CHAPTER X. THE LAND REGULATIONS.
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THE LAND REGULATIONS.
THE LAND AND IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS OF THE SIX PROVINCES.--CHOICE OF PROVINCE, ETC.
BY the "Treaty of Waitangi," made between the British Government and the natives, all the land of the islands (some 80,000,000 acres) was admitted to be their property; and the Government pledged itself to obtain no portion of such territory for the purposes of colonisation, except by the way of friendly purchase. This agreement has been scrupulously observed. The whole of the great South Island, more than 40,000,000 of acres, where, in fact, there are few or no natives, has been acquired in this manner; and a large extent of territory, including many fine pastoral and agricultural districts, has been purchased, by degrees, in the Provinces of Auckland, Wellington, and New Plymouth, which, together, constitute the North Island. The "purchasing" is effected through a special department of the General Government. The natives, as they feel inclined to part with further portions of the magnificent but unused territory which they still possess in the North Island; or, in other words, as they feel more or less disposed to encourage the further spread of European settlement, bring forward fresh districts for sale; and when the bargain is officially and publicly completed by the "Purchasing Department," the fresh-acquired districts become the property of the Crown, and are made over by the Crown (acting through the General Assembly) to the Provincial Governments, who survey and classify them, and then offer them for sale or lease to the public. The New Zealand laws debar any private individual from purchasing or leasing land of the natives. Thus, land is legally obtainable only in two ways-either by public purchase direct from the Provincial Governments, or by private purchase from some party who has already purchased of the representatives of the Crown. 1 The chief public revenue of each Provincial
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LAND NOT NOW PURCHASEABLE IN ENGLAND.
Government is derived, as explained at page 20, from the sale and lease of the wild lands of its Province; and the six Provincial Governments dispose of their wild lands under six different sets of regulations, which, briefly, we will endeavour to explain.
It is near enough to say that each Province makes three chief descriptions of wild lands--namely, town, rural, and pastoral; selling the two first and leasing the latter. Town lands are the lands which constitute the sites of old or new villages and towns; in the latter, they are divided into small lots of from a rood to an acre, the authorities affix a published "reserved price" to each lot, a price varying from £10 to £200 per acre, and they are sold at periodical public sales for cash to the highest bidder, Rural lands are the common agricultural wild lands of the Province, sold in the various ways described hereafter. Pastoral lands are the wild grazing lands of the Province leased for a term of years under a deed termed a "run licence" to the emigrant who, electing to embark wholly in pastoral pursuits, becomes what is termed a "runholder" or "squatter." When the terms of purchase of any town or rural lands are fulfilled, the buyer receives his Provincial Crown title, for which he pays twenty shillings. The reader should particularly remark that none of the regulations make land purchasable in this country. The late New Zealand Company, the Otago and Canterbury Associations, under whose management the five southern Settlements were formed, had offices in London where they sold "land-orders" entitling the buyer to receive a stated number of acres of land on his arrival in the colony.
All this--unadvisedly in some respects we think--has been done away with under the New Provincial Systems, and the emigrant purchaser can now only buy public wild lands at the Public Land Office of the Province he may have chosen, on his arrival there.
"The six Provincial Councils (six local Parliaments) can at any time propose alterations in their respective regulations, and such 'altered regulations' (if approved of and sanctioned by the general Government) come into force and supersede any original or former regulations. In this manner, the original Auckland regulations have been virtually superseded by a second set, and certain partial alterations have been debated or effected in the regulations of other Provinces. Owing to this licence of the constitution, and to the fact that New Zealand possesses no general representative office in this country where official gazettes proclaiming the laws, ordinances, and enactments of the local and general Legislatures are to be seen and consulted,
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THE AUCKLAND LAND REGULATIONS.
some difficulty is always experienced here in ascertaining what, at any particular date, is the exact state of each Province in regard to its "Land and Immigration Regulations." The leading features, however, of the various regulations are correctly set forth in the following abstract; and this will enable the reader to see the radical differences in the land-sales laws of each Province--information as to all minor points, together with the particulars of any little alterations which may be made by any Province, may instantly be obtained on arrival in the Colony by applying at the Public Land Office of that Province which the reader may have chosen.
THE AUCKLAND LAND REGULATIONS.
1. AGRICULTURAL WILD LANDS. --Small farm lots of from 50 to 300 acres are surveyed by the Land Office in the various proclaimed parishes surrounding the capital or the new Settlements, and are then offered (in parcels of from 20 to 50 lots) at monthly or periodical public auctions for cash to the highest bidder--the lowest upset price being 10s. an acre. A portion of such lots get knocked down at the upset price, whilst some will fetch 10s. an acre more, and some will remain unsold. The latter may afterwards be obtained at the 10s. an acre without being submitted to any further auction; and if not disposed of in any way within six months of their being first put up at 10s. an acre, they may be put up at 1s. an acre, and sold to the highest bidder for cash.
2. GENERAL COUNTRY LANDS not surveyed and not reserved for auction sale, as above, may be purchased without being put up to auction for 10s. an acre cash. Here, the proposing purchaser sends in an application to the Land Office, giving a rough description of the position, extent, and natural boundaries of the block of land he would like to have, and deposits the assumed price, when the Land Office makes the survey. Should it happen that two or more parties apply for the same block of land at the same time, the block is put up at 10s. an acre and sold to the highest bidder among those who have applied for it.
8. CREDIT SALES. --Small lots of from 20 to 100 acres may be purchased at 15s. an acre with five years' credit, virtually on the following terms: 5s. an acre must be paid in yearly instalments in the first four years, and the remainder at the end of the fifth year, and the credit-purchaser is bound to erect a cottage, and to fence in his lot, before he obtains his Crown grant.
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THE NEW PLYMOUTH LAND REGULATIONS.
4. WILD GRAZING LAND is leased for fourteen years at a yearly licence fee of £5, with £1 a year additional for every 1000 sheep over 5000 which the run will carry. No run to be granted larger than will depasture 25,000 sheep (say 50,000 acres). If during the lease any portion of the run be required for sale, the lease to expire over such portion; but lessee to have notice thereof, and to have pre-emptive right of buying 80 acres of any portion of his run at 10s. an acre.
5. SUPPOSED MINERAL LAND. --Lots of 160 acres leased for twenty-one years by public auction; or to the discoverer of any such lands, leased by private bargain--one-fifteenth of all raised minerals being paid as a royalty.
NOTE. --The Government has a considerable quantity of agricultural land for sale in the districts, described pages 26 and 28. Wild grazing lands will be scarce in this Province, until portions of the "central" and "east coast" districts (page 29) are purchased from the natives. Our recent advices from Auckland show that the provincial authorities now contemplate making some considerable alterations in the above regulations, at present in force, and approximating them more to the original set known as the "Whitaker Regulations." These Whitaker Regulations made the leading price of land per acre 10s.; but they made a provision for the allowance of a drawback in the purchase of land, not only to military settlers, but to all buyers-- a drawback proportioned to the cost of the voyage and the buyer's expenses in reaching Auckland, either from Europe, India, or the North-American Colonies.
THE NEW PLYMOUTH REGULATIONS.
1. AGRICULTURAL WILD LANDS.--Lots of not more than 240 acres or less than 40 acres are put up at periodical public auctions at 10s. an acre and sold to the highest bidder for cash.
2. MILITARY GRANTS.--Retired officers of the Queen's or Indian Service, becoming "bona fide" settlers, are allowed the following drawbacks in the purchase of agricultural wild lands:--
Field Officers of 25 years' service and upwards, in all £600
... " " 20 " " " £500
... " " 15 " or less " £400
Captains of 20 " and upwards " £400
... " 15 " or less " £300
Subalterns of 20 " and upwards " £300
... " " 7 " " " £200
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THE WELLINGTON LAND REGULATIONS.
NOTE. --Up to the date of our last advices, the local Government had, we believe, some 20,000 acres of land for sale, but chiefly forest or bush land. Some of the finest agricultural districts in New Zealand, however, lie in this Province, close to the village town and the adjoining hamlets, as described at page 31. For many years, the New Plymouth natives, adopting the dog-in-the-manger policy, have persistently refused to sell the Government any of these much-coveted possessions; and the scarcity of land at New Plymouth in the midst of profuse plenty, has been the chief cause of the slow progress of this fine little Settlement. It is now hoped, however, that under the judicious action of the local Government, a portion of the beautiful country lying between the rivers Waiwakaiho and Waitera will soon be acquired, in which case this Province will be second to none as a field for the agriculturist and the land-purchaser.
THE WELLINGTON REGULATIONS.
1. AGRICULTURAL WILD LANDS. --Lots of various sizes from 50 to 500 acres, and more, are surveyed by the Land Office, and then sold to any applicant at the fixed price of 10s. an acre. If two or more parties should apply for the same lot at the same time, it is put up to auction and sold to the highest bidder among such parties.
2. The Superintendent may set aside blocks of land for private companies or associations formed for promoting new Settlements, or for agricultural communities, where the farm lots, purchasable only by the members of any such association, shall be sold at a fixed price of 10s. an acre, and where the members shall have a right of commonage over any adjacent wild lands.
3. WILD GRAZING LANDS are leased for 14 years (in lots generally from 10,000 to 20,000 acres) at a yearly rent of one farthing per acre for the first four years, one half-penny for the next five, and one penny for the last five. Conditions as to expiry of lease and pre-emptive 80 acre right of purchase much the same as at Auckland.
NOTE. --The local Government has a considerable quantity of agricultural land for sale, both in the coast Settlements and at Ahuriri, described at page 35; and also some grazing land for lease. Fresh tracts of both description will be thrown open on the completion of further purchases from the natives, in the fine Hawke's Bay country, and in the districts lying between Ahuriri and Manawatu.
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THE NELSON AND CANTERBURY REGULATIONS.
THE NELSON REGULATIONS.
1. AGRICULTURAL WILD LANDS. --Lots of from 10 to 150 acres are put up at periodical public auctions at from 10s. to 20s. an acre, and sold for cash to the highest bidder. An inferior quality is put up in lots of from 80 to 400 acres at from 5s. to 10s. an acre, and sold for cash to the highest bidder.
A bill passed the Provincial Council, but was disallowed by the general Government, empowering the Province to sell wild lands on credit. The terms on which the diggers' licences are granted have not yet reached us.
2. MILITARY GRANTS. --Retired officers of the Queen's or Indian Service, becoming "bona fide" settlers, are allowed a "drawback" in the purchase of land of £300.
3. WILD GRAZING LANDS are leased for 14 years (in lots generally of from 10,000 to 20,000 acres), at a yearly rent of 1/2d. an acre for the first seven years, and 1d. per acre for the remainder of the term. Conditions as to expiry of lease and 80 acre pre-emptive right of purchase much the same as at Auckland.
NOTE--As observed in the article on Nelson (p. 36), this Province, as compared with others, exhibits rather a scarcity of agricultural and pastoral land. The local Government has, however, still some of the former for sale, and it is expected that further exploration of the country, between the Wairau and the Grey and Buller Rivers, on the west coast, will result in the discovery of more sheep and cattle grazing lands.
THE CANTERBURY REGULATIONS.
1. AGRICULTURAL WILD LANDS. --Lots of any size not less than 20 acres are sold at the fixed price of £2 an acre cash.
2. MILITARY BOUNTIES. --Soldiers discharged through wounds in the Russian war, on the production of official evidence thereof, to receive a free grant of 30 acres of land, if application be made within three years of their discharge. Widows of soldiers who became widows through the Russian war receive a like allowance.
3. WILD GRAZING LANDS. --The run is hired as yearly tenancy renewable at pleasure every 1st of May, till the year 1870, on these terms:-- For a run of less than 1000 acres, £1 for every 100 acres; for a run of 1000 and less than 5000 acres, 2d. an acre for the first 1000 acres, and 1d. for every additional acre; for a run of 5000 acres, and more, 1/4d. per acre for the first and second years, 1/2d. for the third and fourth, 3/4d. for the fifth and every subsequent year. Tenancy over any portion of the run to expire when such portion is wanted for sale; but tenants of runs under 5000 acres to
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THE DIFFERENCES IN THE LAND REGULATIONS.
have pre-emptive right of purchasing a twentieth part of the run for a homestead at £2 per acre, and tenants of larger runs to have pre-emptive right of purchasing 250 acres, comprising the homestead, at the same rate.
NOTE. --The local Government has a large quantity of agricultural land for sale, within six miles of the town, and some grazing land for lease; whilst the gratifying news has just reached us that a path has been found through the highlands which shelter the great pastoral plains described at page 39, across the Province to the west coast, and that some fine valleys and large tracts of fertile country have been discovered along the route. (See page 149.)
THE OTAGO REGULATIONS.
1. AGRICULTURAL WILD LANDS. --Lots of any size not less than ten acres are sold at 10s. an acre cash, coupled with the condition that the purchaser shall within a period of four years, expend upon it, in cultivation and improvement, £2 per acre a year. But wild land lying outside the boundaries of proclaimed hundreds, in blocks of not less than 2000 acres, may be sold at 10s. an acre cash, without being subject to the above "improvement condition;" and under this regulation it is said that an Australian speculator has been allowed to purchase a block of 100,000 acres in the south of the Province.
2. WILD GRAZING LANDS are leased for 14 years at a yearly licence fee of £5, with £1 a year additional for every 1000 sheep over 5000 which the run will carry. No run to be granted larger than will depasture 25,000 sheep. Conditions as to expiry of lease and 80 to 100 acres right of purchase much the same as at Auckland.
NOTE. --The local Government has a large stock both of agricultural and pastoral land; though it has been questioned whether the pastoral country lying to the south in the colder, more damp and boisterous climate of Foveaux Straits is a country suitable for any delicate fine-wool sheep.
From this short abstract it will be seen that the most common price of agricultural wild land in New Zealand is 10s. an acre cash; and that the only great differences in the six sets of regulations are two--the one, that Canterbury-- partly with the view of repressing that speculative monopoly of land colonially termed "land sharking"-- an instance of which has just been named in the Otago regulations--and partly with a view of raising a larger fund for the import of labour, (see page 41,) and the execution of public works (things which of course profit the land-buyer)--charges £2 per acre for her land--the other, that only New Plymouth
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MILITARY GRANTS.--ASSISTED EMIGRATION.
and Nelson make retired officers of the Queen's or Indian Service any allowance in the purchase of land--an example, though, which we think it probable that some of the other Settlements will eventually follow.
These six separate, and, in some respects, clashing systems of land-selling for the six Provinces, create some perplexity and confusion among the emigrant public in this country; and we cannot but think that one general system for the whole Colony, making land about 20s. an acre, and devoting half the proceeds to the carrying over of well-selected labour from this country, on the sound principle of making the labourer repay the cost of his passage as he throve and grew rich on his high New Zealand wages, would prove far more conducive to the interests of New Zealand, far more comprehensible, popular, and attractive of population, than the multiplicity of systems at present in force. We are aware that a difficulty might arise in framing a general system which should be equally suitable for each Province, but we believe such difficulty might be overcome; and we would respectfully remind both the General Assembly and the Provincial Councils that under her present Land and Emigration Policy New Zealand unquestionably does not draw to herself one-tenth part of that "emigrationary capital and labour" which her rising fortunes and her unequalled natural advantages entitle her to claim.
FREE EMIGRATION AND ASSISTED PASSAGES.
The various Provinces from time to time remit a portion of their respective "Land Sales Funds" to this country to be expended in sending back selected mechanics, agricultural labourers, and domestic servants, --an arrangement of which an instance is given in the article on Canterbury, page 41. Sometimes the conditions are, that the selected working man shall pay half the passage-money here, and that the Province shall give him the other half--sometimes, that he shall pay nothing here, but that he shall pay the whole cost of his passage after he has earned the means of doing so in the Colony. As the conditions are thus altered from time to time, they cannot be given here as any standard guide; but as our House has the honor of being connected with the Canterbury and various other of the Provincial Governments in this business of "Assisted Passage Emigration," we shall always be happy to afford any reader who may wish to know what are the current arrangements, every information in our power, and letters on this subject, addressed A. Willis, Gann, and Co., 3, Crosby Square, London, E. C., will receive immediate attention.
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CHOICE OF PROVINCE.
CHOICE OF PROVINCE.
To this brief digest of the Land Regulations we may, perhaps, fitly append a few remarks on "choice of Province;" for though we hold that the worst part or province of New Zealand would prove a better emigration field than the best part of Canada, America, or Africa, and believe that if the duly-qualified emigrant only choose New Zealand, it is, comparatively, of little importance to him what part of New Zealand he chooses, yet, unquestionably, there are little differences in the six New Zealand Provinces, and the one which might, on the whole, be the best adapted for one man might not be so for another. Moreover, it must be remembered that some little rivalry exists between the six Provinces. Viewed with regard to their "Land Sales and Immigration Business," they must be regarded in the light of six opposition Houses competing for emigrant custom; and the little periodical or temporary agencies which some of them set up in this country are of course little establishments devoted to the purpose, not of promoting the general colonisation and emigrationary interests of New Zealand, but of urging the merits and proclaiming the superiority of some particular part or province of New Zealand. Thus, if an emigrant-inquirer happened to come into communication with the Auckland agency, he would probably learn far more of the merits of Auckland than of New Plymouth; a visit to the Nelson agency might materially moderate his high opinion of Auckland; the Wellington representative would naturally hold up Wellington to him; the Otago agency exists to trumpet Otago, and by the time our emigrant in quest of information had completed his round of visits it is, we think, more than probable that he would be left in greater doubt as "to which place would suit him best" than he was ere he commenced his inquiries. The establishment of these little opposition or rival agencies in this country is the natural, and indeed the necessary, result of the six separate systems of land-selling which the Colony has set up; they have unquestionably been the means of drawing considerable attention to New Zealand, and of promoting the interests of their respective provinces; and we allude to them here not in any derogatory sense, but simply to show that in the difficulty which often besets an intending New Zealand emigrant as to "choice of province," these special agencies can scarcely be appealed to as impartial judges or disinterested guides. Premising this, we will now offer a few remarks which may possibly assist some of our emigrant
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CHOICE OF PROVINCE.
readers in making choice of that province which, on the whole, would suit them best. The subject is, however, both a difficult and a delicate one; and nothing but a desire to render this little work as useful and complete a little manual as possible has induced us to treat of it.
The difficulty at the outset is this:-- that one province deserves to rank first in one thing, another in another. If we could combine Otago and Canterbury's noble plains with Nelson's gold and golden climate, and combine these with Wellington's central position, New Plymouth's soil and scenery, and Auckland's splendid harbours and natural canals, the result would be a province which might tempt half of us to plant a home there could it only be brought as near to us as Madeira is--but we have no Aladdin's Lamp, and must e'en be content with each province as it is.
With respect to owe great class of New Zealand emigrants, agricultural labourers and mechanics, one province is as good as another. More, perhaps, of these classes would find employment in Auckland or Wellington than elsewhere, and any "finer work" mechanics, such as watchmakers, gilders, decorators, and the like, or shipwrights, should, for the most part, go there, for the reason that Auckland and Wellington are far the largest and most advanced towns. But such emigrants as carpenters, wheelwrights, smiths, domestic servants, agricultural labourers, and steady working men, may safely go to any part or province of New Zealand and count on constant employment, short days, and high wages.
With respect to the small and large capitalist classes who emigrate to New Zealand (page 71), we think the following considerations might occasionally be borne in mind with advantage, when the question came to be mooted of which "Province to choose."
1. Many people who go to New Zealand have friends there, and when there might be no special inducement to swerve from such a plan, we should advise the emigrant to choose the neighbourhood where any friends might be settled.
2. When any person or family of delicate constitution, moves to New Zealand with a view of bracing up and improving health, and would like to secure the mildest, most genial climate, Auckland, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Ahuriri, or Nelson, should, we think, be chosen: see remarks at pages 9 and 26.
3. Retired officers will recollect that Nelson and New Plymouth are the only provinces which allow them a drawback on the purchase of land--though, as before observed, we
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THE CHOICE OF PROVINCE.
believe that Auckland and perhaps other Settlements may ultimately do the same.
4. Any mercantile concern established to embark in the growing import and export trade of the young Colony, would, we think, be the most advantageously planted at Auckland or Wellington, or, if the gold fields prosper, perhaps at Nelson.
5. Any large capitalist who emigrated to embark at once in sheep-farming or stock-breeding, as a Squatter, and who did not look forward to the purchase of land, and the gradual creation of a landed estate would, we conceive, have the best chance of getting a run either in the Hawkes Bay districts of Wellington, or in Canterbury, or in the remoter country at the southern end of the Otago Province. The best runs afforded by the Nelson Province are, we think, pretty well occupied, whilst the fine grazing tracts possessed both by Auckland and New Plymouth have not at present been acquired from the natives.
6. As to that great and important body of emigrants who may be described as capitalists, large or small, going to New Zealand to purchase from 100 to 1000 acres of land to be converted gradually into a mixed pasture and arable estate, and perhaps wishing in addition to invest a portion of their capital or skill in some one of the little openings or speculations named in Chapter 7, we conceive it to be utterly impossible to point out any one province of the six which should invariably prove the most suitable for every man. Indeed, we should consider any attempt of this nature to be as presumptuous on our part as it would be unfair to the provinces. Every member of this large class of emigrants has, naturally, certain tastes or prejudices, certain views and designs, more or less peculiar to himself, and that province which might prove the most suitable for one family might well prove the least suitable for another. Indeed, here, it is obviously impossible to lay down any general rule for all, and here we can only refer our readers to the chapter on the Land Regulations, to the description of the provinces, and to the remarks as to climate, &c., from which we think that the great majority of emigrants will be enabled to glean enough information to enable them to decide for themselves which province would please them best.
7. We not unfrequently find that our cabin and intermediate Passengers have been able to fix on some two of the provinces as the best of the six, but have been unable to decide which of the two to choose. Here, we think that the most prudent course is this: to proceed direct to that one of the two which might appear to possess the slight balance
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SEEING TWO PROVINCES BEFORE SETTLING.
of advantage (a balance so slight, perhaps, that even the accidental circumstance of a ship's calling at one of them and not at the other might determine it); if, on arrival, and looking round, the party were reasonably well satisfied with this first Settlement to stay there, if not, to proceed on and look at the other. By our line of packets this "seeing two places" can sometimes be effected without any additional expense. The ships of our northern branch generally go to Auckland and New Plymouth, and those of the southern branch to Wellington and Nelson, or Canterbury and Otago, stopping about a week or so at each place of call. Thus, if Auckland and New Plymouth, or Wellington and Canterbury happened to be the passenger's two chosen Settlements, he would be carried, say to Wellington, and have a week or so there to look about him, during which time the vessel would still be his home, when, if he were not reasonably well satisfied with Wellington, he would be carried on to his second choice--Canterbury. Indeed, though every guinea in New Zealand be an acre or two of freehold land, and though every emigrant should be Studiously economical in his first expenditure, we still think that when a man is going to invest 2000l. to 5000l. in the country, when he is perplexed in his choice between Settlements A and B, when the latter is not a place at which his ship will call, and when he is not reasonably satisfied with the former, that he would generally do well to take first steamer or coasting vessel, leave his family, if he has one, in lodgings, and run over and see the latter at his own expense.
It is of course our interest, as a commercial house engaged in the business of conveying passengers to New Zealand, to promote emigration to New Zealand; but in attempting to advance our commercial interests by drawing attention to the emigrationary superiority of New Zealand, it would be utterly opposed to the principles we profess were we to overrate the advantages of the country, or to seek to attract to it a single individual who might be unfitted to succeed there. Indeed, self-interest, if no better motive, should warn all of us who may be engaged in promoting the cause of New Zealand colonisation, to be careful that we do not exaggerate the merits of the country, or draw too bright a picture of the advantages to be realised in it. For if by false or highly-coloured statements we tempt a family who may be personally disqualified for the work of emigration to try their fortunes in New Zealand, and such family return home again disheartened or disgusted, the re
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sult might well be that a dozen people in the neighbourhood to which such persons might return, people, too, well fitted to succeed in New Zealand and who some day perhaps would have gone there, would be alarmed or induced to hesitate; and might either abandon the idea of emigration altogether, or might proceed to some other Colony in which their faith had not been so rudely shaken.
To the best of our knowledge and belief the statements made by ourselves in the course of this little work, and the statements of others admitted into it, are substantially, virtually true; and we feel assured that many members of our home community who remain struggling on here from bad to worse, and who are personally fitted for the work of emigration, might now much improve their positions in life by removing to such a country as we have here attempted, briefly, to describe. Declaring this opinion, however, we would nevertheless offer a word of caution to all who may be contemplating a step so grave, so important, as that of emigration. The toiling tenant farmer, the competition-stricken tradesman, the drudging clerk, the embarrassed merchant, the struggling professional man, "in populous city pent," shackled with large families, devoured by taxes, ever toiling to keep up appearances and retain their places in the surging throng, may well long to "shuffle off this old-world coil," and transplant themselves to the free verge and space, the "fresh fields and pastures new," of some young land where they might enjoy rude health and plenty, where they might escape the petty cares of conventional life, where they might have few anxieties about their children, and where they might stand on their own broad acres seeing their flocks and herds and harvests year by year increase. And this desire for some change, this natural longing for a free country life among the trees and fields, this pleasing novelty does, we fear, often cause some of these, our "uneasy classes," to overlook the fact that they or their families may be personally unfitted for emigration, to overlook the fact that there will be cares and troubles even at the antipodes, and that industry and enterprise are almost as essential to success in the new land as in the old. 2
These remarks apply more particularly to a portion of our over sanguine middle-class families who are sometimes tempted to emigrate without duly counting the cost; but
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THE KID GLOVE AND SILVER FORK EMIGRANT.
there is another and a large class composed of our middle-class youth-clerks and the like, who in moments of disgust at the plodding nature of their duties and at the confinements and restrictions of their life, are sometimes tempted to forget that it may be better to bear the ills we have than to fly to those we know not of; and young men of this order we would recommend either to act on the hint thrown out at page 78, or to abandon all idea of emigration and to treasure up the truths conveyed in the following critique in a late number of the Athenaeum:--
"CAPTAIN COOPER'S NEW ZEALAND GUIDE. --Capt. Cooper offers emigrants the advantage of his personal experience, in logical and eminently practical advice. He dwells however, like all men who have written guide-books to any of our Colonies, upon the hopeless position of genteel clerks and dainty ladies cast into a Settlement to shift for themselves. He warns intending emigrants against merely lady-like wives, and points with a stern finger to the kitchen, where the colonist's lady must inevitably figure and master all the mystery that lies in the manufacture of a light crust. New Zealand is not the sphere for Houbigant's customers. The warning, so often sounded and now trumpeted again, proves the melancholy frequency of the mistake. Hundreds of young fellows, caged in dusty city offices, are inspired by pictures of the fresh sea over which they will sail to a glowing landscape, rich with fruit and flowers, and they throw aside the manifold-writer and the red-ink bottle, levy a few pounds upon their friends, disport themselves in shirts of startling patterns, provide themselves with faultless meerschaums, give a parting supper to their companions, and leave with a cheer and the wave of a gold-laced cap for the land of promise that lies beyond the bright blue sea. Sea-sickness at once opens the list of their disenchantments, and it is to intending emigrants of this class that we cordially recommend Capt. Cooper's Guide, because in it they will be brought face to face with the work that New Zealand will demand of them. The picture is bright enough for men who have strong muscle and stout hearts, accompanied by house-wives unmindful of Berlin wool-work and life in three volumes post octavo; but it is a doleful one for the gentility of Kensington or Fulham. We advise even this gentility, however, to judge for itself. The summary of all the colonial experience with which we have come in contact has gone to prove, beyond a doubt to our minds, that neither in New Zealand, Australia, the Cape, nor Canada, is gig-keeping a profitable employment."- Athenaeum.
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We hold it to be indisputably true, that in combination of advantages New Zealand is our finest Colony, the most pleasant, homelike, domestic Emigration Field we possess; and we believe that when it is wise and prudent to emigrate at all, New Zealand is the Colony which it would be wise and prudent to choose. To steady industrious labourers and mechanics, it is a country of the brightest promise, and most true it is that many a family of the orders named in Chapter 7, might now substantially improve their fortunes in New Zealand if they would only go there prepared to work and to exert themselves, and to laugh at the various little crosses, difficulties, changes, and annoyances, inseparable from the process of first settling down to a new life in a new land. A family's first year in a country like New Zealand is their "trial year," 3 but it should never he forgotten that every day smooths the path--that New Zealand is an infant Colony in a state of rapid growth and transition--that both from the mother country and even from other less-favoured Colonies population, capital, and labour are steadily flowing in, subduing the fertile wilderness, planting the town, increasing the value of property--and that, in the natural order of things, any fit and qualified family now going to this young Britain of the South might expect that in a few years their first ruder dwelling in the bush, and the small privations of their "probation state," would be exchanged for the comfortable edifice in the midst of cultivations, and for all the necessaries, many of the luxuries of Old-World life.