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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 56



The aggregate area of country which was in the occupation of pastoral lessees from the Crown as at 31st December, 1884, may be roughly calculated at 194,500 square miles, or about 124½ millions of acres, exclusive of reserves, and of this area an important proportion was situated in what is now the Western division.

The division of runs under the present Act has already been explained. One portion is dealt with as pastoral leaseholds, and the lessee can also hold the resumed portion under occupation license until alienated, reserved, or otherwise leased or dealt with.

The pastoral leases under the present statute, in the Western division, are for the term of fifteen years, commencing at the determination of the existing lease; or, if the same person is the holder of more than one lease, at the mean date of determination of the whole;

The rent is determined by the Minister, after appraisement by the Board, with a minimum of 1d. per acre for the first, increased for the second five years by one-fourth, and for the remainder of term the leave may have to run, by one-half. At the end of the third period an extension of the lease may be obtained on further appraisement, for a further term of five years, bearing a rental not less than that charged for the last period of the former currency. By giving two years' notice before the expiration of page 14 such third period, the Government may extinguish the lessee's right to any such further extension. At the termination, however, of any five years' period, the lessee, by giving three months' notice, may surrender his lease. There are enabling powers for the withdrawal from lease of lands required for public purposes, and for the cancellation of reserves and incorporation of the area embraced, therein into the leasehold. Neither a minor nor married woman can hold leases, unless the former is seised of such leasehold by inheritance, or the latter in separate estate.

Subdivision may be made of a pastoral lease upon application, subject to ministerial approval. Upon expiration, forfeiture, or surrender of any pastoral lease, the area may be either resumed or re-let, in the above or some other manner,

The principles governing the issue of pastoral leases in the Central division are similar; except that in this division the term is ten years, with right of extension for a further term of five years at a rental based on appraisement, the lease commencing from the date of notification of the division of the run, and the minimum rent being 1½d. per acre for the first five years, and increased by 25 per cent, for the remainder of the term.

In the Eastern division the minimum rent is 1d. per acre for the whole term of lease, which is five years; but there is an equal right of extension for a further five years at an appraised rent.

Should any rent be not paid within the prescribed time, or within three months' thereafter, plus 5 per cent., or six months plus 10 per cent., the lease is liable to forfeiture, which does not however extinguish the lessee's debt to the Crown in respect thereof.