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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 5 (August 1, 1935)

Variety In Brief

page 54

Variety In Brief

Recently I had occasion to contradict a statement that the Californian big trees were the largest timber yielding trees in the world. As the subject is of peculiar interest to New Zealanders, the conclusions arrived at in this respect by Mr. D. E. Hutchings, I.F.S., a graduate of L'Eco'e Nationale des Eaux et Forets, Nancy, and one time Conservator of Forests in Cape Colony, are appended:—“In the Tutamoe Forest, New Zealand, grew the record kauri tree, the largest authentic recorded timber-tree that has ever been measured, at any time, in any forest in the world. It was of 22 ft. diameter, with 100 ft. of clean bole, and thus (deducting for taper and bark) with the extraordinary figure of about 31,146 c. ft. gross, or about 24,649 c. ft. quarter-girth measurement—295,788 sup. ft. of sawable timber. An acre of medium-quality spruce in mid - Europe, taking the timber down to 3 in. diameter at the small end, has, at 120 years of age, 10,200 c. ft. of timber: so that here is one tree with nearly the full timber-stand of three acres of good European forest. Again, in the ordinary forest a tree with 1,000 c. ft. of timber is a very big tree, so that this giant kauri of the Tutamoe Forest was as large as thirty-one very big forest-trees, as big trees go elsewhere. Lastly, this Tutamoe giant, with nearly one-third of a million superficial feet of sawable timber, was just double the timber-size of the largest of the Californian big trees. I cannot trace among these latter one with more than 141,000 board or superficial feet. (See “Calaveras Big-tree National Forest”: Congress Report No. 397, of 1912.) These big kauri trees seem to be clearly the largest timber-yielding trees in the world.”


It is generally believed that the search for oil deposits in New Zealand is fairly recent. This, however, is not so. In 1839, the presence of petroleum was suspected at Moturoa (New Plymouth) by Dr. Diffenbach, in the course of geological surveys. In New Zealand the strongest oil seepages are at present at Kotuku, in North Westland. At Murchison there is an oil basin out of which oil seeps at various points along faults, but so far only one has been drilled. This was unsuccessful at a depth of 3,474 feet.


* * *

There lies a great gap between the position of engine-cleaner and that of Cabinet Minister in the British House of Commons, as the Rt. Hon. J. H. Thomas could testify. By no means imposing in appearance, he nevertheless gives a sense of power. The dogged ambition and tenacity which enabled the Great Western Railway servant to rise to his present important position are no common qualities. His shrewdness elicited from our Prime Minister upon his recent dealings with the Dominions Secretary, that he had never met anyone like Mr. Thomas for arguing that black is white.

An individualist, armed with an irrepressible gift of bluff geniality, he follows his own vision, and faces the consequences.


* * *

In the June number of the “Railways Magazine” there is an advertisement calling for the co-operation of the people of New Zealand to make the railways the success that is desired by all.

Now I have been wondering if in giving our full co-operation we should not rather spell the word with a “G” instead of a “C” and thus make it “Go-operation.”

This is really an age of “go.” Everything is on the “go.” In fact, to keep up with the times, one must keep on the “go” at a very rapid rate, for, whether it be the progress of a train on a railway line, or the progress of a train of thought on any given line, all progress along any line of endeavour is racing along at a tremendous speed.

In order to co-operate to make the railways “go,” we must all “go” by train, if we are to make the trains “go” by us, and if that kind of co-operation isn't “go-operation,” then there must be a mistake somewhere.

Remember that the railways certainly do live up to their part of the business, in the proverb, “That one good turn deserves another,” for have we not all noticed, when travelling on the Main Trunk that we no sooner “go” around one good turn, than the wheels begin to murmur, “Deserves another, deserves another,” and so we “go” around the next turn. So once again we are caught in the “go-operation.” Seeing that the railways do their part so well, let us co-operate and “go” by rail, ever remembering that if we are to make our railways “go” our co-operation must always mean for us “Go-operation.”