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

The New Plymouth Harbour Board

The New Plymouth Harbour Board consists of nine members, three of whom are nominated by the Government, and the remainder are elected by ratepayers throughout the entire district, which is divided into six wards as follows: New Plymouth borough, Clifton, Stratford, Hawera, Egmont and Taranaki counties, each of which returns one of the members, who are elected once in two years; the Government nominees are appointed by the Governor-in-Council every three years. Members in 1906: Messrs J. Ward, R. Price, and R. W. Hornby (Government nominees), J. B. Connett (New Plymouth borough). N. King (Taranaki county), J. Hine (Clifton county), G. McLean (Hawera county), J. Thomson (Stratford county), E. Maxwell (Egmont county). Mr. J. B. Connett is chairman of the Board, Mr. C. Rennell, secretary; Captain C. E. Hood, harbourmaster, and Mr. J. McMahon, assistant harbourmaster. The original breakwater at Moturoa, New Plymouth, was 1950 feet long; but since 1905 it has been lengthened a further distance of 200 feet. The railway line extends to the end of the wharf, and thence the mail train starts daily in the morning, and returns to connect with steamers leaving for Auckland in the evening. The cargo to and from the steamers is worked directly from and to the trucks. Butter and cheese are among the principal exports. In the year 1894, only 2191 tons of butter and cheese were shipped; but ten years later the total shipment amounted to 6953 tons. The income of the Board for the year ending the 31st of December, 1905, was £10,803. The depth of the water at the wharf varies from thirteen feet, at low water, to twenty-five at high water during spring tides. Steamers of 1000 tons can berth at the wharf. The charges are: Wharfage, 2s per ton; pilotage, 3d per ton, for sailing vessels, and half those rates for steamships; the port charges are: 4d per ton half-yearly. The breakwater, which cost an enormous sum of money, was designed by the well known engineer, Sir John Coode. The loans of the New Plymouth Harbour Board amount to £200,000, against which there is an accumulated sinking fund, which amounts to £54,332, and the revenue on trust accounts for the year ended 31st of December, 1905, was £14,365. The number of vessels that entered the harbour in the year 1894 was 372, with a tonnage of 91,040; ten years later, 476 vessels en-and their tonnage amounted to 228,743. The imports and exports for 1894 amounted to 24,902 tons, and for 1904, 62,940 tons. The sinking fund of the Harbour Board is managed commissioners; namely, Messrs H. page 59 Weston (chairman), J. B. Connett, and R. Cock. The Harbour Board's offices are situated in Brougham Street, New Plymouth.