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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

Chapter XV

Chapter XV.

New Plymouth was originally an open roadstead; but the advance of the district in exports and imports forced on the inhabitants the necessity of providing increased facilities for shipping, which has taken the form of a break-water built under the shelter of the Sugar loaf Islands (or Ngamotu), situated three miles to the west of the Town, and with which it is connected by railway. A commencement was made in 1881, by aid of monies, borrowed on the security of a rate on the surrounding lands, the Crown lands providing a certain portion of its revenue towards interest and sinking fund. From the above date the works have progressed, with occasional breaks, almost continuously until at the present time the mole has a total length of 2194 feet, and is still advancing, whilst wharf accommodation has been provided for steamers of over 1000 tons burden. The report of the Harbour Board for the 31st December, 1905, shows that during the preceding twelve months 500 vessels entered and left the port of an aggregate tonnage of 245,473 tons, the exports being 13,464 tons, the imports 49,044 tons. The Butter and Cheese exported during 1905 amounted to 86,904 cwt., valued at £389,813.

The Harbour Board is quietly and unostentatiously extending the mole week by week, so it seems probable in a few years' time the largest class of vessels trading to the country will be enabled to load cargo there.

The Port of Waitara is situated at the mouth of the river of that name. Works have been undertaken from time to time to improve the depth of water on the bar, and the channel of the river up to the town, which is 1½ miles from the mouth, wharfage accommodation has been provided for vessels from 150 to 200 tons. The trade done by steamers is mostly with Mokau (for coal), Kawhia, Raglan, and Manukau.

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Wharf at Port of New Plymouth teranai N.Z.

[unclear: Wharf at Port of New Plymouth teranai N.Z.]

page 27

The Chamber of Commerce returns for the year ending 31st March 1905, show that—amongst other items—58,407 cwt. of frozen meat, valued at £91,242, and nearly a million lbs. of wool, valued at £34,351 were exported. The direct liners to England anchor in the roadstead off the Port of Waitara,

The Port of Patea, like Waitara, is situated at the mouth of a river, and is in direct touch with the Wellington-New Plymouth railway line. The river has been much improved by groins carried out on each side to deepen the water on the bar, and by improving the channel of the river up to the wharf, half-a-mile from the bar. The Chamber of Commerce returns for 31st December, 1905, show that for the previous twelve months 76,644 cwt. of Butter and Cheese, valued at £306,141, and 664,720 lbs. of wool, valued at £21,095, were amongst the principal articles of export, most, if not all of which goes to Wellington for export to the Home country.

Opunake is a bay of considerable future capabilities, which does a small shipping coastal trade, but no returns are available.