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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 3 (June 1, 1940)

The Great Wet Peace

The Great Wet Peace.

The partition of the great King Country began; the beginning of the ruin which the land-buying of Government and private individuals and syndicates brought upon the Maori.

The frontier went crazy over the quick exchange of blocks of land for the pakeha cheques which were cashed in the stores and the public houses. Hundreds of the native people camped in the townships—Alexandra and Cambridge, as well as Kihikihi.

Thousands of pounds were spent in those hotels and stores; they were scenes of such noisy revels, such mad drinking and rowdy shouting and dancing, such shopping regardless of expense. What impassioned protests from the business people of Kihikihi in 1886 when at last, and not a bit too soon for the welfare of the Maori, the Government removed the Land Court sittings into the interior of the King Country. Yells of rage from the hotel-owners especially, for Otorohanga where the first Land Court in the King Country was held, with Major Mair as the presiding judge, was “dry,” by decree of the Maori Big Three—Wahanui, Taonui, and Rewi. They were determined to save their people from the scandalous traffic in Waipiro, and they succeeded, for Otorohanga was a place of model behaviour for the duration of the Court, several months, and afterwards until the pakeha came for good. And there was soon no more of the old King Country we knew, in the wide fenceless time of the Rohepotae.

“When I heard they were growing and manufacturing tobacco in New Zealand,” writes Mr. Jas. Scattergood, a retired wholesale tobacco dealer, in a London trade journal, “I was not keenly interested, concluding that probably the stuff wasn't worth smoking. But last year, when I visited New Zealand to see my married daughter, I found to my surprise that the New Zealand toasted tobacco had actually become a serious rival to the imported article—and that it is not only of superfine quality but that thanks to the small amount of nicotine in it, it may be smoked ad. lib. without a particle of harm resulting to the smoker. After 50 years in the trade I can say unhesitatingly that I know of no other tobacco like this.” Well Mr. Scattergood there Is no other tobacco like it! It is unique. And the five toasted brands, Riverhead Gold, Desert Gold, Navy Cut No. 3 (Bulldog), Cavendish, and Cut Plug No. 10 (Bullshead), are as well-known as Mount Cook. The comparative absence of nicotine in them (eliminated by toasting) is the secret of their harmlessness.*