Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 8/The New Zealand census returns

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THE NEW ZEALAND CENSUS RETURNS, 1861.

Provinces. Total No. of
Acres fenced.
NUMBER OF ACRES.
In Wheat. In Barley. In Oats. In Maize.
A. R. P. A. R. P. A. R. P. A. R. P. A. R. P.
Auckland 112,318 3 34 3,892 1 0 214 1 18 2,329 3 5 696 0 26
Taranaki 9,858 1 0 61 2 0 57 3 0 105 3 0 3 3 10
Wellington 76,611 3 7 2,285 0 0 219 0 20 1,384 3 20 18 2 30
Hawke’s Bay 31,781 0 0 550 1 0 26 3 20 354 2 0 16 0 0
Nelson 37,293 2 0 4,395 2 0 1,126 1 0 1,860 0 0 12 3 0
Marlborough 20,461 2 0 493 2 0 124 3 0 341 1 0 14 0 0
Canterbury 72,937 1 20 12,785 2 0 1,489 2 0 4,585 2 0 7 1 20
Otago 42,254 0 0 4,928 2 0 166 0 0 4,517 3 0 0 3 0
Southland 5,951 2 0 136 2 0 22 3 0 442 3 0 . . .
Totals. 409,467 3 21 29,528 2 0 3,457 1 18 15,872 0 25 769 2 6
NUMBER OF ACRES.
In Potatoes. In Sown Grass. In Garden
or Orchard.
In other
Crops.
Total
under Crop.
A. R. P. A. R. P. A. R. P. A. R. P. A. R. P.
Auckland 3,553 1 10 62,817 0 7 1,607 2 16 805 2 39 75,916 1 1
Taranaki 166 0 0 9,642 2 0 97 0 0 18 3 0 10,153 0 10
Wellington 762 1 5 49,143 1 7 1,009 3 21 490 0 10 55,313 0 33
Hawke’s Bay 191 0 18 3,731 2 20 239 0 15 725 2 0 5,844 3 33
Nelson 515 2 0 12,156 1 0 890 1 0 1,979 0 0 22,985 2 0
Marlborough 136 1 0 1,766 1 0 169 2 0 117 1 0 3,162 3 0
Canterbury 1,088 2 20 10,310 3 20 1,240 2 0 1,349 1 0 32,807 0 20
Otago 667 3 0 8,220 1 0 504 2 0 248 2 0 19,254 0 0
Southland 171 0 0 201 0 0 102 3 0 15 1 0 1,092 0 0
Totals. 7,251 3 13 157,989 0 14 5,861 0 12 5,749 1 9 226,478 3 17

The census returns for New Zealand, taken late in the year 1861, and published in Auckland June, 1862, gives us a flourishing account of the progress of this favourite colony, now taking rank as fourth in the Australian division.

Apart even from the influence of the gold discoveries and consequent influx of diggers, the census shows a steady increase in population. The number of settlers of European descent in 1851 amounting to 26,707, and in 1861 to not less than 98,915, exclusive of some 3000 diggers, who were believed, upon sufficient authority, to be in the roads or gullies at the Otago gold-fields upon the day on which the papers were filled up. Thus it will be seen there has been an increase of 75,208 persons, or 281.60 per cent. during ten years.

TABLE SHOWING THE NUMBERS OF LIVE STOCK IN THE POSSESSION OF EUROPEANS IN THE SEVERAL PROVINCES OF NEW ZEALAND, IN DECEMBER, 1861.
Provinces. Horses. Mules and Asses. Horned Cattle. Sheep. Goats. Pigs. Poultry.
Auckland 5,621 20 36,482 67,803 5,999 12,612 82,861
Taranaki 220 . . . 2,171 10,566 33 245 2,283
Wellington 5,117 42 49,323 247,940 2,856 11,670 38,635
Hawke’s Bay 1,782 9 8,320 312,459 974 1,693 9,823
Nelson 2,355 17 11,105 181,367 419 2,985 23,293
Marlborough 1,519 17 8,474 368,836 1,099 1,452 6,333
Canterbury 6,049 29 33,576 377,369 625 9,586 41,729
Otago 4,790 15 34,544 619,853 156 2,218 26,412
Southland 812 4 9,139 73,970 9 555 4,163
Totals. 28,265 153 193,134 2,760,163 12,170 43,016 235,532

The most striking provincial rise has been that of Otago, which has increased its population from 1776 to 28,983; and although prosperity arising from the discovery of gold is not necessarily lasting, there is no doubt the province will reap an abundant harvest during the rush, and that it will be the fault of the colonists themselves if they allow a reaction to take them by surprise. There is one item in the population table which ought to be looked into, especially at this time, and which, it is to be hoped, will lead to action, namely, that whereas the male population amounts to 61,008, the female reaches only 37,907—a state of things which it would be well if many of those philanthropic persons who are crying out so loudly and justly against what has been called the “redundance of women in England,” and the evils which arise therefrom, would take into serious consideration. Some ladies—too well known to require naming—have been at work steadily and consistently; but such efforts, individually noble as they are, cannot grasp the difficulty. With such fearful odds against it, private exertion is lost; it is the concentrated effort of the nation, acknowledged and helped by Government, which alone can rid our dear land of the plague spot which has been creeping on step by step, until none can be blind or deaf, much less, we should hope, careless, to the threatened danger.

In God’s name, let us save such as we can; but at the same time remember that “prevention is better than cure.”

The foregoing tables will give a pretty clear idea of the character of the various provinces, and may prove useful to would-be emigrants.

At least three-quarters of the cultivated land is devoted to pasture, and upon this must depend the future stability of the colony. Agriculture in time may come to a stand-still for want of an outlet. Gold will exhaust itself, and the expense of transmission renders the mineral wealth of comparatively no avail. None of these difficulties apply to pasturage improvements, the produce of which will always find a ready market; and as we have given the table of crops, we have endeavoured to throw still more light upon the subject by also inserting in full the table of live stock.

Thus much we gather from the census. When the statistical return appears, we shall hope to read a useful lesson upon the march of industry and enterprise.

I. F.