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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 6 (September 1, 1936)

Cheery Communal Life

Cheery Communal Life.

“You know,” said Te Puea, “when, the people are working in co-operation, they go on with their singing and their arts and crafts as they did before the pakeha came. They sing and dance and are happy. We realise that the farming of to-day must be carried out in modern pakeha fashion, but it suits us to work together in the old way, page 20 page 21 and have our songs and dances as in former times.”

There is a beautiful spirit of mutual helpfulness among the Maoris, and wise administration will encourage this and utilise it in the development of the new farming effort. The trials so far have been justified by results.

Near Waiuku, where a few years ago hundreds of acres were covered with gorse and fern and infested with rabbits, the Princess and her people have founded dairy farms. These farms, fully stocked, cost only #17 per acre. In 1929, the Kohekohe block of 400 acres, on the Lower Waikato, was unproductive land. Te Puea and members of her tribe set to work, and their labours showed what could be done with organisation in a short time. In the 1930–31 season three small herds were milked on the newly-grassed land.

“Princess te Puea is a wonderful woman,” said Mr. Massey, M.P. for Franklin, in 1931. “She has a splendid influence over the natives and has proved to the rest of New Zealand what can be done in this way. The land shows that excellent work has been put into it.”