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


Blenheim was constituted a borough on the 6th of March, 1869. It is situated in the centre of the Wairau Plain, embraces an area of 1,571 acres, possesses 670 ratepayers, and 1,450 rateable properties. The capital rateable value is £387,963; the unimproved rateable value £172,154, and the value of improvements, £215,809. The rates since 1901 have been struck on the unimproved values, and thet annual rateable value is £23,277. The rates now in force consist of a general rate of 2½d in the £; a Hospital and Charitable Aid rate of 2 2/8 of a penny in the £ on the annual rateable values; a special rate of ⅜d in the £, to provide interest for a special loan of £4,500, borrowed for the purpose of paying off a loan of £3000 and overdraft; and a special rate of 5–16ths of a penny in the £ to provide interest on uinking fund and other charges on a special loan of £3,500, for reclamation works in Collie's Hollow and LockUp Creek. There are several loans of a reproductive nature; namely, the gas works loan of £14,000, borrowed in the year 1905 on £100 debentures and repayable in 1910; the town hall loan of £4000, borrowed in 1905, and the abattoirs' loan of £3,300. The total assets of the town in March, 1905, were £30,000, and the liabilities, including loans, about £30,000. Street lighting is undertaken by the Borough Council, and the streets are well lighted; there is no permanent system of drainage, but the Council has the matter now (1905) under consideration, and it is likely that an up-to-date system will soon be introduced. There is a well equipped fire brigade station under the management of an efficient volunter fire brigade, which is subsidised to the amount of £75 annually by the Corporation. The disposal of refuse is effected privately. The borough has a Free Library, which contains 3,500 volumes. The population of the borough is about 3,500. The Council Chambers are situated in the Government buildings. Members of the Council for the year 1905: Messrs E. H. Penny (Mayor), page 314 J. J. W. White, A. Wiffen, W. Carr, W. Ching, W. D. Pike, John Brown, F. Birch, G. H. Mogridge, and G. Patch-ett. Mr. D. P. Sinclair is Town Clerk.