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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Crown Lands

Crown Lands.


There are about 315,518 acres now open for selection, either as surveyed or unsurveyed land, in sections of sizes varying from a few acres up to the limit of 2,640 acres. The greater portion of this land is covered with forest, sometimes heavy, sometimes light, generally with enough timber scattered through it to provide for fencing and building. The soil varies very much in different districts, from poor clays, or light soils, up to good agricultural lands, and the prices vary also from 5s. per acre up to about £,2 per acre, according to quality of soil, accessibility, &c.

Hawke's Bay.

In this district there are 33,834 acres now open for selection, generally on the same systems as above. The page 12 lands are mostly open or interspersed with bush, and are situated in various parts of the district. The soil is generally good, the surface somewhat broken, and therefore more suited for pastoral than agricultural purposes. The sections vary in size as above, with prices ranging from 5s. to £2 per acre, according to locality, &c.


In this land district, on the west coast of the North Island, there are 34,258 acres open for selection. These lands are wholly bush-covered, the forest ranging from heavy timber to light bush, interspersed with old Native clearings. The soil is good, much of it volcanic, whilst some is a kind of marl locally called papa. In the latter country the surface is frequently broken, but makes excellent grazing country. Prices vary from 10s. to £2 per acre, according to situation and character of land.


The lands open for selection in this district comprise 122,858 acres, either surveyed or unsurveyed, scattered in various parts of the district, and are of various qualities, but nearly always good. The land is mostly covered with forest, a good deal of it broken, but well suited for grazing purposes, the soil being good and often formed by the papa or marl before referred to, or by decomposed slates. The limestone lands of the eastern districts are very rich, and take grass remarkably well. Prices vary from 10s. up to £2 an acre, according to position and quality.


The lands now open for selection—12,472 acres—consist principally of forest-clad hills situated in the bays and sounds page 13 of the northern part of the South Island; the soil is generally fair. The prices vary from 10s. to £1 10s. per acre.


In the Nelson District the area now open for selection is 135,080 acres, in sections of various sizes up to the limit allowed. These lands may be selected for cash, or under the 10 percent. leasing system peculiar to Nelson. The general description of the Nelson lands is hilly country covered with bush, chiefly birch, and mostly suited for grazing purposes. The prices vary from 6s. up to £2 per acre. Practically, there are large areas in Nelson which are open for selection before survey on a system which refers to the Nelson lands alone.


In this district there are 39,238 acres open for selection at the present time: nearly the whole of it is on the Canterbury plains, and is open land, level or undulating, the quality varying a good deal; the price of some of this land is £2 per acre, unless reduced by proclamation, and it can only be purchased for cash. Some of it, however, is available for selection under the three systems already referred to. These lands are also open and generally grassed; the soil is good, but it varies somewhat in different localities.

There is also in this district a very large area of education endowments open for selection on the same terms as the ordinary Crown lands, namely, at £2 an acre cash. These endowment lands are dealt with by the Commissioner of Crown Lands at Christchurch.


The area open for selection, amounting to about 70,095 acres, is scattered about in various parts of the district, and page 14 for the greater part the land is open and generally of good quality, to a certain extent in natural grasses. In the southeastern parts of the district—Catlin's River—a considerable area of forest land of good quality is now open, or in process of being now prepared for selection; and as these lands are of good quality, and within from twelve to twenty-five miles of a railway station, it is expected that a good deal of settlement will take place. The prices of land in Otago vary from 10s. to 10s. an acre, according to locality and quality.


In this, the southern land district, there are about 100,350 acres open for selection at the present time, the most of it for cash, but still there are a number of sections open under the three systems mentioned above, at prices varying from 10s. to £2 an acre. The character of the soil varies a good deal, from alluvial flats to hill-slopes, which are sometimes open and covered with natural grass, at others under forest.


The lands open for selection in this district amount to about 87,750 acres, and they are principally in the southern part. Most of the district is covered with heavy forest.

With regard to the lands in Canterbury, Westland and Nelson, most of the unsold land is in the Midland Railway area.