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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 60

Promotion of the Scheme

Promotion of the Scheme.

This will require very careful study. The Whakarewarewa Springs have lately been passed through the Native Lands Court, and are vested in two hapus of the Ngatiwhakaue and Tuhorangi Tribes; but the Court must settle many subdivisions before the lands could be purchased. The ownership of all the other lands necessary has been determined, and can be dealt with under the Thermal Springs Act, or special legislation.

An Association should be formed with a small capital sufficient to promote the scheme, by conducting all the necessary negociations for concessions of rights to waters, and purchase of lands, obtaining surveys, and detail information relating to all the springs, such as volume, analysis, known curative results, etc. An Act of Legislature would be necessary in order to consolidate the working of the scheme, and, while conferring the necessary compulsory powers, preserve the interests of the native owners and the public.

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When all this is done, and the exact cost of land and water rights ascertained, the Association ought to promote a company in England, with a capital sufficient for the whole scheme as finally decided on.

Judging from the numbers of tourists from many parts of the world, whose names are registered in the books of the three hotels now at Ohinemutu, it cannot be deemed extravagant to put the number who would patronise such an establishment as herein sketched, within two or three years after its opening, and connected with Auckland by eight or nine hours railway journey, at an average occupancy of 500 persons. Taking the gross receipts from this number, exclusive of wines and returns from hiring business, at only 10s. per diem each, the daily revenue would be £250, and the net profit say one-third of that, or more than £30,000 per annum.

And when it is considered that the season which in Old World Continental spas has so short a duration, and is within limits sharply defined, would here practically extend round all the year; also that even now we in New Zealand are in accessibility nearly on a par with what not many years ago Germany and Switzerland could boast of, we may reasonably predict that in point of favour and patronage the Rotorua Spa will, in a very few years, hold the premier position in the world.

The Association for the promotion of this should be formed as soon as the railway to Rotorua is a certainty, and a certain amount of planting of fruit and ornamental trees ought to be undertaken at the earliest possible date. Not an hour that can be saved should be lost in furthering this project, and the writer commends it to the careful consideration of all his fellow colonists desiring in any way to promote the prosperity of the country at large, and our own Provincial District in particular.