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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 71

The Land-Laws of New Zealand. — General Tenure

The Land-Laws of New Zealand.

General Tenure.

The land-laws of New Zealand arc designed to promote the interests of settlement and for the repression of speculation. In pursuance of this object very great facilities, and easier terms than obtain in any other country, are offered to the bonâ fide settler who honestly desires to acquire a home and a foothold on the soil; whilst the acquisition of land is hedged round with restrictions calculated to deter the mere speculator from purchasing for a page 7 rise in value, and to discourage or prevent the building-up of big estates. Cash payments are entirely optional, and the purchaser, or as he is termed "the selector," may retain the use of his capital for the improvement and cultivation of his land, paying only a small annual sum by way of interest to the State. Every man may therefore possess the land on which he dwells, and, so long as he pays the half-yearly rent to the State, he is at liberty to make what use of his land he may think fit; but he is required to use it, he is not allowed to hold it idle in anticipation of a rise in value.

The unsold lands of the Crown are generally surveyed before they are offered for sale. The selector can there-fore inspect any section before purchase, and know exactly what he is going to buy.

Land can only be obtained or held for the sole use and benefit of the applicant; and the law strictly forbids speculative arrangements whereby any person may obtain possession of the land applied for, cither by purchase, transfer, or otherwise, on behalf of another.

The purchaser of land for cash cannot obtain a title from the Crown until he has fulfilled the conditions of improvement hereinafter set forth.

The limit of any holding is 2,000 acres, beyond which no application can be granted; and no person who owns 2,000 acres of freehold land in the colony is capable of acquiring or becoming the holder of any greater area, except land for grazing or pastoral purposes.

Land may be forfeited if obtained by a false declaration, or for non-compliance with the conditions, or for nonpayment of rent, or if purchased or acquired in excess of the maximum area.