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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Selwyn County Council

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Selwyn County Council.

The County of Selwyn comprises an area of 1,630,000 acres. It is divided into nine ridings, namely, Avon, Riccarton, Heatncote, Mulvern, Coleridge, Courtenay, Ellesmere, Lincoln, and Halswell, and has a population of nearly 40,000. The whole of the district, except the very hilly portions, is under cultivation. The soil is rich and fertile. On the 15th of October, 1900, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 319,062 acres in sown grasses, 144,190 acres under crop, 1,936 acres in garden, 1,215 in orchard, and 6,548 acres of forest trees. One of the chief duties of the county council consists in the construction and maintenance of water-races, by which the land of the county has been greatly increased in value. Water is obtained from the Waimakariri, the Kowai, the Selwyn, the Hororata, and the Rakaia rivera. An area of 326,388 acres is watered in this manner; there are 1106 miles of races; and every twenty-four hours 90,940,960 gallons are distributed. The annual charge for the use of the water varies from 8s 4d to £1 5s per 100 acres. The water races supply water to dry areas, and enable the country to be occupied in smaller holdings than would be possible under other circumstances. Drainage works are also attended to by the council. A scheme is (1902) in hand for making an outfall for Lake Ellesmere, so that it may be kept permanent'y at a lower level than at present. For the year ending on the 31st of March, 1901, the revenue was £11,165, and the expenditure £8,614. The ratable value of the county is £7,002,341. The principal sources of revenue are water charges, rents of reserves, a subsidy from the Government, and the rates collected by the various road boards. The council has power to levy a general rate, but has not done so.

The Selwyn County Council has Jurisdiction over the country bounded on the north by the Walmnkariri and on the south by the Rakaia rivers, on the east by the ocean. Including Lytteton and Lake Ellesmere, and on the west by the boundary line of the provincial districts of Canterbury and Westland. The city of Christchurch, boroughs, and local governing towns are not under county control. The council was constituted at the time of the coming into operation of the Counties Act of 1876, which was adopted by resolution in 1878. The ratable value of property within the county is £7.002,341. on which a sum of 1/8d. in the £ Is levied for Hospital and Charitable Aid purposes. The county loans amount to £18,612. The Council has control over a few of the large bridges and the whole of the water-races, and plantations. and drainage works, within its boundaries. The revenue is derived from water-races, rent of reserves, license fees, dog-tax, and Government subsidies. The county is divided into six water-race districts—namelv, Malvern, Waimakariri, Greendale, Waireka, Hororata, and Ellesmere. The first four are under the charge of Mr. C. L. Davies, and the last two of Mr. H. Templer. The Malvern water-race is supplied from the Kowai and Waimakarirl rivers, the Waimakariri from the river of that name, the Greendale from the Hawkins river, and the Waireka from the Selwyn. There are about 800 miles of races in these four districts, the total area of which is about 250,000 acres. The members of the council for 1901 were; Messrs. R. Westenra (chairman), W. Dunlop, J. Gough, J. Rennie, J. G. Murray, G. Witty, G. H. MeHaffie, G. Rutherford, and J. Wolfe. Mr. W. Jameson is county clerk and treasurer.

Mr. Richard Westenra, J. P., who is Chairman of the Selwyn County Council, and of the Ashburton and North Canterbury United Charitable Aid Board. was born in 1832, at Kinsale, in the South of Ireland, and was educated in Germany. He came to New Zealand with his father, the late Capt. Richard Westenra, per ship “Midlothian,” which arrived in October, 1851 Captain Westenra took up a run on the banks of the River Selwyn, where for many years, the subject of this notice was engaged in sheep-farming. The estate is now owned by Mr. Westenra and two brothers under the style of Westenra Bros., and is devoted to general farming. About the year 1880, Mr. Westenra settled in Christchurch. He has taken a deep interest in local bodies for many years, and was first connected with the Rakaia Road Board. Shortly after settling in Christchurch he became a member of the Selwyn County Council, and has been chairman for a number of years. Mr. Westenra has long been a member of the Charitable Aid Board, and has occupied the chair for about twelve years. He has also taken a considerable interest in the Christchurch Hospital and has been a member of the board for some sixteen or seventeen years. He has been on the Commission of the Peace for many years. Mr. Westenra was a member of the old Provincial Council for Akaroa for seven years. In 1856 he married a daughter of the Rev. W. Aylmer, of Akaroa, and has two sons and one daughter living.

Mr. William Dunlop, who represents the Avon riding in the Selwyn County Council, has been a member of the Council continuously for twenty years. He is a member of several local bodies, and is a referred to elsewhere in connection with the Lyttelton Harbour Board.

Mr. James Gough, who is a Member of the Selwyn County Council, is well known as the owner of Homey estate, near Kirwee. and as a very extensive dealer in live stock. He is elsewhere referred to in connection with his property at Kirwee.

Mr. Gilbert Hamilton McHaffie. J.P., Member of the Selwyn County Council. was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. He was educated at Portobello, and came to Lyttelton, via Australia, in 1880. Mr. McHaffie is a member of various local bodies.

Mr. John George Murray, who has been a Member of the Selwyn County Council for Halswell Riding since 1886, was born in Surrey, England, in 1836, and was educated there. Landing in Lyttelton per ship “Labuan,” in 1851, he was brought up to agricultural pursuits and commenced farming on his own account at the age of twenty-one in the Halswell and Lincoln districts. He has since acquired a property of about 3000 acres at Greenpark, which is now farmed by his sons. Mr. page break Murray has served at different times on several road boards, and represented Selwyn County Council on the Christchurch Hospital Board. He is a member of the Masonic Order being attached to the Lincoln lodge, and has long been associated with the Agricultural and Pastoral Association. Mr. Murray was married in 1867 to a daughter of the late Mr. John Gebbie of Lyttelton, and has three sons and four daughters.

Mr. John Rennie, who is a Member of the Selwyn. County Council, is also a member of the Lyttelton Harbour Board, and is referred to elsewhere in that capacity.

Mr. George Rutherford, J.P., Member of the Selwyn County Council, is referred to elsewhere as the proprietor of Dalethorpe station, Russell's Fiat.

Mr. John Wolfe, Member of the Selwyn County Council, is a farmer residing in the Lincoln district. Mr. Wolfe is a descendant of the family of the famous General Wolfe, the hero of Quebec. He was born at Brinklow, Old Fosse Road, near Rugby,
Standish and Preece, photo.Mr. J. Wolfe.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. J. Wolfe.

in 1842, and was educated at the national schools, and at a private school at Strattonon-the-Fosse. At the age of eighteen, he was apprenticed to the plumbing, painting, and glazing trade, serving five years. Arriving in Lyttelton per ship “Tintern Abbey,” in 1875, Mr. Wolfe settled in Lincoln township, where he purchased land, and engaged in dairy farming, at the same time working at his trade. His farm comprises 500 acres. Mr. Wolfe has been prominent in public matters, having served eight years on the Springs Road Board, of which he has been chairman for several years. He is a member of the Christchurch Hospital Board and chairman of the Lincoln Domain Board. Mr. Wolfe has been secretary of the Baptist Church for some years. He was married in 1863 to a daughter of Mr. J. Adcock, of Shustock, near Coleshill, and has one son and three daughters.

Mr. William Jameson, F.I.A.N.Z. , Clerk and Treasurer of the Selwyn County Council, is a Lancashire man, born in Manchester in 1849, educated at the local grammar school and at Dr. Cranswick's school, Cheetham Hill, and came to Lyttelton in 1863, by the ship “Sebastopol.” Entering the employ of the Provincial Government as clerk in the Provincial Secretary's office, he was afterwards transferred to the public works office, then to the treasury, becoming sub-treasurer and at the time of the abolition of the provinces, was Provincial Treasurer of Canterbury. On the inauguration of the county system he was appointed clerk to the Selwyn County. Mr. Jameson is a Fellow of the Institute of Incorporated Accountants of New Zealand, and is auditor for the New Zealand Farmers' Co-operative Association, and several large private firms. In 1877 he was married to a daughter of Mr. James Wood. of Christchurch, and has four sons and four daughters.

Standish and Preece, photo.Mr. W. Jameson.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. W. Jameson.

Mr. John Jarman, Inspector of Abattoirs for the Selwyn County Council, City of Christchurch, and the Boroughs of Woolston, New Brighton, and Linwood, was born at Heavitree, Devonshire, England, in 1850, and educated at King's Lodge school, Exeter. Mr. Jarman was brought up as a farmer and for some years before coming to New Zealand managed his mother's property. He arrived in Lyttelton per s.s. “Rimutaka,” in 1887, and after being employed in the country for some time was appointed in 1889 to the position he holds under the Selwyn County Council. Mr. Jarman took great interest in the establishment of the Riccarton swimming bath, and was chairman of the committee formed to promote its erection. This bath has proved a great boon to the district.

Mr. William Hall Zouch, Registrar of Dogs for the Selwyn County Council, was born in 1849 in Quebec, Canada, and is the third son of the late Capt. Thomas Henry Zouch, 42nd Regt. H.E.I.C.S. He was educated at Eastbourne College, Sussex, England, and came out to Lyttelton per ship “Zambesi” in 1863. For the first fourteen years of his Colonial experience he was engaged in farming, after which he entered upon literary work, and was engaged on the staff of the “Lyttelton Times” for three years. He was subsequently proprietor of the Ashburton “Guardian” for four years, and afterwards of the Ellesmere “Guardian” for a similar period. Removing to Christchurch he engaged in the printing business for three years, and for a short time as a land and commission agent. He was then appointed to the position he holds under the Selwyn County Council. Mr. Zouch is a member of the Masonic Order, his mother lodge beaing St. John, No. 1858, E.C., Ashburton, of which he is a past master, and has also taken the Royal Arch degree, Mr. Zouch was married in 1881, to a daughter of Mr. James Dunn, of Melbourne, and has one son.

Mr. Charles Llewelyn Davies, Engineer-in-charge of Water-races under the Selwyn County Council, was born in 1844 at Radnor, and educated at Taunton, Somersetshire. He came out to the Colony per ship “Egmont” in 1862, and became clerk of the Lincoln Road Board, which position he occupied for about ten years and gained considerable experience as an engineer. Mr. Davies was appointed engineer under the Selwyn County Council in 1882, and has superintended the construction of the greater proportion of the races in the district. During the Maori war Mr. Davies was attached to the “A” troop of cavalry for about two years, and served in Hawke's Bay.