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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

General Government Institutions

page 55

General Government Institutions.

In New Zealand the Government owns nearly all the railways, upon the extension of which large bodies of men are constantly employed. The post, telegraph, and telephone services extend to every town and hamlet in the country, and carrier pigeon services have been established with some of the outlying islands. Government administers also, amongst many other things, old age pensions, industries and commerce, tourist and health resorts, labour, inspection of machinery, life insurance, public trust, advances to settlers, public health, and valuation. In 1894 the Legislature authorised a State Fire Insurance Department, which bids fair to become a permanent office. In Nelson some of the Government offices are located in a block known as the Government buildings, while others are in various parts of the city. The departments of defence, education, justice, mental asylums, and insurance, are referred to in other sections of this volume; the other departmentsrepresented in Nelson are grouped under this heading.

Government Buildings, Nelson.

Government Buildings, Nelson.

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The Post And Telegraph Office.

The Post And Telegraph Office , in Trafalgar Street, which has done duty for many years, is now (April, 1905) about to be replaced by a more modern building, on a larger, though less central site. The building will be a two-storied one, with a tower, dome, and provision for a clock. The entrance to the Post Office and private letter boxes will be from Trafalgar Street, and the telegraph office will be approached from Halifax Street.

Mr. Henry P. Stevens , Chief Postmaster at Nelson, entered the Government service in 1863 as junior clerk at Auckland, and has risen step by step in the service, Mr. Stevens was chief officer of the Money Order and Savings Bank Department at Dunedin, chief clerk at Christchurch, and assistant inspector of Post Offices for the midland district before being appointed to his present position in 1902.

Customs House.

H.M. Customs , Nelson, is one of the oldest offices in the colony, as it dates back to 1842, when the first Customhouse was at the entrance of the harbour near the beacons; but later on it was removed to a site opposite to what is now known as Burford's Wharf. The next building was on the site of the fire bell at the Port—close to Franzen's store—and was taken possession of in 1862. In 1881 the present building, which had previously been the Post Office, was taken over. Nothing dating further back than 1850 is to be found in the records of the Nelson Customhouse, where Mr. Charles Logie was then sub-collector. In 1853 Mr. Logie was made collector, and Nelson became an independent port. The same year Mr. Edward H. M. Blackmore succeeded Mr. Logie, and he in turn was succeeded in 1856 by Captain D. Rough, who held the office until 1868, when he was succeeded by Mr. D. Johnston. Mr. Johnston retired on a pension in 1880, and in 1881 the late collector, Mr. Wilson Heaps, was appointed. For the year 1865 customs and other receipts from the Port were £41,374. In 1873 the revenue amounted to £41,222. The year 1885 showed an increase of revenue, which stood at £46,000; whilst ten years later the receipts were £45,000. The highest revenue reached was in 1888, when it was within a few pounds of £59,000. In connection with the department there are two private bonds owned by Levin and Co. and J. H. Cock and Co. On the retirement of Mr. Heapson pension, after forty years of service, he was succeeded by Mr. Richard Carter, the present Collector of Customs, who was formerly Landing Surveyor for H. M. Customs, Wellington.

Mr. Wilson Heaps , retired Collector of Customs and Stipendiary Magistrate, who was appointed in 1881 to his late position, was in the Government service from 1864 to 1904. He joined the Customs at Lyttelton, and remained there until 1868, when he became Inspector of Distilleries, and was sent to Victoria to see the working of the Distilleries Department in that Colony. He filled the office with marked efficiency until distilleries were practically abolished in 1874. In 1875, during the absence in England of the then secretary of Customs, Mr. W. Seed, he acted as collector in Wellington, while the collector acted for Mr. Seed. Later on he relieved the collectors at Gisborne and New Plymouth for short periods, and eventually was appointed to the post of landing surveyor and acting collector in Wellington until 1881. Mr. Heaps, who is a native of Yorkshire, was educated at Sedburgh Grammar school, Queen's College, and the Royal College of Chemistry at Liverpool. He came to New Zealand in 1864, and immediately joined the Customs. In 1891 the Government appointed him sheriff of Nelson and resident magistrate for Takaka, Collingwood, Motueka and Brightwater, also warden for the three former places and Nelson. He was ex-officio chairman of the Motueka licensing committee and Judge of the Assessment Courts for Collingwood and Takaka. Among many other duties, Mr. Heaps was also registrar of shipping, local officer for the payment of Imperial pensions and receiver of wrecks. He has been a member of the Diocesan Synod for over twenty years, and was churchwarden of Christ Church parish at the time the cathedral was built, and took a leading interest in that work. Mr. Heaps married, in 1870, Julia Gertrude Isabel, daughter of Darey Haggitt, Esquire, solicitor, Dunedin, and sister of the late B. C. Haggitt, Crown Prosecutor, Dunedin.

Mr. W. Heaps.

Mr. W. Heaps.

Land And Survey Department.

Department Of Lands And Survey . The Nelson Lands and Survey district has an area of 8884 square miles. The offices of the Department are located in the Government Buildings, near the Queen's Gardens, Nelson. Mr. W. G. Murray is Commissioner of Crown Lands and Chief Surveyor; he has a staff of seventeen officers, and there are district offices at Takaka, Westport and Reefton.

Mr. William George Murray , who was appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands and Chief Surveyor for the Nelson district in 1902, had previously held a similar office in Westland, where he had been connected with the Department for thirty-five years. Mr. Murray was born in 1841, in Banfïshire, Scotland, where he received his education and training as a surveyor. When about twenty years of age he came out to New Zealand, and started to practise his profession in partnership with Mr. Seeley, but a year later he proceeded to the West Coast, and entered the Government service. Mr. Murray was married, in 1872, to Miss Smith, of Victoria, and has two sons and two daughters.

Mr. Robert Thomas Sadd , Senior District Surveyor for the Nelson district, was born in Nelson in 1858, where he attended the public school. He obtained a provincial scholarship which entitled him to two years of free tuition at Nelson College, and after having passed the junior and senior Civil Service Examinations, he joined the Survey Office in 1874, at the early age of sixteen. Mr. Sadd was sent into the field as assistant surveyor when under twenty years of age, and, ob- page 57 taining rapid promotion, was appointed to his present position in 1881. He is president of the Richmond Athletic and Cycling Club. Mr. Sadd was married, in 1881, to Miss A. M. Coveney, of Ballarat, Victoria, and has two sons and four daughters.

Tyree, photo. Mr. R. T. Sadd.

Tyree, photo.
Mr. R. T. Sadd.

Land Transfer Department.

The Land Transfer And Deeds Registry Office in Nelson is situated on the ground floor of the Government Buildings. The department deals with the registration of documents under the Land Transfer Act.

Mr. William Waring de Castro , Assistant Land Registrar and Deputy Commissioner of Stamps at Nelson, was born at Porirua, near Wellington, on the 3rd of December, 1861. He was educated at a private school, and at Wellington College, and entered the Government service in 1875 as a cadet in the Government Life Department, from which he was transferred to the Lands and Deeds Office in 1878. After serving two years in the Wellington office, Mr. de Castro was promoted to Christchurch, and remained there for two years and ahalf before being appointed chief clerk at Hokitika, where he served for four years and a-half. He then became assistant Land Registrar and Deputy Commissioner of Stamps at Blenheim, and received his present appointment at Nelson in 1892. Mr. de Castro has been a member of the 1st Westland Rifles, and of the Blenheim City Rifles, and was secretary of both corps. As a Freemason, he is Master of Lodge Victory, Nelson, has been Master of the Wairau Lodge, Blenheim, of Killarney Lodge, Blenheim, and of the Motueka Lodge, as well as Grand Principal in the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter. He was formerly a member of the Star Boating Club at Wellington, and of the Canterbury Rowing Club at Christchurch, and in 1881 helped to found the East Christchurch Football Club, of which he was secretary. Mr. de Castro was married, in 1886, to a daughter of Mr. E. B. Dixon, Inspector of Schools, Hokitika, and has two sons and two daughters.

Public Trust Office.

The Public Trust Department is in the old Savings Bank Buildings, in Trafalgar Street, Mr Edward P. Watkis, the District Agent, acts also as Commissioner of Native Reserves.

Stock Department.

The Office Of The Department Of Agriculture in Nelson is on the first floor of the Government Buildings. The department's duties include the inspection of all classes of stock, the inspection of dairies, and the extension of advice and assistance to orchardists and farmers.

Mr. Thomas Archibald Fraser , Chief Inspector of Stock for the Nelson District, was appointed to his present position in 1904. He is a son of the late Hon. Captain Fraser, was born in Inverness, Scotland, and was educated partly in France, partly in the Channel Islands, and partly in Australia. Mr Fraser arrived at Wellington with his parents in 1858. He joined the Lands Department of the Government service in 1892, and four years later was transferred to the Department of Agriculture, when he received the appointment of Assistant Chief Inspector of Stock for the South Island. Mr. Fraser is further referred to at page 141 of the Otago volume of this Cyclopedia.

Public Works Department.

Public Works Department . The office of the Public Works Department in Nelson is in Trafalgar Street, and Mr. W. A. Shain is the officer in charge. It is somewhat difficult to define the area of the Nelson public works district, as bridges and other road works, not done by the county council or road boards, are carried out by the Lands Department, but otherwise the departmental officer is in charge of all public works in the Nelson district, which includes the coast line round Tasman and Golden Bays to Cape Farewell, and what is termed the Motupiko end of the Midland Railway.

Lakbour Department.

The Office Of The Inspector Of Factories is in the back portion of the Government Life Insurance Buildings, in Hardy Street. An adjoining right-of-way gives a side entrance to the office. The Inspector of Factories and Agent for the Labour Department is Mr. S. Tyson.

Mr. Samuel Tyson was born in Scotland in 1864, and was brought up as a millwright. In 1884, he arrived in Wellington, and followed his trade in New Zealand for several years, and for a short period in Fiji. He joined the Labour Department in 1904, and was appointed to the charge of the Nelson branch in March of the same year.

Births, Deaths, and Marriages.

The Office Of The Registrar Of Births, Deaths And Marriages , in Nelson, is on the first floor of the building occupied by Messrs W. Rout and Sons in Hardy Street. The office hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mr. Sidney Blomfield, the Registrar, is elsewhere referred to as Clerk of the Waimea County Council.

Police Department.

The Nelson And Westland Police District embraces the two provincial districts, but the Marlborough district is included in that of Wellington. Inspector E. Wilson, whose whose headquarters are at Greymouth, is the officer in charge of the district, and Sergeant John Bougan has charge of the Nelson station and the country embraced between Spring Grove, Collingwood and the Croiselles. There are twenty-two police stations in the combined district. For the year 1904 there were 100 offences reported at Nelson station alone, and out of this number ninety-four arrests or summonses were made; three prisoners were committed for trial; eighty-five males and five females were convicted, and eleven males and one female were discharged. The Nelson Police Station, in St. John Street, is convenveniently situated near the centre of the city, and is well appointed. The sergeant's residence adjoins the station. The staff for Nelson city consists of the sergeant-in-charge, a gaoler, five constables, and a plain clothes policeman. One of the constables acts as Inspector of Weights and Measures.

Sergeant John Dougan, Officer In Charge of the Nelson Station and District, traces his descent to a Huguenot family, and is a native of the North of Ireland. He was educated and brought up on Lord Ranfurly's estate, and afterwards learned the trade of a millwright. In 1878 he came out to New Zealand, and the following year joined the police force at Wellington. Subsequently Sergeant Dougan was stationed in Sydenham, Christchurch, where he had charge for ten years. He has also been stationed in Christchurch and Temuka, and was promoted to his present position in 1898.

District Gaol.

The Nelson Police Gaol , situated in St. John. Street, between the Police Station and the Government Buildings, consists of four cells at the rear of the gaoler's house. They were constructed in 1901, and are built of concrete. A hot air service renders the cells habitable in the winter months. A small exercise yard is surrounded by a lofty iron fence, which is surmounted by rows of sharp iron spikes. Prisoners committed to this gaol may be kept there for one month, but if their sentences exceed that length of time they are transferred to the Terrace Gaol, Wellington. During 1904, eighty-seven males and three females were admitted to the Nelson Police Gaol; of this number eight were sent to other prisons, three were committed to the mental hospital and twenty page 58 nine were convicted for short periods; while, forty-seven males and the three females were discharged. Constable James Weatherley is the gaoler-incharge, and Mrs. Weatherley acts as matron when necessary.

Official Assignee.

The Office Of The Deputy Official Assignee in Nelson, is in the buildings occupied by Messes W. Rout and Sons, in Hardy Street, at the corner of Church Street. Mr. W. Rout, junior, is the Deputy Official Assignee in Bankruptey.

Railway Department.

Nelson Section Of New Zealand Railways . This section was opened to Wal-Iti (nineteen miles) on the 1st of February, 1876; to Belgrove (twenty-two miles) in July, 1881; and to Motupiko (thirty-two miles) in February, 1899. The section to Waiiti was constructed by the late Mr. John Scott, at a cost of about £7000 per mile. The contractors for the work from Wai-iti to Belgrove, were Messrs McGuire and Day; from Belgrove to Spooner's Range (including a tunnel three-quarters of a mile in length) the work was carried out by McGuire and party, and the remaining portion of the line by cooperative labour. The total cost of the railway up to the 31st of March, 1904, was £309,106. The line is under Government control. Since 1898, the Railway Department has had charge of the wharf at the Port, which has been re-built and added to at a cost of £8,000. The following are the stations in charge of officers of the department: Port, Nelson, Richmond, Wakefield, Belgrove, and Motupiko. Six stationmasters, four clerks, one cadet, twenty-two maintenance men, and from twenty to thirty casual hands as required, are employed on the section. Trains are run twice daily each way, and extra trains on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Mr. G. E. Richardson , formerly District Manager of the Nelson Section of the New Zealand Railways, was appointed to that position on the 9th of February, 1897. He was bornat Opawa, Christchurch, and is the son of the Hon. Edward Richardson, C.M.G., who has several times been Minister of Public Works, and who, in conjunction with Mr. G. Holmes, constructed the Lyttelton tunnel and other sections of railway in Canterbury. Mr. G. E. Richardson was educated at Midmont school, and subsequently attended the Boys' High school at Christchurch. He entered the service of the New Zealand Railways as an apprentice in the Addington workshops in June, 1883. After two years' service he was transferred to the Petone workshops, where he continued till 1887. Upon completing his apprenticeship, and after passing through every branch of the profession, he was sent to the Wanganui workshops. In 1889, Mr. Richardson was again transferred to the head office at Wellington, where for two years he was engaged in the head draughting office. He was then appointed relieving officer in the locomotive department for New Zealand, and filled that position until he was appointed district manager of the Nelson section, whence he was promoted to the managership of the Westport section in May, 1900; and in May, 1905, he was placed in charge of the railway workshops at Hillside, Duneedin. In 1895, Mr. Richardson married the daughter of Mr. H. W. Brabant, then Magistrate of Wanganui and adjacent districts, and now (1905) Stipendiary Magistrate at Napier.

The Nelson Railway Station , which is scheduled as 4th class, is sitnated conveniently near the town. The station buildings contain the usual offices and appointments, and the large yard has a goods shed, carriage sited, engine shed, store, and railway workshops. Mr. E., G. Wilson is the stationmaster-in-charge.

Mr. Edwin George Wilson , Stationmaster-in-Charge of the Nelson section, was born in 1861, at Rangiora, Canterbury, where he was educated. On leaving school in 1875, he joined the railway service as a cadet, and was afterwards a railway telegraphist at Selwyn and Rangitata. Mr. Wilson was then promoted to the position of stationmaster at Ealing, and served in a similar capacity at Washdyke, Albury, Fairlie, Burnham, Leeston, Greymouth, Brunner, Feilding, and Woodville, successively, before being appointed to his present position in 1900.

The Nelson Railway Workshops consist of two sheds. The machine shop is 36 feet by 100 feet, and is fitted up with a three-horse power steam engine and boiler, by Messrs Ruston and Proctor, two lathes (6-inch and 8-inch centres), shaping, drilling and screwing machines, band and circular saws, etc. The whole of the rolling stock required for the section, which is an expensive one to work, is erected at the workshops.

Mr. Thomas Bryce Allan , formerly leading fitter at the Nelson Railway Workshop, is a son of Mr. Robert Allan, who was for forty years a passengertrain driver on the Caledonian railway, and was born in Glasgow in 1854, and educated at the railway school. Mr. Allan was for more than two years in the running sheds at Carstairs, and finished the terms of his apprenticeship at the St. Rollox workshops, Glasgow. He afterwards worked as a journeyma in the Cowlairs workshops of the North British railway for about eighteen months, and put in a short time at the Marine Works on the Clyde. In 1877 Mr. Allan came out to New Zealand in the ship “Trueman, and was for twelve months in Dunedin before going to Wellington, where he is said to have driven the first steam tram in the Southern Hemisphere. In 1888, he joined the railway department at the Petone workshops, and was shortly afterwards transferred to Nelson.