1858 - The New Zealand 'Emigrant's Bradshaw' : or, Guide to the 'Britain of the South' - Appendix, p 128-149

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  1858 - The New Zealand 'Emigrant's Bradshaw' : or, Guide to the 'Britain of the South' - Appendix, p 128-149
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"Messrs. A. Willis, Gann and Co.


Since I sent you a few remarks on "New Zealand Agriculture" it has occurred to me that a rough "balance sheet" showing the entire cost of a family's moving to New Zealand and of creating a little estate there, together with the ultimate "return" such an investment might make them, would possibly be useful to some of your emigrant readers. I therefore forward the enclosed article which, if you please, you can add to my first letter as an appendix. 1

To possess land of our own seems to be a common desire of our nature, and I fancy that one of the chief motives or hopes which induces a man to emigrate to New Zealand is the hope of gratifying this desire, the hope of some day possessing a snug estate, "broad acres" of his own, which he can use as he will without leave or licence from landlord or steward. Now the mere ownership of a few hundred acres of wild land in New Zealand would be little better than the ownership of a few hundred acres of wild sea. To be a valuable possession, the land must be fructified, subdued by the plough and the fleece, in other words turned into a cultivated estate--and how, practically, it would be best to do this, is one of the most important things a man can want to know when he sets about emigrating. Now it is here, I think, where most emigrant guide books are more or less deficient:-- in one place the reader may find stated the expense of getting to the Colony; in another he may discover cost of outfit and equipment; in a third he may alight on the price of land; in a fourth pick out the price of labour; in a fifth discover the probable yield of crops; in a sixth the character of markets; and here and there may pick out the fifty little scraps of information which are necessary to enable him to form a rough estimate of the practicability of the

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design he may have formed, of the costs and charges of accomplishing such design, and of the returns he might count on when his design was realised. But seldom, I think, will he find these items placed before him in one view, or find any sort of "standard calculation" more or less approximating to his own particular case--and this deficiency the following article is intended to supply.

It has long been my opinion (an opinion which I think many of my brother colonists would now endorse) that the investment of an emigrant family's capital in the purchase of wild land and the gradual creation from it of a cultivated landed estate, with stock and crop, does eventually prove a more profitable investment than mere sheep-farming conducted on what we call the "squatting system." It is true that the scarcity and dearness of farm-labour do seriously impede the work of clearing and cultivating wild lands, and true that the Agriculturist cannot carry on operations without labour, and that the Squatter (almost) can. But many emigrant families are, or as I think I shall show, might make themselves, almost independent of this "labour tax"--that is, their own family and estate would furnish most of the hands necessary to create and work such an estate. And what the Squatter always forgets in urging the superiority of his investment is this:-- that he is chiefly a mere tenant of land, a mere lodger in the wilderness, that he gets little or no hold of the country, owns few or no broad acres in it; and is, therefore, cut off from much participation in that great element of profit existing in all new countries which are undergoing the process of Anglo-Saxon colonisation, viz. the rise in the value of land occasioned by the spread of civilisation and the free incoming of immigrant population--a rise which has made millions of acres in America, Canada, and Australia almost as valuable as acres in Middlesex and Kent, and which has centupled the value of thousands of farms and clearings in every old Colony of the empire. Even, too, on the particular question of "growing wool"--almost the Squatter's sole article of production--it is, I think, contended with great truth (as some day I hope to prove) that as many of our wild lands in New Zealand can be laid down in pasture at a cost of from £2 to £8 an acre, and as one acre of such pasture lands (with a few roots added) is capable of supporting six sheep, whilst three acres of the Squatter's wild land are required to graze one sheep, wool could be grown more profitably with the sheep grazed on farm pastures, than with the animal depastured on the wild herbage and suffered to roam half ferae naturae over hill and plain, exposed to all the vicissitudes of a semi-savage life.

Looking at all these things, I hold that what is

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termed "estate creating" maybe made even a better paying pursuit in New Zealand than mere sheep fanning; whilst if we extend our view and look to the pleasantness of the respective occupations, we must at once accord a great superiority to the former--the one places a family among friendly neighbours, amid the cheerful sights and sounds of corn-fields, orchards, gardens and meadows, where every blow they strike, every turf they turn, improves or beautifies a blooming little freehold of their own--the other banishes them to the rude plain or rugged waste, where Zimmerman might have mused on "Solitude," and where the Sabbath chimes are never heard.

I am, dear Sirs, yours truly,


The reader will please to understand that the following calculation is made not for the single man, the mere bachelor-emigrant, but for a "family." It is where there are half-a-dozen sons and daughters to provide for that emigration to a young and roomy country like New Zealand proves the most wholesome medicine and yields the richest fruits.

Indeed I should not trouble myself to put down two figures for the mere bachelor "man about town" style of emigrant, who, with his last £1000 or so, occasionally obliges his friends by shining on New Zealand. A gentleman of this order will take with him a Skye terrier, chains, spurs, rings and lumber enough to load an ark, but a blooming young wife with a few hundreds to help him he will not take--an indication of crass stupidity which argues ill for his success, and which warrants the assumption that in New Zealand he at least will not be "the right man in the right place."

To facilitate the calculation as to passage-money, &c., it is assumed that the family consists of father and mother, two sons and one daughter, between the ages of fifteen and twenty, and of two children under twelve: a family which, as to ages and numbers, is, I apprehend, a very common family among that "small capitalist" class of our community for whom this estimate has been formed.

It is calculated that the estate would be created and completed in three years. Many a family, "capital and labour armed," as this would be, would, I think, accomplish the work in two years; but here, as everywhere in the calcualtion, I have sought to keep on the safe side. Of course, in actual practice, the estate would be created, the wild land brought under cultivation, by degrees. The most practicable course of procedure, and the one such a family would probably adopt, would be this: they would select about 50 acres of the finest land in the

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centre of the block and there pick out the pleasantest spot for the house and homestead--some little knoll backed by wood, with a running stream at bottom to course through the garden and the homestead grounds--here, they would at once run up a rough cottage or two, and clear two or three acres for kitchen garden, and the reception of any choice seeds they might have brought out--the women folk remaining in lodgings in some near Settlement or village until the place was thus prepared for them. Having accomplished this preliminary work, taken "seisin" of the land, and provided a few pigs, some poultry, and a cow or two, they would regularly proceed to clear and cultivate this picked 50 acres as a sort of "home farm," and from this base of operations they would gradually push out the plough and carry on the work of cultivation until the whole of the surrounding 600 acres was cleared, fenced, and stocked. 2

Of course, by the sale of various little articles of produce, there would be a small, but a very small, "return" from the cultivated portion of the estate the first year, and a larger and indeed considerable return the second year; but to simplify the calculation I have set this off (as may very fairly be done) against the expenses of the family's living, their grocer's bills, &c., for the first two years. Moreover, it will be recollected that the sums set down as forming the entire cost of the perfect and complete estate have not to be provided and disbursed at one and the same time--they are outgoings, payments, spreading over a period of three years, (this would apply even to outfit, see note 4, p. 136) and part of them would he provided from funds or "returns" which the estate had supplied. It would of course, therefore, not be necessary that the family should possess all this capital in purse ere they left England. It is my opinion that such a family as I have taken might fairly work out the result described for about £2500, and I think I could manage it myself (though this might prove hard work) for £2000. These remarks show that the calculation must be received not as one displaying the precise annual state of the "balance sheet" for each of the three years--but as one showing the whole cost of creating a certain property in New Zealand, and what annual income such property, when so created, would produce.

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Estimate of the entire cost of a Capitalist family's removal to New Zealand, of purchasing a square mile (640 acres) of agricultural wild land there, and of converting the same into a little "Family Estate"--together with an estimate of the yearly income such an estate would produce when created and completed at the expiration of the third year. The estate to be three-fourths pasture and one-fourth arable: say 450 acres grass, 150 arable, and 40 waste or ornamental.



Chief cabin passage (lower deck) of 5 adults, and 2 half adults by Messrs. Willis' published rates



Steerage passage of the "Labourer's family," described Note 2: 5 adults, and 2 half adults



Freight, shipping charges, and insurance on various articles of the outfit and equipment, and various small expenses in getting off; say



The implements described in my first letter. £100 Fenn's Tools as described page 355, of Hursthouse's "New Zealand".......20

Richards' Miscellaneous articles described page 456, of Hursthouse's "New Zealand"........80

Wardrobe as described page 452, of Hursthouse's "New Zealand"........150

Messrs. Gibbs' pasture grass seed, described page 347 of Hursthouse's "New Zealand"......80



Purchase of a square mile (640 acres) of agricultural wild land at 20s. an acre, and various small expenses in selecting the land and moving on to it



Cost of erecting two cottages (say one wood and one raupo) on the land as rough first dwellings, and some small raupo out-buildings



Purchase of farm stock: 4 working oxen and 4 mares.....£200

Bull and 10 heifers, and some young stock.......200

Six rams and 400 ewes (with a few pigs and poultry).....6OO



Yearly wages of the Labourer's family as per agreement at £150 a-year, with cottage and rations



Fences, and extra hand-labour at harvest time and clipping, with various contract jobs in breaking up land: work which it is assumed would be "put out," and not performed by the regular hands of the estate --namely, the two families, the Proprietors and the Labourers


Carried forward.


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Brought forward.....


10. Permanent residence and better out-buildings to be commenced and carried on by degrees in the spring of the third year


The entire cost of reaching New Zealand, and of creating the complete and perfect estate of 640 acres; cleared, fenced, stocked, and cultivated, and with all necessary buildings


Estimated annual value of the returns in agricultural and pastoral produce for the markets which such an estate would be capable of producing from and after the expiration of the third year, when it had been reduced to cultivation and laid out as a three-fourths pasture and one-fourth arable farm-- the standing or permanent live stock of such farm being taken at 1000 sheep, 50 head of cattle, and a stud of a dozen horses and brood mares.



Annual wool clip of the flock 3000 lb. at 8d.


Annual sale of fat weathers and lambs, young rams and breeding ewes--say to the gross number of 500, taken all round at 10s. per head.


Dairy produce, butter, cheese, and bacon.


Annual sale of young stock; fat cattle, heifers, calves, colts, and fillies



100 acres of wheat, oats, and barley, taken at 25 bushels an acre = 2500 bushels taken at an average of 4s. a bushel all round


Gross return


Deduct interest on the assumed capital invested £200


Annual expenses of family's living......250

Annual expenditure on extra labour to work and to keep in order this three-fourths pasture estate; see note on Item 9, page 144......200


Nett Cash Balance of annual profit paid by the estate when created and completed at the end of the third year


N.B. --For remarks on the various items of this estimate, see over leaf.

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Note on Item 1. -Second cabin accommodation might of course be taken for £160, and £90 be thus saved in passage-money; but I should regard this as false economy: a family of this stamp would very properly go chief cabin.

Note on Item 2. --The whole truth and practicability of this calculation rests on two assumed facts--the first, that the family shall themselves be willing workers the second, that they shall carry with them a good labourer's family, and keep such family regularly employed for the term of three years as "standing help" in the work of creating and completing the estate. There must be no misunderstanding on this point--if these two "key-stone" facts cannot be relied on, the whole calculation is waste paper, a mere "baseless fabric of a vision." The first, we will touch on in note 9; here, our business is with the second. Could a suitable Labourer's family be obtained; and, when carried to the new country, could it be kept to the work for which it had been provided? Perfectly aware of all that could be argued for the negative, I answer yes to both questions. The sort of family which I should regard as being about the "standard of perfection" in regard to suitability would be this: an active intelligent agricultural labourer, of good moral character and about forty years of age, with a decent sort of wife, and four to six healthy children: say two sons and a daughter, between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, and two younger children. Burns' Saturday Night Cottar was, I fancy, always a sort of apocryphal peasant, even in Ayrshire-anyway the "Cynic's lamp" would not now discover him in England; but in every rural parish in Great Britain we shall find one or two labouring families who have the good word both of farmer and parson, who "stand out," as it were, from their fellows, who enjoy a sort of village good repute, who more or less would approach the "standard" I have named, and who would jump at "such terms of service" as are explained in the note on Item 8, p. 138. An advertisement or two in three or four country papers addressed to rural clergy anxious to help poor hard-working parishioners, would bring to light half-a-dozen such families as these, whilst almost every man who thinks of emigrating has some country friends or other who could probably recommend to him some fit family known to themselves. The material exists, and the material could be found; and now for how to keep it when found. The common objection to an emigrant capitalist taking out any

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"labour help" is this--that when the new land is reached "Jack is as good as his master," and that Jane at once deserts "missus" for a sweetheart. Now, single young men or women (often taken out by families without much care or knowledge as to character and antecedents) do often leave their employers' service too soon, and cannot be depended on to fulfil in the new land the engagements they contracted in the old; especially when they find (as they frequently do) that the wages they have covenanted to serve for are about half what are current in the Colony. Now this risk of my "labour help" leaving me I would guard against in this wise:-- 1st, as one of the commonest causes of desertion is the desire to marry and settle, I would guard against this cause by having my couple already married; and their children, at the ages I have named, though old enough to do good service in the labour-field, would not be old enough, until about the expiration of the three years, to marry, or to experience those feelings of manhood or independence which prompt children to wing away from the parent roof;-- secondly, I would offer the liberal "terms of service" named in Item 8; --and thirdly, I would hold out this tempting bait, that at the expiration of the third year I would sell my labourer 50 acres of the cleared estate for a little farm for himself. And if these precautions were taken, if this picked labourer, this man of reputed honesty and good character, were treated as a sort of humble friend, the employer might, I think, safely count on his honestly fulfilling the agreement he had made and signed in England. The richest diggings, even, would have few attractions for such a man. He would have a comfortable cottage, an abundant table, £150 a-year to layby, and the promise of a nice little farm for himself at the end of the three years--the latter, the exact thing which three successful diggers in four (as proved in Australia) aspire to reach and to obtain. He would probably grow attached to his employer, and to the place he was helping to create, to the fields he was helping to win, some of which would one day be his; and would, I think, stick to the estate and be proud to show his skill with ploughs and harrows, sheep and kine, and to display on so new and fine a field the industry and the farming lore which in the old country had raised him to be "head man" with some rustic Mechi down in Devonshire or Kent. 3

Note on Item 3. --By the regulations of Messrs. Willis' line this party would be entitled to carry about five tons of effects,

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freight free; but, in the outfit they would have, there would be considerably more than this "allowed quantity;" and the extra freight, insurance, and various little charges, would not, I think, amount to less than £120.

Note on Item 4. --These things, or some of them, could of course be bought in the Colony; but as a general rule they could not be obtained so cheap, so good, or so genuine there. 4 Portions of them, however, such as portions of the implements, of the "miscellaneous," and the seeds, could be taken first, and the remainder ordered and sent out afterwards, when the 50 acre "home farm" had been pretty well completed and further things were needed for the larger operations which would then commence. The sum of £150 for "wardrobe" includes £20 to £30 which it might be well to lend the labouring family to enable them to go out comfortably equipped. The cost of the new articles of wardrobe for the three gentlemen of the party is estimated at £50, so that deducting these sums there would be £60 left for new things for the two ladies and the two children. Looking at the exuberance of skirt and crinoline now sweeping through our streets, this estimate may be denounced by some fair Emigrants as ridiculously low, and made a handle of to persuade Papa that the whole of "this person's" figures are dangerously incorrect. Against any such inference, however, I must protest. New Zealand, and the "plough and the fleece" in New Zealand, I flatter myself I have studied with success--but the days of man are few, his duties many, and I must confess that my researches have not yet led me into the vast region of statistics of female dress.

Note on Item 5. --Except in the one province of Canterbury, we may say that the price of agricultural wild land is only 10s. an

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acre in New Zealand; but as in two of the Provinces (Nelson and New Plymouth) it is put up at about this rate at auction, when of course it might sometimes fetch more, and as a good block of wild land at £1 an acre would be cheaper in any Province than an inferior one at 10s. an acre, this higher price is taken as the one which the emigrant capitalist might have to pay, or which he might prefer to pay.

Note on Item 6. --The raupo (thatched) houses put up by the natives would be well adapted for at least one of these first dwellings. They will stand good for three or four years, nay, if repaired and touched up now and then, for half a dozen years, and will then answer for rough out-buildings. In putting up these temporary dwellings, care should of course be taken to place them close to but not exactly on what might seem the best and prettiest spot for the good and permanent dwelling which the family will put up at their leisure when the work of clearing the estate is over and they have time to attend to the work of ornamenting and improving. Indeed, the employer's cottage should be so placed as to come in for the back part of the new house. I assume that two cottages would be put up, one for the employer's family, say of wood or good cob, the other, close to, for the labourer. A small but good corrugated iron house and verandah, costing say £150, might, I think, be taken out with advantage, and be put up as the employer's cottage. In this case Item 4 would of course be increased by this sum, and Item 6 reduced about £100. In any localities where raupo and native workmen might not be procurable, a "cob" or wooden cottage for the labourer's family would be substituted, and little sod or turf outbuildings put up, when the whole outlay might be a few pounds more.

Note on Item 7. --This stock would of course be purchased by degrees, but the greater portion of it could be taken on the land the second year, and by the end of the third year it would have increased to about the "permanent livestock" of the estate named in the heading of the calculation. The buying-in prices of stock of course vary according to markets and the quality or pedigree of the various animals; but the sum put down would, I think, fairly meet the requirements of the case--for both here, and in the items of the credit side, my calculations are based on the belief that except Ballarats and Bendigoes are discovered and New Zealand gold fields draw over a large and hungry "digger population," stock and all agricultural and pastoral produce is likely to average considerably lower for the next five years in New Zealand than it has done for the last five. Occasionally, perhaps, a little choice breeding stock might be advantageously carried out from this country. Of sheep, the improved Leicester, the Cotswold,

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or the Sturgeon Merinoes, named in my first letter, would be the best introductions; and a couple of rams and half-a-dozen ewes of any of these breeds might make large returns. Of cattle, I should prefer a strong bull calf and one or two heifer calves of the famous Devon breed; whilst the most useful general-purpose horse would be a well-bred Clydesdale colt and filly. Of course, any breeding stock carried over from this country should be of the purest strain. The expense and trouble of taking out an animal whose progeny might fetch some guineas a head, would of course be no greater than that of taking some half-bred mongrel whose progeny would not fetch as many shillings a head; and in carrying over any breeding stock I should insure it at full value. Any choice, fine ham-and-bacon-producing pigs, or a pen or two of fancy fowls, might also be occasionally taken with advantage; and if the family cared to ornament the estate with a little "game," a few hares, rabbits, pheasants, or French partridges might be taken--or, as better, sent for when the first work of creating the estate was chiefly over, and turnips, stubbles, and plantations were ready to furnish due feeding ground and cover.

Note on Item 8. --Assuming that the labourer and two stout sons between fourteen and eighteen were daily employed in the general work of the estate, and that a girl of this age helped the mistress and the young lady in the house, such united "labour-force" would be equal to about two men and a half, which at the wages of 6s. a day would be equal to say £240 a year. The rations and cottage free would be worth nearly half this, 5 so that I should consider the labourer fairly paid if he received about £150 a-year for the farm labour and domestic services of himself, and his two sons and daughter, together with the assistance of his wife at the weekly washing, and of the two young children for any little jobs, such as errand-running, weeding, sheep-tending, &c., &c.

With regard to the £130 I had paid for his passage, and the £20 or so I had lent him for his outfit, I should treat the whole as a debt, to be repaid in the course of the three years from his annual cash wages of £150, which might be left in the employers' hands at £10 per cent, interest until the expiration

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of the third year, when the labourer would require it for the purchase or the stocking of his own little farm. Thus, at the expiration of his term of service the labourer would find himself in this position:-- he would be in a country with his family just coming of age where labour, such as his and theirs, was in constant demand at high rates; he would have £300 in his pocket; and the offer of 50 acres of cleared land near his door say at £5 per acre on terms of easy credit. Such cultivated land might, in regard to real value, be too cheap at this price, but the great object in letting him have the land at all is not to make a profit by the sale of it. It is a twofold object: in the first place, having this certainty to look forward to, he would be a more willing and contented worker during his term of service; and secondly, when his term was over it would be far better for his old master that he should settle as a humble neighbour within stone's-throw, than that he should remove away a dozen miles to purchase wild land; for in the former case he and his family would long serve as sort of "labour nest" from which his old master would draw occasional assistance, and in the latter case he would virtually be lost in the bush, or be removed from all accessible locality.

Note on Item 9. --FENCING, EXTRA LABOUR, AND THE DUTIES AND LABOURS OF THE PROPRIETOR'S FAMILY. --An estate equal to a square mile (640 acres) divided into twelve great 50-acre fields, would require about 700 chains of fencing, which at £1 per chain, would of course be £700. But it is fair to assume that this block of land would have either some internal or external natural fences; brook, river, creek, loch, estuary, or arm of the sea; and that a portion of the expense of the external or party fencing would (at some time or other) be borne by some neighbour whose land would join the estate. Looking to this, I think if we allow as much as £500 for fencing we shall allow as much as the proprietor would generally have to expend in cash on this necessary work. It is work frequently done, and best done, by "contract," and I allow it to be one of those extra estate-creating jobs which the "standing hands" of the estate (the master's and the labourer's families) would not have time to perform--though--seeing that three-fourths of this estate would be grass land, that only some 150 acres would be under the plough, that the soil and climate in New Zealand wonderfully promote the quick and easy working of the land, that no draining has to be done, 6 that there

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is an ample allowance of implements and draught stock, that the profusion of water-power offers extraordinary facilities for the driving of any simple farm machinery, that no winter keep has to be stored up as in England and Canada, 7 and that (counting both families) there is a "labour force" nearly equal to five men, --seeing this, I think we might well expect that a portion of this fencing work ought to be done by the "standing hands" of the estate and a portion of this large outlay for "extra labour" saved. A hundred pounds' worth of iron hurdles might come in very useful in making the little temporary divisions of the first 50 acres. Hill and Smith, Dudley, and Hernulewicz Maine & Co., Glasgow, supply good hurdles, I think, at about 50s. a chain. Of course here (as in the case of the iron house) if £100 worth of hurdles were taken Item 4 (outfit) would be increased by this amount and Item 9 reduced to the same extent. The "extra labour" beyond fencing might be allowed for the following work:-- 1st, having a portion of the first 50 acres cleared and broken up by contract, by some old neighbouring settler, partly to see how such work was best done; 2nd, assuming there was some "forest land" on the estate, having a portion thereof cleared by natives, or by contract; and 3rd, extra hands at shearing and harvest time. Such "extra labour" would I think be amply provided for £300; and this, added to the fencing £500, would make the entire payment for all "extra labour" performed on the estate during the three years £800. With this great additional help, all the regular common work of clearing, cultivating, and managing the 450 acres of pasture and the 150 of arable, would devolve on the two families, the proprietors and the labourers, numbering together fourteen individuals, being six males, between the ages of 14 and say 50, with four females and four children. It is not only my deliberate opinion that

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this "labour force" would be amply sufficient to accomplish the work before it, but that every member of it would like the work; and that in all reasonable probability at the expiration of the term every member of it, so far from being bent, broken, or weakened by any excess of toil, would possess a stronger, more robust physique: better blood, finer muscle, brighter skin, the results of abundance of animal food, fine water, early hours, and strong daily exercise in the sweet open air. Not only, too, would the animal strength of this "labour force" be equal to the hand work of the task--its intellectual elements would richly provide all the necessary head work. I am assuming that the proprietor shall be some retired officer some professional, civil-service, or younger-son man, that he and his family shall be people of education and intelligence, and I assert that such a family, coupled as they would be with the practical "helps" and tutors they would always have with them in their labourer's family, would create their estate and work out the result quite as successfully as if they had been farming people bred to the plough-tail in Norfolk or Suffolk--where, though there might be more agricultural science, there would also be far more of Old-World prejudices to disgorge, and a hundred per cent, less of pliancy and "Alcibiadian" adaptibility for the new life to be led in the new land. Now, as in all parts of this calculation I wish to be definite--to leave as little as possible to conjecture, I will state both the character and the quantity of the labour which I expect the proprietor and his two sons to perform. Their work would be the varied operations of ploughing, harrowing, rolling, and sowing; a little gardening and plantation trimming; now and then a day or two at rough carpentry; a portion of the annual shearing, harvest, and machine-threshing, work; and the many little jobs incident to the keeping of stock and the looking after and helping their labourer's family and their contract men. How to set, hold, and drive a plough, and manage the half-dozen farm tools and implements they would use, might be learnt with such a teacher and such a field as they would have, by any human being in half a dozen trials; and the bodily strength, the muscular power, required to perform a seven hours' day's work at the majority of these jobs, would be less than is often expended on a day's hunting, fishing, or shooting. I should expect Paterfamilias, or at least the sons, to be out in the fields with their men by nine, that they took their cold pasty, bottle of beer and dhudeen in the fields with all hands at noon, that they came home to a good plain dinner at five, and got to bed sober and sleepy by eleven. Cincinnatus and the ancient kings and heroes held the plough, and these rural labours, I

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take it, would neither kill nor disgust any man fit to live. Nevertheless, as "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," and as there would he no real necessity for such a family as this to become mere hewers of wood and drawers of water, and nothing else, I would allow each of the three master men an occasional holiday. Thus, if "Paterfamilias" were botanist or entomologist, he might now and then take wife or daughter a pedestrian picnic, harry the neighbourhood for herbal spoils, or bear home grotesque treasures from the insect-world. One of the sons might take his day and beat the woods for wild pig or woodpigeon, flush the brook teal and mallard, or take canoe and draw the creek for Kawai; whilst next week the other might drive Mama to the nearest township, dine with the curate and the curate's rosy daughter, and bring home the shopping and the last number of the "Virginians." I expect, too, that Paterfamilias would see his neighbours now and then, and give his party--not a well-iced dinner-party at £5 a head, where a dozen solemn men meet in stolid gravity to devour more than they can digest and to muddle themselves with particular ports and curious sherries, but a merry evening party where it's help each other, and there's dance and game, and song and tale and supper.

As to the ladies, their work is to ornament the estate, but first, they must help to create it. The due regulation of the household, with the labourer's daughter as maid of all work and the occasional help of the labourer's wife, would pretty well occupy Mama; whilst as to Miss Lucy, each day would see her busy. She would help her mother in the kitchen and the maid in the dairy, tend the bees, and trim the flowers, feed the pigeons and the poultry, teach her little sister, and when the candles were lit, sing Pa to sleep with selections from "La Traviata" and the "Rose of Castile." This work for the ladies might redden hands, but it would also redden cheeks: it might be work they were never bred to do; but it is work which, looking to the fruits of it, their spirit, intelligence, and education would enable them to do: they would rise with the occasion, and remembering the "dignity of labour," would make the household a pattern to the place.

A very practical friend by whom this "Calculation" has been expressly sifted, and who enjoys the further advantage of being a married man, has demurred to one, but only to one, item of the whole of it--he thinks that as the Dairy is made a regular department of the estate producing £100 a-year, the "dairy-work" would be such an addition to the common household work of the establishment that the female force provided might prove scarcely equal to their duties. Here, however, with due deference, I retain my own opinion; I have been an inmate

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of my sister's and of other establishments in New Zealand I have a fair acquaintance among the matrons of "South Britain," and I have given some attention even to the subject of household management and domestic economy. We have to recollect that churning, the chief operation of the dairy to be called work requiring strength, would be performed by the labourer's youngest son, that there would be the labourer's wife to do most of the washing, that the style of living would be plain and simple, and that there would be no running up stairs or down stairs; and I contend that any active lady assisted by two willing young women, daughter and stout maid of all work, would prove quite equal to the household work which they would have to perform. Of course, however, where the lady of the establishment might be delicate, or unfitted for the active superintendence of a rural household, either an additional maid might be engaged in the Colony, or a little additional "help" carried out from this country. Hundreds of qualified women might be found up here--plain country housekeepers wanting places, widows of little yeoman farmers and the like--any of whom would gladly accompany such a family as this to New Zealand, and who would take subordinate charge of the household as the working deputy of the lady mistress.

Counting, then, on this steady industry and fruitful employment of the two families, allowing an occasional unstringing of the bow, looking at the liberal sum allowed for extra labour, again recollecting the easiness of New-Zealand cultivation and that three-fourths of this estate once laid down in grass would require no further touching, I feel assured that by the termination of the third year some such a party as I have sketched would have created and completed the estate I have described. It is assumed that the labourer leaves the employer on this consummation of the enterprise, and that he settles as a small yeoman neighbour on the 50 acres he had bought. But, as before observed, his family would long continue to afford some occasional labour help. Indeed, probably, a portion of the purchase-money of the little estate he had bought of his old master would have to be paid in labour, as the £300 cash he would have at the expiration of his term of service, would be chiefly required for the stocking of his little farm and the erection of his house. But if from this quarter no single days labour could be counted on, no serious obstruction of operations would ensue. Indeed after the practical three years' training they had enjoyed, and with the estate created and got in perfect order, the proprietor and his family should be able to keep it in order, almost by themselves--the watch would have been made and would only need winding up. But occasional "help" may always be had, as we have seen in

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the provision made for contract fencing, extra labour at harvest-time, &c., whilst of course it would always be open to the proprietor, at any period during the three years, to commission some friend in England to select and despatch to him a second labourer's family to replace the first. Without the proprietor, however, looked to buying a second block of land, and creating a second good farm, no second family would be needed; and I should say that with his own forces (himself and now perhaps three sons, some younger one having by this time become useful) he would be able to perform all necessary work of his 150 acres arable land with an expenditure on "extra labour" of not more than £200 a year at most.

Having created a little family estate, having broad acres of their own to stand on, secured a firm base of operations, and made themselves perfectly at home in the new land, a family of the stamp we have sketched, could of course employ any further capital, accruing from profit, in any way they pleased. They could either enter into some of the many safe little speculations which are always opening to practical experienced men in a young and rising Colony like New Zealand; 8 or they could purchase more land and create a second estate; or they could purchase more stock, take a run fifty miles back, and let one of the sons start as a sheep farmer on the squatting system.

Note on Item 10. --This annual quantity of young and fat stock, and of dairy produce, is I think considerably less than what such an estate would be capable of producing. The prices taken are low, indeed lower than they are likely to rule. If New Zealand is to become a "gold country" attracting a large digging population, fat sheep and bullocks, dairy produce, corn, butter, cheese, and bacon, will assuredly, for some few years at least, return the producer prices full fifty per cent, higher than those which I have put down. But as an element of calculation I have discarded "diggings" altogether, and have put down prices which, taken as a whole, and even looking to the possibility of our ultimately reaching the "boiling down" of fat stock period are considerably more likely to rise than to fall in New Zealand in the next ten years.

Note on Item 11. --It is assumed that of this 150 acres of

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land under the plough, one-third might he taken up by occasional fallows and by root crops (turnips, carrots, mangold, and potatoes) and occasional summer green crops (red clover, lucerne, vetches, oats) the greater portion of which, consumed by the stock of the estate, would not, of course, be produce for sale. It is assumed that only 100 acres of the land would every year be in crop for market. These crops for the most part would be wheat, oats, and barley, in such proportions as the look of the markets might point out as best; though other, or intercalary, crops would occasionally be taken. Looking at the abundance of feeding-off manure there would be, and at the high state of cultivation which is allowed for, there can be no question that these 100 acres would annually produce an amount of various crops for market quite equal in value to 2500 bushels of corn, at 4s. a bushel. Indeed, I think many of my New Zealand fanning friends would estimate this "arable" return of the estate at full £100 a-year more than the sum I have set down.

Note on Item 12. --With a teeming larder of their own to run to: granary, dairy, poultry-yard, dove-cot, butcher's shop, brewery, fruit and kitchen garden; and no rent, rate, tax, or tithe to pay, the allowance of £250 a-year for groceries, wine, and spirits, and little matters of clothing, &c., &c., where dress is plain and the style of living simple, is a liberal allowance; and would enable such a family as this to live in easy comfort, and in the practice of a hearty if homely hospitality.


This little family estate, then, so created and completed at the end of three years at an entire outlay or cost of £4500, would pay the family an annual clear cash profit of about £600.

What such an estate might be worth to sell in the course of a few years is a question which it is impossible to answer with any degree of exactitude. Indeed, it is not expected that the family would wish to sell it--having created a pleasant "home," I presume they would wish to keep it. Strictly treated, however, as a question of "probability," a word or two may be said even on this point. Everything which raises the value of property in a young Colony like New Zealand springs from, and is mainly dependent on, one great fundamental cause, namely, the free incoming and increase of immigrant population. Now, looking at the present state of the world, at the growing inclination on the part of our middle class "family-burdened" people to emigrate, looking at the comparative desertion of our rugged North-American Colonies as emigration fields in favour of our warmer wool and gold producing Colonies lying at the door of New Zea-

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land, I incline to think that this fundamental element of prosperity will he found to exist in New Zealand, and that now that her social and industrial state and status is substantially sound and good, she will become year by year a more popular, a more attractive emigration field; that as the natural consequence of this, all cultivated landed property in New Zealand will exhibit a regular tendency to rise considerably in value; and that there would be nothing extravagant in the supposition that an estate of this nature, in a good locality, with stock and crop, might in a few years' time, especially if it were sold in small lots, bring the value of full £10,000.

"CAUTIONARY REMARKS." --In concluding this estimate as to the practicability of creating a profitable estate in New Zealand, the "ways and means," outlay and returns, &c., I would offer the reader a word or two of caution. It would be only natural and proper that any such family as I have taken for my illustration, who might be looking to New Zealand, and who might perchance meet with this little Paper on "Estate Creating," should desire to have my figures corroborated; and if they had access to any New-Zealand colonist who might happen to be in England, they would very probably and very properly apply to him for such purpose. Now, with due deference both to any of my readers, and to any of my brother colonists, I venture to think that such an appeal might occasionally be attended with no satisfactory result. I certainly do not ask the reader who may think of acting on the prospects here held out to him to take my "ipse dixit," and to believe me and nobody else; but I would hint at one or two considerations which in fairness ought to be borne in mind should he ever come to balance my testimony against any conflicting statements which he might gather in other quarters.

Assuming that by degrees a large immigrant population should flow into New Zealand and the "mixed-farm" system here advocated become general in the country, it is clear that the "squatting system" 9 would have to be abolished and the

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Squatter's occupation would be gone: he would have to yield up his monopoly of hundreds of thousands of half-used acres and make way for the plough and the farms and villages which would follow in its train. More unlikely things may come to pass than that the attempt to subvert this squatting monopoly may lead to violence in the neighbouring colony of Victoria, where its evils are now becoming felt, and the New Zealand "Squatocracy" are beginning to fear that such great land-reform movement may soon be agitated in New Zealand. Like the Boroughmongers, like the Palace-Court and Doctors' Commons gentry, the Squatter's cry is "touch the Squatters and down comes the country." The system I advocate is the Free Trade of Agriculture--the Squatters are protectionists to a man; and if it happened to be any member of this honourable body to whom my calculations were submitted it would not be difficult to prognosticate the result.

But from time to time there are other visitors over from New Zealand who would scarcely be fair judges of any work of mine. Politics run high in New Zealand. We are not Whigs and Tories, but "Centralists" and "Provincialists"--that is, those who wish to see the General Assembly (the Queen, Lords and Commons of New Zealand) made the paramount power--and those who, dwarfing the General Assembly to a mere name, would ride the country by our six Provincial Councils and deck each Chief thereof with a fragment of the "purple." Now I am a "Centralist," and what, for present popularity, is still worse where provincial prejudices are stronger than even provincial politics,

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I am the partisan of no part of New Zealand, but the advocate of the whole of it; and cannot run down Canterbury to please Otago, or sneer at Auckland to gratify Wellington, nor laud New Plymouth at the expense of Nelson. I [bear in?] mind the old fable of the "bundle of sticks," and would like to see New Zealand abandoning all internecine strife, unite her provinces as one goodly emigration field, and show a solid front against her true rivals in the emigration world, Australia, Africa and America. And here, in these "political and provincial views," I differ so widely from many excellent colonists that I fear the fact of anything being written by me, would often be sufficient to ensure for it in certain quarters, a rather [? ]ing or hostile criticism.

It is my deliberate opinion--and considering my training and antecedents glanced at in my former letter, I venture to think that on this subject I am competent to express an opinion -- that any such family as I have taken for my illustration would often succeed in working out even a better result than the one I have deemed it safe and sure to show in figures. The whole enterprise and scale of operations might of course be tried on a smaller scale. The family might not be so large as the one have named, they might not have the capital I have assumed [? ] go out in the second cabin, take only a fourth of the [? ] and buy only half the land and stock; and the result, though not so good, I think, as the result would be if the enterprise were worked out on the scale assumed, would still be (looking at the free and independent life which the enterprise ensures) a profitable and on the whole a pleasant result. 10

Families more or less approaching the type I have sketched have not unfrequently removed to New Zealand and other Colonies, and for the most part, I think, with substantial advantage, especially in regard to the prospects of their children, but I should say that not two in twenty of them have done half as well as they might have done, had they only displayed a little more of care, forethought, and preparation before they set out. When a man is taking his family to Paris, Killarney, or the Highlands he provides the orthodox number of shirts, collars, band-boxes, and guide-books, makes the minutest preparations and starts with a decided plan. But for the most part, when he is taking his family to a Colony he starts without a "plan." He appears to go out in a sort of torpid state, believing that in due time he shall be put ashore, and that then everything will be

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open and easy to him; and seems to be possessed by the comfortable idea that the mere fact of his landing in the new country will be sufficient to insure his success in it. He is soon undeceived--he has no plan of operations which he has studied, matured, and fitted himself for; no prepared weapons to fight with; and if at last he buys land and moves on to it, he finds all his out-door operations crippled, and his household rendered miserable, by the absence of any permanent, reliable, standard "labour force;" his wife and daughters become mere housebound drudges, and he himself too often becomes the repining gloomy, grumbling man. He gets on, he struggles through, the sure rise of the young Land drags him up with it, but he gets on in a rude, painful, clumsy, make-shift, stupid style, and about half as fast as he would have done had he only come to the field duly armed and fitted for the battle. I have been brought into communication with numbers of people who have gone to New Zealand, and I assure the reader that if he knew what I know as to the fitness for colonial life, the "state of preparedness" of half those who elect to go to New Zealand, he would not wonder that now and then there was growling and grumbling even among the successful, and that here and there was a case of failure or return, but would be astonished that there was half as much of contentment and success in New Zealand, or indeed in any good Colony as there really is.


We have since been informed that this fine district embraces some quarter of a million acres of fertile level land, at the mouth of the Grey River, lying on the boundary of the Nelson and Canterbury Provinces, but lying chiefly in the latter. It is reported, too, that there is a depth of four fathoms on the bar of the Grey River. Should this information prove correct, the district will unquestionably become the site of a new and flourishing Settlement, admirably situated for direct trade and intercourse with the neighbouring Australian Colonies.

Woodall and Kinder, Printers, Angel Court, Skinner Street, London.

1   Several families applying to me about New Zealand, have begged for some information of this character which might serve as a rough guide for any calculation of their own; and here, perhaps, as a little instance of the attention which New Zealand is beginning to awaken in military circles, I may mention that among my late correspondents were four or five officers who (tired of their then inglorious station in the Mediterranean whilst such a harvest of glory was being reaped in India) had sold out of the 92nd Highlanders, with New Zealand view's. One of them, with his family, sailed the other day by your "Joseph Fletcher," another a passenger in your "Egmont," and one or two of the others will, I think, eventually follow their comrades, and sport the "kilt" in New Zealand Highlands.
2   During the gradual operation of clearing and ploughing the estate, any wild-land portions of it might he used as rough grazing or browsing ground for stock. On lands, where there is any "bush," cattle will keep themselves in capital condition browsing on the shrubberies and under growth, and picking up coarse grass and green stuff in the open parts. In early days at New Plymouth, the little dairy herds and working oxen of the sawyers had nothing (winter or summer) but what they picked up in the forests and about forest tracts where sow thistle and rough grasses spring up. Winter and summer these animals were sleek and glossy-skinned, and some of the heifers would have passed as fat stock.
3   The old feeling of "clanship" or "retainership" might here he frequently enlisted with advantage. I would engage to go down to our old place in Lincolnshire where the family is known, call a meeting at the "Five Bells," proclaim my terms, and get fifty volunteers to follow me, the flower of the village peasantry.
4   Not a few of the British manufactured articles which find their way to New Zealand are the "culls" of the Australian markets; and whether it be that the commercial morality of the Sydney and Melbourne speculators, commission agents, Jew broker's, and the like, is not of the purest order, or whether it be that these gentlemen are the victims of mistakes, certain it is that many a patent and popular article--such as Bass's ale, Ransomes' implements, Sharp's axes, Richards' hardware, Truman's stout, &c., &c. -- reaches new Zealand so little altered in appearance, perhaps, but so sadly impaired in constitution, that I fear Messrs. Bass, Ransomes, Richards, and Co., if they could only see and test their reputed progeny, would often have to disown a spurious offspring, and to declare that such articles were never turned out from their establishments. This is one of the reasons why the New Zealand emigrant should provide himself with a few really useful and genuine articles of outfit, which seems frequently to be overlooked. By faking the trouble, too, to get certain standard articles of outfit and equipment direct from the English warehouse, not only does the emigrant get them genuine, but he gets them cheaper, for if he buys the things in this country he pays only one profit, whereas buying them in the Colony, after they have passed through two or three hands, he, of course pays two or three profits--the mere freight and shipping charges being virtually paid by him, the consumer, in either or any case.
5   RATIONS. --Family say equal to five adults, the daughter being one of the Proprietor's household.
50 lbs. flour, worth, say... 0 10 0
60 lbs. meat........ 1 0 0
Tea, sugar, and sundries ........ 0 10 0
. . . . . . . . . . . .£2 0 0 a-week
Say £100 a-year.
6   The undulating, rolling character of the surface of the greater portion of the agricultural wild lands--the profusion of natural watercourses, brook and stream--the light percolative nature of the greater portion of the subsoil--together with the breezy, quick-drying character of the climate--render "draining" quite an exceptional feature in New Zealand agriculture. The little "flax or raupo swamps" (patches of a few acres interspersed over the country) are occasionally drained; but here the operation is a very simple one, and the produce of these "natural manure beds" is so great that the outlay is often more than paid for by the first crop.
7   This non-necessity of providing any "winter keep" for stock would be a great boon to the agriculturist, even in a cheap-labour country like England--a boon perhaps almost equal in value to the gift of his rent. But it is a far greater boon in a young country like New Zealand, where time is twice as valuable, and where labour and farm buildings, &c., &c., are twice ns dear and costly as they are in England. This exemption forms one of the great agricultural advantages which New Zealand possesses over such countries as Canada and the North American colonies, where almost half the farmer's short working season is taken up in providing winter keep for his stock. For a third of the year these North-American colonics are buried in snow or locked up in ice; and, owing to this "climatic curse," can never become great countries of "flocks and herds" like the Cape Colony, Australia, and New Zealand.
8   Any grass-estate proprietor in the neighbourhood of a port-town or Settlement, having a few hundreds by him, and an agent or friend on the spot to apprize him of what is going on, may occasionally make an excellent thing by buying up small lots of stock, sheep, or horses which some of the Two-fold Bay or Australian vessels occasionally bring over on spec. The animals land very thin and wretched-looking, but taken on good New Zealand grass for a month or two, they become metamorphosed, and may be retailed among butchers and dealers and private buyers at a handsome profit. In New Plymouth, I have known animals bought for £8 a-head and sold in a month or two for £20.
9   "Squatting sheep-farming," a pursuit of which the motto might well he "great cry and little wool," was introduced into New Zealand from Australia; and is a pastoral system about as suitable to New Zealand, as the agricultural system of Timbuctoo might be suitable to Great Britain.

Its inherent evils are these:-- More or less it entails on its votaries a rude, isolated, semi-savage existence; whilst locking up immense tracts of territory as pastoral deserts and preserves, it stops the plough, blights the growth of farm and village, prevents the peopling of the wilderness, and arrests the spread of humanising civilisation. The one good it returns for all this evil, the one crop it grows from the desert it creates, is the "golden fleece;" but it grows even this one crop so scantily, that the "farm-field system," which it prevents, would grow a ten-fold larger crop. These evils are beginning to be felt and to he denounced even in Australia, and The Times has lately had a "leader" warning any further emigrant population from a country where such a system prevails. But Australia is a vast country of arid hills and plains, where flocks and herds might roam for ages, and bar no peopling of the desert waste. Australia, too, is a country where "squatting" is the only system of grazing which is possible --for owing to poverty of soil, heats, and droughts, that artificial field-pasturage, essential to the success of any other system, cannot be obtained there. But New Zealand, as compared to the droughty continent of Australia, is a garden clothed with perpetual verdure: a land of which some future bellman may some day sing-

"Each ram so fat he never ran;
Each rood of ground maintained its man."

A country of such narrow limits, that flocks and herds could not roam almost "fera naturae," as in Australia, without committing trespass, or creating an injurious monopoly. In New Zealand, too, thanks to soil and climate, that artificial field-pasturage, essential to any better system of grazing, can be obtained; and that, too, in the greatest luxuriance and perfection of feed. In truth, no two countries, so near together as Australia and New Zealand, are so unlike in physical features; and to argue that the "squatting system" is suitable for the one, because it is suitable for the other, is to argue that the sugar cane and coffee-plant are cultivable in England and Scotland, because they are cultivable in Egypt and the Brazils. -- Hursthouse's New Zealand.
10   It should, however, he observed, that where this scale of operations was the one intended to be carried out, the labourer's family should be much such a common one as I have taken--it might of course be one containing a little more "labour help," but it should not be one containing much less, and the nearer the respective ages of the members of it [?] to the ages I have put down, the better it would be.

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