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


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For the past decade New Zealand has enjoyed unprecedented prosperity, mainly on account of bountiful seasons and high prices for produce. But although the value of exports shows remarkable increases, on account of higher prices ruling, the quantity has not increased in similar ratio. The value of the total exports from New Zealand for the year ended the 30th of June, 1906, amounted to £17,706,689, being over two millions more than the exports for the respective preceding three years. This large increase was due in some measure to the improvement in the prices of wool, but, at the same time, every line of export showed a substantial increase in value. For the year 1904–5 the value of the wool and sheepskins exported was £5,885,985, and this rose in 1905–6 to £7,246,303. Frozen meat, the second chief item in the list of exports, advanced from £2,714,026 in the former year to £2,882,387 in the latter. The output of gold also rose from £1,974,739 to £2,153,047, and the value of butter and cheese from £1,598,199 to £1,840,383. After the four chief centres of the colony the Port of Napier came next in the value of goods exported, which, apart from specie and parcels, amounted to £1,346,760, being only £353,978 behind that of Dunedin. New Zealand's imports for the year ended the 30th of June, 1906, were valued at £13,869,042, which amount constitutes a record, as the total for exports also does. For the past forty-nine years New Zealand has exported £17,146,627 ounces of gold, of the value of £67,230,584; and £6,486,416 ounces of silver, of the value of £777,702.

Hawke's Bay is essentially a pastoral province, and it has progressed chiefly through the advancement made in that important line of industry. The early “eighties” saw he commencement of the frozen meat trade, and the beginning of the systemisation and expansion of the dairy trade. By-products have been utilised within recent years to full advantage, and have acquired a value undreamt of twenty years ago. Pelts and sausage skins, two modest items formerly regarded as refuse, have during the last few years brought about £1,000 a day into the colony. In the expansion of the meat trade Napier has, proportionately, kept well abreast of her larger sister provinces. The Port takes third place in New Zealand in the exportation of beef, and fourth place in that of mutton and lamb. Next in importance to the wool and meat trade in Hawke's Bay comes the timber industry. Saw-mills have been established in all the valuable forests, and the exportation of timber produces a large revenue to the province. A large trawling fleet employed daily in the Bay supplies the province and part of Wellington with fish. The agricultural, dairying, and fruit-growing industries are also of very considerable importance. Other industries, more especially in Napier and the other large towns, include fellmongeries, woollen mills, flax-mills, engineering works, soap works, breweries, coach, sash and door, and rope and twine factories. The business institutions of Napier are well abreast of the times, and this section will be found representative of the commercial,” industrial, and professional community.