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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 7 (November 1, 1928)


Our cover design this month is an arresting study, by Stanley Davis, representing buoyant youth looking forward, cleareyed and assured, into the light and golden haze of a promise-laden future.

What lies ahead of young New Zealand? The sixty leading business men of Auckland City, who, on the 26th October, commenced a nine-days’ tour of the northern province, will not hesitate about the answer. What they saw convinced them, to a man, that a new dawn— brighter than any that has preceded—is now breaking for the Dominion. What these ambassadors of commerce saw of new farming methods and other enterprise in the rural districts visited has produced this unanimous conclusion.

The nine days itinerary called for 1700 miles of travel—1200 by rail and the balance by motor or launch. It covered visits to factories and farms, mines and scenic resorts. The wealth—present and potential—of a great province was laid bare for the inspection of the visitors, while ever at hand was the right man to explain the work going on. The Commerce Train was the home to which all gladly returned from any side-trips, and, while they slept, it carried them nightly into new and distant territory. So perfect were the arrangements for the comfort and entertainment of the travellers that, although the party included men of all ages, even up to seventy-four years, no one dropped out during the whole tour, and all finished up fresh and well and thoroughly toned up from their outing.

The outstanding points impressed upon the Auckland Chamber of Commerce representatives were:-

(1) The great progress made whereever scientific methods of cultivation have been employed.

(2) The firm conviction held by all farmers that top-dressing is of wonderful benefit in adding to the profits from holdings.

(3) The surprising amount of territory lying practically idle through lack of capital to bring it into profitable occupation.

(4) The definite movement towards improvement in herds, reflected in greatly increased output from dairy factories.

(5) The perfection of machinery and methods employed in butter, dried milk and cheese-making factories.

(6) The confidence of the rural population in the earning capacity of their holdings.

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(7) The spirit of enterprise in undertaking new industries, such as that for extracting kauri gum from waste roots.

(8) The vastly improved conditions of life in country districts wherever the benefits of hydro-electricity and the work of Main Highways Boards in building splendid roads through the principal areas have been felt.

(9) The stimulating effect which the new railway lines to Taneatua in the Bay of Plenty and to Kirikopuni and the far north have had on farming and settlement.

(10) The abounding hospitality of the settlers, and the courageous manner in which they are facing their local problems of development, production and transport.