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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]


The visitor to Taranaki is impressed in passing through the towns with the fact that professions, trades, and manufacturies of various kinds, are strongly in evidence. Medical men, dentists, architects and engineers have surgeries and offices in the majority of the townships. Wholesale merchants are, for the most part, domiciled in New Plymouth. Of the retail firms, large numbers are direct importers from the markets of the world, and very fine displays of all kinds of merchandise are noticable in the handsome shop windows. Hardly an article that may be desired, but can be purchased at a reasonable price, in any of the centres, especially at New Plymouth, Hawera and Stratford. Many of the stores and shops are very extensive, with remarkably fine show windows, and roomy, well-lighted show-rooms. The numerous dairy factories and creameries denote that the country is essentially a dairy farming and grazing district. A large part of the produce of the dairy factories of Taranaki is sent to the freezing works at Moturoa and Patea, where it is properly graded by Government experts, prior to shipment at the northern and southern ports. Butter and cheese exported from north and south Taranaki have shown a large and steady increase during the last few years. Bacon-curing is carried on on a very considerable scale, and factories are in operation at Fitzroy, Eltham and Stratford. Of sawmills and sash and door factories some indication is found in every settlement. There are very extensive woodware businesses in New Plymouth and Hawera, and lesser ones at other centres. At Waitara and Patea considerable meat factories are in operation. The manufacture of bricks and earthenware drain pipes is carried on at extensive works at Hawera and Patea. The progress of the application of electricity is very marked in the Taranaki district, and at New Plymouth, Inglewood, Stratford, Hawera, and Patea advantage has been taken of the forces of nature in this connection. In the two ports the work is in the hands of the local municipalities, but the three inland towns have allowed local companies to undertake and carry out the installations. The Hawera County Electric Light Company has a splendid power house on the Okaiawa river, near Normanby, and from that centre Hawera, Manaia, Normanby and Okaiawa are lighted. Several dairy factories, also, are now worked by electric motors. Industries such as coachbuilding, bootmaking, and iron-founding, engineering and the manufacture of furniture are also carried on in many towns in the provincial district.