Statement of the Productions of New Zealand.
Statement of the Productions of New Zealand.
The following statement of the productions of the colony of New Zealand has been prepared in response to the invitation of the United Empire Trade League; the figures quoted and much of the matter being taken from the official statistics published in New Zealand.
It is as a food-producing country that the colony of New Zealand is especially interesting to people in this country. The rapid increase which has taken place during recent years in the exports of surplus food from New Zealand, and the great capability of increased production which the colony offers, points to New Zealand being found at no distant date in the front rank of food-producing countries. It is too often forgotten that 1200 miles of water separates New Zealand from the continent of Australia, and that her fertile soil, freedom from droughts, and favourable climate make her a country much more favourable for agricultural and pastoral pursuits than the other Australasian colonies.
I shall first give a decennial table (see pp. 2-5) showing the value of the principal articles (the produce of the colony) exported, and then offer some comments on the various products.
In March, 1891, there were 6,966,218 acres under artificial grasses, being an increase of 441,169 on the corresponding acreage of 1890. Of these 3,250,543 acres had been previously ploughed and, presumably, under grain or other crops, and 3,715,675 acres had not been ploughed, a large proportion consisting of what had been bush or forest-land sown down to grass after the timber had been felled and burnt, or partially burnt.page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 page 6
|New South Wales||385,504|
It will be observed that the area of land under sown grasses is about eight times greater in New Zealand than in the whole of Australia and Tasmania. When compared in size with the colonies of Australia, New Zealand is relatively small—about one-thirtieth of their total size—but when the grazing capabilities are compared, the relative importance of New Zealand is much altered.
Australia is generally unsuitable, owing to conditions of climate, for the growth of English grasses, and the amount of feed produced by the natural grasses throughout the year is very much less per acre than that obtained from the sown grass lands in New Zealand—so much so that it may be stated that the average productiveness of the grass land in New Zealand is probably about nine times as great as that in Australia; so that the land of this colony covered with artificial grass may be considered equal, for grazing purposes, to an area of Australian territory about nine times as great.
It will be noticed from the decennial export table that wool is still the largest article of export, and with the increase in the number of sheep consequent on the development of the frozen meat trade, this export is likely to considerably increase. A large amount of wool is now used in local manufacture.
The large increase in 1890 in the value of frozen meat exported placed that article in the second place in the list of exports for value. The growth of this export has been almost phenomenal. Ten years page 7 ago the project of sending fresh meat to England was regarded as impossible of fulfilment, and Mr. Haslam's statement that vessels would be able to carry carcasses of 10,000 sheep was considered visionary. The improvements made by him in refrigerating machinery have enabled his prophecy to be more than fulfilled, as vessels are now fitted to carry four and five times the number of sheep he mentioned. 1882 was the first year in which there was any export of frozen meat from New Zealand, the value of the export being then only 19,339l. In 1890 the value of this export had risen to 1,087,617l., representing the carcasses of 1,330,176 sheep, of 279,741 lambs, and beef weighing 98,234 cwts. The greatly improved prices of sheep, caused by the demand for this export trade, has much encouraged the farmers of the colony, and has caused increased attention to be given to clearing and laying down bushland in grass and otherwise improving holdings in order to increase the bearing capabilities of the land. Notwithstanding the large increase in the numbers of sheep exported in 1890 the sheep returns for May in that year gave an addition of nearly 700,000 on the number in May of the previous year, thus showing that, even with the present flocks, there is a reserve that might supply a much larger export than at present, and the further progressive increase in the number of sheep that may be looked forward to from the extension of clearing and improvements gives promise of a future export of a magnitude possibly manifold greater than the present. The markets of the civilised world are, having regard to the growth of population, without a corresponding increased area for food-production, practically unlimited. This export has had the effect of helping the colony through a period of great depression, and next to the production of wool, with which it is now inseparably connected, may be regarded as the most important factor in our well-being.
Butter has always held an important position among the productions of the New Zealand small farmer, but made by different persons and in different ways, it has not been generally suitable for the requirements of the English market, although considerable quantities have been exported to Australia and also to the United Kingdom; but the success attending the efforts made to produce butter of uniform superior character in dairy factories, and the fairly remunerative prices that have been realised for such butter in England, have caused great attention to be given to the increase of dairy factories for the purpose of supplying produce for the English market.
It is only in census years that any returns are obtained of the quantity of butter and cheese annually produced in the colony, and the returns then given by farmers can only be deemed to be estimates, as the majority of them do not keep accounts of their production.
|Census year, 1881||3,178,694||8,453,815|
|Census year, 1886||4,594,795||12,170,964|
|Census year, 1891||6,975,698||16,310,012|
The figures for 1891 include 1,909,759 lbs. of butter and 4,390,400 lbs. of cheese made in factories. During the winter of the present year, a considerably increased supply of New Zealand dairy produce has been placed on the London markets. The quality has been good and the prices obtained such as will pay the producer, thereby giving the necessary stimulus to increased production. New Zealand gives no bonus on butter export as do the colonies of Victoria and New South Wales. With the large and certain market in this country, the colony offers great inducements for capitalists with the necessary knowledge to largely extend this industry.
|Acreage of Land in Crop.||Acreage of Land broken up, but not under Crop.||Acreage of Land in Sown Grasses.||Total Acreage of Laud in Cultivation.|
|New South Wales||872,344||260,627||385,504||1,518,475|
This table shows the great superiority of New Zealand from an agricultural point of view. The yield per acre, given in the table, is the average yield for a period of ten years.
It will be observed that the oat crop in New Zealand comprised nearly 63 per cent., and the area under oat crop 56 per cent., of that for the whole of Australasia.
There was in 1891 a much greater quantity of laud sown with turnips and rape than in 1890. The low price of grain has caused greater attention to be given to sheep feeding, and as one of the results there were 402,184 acres under turnips and rape in 1891, against 352,903 in 1890, an increase of 49,281 acres. The facility with which root crops are grown is a most important factor in the future development of the pastoral products of the colony.
17,047 acres were returned as being in orchards in 1891, an increase of 1276. The success of the attempts that have been recently made to place fruit in a good saleable condition on the English market has given encouragement to cultivators, and fruits are expected in the not far distant future to take an important place in the list of New Zealand exports. During the recent season a large number of cases of apples have been sent to this market from Now Zealand. In the north of New Zealand semi-tropical fruits, such as oranges, lemons, olives, and figs, grow well.
Important as are the agricultural and grazing products, yet the future of the colony is intimately bound up with mining interests. The mineral resources are very great. In the past these have had a most important influence on the development and progress of the colony. Gold to the value of 46,425,629l. was obtained prior to the 31st December, 1890. The gold produce in 1890 was of the value of 773,438l, and for the year ending December 1891 the returns show an export of 251,161 ozs. of gold, valued at 1,007,172l. In the earlier years gold was obtained from alluvial diggings, but at the present time largely from gold-bearing quartz, which is distributed widely through several parts of the colony, and thus there is a much better prospect for the permanency of this industry than was afforded by the alluvial diggings. The amount of silver extracted to the page 12 end of 1890 only amounted to 134.997l., but recent discoveries of ore give promise of large production in the future. No iron ores are at present worked, although almost every known variety of iron ore has been discovered in the country, the workings being limited to the black sands which occur plentifully on the coasts, the best known deposits being at Taranaki.
Several companies have been formed both in England and the colony to manufacture steel direct from this ironsand. They have not, however, succeeded; but a partial success was attained by smelting in furnaces bricks formed of the ore with calcareous clay and carbonaceous matter, and recently the sand has been treated by a continuous process that produces puddled blooms. It remains to be proved, however, if it can be profitably treated in large quantities by this or any other process. Of other minerals the product to the same date amounts to 8,969,020l., of which Kauri-gum yielded 5,394,687l., and coal, with coke, 3,362,3632.
The approximate total output of the coal mines to the 31st December, 1890, amounted to 6,456,674 tons. Extensive coal-fields exist in the colony, coal being found in various parts, and mines are worked in the provincial districts of Auckland, Nelson, Canterbury, and Otago. The abundant coal supply, added to the good water supply and temperate climate, render New Zealand suitable in every way to become the manufacturing centre of the Pacific. It will be noted from the table of industries given later in this paper that a considerable manufacturing trade is growing up in the colony.
The bituminous coal is of a very superior kind, being equal to, if not better than, the best descriptions used in any part of the world. It is especially valuable for the manufacture of gas, and is eagerly sought for gas works and iron foundries, even at an advance of 10 to 20 per cent, on the price of any other coal. Engineers of local steamers esteem it 20 per cent, better than the best New South Wales coal for steam page 13 purposes. The valuable character of this coal for steam purposes was shown when H.M.S. Calliope was, on account of using it, enabled to weather the hurricane at Samoa, which was so disastrous to vessels of other nations, and escape to sea. Sir James Hector has recently estimated the various coal-fields in the colony to contain, on the whole, 444,000,000 tons; but the incompleteness of the surveys necessarily makes the estimate a very rough, and probably very insufficient one.
Petroleum oils of good quality have been found at the Sugarloaves rocks, a short distance from the mainland near New Plymouth, at Waipaoa, near Poverty Bay, and at Manutahi, Waiapu, East Cape. The attempts made at Waipaoa to secure oil in marketable quantities have been so far unsuccessful, and it is still uncertain whether better results will be obtained from the borings now in operation at the Sugarloaves, Taranaki.
Kauri Gum is an important article of export. It consists of the dried and solidified sap of the Kauri tree, a species of pine which does not exist in any other part of the world. The gum is found generally in places which have been in former times covered with pine trees, but which are now bare of forest growth. The gum is used largely in the manufacture of varnish, and the finest quality is also worked up for ornamental purposes much in the same manner as amber. The gum is used largely in the United States as well as in this country. The export for the year 1890 was 7438 tons, valued at 378,563l Gum digging employs a large number of people, and in the Auckland province it has become a standing industry.
The New Zealand fungus, known to commerce, is found on decayed timber. The export for 1890 was 8105 cwt. valued at 12,823l. The article is chiefly sent to China, where it is said to be used as a dye in the manufacture of silk, and also for making a kind of soup, for which dish it is much prized on account of its gelatinous properties and rich flavour.
There are some mineral products not enumerated in the list given which exist in the colony, some in ascertained considerable quantities—e.g. iron, copper, chrome, lead and zinc ores. The purest form of marble is found in many localities in the middle island, also a great variety of excellent limestones suitable for building and other purposes.
|Nature of Industry.||Number of each kind.||Number of hands employed.||Amount paid in wages.||Estimated value of land, buildings, machinery, and plant.||Estimated value of produce and manufactures in 1890.|
|Printing, &c., establishments||142||2,569||214,185||341,683||354,559|
|For machines, tools, and implements||43||556||46,887||76,783||148,364|
|Coach-building and painting||108||678||52,601||96,225||139,660|
|Tanning, fellmongering, and wool scouring||104||1,196||92,442||153,592||1,026,349|
|Ship- and boat-building||37||145||10,831||10,172||35,847|
|Sail and oilskin factories||32||124||6,335||16,799||31,083|
|Hat and cap factories||16||112||6,276||26,005||21,628|
|Boot and shoe factories||47||1,943||124,990||82,137||403,736|
|Rope- and twine-works||24||222||13,658||36,086||76,711|
|Meat-preserving, freezing, and boiling-down works||43||1,568||138,459||476,151||1,464,659|
|Cheese and butter factories||74||269||14,928||100,453||150,957|
|Fruit-preserving and jammaking works||15||117||4,742||10,042||27,255|
|Coffee- and spice-works||17||81||6,562||30,850||64,024|
|Soap- and candle-works||19||209||21,391||74,443||155,714|
|Brick-, tile-, and pottery-works||106||494||25,190||119,780||56,830|
|Iron and brass foundries||68||1,727||152,687||262,042||390,943|
|Spuoting and ridging works||12||100||7,981||29,670||33,140|
|Gold- and quartz-mining-works||135||1,971||183,582||241,715||278,893|
|Hydraulic gold - mining and gold-dredging||74||495||32,904||154,270||73,713|
New Zealand Hemp.
New Zealand Hemp (Phormium tenax) is the manufactured product of New Zealand flax, as it is locally called, and is a valuable fibrous plant indigenous to the colony. The decennial table shows that the export has grown to large dimensions. The flax plant grows freely and re-grows quickly after the leaf is cut. The fibre is largely used both in this country and in the United States for the making of rope binder twine and for other purposes. The best quality is almost equal to Manila and superior to Sisal. The low prices ruling for Manila and Sisal have prevented the industry making the rapid growth that was looked for, but with the introduction of improved machinery, enabling the fibre to be prepared at a reduced cost, or should the supply of Manila fall off, the export would assume large dimensions. In the early days flax prepared by the Maoris in a special manner, involving much labour, had a very large commercial value, but not sufficient to pay for the labour. This shows, however, that the fibre can be worked up to a great pitch of perfection.
There are now 177 mills in the colony, and during the year 1890 the exports were valued at 381,789l.
The timber trade of New Zealand has steadily increased. The forests are so extensive, and contain such a variety of valuable woods, that they must prove of enormous value in the near future. the kauri tree has the highest commercial value. The wood is very hard and takes a high polish, and is used for furniture making and ship-building. There are valuable woods, known as kahikatea, totara, puriri, rimu, rata, maire, and many others. The exports of timber for 1890 amounted to the value of 181,689l., and trade is now being opened up with Australia and also with this country. The Midland Railway Company of New Zealand, an English company formed for the making of a line of railway in the colony, has a most valuable concession of splendid timber lands, and is taking active steps to promote a large export trade.
Some thirty years back New Zealand was an important whaling centre, but the decrease in the value of whalebone and the discovery of lubricating oils which have taken the place of whale oil, has caused the fisheries to decline. The coast-line of New Zealand is over 5000 miles in length, and the supply of edible fish is abundant. Little has been done, so far, to develop the fishing industry, but in the opinion of those most competent to judge, this industry will grow to very large dimensions.
During the last two years a trade in oysters and fresh fish has been opened up with Australia, and the large quantity and great variety of edible fish on the New Zealand coast only require the necessary skill and capital to enable a large export trade to be developed.
Having given a short statement of the productions of New Zealand, it will be interesting to see how the trade of New Zealand and the other Australasian colonies is distributed, and for that purpose I have compiled the following from the Statistics of New Zealand for 1890:—
Imports and Exports.
The total declared values of the imports in 1890 amounted to 6,260,525l., being a decrease on the total values in 1889 of 48,338l.
|Groups of Principal Articles Imported.||1888.||1889.||1890.||Imported from the United Kingdom Id 1890.|
|Apparel and slops||236,707||330,304||319,235||312,671|
|Boots and shoes||145,742||117,907||127,371||116,706|
|Hats and cans||37,459||53,854||48,927||45,606|
|Woollen piece-goods and blankets||91,001||125,622||150,555||147,777|
|Hardware and ironmongery||140,572||149,207||165,158||134,764|
|Iron rails and railwaybolts, &c.||13,943||14,016||40,700||36,646|
|Iron, other—pig, wrought, wire, &c.||248,948||380,897||330,727||319,350|
|Steel and steel rails||18,214||40,086||50,989||50,029|
|Bags and sacks||152,140||178,727||59,892||2,083|
|Fruits (including fresh, preserved, bottled, dried)||113,311||83,317||108,610||34,114|
|Other imports (excluding specie)||1,536,873||*1,707,446||1,824,316||1,335,802|
|Totals (excluding specie")||5,430,050||*5,980,583||5,928,895||4,217,466|
There was an increase in 1890 in the value of the imports from the United Kingdom to the extent of 83,193l., or nearly at the rate of page 18 2 per cent. The increase in the value of imports from Germany amounted to 31,3392.—a comparatively small amount, but very large having regard to the value of imports in 1889, which amounted to only 18,9642. The increase in 1890 was thus at the rate of 165 per cent.—another evidence of the enterprise of the German merchants, which has been very noticeable in recent years. The principal increases in imports from other countries were in those from Belgium, the United States, and the Fiji and Pacific islands.
|Fiji and Norfolk Island||127,131||138,274||11,143|
|Canada and New Brunswick||3,132||4,100||968|
|West Indies||83||83 Decrease.|
|India and Ceylon||204,373||132,847||71,526|
|Hongkong and China||111,621||59,421||52,200|
|Australia and Tasmania||1,107,132||1,087,593||19,539|
|Other European countries||6,978||6,149||829|
The value of all the exports in 1890 was 9,811,7202l., against 9,341,8642l. in 1889, an increase of 469,8562l. The exports in 1889 were of greater value than those in 1888 by 1,571,940l. The value of exports in 1890 was thus greater than that in 1888 by 2,041,796l., an increase for the two years at the rate of over 26 per cent. The value of New Zealand produce exported in 1890 amounted to 9,428,761l., being at the rate of 15l. 3s. 5d. per head of population. In 1889 the value of home produce exported was 9,044,607l.
The total value of the external trade in 1890 was 16,072,2452., equivalent to 25l. 17s. 9d. per head of the population, excluding Maoris.page 19
The trade with the United Kingdom amounted to 11,622,620l., being an increase of 896,627l. on that in 1889. This trade comprised 72.3 per cent, of the total trade in 1890, against 68.6 per cent, in 1889.
The trade with the Australian colonies and Tasmania in 1890 amounted to 2,721,841l., against 3,252,803l. in 1889, a decrease of 530,962l., which was chiefly caused by a contraction in the value of exports from New Zealand to those colonies to the extent of 511,423l. The trade with New South Wales amounted to 1,261,561l., of which the exports thereto amounted in value to 885,737l., which included New Zealand produce to the extent of 770,679l., or to more than double the value of all the imports from New South Wales, which amounted in 1890 to 375,824l. The trade with Victoria amounted to 1,157,585l., a decrease on the amount in 1889 of 201,852l. The exports thereto amounted to 567,727l, in value; of these, the value of New Zealand produce was 440,569l., including gold of the value of 290,674l.
|Exports from New Zealand to||New Zealand Produce.||Total Export.|
|New South Wales, 1890||770,670||885,737|
|Exports to New Zealand from||Home Produce.||Total Export to New Zealand.|
|New South Wales, 1890||142,071||294,113|
Of the 142,071l. exported from New South Wales, 86,453l. was the value of the coal sent. Of the 147,998l. exported from Victoria, 110,000l. consisted of gold coin minted in Melbourne.page 20
The trade with Fiji made again an advance in the year. In 1888 it was 149,839l.; in 1889, 170,181l.; and in 1890, 184,684l. The trade with the other Pacific Islands and Norfolk Island increased from 127,727l. to 135,592l.
|Year.||Imports from||Exports to||Total Trade.|
|Atlantic Ports.||Pacific Ports.||Atlantic Ports.||Pacific Ports.|
Of the exports to the United States in 1890 the value of New Zealand products amounted to 478,594l., the principal items being the following: Kauri-gum, 262,213l.; Phormium, 138,416/l.; gold, 63,681l.; sheepskins, 5040l.; and sausage-skins, 4756l. No wool was exported thither in 1890.
The trade with India decreased from 217,346l. in 1889, to 137,389l. in 1890—at the rate of 37 per cent. The value of imports fell from 204,373l. to 132,847l., and that of exports thereto from 12,973l. to 4542l. These exports in 1890 consisted mainly of three items, viz. horses, of the value of 3050l.; cheese, 538l.; and preserved meats, 631l.; leaving only 499l. for distribution among minor items.
Ceylon and Burmah are included in the term India, but the imports from Ceylon increased from 10,227l. in 1889 to 19,264l. in 1890.
|Colony.||Total Value of||Excess of|
|Imports.||Exports.||Imports over Exports.||Exports over Imports.|
|New South Wales||22,615,004||22,045,937||569,067||..|
|Colony.||Home Produce exported.||Per Head of Population.|
|New South Wales||17,232,725||15||12||8|
|Colony.||Imports from the United Kingdom.||Exports to the United Kingdom.||Total Trade with the United Kingdom.|
|New South Wales||8,628,007||6,623,431||15,251,438|
The following statement shows the relative importance of the Australasian Colonies as markets for the productions of the United Kingdom:—page 22
|British India and Ceylon||34,562,616|
|New South Wales||7,334, 666|
|China and Hongkong||9,138,429|
|Cape of Good Hope and Natal||9,128,164|
The exports of home produce to other countries did not in any case amount to 3,000,000l.
The amounts given as the value of exports of home produce from the United Kingdom to the several Australasian colonies differ widely from the values given of all imports into the colonies from the United Kingdom, because the latter include more than British products, and the twelve months for arrival into the colonies of those exports would not correspond with the twelve months during which they were exported; the time of transit must be allowed for.
The Australian colonies as a whole, with a population under 4,000,000, thus takes third place in importance as consumers of British produce, the exports thereto being about two-thirds of the value of the similar exports to British India, with its 285,000,000 inhabitants-
The principal productions of these colonies will, for a lengthened period, consist of those arising from pastoral, agricultural, and mining pursuits. The immense areas of land capable of improvement and more beneficial occupation, and the large mineral resources only partially developed, forbid any expectation for a very considerable time of such an increase in manufacturing industries as would enable colonial to page 23 supersede English products to any very material extent. The consumption per head of the population may be somewhat less in the future as the proportion of adults decreases owing to lessened immigration and increase by births; but the relatively high rates of wages, and the absence of causes for any extensive pauperism, will make the proportionate consumption of products for a long time high. The rapid growth of the Australasian population may thus be expected to largely increase the demand for British products, and the future of the trade between the United Kingdom and the Australasian colonies will probably be such as to make them by a long way the principal markets for those products, and very important factors in the progress of the Imperial commonwealth.
London: Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Limited, Stamford Street and Charing Cross.
* This amount is greater than the amount given in the report for 1889 by 11,766l., the value of foreign post parcels, which had not been included in the amount then given.