Page:Canterbury Papers.djvu/21

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13
FOR COLONIZATION.

January 17th.—The Waitangi river (south of Banks's Peninsula) runs from west to east, through a vast plain of forty or fifty miles in length, and about twelve in width, stretching east and west, without a tree or shrub.

January 18th.—Walked over a beautiful grass plain, at first altogether without trees, but after twelve miles covered with the Ti palm.—Ibid., p. 14.

February 14th.—* * * The wind being now contrary, I stayed two days at Akaroa, and looked over the settlement, where there are about eighty French settlers, and about fifty English, with a few Germans. Some of the French settlers have good gardens.

February 15th.—The wind being still contrary, I walked over to Pigeon Bay, on the north side of the Peninsula. * * * In this bay I found some Scotch settlers of the right sort, living in great comfort by their own exertions, making everything for themselves, and, above all, keeping up their religious principles and usages, though far from any ministerial assistance.

February 16th, 17th, 18th.—* * * Port Cooper is surrounded by precipitous hills, with very little level ground; but an opening can be made without difficulty to the extensive plains which range along the eastern shore of this island from Kaikoura (Lookers-on) to Moerangi.—Ibid, pp. 34, 35.


Extract of a Letter from Walter D. Mantell, Esq., Government Commissioner, dated Port Levi, Banks's Peninsula, August 16th, 1849. * * * Your Canterbury friends will be glad to hear, even on my questionable authority, that this port is safe. Thomas is managing excellently, and is always backed by a run of 'good luck,' which seems never inclined to desert him. His assistants are the best he could wish for, and the province of Canterbury will, as I said when it lay waste on the 'grand plain,' bear comparison, not only with any unsettled district in New Zealand, but with any of the already-formed settlements: this, as far as my own observation goes. In fact, now that its capabilities have become so publicly known, even the breaking up of the Association cannot prevent its 'going-a-head,' and becoming, and remaining for a long time, the leading settlement in New Zealand, and English capital of the country.

Such are the statements given by persons who have been resident in the country, and may be supposed well acquainted with its capabilities.

Timber and Water Power.

In the New Zealand islands generally there is a profusion of timber, and in the Canterbury settlement there is abundance of water-power; so that great facilities will be afforded to colonists for the erection of flour and saw mills, a most important consideration for a young community. In turning these and the other natural advantages of the country to account, the Canterbury colonists will be materially assisted by the experience of the older settlers—experience in the climate, in the management of cattle and sheep, in the cheap construction of mills, houses, and fences, in clearing land, and in making roads; a knowledge of the surface of the country, and of the native population;—all which have been acquired by others at an expense of time, of labour, of property, of hope, of strength, and of temper, which those only can estimate sufficiently who have themselves incurred it.

Produce and Markets.

The chief exports of the Canterbury settlement, for some time to come, as in all new settlements, will consist of raw produce. Its great plains, offering advantages to the breeders of horses, sheep, and horned cattle, will be especially adapted for wool-growers and keepers of stock forms. As the settlement begins to fill up, and the demand for grain increases within its limits, an export of grain may eventually be looked for, from the enter-