Voices from Auckland, New Zealand.
Of the Provinces into which New Zealand has been divided, the Province of Auckland is the largest and most important. It comprises about two-thirds of the northern portion of the northern island, nay an European population more than double that of any other Province exclusive of Naval and Military Forces, and more than a half of the whole native race. It is distinguished also for the extent of its coast line, the number of its harbours, and the facilities it affords for inland navigation; and probably no better proof can be given of its attractive-page 15ness, as a field of emigration, than the fact that while people from various parts of the neighbouring colonies were crowding to the gold fields of Australia in the year 1852, the population of the Province of Auckland, at the end of that year, exceeded by some hundreds the population of the province at the end of the year preceding; and has since continued steadily to increase.
Two of the most valuable natural productions of New Zealand are peculiar to the Province of Auckland: neither kauri gum nor kauri spars being found to the south of its southern boundary. The value of New Zealand spars has long been known in England; but the Report of the French Commission on the comparative strength of timbers of various kinds, has recently been made known abroad—the superior quality for ship masts—of the New Zealand Kauri Pine, and cargoes of valuable spars are from time to time shipped from the northern ports, But, besides valuable timber, the kauri tree produces large quantities of resin or gum, which has recently become an established article of commerce, both in the English and A merican markets. It is used as a size for glazing calico, as a substitute for gum copal, and for other purposes not yet generally ascertained. Its price in the English market has varied from £20 to £50 a ton. The natives, by whom it is collected, receive from the exporters £10 or £12 a ton. The amount shipped from the province varies considerably from year to year: the largest quantity (1,660 tons) was exported in the year 1854, the declared value in New Zealand being £28,000. Besides timber and kauri gum, the principal articles of export from the Province of Auckland are grain, potatoes, copper ore, wool, and oil. In the course of two years after the discovery of the Australian gold fields, the exports from the province increased three-fold. With its numerous rivers and harbours, the Province of Auckland possesses great advantages for maritime pursuits; and more than a hundred, vessels are registered as belonging to the port of Auckland alone, besides upwards of a hundred and fifty licensed small craft under fifteen tons. Seven or eight Hundred vessels, of all sizes, foreign and coastwise, enter the port in the course of a year; and English and American whalers still continue, in large numbers, to resort to the northern ports.*