Letters from New Zealand, 1857-1911

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Letters from New Zealand, 1857-1911  (1914) 
by Henry William Harper




Being some Account of Life and Work in
the Province of Canterbury,
South Island



Sometime Archdeacon and Canon of Christchurch Cathedral, and Vicar of St. Mary's,
Timaru, Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand.



Amico Meo
Francis St. John Thackeray.
H. W. H.


These letters may be of interest to those who, like myself, have taken part in the colonization of New Zealand. My own share in it was limited to the South Island, the Province of Canterbury, with its Goldfields, in the Diocese of Christchurch. There may be also others who have friends and relatives in New Zealand, or who are generally mterested in the great progress which the country has made in late years, to whom these letters may give useful information.

They are chiefly personal, perhaps none the less readable for that. Incidentally, they touch on problems of great importance which the Church in New Zealand has had to meet. Questions of Church Government and discipline; the position of the Laity; their proper share in a self-governing Church, which has never been established; their responsibility for the management of Church Finance, and the maintenance of the Ministry,—such questions as arise naturally in a Free Church in a Free State. Questions, too, which at some future date may have to be tackled by the Mother Church at Home. The organization of the Church in New Zealand is now fairly complete. It governs itself by means of General and Diocesan Synods. It is in close spiritual communion with the Mother Church, but in all matters of good government it has to look to itself.

Apart from these larger matters, I trust that these letters will find a welcome amongst the numerous friends and fellow-workers with whom I have spent so many happy years in New Zealand. A country not nearly the size of many of the Dominions of our Empire, but in climate, natural resources, and especially in the character of its people, second to none, whether for material prosperity, or general happiness of the conditions of life.

To have had the opportunity of pioneer work, with others, in such a country, with so great a future before it, is a privilege I cannot over-estimate, as I look back upon the last fifty years.


London, 1914.


I. II. III. 1857. First Year in New Zealand.
IV. 1858. First Parochial Work.
V. 1864. Homewards to obtain Clergy.
VI. VII. 1866. West Coast Goldfields.
VIII. IX. Diocesan and General Synod.
X. Miners. Bishop Harper.
XI. New Zealand Church Constitution.
XII. 1875. Departure from West Coast.
XIII. XIV. XV. Timaru, South Canterbury.
XVI. 1889. England. Italy.
XVII. XVIII. XIX. Parochial and Diocesan Work.
XX. 1898. England. Italy. Sicily. Egypt.
XXI. XXII. 1900. Church Government in New Zealand.
XXIII. Social Life in New Zealand.
XXIV. XXV. 1909. Completion S. Mary's Church, Timaru.
XXVI. 1911. Farewell to New Zealand.


H. J. C. Harper, D.D. 42
River. Waimakariri 92
Arthur's Pass, Otira 96
Otira Gorge 130
West Coast Road. Cedars 160
West Coast Road 168
Henry W. Harper, M.A. 186
St. Mary's Church, Timaru 334
Nave 344
Tower 348
Map of New Zealand at end

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.

The author died in 1922, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.