Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 8/The New Zealand census returns
THE NEW ZEALAND CENSUS RETURNS, 1861.
|Provinces.||Total No. of
|NUMBER OF ACRES.|
|In Wheat.||In Barley.||In Oats.||In Maize.|
|Southland||5,951||2||0||136||2||0||22||3||0||442||3||0||. . .|
|NUMBER OF ACRES.|
|In Potatoes.||In Sown Grass.||In Garden
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.|
|Taranaki||220||. . .||2,171||10,566||33||245||2,283|
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.