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The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator No. 185, Saturday, October 15, 1842

To the Editor of the “New Zealand Gazette, and Wellington Spectator.”

To the Editor of the “New Zealand Gazette, and Wellington Spectator.”

Look at the seemingly useless swamps covered with an abundance of wealth in the shape of phormium tenax which, were the spirit of enterprise awakened enough to rouse every energy; might be converted into gold-and yet in a proper manner. It is true an association was formed to try and have it brought to some use; but like all infantile and hasty attempts to arrive at something great, it began its proceeding not only at the wrong chapter, but exactly at the wrong end of the book. Much indeed has been said, and hinted at through the medium of our columns, but all to no purpose, since nothing has been done; machines too have been reported to have been made for preparing it by one or two individuals, who seemed to have had their eyes fixed upon the meteor prize, without examining the course they thought to pursue, and without directing their aim, and trying hastely to grasp the prize have failed in the attempt. After more than twelve months experimenting, and carefully investigating the principles of preparing the New Zealand (not for spinning, as some may suppose, but for exportation) I venture to say that I have arrived at that conclusion, that had I the means to finish what I have begun every one in the colony would have reason to rejoice. As I think there is nothing more detestable in human nature than a monopolizing of all advantages to one’s self, when a whole community can be benefited by them, without hurting the source whence they flow, I would be happy to offer my services where I saw a corresponding spirit of enterprise existing on the part of others, who would be willing under my directions to put the work into immediate execution. One instrument could be made for a few shillings, according to a model I could show about the size of a pocket snuff box, but even this when compared to another made to work on a different principle, though it should cost as many pounds, would not be so profitable in many respects. I do not pretend to say, however, what the amount of it would cost; nor would I proceed to make it myself, even though I were paid, because I am no mechanic, and therefore, unskilled in the handling of tools with that necessary exactness requisite to give justice to the working of the machine. But what I would advise, to go the right way to work, would be productive of much good, and even though a failure should happen it would neither be great or hurtful. As it is prudent in all things to be economical, therefore the plan that I would advise, I trust, will be appreciated and wrought upon. Let a company be formed, say of about 200 or 300 or more shares, at five or ten shillings each, the half of each share paid into the hands of a treasurer on subscribing, and let two or three of the committee as may be appointed, such as Mr. Boyton, or others who understand something of machinery but such as have not yet tried their powers of invention on flax machines - let them wait on me after giving a weeks notice, and if they show that the company will guarantee to set about the work without fail, (as the cost cannot at most be much) at least of a machine in a small form; so that the company may have the satisfaction of judging for themselves before anything greater be attempted, I will unfold my plans and give every necessary information on the subject. But let it be understood that may plans only are to be followed up, and the expense of workmanship and materials, to be defrayed from the funds subscribed. As for myself I should feel exceedingly happy at seeing the work completed, such, Mr. Editor is all that I, as one of the community can do, for the welfare of the Colony, and I trust, that the offer I this make will be duly appreciated by a discerning public.

I am, Mr. Editor, your’s &c.’

William Golder

Petoni, Oct.12.1842