Voices from Auckland, New Zealand.
A Voice from Mangawai
A Voice from Mangawai.
To the Editor of the New-Zealander.
Sir,—"Where are the new-comers?" "Where do they get to?" "And what are they to do?" are questions which I have heard repeatedly put, with too often very damaging rejoinders given by certain parties, both as to the immigrants themselves and the Government that "induced" them to come out.
Now, I will not argue on the abstract question, whether the system of free grants of land is good or bad, politically; but this much is certain—and demonstrated—that a great number of the new-comers have gone to their land so acquired; that very many of them will succeed in turning the wilderness into green pastures, and so produce food for man and beast realising for themselves, in time, comfort, plenty, and independence; thereby not only attaining their main object of page 83securing a home without paying crushing taxes, and rendering the occupation of the several outlying districts much easier to those who may still follow—and adding to the general wealth of the Province.
It is not the bare possession of so many acres of land, whether good or bad, that will keep the Province of Auckland in her position,—that is, the first in New Zealand,—but energetic men and women who will be content to go into and endure the bush for a season. Very soon they will not exchange their country life for any other. They will thus spread the influence and effects of their labours and lives over whole districts, and lay the foundation of healthy and intelligent society worthy of the land they came from—society that will last when they themselves are gone. These are the settlers who make a colony.
But it is incumbent on the Government to assist the new-comers as much as possible. In the first place, let the actual settler have good land; let the poor land remain in blocks, not going to the expense of surveying it in small pieces: then there will be more money left for the making of bridges and roads. There ought to be a passable road for bullocks into every block: this would facilitate the occupation of the country much; and, where at all practicable, there should be a branch-post or postal communication by some means—only let it be regular, and it would confer an inestimable boon upon the residents of the bush.
The majority of the new-comers are away to the various ports of the North, or preparing to go. There are several in the Mangawai and Te-Ikaranganui blocks—where they have for the most part excellent land, and, moreover, they are satisfied with it. But, then, one of the greatest drawbacks is the want of a Post to that place: a trifling expense would suffice to extend the Matakana mail "through" as far as Waipu or Wangarei, and such an arrangement would include all the settlements on that portion of the N. E. coast. The wants of the country would then be better known; also its resources; and the few would become many—difficulties would vanish before the energy of Anglo-Saxons; and instead of a few settlers ever beseeching Government to help them, the settlers would help the Government, not only to make but keep roads, bridges, and every other thing in order.
There is plenty of land, and good land, if it is looked for. If a man select his land without looking over it, he cannot be pitied if he gets a poor lot. Let Government aid in filling the country as fast as they have good land in their possession, with means to bridge, &c. to enable persons to settle, and there is no fear as to the result. I think the Government page 84which accomplishes this great work will deserve well of the country, and I have no doubt, notwithstanding all your City croakers, that the public, and our new-comers especially, will notice and appreciate for themselves the importance of the work which the present Provincial Government is carrying out.
I am, &c.,
A Mangawai Settler.