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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 71

Conditions of Occupancy

page 14

Conditions of Occupancy.


As the object of the law is to assure the bona fide occupation of the land, occupation certificates with the right of purchase, and leases in perpetuity, are granted subject to conditions of improvement. These conditions are so moderate that no one who desired to use the land for settlement purposes could well do less. It is not the expenditure of money so much as work done on the land that is required. They are as follows:—

Within one year from the date of the license or lease substantial improvements of value equal to 10 per cent. of the cash price must be made or placed on the land; within two years to the value of another 10 per cent.; and within six years to the value of another 10 per cent., making in all 30 per cent. In addition to these, there must be put upon the land "substantial improvements of a permanent character" to the value of £l per acre on first-class land, and on second-class land of an equal value with the land itself, but not exceeding 10s. per acre.

Substantial improvements of a permanent character are defined in the Act to "mean and include reclamation from swamps, clearing of bush, gorse, broom, sweetbriar, or scrub; cultivation, planting with trees or live-hedges, the laying-out and cultivation of gardens; fencing, draining, making roads, sinking wells or water-tanks, constructing water-races, sheep-dips, making embankments or protective works of any kind, in any way improving the character or fertility of the soil, or the erection of any building."

"'Cultivation' includes drainage, the felling of bush, or the clearing of land for cropping, or clearing and ploughing for and laying down with artificial grasses."

Example.—If the allotment consists of 100 acres of first-class land at £1 per acre, or 200 acres of second-class land, the selector would be required to make substantial improvements of the value of £10 in the first year, £10 in the second year, and £10 within the next four years, and, in addition, to make "substantial improvements of a per- page 15 manent character" of the value of £100 within the total period of six years.

The special conditions as to improvements on bush or swamp lands held on deferred payments or perpetual lease under "The Land Act, 1885," are now repealed.


Residence of the selector on any land, not being land purchased for cash, is compulsory, and must commence in bush or swamp lands within four years, and in open or partly open lands within one year from the date of selection. Thereafter residence must be continuous—
(1.)On lands occupied with right of purchase: for six years on bush or swamp lands, and for seven years on open or partly open lands;
(2.)On lease-in-perpetuity lands: for ten years.

But these conditions of residence are dispensed with in the case of any person who has acquired an interest in a lease or license under a will or by intestacy.

Residence on contiguons Lands.—The Board may also dispense with residence if the lessee or licensee resides continuously on lands contiguous to the land held under lease or license.

Note.—Lands only separated by a stream or road, or by such interval as the Board may determine in each case, are deemed to be "contiguous" for the purposes of the Act.

Residence with Relatives.—In cases where the lessees or licensees arc youths or unmarried women, living within the land district, and residing with their parents or near relatives, resilience may be dispensed with for four years after the commencement of the term.

Infancy.—In case of the death of one or both parents of a child or children, residence may be dispensed with until one has arrived at the age of seventeen years.

Marriage.—When two persons, being licensees or lessees, intermarry, not sooner than twelve months after the issue of the last license or lease, they may reside on such one of the selections as they may think fit. When a lessee or page 16 licensee marries the owner or occupier of freehold land, not sooner than twelve months from the issue of the lease or license, they may reside on the freehold.

The Board has a general power to dispense with personal residence on any sufficient and satisfactory grounds being assigned for non-residence.