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WAIKATO AND NGARUAWAHIA,
A RAILWAY FROM AUCKLAND TO THE PROPOSED NEW CAPITAL, AND THENCE TO WELLINGTON, WITH BRANCHES TO HAWKE'S BAY AND TARANAKI,
TO BE CALLED
THE GREAT TRUNK RAILWAY OF NEW ZEALAND,
PUBLISHED BY WILSON & BURN, QUEEN STREET,
AND MAY BE HAD OF ALL BOOKSELLERS.
PRICE ONE SHILLING.
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THE NATIVES, &c.
NOW that all eyes are turned towards the Waikato, the heart and core of the Province of Auckland, with the Waikato River, the main artery of it, running through its rich alluvial plains, a few observations on its future may not be amiss.
It is said we can judge of the future by the past, if so, it will not be difficult to forsee the future prosperity of this Province.
It is not many years since that Sir George Grey instituted the Pensioner Villages--those of Otahuhu, Panmure, and Howick, and that of Onehunga--his forethought at that time was not discernable, or but partially so; nay, many condemned the scheme altogether, and complained of the "wasteful expenditure for roads through districts utterly worthless"! Will any one tell me the value now of the land on either side of the roads in question, from Auckland to Onehunga-- from the Junction Hotel to Otahuhu, or from the Harp of Erin to Howick and Panmure?
That which only a few years since was waste, has become property of immense value. If you desire to purchase any of "the worthless waste," they ask you £100 per acre!
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Then, of how much more value will he the alluvial rich lands of the far-famed Waikato, the Garden of Eden of New Zealand? What will a settler take for his 50 acres and one town allotment? this will he no mean question by and bye.
When we see village after village springing up as though touched with the fairy's wand, beautiful homesteads, lovely woods, with beautiful streamlets flowing into the silvery Waikato at their feet! "Stay," some will say, "you have not got it yet-- you must not call it your own until that is won." Well then, won it will be, and that probably in much less time than many calculate. The Maori is a keen observer as well as a great warrior. When he sees our determination to subdue him--when he sees and practically feels the force brought to bear against him, (and the more vigour we display the better,) then, I say, he will yield. Does he not watch with anxious eye the moving troops, the escorts, the arrival of ship after ship, with more and more troops, and then again more troops--he is lost in wonder to know from whence they come, and he will at last exclaim, "It is no use contending against the Pakeha."
The present struggle with the Native race is the turning point of our history in New Zealand--we must fight it out, and let the Native see that we are his master--this must be done well, for his sake as well as our own; the notion that he is our superior must for ever be eradicated from his thoughts, and there is no way of doing it but by a vigorous blow; to beat him well and quickly is now the greatest kindness you can shew him; it is the only way to save a large portion of those interesting and intelligent savages--that they should be saved and not exterminated, is the wish of every good and wise man.
What has been their treatment cannot now be helped; it is easy to put the blame upon this party
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or on that party, and say the war has been brought on by this minister or that policy; and if you had done so and so, it would have been avoided; it is nothing of the kind--it has indeed little to do with it.
It may solve the question if I ask, what! Suppose you are now in England, your native land, and suppose France or any other nation insinuated themselves into your country, a few at a time, but at length in great numbers, then began to dictate, to say you shall do this, or that, or occupy positions you thought dangerous to your own safety, the country apparently threatened to be overrun, and you alarmed and terrified by such a state of things, you would meet and hold council what you should do. Would you not come to the resolution to make one great effort to dislodge them? is this not natural? Then, I say, the present war arises from those natural causes, and no others. And because the Native displays great cunning, nay great ability, do not blame him; do not you do the same? Are we entirely blameless?
You desire to reclaim him, and say he will not be reclaimed. Did it ever strike you "you might not go the right way to do it?" I think I could point out the way; when the war shall have entirely passed by, when the passions of men on both sides are calmed down to their ordinary level, the Natives subdued, then let every wise and good man do all he can to win their esteem--then let every settler cast aside his prejudice, and treat the Native as a man, as a brother, not as is now done by keeping him from you, never shewing him social kindness, but treating him with evident aversion, and we hear on all sides, "those horrid Maoris," "those horrid savages," &c. Have these savages for such people no redeeming qualities? is there nothing in their character that can command our esteem or regard?
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The prejudice in some minds is extremely great, but at the same time extremely unjust; such people take no pains to learn their character, to improve their condition, to teach them civilization in any way; can you wonder that they remain savages? You say everything has been tried. I say everything has not been tried. Let every person, every settler in his locality be kind to the Native, let him invite "him and his wife" say once in every month, to take a cup of tea; treat them with hospitality and kindness, but at the same time with strictness, as to the rules of cleanliness, which society demands; be rigid in this; be firm, be kind, be obeyed; allow no liberties, at the same time shew them attention--teach them any little thing you think they would like to know, things that are useful, things that would be profitable--encourage trading and honesty, and be honest yourself. With this treatment the Native character would soon undergo a change, for they are fond of imitation, and arc quick at learning; they would soon become attached to you, and when you have gained their heart you will do anything with them.
It is a matter of deep regret that the Natives in these islands should be so mistaken as to attempt to war with the Pakeha, to insist on Englishmen making war in self-defence.
Without any base of operations, without artillery, without fresh levies of Maoris to come to their aid, what is their inevitable fate?--if 10 Maoris are killed, there are 10 Maoris less--but if 10 Europeans are killed, ten times ten will fill their place--within a few weeks hundreds flow in, with hundreds and thousands to follow, thanks to the wise and liberal policy of Sir George Grey. This policy will inaugurate a new era and a transformation of the Province into great activity and great prosperity.
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THE WAIKATO REGULATIONS.
AS the Waikato Regulations do not appear to be fully understood, and the great boon to the public not yet fully appreciated, it may be well to make the following extract:--
Extract from the New Zealand Government Gazette, 5th August, 1863.
"VOLUNTEER MILITIA SETTLERS. --NEW ZEALAND.
"Conditions upon which land in the Waikato Country, in the Province of Auckland, will be granted to volunteer militiamen willing to perform the aftermentioned military services:
"1. No man above the age of forty years will be accepted, and every applicant will be subject to an examination by an officer appointed by the Governor, and must produce such certificates of good character, health, and general fitness for the service as such officer shall require.
"2. Each accepted applicant will be required to sign a declaration and agreement to the effect that he understands and will be bound by and fulfil these conditions.
"3. He will be enrolled and required to serve in the Militia in the Province of Auckland, and will be entitled to pay, rations, and allowances accordingly, until he is authorized by the Government to take possession of his land, when he will be relieved from "actual service."
"4. Settlements will be surveyed and marked out at the expense of the Government.
"5. Each Settlement will comprise not less than 100 town allotments and 100 farm sections.
"6. A stockade on the most eligible site in each settlement will be erected at the expense of the Government.
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"7. A town will be laid out around or as near as conveniently may be to the stockade, in one acre allotments.
"8. Farms will be laid out around, or as near as conveniently may be to the town. The size of the farm sections allotted to each will be according to his rank in the Militia:
For a Field Officer
"9. Every settler under these conditions, who upon being relieved from actual service, receives a certificate of good conduct, will be entitled to one town allotment and one farm section.
"10. Priority of choice for each rank will be determined by lot.
"11. After taking possession he will be entitled to receive rations, free of cost for twelve months, upon the same scale as supplied to Her Majesty's troops; he will be allowed to retain possession, as a militiamen, of his arms and accoutrements, and he will be supplied with ammunition for use according to militia regulations.
"12. No settler after taking possession will be permitted during the first three years after his enrolment under these conditions to absent himself from his settlement for more than one calendar month in any one year, without the leave of the Governor first obtained.
"13. During such three years he will be liable to be trained and exercised as other militiamen; and whenever a portion only of the militia shall be called out for actual service, each settler will be deemed to be a volunteer militiamen, and will be
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required to serve as such within the Province. During such service he will be entitled to the same pay, rations, and allowances as other militiamen.
"14. On the expiration of three years from his enrolment each settler, having fulfilled the conditions, but not otherwise, will be entitled to a Crown Grant of the town allotment and farm section allotted to him; and will thenceforth be subject only to the same militia services as other colonists.
"15. Any settler will be permitted to dispose of his land to any person approved of by the Government, and such person undertaking to be subject to the same liabilities, will be entitled to the same privileges as the settler whose place he takes.
"10. In case of the death of any settler before he shall have become entitled to his Crown Grant, the land to which he is entitled will be granted to his wife or children, or to such other person as he shall by writing appoint, or it may be taken by the Government for the location of another settler under these conditions, or for any other purpose; but the value thereof in such latter case will be determined by valuation, and the amount paid by the Government to the settler's widow, or children, or other person appointed as aforesaid.
"FORM OF DECLARATION AND AGREEMENT.
"I do hereby declare that I fully understand the "Conditions" hereunto annexed, and I do engage and agree to be bound thereby, and punctually on my part to fulfil all the terms thereof."
The above conditions are most liberal. How many who have struggled for years--how many good and persevering men in Sydney, Melbourne and Otago, &c., have nearly succumbed to a hard fate, who will hail with delight this new opening for their future career--a boon indeed
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to him, who hut the day before might be desponding--now finding himself engaged, board found him, and lodging, and clothes, and a sum per day, out of which he may save a portion, and the prospect of finding himself in possession of 50 acres of Freehold Land and one acre Town section and to be kept in rations for one year after he is put into possession.
The war may terminate suddenly and quickly, still the Volunteer will be entitled to keep and pay until put on his land and rations for twelve months afterwards.
No. 5 of the Regulations says "Each settlement will comprise not less than 100 Town allotments and 100 Farm sections." No. 6 says "A stockade on the most eligible site in each settlement will be erected at the expense of the Government." No. 7 "A Town will be laid out around or as near as conveniently may be to the stockade in one acre allotments." No. 8 "Farms will be laid out around, &c."
Those are most important conditions and the Government are bound to fulfil them.
Here the settlers will receive ample protection, as a stockade is to be erected in each settlement, and all the military settlers will be under efficient officers ready at all times in case of need; --and be it remembered, the Native is to be thoroughly conquered ere any settlers are located.
Some have expressed doubts whether the conditions will be honourably kept by the Government, but there can be little doubt of this when the Hon. F. Dillon Bell, one of the Ministers is sent to engage Volunteers under these Regulations.
Mr. Dillon Bell's Speech to the Victorian Volunteer Settlers.
The Melbourne Argus gives the following report of a speech made by Mr. Dillon Bell to the Vic-
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torian Volunteer Military Settlers, on their departure for this port:--
"Officers and men of the Victorian Contingent, --I wish to thank the Victorian Volunteers on behalf of the Government and colonists of New Zealand, for the prompt manner in which they have come forward to aid that colony in its difficulties. New Zealand requires at this time all the strong hands and strong arms which she can get. I am glad to see that so fine a body of men has volunteered already from this place. There is one point on which I wish to say a few words. Letters have appeared in the Melbourne papers, the writers of which state that the Government of New Zealand is not able to fulfil the contract which it has made with you. I assure you that the Government has not made up its mind to make the offer to you which it has made without anxious and careful consideration and full conviction of its ability to fulfil its own part of the bargain. One thing, indeed, is quite true, that the Government has not got at this moment in possession the land which is offered to you. The land is still in the hands of rebel natives; and we trust to you and your military comrades to hold by the force of your arms that territory which will hereafter be allotted to you by Government. This is land we have long tried to obtain by peaceable means. We have endeavoured to colonise the country, and introduce the arts of civilization among the natives without violence, and with every advantage to them. We should never have thought of taking this land by force if they had not made war upon us, and did not constantly threaten the lives of the women and children of our peaceful settlers. It is not only the colonists and Colonial Government who were engaged in the present plan of military settlements: the Governor of New Zealand is a party to that plan, to which we have given our cordial assent.
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It is his and our opinion that nothing can now secure peace in the country of New Zealand hut the establishment of strong military settlements in the interior of the country, and it is to form such settlements that we have invited you. Your own commander in this war will be Colonel Pitt, whom you all know and appreciate; and you will serve under a general whose name is illustrious among the band of Crimean heroes, who distinguished himself in the glorious victory of the Alma. I have no doubt that you will perform your duty, by strict obedience to your officers; and I, in the name of the Government and colonists of New Zealand, promise you that we will not fail in ours. Remember, that as soon as you land in New Zealand, you are soldiers, as amenable to military law as we who are already in arms there; and that strict discipline and obedience will be required from all. I hope the arrangements on board ship will be satisfactory to you, and that when you land on the wharf in Auckland you will find that these arrangements have been punctually fulfilled. I now bid you farewell till we meet in Auckland; and I can only say that I am proud to have sent such a number from Victoria. I now call upon you to give three cheers for the Queen." (The battalion then gave three cheers for the Queen and three cheers for Colonel Pitt.)
The New-Zealander writes, --
"We have implicit faith in the great advantages to be derived through Military Colonisation, not only to the Europeans but to the Natives reduced to law and good order by the only power they will submit to--the force of arms. With all inherent defects and drawbacks the limited attempts at Pensioner Colonisation have been productive of the most sound and substantial benefits. But for the settlements of their creation, the charming and
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thriving towns of Onehunga, Otahuhu, Panmure, and Howick, might yet have to be founded."
The truth of this is patent to all, and we are about to enter a new phase in the History of New Zealand--one of uninterrupted progress and prosperity. But all must put their shoulders to the wheel.
If the advantages now offered by the Government were better known or better understood, not a man in the Army, Militia or Volunteers but would apply to be enrolled under the Waikato Regulations. Those in Sydney, Melbourne, Otago, &c, perceive this and fly with alacrity to join in the movement, and ere long we shall have from those places a formidable force irrespective of Troops from home and from India.
Again the New-Zealander says, --
"Suggestions of various kinds in furtherence of the successful occupation of the Waikato have been rife. It has been conceded to our own settlers as well as to those of Australia, that they shall be entitled to equal privileges in taking service for the Waikato. But what of the troops of the line serving there, and who may be desirous of enrolment as military colonists? The question is engaging the thoughts of many such, and it has already been mooted in various quarters and upon various occasions; for the regulars are naturally led to think that the boon which attracts irregulars to take up arms is one that ought to be extended to them also."
Whether the regulars would be allowed to enrol themselves is not for me to decide; but I fancy little if any objection would be made. Letters of application for enrolment might be sent in.
One thing is certain, officers of high standing are daily enrolling their names under the Waikato Regulations.
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From the Daily Southern Cross:--
"On Thursday morning Lieutenant-Colonel Pitt addressed the enrolled men, assembled by his orders in the large yard of the Port Phillip Hotel, Flinders lane, to the following effect:-- 'Men, I have a few words to say to you that misunderstanding may be prevented. A letter has appeared in the newspapers from a New Zealander, signed H. C. The intent of the letter appears to be to discredit the statements that have been made to you of the promises of the New Zealand Government. Coming from one of the inhabitants of New Zealand, it is difficult to understand the motives of the writer, and I am at loss to point it out, unless he is one of the large holders of land there, and fancies that the fulfilment of the promises made to you and to me will injure his interests. There have been a good many comments made in reference to it, but I must say that the press has shown a considerate and generous spirit in dealing with this matter. Such a body of men as I shall take away with me no colony would like-to lose, and, considering how much the newspapers might have made of H. C.'s letter, had their object been to deter you from going, their moderation deserves the highest praise. The Government and people of Victoria have acted nobly towards their neighbours who want their assistance, and, loth as they are to lose a fine body of men, no obstacles have been put in my way. My credentials are under the signature of the Governor of New Zealand, the representative of Her Majesty, and appear to me as binding as if they had the signature of Queen Victoria herself. In the New Zealand Government Gazette are published my credentials, and all those conditions which you have seen posted about the streets, and have doubtless read for yourselves. If you lose your land, I lose mine, and I am satisfied with the security. If I were not, I would not ask a man to follow me. (A voice--"We will follow you any-
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where.") I am authorised to raise a battalion under these conditions, and I come here and straightforwardly state the conditions under which men can join. I trust you neither regard me as a crimp nor a recruiting sergeant. I am told that I am taking away married men. It may be so. I cannot make that one of the conditions of non-acceptance of a good man, but I have taken care that a list of such men shall be made, and will do all in my power to see that their wives have an opportunity of being provided for, as far as possible. You are Victorians, and my sympathies are with Victoria. I doubt not that we shall so behave ourselves as to make it an honour to belong to the Victorian Battalion. Victoria will watch you, and take a just pride in your deeds. I must inform you of one thing. The lands to be given for your services are to be won from the enemy.' Lieutenant-Colonel Pitt said he had nothing more to say at that time, and retired. Three cheers were given for the Lieut.-Colonel with a spontaneity and energy that showed the trust of the men in their leader. It may perhaps be as well to add (writes our Melbourne correspondent) that the regulations under which the land is to be granted is a part of an Act of Parliament. I state this on the authority of a member of the Legislative Assembly who has special knowledge of New Zealand. The total number enrolled up to Thursday is reported at 371 rank and file. Lieut.-Colonel Pitt will, if possible, raise 1500 men, and has already authorised persons in the up-country districts to act for him."
It is a point to be considered whether or not the militia and volunteers should not have something in the shape of land for their services, say 50 acres each private, and range upwards according to rank. Who can be more entitled than those who flew to arms to protect the town, the lives and properties of the inhabitants? who stood ready and first to
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fight, and who are still ready--who guard our town by night that the rest of us may sleep in security? who on alarm fly to arms? why, the militia and volunteers. Then shall they not have some share in the Waikato lands? In the name of justice let them have it. There is no stint; there is plenty for all. Let them have it, or sell it, or keep it; the more liberal we are in this respect, the more rapid will be our general prosperity. The Taranaki Militia and Volunteers deserve, perhaps, a larger share. They have had losses and hardships, and borne the brunt of the battle; their tale need not be told.
If millions of acres are held by a tribe or small section of people, it remains a waste. If thousands of acres remain in the hands of one man, the greater part is waste. If it be cut up into smaller parcels or sections, it becomes peopled and cultivated. Villages spring up, and towns and cities follow; the latter constitute the wealth of a nation; to this point it is desirable to bring the attraction of our Legislative Assembly, in order that they may see the momentous importance of thoroughly considering the above proposition, which they should urge on the Government to grant.
It would be better for 10,000 to occupy the Waikato than one thousand--the wise scheme for the occupation of the Waikato should be followed by a still wiser. Why keep the land from those who deserve it, to give to those who may come twenty years hence? they will have no battles to fight.
There is another class of men who would seem to be entitled to a grant of land, namely those who came to the colony before the 40 acre system came into operation. Their claims have been set aside. Why so--have they not come to New Zealand as well as we? and indeed they have prepared the way for us. Have they not been our pioneers?
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What hardships they endured, and do not we reap the benefit of their toil? We have homes to shelter us, and many luxuries and comforts which they were strangers to--some never tasted fresh meat for seven or eight years after landing; they have brought the wilderness into something like culture and civilization. Have they not a good claim for a portion of land in the Waikato? The more the better be assured--the more valuable will be every acre of yours wherever it may be.
It may be objected that this lavish giving away of land would be injurious to the colony, that it would absorb so much of the land and lock it up by persons unable to fulfil the conditions. The answer to this is, if they do not fulfil the conditions they would not be entitled--and as to quantity of land to be given away suppose it amounted to half-a-million of acres--what is this. Will any one tell me how many millions of acres there are? No narrow winded policy will succeed.
After the war offer to the Maori the privileges of the white man--make him equal; give the Maori the same quantity of land you give to the Pakeha.
Many question the justice of confiscating land in the Waikato, but apart from the natives having broken the treaty and taken up arms and waged war against us, it is held that wandering tribes do not possess the land they wander over, for other tribes or people of other countries may wander over such land with equal right--but if either settle down, cultivate or enclose portions of such land, then the public law is that such persons should not be disinherited but protected in such possession, whether they be Maori or Pakehas. Governor Grey has not confiscated the land, he has taken a higher ground, for confiscation suggests a previous holding, which his Excellency wisely rejects--therefore no such proclamation was issued or necessary.
All Settlers, Volunteers and Militiamen willing
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to perform military service, and who wish to have land in the Waikato when the War is ended should lose no time in complying with the following advertisement:--
"All Settlers, Volunteers and Militiamen willing to perform Military Services under the conditions set forth in the Gazette of August 5th, 1863, are requested to apply to Lieut.-Col. Balneavis, at the Militia Office, Auckland.
"F. D. FENTON.
"Colonial Defence Office,
"Auckland, August 5th, 1863."
The meaning of the above advertisement is that such parties should apply to Lieut.-Col. Balneavis, Deputy Adjutant General of Militia and Volunteers, Auckland, to be enrolled. Those who do not comply with this stipulation must not hereafter complain of the Government for not granting them land under the Waikato Regulations. The above advertisement has been in the papers daily.
THE RAILWAY, AND NGARUAWAHIA, THE FUTURE CAPITAL OF NEW ZEALAND.
Our leading Auckland Journal very justly remarks, "any one who will look upon the map of the country south of Auckland, and who bears in mind the large traffic occasioned by the keeping up the supplies to the various camps stationed at Otahuhu, Papatoitoi, Papakura, Ring's Redoubt, Smith's,
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the head quarters of the Forest Rangers, the Wairoa Redoubt, Drury itself, the Mauku, Waiuku, and the many other stations further south, all of which converge upon the one line of road--to any one, we say, looking only in the military point of view, the immediate necessity of such a work is at once apparent; but it must further be remembered that when, after the lapse of one, two, or more years, the bulk of this traffic shall have ceased, another and a greater will have been called into existence--that where one acre is now cultivated there will be then a hundred, that where one family was lately located there will be then ten--while beyond, on the Waikato, Piako, and Thames, we know not how many military settlements it is in contemplation to establish."
What would not the Government give if there was now in full operation a railway from Auckland to Drury? The importance of a railway cannot be overrated. The line to Drury has already been surveyed by an able engineer, and could be made thus far in spite of Maori opposition. The extraordinary amount of traffic occasioned by the military, and which is likely to increase, causes a vast expenditure in keeping the roads in repair, and withal are too frequently impassible.
It is therefore proposed to have a railway, and to be called "The Great Trunk Railway of New Zealand," from Auckland to Drury (with branch to Onehunga) thence to the Waikato River, at or about Mangatawhiri, crossing which, and passing through Kohiroa, keeping on the proper right bank of the Waikato River to Meremere, and thence to Ngaruawahia, which, after the war, I propose should become the Capital of New Zealand, with railway to Wellington, and branches to Hawke's Bay and Taranaki.
The seat of Government removed and a railway to the proposed New Capital of New Zealand would
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solve the vexed question of separation! From Picton to Wellington is but a few hours' passage by steamer; and thus the Middle Island would be placed within quick communication with the capital.
In a strategic point of view Ngaruawahia is the proper site for the capital of this new empire. Auckland City would lose nothing; Auckland would be to Ngaruawahia what Liverpool is to London.
The people of Auckland should weigh well this proposition so soon as peace is thoroughly secured, for no one can tell how soon England may be engaged in war with foreign nations, and if your whole property and your, capital be Auckland City, Auckland may be laid in ashes in a few hours by an enemy's fleet. True, you may have ships of war, you may have powerful batteries, and there is every convenience for them, and excellent positions; yet a daring enemy would run the gauntlet and bombard your town; hence your Capital should be removed, and no better position than the one named perhaps could be found. I should like to know what foreign enemy would dare attack your capital then?
The traffic that would ensue between the capital and Auckland, and from the middle Island to the capital, would be very great, give activity, energy, and wealth to thousands by opening up the vast riches of the Waikato district, and the whole Province of Auckland.
That this Province should retain the seat of Government is of the utmost importance, not only to Auckland, but for the welfare of the whole of New Zealand.
The proposed capital of Ngaruawahia, with railway to Wellington, would bring the seat of Government to within a few hours of Otago, Canterbury, Nelson, &c.
This project at first sight may alarm the timid,
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but it will take place sooner or later; it is merely a question of time. The whole scheme cannot be embraced at once, but cannot a beginning be made in the shape of a railway to Drury, to which place there are no engineering difficulties? nay, there is every element of success in its favour. There is land for little or nothing, few if any cuttings required, bridges of very moderate elevation, no important rivers to span, you have the best wood in the world on the very ground for sleepers, &c, so soon as the rails are laid you have mountains of ballast to put in your trucks, run along the line and fill up; it will (at least this part of the line) be found one of the least expensive of railways ever made. Again, when we have peace, thousands will want employment; here is a field open to them at once; and who knows but gold may be found in some parts of the Waikato or adjacent mountains. What then would be the worth of a railway to and from the diggings under these circumstances? what would be the value of fifty acres and one town allotment? Would not the people rejoice and give the Governor credit for his profound wisdom and forethought for the boon so liberally bestowed?
A railway to and from Drury, Papakura, &c, would be of immense benefit to every individual in Auckland city; coals and wood could be supplied to the inhabitants at greatly reduced prices. The article of wood is now an item of vast importance to every housekeeper. Every kind of produce would soon flow into Auckland, and living would become cheap.
Every nerve should be strained to bring about so desirable an end. The following is from the Daily Southern Cross:--
"With regard to the Drury Railway scheme, it is evidently necessary that before any steps are taken in the Assembly, the subject should be finally discussed and decided upon in all its bearings, more especially as some of these are much altered by the
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near prospect of a large European population upon the Waikato river."
A railway should be carried out by a public-company and not by the Provincial Government; they will have enough on their hands without this. Besides, where is the money to come from? They might possibly make one to Drury, but there they must stop. And the Provincial Government doing everything itself is something akin to four persons sitting down to whist, each with a sovereign in his pocket; they may play till dooms'-day, but they would only have four sovereigns when they had done.
Such a course is narrow-minded in the extreme, ill-judged, and quite out of place in the present age. May I ask would it not benefit the Colony if ten thousand capitalists would come amongst us and settle down on the Waikato, spend their money in erecting mansions, making bridges and roads, laying out parks, keeping numerous servants, &c.? Would not the Auckland people receive benefit in every shape and way from the money expended? Is not this what they want? Well, then, let a company be formed, not here, but in London, the mart for everything; send a person duly authorised. I would engage to get the necessary capital subscribed in a week if the Government will guarantee six per cent. on the deposits or paid-up capital. The capital of the company should be £1,000,000, in shares of £20 each. Not more than from £2 to £5 per share would be wanted for perhaps two or three years; but there would be the capital ready to carry out the enlarged scheme. If £5 per share were actually called up, the Government would only be liable for the six per cent, interest on £250,000. But they would not have to pay this, for the railway would quite realize this, if not a great deal more. I believe it would pay ten or twelve per cent. The consumption of wood in Auckland is
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something enormous, and this would chiefly come by rail, and reduce the present price to the consumers.
Our Auckland community should bear in mind that wealth and prosperity is derived from capital and labour conjoined; and if we invite capitalists or their money to New Zealand, and they employ thousands of our citizens and open up the country for us, they render us a great service; and then the prosperity remains with us and not with them. They are satisfied to receive their six per cent. All their money spent in our country is a lasting benefit.
The narrow-minded want to keep all themselves. Oh! they say, we want the directors to be here; we want the directors to be ourselves; we want to manage all ourselves, (i. e. for ourselves, no doubt). But this is precisely what should not be, if you want the country to flourish. It has been kept back bound hand and foot long enough; it is time this ignorance should be cast to the dogs. There would be local managers, of course, and directors, and one-third of the shares should be reserved for New Zealand. The Indian railways and others were London companies, and managed in this way. We should reap the benefit of their capital, their skill, and their enterprise. Let six per cent. be guaranteed on the paid-up capital of the proposed company, to be called "The Great Trunk Railway of New Zealand," Capital £1,000,000; and let a competent person be duly authorised to negotiate with the London capitalists, and the thing will be done, and done well too. A complete staff would be sent out from England, and English capital flow in to enrich us, and employ our surplus population, for surplus we shall have as soon as the war is ended.
Since the above was written, a railway to Drury has been proposed, to be under the direction of a few individuals, and its chief management vested in
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the hands of the Superintendent for the time being. But this is a subject fraught with many difficulties and dangers; think well before you make the fatal plunge; the present Superintendent means well, and will do all in his power to benefit the colony, but who knows who may succeed him; and bear in mind, this railway to Drury scheme is at present only a phantom child--a being not in being--but let it once draw breath it will soon grow into manhood, become a giant with its arms outspread; don't talk about stopping at Drury, it won't stop for you-- it will go on through the country and all over the country--it will have cost millions ere you stop its progress. Now comes the question, is all this capital, this vast affair, to be in the hands of one man--any future Superintendent?--his patronage, his power would be dangerous to the State. Will not the Southern members have something to say on this subject? The presence of these enlightened men just now is very opportune. How are they to be represented? Why, by a public company, wherein they may have their share of the management.
The capital proposed to be diverted from the legitimate objects for which it was voted, is required for other things equally important. Some will say, but we want the railway begun at once. I will meet this by saying, let it be begun at once, so that no time may be lost; but make this provision, that in case a London company can be formed, the Superintendent for the time being shall hand over to the said company the entire works upon payment of the money expended upon them, and they will be well out of it, for they will be heartily sick of it before they get to Drury--the money gone--the single locomotive, with its long tail of ballast trucks fairly stuck in the mud, legs upwards--I beg its pardon, wheels, I mean--but there it lies, where it once puffed and blew, and spouted and snorted, like
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a pig in a gutter, but now, alas, no signs of life! until a company restore it again to animation. No, it cannot be done--it ought not to be done in the way proposed. They propose to spend £150,000 capital; I propose to spend the 6 per cent, on the £150,000, and keep the capital--guarantee 6 per cent, and let others sink the capital that are satisfied so to do; and a guarantee of 6 per cent, by the New Zealand Government is a sufficient inducement for the English capitalists. The most important consideration of all is, that if ordinary roads are made, it must be with the money of the Colony; whereas if an enlarged system of railway communication be carried out in the way proposed, new capital would be brought into the country.