Voices from Auckland, New Zealand.
It cannot be questioned that united action is of great importance to settlers. To them unity is strength, and indiscriminate dispersion is weakness; but how to constitute and work out a safe plan of co-operation, is by no means so easy to explain. The leading design may be good, but the details of the working drawings may be difficult; yet, if the design be right, and in harmony with the divine rules of equity and order, the details will come out, as earnest and practical men give thought and heart to the subject.
The question to be considered is this:—In what manner can a sufficient number of suitable persons be brought to combine their energies in the formation of a settlement, on land of good quality, well situated in the province of Auckland?
It appears that there is provision in the "Auckland Land Regulations" for the grouping of settlers, but, in order to avail themselves of the "Special Settlement" clauses, im-page 49migrants must, before leaving their home countries, enter into arrangements with the agents there, for the selection, by some one here on their behalf, of an eligible block: and then, before they leave, obtain from the agents a "Special Settlement" land order, which will entitle them to select their acres within that block.
But it will naturally be demanded how similar advantages can be secured by a number of persons already in Auckland and unassociated?—The first thing is to find a sufficiency of persons disposed to combine in the work, and to exercise their land grants upon one block. Let their names be first recorded at the Newspaper Office*, or some other convenient place; when a sufficient number of persons are recorded, let them meet and agree upon a good locality, where forty or fifty thousand acres are open for selection; send off a deputation, with a Government guide, to inspect the land; and having fixed upon the locality, there is nothing more to do than to go to the Land Office and write their names on the pieces selected. No selection should be made until after the party is formed, and then the land should be secured without delay, because the knowledge that a community was about to settle there, might attract some newly arrived speculators to compete with them. I say "newly arrived speculators" because the colonists who are long resident in Auckland, and feel deeply interested in the progress of the country, I hope, on behalf of the new settlers, would on principle abstain from the competition, however great the temptation might be to purchase.
One of the first things after the land is obtained, is to make a road to it from some trunk road or landing place: and this could I believe be done by the settlers giving half the cost, either in money or labour, and the Provincial Government finding the other half. Having thus by combination obtained a site, the settlers would continue their cordial aid to each other, in building their houses, felling large trees, and any other matters in which united action would be for the advantage of all.
If my rough hints should lead some of the earnest and practical minds recently arrived, to work out and carry into life a judicious system of voluntary and united settlement, by which families may be grouped so as, without serious delay and inconvenience, to have roads, houses, schools, and churches for their own use and benefit, I shall rejoice to witness their success.