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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50

The Industries of New Zealand, — Introduction

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The Industries of New Zealand,


We have met to-night to inaugurate the New Zealand Manufacturers' Association—a Society that has been formed for the promotion of Colonial Industries and the development of the natural resources of New Zealand. Every colonist that has the interests of his adopted country at heart must cordially endorse the objects of the Association. What are the best means of attaining these objects is a debateable question; but there can be no diversity of opinion on the general proposition that it is desirable to foster and encourage, in this far-off isle of the sea, those arts and industries that are the principal factors in building up a nation.

The Committee of the Association has done me the honour of inviting me to introduce the Society to public notice in a lecture or address dealing with its objects and aims. I entered on the task with many misgivings, for even in its commonest aspects the subject is by no means an easy one, and it frequently leads into far more intricate paths than I have been accustomed to follow.

The title of my paper is "The Industries of New Zealand," and I purpose to treat generally of the pro page 4 gress of settlement and trade in New Zealand, and the prospects and possibilities of future development.

There is not at the present moment a more popular subject than Colonial Industries, still there is no subject more difficult to treat in a popular manner. It is essentially a thing of facts and figures, and these are formidable obstacles to rhetoric. The facts cannot well be set aside, but I shall endeavour to lighten your burden by collecting the figures as much as possible into tables, which can be absorbed by inspection should the lecture appear in print.

With the view of presenting the subject to you in an intelligible manner I shall consider it under three distinct heads:—First, Industrial History and Present Position; Second, Resources; and Third, Future Prospects.