Page:Canterbury Papers.djvu/20

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12
CAPABILITIES OF NEW ZEALAND

which brings the finest weather: from the N. W. it blows hardest, and the S. W. is the rainy quarter. Snow sometimes falls, but never lies throughout the day.—Ibid. p. 57.

On the whole, the east coast of the Middle Island much exceeded my anticipations; which, however, I may mention, were by no means extravagant. It offers a large extent of level and undulating land; while the circumstance of its being covered with grass is of the greatest importance, as affording to industry a natural production of inestimable value, capable of being converted, with the smallest amount of labour or outlay, into a source of wealth and abundance.

The east coast of the Middle Island seems to me to hold out greater attractions to the colonists than any part of New Zealand. There is a very large field for the production of wool along the east coast of this island, and I am convinced that it can be grown with greater profit there than in any part of Australia. There are no native dogs, which are the principal cause of the expense of the shepherding in Australia. (There are, however, I should mention, a few Maori dogs, run wild, but these might soon be got rid of.) There is abundance of water, enabling the flock-master to wash his wool thoroughly; and the climate of this country is particularly favourable to the constitution of the sheep. Having seen most of the Australian colonies, and acquired a little experience at some expense, I see no occupation which affords so good a prospect of rapid return upon the money invested as sheep-grazing in this country, wherever pasture is sufficiently abundant; and there is great extent of grass land between Banks's Peninsula and the Bluff.

This district of country possesses also a great advantage in this, that there are almost no natives. On the great plain to the south of the Peninsula there are not, we are told, more than thirty or forty altogether. Otago and its neighbourhood and Robuki are their head-quarters, and there their numbers are very inconsiderable. In the fine district behind Molyneux Bay, there are only four men. To the southward along the coast there are hardly any. So that settlers in this part of the country have nothing to fear from claims to land, or annoying attempts at extortion.—Ibid. p. 234.

Do you know the northern part of England?—Yes.

Are the valleys and the ranges of mountains in Kew Zealand something like that part of England?—Like some parts of Cumberland very much.

A succession of valleys, with a fine soil, and hills running between?—Yes.—Extract from the Evidence of Mr. C. H. Kettle.—Report: New Zealand, H.C. 1844, No. 566, p. 171.

Do you agree that the colony of New Zealand, from its internal resources, and its mineral and agricultural productions, as well as its position, is a very valuable possession of the British Crown?—I think it is the most valuable colony in that part of the world.

"Will you state generally the grounds of your opinion?—They are, that from its soil and climate it will grow all European grain to perfection, and in many respects better than this country. It is in the centre of the whale fishery; it has immense forests of timber, which will be valuable as an article of trade with China, and probably South America before long; it is full of harbours, and it will have a great commerce, and a large maritime population; in fact, in such a way that it will be the Great Britain of that part of the world, including the vast archipelago of islands to the north, and will command the trade of that part of the world in future times; in the meantime, its exports of flax and other produce are likely to rise very considerably', and, before long, to make it valuable as a colony. — Evidence of J. C. Crawford, Esq.—Ibid., p. 160.

January 9th, (1844).—At sunset, from the top of the last hill at the S. W. angle of the (Banks's) Peninsula, we obtained a magnificent view over the vast plains of the south. Below us stretched out the apparently interminable line of the "ninety miles beach," a continuous range of uniform shingle, without headland or bay. Within this shingle bank is a great lake, Waihora, * * * * eighteen miles in length. Beyond the lake are plains of vast extent, bounded by a range of snowy mountains, behind which the sun was setting.—Journal of the Bishop of New Zealand, published in 'Church in the Colonies' No. VIII, p. 9.