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


The intensity of social life in every country is mainly augmented or modified by climatic influences. The effort for existence is much more serious and strenuous in colder climes than under the sunny skies of this bountiful country; and it naturally follows that the temperament of the community enjoying these favoured conditions is beneficially affected. In New Zealand the time devoted to labour is less than in any other part of the civilized world, the average individual wealth is greater here than in any other country on earth, and the conditions of life generally are easier and more congenial. There is no aristocracy or leisured class in this colony, and there is no abject poverty or fawning servility. All- or practically all—are workers; hence, everyone is enabled to devote a fair amount of time to a favourite hobby or amusement, and the inclination for healthy sports and pastimes is encouraged and fostered. In Hawke's Bay, as elsewhere throughout New Zealand, every form of recreation is catered for, but the people of Napier have at their doors an additional asset in the inner harbour—a magnificent stretch of land-locked water, where aquatic pleasures are safely indulged in. In this section the various phases of social life in Napier are noted.