursuits, in these, her early days, are the Plough and the Fleece; and that when the Waste has become the Farm, when hill and valley are dotted with Merino and Shorthorn, it will be time enough to take the "Pick," and to leave the certain surface to adventure, sometimes with Colonial Dousterswivels, into the, oft-times, dark and dangerous pits and traps of mines and mining. 27

Gold-Mining, however, when the results are such as have been obtained in New Zealand, 28 is not to be sneered at, even by growers of the "golden fleece;" and

[Image of page 142]

for such men as our coal and copper mining people, our stout mechanics and labourers, or strong-backed adventurous young fellows who could wield the pick, or form the escort, or keep the store, the New Zealand gold fields might now offer an opening which it would be hard to match. We must remember that they lie in a country where the climate for eight months in the year is all that could be wished--that, owing to the narrowness of the island and its great seaboard, the New Zealand digger can never be very far from stores and towns, that though some of the "Knights of the Pick," half Navvy, half Bandit in look, are as rough as they seem to be, yet that many of them are men of education and respectability, and that a quiet cheerful person at the Diggings, who could take his own part, if need arose, might soon make himself quite at-home there; while we have to bear in mind, that if the "pick" failed, or he tired of it, there would be the farm, the sheep station, the mechanic's shop, at hand, offering him constant employment, and pay double or treble that which he would get in the old country.


Import and Export Trade supports a considerable number of mercantile and branch mercantile Houses. I am not prepared to say that there are, or that there are not, more openings at the present time in New Zealand for active commercial men trading on their own account, or for representatives of English Houses, establishing Agencies in the Colony. Merchants are but the mere "mediums of conveyance" between Producers and Consumers, and generally rise up in sufficient number for the wants of the community just as surely as water rises to its level. Capitalist emigrants, however, of a commercial turn, might bear in mind that in these days even, the annual export and import trade of New Zealand, with her handful of less.

[Image of page 143]

than 200,000 Colonists actually amounts to above £10,000,000 and that this Trade has increased five-fold in the last ten years.

Shopkeeping, or "Storekeeping," as it is called, is a flourishing pursuit; and dozens of little coast and river; ports and inland villages are being planted or enlarged over the country where an active family, with a few hundreds, might do exceedingly well in it. They would form a connection with some mercantile House at the nearest chief port: open a general Store like an English village shop (the one where you get hats, boots, bonnets, shawls, shovels, sugar, tea, trousers, turnip-seed, pickles, gingerbread, and Jew's harps); buy up a little farm and dairy produce for shipment to the chief port; and not unfrequently, as before observed, would own a bit of land handy to their place of business, and thus, in bye times, do a little on the soil.

Besides Storekeeping too, there are other pursuits of a trading or semi-trading nature, capable, I think, of great development and extension in New Zealand. Brewing has been commenced with success; and, looking at the "cold-night" climate, the profusion of soft water, the fine malting barley and fair hops, of the country, and at the immense demand for pale ales in the near Australian markets, brewing will probably become a large and profitable branch of industry.

The Building Trade too, has paid and will long continue to pay famous profits; while active Shipbuilders, with a few hundreds to start with, would find that the increasing fleet of coasting and colonial-going cutters, schooners, and small craft, would give them plenty of work. The Whale Fishery, also, might be very greatly extended; while, as capital and skill flow into the country, and steam power and water-mill come to be multiplied, the Timber Trade, both for the home and the export market is certain to grow into a considerable business. The two Islands probably contain 10,000,000 of acres of forest land of the heaviest description, affording every variety and size of timber needed for house and ship building; and it is worthy

[Image of page 144]

of remark that New Zealand is almost the only country south of the equator which grows any good free working woods of the pine character.


At present, New Zealand does but little in Manufacturing Industry--like all young communities she finds it easier, in these her early days, to Import than to Make.

Looking at the abundance of water-power, however; at the growing abundance of many raw materials for manufactures, such as wool, hemp, skins, hides, barks, tallow, &c, and at the rapidly-increasing population, I incline to think that New Zealand will commence various branches of manufacturing industry at a much earlier period of her existence than has been usual in British Colonies.

A few small Foundries and Tanneries, and some infant Cloth and Rope Works have been established with fair measure of success; and these are all industries capable of great extension as population goes on increasing and capital and labour flow in. The Phormium Tenax too, or wild flax, affording the strongest vegetable fibre known, and from which fibres actually 13 feet in length have been drawn; but a plant which, owing to the difficulty of freeing it from a certain parasitical, clogging gum, has hitherto baffled all experimentalists and defied the batteries both of chemistry and mechanics, is now, it is said, to be subdued by the simple process of boiling it in sea or salt water, so that the Colony may ultimately find an additional staple export in "Flax and Hemp."


I would certainly not advise any professional man, doing even moderately well at-home, to move to New

[Image of page 145]

Zealand in the hope of doing better there solely by the practice of his profession. Many professional men, however, civil and military, tempted, by the combination of fineness of climate, goodness of society, high rate of interest, and the field for children -- men having large and increasing families, with small or decreasing incomes--have settled in New Zealand, and many more will follow their example.

The Law, in New Zealand, exhibits the alarming spectacle of barrister and attorney rolled into one. There is a good deal of buying and selling going on, and a fair amount of simple agreement and conveyancing work, together with a little sessions and assize business; and what with this and the many little public offices which are created as colonisation extends, and which Lawyers often fill, and what with the opportunities they have of cultivating a little land, of investing any spare hundreds in sheep, or of becoming partners in farm or run, the Profession, though happily not prominent in New Zealand, is thriving and respectable, and manages to secure its oyster without reducing the public to the shell. As some encouragement, too, for the Junior Bar, I may perhaps mention that a gentleman with whom I have the honour of being distantly connected, and whose abandonment of Chancery Lane for New Zealand might, perhaps, in some slight degree, be attributable to me, embraced public life on his arrival in the Colony, and now adorns the New Zealand Bench as one of my Lords the Judges.

As to the medical profession, we may say that New Zealand is so healthful a country that, save for the constant arrival of young Colonists, Doctors would have nothing to do. Many excellent medical men though, with families, and a thousand or two, and more, have settled in New Zealand. As a class they are men shrewdly sensible of the advantages of health, and the apparently paradoxical circumstance of so many Doctors going to a country where there are so few Patients, may, perhaps, be accounted for on the supposition that partly to secure fine climate they sacrifice considerations of pro-

[Image of page 146]

fessional gain. In New Zealand, too, as in most young colonies, the Medical Man seldom relies wholly, or even; mainly, on his profession. He may add a hundred or so a-year to his income by attending fair Colonists, and setting the broken arm; but, like Retired Officer, Younger Son, old Indian, or man of the Law, he generally gets his "bit of land," and becoming often a very popular and successful agriculturist or stock-breeder, employs himself and family, chiefly or partly, in the gradual creation of a little Estate.

Commissioned Military and Naval Officers, leaving the Service in order to settle in New Zealand, obtain, without respect to Grade, a Free Grant of 400 acres in the Provinces of Auckland and Taranaki; and, both in regard to their own high merits and to their usefulness in that admirable "Defence Force" which New Zealand is raising, are most popular and useful Colonists.

Clergymen, too, with families, and some small means, dissenting ministers, schoolmasters, surveyors, and engineers, though none of these callings offer anything very rich or good in New Zealand, nevertheless, seem to do very well there; and what with their little glebes or their bits of farms, often supplementing professional avocations, appear to enjoy Life; and if they don't grow rich, certainly don't grow poor.

Speaking of Professions, too, and indeed of many Old Country occupations, investments, and employments, it should be recalled to the Reader's recollection that New Zealand is the mere germ of a country in a state of rapid development and progression. Capital, labour,: consumers, customers, clients, patients, will soon, probably, be pouring in; and a man who got settled there now, say on a bit of land where he could live cheaply, might in two or three years find a famous opening for the employment of some particular knowledge, skill, or qualification, which, on his first arrival, would produce him but little, or which, at first, might be altogether as so much dead stock.

[Image of page 147]


The great majority of capitalist emigrants 29 who go to New Zealand are people who want some active employment for themselves and families, and who, thus generally employ their capital on land. But here and there, and for awhile, at least, a man will sometimes reserve a portion of his capital; and after he has got to know the Colony and its ways, will invest a few hundreds, or a thousand or two, in mortgages or in some money-lending openings at £10 and £12 per cent.

The Reader may fancy that so high a rate of interest could only come from bad security; but if so, he would be wrong. It is evident that in a young and fertile country like New Zealand, nearly as large as Britain, where the population is only that of a first-class British town, and where the fruitful work of colonization is ever going on, there must be a large and legitimate demand for money. And it is equally evident that in such a country as New Zealand, where there is no injurious competition, where the rich first-fruits of a virgin soil are being enjoyed, where there are no taxes, no plush and plumes of society to bleed the purse, and where profits and savings are thus comparatively great, borrowers of money can better afford to pay £10 per cent, to enable them to nurse up and extend their thriving young concerns than borrowers of money at-home can afford to pay £5.

In truth, 10 per cent. cent, is rather a low than a high rate of interest in New Zealand:--a shrewd, active man, planting himself down in any city neighbourhood, and making it his business to advance money, in bill-discounting, in short-term advances, and in other ways, would have no great difficulty in making £30, if

[Image of page 148]

not £50 per cent. This is the sort of usury, however, with which we have nothing to do here, --we are only alluding to a quiet man who wants to invest a few hundreds or thousand on some good mortgage or other security--and, here, the rate of interest, in these days, would be full 10 per cent.

A few hundreds, or a thousand or two, or more, may also be profitably invested in Sheep. The Squatters, as we have seen, have taken up all the Runs, but half of them have not yet stocked-up their Runs; and they will sometimes take a flock of ewes of some town-dweller or Capitalist, on such "sharing terms" as will pay him handsome interest on the money he may so invest.

There are, also, snug Investments to be made by shares in various of the sound little speculations opening up in a young Colony like New Zealand, where everything is in a state of rapid development; and any man with a few thousands, moving, say, to New Zealand partly through health considerations or other private motives, and not wishing or caring to occupy himself actively in any pursuit, could easily purchase some little Suburban Garden Farm for residence and amusement, and after a few months practical experience of our New Zealand Life, could draw his capital, or a portion of it, from the good interest-paying New Zealand Bank, and invest, or employ it in many advantageous ways.


Carpenters, wheelwrights, shipwrights, sawyers, coopers, cabinet-makers, blacksmiths, bricklayers, saddlers, shoemakers, boatmen, farm labourers, shepherds, gardeners, and steady working men of all sorts, and the working sons of all such, and their daughters, the latter, willing for awhile to take service, find constant employment in New Zealand at wages full double, sometimes treble, those which they obtain at

[Image of page 149]

home; and there are thousands of this great order of emigrants in New Zealand who, landing in the Colony ten or a dozen years ago with nothing save strong arms, sober habits, and a few shillings in the purse, are now masters of thriving businesses, or owners of comfortable little freehold farms, and debtors to no man a penny.


The experience of practical life in all Colonies shows that of all the many classes of the Mother Country who resort to emigration none gain so little by the movement as youths accustomed only to the counter and the desk; and most unquestionably, as a general rule, this order of our community does best to stay at-home. Here and there, however, there will be found among its ranks young men of early country training, or strong country tastes, of bold spirit, and robust physique, to whom desk and counter grow daily less endurable, and who often glance longingly at Colonies and Emigration. And young men of this description who would prove their fitness for emigration by such a test as that of devoting their days for six months (or their evenings for twelve) to the learning of carpentry or some useful handicraft; and who landing in New Zealand with a ten-pound note, would be willing to work with head and hands, willing "to rough it" for awhile, and do their best at anything which might be offered to them, might undoubtedly now go thither assured that the life they would have would be a far more pleasant and congenial one than that of the office or shop, and that after a few years of steady industry they would reach a much better position in the New Land than any they could reasonably hope to reach in the Old.


Almost any number of respectable young women now emigrating to New Zealand with parents or brothers,

[Image of page 150]

and taking service for awhile in the families of Colonists, where if they were not treated more as humble friends than servants it would be their own fault, would find excellent situations as cooks, house-maids, nurse-maids, dairy-maids, and maids of all work, at wages treble those which they obtain at-home; while, as there are nearly two single, well-to-do, young men in the colony to one single young woman, the matrimonial prospects of Anne and Alice, would, I presume, be deemed as brilliant as even Anne and Alice could themselves desire. With respect to another most valuable, but far worse requited order of the Mother Country's female community, the "Governess Class," I regret that I cannot speak in so wholesale, so confident, a way. I should be most sorry, even by a word or doubt, to express any premature opinion that Miss Rye's admirable efforts to throw open our Colonies to educated Women will not eventually be as successful as that energetic, philanthropic Lady could herself desire. But, confining ourselves to New Zealand, and speaking of New Zealand as she is in 1866, I must say that1 I do not think that any great emigration of young ladies to the Colony, as Governesses, would now be attended with success. At the same time, I would observe that young persons inclined to accompany friends to New Zealand, the sort who can teach plain things well, and who would make themselves generally useful in a house, might now go there pretty certain of obtaining comfortable situations in the establishments of old-settled Colonists, and pretty certain, too, ere long, of having cradles of their own to rock.


In a Country almost as large as Great Britain and Ireland, but where, as yet, the entire Population does not exceed that of a single first-class English city, it would perhaps be supposed that the Human Being was so much needed, was so priceless a Being, that any Thing

[Image of page 151]

on two legs would be welcomed as an acquisition there. But this is not the case: valuable, as at 104, I have sought to show that the Human Being really is in New Zealand, there are, nevertheless, a few people who every year make their appearance in New Zealand whom New Zealand, both for their own sakes and for her own, would rather not see, for they are people who almost ever "come to grief" there--who almost ever straggle back to the old country, and whose "reports" of the Land they have failed in frequently prevent good and fit people who would succeed there from venturing thither. The class of people to whom I allude are indicated in the following observations from a little Work of mine on New Zealand:--

THOSE WHO EMIGRATE, BUT WHO WOULD DO BETTER TO STAY AT-HOME. --Such a class of Emigrants undoubtedly exists; but, fortunately, it is a small one. It is composed of three varieties: "de Smythes"'--"Dismal Dummies"--Slow-Fast Gents."

The first are the fastidiously genteel people, of feeble intellect, and of the silver fork and Snob order--people who would prefer a crust and sour claret in the parlour, to roast beef and a tankard in the kitchen: people who regard the Flunkey as an Institution; and who, like the Oxford man, would not save you from drowning because you had not been "introduced." Mr. and Mrs. de Smythe (small d, mind) shrivel up before the great heartiness and manly simplicity of Emigration, and are as much out of place in a Colony as the dancing dog in a fox hunt. 30

"Dismal Dummies," or Grumblers, rather, for the genus is by no means dumb, constitute the second order of Unfit Emigrants. When wheat or wool falls, when trade is less brisk than usual, when gold fields are less prolific, Farmers and Traders and Diggers grumble in New Zealand just as men do in England. Indeed, a certain amount of grumbling seems essential to human felicity, and it would be a most arbitrary interference with the liberty of the subject to interdict any man from grumbling in New Zealand. But the Dismal Dummy, is the man or woman who grumbles always. These Unfortunates generally give the colonial community to understand that they never wished to emigrate--that they were doing well at-home, and were likely to do better; and that it was their friends who over persuaded them to emigrate.

[Image of page 152]

A considerable portion of their daily occupation and amusement is found in abusing the colony, in denouncing their neighbours, in bemoaning their lot. Our towns are villages; our streets are unpaved; there is neither gas nor water-cart; the sun is too brilliant, the sky too blue, the trees too large, the meat too fat, the house not so large as the house they lived in when they kept three servants and visited a family who knew a baronet; and they only wish they were back. This is a wish in which colonists sincerely join; for not only are such Unfortunates grievous bores in little colonial communities, but they really do injury to a colony by invariably writing about it in the "dismal dummy," or sackcloth and ashes strain.

Now the male or female "Dismal" is generally some one who has emigrated reluctantly, some one who has been a sort of pressed emigrant. I would therefore respectfully caution anyone who is not willing to emigrate, to stay at-home; and I would further caution all friends and advisers of such man or woman never to press them to emigrate, but to counsel them to "bear the ills they have rather than fly to those they know not of."

The third variety of our unfit emigrant is the "fast" Gent, the, would be, Howling Swell, the Ne'er-do-well. The Town type of this variety is sketched in a sentence. He is one who has lived fast and gone early to seed, he is known to tailors, and has heard of County Courts, he illustrates casinos, and is loud at the Cider-cellars and the Pic, he haunts night billiard-tables with other small birds of prey, and knows a thing or two at cards, he is far above work, and far beneath it, and lazy as the dog who leaned against the wall to bark. One would scarcely imagine that such a one would ever go to a colony--he does not go, he is sent. When he has exhausted each miserable shift which green credulity offers to his tribe, when fairly "stumped" and tractable, his friends count him down £100; ship him off to Australia, to Africa, to New Zealand, and hope they are quit of him. But no--like a bad bill, he comes back--colonially noted and protested, too, and at great expense to those who issued him.

The army, hotel-touting, billiard-marking, bus-driving, billsticking, street-singing, widow-marrying, many industrial pursuits are open to gentlemen of this stamp in old-world cities--none are open to them in a young colony; and, if they will be warned, they and the other two varieties of "unfit emigrants" will cling limpet-like, to home, and leave bad alone for fear of worse."-- "The Britain of the South," (Second Edition).

[Image of page 153]


The preceding pages will, I trust, enable Readers glancing at "New Homes," in New Zealand, to form a pretty good idea of what they could do there should they go there. I have, myself, long arrived at the conclusion that when it be a wise and prudent step to emigrate at all, New Zealand is the Country which a wise and prudent man would choose. Indeed, when I remember what a noble field New Zealand now offers to Capital and Labour; when I recall the goodness of Society and Government, the "health-and-strength-giving" character of the Climate, with the real pleasantness and "joyousness" of the New Zealand Colonist's Life; and then look around mo here and mark the thousands of people admirably fitted to succeed in New Zealand, and yet, year by year, sinking from bad to worse, here I am lost in astonishment that even the largely increasing number of New Zealand Emigrants is not much larger than it is; and feel assured that if people would only take heart and believe the real Truth about New Zealand, the present emigration to her shores would be increased fourfold.

Whether to go there, however--whether to stay here--are questions which each one can best answer for himself, and questions, too, on which proffered advice from a Stranger might be an impertinence. But, I may remark, that when Families, contemplating Emigration, are discussing the grave question of "Whether to go, or not to go" and are wisely passing in review the various advantages and drawbacks of a young Country like New Zealand, there is one consideration which they would do well ever to bear in mind, and that is this--that while many of the "ills and evils" of the Old Country, the things we emigrate to escape from, are every year growing greater, many of the "objections" to the Young Country are every year growing less. Despite the asseverations of Brother Jonathan and of his peccant press, 31 despite the facts

[Image of page 154]

forged by Fenians, and the testimony of meagre "Meaghers of the Sword," we, in New Zealand, shall stubbornly persist in believing that Old England has not yet reached the culminating height of her glorious prosperity, her glorious renown. 32 But, surely, he would be a bold man who should assert that such "ills and evils" as Excess of Competition, Squalid Poverty, Pale Pauperism, High Taxation, Prohibitive price of Land, Blighting Battles of Capital and Labour, Difficulty of Planting out Families, &c, &c, are not "ills and evils" far more likely to increase than to decrease in England-- whereas the evils or drawbacks we object to in Colonies, such as remoteness of scene, roughness of life, dearness of labour, are every year becoming less--for these things are but as the mere fleeting ailments of a colony's early youth: the summer clouds, passing away as colonial manhood is approached and childish troubles are outgrown.

We see that bountiful Science is every year bringing our Emigration Fields nearer to our doors; that in all of them capital and labour are everywhere subduing the wilderness, planting the town, raising the spire, founding the school. We see that one year in the New Land sometimes marks as great a change, as great an

[Image of page 155]

advance, as twenty years in the Old; that, there, the rate of Progress is so great that we might almost say that the seeming Fiction of to-day becomes the Fact of the morrow; and it appears to me that there is nothing extravagant in the assertion that a young British Colony like New Zealand bids fair to become a Country where, while we may find much of that which makes up the "good" of Britain, we shall find but little of that which makes up the "bad."

And now, repeating here what was said at the commencement, namely, that during my further residence in this Country I shall at all times be happy to give your Readers any further information or advice which they may desire to obtain about New Zealand "Emigration Matters," or about New Zealand generally, and heartily wishing all of them who may go thither all possible success, I bring my humble Paper to a close, and subscribe myself their sincere well wisher,


P. S. --Here, perhaps, I may offer a word on a little matter relating to myself. From the long time my name has been before the Public in connexion with New Zealand, and from my persistent, though humble,

[Image of page 156]

efforts to promote the cause of "New Zealand Colonisation," it has been thought by some that I must receive certain support or encouragement from the Government of New Zealand, or am connected with the various New Zealand Emigration "Agencies" which have been established in this Country. Nothing, however, can be further from the truth. So far from having any connexion with the Agencies (conducted, some of them, by persons who have never even seen, or little more than seen, New Zealand), I am, I believe, with the exception of the excellent Canterbury one, regarded there with some, quite causeless, jealousy; while as to any support or countenance received from the New Zealand Government--though, perhaps, in helping to direct a large and fructifying stream of capital and labour to New Zealand 33 I have deserved almost as well of her as Colonists who have devoted themselves to her political affairs--no "loaf or fish of office" has ever fallen to my share--though, certainly, none has yet been sought. Possibly, however, when the "Lives of the, early, New Zealand Worthies" come to be written by some Colonial Fuller, the name even of Hursthouse may fill a line of the lustrous page; and the possibility of this, to a highly imaginative Man, might be more precious than any present pudding.

No subject, not rod nor gun, nor essay by Bacon

[Image of page 157]

or Old Montaigne, is now so interesting to me as New Zealand. Some of my happiest years have been passed there--many of my friends and relatives are prosperously and permanently settled there--and I feel that while I can assist in turning to our young Britain of the South those who are fitted to succeed there, I am usefully and honourably, if not profitably, employed; and can afford to say of any small detractors-- willing to wound and yet afraid to strike--"Let their tongues wag!"


SALMON IN NEW ZEALAND. --Any Brother of the Rod glancing at New Zealand will, I think, be interested by the following extract from a late Field. If little Tasmania with her 50 streams can do so much for the regal fish, New Zealand with her 500 may surely do even more; and it may well be that when some second Leech arises to delight the world he will show us the Salmon "catching Mr. Briggs," not in the Scotch but in the New Zealand river. Mr. Youl writes as follows to the Times: "I have this moment received a telegram from Melbourne, announcing the safe arrival of the Lincolnshire with upwards of 100,000 salmon, sea, and brown trout ova, and bringing also the good news that 40 per cent, of the whole number were hatching in the breeding ponds on the river Plenty, in Tasmania. Your readers will also be glad to learn that the last account received direct from the Hon. R. Officer, the chairman of the Salmon Commissioners, was that at least 2000 salmon fry, varying in size from 9in. to 12in. had left the fresh water and gone to sea, and that there were thriving in the ponds 400 brown trout from 11 in. to 13in. long, the produce of the salmon and trout ova shipped in January, 1864, by the ship Norfolk."

NEW ZEALAND'S POLITICAL PARTIES. --We are not Whigs and Tories in New Zealand, but "Centralists" and "Provincialists," that is, those who regard New Zealand as one great Colony to be governed by one, all-powerful, House of Commons, and those who would cut her up into a dozen little portions, and govern them by a dozen little Provincial Parliaments. So far as a man who would be more interested in a New Zealand Merino, than in a New Zealand Governor's "Queen's Speech," may venture to range himself on any political side in New Zealand, I am a

[Image of page 158]

Centralist--but I gladly admit, after more experience of them, that the "Provincial Councils" form an admirable feature in New Zealand's Constitution, and regret, now, that some hasty-remarks on this subject, which appeared in my Work on New Zealand, should have been penned.

MOISTURE OF THE NEW ZEALAND CLIMATE CONDUCIVE TO HEALTH. --The remarkable "Salubrity" of the New Zealand Climate is said to be owing mainly to its "breezy" character, to the constant motion of the atmosphere; but the following extract from a late Times would warrant the surmise that the great "rain fall" in New Zealand is one cause of the robust health of the Colonists. "The highest death-rate of twelve years, 23, occurred in England with the smallest rainfall of 16-in., in 1864, and the lowest rate, 21, in 1860, with the heaviest rainfall, of 32-in. This may doubtless be accounted for in many ways, but principally by the cleansing influence of the rain during the summer upon the impurities of towns which in dry weather prove so noxious in crowded populations; but it is also very possible that the greater humidity of the air induced by the rain may be useful to all persons suffering from affections of the lungs."

GAME. --As I look on Game, Song Birds, and the smallest of our "Feathered Friends" as among the most valuable of our "Emigrants" from the Mother Country, I chronicle the departure of the following famous Party:-- "Game and Small Birds for Wellington, New Zealand. --The ship 'Electra,' left Gravesend on Tuesday, the 17th July, of this year, with the following game birds and other animals, in charge of F. Morgan. They were shipped for Mr. Carter, of Barnsbury, and supplied and packed by Mr. Philip Castang, of Leadenhall-market. Of common pheasants there were twenty-two hens and eight cocks; besides four silver and four gold pheasants; twenty-two red leg and common partridges; a number of hares and wild rabbits; and about two hundred small birds, including blackbirds, thrushes, starlings, robins, larks, greenfinches, and sparrows."-- New Zealand Examiner.

[Image of page 159]



Killed by Webb, Butcher, Deptford. Ago 4 years and 9 months. Dead weight per quarter, 67 lbs. Live weight, 364 lbs. Length of Wool, 12 inches. Clipped 4 Fleeces weighing 60 lbs., realizing 2s. per lb. Total "money return" of the animal: 4 Fleeces, 5 Lambs, and Carcass, estimated at £23 10s.

THE LINCOLN LONG-WOOL. --The following letter from the Proprietor of the Branston Flock shows the "Wool-Harvest" reaped from it:--

July 27th, 1866.

DEAR SIR, --The average weight of my shearling ewe and ram fleeces would be, ewes 13 lbs., rams 15 lbs.; and I think I can produce 300 fleeces averaging 14 lbs. But a fair average would be, for ewes and wethers, 18 lbs. each. My old rams, of course, clip very much more. Their fleeces this year averaged 17 3/4 lbs. each. The price of wool, in the present month, for the last three years has been--in 1864, 2s. 5d. per lb.; 1865, 2s. 2d. per lb.; and 1866, 2s. per lb., for mixed clips, of half hog and half ewe wool. My mixed wool is worth 3d. per lb. more than ewe wool, and at the dearest time, in 1864, was worth 2s. 8 1/2d. per lb. The last clip I sold produced £1 8s. 6d. per fleece, average, for over 600 fleeces. We have this season reared 430 lambs from 350 ewes, and one-and-a-half lamb to the ewe is considered good luck, particularly when one-third of the ewes are shearlings. But even in bad seasons we generally get a lamb to an ewe. and then think it bad luck. The Prize Ewe grazed in the fields until about two months before Christmas, when it was put up and fed. I have now six or eight more nearly as good, but not quite so perfect. They will easily weigh over 60 lbs. per quarter at Christmas next. I enclose you a sample of our hog wool, and remain,

Yours truly,

[Image of page 160]

The goodly animal here introduced to New Zealand's Grazing World, is one of the famous Improved Lincoln Sheep named at page 116. That accomplished Grazier, the late Shepherd "Premier" of New Zealand, the Hon. F. A. Weld, will not, I fancy, even on the "Flaxbourne Pastures," produce many specimens like this famous one of the "Branston Flock." But, doubtless, when he sees this ovine Elephant, a creature actually making a "money return" of £23 10s., he will do his best, and may find, in "Long Wool," some solace for a Short Premiership. My Readers will distinctly understand that I want the Lincoln Sheep in New Zealand only for our lower-lying, richest pastures--there, indeed, he would be "the right Sheep in the right place;" but he would be no more capable of getting his living on the wild herbage and Mountain Runs of New Zealand, where the active Merino and Down thrive and fatten, than "Alderman Waddle" would be capable of getting his living by "rag-picking."

SHEEP-WASHING AND WOOL-CLEANSING BY MACHINERY. --The following letter may, I think, be worth the attention of my Wool-Growing Friends in New Zealand:--

Boston Road, Brentford,
May 4th, 1866.

SIR, --I have read your work on New Zealand, and, from your experience, I am induced to ask if you think a Plan for Washing Sheep, and also for Scouring Wool, by Machinery, would meet with encouragement among your New Zealand Wool-Growers. The Machinery will wash with unusual rapidity. It can be worked by common labourers, and the sheep can be washed very much cheaper and better than by hand, burrs and dirt being got rid of, and the fleece being greatly improved in every respect.

The Machine for Scouring Wool is also most effective. It cleanses the wool with one-half the quantity of soap, improves the colour, gives the wool a soft, silky feel, and prepares it in the best possible manner for the manufacturer to spin without any farther preparation.

The Machinery is very portable, and can be made to be removed by a couple of horses to any part of the country. It is intended to patent this Machinery in England, New Zealand, and Australia. The cost will not be great, and if you take sufficient interest in the matter to make it public among your fellow-colonists, I, Sir, shall be extremely obliged to you.

Your Obedient Servant,

[Inserted unpaginated illustration]

1   So little, of Truth, can be said "against" New Zealand, that the little which can be said may be said, here, in a six-line note. It is this--that she is the most meagre, barren "Sporting Country" in the world. Her thousand streams, in look, are the finest trout and salmon streams--but they harbour no fin worth fly. Her millions of acres of primeval forests, her wilds and wastes, might feed and cover armies of Elephant and Eland--they feed and cover no single indigenous quadruped save a wretched Rat. Game, certainly, is being introduced with signal success, and the next generation of "South Britons" may have grand sport--but in these, days, except it be for such "small deer" as duck and pig and parrot and pigeon, the gun, in New Zealand, might well rust in the rack.
2   Here, perhaps, I may be permitted to correct a false impression prevalent among my numerous "emigrating and colonising" correspondents, namely, that I am, also, personally acquainted with Natal. This is not the case, though my late brother-in-law, Dr. Stanger, of the old "Niger Expedition" was some years Surveyor-General of Natal, where, to the grief of troops of friends, he died in the prime of life. Of little Natal, too, it may perhaps here be said, en passant, that in her main features she is only a more lively image of the stagnant Cape Colony, and whatever may be her merits, they are grievously marred, in the eyes of reflective men, by the circumstance of her being both inhabited and surrounded by a numerically overwhelming population of Savage Races. Indeed, while in this, the twenty-fifth year, I think, of her colonisation her "Colonist" population scarcely numbers 16,000, her "Black Skins" number 140,000.
3   In about 50 years, this number of People would have doubled itself--go that, if there had been no Emigration from the Mother Country, the present population of our crowded little British Isles would have been 12,000,000 more than it is, when we might have had our starving thousands, our civil tumults, possibly, even, our "Revolution." Looking at this, and remembering that our American, Australasian, and African Possessions already send the Mother Country gold and raw produce to the extent of £20,000,000 per annum, and take from her British manufactures and British shipments to more than this amount per annum, I venture to think that the Gentlemen of England "who sit at-home in slippered ease," owe a good deal more to Colonies, and to those who have had the "pluck" to emigrate and create Colonies, than they are ever likely to repay.
4   Runholders in Australia and New Zealand are called "Squatters," but, as applied to such men, this is a low, coarse, derogatory term, and one, too, entomologically incorrect. A true, or European "Squatter," is some half-bred gipsy vagabond, or brigand-navvy, who sticks up a hut on another man's land--who recognizes no landlord--who pays no rent--and who often eats mutton which he neither grazed nor bought; whereas, the Australasian "Squatter" is a sort of shepherd-prince, who lawfully rents from the Crown a tract of wild land sometimes half as big as an English county.
5   In the East-coast, Waikato, and Lake districts of Auckland, and along the southern shores of Taranaki, there is some splendid pastoral country--at present, though, in the idle hands of the Natives. Along the rugged west coast of the South Island, too, bits of grass land may here and there be found; but the day any such grazing ground became available it would be taken up by "Squatters," on the spot. Indeed, in reality, persons now emigrating to New Zealand in the hope of being able to hire, first-hand, from the Government, 10,000 or 20,000-acre Runs of good sheep land, could no more gratify their desire in New Zealand than they could in Cumberland or Kent.
6   Many of the more enlightened of the body have already purchased portions of their runs, and have commenced the Grass-sown system, and many more will soon follow their example. Still, speaking with all possible respect of the distinguished Squatting Body, I must say that what I shall take the liberty of calling the pig-headed portion of it regards this commencement of Freeholds, this introduction of base mechanical Ploughs with no great favour-- indeed, when Squatters, of this kidney, get together in Divan, their predictions as to the fate of coming Graziers might well, I think, remind my Readers of the prognostics of the old coach-road Stagers as to the fate of Stevenson's Rail.
7   Squatters who may have made as much money as they care about, and off may be, on a trip to Europe for some beauteous Prize Ewe in the shape of a fair young Wife to bloom in the "Britain of the South," -- or Squatters wisely turning "Estate-creators" and, thus, buying up 2000 or 3000 acres of the run, and not caring to keep the Lease of the large remaining part, will now and then sell a run--that is, sell the Transfer of the Lease, with the Stock, or a portion of it--but, the sum asked would generally be so large a sum that the small Millionaire, rather than the Emigrant would be the man to buy it.
8   On some few of the remote back Runs, lambs are now and then gobbled up by the wild pig.
9   Except scab. Scab, however, when it decimates a New Zealand flock does so, not because of any peculiar virulence of the Scab in New Zealand, but because of the difficulty of preventing contagion, or of nipping it in the bud, while Flocks are grazed on the present rude Squatting system. When Sheep come to be grazed more as they are at home, Scab, probably, will be no more common in New Zealand than in Norfolk.
10   No doubt, a heavier animal could be produced--but, with wool at 1s. 6d. or 2s. per lb., and mutton, possibly, at 3d., it is wool, not meat which the New Zealand grader will want; and in Germany and elsewhere experience has shown that when the Merino is forced, by feeding, into a much bigger, heavier-framed animal than he is by nature, his fleece instead of becoming heavier and finer becomes inferior and lighter.
11   Mr. Weld, one of our oldest and most successful New Zealand sheep farmers--late Premier, too, of New Zealand, a sort of young "bush" Palmerston--in his excellent little pamphlet on New Zealand Sheep-Farming, does me the honour to agree with me in this opinion as to the fitness of the Lincoln Breed for our richer New Zealand pastures--an opinion long ago expressed by me in the first edition of my little work on New Zealand.
12   Browsing on the luxuriant undergrowth of the forests, and picking up the coarse grassy shrubs found about the edges of the woods, cattle will keep themselves in good case, summer and winter, without a bite of what my Lincolnshire grazing friends would call "grass."
13   Celtic peasant, Irish hodman, Fenian Rebel, much of the rascality of Britain, much of the scum of Europe, will ever be drawn to America--but her civil war, and the knowledge mankind has gained that, under the Stars and Stripes, civil war may periodically happen, will, I think, gradually shut out America as an emigration Held for the higher classes of English and Scotch emigrants--especially, too, as our far finer Australasian Emigration Fields are every year becoming nearer and more attractive.
14   I would not, however, have the Reader imagine for a moment that it is all sunshine and serenity in New Zealand. The climate has its defects, or what, to human ken, seem defects. Like a beautiful shrew, it charms and then exasperates, and then charms again to exasperate afresh. In all seasons of the year you have weeks and weeks of glorious weather worthy of the Garden of Eden, and then the climate seems to go mad for awhile, and to run a sort of meteorological muck; the demons of the storm break loose, and you get southerly burster, batteries of rain, squalls of the first fury, days worthy of the nether regions. You resolve to denounce the climate to the world and die --but then comes, bursting in, a bright renewal of weather so glorious as instantly to allay your rage, to banish all thoughts of revenge, to lap you in roses again. Colonists assert that these "climatic fits" are climatic tonics: that they make a pure air more pure by blowing malaria and miasma innocuous away over the South Pacific; and, certainly, judging by the robust health enjoyed in New Zealand, by the prodigious quantity of children, the rosy robust appearance of these little men and women, and the high condition of all domestic stock, it must be admitted that either because of these climatic fits or in spite of them, the climate is one of super-excellence.
15   Soon after our arrival in the colony, my brother and myself, while looking about for Land, joined an expedition which was the first to drive Sheep and Cattle overland, along the coast, from Wellington to Taranaki, through the country where General Chute has lately so distinguished himself. In this distance of 250 miles, counting river and brook, we had to cross some 80 distinct running waters.
16   In the Taranaki Province, on the richer soil often found at the edges of the bush, I have, by measurement, found this common English plant attaining a height of even 12 and 14 feet; and, in this Province, the surveyors would frequently use fern stalks as wands for what is called "boning" (marking) their lines.
17   Fresh fern land is at first infertile through "sourness." An acre broken up and sown at once with wheat or any crop might not yield fivefold--an adjoining acre fallowed a few months might yield forty-fold. Animal manure is of no use for sourness. The soil is full of raw, undecomposed vegetable matter, and lime would prove the true quickener. Grass land is less affected by "sourness," and Bush land scarcely at all.
18   A large portion of New Zealand's "Digging" community is supplied by the near Australian Colonies. Any famous fresh "find" brings over from Melbourne and Sydney a small, but most "thirsty," army of the "Knights of the Pick;" hence the labour market is less disturbed than might be expected in a country which is exporting her "tons of gold."
19   They were grown by a Devonshire Settler named Lethbridge, then a Sawyer, now a flourishing Grazier and Butcher in Taranaki, on a piece of heavy timber land which had been cleared by the Sawyers, and where he had broken up half an acre for vegetables. I did not see them weighed, but I saw them before they were taken up; the plot of ground seemed one mass of carrots--in size, the roots were more like mangel wurtzel than what they were, and from the known respectability and truthfulness of the man I have no doubt that the weight was what he stated it to be.
20   Some of the finest pastures in the Colony have been obtained in Auckland without any ploughing, while even the "bush" land, alluded to in the following extract from a New Zealand paper, was, probably, land where the seed was merely scattered on the rough, unbroken surface:--

"Nearly all the wooded hills are well adapted for sheep-feeding when cleared and sown down with grass. We have friends who now actually keep from five to six sheep per acre on these mis-termed useless hills. It costs about £3 10s. per acre to cut down the small bush and sow grass seed; and each sheep, in proper condition, will annually yield a fleece 3 lbs. and 4 lbs. in weight, and worth from 1s. 4d to 1s. 5d. per lb.; there is, in addition, the increase of say 75 per cent, every year, with Wellington close at hand as a good market for fat mutton and sheep skins. A labouring man with a very small capital, if of industrious habits, is pretty sure of realizing a handsome and unfailing income. These useless hills may now be had for 10s. an acre. A great deal has been said about land at 2s. 6d. per acre, and if this were the place to do so, we should feel inclined to urge the Government to consider whether it would not be advisable to open for sale all the lands between Porirua Harbour and the west side of the Hutt Valley, in sections varying from a 100 to 1,000 acres, at 2s. 6d. per acre, with the proviso that the purchaser should, within five years from the day of purchase, lay down in grass one-half of the land so purchased. We believe that if this were done some 20,000 acres might, within the next fifteen years be laid down in grass, carrying, at the lowest calculation, 100,000 sheep, and annually yielding, 100,000 lbs. of wool."--Wellington Spectator.
21   Under a large wholesale demand and supply, the expense of seed should not be more than from 18s. to 20s. per acre. The cost of the ditch and bank fence at 20s. a chain is, of course, £80 a mile. In a square mile there are 640 acres, and this, divided into six great paddocks, would take six miles of fencing, costing £80, or 15s. an acre. But, as a portion of the expense of the external fence would sometimes be borne by the adjoining proprietor, we may say that the expense of fencing would probably not be more than from 10s. to 12s. an acre.
22   Sheep and cattle having access to any good bit of farm pasture carry the seed over the surrounding wild land, and by treading and trampling about, manage, in time, to effect a very fair sowing of grass seed. In New Plymouth, mainly by this process, tracts of wild land, road sides, banks and ditches, soon became clothed with a splendid growth of white clover and other grasses; and, very generally, if in laying down 1,000 acres of wild land the proprietor seeded half or two-thirds, the Stock would gradually seed the rest.
23   What with the attractions of Gold Fields, and the arid nature of the climate, the two great Colonies of Victoria and New South Wales will ever be importers of Corn; and, looking at the nearness of New Zealand, compared with the South American wheat countries, and remembering that the corn crop is one-third heavier in New Zealand than in Australia, there can be no doubt that New Zealand will always find a good market in Melbourne and Sydney for any of her surplus vegetable food.
24   The Import of Wool, mainly from our Australian and New Zealand Possessions, in the year 1865, was no less than 212,000,000 pounds--the clip, perhaps, of about 50,000,000 sheep. The Import of Wool has doubled in the last 10 years; and the following "Wool Facts" showing (what I was not at all prepared to expect) that England re-exports a large portion of our Colonial Wool, may interest some of my intrepid Readers undaunted by battalions of figures:--

From the "Times," June 28th, 1866.
Imports of Wool in 1856, 116,000,000 lbs
" 1857, 130,000,000 lbs.
" 1858, 127,000,000 lbs.
" 1859, 133,000,000 lbs.
" 1860, 148,000,000 lbs.
" 1861, 147,000,000 lbs.
" 1862, 172,000,000 lbs.
" 1863, 177,000,000 lbs.
" 1864, 206,000,000 lbs.
" 1865, 212,000,000 lbs.

Exports of Wool in 1860, 81,000,000
" 1861, 54,000,000
" 1862, 48,000,000
" 1863, 64,000,000
" 1864, 56,000,000
" 1865, 82,000,000
25   "Boiling down" was formerly practised to a considerable extent in Australia--the mere fat or tallow of the animal for export to England being worth far more than the meat for colonial consumption. Boiling down establishments were formed in the pastoral districts, and the process became a regular business. The sheep, especially if showing any signs of scab or other contagious disease, were killed and skinned, the carcases thrown into the boiling vat, the fat skimmed off for export tallow, and the meat thrown away.
"Hackney'd in business, wearied at that oar
Which thousands, once fast chain'd to, quit no more,
But which, when life at ebb, runs weak and low,
All wish, or seem to wish, they could forego;
The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade,
Pants for the refuge of some rural shade."--Cowper.
27   Lord Bacon, in his Essay on Plantations, in advising the pioneer Settlers in a new country what to do, says--"but moil not too much underground, for the hope of mines is very uncertain, and useth to make the Planters lazy in other things." --Good, my Lord!
28   In some remarks made years ago on the then newly-discovered little gold fields at Aorere, I ventured to observe that, looking at the similar character of the 300 miles of country south of that spot, it was by no means improbable that the precious metal would be found in considerable quantities in various places along the West Coast of the South Island, and that, New Zealand possibly, might some day have her Ballarat and Bendigo; Certain wise men of the East--"gentle dulness ever loves a joke"--were somewhat facetious over this surmise of mine--but let those laugh who win; gold has since been discovered in a dozen localities of that portion of the Colony which I named, and some 70 tons of the poet's "root of evil" have already been exported from New Zealand.
29   There are no Barings or Rothschilds among emigrants; but some possess much greater means than others, and this term is used to signify families, such as Retired Officers, Professional men, Younger Sons, and others who carry out sums of from three to five and six thousand pounds. I have known as much as £10,000 and £12,000 taken to New Zealand, and one of my present correspondents, will, I daresay, carry with him nearly £20,000; but those are quite exceptional sums, and, as times go, families who carry from £3,000 to £4,000 to New Zealand rank there as Capitalists, and those who take from £500 to £1000 as small Capitalists.
30   One Mrs de Smythe, who, in evil hour, went to New Zealand, had the fortune to be a Staff Officer's daughter; and as, though there were many women in the Settlement who, in domestic virtues and easy simplicity of manner, might have worn a coronet, there happened to be no "Staff-officers'" Ladies, she voted society low, and ordered her weaker half to conduct her back.
31   AMERICANS, AND UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE. --I may here, perhaps, be permitted to add in grateful remembrance of the warm welcome everywhere given to me when visiting the States, that we must not judge our Western Kinsmen only by their turgid orators and their New-York-Herald Press. Judging the Americans by the utterances of some of their Prints, Preachers, and Speakers, we might almost be provoked into saying that mankind would lose nothing were their name and nation swept off the map--judging them as they are at-home, weighing their domestic virtues, their wonderful kindness of heart, their dashing originality of character, toned down as it is by their great good sense, we should pronounce them quite the equals of the Imperial Race from which they spring.

Admirable a people as they are, however, it is I think, quite a mistake on the part of our American friends to attribute their national greatness mainly to their Form of Government. Next to the virtues and energies of her sons, the great cause of the marvellous growth and progress of the United States has not been her republican institutions, but her bottomless cornucopia of millions of acres of fertile wild land, and the vast, the incalculable, gifts of capital end labour, money and people, made her for half a century, by Britain. With the same advantages, any people, other than Neapolitans or Hindoos, under any government, other than Mexican or Persian, could not have failed to have made a powerful nation of a magnificent territory like that of the States; and monarchists might assert that the real greatness of America no more proceeds from universal suffrage and the ballot-box than the motion of our carriage proceeds from the pretentious fly revolving on the spoke of the wheel.
32   "THE BRITISH LION IN NEW ZEALAND."--In the present century however, the honour and renown of Britain and her Flag, must not again be tarnished by such a "procedure and policy" as, (unheedingly) she has permitted her Downing Street Colonial Office, egged on by certain penny wise M.P.s, to pursue in New Zealand. That the "management" of the Native Race in New Zealand has ever been a function of Government especially retained by the Colonial Office in its own hands to the exclusion of the Colonists and that the Native War in New Zealand has been caused by such management, been the bitter fruit of that crass policy of "petting and pampering" the Natives pursued for quarter of a century by Downing Street and Exeter Hall, are facts patent to all. Yet, when and while British Regiments were being defied, if not defeated, by Bands of Rebel Savages--when and while it was utterly uncertain whether the little community of the North Island of New Zealand would be able, by themselves, to make head against that fanatical, barbarous, bush-protected Foe which had baffled the regular troops, the Colonial office of Great Britain, administered, too, by a man of English birth, actually recalled its "paralysed" Regiments from the Field on the paltry plea that the handful of Colonists, who had already raised a small army of their own to fight a battle brought on them by the laches of others, could not pay for the red coats, too--Most assuredly (but unbeknown to his real Keepers the People of the British Isles) the British Lion has, in New Zealand, sneaked out of a quarrel which his Colonial Office and his Exeter Hall brought about and provoked; and no amount of virtuous economy and red tape, talked by Mr. Cardwell and the Times, can conceal the disgraceful fact.
33   NOTE. --Mainly, through falling in with one or two little Publications of mine on New Zealand, many excellent Families, actually amounting, altogether, to about 1,000 Persons--Families of the "Capitalist" and "Small Capitalist" orders of Emigrants-- contemplating Emigration to some Colony or other, have thought well to place themselves in communication with me. Many of these have been encouraged by me to improve their fortunes in New Zealand; while others who have seemed to me unfit for a "Colonial Career" have, perhaps, been induced to think better of staying at-home. Indeed, I venture to think that, for a plain quiet sort of person, not at all ambitious of fussing and buzzing about as any sort of "New Zealand Celebrity," I, during my sojourn in this Country, have practically done more to send fertilizing "Capital and Labour" to New Zealand than any one, unaided, private Individual who has ever interested himself in the young fortunes of our infant "Britain of the South."

Previous section | Next section