Page:Canterbury Papers.djvu/30

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herewith given. The Association has since approved the selection, considering themselves fortunate to obtain a district so remarkably rich in natural advantages, and the survey and other preliminary operations are now in active progress, as will be seen by the following extract from a letter recently received from Port Lyttelton.

Lyttelton, Sept. 11, 1849.

We have now here over 110 men at work on surveys, roads, and buildings. Lyttelton resembles a country village in England, such is its decency, its order, its regularity, and sobriety. The town is surveyed, and we have got the trigonometrical stations fixed, and extending over 30,000 acres. By Christmas, we hope to complete the trigonometrical survey of half a million of acres, and the surveys and maps of Christchurch, and the town at the mouth of the Avon.

Forty natives are at work on the roads, and we are now sending to Wellington for sixty more. All goes on without difficulty, and with rapidity.

During the present year it is therefore calculated that a large proportion of the whole territory will be surveyed and rendered traversable by the formation of main roads. Captain Thomas is also empowered to erect such buildings as may appear indispensable to the convenience of the first colonists: in the performance of this task, he must, however, be limited not only by the time but by the amount of funds at his disposal. It is impossible to state accurately beforehand how much these funds will enable him to do; and, therefore, all that the Association can guarantee is, that they shall be, so far as lies in their and (as they entirely believe) in Captain Thomas's power, expended economically and effectually in improving the settlement and in promoting the interests of the colonists.

In addition to this, the Association have appointed as their resident Chief Agent in New Zealand, Mr. Godley, a member of the Committee of Management, who takes a deep interest in the Association's proceedings, and who has been from the first one of its most efficient promoters. Mr. Godley sailed from England in December last, with the fullest powers and instructions to act in every way for the benefit of the colonists. He will probably arrive in New Zealand in April, and will superintend the final preparations for their reception.

The terms of purchase are published herewith, as finally arranged, with the consent and approval of her Majesty's Government; and the Association are now in a position to proceed with their undertaking.

Extracts from a Despatch of Captain Thomas, the Association's Agent and Chief Surveyor, dated May 15, 1849.

The Port Cooper District having been fixed on as the site of the Canterbury Settlement, I have now the honour to report, for the information of the Committee of the Association, upon the country and harbour.

The block of land on the east coast of the Middle Island, from which the million of acres for the site of the Canterbury Settlement is to be selected, contains over two millions of acres, extending coastwise to the north and south-west, and bounded inland by a range of hills whose distance from the coast varies from forty to fifty miles.

This country is perfectly level, watered by numerous rivers and streams, and covered with grass. Like all extensive districts, portions of it are found of inferior quality, a very small part is swampy, indeed so trifling that a dray may be driven over almost every part of it; the surface in some parts is stony, but on examination we found it confined to the surface alone, the soil consisting of a