The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 22
Early in the history of Southland nearly the whole of the available land, for many miles on the western bank of the Mataura river, was purchased by a large company of Home capitalists, now known as the New Zealand and Australian Land Company, who brought into cultivation, or laid down in English grass, many thousands of acres of land. That this Company promoted the prosperity of the men who were our first settlers by affording them ample and remunerative employment cannot be doubted, and is generally acknowledged. For many years past, however, those persons who have had the welfare of the country at heart have greatly regretted to see the vast tract of fertile pastoral, and agricultural land stretching from the Mataura Bridge, southward and westward, past Edendaie, carrying, comparatively, no population. During the past two or three years, the Company who own these splendid estates have subdivided and sold nearly the whole of their Southland holdings, and consequently we are likely soon to see smiling: farm homesteads, alive with young Now Zealanders, where heretofore cattle or sheep have grazed in luxurious plenty, and it will be readily admitted that such tracts of country are better fitted to maintain by the aid of improved agriculture, as we hope to see them contain, a large population of men and women.
The New Zealand Agricultural Company, who own the large tract of country between Gore and Lumsden, are entitled to commendation for the efforts they are making in the settlement of their splendid freehold property.