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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Fixed Incomes

Fixed Incomes.

I have no hesitation in stating that an income of from £300 to £1,000 a year in New Zealand goes further and produces more enjoyment for its possessor than the same income does here. The page 16 necessaries of life are nearly all much cheaper, house rent no dearer, and although servants' wages are higher, it is not necessary to keep so many, the habits of the people being more simple and less conventional.

Hospitality is met with at every turn, and there is no lack of entertainments and social gatherings. The young people especially, of both sexes, seem to enjoy life. Business and working hours being shorter, there is time left after the duties of the day for recreation. Thus English sport and pastimes are everywhere met with, enjoyed by all classes, and not so frequently spoilt by bad weather as in this country.

New Zealand now offers some of the best trout-fishing in the world. I saw a report the other day of the last season which contained the following record of one fisherman for a season:—

"One hundred and eighty fish, weighing 553½ lbs.; average, 3 lbs. 10 oz.; largest fish, 10½ lbs.; 6 weighed from 9½ to 10½ lbs. each. Best takes: 12 fish, 41½ lbs.; 11, 50½ lbs.; 10, 46 "lbs.; 15,33½ lbs.; 5, 25 lbs.; 3, 20½ lbs.; 5, 25½ lbs."

Another record given is 229 fish, 212 lbs., 17 trips.

Deer are increasing so fast in some of the open mountainous country that we shall soon add good deer-stalking. Wild pigs abound, but they frequent such rough ground that they must be hunted on foot, which seems to damp the ardour of most English sportsmen. Quail shooting is good and plentiful, and duck and pheasant shooting is good in certain parts. There are many districts with their packs of harriers, and in some of the better settled districts, hunting is indulged in with much zest. Horseflesh and horse-keep being cheap, whatever sport there is can be enjoyed at a much less cost than similar recreations in this country. The man of leisure can also, if he is willing, find plenty of useful occupations. There is magisterial work, and, if he be so inclined, there is political work.

With the increase of population, and the growth of a leisured class, musical and artistic talent is being developed, and all the chief towns have now their musical and scientific societies, clubs, and art galleries. New Zealand spends probably more in education in proportion to her population than any country in the world. The Government Primary Schools are all free, and every little country district has its good school. A step above the primary schools are Girls' High Schools and Boys' High Schools, where excellent teaching is given, at a very small annual cost, and after the High Schools come the various University Colleges, established in the page 17 larger towns. Last of all comes the New Zealand University, which is an examining board with an affiliation of the various University colleges. The New Zealand University confers degrees on men and women alike. There is also an excellent Agricultural College, and there are Schools of Mines and Arts. There are many excellent private schools for both boys and girls. No one, in fact, whatever his condition in life, need complain of the means afforded in New Zealand for the education of his children. Is it too much, therefore, to claim for New Zealand that it is a country which demands the consideration of that yearly increasing class of men who, with small fixed incomes or a small capital, find this country too damp or too expensive to live in, and want to marry their daughters and settle their sons, and enjoy the remainder of their lives in a good climate and under enjoyable surroundings?