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


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The Directors of The Cyclopedia Company, Limited, have great pleasure in presenting their subscribers with the last volume of the Cyclopedia Of New Zealand.

To the early subscribers of this work the lengthy period occupied in compiling and publishing the Cyclopedia might have seemed suggestive of delays or cessations from work. But it was not so; the work of collecting information and particulars for publication and the printing of the successive volumes has been continuous from the inception of the Company. It may be mentioned that this work is the largest publishing undertaking yet attempted in the Dominion of New Zealand, and had the Directors known at the outset the magnitude the work would assume, the time the compilation would require, and the heavy expenses it would incur, it is improbable that they would have had the temerity to embark upon the venture. The cost could have been considerably reduced by having omitted reference to many of the scattered, sparsely-populated, and outlying districts; but as this would not have been in accordance with the intended nature of the Cyclopedia, the Directors decided that whatever pecuniary losses it would entail the work should be brought to a completion in the manner laid down in the beginning.

The conductors traversed the Dominion from Parengarenga to Stewart Island, from Cape Egmont to East Cape, and from Cape Foulwind to Akaroa; and though their duties often entailed long and fatiguing journeys, the nature of their occupation, through the courtesy and welcome support so readily extended by the colonists of New Zealand, was almost invariably pleasant.

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The Cyclopedia Of New Zealand should not be regarded merely as a work for the present day. The first volume contains a Colonial history, and each of the other volumes contain provincial histories, in addition to descriptive articles on places and articles on practically all public bodies and representative institutions. The personal element is also largely depicted, and this will prove of value to the future chronicler and historian, as without the Cyclopedia many records of notable and pioneer colonists would have had no existence. The Cyclopedia has been appreciated in the libraries of the newspapers of the Dominion, where it is regarded as a work of useful reference. One prominent journalist recently expressed the hope that the Directors would make the work a continuous one, and within the next decade publish another completed Cyclopedia. But the population of New Zealand has not yet sufficiently increased to make the proposal one for serious contemplation, though we honestly believe that in years to come the rising generation, if the opportunity is given them, will readily grant as much support to another similar publication as their parents have accorded to this.

The Cyclopedia Company, Limited.