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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 71


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Politically, New Zealand consists of three islands—the North, Middle, and South. In common parlance the two larger, separated by Cook Strait, are known as the North and South Islands, and as such they are referred to in these pages. The small southern island is more frequently termed Stewart Island. Settlement is at present chiefly limited to the two first-named.

Extending diagonally over thirteen degrees of latitude, from 34° 20′ to 47° 30′ South—more than a thousand miles—there are great varieties of climate within the limits of New Zealand. In the North the orange and the lemon flourish luxuriantly, and in the South all the cereals yield abundant harvests. Nowhere more than two hundred miles from the east coast to the west, and for the most part much less, the sea-breezes preserve a mild and equable temperature over the land. It is never so cold as in Britain nor so warm as in Australia. These conditions are favourable to the growth of the most varied products.

The rainfall is greater near the coast-line than in the interior, but generally speaking it is abundantly distributed throughout the country. Hence it is a land of brooks and streams, and free from the terrible droughts to which most parts of Australia are periodically subject.

The soil varies from light sandy loam to rich vegetable mould, and stiff clays. Partly New Zealand is bushed,—that is, covered with growing timber, and partly it is quite open land, abounding in native grasses. There are exten- page 6 sive tracts in the South Island, and also to a lesser extent in the North, where the settler may put in the plough the first day without preparation of any kind, and raise an immediate crop.

Crops of all kinds are above the ordinary average. Without manuring, wheat averages 26 bushels to the acre; oats, 34 bushels; barley, 25 bushels. But in the more favoured lands wheatcrops of 50 bushels and upwards are not at all uncommon, and, indeed, in some instances even larger yields are obtained. Potatoes, turnips, and all root crops also thrive remarkably well.

As a pastoral land also New Zealand is unsurpassed in the world. Large flocks of sheep and herds of cattle are reared for home use and exportation. Artificial grasses are extensively cultivated, and the dairy industry is exceedingly prosperous.

Fruit-growing is another industry for which New Zealand is remarkably well suited, as owing to the diversity of climate and soil it can and does produce almost every fruit in use.

Thus the settler, whatever his special line of cultivation may be, can find a locality fitted for its pursuit in New Zealand.

For more detailed information on these and other points, the reader is referred to "The New Zealand Official Handbook," price 1s. 6d. and 2s., which may be obtained from any bookseller.