Voices from Auckland, New Zealand.
The indefatigable industry with which statements prejudicial to the interests of the Province of Auckland, New Zealand, continue to be circulated throughout the United Kingdom, would seem to call imperatively for an exposition of their fallacy from some duly authorised quarter. As the Agents of the Provincial Government in this country, therefore, we have considered it incumbent upon us to undertake this duty, and to collect and publish, in a generally accessible form, from numerous reliable sources, a body of information illustrative of the advantages offered to persons of all conditions of society, who may be desirous of emigrating to the Province of Auckland. These data will, we trust, not only disabuse the public mind of any unfavorable impression which may have been created by such misrepresentations, but establish beyond all controversy the fact that there is no part of Her Majesty's dominions which presents so fair a field for the exercise of the energy and enterprise which are, for the most part, the characteristics of the British Emigrant, as the Province of Auckland, New Zealand.
To the humbler classes of emigrants more especially, who whilst they combine vigour of body with that practical know-page viledge of the useful arts, to which all new countries are mainly indebted for their progress in civilization and prosperity, possess no greater amount of capital than may suffice to furnish them with a modest outfit, and the means of transport to its shores, the Province of Auckland offers peculiar, and, perhaps, unrivalled advantages. But if to these qualifications be superadded the industry, perseverance, and buoyancy of spirit which form the essential elements of prosperity, in every walk of social life, they cannot fail, in due time, to realise a position of comfort and independence which they could hardly have hoped to secure amid the overcrowded and fiercely competitive activity of the mother country. On the other hand, intelligent capitalists—persons of moderate but independent means—will there find safer, more wholesome, and more eligible opportunities of investment than they can meet with elsewhere.
The Province of Auckland contains no fewer than seventeen millions of acres of generally productive and easily convertible land; with the prime advantage of being one of the most salubrious as well as fruitful of Her Majesty's colonial possessions. It enjoys indeed a milder and more equable temperature than is to be found in the most healthy and genial climates of southern Europe; whilst the rapidity of its commercial progress and the steady increase in the value of its lands, when carefully and judiciously selected, offer an earnest of success which is calculated to satisfy any reasonable anticipations that may be formed of its capabilities. To every class of settlers who possess the most ordinary requisites for the performance of the duties that will devolve upon them, the Province of Auckland presents unusual attractions; affording as it does the best possible investment for their capital or labour. The immigrant who has attained the age of eighteen years, may, on his approval, secure a free grant of page viiforty acres of land, under no more onerous condition than the payment of his passage-money, and a four years' residence in the Province; that is to say, that although the above-mentioned number of acres may be selected, and settled upon, on his arrival with his land order in the Province, his title to the absolute and uncontrolled possession of the property is not confirmed to him until he has been a resident four years in all, out of the five years from the date of his arrival in some part or other of the Province. For every member of his family, of from five to eighteen years of age, or for any such member or servant aged eighteen years and upwards, who may accompany him, at his expense, the option of selecting, on the same conditions, twenty and forty acres respectively, if he has taken the precaution to obtain land orders for himself and dependants previous to his embarkation from England, for without such orders no such selection can be made. These tracts of land may be chosen from any of the General Country Lands open for sale, in various Districts of the Province, of which there are usually from 30,000 to 40,000 acres ready surveyed at the beginning of each month; and if more than the prescribed number of acres to which he is entitled by his land orders be required, any additional quantity may be purchased by him at the rate of ten shillings per acre, or at a comparatively trifling advance upon that valuation which may be created by the competition of two persons. There are proper offices in Auckland at which authentic information can be obtained of the situation and quality of the respective lots open for sale or selection. Each land order for forty acres is equivalent to twenty pounds sterling, whilst those for twenty acres represent the value of ten pounds, and as such may be taken in payment for General Country Lands. The Waste Lands' Act, passed in the General Assembly of 1858, page viiiby which the Auckland Waste Land Regulations have been continued, has been left by Her Majesty to its operation.
Although few roads have been constructed in the Province, good means of communication, some of them little inferior to an English turnpike road before the era of railways, are not wanting in various districts, others are in course of formation, and abundant facilities for intercourse are accessible by means of rivers and navigable creeks (not to mention extensive coasting traffic) which intersect the entire Province; and as the European population of the Province exceeds 23,000, exclusive of a large military force, it cannot be doubted that the facilities of communication between the city and the outlying locations are increasing in the same ratio. The soil of Auckland is as varied as that of England, and contains abundance of coal, lime-stone, timber, and other valuable products. Gold is also found on native lands. Of the fenced lands, comprising some 95,000 acres, upwards of 60,000 are under crop, exclusive of large tracts of ploughed and pasture land. Provisions and clothing are comparatively cheap.
In the notices which are comprised in the following pages, we have endeavoured to avert any chance of disappointment to the emigrant by describing the country as it really is, "nothing extenuating," but contrasting the advantages and drawbacks presented to the emigrant with rigid and conscientious impartiality.
An experienced Emigrant writes—"The expectations of the emigrant upon leaving home are high, and the distance of the country from his native land raises them still higher. He is disappointed, unless the new country be even in its natural state superior to the fine and cultivated fields which he has left behind him. Like the picture of Hope, the anticipation of the emigrant is too beautiful and bright to be realised; page ixlike the tree transplanted, he must at first pine away, and wither a little, however rich the soil, however vigorous the after-growth may be. Every emigrant who is unfortunate, will, under any circumstances, blame the Colony for it."
Success, and its concomitant, content, are oftener within reach than most people are disposed to believe; but the emigrant to a new country must put his shoulder to the wheel, or he can hardly hope to secure them; nor, setting the best dispositions out of sight—for even industry and perseverance may be misapplied—can he hope to be regarded as a really valuable addition to the labour-wealth of a new community if he has not a practical acquaintance with some one of those useful arts of husbandry or manufacture, which are so essential to colonial prosperity. He must, moreover, be content to turn his back for a time on the conventional refinements of a high state of civilization, and instead of pampering the heart—
"With feelings all too delicate for use,"
"The pride to rear an independent shed,
And give the lips he loves unborrow'd bread;
To see a world from shadowy forests won,
In youthful beauty wedded to the sun;
To skirt his home with harvests widely sown,
And call the blooming prospect all his own!
There jocund in the year's long sunshine roam,
That yields his sickle twice its harvest home!"
A few brief suggestions to parties intending to emigrate to New Zealand, will, perhaps, not be considered irrelevant in this place.
It is indispensable for all persons who propose to settle in the Province of Auckland, that they should obtain, before page xthey embark, the land orders, which entitle them to select locations for themselves and families, as they cannot be procured after the ship in which they are embarked has left her port. On their arrival at Auckland, they are especially enjoined to remain in the ship until the Immigration Agent has been on board and taken official note of their arrival, which it is his duty to do as soon as the ship has cast anchor, From him the emigrant will obtain that practical information with regard to lodgings and other accommodation, which are necessary to his comfort before he sets his foot on shore. If a capitalist, he will learn from him the quality, price, and situation of any lands that are on sale, and such other particulars as will enable him to invest his money to the best advantage; if a mechanic, labourer, or servant, he will learn what situations are accessible, and the rates of wages that will be given.
Rent, Wages, Prices of Provisions, &c., are at times liable to considerable fluctuation; Articles of Clothing are generally abundant, and cheap as in England.
Mechanics and artisans must not expect in any new country to obtain constant employment in their peculiar craft, but be ready and willing to work at whatever they can find to do.
In the following pages will be found the fullest particulars of all it concerns them to know, in order to enable them to enter upon their new life with a freer prospect of success. On landing, other abundant means of obtaining information, which could hardly be comprised within the limits to which we are here restricted, will present themselves.
There are two newspapers published in London, one partially and the other exclusively devoted to New Zealand, from whose columns much practical information may be gleaned. The New Zealand Examiner, published on arrival of the page xiMail, by Mr. G. Street, of No. 30, Cornhill; and the Australian and New Zealand Gazette, published weekly, by Mr. F. Algar, No. 11, Clements' Lane, Cornhill; of whom may be obtained a useful Hand-Book of Auckland and its vicinity; whilst the Ship Brokers engaged in the direct Auckland trade have also published Guide Books of Auckland or of New Zealand in general.
It may be proper to add, that persons who may be desirous of taking money with them to New Zealand, can obtain Bank of England Bills of Exchange, or Promissory Notes, for sums of one hundred pounds and upwards; for although drawn in sets, at sixty days' sight, they are readily negociable in New Zealand. The first is retained at the Bank, accepted; and the second is thereby due on arrival at Auckland.
Letters of Credit are also issued by ourselves; the Union Bank of Australia, 38, Old Broad Street; the Oriental Bank, Threadneedle Street; and occasionally by the different Shipping and Mercantile Houses connected with Auckland.
The Bonds, or Debentures of the City of Auckland bear 7 per cent, interest, payable in Auckland or London, at the option of the holder. The general rate of interest is 10 per cent, on the best mortgages, and higher rates, well secured, are readily obtainable.
Persons who think of emigrating to Auckland should, before taking any other step, communicate with the Agents of the Provincial Government, because no person is entitled to a Land Order as a right, but it is never refused to persons of capital, or of a class suited to settle in a new country by being sober and industrious.
A fee of 10s. is charged for each 40 Acre Land Order, and of 5s. for each 20 Acre Land Order.page xii
Every person finds his level in Auckland. Letters of introduction, unless very special, are waste paper, and the bearers of Special Letters must not be too high-minded.
From five to six sheep per acre can be reared on the paddock system in Auckland.
Residents in Auckland can remit money to the Provincial Agents for passage of friends from England free of charge.
Colonists visiting England should furnish their address to the Agents of the Provincial Government, and use their office as the domicile for their letters.
Outfits can be procured in London from Messrs. S. W. Silver and Co., 3, Bishopsgate Street Within; and in Liverpool, from Messrs. Wrenn & Co., 10 & 11, St, George's Crescent, upon a short notice, and of a quality to suit every person.
Mails for New Zealand are made up in London, to be transmitted viâ Southampton and Sydney, to Auckland, on the morning of the 20th of each Month, except that when the 20th falls on Sunday, the Mail is made up on the evening of the 19th of the Month; and viâ Marseilles and Sydney, on the evening of the 26th of each Month, except that when the 26th falls on Sunday, the Mails are made up on the evening of the 27th of the Month.
Mails are due in London from New Zealand, viâ Marseilles, about the 12th of every Month; and on the 18th of every Month viâ Southampton.
The time of transit, out and home, is about six months for reply.
The Rates of Postage on Letters are:
Viâ Southampton 6d. per ½ oz. letter.
Viâ Marseilles 9d. per ¼ oz. letter.
(Pre-payment compulsory, to the extent, at least, of one single rate.)
Viâ Southampton. 1d. each.
Viâ Marseilles 3d. each.