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White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900

Broke The Camel's Back

Broke The Camel's Back.

These two notable ships were, so to speak, "The last straw to break the camel's back," and the New Zealand merchants decided to set about placing themselves in a more independent position.

That was in the old provincial days, when each province tried to "paddle its own canoe," and to such an extent was this carried out that it was actually suggested that each of the four chief towns should form its own small shipping company with a board of directors for each at this end, but with a general board of colonial merchant directors in London to look after the outward business from that end. The Auckland and Christchurch companies were actually floated and necessary share capital subscribed.

Many people are under the impression that the New Zealand Shipping Company, of Christchurch, was the pioneer company, but this is incorrect, as the New Zealand Freight Company, of Auckland, is entitled to that place, it having been incorporated and registered on July 1, 1872. The directors were Dr. J. L. Campbell (chairman), and Messrs. Clark, Isaacs, Shera and von der Heyde, and Mr. John Batger was secretary. The New Zealand Shipping Company was incorporated and registered on January 6, 1873.

A meeting of shareholders in the Christchurch company was held on January 24, 1873, to elect the first board of directors, who were Messrs. G. Gould, R. H. Rhodes, R. Cobb, J. T. Peacock, John Anderson, Wm. Reeves, C. W. Turner and J. L. Coster. The last mentioned who was elected chairman, was manager of the Bank of New Zealand. In London the company was represented by Mr. C. W. Turner, manager, and Captain William Ashby, marine superintendent.