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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Personal Volume

New Zealand [By Robert Stout. From the Emperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review, July, 1895.]

page break The Official University Institute. Woking, England. Ex Oriente Lux. Ex Occidente Lex.

New Zealand.

By The [unclear: Sir] Robert Stout, K.C.M.G.

From the Emperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review, July, 1895.

Publishing Department: Oriental University Institute, Woking, England.

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The Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review and Oriental And Colonial Record.

(Founded 1886.)

Second Series.

July, 1895.

Vol. X. No. 19.


Asia. Sir Richard Temple, Bart., G.C.S.I.; C.I.E.; LL.D.; D.C.L.; M.P.: "India in Parliament in 1894-95 and the Situation in India."
Sir Roper Lethbridge, K.C.I.E.: "The Protest of the Madras Land-Owners."
An Anglo-Indian: "The Native Press of India."
G. W. Leitner, Ph.D.; LL.D.; D.O.L.: "The Future of Chitral and Neighbouring Countries" (with Maps and Portrait of H.H. the late Nizdm-ul-Mulk).
Hormuzd Rassam: "The Armenian Question."
Africa. Abdullah Ash-Shámi: "The British Occupation of Egypt."
Anglo-African: "British East Africa."
A. G. C. Van Duyl: "The Transvaal, the Swazis and the War with Makato."
Colonies. The Hon. Sir Robert Stout, K.C.M.G.: "New Zealand."
Orient Alia. The Right Rev. Monseigneur Prof. C. De Harlez, D.D.: "The Yih-King" (The Chinese Book of Divination).—II.
Babu Sarat Chandra Das, C.I.E.: "Buddhist Ontology and Nirvána."
"The Sacred Books of the East."
John Beames, B.C.S. (ret.): "The Jaina-Sutras. Part II."
General. T. H. Thornton, C.S.I.; D.C.L.: "Sir Robert Sandeman and the Indian Frontier Policy," with opinions on the same subject by General Sir Owen Tudor Burne, K.C.S.I.; General Sir H. N. D. Prendergast, V.C., K.C.B.; Col. G. B. Maileson, C.S.I.; and Anglo-Indian.
Capt. Geo. V. Tarnovski: "Transcaspia and Khurasan."
Capt. G. E. Gerini (Royal Siamese Service): "Trial by Ordeal In Siam." II Dr. G. W. Leitner: "The Official Prayer of Islam and its Libellers "The Editor: "The Shahzada's Visit and the Woking Mosque," with remarks by Sir Lepel Griffin; Sir Neville Chamberlain and General A. R. E. Hutchinson.
Proceedings of the East India Association.
Correspondence, Notes, News,&c.: Central Asian News, our own Correspondent.—"The Late Persian Shiah Pontiff,' General A. Houtum Schindler.—The Raja of Bhinga and Indian Muhammadans.-Theosophy, Dr. A. PfungstA Franco-Muhammadan Empire in Africa.-Our Fron. Tier Policy, General Sir Neville Chamberlain, G.C.B., G.C.S.I.; Lord Chelmsford; General Sir H. N. D. Prendergast.—Dr. T. H. Thornton's Lecture and Book on Sir Robert Sandeman.-The Persian Crown Prince.—Dr. Waddell's Tibetan Lamaism J. Edkins.—The Queen of Corea on the Queen of England.—corean Revenue—chinese Loans.—the Bonaparte Library.—archeology in India.-Inter. Ference with Native States, Ex-Political, etc.
Reviews and Notices.
Summary Of Events in asia, Africa and the Colonies.

Publishing Department:

Oriental University Institute, Woking.


(Number of pages, 240.)

[All Rights reserved.

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New Zealand.

"The land of eternal spring."—John Fiske.

New Zealand was first visited in 1642 by the Dutch navigator, Abel Tasman, who, leaving Batavia to explore the Pacific, discovered Tasmania which he called Van Diemen's Land, after the then governor of the Dutch Indies. Thence, steering eastwards from Storm Bay, he sighted, after some days' sail, the Middle Island of New Zealand and called it Staaten-Land. He had anchored in Massacre Bay, in the north of the Nelson District; and as the sweep of the land there showed no outlet eastwards, he took Cook's Straits for a deep bay. Four of his crew were massacred, and he soon sailed homewards, when, after sighting and naming Cape Maria Van Diemen and staying a few days near The Three Kings, he bore away again to the north. No other navigators visited the Islands for many years; at least no other visitors have left any record, till we come to Captain Cook, who sighted the east shore of the North Island in October, 1769, and coasted all round the group. He again visited New Zealand in 1773, 1774 and 1777. Captain Vancouver, who had been with Cook in the Resolution in 1773, visited New Zealand in 1791 in the Discovery sloop-of-war, accompanied by the armed tender Chatham. The ships anchored in Dusky Bay, in the S.W. of the Middle Island, whence they went to Tahiti: in this voyage, Lieut. Broughton, who commanded the Chatham, discovered and named the Chatham Islands.

Many visitors now came to New Zealand, as the group was renamed after the discovery that it was not Schooten's "Staaten-Land." Several French navigators arrived shortly after Cook's first visit; whalers from N. S. Wales and N. America coasted round its shores; a few whites quitted their vessels to reside with the natives; and the first

Reprinted from the Asiatic Quarterly Review, July, 1895.

page 4 missionaries of a stream that has never since failed arrived in 1814.

Not till two centuries after its discovery, and only 55 years ago, was British sovereignty proclaimed over New Zealand, by Governor Hobson, on the 30th January, 1840. It remained a dependency of N. S. Wales till proclaimed a separate colony in May 1841. Its present form of Government was established in 1852 and amended in 1875.

The total area of New Zealand is 104,471 sq. miles, divided thus: N. Island 44,468; S. Island 58,525; Stewart's Island 655, Chatham Islands 375; the Bounty, Antipodes, and Kermadec Islands, 438. This area is nearly as large as Tasmania and Victoria together; and the United Kingdom exceeds it by barely 17,000 sq. miles.

Passing over the physical geography and geological formation of New Zealand, which are described in numerous works and are more or less generally known, it suffices to remark that its mountain ranges, if not very lofty are numerous; it has a mixture of various kinds of lands capable of yielding very varying productions; its lakes are many, both large and small; its coasts are plentifully indented with bays, creeks and fjords; it has an excellent river system furnishing abundant natural irrigation; traces of recent volcanic actions are evidenced by numerous extinct and several active craters, while geysers and hot mineral baths—acid, alkaline and saline, and of varying temperature—are numerous, especially near Lakes Rotorua and Taupo.

In consequence of its extending lengthwise between the 34° and 47° of S. Latitude, New Zealand has a very varying temperature, climate and produce,—from subtropical at the northern extremity to a resemblance with that of S. England (without its severe frosts) in the southern portions and in Stewart's Island. North of Auckland grow the orange, lemon, passion-fruit, olive, and even the banana; while in the southern parts are oats, wheat, barley, turnips, potatoes, stone and small fruits, etc. The north is warm and moist, the rainfall averaging 45 inches and the rain page 5 falling about 175 days. The mean summer and winter temperatures * are thus given: North parts, 70° and 53°; about centre of N. Island, 64.7° and 49.3°; in Wellington, 64.66° and 47.8°; in Nelson, 63.6° and 45.9°; in Christchurch 55.2° and 44.31°; in Dunedin 58.o° and 43.2°. The absolute maximum temperature was 81° in Auckland and about 90° inland. There is a good deal of moisture with the heat; and the East coasts, especially about Canterbury, have a smaller rainfall than the West. Snow never falls in the extreme north. It is generally rare; so that under 1,000 ft. above the sea it is seldom seen in the North Island, and rarely lies over a day even in the South. The winter frosts are severe; but compared with that of England, the climate is warmer and more equable. In Stewart's Island, owing to its position in the warm current from Queensland and its formation sheltering it from the prevailing south-westerly winds, plants grow in winter in the open which the frosts would kill in Canterbury. Chatham Islands form a large lagoon with a thin rim round it, and were the seat of a settlement of the Moriori, a tribe slightly different from the Maoris in appearance and language, though of the same race.

These climatic and other differences in various parts of New Zealand cause a great variety in produce. North of Auckland we have Kauri gum and timber, subtropical fruits, and some sheep and cattle;—in Auckland are gold mines, a few sheep, and a larger number of cattle, but little cereal production: it has also the great thermal region. In this thermal and pumice district only small patches are suitable for agriculture, but the rest may eventually be used for forest or even grass; and both Forestry and Viticulture have been suggested. The East side of the N. Island from East Cape to Napier was originally bushland. The limestone ranges of Hawkes Bay, from Hawkes Bay southwards, have taken grass easily and become rich sheep-regions, which, for their size, produce more wool than any page 6 other part of the Colony. In 1893, these holdings of 3,902.64 acres had on them 3,587,221 sheep and 75,693 cattle. In Wellington, too, pastoral pursuits prevail; and though some cereals are cultivated in the Wairarapa district and on parts of the west coast of Wellington, the N. Island depends mainly on its sheep, cattle, dairy produce, Kauri gum and gold.

Nelson, in the North of the Middle Island is a small farming district, raising wheat, cattle and sheep;—Marlborough has sheep and cattle and produces barley and a little wheat. On the W. coast, there is mainly mining—gold and coal—with a few cattle and sheep, but no agricultural products save small and unimportant patches in Grey valley and near Hokitika. Canterbury however is the granary of New Zealand. But for the fall in the price of wheat it would still export immense quantities. In 1893, the colony raised 8,000,000 bushels of wheat. The crops in 1894,—the smallest of the decade—were:—wheat, 4,819,695 bushels; oats, 12,153,068; barley, 724,653; hay 86,198 tons; and potatoes 126,540 tons,—of which 4,679,982 bushels of wheat, 11,197,792 of oats, and 667,614 of barley, 47,064 tons of hay and 82,826 tons of potatoes were grown in the N. Island, and the remainder in the S. Island. The largest farming districts are Otago and Canterbury. Otago raised 1,161,672 bushels of wheat and 6,816,769 of oats; Canterbury 3,407,841 and 4,172,690 respectively. Canterbury has large numbers of sheep. Otago has more mixed farming, growing wheat and potatoes in the north, and wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, turnips in the south. It depends more on oats than on wheat; it has large flocks of sheep and herds of cattle; and in its interior are the chief gold mines. The long-woolled sheep are, in parts of the S. Island, fed on turnips or chaff in the winter; but in the N. Island little, if any, winter food is given to sheep or cattle, as grass grows nearly all the year round; while the climate all over New Zealand is so mild that nowhere do sheep or cattle need housing in winter.

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New Zealand has a great variety of timber. Unfortunately, magnificent forests are ruthlessly cut down and burnt to clear the ground for grass; and the exports of this class are yet small. Kauripine, however, is now exported to Australia and England, and our Rimu or red pine and our birch—really a beech—are beginning to be used in Europe for paving purposes. These two woods, with the white pine, exist in vast forests on the S. Island,—in its extreme north, and south and its west coast. The Kauri is a splendid tree, often rising to 160 ft., with trunks of which 100 ft. are free of branches. The wood is durable, and the turpentine of this tree on the sites of the old forests furnishes the Kaurigum of commerce. The Rimu or red pine is also a fine wood, clear grained, heavy and solid, extensively used in building, flooring, etc., as also for furniture, from its taking a fine polish. Harder woods—Matai or black pine and Totara—are not so common as the red and white pine.

The total gold raised till now in the Colony was 12,600,944 oz. = £49,566,878, exclusive of gold exported unknown to Government, or used locally for jewellery, etc. The total export of silver was 667,762 oz.; but silver mining has received little attention. About 1,500 tons of copper, 500 of antimony, and 17,296 of manganese have been exported. Mines of tin exist but are still undeveloped. The output of coal in 1894 was 691,548 tons (including brown coal and lignite), the previous output, to end of 1893, being 8,496,869 tons. The bituminous coal mines are on the west coast near Westport and Greymouth; of brown coal in Auckland, Canterbury, and Otago; and of lignite in Wellington.

The Colony has 20,230,898 sheep, 831,831 cattle, 308,812 pigs, and 211,040 horses.

Our total agricultural exports in 1893 were valued at £3,781,898, including grain, fruit crops, hay, grass, and garden and orchard produce. The total export of wool in 1894 was 144,295,154 lbs. = £4,827,016; frozen meat, page 8 1,026,240 cwt. = £1,194,545; rabbitskins, 17,536,460 lbs. =£138,952; sheepskins, 2,534,502 =£172,294; tallow. 8,094 tons =£183,588; oats, 1,806,411 bushels =£190,094 The land under grass or crops is a good index of the work done in 50 years in New Zealand: 10,063,051 acres were under various kinds of crops in 1894; and the average yield of wheat for that year—the lowest average during many years, but still higher than in the other Australasian Colonies,—was 20.i5 bushels per acre; in 1888 it was 26.37 bushels. In 1894 the oat crop was 12,153,068 bushels—average 32.27 per acre; barley, 74,653 bushels—average 25.11; potatoes, about 125,000 tons—average about 6 tons. The gradually increasing exports of butter and cheese—in 1893, respectively 58,149 and 46,201 cwt.—promise a vast extension in the near future. The export of Kaurigum in 1893 was 8,317 tons, price £61 8s. 3d. per ton, or over £500,000. The total exports in 1894 were £9,231,047, and imports £6,788,081.

New Zealand is pre-eminently the healthiest of all the Colonies. The death-rate varied in 1888-90 from 9.43 to 9.66 per 1,000; in 1892 it was 10.06; and 10.23 in 1893. The death-rate in England is about 19 per 1,000, in Scotland 18.5, in Ireland 19, whilst in the Colony coming nearest to New Zealand for health—N. S. Wales—it is 13.25. The census of 1891 gave 70,222 persons over 50 years of age; and our population now numbers 684,765,—363,885 males and 320,880 females.

These numbers exclude the Maoris, regarding whom I add a brief statement. Their own traditions state that they came in several canoes from Hawaiki—a land the locality for which cannot now be determined. In race and language they are similar to the inhabitants of Tahiti, Samoa, the Harvey group, etc.; and like them they have neither the Papuan element found in the Fijis nor the Malay and Japanese elements existing in the islands north of the Line. The Maoris, who a century ago must have numbered about 200,000, are now only about 42,000, and page 9 are gradually decreasing. They are second to no uncivilized race with whom Europeans have come into contact, being brave, physically strong and intellectually apt, though, of course, unable to consider matters in an abstract form like Europeans. Some of them, who have had an English education, can speak and write English very accurately and show remarkable ability in debate. When Europeans first arrived, the Maoris, though they had small cultivations, were barely emerging from the hunters' stage of development; but now some of them have flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, while others attend to agriculture and own reaping and threshing machines of the latest American patterns. The old life, with its ancient relation of chief to people, is departing; and it remains to be seen whether they can, in the struggle for existence, exist as a separate race, or whether the Maori blood will survive in a century or two, unless mixed with that of Europeans. The Colony admitted the Maori ownership of land; and almost all that which belongs to the Crown or to Europeans has been purchased from them. Some land was confiscated in the wars; but the Maories have had ample reserves made for them, so that none have been left landless. Intertribal war—once common—is now at an end, and the habits and life of Europeans are now partially adopted by almost all: the result on the race, time alone can unfold. Phthisis is not unknown; but if attention is paid to health, and European diseases are kept away from the Maori settlements, the race may linger on; yet I doubt if it will increase. When a superior meets an inferior civilization, despite philanthropy, the latter is doomed. Its only chance is the adoption of our customs, and that requires time. The Native schools, now maintained amongst all the tribes by the Government, are doing much, and the teaching of English helps; but progress is slow, and unfortunately the vices of civilization are often copied more than its virtues: the results are degradation and death. Among the 74 members of the House of Representatives are four Maori members, elected page 10 by the Maories: two are half-castes, one speaking English fairly well. Of the two Maories one—Hone Heke, a relative of the great Hone Heke, who fought with us in days gone by—is an excellent English scholar, an effective debater, and has the manner of an educated English gentleman. The Legislative Council has two Maori members, while in the Executive a half-caste, elected by a European constituency, is an excellent English scholar. War troubles have ceased; for though there may be riots, or disturbances, the railways and roads have rendered impossible such wars as the Colony witnessed between the forties and the seventies. If the Maories were thrifty and active, they could all, with the land now in their possession, be more comfortable than they are, and could become wealthy; but, unfortunately, they are not thrifty as a race, nor have they been trained to hard work as agriculturists: hence their future is doubtful. Many of them are ignorant of sanitary rules; and this often produces fever and other illnesses, though as a race their health is good. What makes their outlook gloomy is the fewness of births, and the lack, in many tribes, of adaptability to our customs. Lately a movement has begun, among two or three of the tribes, to stop intemperance, and to pay attention to the laws of health; but reforms work slowly even among Europeans, and we cannot expect great or immediate results among a people only emerging from barbarism.

The safety of a State, it has been said, depends on its finance. Finance has, at one time or another, troubled every Colony; and New Zealand has had, and may again have, years of anxiety about it. On the 31st March 1894, the net debt was £38,874,491, carrying an interest and Sinking Fund charge of £1,873,682. In the Session of 1894 the Parliament authorized an increase of liabilities of no less than £7,250,000, made up as follows:—A guarantee of £2,000,000 to the Bank of New Zealand, the debt to be paid off at the end of ten years;—£3,000,000 to be raised in two years for advances to country land-owners and page 11 Crown tenants;—£1,250,000, to be spent in five years at the rate of £250,000 a year, in purchasing land to be leased for settlement purposes;—£500,000 to be borrowed in two years by the issue of Consols in New Zealand at 3½ per cent.;—and £500,000, to be used at the rate of £250,000 a year, for purchasing and making roads in Native lands to be sold or let to settlers. The money to be raised by Consols has not been specifically appropriated, and it may either be used for some of the other purposes mentioned, or may take up some of the Treasury or De-ficiency Bills (similar to Exchequer Bills in England), that are ever afloat. They are practically accommodation bills drawn in advance of revenue, repaid when the revenue comes in. Oftener than once, they have been added to the permanent debt: and they show, just now, a tendency to increase. The amount outstanding on the 31st March, was in 1887, £279,100;—in 1890, £519,900;—in 1893, £699,000;—and in 1894, £811,000. The Receipts of the ordinary Fund of the Government, for the year ending 31st March 1894, were £5,497,688 17s. 7d.;—the Expenditure,. £5,207,450 11s. 2d.;—the surplus, £290,238 6s. 5d. But of the Receipts, £283,779 us. was the surplus from the previous year;—£284,500 were proceeds of Debentures issued under the Consolidated Stock Act, 1884;—£294,571 sinking funds set free;—and £16,300 10s. borrowed to pay claims under the Naval and Military Settlers and Volunteers Land Act, 1892. But for the Debentures under the Stock Acts, and the surplus from last year, the actual deficiency would have been £17,821 4s. 7d., without considering the payment of £250,000 to the Public Works Fund. This year we expect the surplus to be £150,000, or a drop of £150,000 compared with last year. Regarding our debt, we should note that it has not all been expended in wars, or on things yielding no return. We have about 2,000 miles of railway open, besides many miles more nearly ready, which gave for 1893-94 a revenue of £1,172,792 17s. 2d., with an expenditure £735,358 15s. 1d. page 12 Then we have water-races owned by the Government; millions of acres of land are leased to tenants; our buildings, telegraph cables and lines, etc., have all come out of borrowed money; our 5,513 miles of telegraph connexion necessitate 13,515 miles of wire; we have fourteen telephone exchanges and ten sub-exchanges with about 4,300 subscribers. The revenue from Customs duties in 1893-94 was £1,655,502 17s. id.; from Stamps, including Postal and Telegraph receipts (being in these two last cases for services rendered), £674,647 8s. 8d. The Land Tax yielded £285,320 10s. 5d.; the Income Tax, £73,237 16s. 2d.; the Excise duty on beer brewed in the Colony, £61,807 18s. 4d. The depression existing all over the world has visited us too, and the accounts for the financial year 1894-95 will doubtless show a fall in our Customs' revenue; for the value of our imports for 1894 was £123,434 less than for 1893. Our financial outlook, if not brilliant, may, with care, be made safe. The everpresent danger is the ease with which we obtain loans from London. The time when our loan money was expended lavishly on railways, water-races, etc., has passed. We are using little borrowed money for railways. For roads and railways respectively the expenditure has been for the four past years as follows:—1890-91, railways, £179,012; roads, £71,683;—in 1891-92, railways, £154,416; roads, £109,716;—1892-93, railways, £220,894; roads, £135.339;—£1893-94, railways, £176,255; roads, £177,667. Voted for 1894-95:—Railways, £313,028;—roads, £386,505. Scarcely half the sums voted will be spent. The danger of spending borrowed money on roads is that there is no direct return, though no doubt indirectly the Country is benefited, and settlement promoted. The new financial experiment being made in lending money to settlers, will be dealt with further on, when considering what may be termed new lines of policy that have been tried in the Colony.

The Colony has all the various religions of older lands, the percentage to the populations of the leading bodies page 13 being, Anglican 40.51, Presbyterians 22:62, Catholics, 13.96, Wesleyan Methodists 10.14—the remaining 12.67 per cent, includes Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists other than Wesleyan, Lutherans, Unitarians, Friends, Plymouth Brethren, Salvation Army, Hebrews, Buddhists, Confucians, Mormons, Freethinkers, and some who object to state their religion. The Anglican Church has six bishops, and the Catholic four; the Presbyterians are divided into two bodies—the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand having jurisdiction over all New Zealand save Otago and Southland, and the Presbyterian Church of Otago and Southland. Everywhere religious facilities are open to the people; and save that lands were in the early days granted to a few of the Churches, their support is entirely from voluntary contributions. Education is the concern of the State. The New Zealand University, founded by the State with a grant of £3,000 a year, is a purely examining institution, which grants degrees and scholarships. It has given already after examination 453 degrees in Law, Medicine and Arts. There are 1,551 enrolled matriculated students. The University has 15 junior scholarships tenable for three years, and 9 Senior Scholarships tenable for one year, besides a private Senior Scholarship. Affiliated to it, with a full Arts' course, are 3 teaching University Colleges, at Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin, and provision has been made for a new College at Wellington. Auckland has a Music course, Canterbury an engineering and an Agricultural school, and Otago a Medical and Mines School. The examiners for degrees in Arts and for some portions of the Law and Music degrees are residents in the United Kingdom. The Auckland University College has 6 professors; the Canterbury College 10, besides the staff of the Agricultural College; the University of Otago has 9 professors, and 16 lecturers. These teaching Colleges have all been endowed by the State, as have been almost all the numerous Secondary or Grammar Schools found in all the page 14 centres of population. About 500 youths went up in 1894 from these Secondary Schools for the University entrance examinations. The Primary School system is free, compulsory and secular, supervised by an Education Department in Wellington, and managed by Education Boards and local Committees, each School District having a Committee, and being generally the seat of one school. There are 13 Education districts in the Colony, each having a Board elected by the Committees, which are themselves elected by the householders and parents. There are neither fees nor rates; and the whole expense is borne by the General Government, amounting, for 1893-94, to £440,411 9s. 5d., out of the Consolidated Fund, and from reserves and loans for School buildings. Scholarships are granted to the brighter boys to enable them to pursue their education at Secondary Schools. The Art and Technical School of Wellington has distinguished itself in competition at South Kensington, and at the Guild examinations in London; and there are Art Schools in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wanganui and Auckland. The number of children in the Primary Schools is about 125,000; and over 94 per cent, receive instruction in drawing. Directly under the control of the Education Department are between 60 and 70 Native Schools and three Industrial Schools to which the juvenile waifs and strays of our population are sent. Private Schools, maintained by the Catholics or by private persons, educate 15,000 pupils. There are 7 hospitals for the mentally deranged, entirely under State control, at Auckland, Wellington, Porirua, Nelson, Christchurch, Sea-cliff, and Hokitika, with one private Asylum near Dunedin. The Colony is divided into Hospital and Charitable Aid Districts; and Hospitals are managed by Boards elected by contributing bodies. These Boards receive from the State 20/- for every 20/- contributed out of rates, and 24/- for every 20/- given by private persons. There are 32 hospitals, with about 15,000 beds. Then there are Charitable Aid Boards who manage Orphan Asylums and page 15 Old Men's Homes, and also grant out door relief, the funds for which are raised by contributions from the local bodies in proportion to the valuation of the property in the Districts and from voluntary gifts. There are numerous Literary, Musical, Athletic, Racing, and other Societies, besides Friendly Societies, Masonic bodies, and other Altruistic organizations. We live the same social life as our race in other parts of the Globe, with perhaps more freedom from social restrictions. We have our Trade Unions, our Knights of Labour and Political organizations of various kinds; for here, as elsewhere, the problems of life are still unsolved. Criminal statistics are, certainly, no accurate test of conduct, as so much depends on the laws, and their administration; but, contrasted with other countries, our record is not unfavourable. Serious offences dealt with by superior Courts show convictions amounting to 3.50 per 10,000 of our population; and Summary convictions of all kinds before Magistrates, 2072 per 1,000: this excludes Maori offenders. We have a strict registration system for births, deaths and marriages; and the proportion of illegitimate births per 100 births was in 1893 the highest yet recorded in the Colony—370; but this is lower than any of the Australasian Colonies except South Australia. Whatever faults we have, we are certainly a law-abiding people; and not having large cities, we no doubt escape many of the vices always prevalent when people are crowded together. We have four chief cities: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and with the suburbs the population does not differ much, averaging about 40,000 each.

Our political and social experiments, are perhaps the most interesting matters of our Colony. It was settled under a system differing in many respects from that of other Colonies. Organizations—some being connected with Churches—were formed in England to colonize New Zealand. Otago was founded by the Free Church of Scotland Association; Canterbury by the Anglican Church; page 16 and Taranaki, mainly colonized by South of England people, had room for Wesleyans, while Nelson had no particular religion. These organizations brought together able men inspired with the idea of founding a new nation, and applying their rule of life to a new country. The lines on which the separate settlements were founded had, in the end, to be modified, but the original impetus in some respects still remains. The arrival of gold miners from Australia, Europe and America made great changes; and as travelling became easier the settlements lost their original distinguishing characteristics, and became more cosmopolitan. In proportion to its population—when it was under 100,000—the Colony had more able men than perhaps any other Colony; and the effect of the ability, character, and aims of the early settlers is still a precious possession. It is impossible to include in one article our political struggles; our war and peace parties; our Centralist and Provincialist parties; our Labour or Liberal party. Suffice it to say that we have felt here the great Socialistic tendencies that have reached the civilized countries of Europe. Books and pamphlets, urging social reforms, were read by us; and having a political system that enabled reforms to be made easily and quickly, we have plunged into the outer whirl of the Socialistic vortex. We have extended the State functions. We have the usual Governor, Executive Council, and two Chambers; but our second chamber is appointed by the Crown, i.e., the Ministry of the day, and at present for a term of seven years; but there is no limit to its numbers, and there is generally a struggle, when an appointment has to be made, between the Governor and the Ministry.

When the people demanded extensions of State functions these were granted; but it would be a mistake to say that these have all taken place in the last few years. The most important, and perhaps eventually the most enduring, are quite 25 years old. The New Zealand Government Assurance Association, founded in 1870, is a Life Assurance page 17 and Annuity granting Association; and though there are several healthy and strong Life Assurance Companies in New Zealand it has been wonderfully successful, showing, in round numbers, insurance, £10,000,000, accumulated funds, £2,250,000, and annual income, £375,000. Other societies show about £10,000,000 insurance, so that New Zealand is the best insured State in the world. This has resulted from persistent canvassing, Life Assurance becoming popular, and from the great facilities afforded by the State for insurance. Then the Savings Banks system also has been encouraged and promoted: there are over £4,000,000 in the Government and private Savings Banks, the Government holding about £3,500,000. Another extension of State functions, instituted in 1872, was the setting up of a Public Trust Office, a Department of State that acts as Trustees, Executors and Administrators, Committees for Lunatics, etc. Under its control are estates valued at £1,500,000; and as its transactions are guaranteed by the State many have availed themselves of the security it affords.

So far these experiments may be deemed successful. But we have undertaken others. We enacted, in 1893, the political equality of the sexes for the Parliamentary franchise, the result of discussion and agitation extending over 15 years. The elections of 1893 passed quietly; but the full effect of the change cannot be judged from one election. So far no one can say that the women look less to character than men; and character is of at least as much consequence in a Parliamentarian, as ability. We have a modified local option Licensing Law, under which the Clutha Electoral District has declared for prohibition. Under the women's vote the Licensing laws will soon be reformed, and other Districts will vote no-license.

Another experiment tried, co-operative labour, is not new. Instead of letting all Government work by contract or getting it done by workmen on daily or weekly wages, the Public Works Department has let some parts of road or railway works, painting public buildings, etc., at a certain page 18 price, on condition that the men who were balloted for the position formed an Association to carry out the works. Where a fair price has been assured, and under efficient inspection, the system has worked fairly well. In some instances it has not; and many practical difficulties have arisen in applying it to all work; but it has the merit of tending to raise the self-respect of the employé, and making him, in fact, a master, and not a mere servant under a Contractor. The other measures lately passed dealing with the Labour problem are,—The Shop Hours Act,—The Factories Act,—The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act,—The Workmen's Wages Act,—The Contractors and Workmen's Lien Wages Act,—The Shipping and Seamen's Act,—The Truck Act,—The Employers' Liability Act. The Shop Hours Act declares that one half week day must be set apart as a holiday by the local authorities for all shops employing assistants. If no day is fixed the half-holiday is Saturday afternoon. In existence only 4 months, it has caused considerable friction. Some say it will prevent the employment of assistants; and as the holiday varies,—being in various places, Wednesday, or Thursday, or Saturday,—trade is interfered with. The Factories Act makes new regulations regarding hours, and the employment of women and youths, with various sanitary provisions. Its most important requirements, wherein perhaps it differs from other Factory Acts, are the following:—Every place where two or more persons are employed is declared a Factory, and liable to inspection;—no one under the age of 14 can be employed in a factory, and above that age and under 16, only on proving that he or she has passed the fourth Standard of Education;—every factory must give a half holiday in the week, and no person under 18 years of age, and no woman, except on a half holiday, shall be employed in any factory for more than 4½ hours continuously without an interval of at least half an hour for a meal;—girls under 15 cannot work as type-setters; no boy under 15 can be page 19 employed for more than 48 hours in a week, nor at any time between 6 p.m. and 7.45 a.m. No female shall be employed for more than 48 hours in a week. During the meal hour no person is to be found in a factory except in rooms that have to be specially provided for the purpose. Any manufactured work done, not in a factory but in private houses, must have a ticket or label affixed, stating that it was made in a private dwelling or unregistered workshop.

The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act was passed in 1894 to prevent strikes; but no cases have yet come under it. It provides for disputes between trade unions and employers being referred first to Boards of Conciliation. The Colony has been divided into industrial districts, each with its board; but these have not yet been formed. Half of each board is elected by the Industrial Unions of Employers, the other half by the Industrial Unions of Workmen, and there is a complicated provision for the election of a chairman by the two parties. The boards have no power except as to conciliation; if that fails the dispute may be sent to the Colony's Court of Arbitration, one of whose three members is to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the employers, one on the recommendation of the employées, and the third from among the Supreme Court Judges. The award of this Court is compulsory, and may be enforced like any other court award; but if it is not complied with the utmost penalty is £500. It is a most inadequate penalty; for if a strike took place on a large scale, it is clear that the losing side would sooner pay the £500 penalty than be forced to obey an award which might be ruinous to their interests. Public opinion will doubtless have a greater effect in the enforcement of the award than the £500 penalty.

The Workmen's Wages Act gives a workman certain remedies against a Contractor and his employer, and prevents the employer paying the contractor until a month after the work has been finished, thus giving the workman page 20 a chance of obtaining a judgment against the contractor and enforcing a lien on moneys coming to his employer. The Contractors and Workmen's Lien Act is framed for the same purpose, only it gives those supplying goods to building contractors similar remedies to those granted to workmen for wages. The Shipping and Seamen's Act ensures a certain number of seamen and firemen being carried in sailing and steam vessels, and also has some of the provisions advocated by Mr. Plimsoll, such as load-lines, deck cargoes, etc. The Truck Act insists that all wages be paid in cash and not in goods. The Employers' Liability Act is a copy of the English Statute; and the Coal Mining Act forbids the employment of women and youths in coal mines. Such in effect has been what is termed Labour Legislation in New Zealand; and it will be observed that it has not, as yet, been very alarming or very radical.

It is impossible to pronounce what the effect of this labour legislation may be. If the measures tend to raise the standard of living and increase individual thrift and self respect, the result must be beneficial; but if they promote a slavish dependence on the Government, evil will follow. That there is often a tendency amongst employers to neglect the well-being of their workers for the sake of their profits, is too true; and surely the State should look after the physical and general well-being of its citizens.

Notwithstanding what has been done in Labour Legislation, however, the problem of the unemployed still remains unsolved. Our new Labour Bureau has partially coped with the difficulty; and we have two small experimental farms to which those out of work may be sent. This Labour Department acts also as an Inspecting department under the Factories and Shops Act; and it tries, besides, to obtain work for those out of employment. Every winter, however, there are hundreds of men seeking work, and sometimes much genuine distress. No one remedy can meet the evil. Many causes have helped its growth:—the nomadic habits of the digger, the large number of men who came to page 21 the Colony when railway and other works were started, the want of thrift, the need for settling on farms those who were engaged in mining and in public works, the slow rise of manufactures in every new country, and the easy mode of transit and the habit of travelling common in all the colonies, have all tended to swell the ranks of the unemployed; and render difficult the solution of the problem. The other experiments sanctioned in 1894 may be termed Land Law Legislation. Under one, the Government can purchase compulsorily estates exceeding 1,000 acres of first class land or 2,000 acres of second class land or over 500 acres if near one of the four large cities. The proprietors may, at will, reserve the areas just mentioned or compel the Government to purchase the estate as a whole. The full value of the Land is to be paid, and if this cannot be agreed upon otherwise it has to be fixed by a Court consisting of a Supreme Court Judge and two Assessors. The practical result is that owners of more than 1,000 acres of agricultural land hold the surplus quantity at the will of the Government, without security of tenure. Land has fallen in value, and proprietors of large estates, especially if mortgaged, have been anxious to sell. So far only one estate has been compulsorily purchased; but the Act has certainly caused unrest and loss of confidence amongst land-owners. The lands to be taken are to be leased at a rental on a 5 % basis on cost, but whether these rents will be paid remains to be proved. On some of the estates already the cry is for a reduction of rents, and this means, if yielded to, increasing the burdens of the Colony.

In 1890 the system of direct taxation was changed. Till then, every kind of property, subject to a £500 exemption, was taxed at its saleable value. The new scheme was to tax land, minus the improvements, at its selling value; to exempt all personal property from taxation; and to have a graduated tax on land, and a graduated income tax. The graduation on land was increased in 1893. The taxes are:—

The ordinary Land tax is id. per pound, on all land over £500 in value, less improvements.

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Where the value is £5,000 and less than £10,000 1/8d. extra.

Where £10,000, and less than £15,000, 2/8 id. extra.
Where 15,000, and less than 20,000, 3/8 id. extra.
Where 20,000, and less than 25,000, 4/8 id. extra.
Where 25,000, and less than 30,000, 5/8 id. extra.
Where 30,000, and less than 40,000, 6/8 id. extra.
Where 40,000, and less than 50,000, 7/8 id. extra.
Where 70,000, and less than 80,000, 11/8 id. extra.
Where 90,000, and less than 110,000, 12/8 id. extra.
Where 110,000, and less than 130,000, 13/8 id. extra.
Where 130,000, and less than 150,000, 14/8 id. extra.
Where 150,000, and less than 170,000, 15/8 id. extra.
Where 170,000, and less than 190,000, 16/8 id. extra.
Where 190,000, and less than 210,000, 17/8 id. extra.
Where 210,000, or exceeding that sum, 2d.

This is certainly a high rate. It may be assumed that at present prices, the interest earned on £210,500 worth of land (without counting the improvements) will not exceed 5 %, giving a net income of £10,525. On this the Land Tax would be £2,625, or 25 %. Add the additional local rates perhaps amounting to another penny, and, if the owner is resident out of the Colony, the Absentee tax of 20% besides the Graduated Tax. This Tax on its imposition was called a "bursting up tax," and perhaps its incidence has enabled the Government to purchase large estates without relying upon the compulsory powers of this statute.

The income Tax is 6d. in the £ on all incomes over £300 and up to £ 1,000, and 1s. on all taxable incomes over £1,000.

The other Agrarian Law is that of advances to Settlers. The Government has authority to borrow £3,000,000 in two annual instalments, to lend to settlers, who must be country settlers and freeholders or Crown tenants. The maximum loan to any one person or Company is £2,500, and it must not exceed 3/5 the value of the land in case of freeholds; and ½ the value of improvements in case of leaseholds. The interest is 6% per annum, but of this amount 1% is a sinking fund, so that after 73 payments the page 23 loan is redeemed. The moneys are to be borrowed at 3½%, and it is thought that the 1½% margin will cover probable losses and pay the expense of the Department. Such a financial scheme needs years to test its economic soundness.

As the effect of the graduated tax and the Land and Settlement Act has necessarily been to lower the value of large holdings, so this scheme of lending money lowers interests, which again will lessen the profits of the Life Assurance Department and may mean a recasting of the rates. The effect on farmers remains to be seen. Professor Gide in his Social Economy does not seem to think that encouraging mortgages has been beneficial to the peasantry of France.

Such, however, are some of our social experiments. Their effect may not be seen in our life time; but whatever the result of these and other laws, New Zealand is eminently fitted for the breeding of what is called the Anglo-Saxon people. It lacks the summer heats of Australia and the United States; it has no cold winters; and the climate has been termed by an American, "an eternal spring,"—a phrase that characterizes it very well, yet it lacks the continuity of a Continental climate. Our future who can predict? We are still drawn by cords of Home associations to the Motherland. Her literature is our literature; and though the papers and journals of the United States are extensively read, our feelings are British. Whether the loose Confederation that now exists will bear the strain of war, or whether the future will see an English-Speaking Federation that will weld England, America and Australasia into one in heart and one in aim—the uplifting of humanity—who can tell?

For us in the Colonies, our task is clear. It is to do what our hands find to do, to promote civilization as best we can, hoping and believing that in the future, peace will triumph and a peaceful federation take the place of hostile nations.

* For the two warmest and two coldest months.