1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/New Zealand
NEW ZEALAND, a British colonial Dominion (so named in 1907), consisting mainly of a group of islands lying in the south Pacific between 34° 25′ and 47° 17′ S., and between 166° 26′ and 178° 36′ E. The group is situated eastward of Tasmania and Victoria, and Wellington, its capital and central seaport, is 1204 m. distant from Sydney. Of certain outlying clusters of small islands belonging to the colony, the Chathams (356 m. E. of Cook Strait), Aucklands and Campbell Island are alone of any value. All these are grassy and the Chathams are inhabited by sheep-farming colonists. The Aucklands contain two of the finest harbours in the Pacific. Six hundred miles north of Auckland, the volcanic Kermadecs, covering 8208 acres, are picturesquely clothed with vegetation. In Polynesia a number of inhabited islands were brought under New Zealand control in 1893. Rarotonga and Mangaia, in the Cook group, and Niué or Savage Island are the largest of these; Penrhyn and Suwarrow, though but small coral atolls, contain excellent harbours. Rarotonga is hilly, well watered, and very beautiful. Apart from these little tropical dependencies New Zealand has an area of 104,471 sq. m., of which its two important islands, called North and South, contain 44,468 and 58,525 respectively, while, divided from South Island by Foveaux Strait, Rakiura or Stewart Island, mountainous and forest-clad, contains 621 sq. m. These three form a broken chain, North and South Islands being cut asunder by Cook Strait, a channel varying in width from 16 to 90 m.
North Island is 515 m. long and varies in breadth from 6 to 200 m. It is almost cleft in twain where the Hauraki Gulf penetrates to within 6 m. of Manukau Harbour. From the isthmus thus formed a narrow, very irregular peninsula reaches out northward for some 200 m., moist and semi-tropical, and beautiful rather than uniformly fertile. Rich strips of alluvial soil, however, seam a cold clay-marl, needing intensive cultivation to become highly productive. Buried in this clay-marl are found large deposits of the fossil resin which becomes the kauri gum of commerce; and on the surface extensive forests are still a great though diminishing source of wealth. Though a species of mangrove fringes much of this peninsula, its presence does not denote malaria, from which the islands are entirely free.
South of the isthmus aforesaid, North Island rapidly broadens out. Its central physical feature is the unbroken mountain chains running N.E. from Cook Strait to East Cape on the Bay of Plenty, ranges seldom under 3000 ft., but never attaining 6000 ft. in height. Ikurangi, their highest summit, though a fine mass, does not compare with the isolated volcanic cones which, rising W. of the main mountain system and quite detached from it, are among the most striking sights in the island. Ruapehu (9100 ft.) is intermittently active, and Ngauruhoe (7515 ft.) emits vapour and steam incessantly. Egmont (8340 ft.) is quiescent, but its symmetrical form and dense clothing of forest make it the most beautiful of the three. North of the two first-mentioned volcanoes Lake Taupo spreads over 238 sq. m. in the centre of a pumice-covered plateau from 1000 to 2000 ft. above the sea; and round and beyond the great lake the region of the thermal springs covers 5000 sq. m. and stretches from Mount Ruapehu to White Island, an ever-active volcanic cone in the Bay of Plenty. The most uncommon natural feature of the district, the Pink and White Terraces, was blown up in the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886, when for great distances the country was buried beneath mud and dust, and a chasm 9 m. long was opened in the earth. Fine lakes and waterfalls, innumerable pools, in temperature from boiling-point to, cold, geysers, solfataras, fumaroles and mud volcanoes still attract tourists in large numbers. The healing virtue of many of the springs is widely-known. The government maintains a sanatorium at Lake Rotorua, and there are private bathing establishments in other places, notably near Lake Taupo. In South Island there are hot pools and a state sanatorium at Hanmer Plains. Experience shows that the most remarkable cures effected by the hot waters are in cases of gout, rheumatism, diseases of the larynx and in skin disorders. Though, thanks to the overlaying porous pumice, the Taupo plateau is not fertile, it has a good rainfall and is drained by unfailing rivers running through deep terraced ravines. The Waikato and Waihou flow N., the Rangitaiki N.E., and Mokau, Wanganui and Rangitikei W. or S.W. The first named, the longest river in the colony, though obstructed by a bar like all western,—and most eastern,—New Zealand rivers, is navigable for some 70 m. The Mokau and Wanganui run between ferny and forest-clad hills and precipices, often of almost incomparable beauty.
East of the Taupo plateau and south of Opotiki on the Bay of Plenty the steep thickly-timbered ranges held by the Uriwera tribe still show scenery quite unspoiled by white intrusion. On the southern frontier of this mountainous tract Waikaré Moana extends its arms, the deepest and most beautiful of the larger lakes of the island.
From the mouth of the Waikato southward to about 25 m. from Cape Terawhiti on Cook Strait, and for a distance of from 20 to 40 m. inland, the western coast skirts fertile country well fitted for grazing and dairy-farming, to which it is being rapidly turned as the timber and fern are cleared away from its low hills, downs and rich valleys. On the east coast the same fertility is seen with less forest, and, round Hawkes Bay, a hotter and drier summer. In the south centre, the upland plain of the Wairarapa, ending in a large but commonplace lake, has a climate adapted for both grazing and cereals. The butt-end of the island, of poor, rough, wind-beaten hills, is redeemed by the fine harbour of Port Nicholson, which vies with the Waitemata in utility to New Zealand commerce. Broken as is the surface, poor as is the soil of certain tracts, there is but little of the island which will not ultimately be cultivated with profit as pumice and clay-marl yield to labour. Everywhere the settler may count on a sufficient rainfall, and—except on the plateau and the mountain highlands—mild winters and genial summers. The pleasant climate has certain drawbacks; the coastal farmer finds that blights and insect pests thrive in the comparative absence of hard frosts. Fortunately mosquitoes are not a serious plague outside a few marshy localities. To pass Cook Strait and land in the middle province of South Island is to pass from Portugal to Switzerland, a Switzerland, however, with a seacoast that in the east centre is a dull fringe of monotonous sand dunes or low cliffs. As a rule, nevertheless, the shores of South Island are high and bold enough. They are not too well served with harbours, except along Cook Strait, in Banks Peninsula, and by the grand but commercially useless fjords of the south-west. In the last-named region some fifteen salt-water gulfs penetrate into the very heart of the mountains, winding amid steep, cloud capped ranges, and tall, richly-clothed cliffs overhanging their calm waters. The dominating features of south New Zealand are not ferny plateaus or volcanic cones, but stern chains of mountains. There the Southern Alps rise range upon range, filling the whole centre, almost or quite touching the Western shore, and stretching from end to end of the island. West of the dividing crest they are forest clad; east thereof their stony grimness is but slightly softened by growths of scrub and tussock grass. Nineteen-twentieths of the colonists, however, live east of the dividing range, for to that side settlement was attracted by the open, grassy character of the country. The rivers are many, even on the drier eastern coast. But, as must be expected in an island but 180 m. across at the widest point and yet showing ridges capped with perpetual snows, the rivers, large or small, are mountain torrents, now swollen floods, anon half dry. Almost useless for communication or transport, they can be easily drawn upon for irrigation where, as in the east centre, water-races are useful. The largest river, the Clutha, though but 80 m. long in its course to the south-east coast, discharges a volume of water estimated at nearly 1,100,000 cubic ft. a minute. On the west the only two rivers of importance are the Buller and the Grey, the former justly famous for the grandeur of its gorges. Large and deep lakes fill many of the mountain valleys. Te Anau and Wakatipu (54 m. long) are the chief, though Manapouri is the most romantic. Aorangi (Mt. Cook) is easily first among the mountain peaks. Its height, 12,349 ft., is especially impressive when viewed from the sea off the west coast. On the north-east a double range, the Kaikouras, scarcely fall short of the Southern Alps in height and beauty. Apart from the fjords and lakes the chief beauties of the Alps are glaciers and waterfalls. The Tasman glacier is 18 m. long and has an average width of 1 m. 15 chains; the Murchison glacier is 10 m. in length. To the west of Aorangi glaciers crawl into the forest as low as 400 ft. above sea-level. Among waterfalls the Sutherland is 1904 ft. high, but has less volume than the Bowen and others. The finest mountain gorge, the Otira, is also the chief route from the east to the west coast. It begins on the western side of Arthur's Pass, a gap the floor of which is 3100 ft. above the sea. Generally the open and readily available region of South Island extends from the Kaikouras along the east and south-east coast to the river Waiau in Southland. It has a mean breadth of some 30 m. In compensation the coal and gold, which form the chief mineral wealth, are found in the broken and less practicable west and centre, and these portions also furnish the water-power which may in days to come make the island a manufacturing country. (W. P. R.)
|Reproduced From Original Colorprints By The Gill Engraving Co., N. Y.||
Geology.—New Zealand is part of the Australasian festoon, on the Pacific edge of the Australasian area. Unlike Australia, its geological structure is unusually varied, and owing to its instability, it includes, for its size, an unusually complete series of marine sedimentary rocks. It has, moreover, been a volcanic area of long-continued activity. The physical geography of New Zealand is closely connected with its geological structure, and is dominated by two intersecting lines of mountains and earth movements. The Southern Alps, the backbone of the South Island, rest on a foundation of coarse gneisses and schists, that are quite unrepresented in the North Island. The continuation of this line of old rocks is occupied by the basins of the Wanganui river and Taupo. E. Suess therefore suggested that the northern continuation of the Alps had foundered, and its summits been buried beneath the Pliocene marine rocks of the Wanganui basin and the volcanic rocks of the Taupo area.
The oldest rocks are Archean, represented by the band of gneisses and schists exposed along the western foot of the Southern Alps. To the south of the district in southern Westland, where the Alps have passed out to sea, the Archeans become more extensive; for they spread eastward and underlie the whole of the dissected tableland of Otago. It has been suggested that the jasperoids and diabases of the Tarawera Mountains on the North Island may be of Upper Archean age, from their resemblance to the Heathcotian rocks of Australia. No Cambrian rocks have as yet been discovered, but the Ordovician system is represented by the Aorere beds in the north-western part of the South Island. Here they contain numerous graptolites, including Tetragraptus, Dichograptus and Didymograptus. The Silurian system is represented by the Baton river beds to the west of the Aorere beds, occurring in the basin of the Motueka river, which flows into Tasman Bay. The Devonian system is well exposed in the Reefton mining field. The Carboniferous system includes either the whole or a large part of the Maitai beds. The Maitai beds include a thick mass of slates and sandstones, which form the bulk of the Southern Alps, whence branches extend southeastward to the coast. The beds take their name from the Maitai river near Nelson; they are largely developed in the mountains of the Tararua-Ruahine-Raukumara chain, on the eastern side of the North Island; they occur in the Kaikoura Mountains, and an outlier forms Mount Torlesse, near the eastern edge of the Southern Alps, west of Christchurch. The Maitai beds have generally been considered to be Carboniferous from the presence of species of Productus found in the Permo-Carboniferous of New South Wales. But Professor Park has obtained Jurassic fossils in the Maitai series; so that it will probably be ultimately divided between the Carboniferous and Jurassic. The two systems should, however, be separable by an unconformity, unless the Maitai series also includes representatives of the Kaihiku series (the New Zealand Permian), and of the Wairoa series, which is Triassic.
New Zealand includes representatives of all the three Mesozoic systems. The Hokanui group comprises the Triassic Wairoa and Otapira beds, and the Jurassic Mataura beds. The Wairoa series includes marine limestones characterized by Monotis salinaria, and the Otapira series is characterized by Spiriferina spatulata. The Mataura beds are largely of estuarine formation; they contain oil shales and gas springs.
The Cretaceous system includes the Waipara series, a belt of chalky limestones with some phosphate beds at Clarendon in eastern Otago. Their fossils include belemnites, ammonites, scaphites and marine saurians, such as Cimoliosaurus. These Cretaceous limestones are interbedded with glauconitic greensands, as at Moeraki Point in eastern Otago. The second type, of Cretaceous is a terrestrial formation, and is important as it contains the rich coal seams of Greymouth, Westport and Seddonville, which yield a high quality of steam coal. Cretaceous coals have long been worked in the North Island, north of Auckland, on the shores of the Bay of Islands, where the age of the coal is shown by its occurrence under the Whangarei or Waimio limestone.
The Cainozoic system is represented by Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene beds. The best-known Oligocene rocks are the limestones of Oamaru and the brown-coal measures of Waikato. The Oamaru limestones have been largely used for building stones; they are a pure white limestone, largely made up of foraminifera, bryozoa and shell fragments, and contain the teeth of sharks (e.g. Carcharodon) and of toothed whales such as Squalodon serratus. In southern Otago the Oligocene beds are brown coals and lignites with oil shales, which, at Orepuki, contain 47% of oil and gas, with 8% of water. The Miocene Pareora beds occur to the height of 3000 or 4000 ft. above sea-level, in both the North and South Islands. Some of its fossils also occur in the Oamaru series, but the two series are unconformable. In Westland the Miocene includes the Moutere gravels, which rest on the summit of Mount Greenland, 4900 ft. above sea-level.
Marine beds of the Pliocene are best developed in the Wanganui basin. They consist of fine clays with nodular calcareous concretions rich in fossils. The Pleistocene system in the South Island includes glacial deposits, which prove a great extension of the New Zealand glaciers, especially along the western coast. The glaciers must have reached the sea at Cascade Point in southern Westland. On the eastern side of the Alps the glaciers appear to have been confined to the mountain valleys. The Pleistocene swamp deposits are rich in the bones of the moa and other gigantic extinct birds, which lived on until they were exterminated by the Maori. The Cainozoic volcanic history of New Zealand begins in the Oligocene, when the high volcanic domes of Dunedin and Banks Peninsula were built up. The Dunedin lavas including tephrites and kenytes correspond to the dacite eruptions in the volcanic history of Victoria. The building up of these domes of lavas of intermediate chemical type was followed by the eruption of sheets of andesites and rhyolites in the Thames Goldfield and the Taupo volcanic district. The volcanic activity of the Taupo district lasted into the Pleistocene, and the last eruptions contributed many of its chief geographical features. (J. W. G.)
Climate.—Diversity of level and latitude cause many varieties of climate in the South Island provinces. The height and regularity of the mountain backbone increase the diversity. Only one pass, the Haast (1716 ft.), crosses from E. to W. at a less height than 3000 ft. Along the whole west coast the climate resembles nothing in the British Islands so much as Cork and Kerry, for there are the same wet gales from a western ocean, the same clouds gathering on the dripping sides of wild mountains, an equal absence of severe frosts and hot sunshine, and a rich and evergreen vegetation. Elsewhere, sheltered Nelson has a more genial air than the Wellington side of Cook Strait. Foveaux Strait is as cold and windy as the Strait of Dover. The Canterbury plain has but 26 ins. of annual rainfall, less than a fourth of that along the western littoral. Very seldom indeed is moisture excessive in the eastern half; there is even a deficiency in unfavourable years, and dry, warm winds do damage to crops. Insect life is relatively not abundant; the air is brisk and bright with ample sunshine. The snow-line, which is at 3000 ft. on the eastern flank of the Alps, is 3700 ft. on the western.
The healthiness of the New Zealand climate in all parts is attested by the death-rate, which, varying (1896-1906) from 9 to 10.50 per 1000, is the lightest in the world. In 1896 it was as low as 9-10. In 1907, however, it was 10.91, the highest figure since the year 1883. Even in the boroughs the average is below 13. The rainfall in most of the settled districts ranges from 30 to 50 ins. a year. Meteorological statistics are collected at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin and eight other stations; and observations of rainfall, temperature, and wind-directions are received from eighteen stations of the second class. From the data thus obtained an isobaric map and a report are prepared for each day; and weather warnings are telegraphed to any part of the coast when necessary. A system of inter-colonial weather exchanges has been agreed upon, and telegrams are daily exchanged between Sydney and Wellington.
Flora.—There are about one thousand species of flowering plants, of which about three-fourths are endemic. Most of those not peculiar to the country are Australian; others are South American, European, Antarctic; and some have Polynesian affinities. Ferns and other cryptogamic plants are in great variety and abundance. The New Zealand flora, like the fauna, has been cited in support of the theory of the remote continental period. In appearance the more conspicuous flora differs very greatly from that of Australia, Polynesia, and temperate South America, and helps to give to the scenery a character of its own.
The early colonists found quite half the surface of the archipelago covered with dense, evergreen forest, a luxuriant growth of pines and beeches, tangled and intertwined with palms, ferns of all sizes, wild vines and other parasites, and a rank, bushy, mossed undergrowth. Though much of the timber is of commercial value—notably the kauri, totara, puriri, rimu, matai and kahikatea—this has not saved the forests from wholesale, often reckless, destruction. Two-fifths perhaps have already disappeared, and it is probable that in fifty years the only large tracts still standing will be sub-alpine woods and in state reserves. Meanwhile charred and rotting stumps give a melancholy and untidy air to valleys and denuded hillsides, for hard-wood stumps—and most New Zealand trees are hard-wood—take more than a generation to decay utterly. Compelled by the windy climate the colonists are doing something to repair these ravages by planting European, Californian and Australian shelter trees; but it is only in the naturally open and grassy regions of the east and south-east that settlement as yet improves the landscape. There, before the colonists came, wide sweeps of dull green bracken or wiry yellow-green tussocks seemed bleak and monotonous enough. The swamps covered with flax and giant bulrushes were often redeemed to the eye by sheets of golden-plumed toé-toé, a kind of pampas grass.
Fauna.—The destruction of the forest is telling fatally on the native avifauna. In their natural state the islands were without land mammals, and the Polynesian immigrants brought but two in their canoes—a dog, now extinct, and a black rat, now rarely seen. Until recent years the forest birds did much to atone for this deficiency, for among them the tui and makomako rank high as songsters, while the apteryxes, kakapo, weka and stitch-bird are of peculiar interest to science. The importation of stoats and weasels, ferrets and cats has resulted in a process of extermination which has already made it necessary to set aside the islets Resolution, Kapiti and Little Barrier as sanctuaries. The place of the vanishing native species is being taken by such European arrivals as sky-larks, finches, blackbirds, sparrows and rooks. Outside the forest country the weka, an almost wingless bird, is numerous, and in the Alps a hawk-like green parrot, the kea, has learned to kill sheep and holds its ground. The pukeko, a handsome rail, abounds in swamps. The native wild ducks are carefully preserved for sportsmen, in whose interests pheasants, red and fallow deer, and brown and rainbow trout have been very successfully acclimatized. Acclimatization, indeed, had played a chief part in the settlement of New Zealand. Coming to a country without useful animals, cereals, rich grasses or fruit trees, the colonists had to bring all these necessaries with them. So far acclimatizers note but few failures; the chief case is that of the salmon. Again and again salmon have been successfully hatched out into rivers, but the young fish hastening down stream to the sea never return thence. This is all the more unfortunate as eels were the only large edible creatures found in the fresh-water lakes and rivers. Tidal waters furnish minute whitebait, and the mud-flats of salt or brackish lagoons and estuaries flounders—both very delicate eating. Oysters, both mud and-rock, are good and plentiful. A strange visitor, the frost-fish, never seen at sea, is picked up stranded on sandy beaches in cold weather, and is prized by epicures. The snapper is at once the handsomest and most palatable of a good variety of sea fish. Sharks are found everywhere and are common round the north, though they rarely attack man. The albatross is of course the most conspicuous sea bird. Penguins are found, confined to the islets of the far south. As some compensation for its paucity of useful animals and food plants, New Zealand was, of course, free from wild carnivora, has no snakes, and only one poisonous insect, the katipo, a timid little spider found on certain sea-beaches. Of poisonous plants only the berries of the tutu and the karaka are worth notice. The wild dogs and pigs which now sometimes prey on the sheep-farmers' lambs in outlying districts are the descendants of domestic animals which have escaped into the “bush.” Among imported pests the rabbit and sparrow, and a numerous company of European and American thistles and other weeds, have to be systematically contended with. The formidable increase of the rabbit has been arrested, mainly by poison and wire-netting fences.
Population.—In January 1840 there may have been 2000 whites in New Zealand. By 1861 the number was still slightly under 100,000. During the next twenty years the gold discoveries, the public works expenditure, and the development of agriculture, multiplied the number of colonists five times to 498,000 in April 1881. Then increase slackened for many years, and was slowest between 1886 and 1891, when the addition was but 48,000 in five years. In 1901 the whites numbered 773,000; and between that year and the census computation in April 1906 the increase, 115,859, was the largest yet recorded in any quinquennium. In the middle of 1908 the official estimate of white inhabitants was 950,000.
The white population, about nine to the square mile, is very unevenly distributed. In the South Island nine-tenths of the colonists live within 40 m. of the east and south-east coasts; in the North Island the eastern and northern parts of Wellington province, and the southern and broadest part of Auckland province are still very scantily peopled. For all that, Auckland and Wellington are the most populous of the larger districts, while Nelson, Westland and Marlborough have for a long time shown the slowest increase.
Males still exceed females in the proportion of nine to eight. About 70% of the population is New Zealand born. The white foreign element is small; what there is is chiefly Scandinavian, German and Dalmatian. Among the foreigners males greatly outnumber females; even in the case of the German settlers the proportion is two to one.
Between 1880 and 1892 the birth-rate fell by no less than 12.95 points—rather more than 1 a year. It continued to fall for seven years more, though at a much reduced rate, and finally reached 25.12 in the year 1899. In the next eight years there was a slow recovery to 27.30 in 1907. Thanks, however, to the low death-rate, elsewhere referred to, the margin of increase in New Zealand is over 17. To that, and to the annual gain by immigration, the fairly rapid rate of increase is due. Between 1885 and 1891 the colony lost more than it gained oversea; but from 1892 to 1908 the gain by immigration was 90,000. Probably, at least half of these represent Australians, impelled to emigrate by years of drought. England and Scotland supply the bulk of the remainder. The government has aided immigrant farmers and farm labourers having a certain sum of money, also female domestics, by paying part of their passage money.
The people of colour in 1906 numbered 53,000, including 2300 Chinese and 6500 Maori half-castes. An apparent increase of 7000 in the Maori and half-castes between 1891 and 1906 is, perhaps, partly due to more accurate computation. It seems probable that the number of Maori and half-castes taken together is about the same as it was thirty years ago, though the infusion of white blood is larger. The Public Health Department has exerted itself to improve the sanitation of native villages and combat the mischievous trickery of Maori wizards and “doctors.”
Wealth.—The increase of wealth went on after 1879 in spite of dull times, and was only checked by the especially severe financial depression of 1893 and 1894, caused by low prices and the Australian bank panic. The estimated private wealth of colonists fell from £236 per head in 1890 to £219 in 1895. It was computed in 1905 to have reached £292. After deducting debts owing abroad the public and private wealth of the colony is calculated to be about £270,000,000.
Of the five banks of issue doing business in the dominion three are Australian and New Zealand institutions. Their deposits exceeded £21,000,000 in 1907, as against £12,250,000 in 1890. At the same date more than £10,000,000 stood to the credit of small depositors in post office and private savings banks, nine-tenths in the former. The gross amount insured by policies in life insurance offices (ordinary and industrial) was over £29,000,000, of which the state office claimed two-fifths.
Trade.—The growth of sea-trade in recent years is shown by the larger size of the ocean-going vessels trading with the colony. The number of these only advanced from 589 to 629 between 1896 and 1906. But the increase of tonnage in the eleven years was from 614,000 tons to 1,243,000; while the crews rose from 20,000 to 32,500. The coasting trade and trade with Australia are carried in New Zealand-owned vessels.
External trade has risen from £13,111,000 in 1887 to £37,371,000 in 1907. Before 1886 exports exceeded imports; but in the twenty subsequent years there was an invariable excess of exports, valued in all at £52,000,000.
The re-export trade is stationary and extremely small. Trade with the United States grew from £877,000 in 1891 to £2,140,000 in 1907. Thanks to the tariff of the United States the balance of trade with North America is heavily against New Zealand. The same disparity is shown in her trade with Germany, which is, however, much smaller—less than half a million. Trade with India and Ceylon reached £557,000 in 1906; that with Fiji and other Pacific islands was £622,000 in 1900. With these exceptions New Zealand trade is almost all done with Australia (£5,348,000 in 1907) and the United Kingdom; the latter's share in 1906 was £26,811,000 of the whole.
Production.—Wool (£4,250,000 to £7,657,000 according to prices) remains at the head of the list of exports. The quantity grown increased by 70% in the twenty years 1887-1906. Moreover the export of sheep skins and pelts was valued at £680,000 in the last mentioned year. But the description changes; there is much less merino, and more of the coarser and longer cross-bred. The number of sheep has increased from 16,564,000 in 1886 to 22,000,000 in 1908, though the increase has been almost all in North Island. The number of the flocks grows, and the average size diminishes even more rapidly. There were 9149 flocks in 1886; in 1906 the number had risen to 18,500—average size of each flock about 1050. The smaller size of the flocks and the breeding of sheep for meat rather than for wool, the cultivation of English grasses and of extensive crops of turnips and other roots on which to fatten sheep and lambs, all tend to change sheep-farming from the mere grazing of huge mobs on wide, unimproved runs held by pastoral licences. The “squatters” still occupy eleven million acres, but even these are more closely subdivided than in former days. How much more extensive is grazing—of the more scientific order—than agriculture, is seen at once from the figures of the amount of land broken up, for crops or other purposes, and the amount under sown grasses. There were about 1,600,000 acres under crop in 1899. This is exclusive of the vast area of native-grass land. The area now occupied and utilized by whites is about 38,000,000 acres.
The character of the soil and the moist cool climate enable English grasses to be sown almost everywhere, and 13,000,000 acres are now laid down with these. The result is seen in the price obtained for New Zealand sheep in Smithfield Market, which is from ½d. to 1d. per ℔ higher than that given for frozen mutton from other countries. The figures below show the growth of the trade:
Export of Frozen Meat.
In the market for frozen lambs the colony remains at present without a rival. Frozen beef is also sent to England. In 1907 the export of frozen meat was valued at £3,420,000. The export of butter and cheese has risen in value from £207,687 in 1890, till in 1907 that of butter amounted to £1,615,000. In London, New Zealand cheese fetches as high a price as Canadian; the value of the cheese exported was £662,000 in 1907. Though not yet quite equal in importance to wool or frozen meat, dairy-farming is almost entirely carried on by small farmers and their families, who supply milk to factories. Most of these are co-operative, their shareholders being the farmers themselves. The profits of the industry are thus widely distributed among the producers. The development of dairy farming has led to the spread of settlement, especially in the west of North Island, where large tracts of fertile soil formerly covered with forest have now been cleared and converted into dairy-farms. Of 1,850,000 cattle in the colony, two-sevenths are dairy cows.
The importance of hemp as an export—increasing from £26,000 in 1898 to £832,000 in 1907—has led to improvements in cleaning and grading it. In consequence its price in London nearly approaches that paid for manila.
Mining.—The export of gold, which was £1,220,000 in 1880, did not exceed that figure until 1898, and, indeed, fell below three quarters of a million in 1887. Then gold-mining, after being long at a standstill, began again to make headway. For many years the surface alluvial mining in South Island became less and less profitable. As in other countries, however, the working of quartz reefs gradually compensated for this. The cyanide process of gold extraction, and the returns obtained by its means from the great Waihi mine in the Upper Thames, caused an outbreak of gold fever, which led to the opening up of a few good and a great many worthless quartz-mines in the Auckland fields. In South Island the river-beds of Otago province have been successfully worked by means of dredges, and good returns secured. In 1907 the gold exported was valued at £2,027,000. The total value of the gold exported from New Zealand from the discovery of the metal in 1857 to 1907 was, roundly, £70,000,000. Kauri gum still holds its place as an export, over £500,000 worth being dug up annually. The number of Istrians and Dalmatians who came from the Adriatic to dig for kauri gum led to the passing of restrictive laws.
The progressive output of coal from 1880 to 1900 is shown below.
|Four-sevenths of the coal is bituminous.|
Excellent as the quality of the best New Zealand coal is, the cost of mining and shipping it prevents the growth of any considerable export trade. Silver is chiefly extracted in the Thames district, but other mines containing silver ores have been found. There are many other valuable ores—copper, iron, lead, zinc, antimony, chrome and manganese. Petroleum springs have been tapped near New Plymouth. Building stones of various kinds and of excellent quality abound. Marble and cement stones occur in many places. There are extensive deposits of iron-sand on the west coast of the North Island, and of iron ore at Parapara in Nelson.
Manufactures.—Protected by a tariff wall which was repeatedly heightened between 1879 and 1907, manufactures made considerable progress. At the end of 1885 about 22,000 work-people were being employed in 1946 workshops, and the aggregate output was valued at six millions and three-quarters. Twenty years later the number of establishments was 4186; the number of hands 56,000; and the output twenty-three millions and a half. A small deduction should be made from this apparent increase to allow for a changed system of classification. Male factory hands greatly outnumbered female, standing in the ratio of four to one. Between 1879 and 1895 wages fell. Between 1895 and 1906 they rose 15% on the average among males of all ages, and as much as 30% among women and girl workers. The disproportionate rise in the case of females is probably due to the policy of the industrial arbitration court. The chief factory industries come under the following heads: meat-freezing and tallow; tanning and wool-scouring; flax mills, saw-mills and grain-mills; boots and shoes; woollen and clothing; butter and cheese; breweries; printing houses; foundries; agricultural, implement and machine shops; soap and candle works; coach-building and furniture; gas-works. Except in meat-freezing, wool-scouring, butter- and cheese-making, flax-milling and timber-sawing, manufacturing is almost entirely for consumption within the colony.
Government.—New Zealand was not colonized in the ordinary manner around one centre. There were in its early years six distinct settlements—Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, New Plymouth, Canterbury and Otago—between which communication was for several years irregular and infrequent. To meet their political wants the Constitution Act of 1852 created them into provinces, with elective councils and superintendents respectively, subordinated to one colonial legislature. In 1876 the provincial system was abolished. The general assembly, as it is called, is composed of the governor, the legislative council, and the House of Representatives. The governor is appointed by the crown, but his salary, £7500, is paid by the colony. The legislative council consists of members appointed for seven years by the governor in council; the number of legislative councillors stays at or near forty-five. The House of Representatives consists of eighty members chosen by the electors. The members of both houses are paid. The franchise is adult suffrage, conditional on a previous residence in the colony for a year, including six months in the electoral district for which a claim to vote is registered. Every elector is qualified for election. Four members of the house must be Maori elected by their own race. The duration of the house is for three years, but it is subject to re-election whenever the governor dissolves the general assembly. Legislation is subject to disallowance by the crown, but that power is seldom exercised. Executive administration is conducted on the principle of English responsible or parliamentary government. The government is represented in England by a high commissioner. Local administration is vested in local elective bodies, such as municipal councils, county councils, road boards, harbour boards, charitable aid boards, and others, with power to levy rates. The colonial revenue is chiefly derived from customs, stamp duties, land tax, income tax, beer excise, postal and telegraphic services, railways, and crown land sales and rents. The proceeds of land sales are applied to surveys and public works. Customs duties, railways and stamps are by far the most important sources of revenue. They yielded £3,103,000, £2,765,000 and £1,550,000 respectively out of a total revenue of £9,056,000 in the financial year 1907-1908. The gross public debt had reached £66,500,000 in 1908. The money has chiefly been spent on railways, telegraphs, roads, bridges, land purchase from the native tribes and private estate owners, on loans to settlers and on native wars. The state railways (2500 m.) return about £800,000 after paying working expenses. This does not quite defray the interest on the cost of their construction and equipment, inasmuch as it barely comes to 3½% thereon, but rates and fares are deliberately kept low to encourage settlement and communication. The debts of the local bodies amount to about nine millions. They raise rather more than a million a year by rates, licence fees and dues.
Education.—Under the Education Act of 1877 state schools are established, in which teaching is free, secular and compulsory, with certain exceptions, for children between the ages of seven and thirteen. A capitation grant is given for every child in average daily attendance at the schools. Grants are also made for scholarships from primary to secondary schools, for training institutions for teachers and for school buildings. Large reserves of public lands have been made for primary, secondary and university education. All primary and some secondary public schools are controlled by provincial education boards elected by school committees of the parents of pupils. The percentage of attendance has rivalled that in the primary schools of Scotland, and in 1905 attained to 86.9%. Native village schools are also provided by the state in native districts. There are, moreover, industrial schools, orphanages and institutions for the deaf and dumb and blind. There are about ninety secondary schools, state-supported or aided by public endowments. The university of New Zealand is an examining body, and grants honours, degrees and scholarships. It is empowered by royal charter to confer degrees entitled to rank and consideration throughout the British dominions, as fully as if they were granted by any university in the United Kingdom. Colleges in the four chief towns and in Nelson are affiliated to the New Zealand University, which has about fifteen hundred undergraduates keeping terms. The state in no way controls or interferes with religious administration. Each denomination attends to the religious instruction of its own adherents, chiefly by means of Sunday schools, which count 108,000 pupils. Roman Catholics support about 150 clerical day schools attended by about 11,500 scholars. State school buildings can be, and sometimes are, used for religious instruction on days and at hours other than those fixed by law for ordinary school work; but no child can be required to attend, except at the wish of its parent or guardian. The government spends £35,000 a year on manual and technical instruction, a branch of teaching which includes about two hundred cookery classes. A school of engineering and an agricultural college are attached to the university college in the province of Canterbury, and there are several schools of mines elsewhere.
About 157,000 white children and 6500 Maori children attend schools of one degree or another. Private schools claim about 10% of these. The annual parliamentary expenditure on education exceeds £700,000. In this Connexion it may be claimed that the proportion of policemen to population (1 to 1375) is lower in New Zealand than in any other colony. The fixing of the legal minimum “factory age” for children at fourteen undoubtedly favours school attendance.
Land.—Apart from gold-mining, coal-mining and gum-digging, the industries are still mainly the growing of food and raw material; and the occupation of the land is easily the chief of all economic questions. Sixteen million acres were in 1907 already held in freehold, as against about six million acres rented from the state on permanent leasehold. Crown lands are still alienated, though but little is now sold for cash outright. The number of holdings of one acre and upwards in size rose from 33,332 in 1886 to 58,904 in 1896, and 72,338 in 1906; but the area held in estates of 5000 acres and upwards remains very large and has diminished but slowly despite the severity of the graduated land-tax. Many interesting experiments in settling lands have been tried. The best known of these, perhaps, is the repurchase of large pastoral estates for subdivision and lease in perpetuity. In the fourteen years 1893-1907 about a million and a quarter acres were thus acquired at a cost of somewhat under five millions and a half. Over 13,000 souls had been settled in this area, and the yearly rent received from them, about £220,000, left a substantial balance to the credit of the enterprise in the books of the treasury. The tenants (who had been favoured with good years) were with very few exceptions prospering.
Old Age Pensions.—The Old Age Pensions law, enacted in 1898, provided for the free grant of pensions, not exceeding £18 a year, to persons of sixty-five years and upwards who had lived for twenty five years in the colony. Pensioners must be British subjects, poor, and not ex-criminals or of notoriously bad character. In 1905 the maximum pension was raised to £26 a year. Official figures show that the total number of applications for pensions up to that date had been 31,271, of which 23,877 had been granted. The number of pensioners then on the hooks of the Pensions Office was 13,257. In the first three years after enactment of the law the growth of the number of pensioners was very rapid; in the next five it was remarkably slow—only 481 altogether. The proportion of whites qualified by age and residence who were actually drawing pensions was rather less than one-third (it had been 9% more in 1902). The reduction was due to stricter administration. The total sum paid out in eight and a quarter years had been a million and three quarters. The amount paid in pensions in the financial year 1906-1907 was £325,000 The money is found by the central government. The administration of the system, which is in the hands of a special department, costs a little over, £5000. Frauds and evasions by applicants and pensioners, though they exist, are not believed to be numerous. Public thrift does not, so far, seem to have been diminished. Since the coming of the system the amount spent on outdoor relief in the colony had by 1906 diminished from £51,000 to £36,500, in face of an increase of nearly 23% in the population.
History.—The date, even the approximate date, of man's arrival in New Zealand is uncertain. All that can be safely asserted is that by the 14th century A.D. Polynesian canoe-men had reached its northern shores in successive voyages. By 1642 they had spread to South Island, for there Abel Jansen Tasman found them when, in the course of his circuitous voyage from Java in the “Heemskirk,” he chanced upon the archipelago, coasted along much of its western side, though without venturing to land, and gave it the name it still bears. One hundred and thirty-seven years later, Cook, in the barque “Endeavour,” gained a much fuller knowledge of the coasts, which he circumnavigated, visited again and again, and mapped out with fair accuracy. He annexed the country, but the British government disavowed the act. After him came other navigators, French, Spanish, Russian and American; and, as the 18th century neared its end, came sealers, whalers and trading-schooners in quest of flax and timber. English missionaries, headed by Samuel Marsden, landed in 1814, to make for many years but slow progress. They were hindered by murderous tribal wars in which imported muskets more than decimated the Maori. Still, cruel experience and the persevering preaching of the missionaries gradually checked the fighting, and by the year 1839 it could be claimed that peace and Christianity were in the ascendant. So far the British government had resisted the considerable pressure brought to bear in Downing Street in favour of annexation. In vain Edward Gibbon Wakefield, organizer of colonizing associations, prayed and intrigued for permission to repeat in New Zealand the experiment tried by him in South, Australia. Lord Glenelg, the colonial minister, had the support of the missionaries in withstanding Wakefield's New Zealand Company, which at length resolved in desperation to send an agent to buy land wholesale in New Zealand and despatch a shipload of settlers thither without official permission. Before, however, the “Tory” had thus sailed for Cook Strait, it had become known to the English government that a French colonizing company—La Compagnie Nanto-Bordelaise—was forming, under the auspices of Louis Philippe, to anticipate or oust Wakefield. Further obstruction was manifestly futile, and the British authorities reluctantly instructed Captain Hobson, R.N., to make his way to northern New Zealand with a dormant commission of lieutenant-governor in his pocket and authority to annex the country to Australia by peaceful arrangement with the natives. Hobson landed in the Bay of Islands on the 22nd of January 1840, hoisted the Union Jack, and had little difficulty in inducing most of the native chiefs to accept the queen's sovereignty at the price of guaranteeing to the tribes by the treaty of Waitangi possession of their lands, forests and fisheries. Some French settlers, convoyed by a man-of-war, reached Akaroa in South Island in the May following. But Hobson had forestalled them, and those who remained in the country became British subjects. Meanwhile, a week after Hobson's arrival, Wakefield's colonists had sailed into Port Nicholson, and proposed to take possession of immense tracts which the New Zealand Company claimed to have bought from the natives, and for which colonists had in good faith paid the company. Other bands of company's settlers in like manner landed at Nelson, Wanganui and New Plymouth, to be met with the news that the British government would not recognize the company's purchases. Then followed weary years of ruinous delay and official inquiry, during which Hobson died after founding Auckland. His successor, Fitzroy, drifted into an unsuccessful native war. A strong man, Captain Grey, was at last sent over from Australia to restore peace and rescue the unhappy colony from bankruptcy and despair. Grey, much the best of the absolute governors, held the balance fairly between the white and brown races, and bought large tracts of land for colonization, including the whole South Island, where the Presbyterian settlement of Otago and the Anglican settlement of Canterbury were established by the persevering Wakefield.
In 1852 the mother-country granted self-government, and, after much wrangling and hesitation, a full parliamentary system and a responsible ministry were set going in 1856. For twenty years thereafter the political history of the colony consisted of two long, intermittent struggles—one constitutional between the central government (first seated in Auckland, but after 1864 in Wellington) and the powerful provincial councils, of which there were nine charged with important functions and endowed with the land revenues and certain rating powers. The other prolonged contest was racial—the conflict between settler and Maori. The native tribes, brave, intelligent and fairly well armed, tried, by means of a league against land-selling and the election of a king, to retain their hold over at least the central North Island. But their kings were incompetent, their chiefs jealous and their tribes divided. Their style of warfare, too, caused them to throw away the immense advantages which the broken bush-clad island offered to clever guerrilla partisans. They were poor marksmen, and had but little skill in laying ambuscades. During ten years of intermittent marching and fighting between 1861 and 1871 the Maori did no more than prove that they had in them the stuff to stand up against fearful odds and not always to be worsted. Round Mount Egmont, at Orakau, at Tauranga and in the Wanganui jungles, they more than once held their own against British regiments and colonial riflemen. The storming of their favourite positions—stockades strengthened with rifle-pits—was often costly; and a strange anti-Christian fanaticism, the Hau-Hau cult, encouraged them to face the white men's bullets and bayonets. But even their fiercest fighting leaders, Rewi and Te Kooti, scarcely deserved the name of generals. Some of the best Maori fighters, such as the chiefs Ropata and Kemp, were enlisted on the white side, and with their tribesmen did much to make unequal odds still more unequal. Had General Pratt or General Cameron, who commanded the imperial forces from 1860 to 1865, had the rough vigour of their successor, General Chute, or the cleverness of Sir George Grey, the war might have ended in 1864. Even as it was the resistance of the Maori was utterly worn, out at last. After 1871 they fought no more. The colonists too, taught by the sickening delay and the ruinous cost of the war to revert to conciliatory methods, had by this time granted the natives special representation in parliament. A tactful native minister, Sir Donald McLean, did the rest. Disarmament, roads and land-purchasing enabled settlement to make headway again in the North Island after twelve years of stagnation. Grey quarrelled with his masters in Downing Street, and his career in the imperial service came to an end in 1868. His successors, Sir George Bowen, Sir James Ferguson, the marquess of Normanby and Sir Hercules Robinson, were content to be constitutional governors and to respect strictly the behests of the colonial office. Meanwhile the industrial story of New Zealand may be summed up in the words wool and gold. Extremely well suited for sheep-farming, the natural pastures of the country were quickly parcelled out into huge pastoral crown leases, held by prosperous licensees, the squatters, who in many cases aspired to become a country gentry by turning their leases into freeholds. So profitable was sheep-farming seen to be that energetic settlers began to burn off the bracken and cut and burn the forest in the North Island and sow English grasses on the cleared land. In the South artificial grassing went on for a time hand in hand with cereal-growing, which by 1876 seemed likely to develop on a considerable scale, thanks to the importation of American agricultural machinery, which the settlers were quick to utilize. Even more promising appeared the gold-fields. Gold had been discovered in 1853. Not, however, until 1861 was a permanent field found—that lighted upon by Gabriel Read at Tuapeka in Otago. Thereafter large deposits were prontably exploited in the south and West of South Island and in the Thames and Coromandel districts of the Auckland province. Gold-mining went through the usual stages of alluvial washing, deep sinking and quartz-reef working. Perhaps its chief value was that it brought many thousand diggers to the colony, most of whom stayed there. Pastoral and mining enterprise, however, could not save the settlers from severe depression in the years 1867 to 1871. War had brought progress in the north to a standstill; in the south wool-growing and gold-mining showed their customary fluctuations. For a moment it seemed as though the manufacture of hemp from the native Phormium tenax would become a great industry. But that suddenly collapsed, to the ruin of many, and did not revive for a number of years.
In 1870 peace had not yet been quite won; industry was depressed; and the scattered and scanty colonists already owed seven millions sterling. Yet it was at this moment that a political financier, Sir Julius Vogel, at that moment colonial treasurer in the ministry of Sir William Fox, audaciously proposed that the central government should borrow ten millions, make roads and railways, buy land from the natives and import British immigrants. The House of Representatives, at first aghast, presently voted four millions as a beginning. Coinciding as the carrying out of Vogel's policy did with a rising wool market, it for a time helped to bring great prosperity, an influx of people and much genuine settlement. Fourteen millions of borrowed money, spent in ten years, were on the whole well laid out. But prosperity brought on a feverish land speculation; prices of wool and wheat fell in 1879 and went on falling. Faulty banking ended in a crisis, and 1879 proved to be the first of sixteen years of almost unbroken depression. Still, eight prosperous years had radically changed the colony. Peace, railways, telegraphs (including cable connexion with Europe), agricultural machinery and a larger population had carried New Zealand beyond the primitive stage. The provincial councils had been swept away in 1876, and their functions divided between the central authority and small powerless local bodies. Politics, cleared of the cross-issues of provincialism and Maori warfare, took the usual shape of a struggle between wealth and radicalism. Sir George Grey, entering colonial politics as a Radical leader, had appealed eloquently to the work-people as well as to the Radical “intellectuals,” and though unable to retain office for very long he had compelled his opponents to pass manhood suffrage and a triennial parliaments act. A national education system, free, non-religious and compulsory, was established in 1877. The socialistic bent of New Zealand was already discernible in a public trustee law and a state life insurance office. But the socialistic labour wave of later years had not yet gathered strength. Grey proved himself a poor financier and a tactless party leader. A land-tax imposed by his government helped to alarm the farmers. The financial collapse of 1879 left the treasury empty. Grey was manœuvred out of office, and Sir John Hall and Sir Harry Atkinson, able opponents, took the reins with a mission to reinstate the finances and restore confidence.
Roughly speaking, both the political and the industrial history of the colony from 1879 to 1908 may be divided into two periods. The dividing line, however, has to be drawn in different years. Sixteen years of depression were followed, from 1895 to 1908, by thirteen years of great prosperity. In politics nearly twelve years of Conservative government, or at least capitalistic predominance in public affairs, were succeeded by more than seventeen years of Radicalism. Up to January 1891 the Conservative forces which overthrew Sir George Grey in 1879 controlled the country in effect though not always in name, and for ten years progressive legislation was confined to a mild experiment in offering crown lands on perpetual lease, with a right of purchase (1882), a still milder instalment of local option (1881) and an inoffensive Factories Act (1886). In September 1889, however, Sir George Grey succeeded in getting parliament to abolish the last remnant of plural voting. Finance otherwise absorbed attention; by 1880 the public debt had reached £25,000,000, against which the chief new asset was 1300 m. of railway, and though the population had increased to nearly half a million, the revenue was stagnant. A severe property-tax and an increase of customs duties in 1879 only for a moment achieved financial equilibrium. Although taxation was seconded by a drastic, indeed harsh, reduction of public salaries and wages (which were cut down by one-tenth all round) yet the years 1884, 1887 and 1888 were notable for heavy deficits in the treasury. Taxation, direct and indirect, had to be further increased, and as a means of gaining support for this in 1888 Sir Harry Atkinson, who was responsible for the budget, gave the customs tariff a distinctly protectionist complexion.
During the years 1879-1890 the leading political personage was Sir Harry Atkinson. He, however, withdrew from party politics when, in December 1890, he was overthrown by the Progressives under John Ballance. Atkinson's party never rallied from this defeat, and a striking change came over public life, though Ballance, until his death in April 1893, continued the prudent financial policy of his predecessor. The change was emphasized by the active intervention in politics of the trade unions. These bodies decided in 1889 and 1890 to exert their influence in returning workmen to parliament, and where this was impossible, to secure pledges from middle-class candidates. This plan was first put into execution at the general election of 1890, which was held during the industrial excitement aroused by the Australasian maritime strike of that year. It had, however, been fully arranged before the conflict broke out. The number of labour members thus elected to the general assembly was small, never more than six, and no independent labour party of any size was formed. But the influence of labour in the Progressive or, as it preferred to be called, Liberal party, was considerable, and the legislative results noteworthy. Ballance at once raised the pay of members from £150 to £240 a year, but otherwise directed his energies to constitutional reforms and social experiments. These did not interfere with the general lines of Atkinson's strong and cautious finance, though the first of them was the abolition of his direct tax upon all property, personal as well as real, and the substitution therefor of a landtax of 1d. in the £ on capital value, and also of a graduated tax upon unimproved land values, and an income-tax also graduated, though less elaborately. The graduated land-tax, which has since been stiffened, rises from nothing at all upon the smaller holdings to 3d. in the £ upon the capital value of the largest estates—those worth £210,000 and upwards. Buildings, improvements, and live stock are exempted. In the case of mortgaged estates the mortgagor is exempted from ordinary land-tax in proportion to the amount of his mortgage. On that the mortgagee pays at the rate of ¾d. in the £. In 1896 municipal and rural local bodies were allowed to levy rates upon unimproved land values if authorized to do so by a vote of their electors, and by the end of 1901 some sixty bodies, amongst them the city of Wellington, had made use of this permission. The income-tax is not levied on incomes drawn from land. In 1891 the tenure of members of the legislative council or nominated Upper House, which had hitherto been for life, was altered to seven years. In 1892 a new form of land tenure was introduced, under which large areas of crown lands were leased for 999 years, at an unchanging rent of 4% on the prairie value. Crown tenants under this system had no right of purchase. In the same year a law was also passed authorizing government to repurchase private land for closer settlement.
On Ballance's sudden death in April 1893 his place was taken by Richard Seddon, minister of mines in the Ballance cabinet, whose first task was to pass the electoral bill of his predecessor, which granted the franchise to all adult women. This was adopted in September 1893, though the majority for it in the Upper House was but two votes. In 1893 was enacted the Alcoholic Liquor Control Act, greatly extending local option. In 1894 was passed the Advances to Settlers Act, under which state money-lending to farmers on mortgage of freehold or leasehold land was at once begun. The money is lent by an official board, which deals with applications and manages the finance of the system. In thirteen years the board lent out over five millions and a half, and received repayment of nearly two millions of principal as well as over one million in interest at 5%. Borrowers must repay ½% of their principal half-yearly, and may repay as much more as they choose. Profits are paid over to an assurance fund. No losses were incurred during the thirteen years above mentioned. The net profit made by the board in 1906 was £45,000. The same year also saw the climax of a series of laws passed by the Progressives affecting the relations of employers and workmen. These laws deal with truck, employers' liability, contractors' workmen, the recovery of workmen's wages, the hours of closing in shops and merchants' offices, conspiracy amongst trade unionists, and with factories, mines, shipping and seamen. In 1895 a law controlling servants' registry offices was added. In 1897 all shipowners engaging in the coasting trade of the colony were compelled to pay the colonial rate of wages.
Meanwhile the keystone of the regulative system had been laid by the passing of the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, under which disputes between employers and unions of workers are compulsorily settled by state tribunals; strikes and lock-outs are virtually prohibited in the case of organized work-people, and the conditions of employment in industries may be, and in many cases are, regulated by public boards and courts. The years 1896, 1897 and 1898 were marked by struggles over the Old Age Pensions Bill, which became law in November 1898. In 1898 the divorce law was amended on the lines of the Stephen Act of New South Wales, a change which helped to treble the number of petitions for divorce in the next seven years. In 1898 also the municipal franchise, hitherto confined to ratepayers, was greatly widened; in 1900 the English system of compensation to workmen for accidents suffered in their trade was adopted with some changes, one of the chief being that contested claims are adjudicated upon cheaply and expeditiously by the same arbitration court that decides industrial disputes. In 1895 borrowing on a larger scale was begun, and in twelve years twice as many millions were added to the public debt. Before this the Ballance ministry had organized two new departments, those of labour and agriculture. The former supervises the labour laws and endeavours to deal with unemployment; the latter has done much practical teaching, inspection, &c. Butter, cheese and New Zealand hemp are by law graded and branded by departmental inspectors before export. For some years the government has worked two coal-mines profitably, chiefly to supply its railways. In 1907 the net profit on these was over £8000 The continued success of the government life insurance othce led in 1899 to the setting up of an accidents insurance office, and, in 1903, of a state fire insurance office.
The outbreak of the Boer War in October 1899 was followed in New Zealand by a prompt display of general and persistent warlike enthusiasm: politics ceased to be the chief topic of interest; the general election of 1899 was the most languid held for fifteen years. The desire of New Zealanders to strike a blow for the mother-country took the practical shape of dispatching to South Africa ten successive contingents.
After gaining office at the beginning of 1891 the Ballance-Seddon party had to struggle with the last four years of the period of depression. In 1895 began a marked commercial revival, mainly due to the steady conversion of the colony's waste lands into pasture; the development of frozen meat and dairy exports; the continuous increase of the output of coal; the invention of gold-dredging; the revival and improvement of hemp manufacture; the exploiting of the deposits of kauri gum; the reduction in the rates of interest on mortgage money; a general rise in wages, obtained without strikes, and partially secured by law, which has increased the spending power of the working classes. Undoubtedly also commercial confidence was restored by the reconstruction in 1895 of the Bank of New Zealand, and activity has been stimulated by large public loans, while more cautious banking and the systems of taxation and rating on land values, adopted in 1891 and 1896, have done something to check land speculation.
Between 1879 and 1908 seven governors represented the crown in New Zealand. Of these Sir Hercules Robinson and Sir Arthur Gordon had but brief reigns; Sir Arthur Gordon quitted the colony in June 1882. His successor, Sir William Drummond Jervois, arrived in January 1883, and held office until March 1889. The earl of Onslow, who followed, landed in June 1889, and resigned in February 1892. The next governor, the earl of Glasgow, remained in the colony from June 1892 to February 1897, and was succeeded in August of the last-mentioned year by the earl of Ranfurly, who did not retire until 1904. His place was then taken by Lord Plunket. The cabinets which administered the affairs of the colony during these years were those of Sir Frederick Whitaker, Sir Harry Atkinson (3), Sir Robert Stout (2), Mr Ballance, Mr Seddon, Mr Hall-Jones and Sir Joseph Ward. Mr Hall-Jones's short premiership was an interregnum made necessary by the absence of Sir Joseph Ward in England at the moment of Mr Seddon's death. Except in one disturbed month, August 1884, when there were three changes of ministry in eighteen days, executives were more stable than in the colony's earlier years. The party headed by Ballance, Seddon and Ward held office without a break for more than seventeen years, a result mainly due to the general support given to its agrarian and labour policy by the smaller farmers and the working classes. Sir Arthur Gordon differed from his ministers—Hall and Atkinson—on their native policy. Lords Onslow and Glasgow came into collision with Ballance over a proposal to nominate a large batch of Liberals to the then Conservative legislative council. The dispute was by consent referred to the secretary for the colonies. and the decision from Downing Street was in Ballance's favour. The governor's salary, reduced in 1887, was restored to £7500 a year in 1900. An Immigrants Exclusion Act voted by the general assembly in 1896 did not receive the royal assent; but, by arrangement with the colonial office, another measure, giving power to impose a reading test on aliens landing in the colony, became law in 1899.
The presence of New Zealand premiers at the imperial conferences in London in 1897, 1903 and 1907 helped to bring the colony into conscious touch with imperial public questions. Among the results were the increase of the naval contribution (first to £40,000 and then, in 1908, to £100,000), and the imposition in 1903 and again in 1907 of severe discriminating duties against imports from foreign countries.
Bibliography.—The only lengthy historical account of any note is Rusden's three-volume History of New Zealand (2nd ed., Melbourne, 1896), chiefly valuable as a statement of the grievances of the Maori race. Short histories are: R. F. Irvine and O. T. J. Alpers, The Progress of New Zealand in the Century (London, 1902), and W. P. Reeves, The Long White Cloud (2nd ed., London, 1900). Sir William Fox, The War in New Zealand (London, 1866) is the best account of any portion of the native wars. A. S. Thomson's Story of New Zealand (London, 1859) is historical as well as descriptive. William Gisborne's New Zealand Rulers and Statesmen, 1844-1897 (London, 1897), gives many graphic portraits. For early accounts of the Maori race, see Cook's Voyage and Boosé's translation of Crozet's Voyage. On the Maori also note, Sir G. Grey, Polynesian Mythology and Maori Legends (New Zealand, 1885); Edward Tregear, The Maori Race (New Zealand, 1704); S. Percy Smith, Hawaiki (New Zealand, 1903); John White, The Ancient History of the Maori (6 vols., London, 1889); and many papers—especially by the three last-named, and Colenso, Stack, Wohlers, Best, Von Haast, Travers and Shand—in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute (New Zealand, annual), and the Journal of the Polynesian Society (New Zealand, annual). On early events of pioneering and colonization are: E. J. Wakefield, Adventure in New Zealand (new ed., New Zealand, 1908); Hon. R. McNab, Murihuku (New Zealand, 1907); T. M. Hocken, Contributions to the Early History of New Zealand (London, 1898); Samuel Butler, First Year in the Canterbury Settlement (1863). For later impressions note: Lady Barker, Station Life in New Zealand (London, 1869); Sir Charles Dilke, Greater Britain (London, new ed., 1885); Anthony Trollope, Australia and New Zealand (London, 1875); J. A. Froude, Oceana (London, 1886). The best-known poetic work produced is Domett's Ranolf and Amohia (London, 1867). An anthology of New Zealand verse appeared in London in 1907. Sir John Gorst, New Zealand Revisited (London, 1908). Among scientific works come papers in the two societies above-mentioned and F. von Hochstetter, New Zealand (translation, London, 1861); J. Kirk, The Forest Flora of New Zealand (New Zealand, 1889); Sir J. Hooker, Handbook of the New Zealand Flora (London, 1864); Laing and Blackwell, The Plants of New Zealand (New Zealand, 1906); Professor E. Hutton and James Drummond, The Animals of New Zealand (New Zealand, 1905); Sir W. L. Buller, The Birds of New Zealand, finely illustrated (new ed., London, 1906); S. Percy Smith, The Eruption of Tarawera (New Zealand, 1887). On recent social and political changes and experiments there are: W. P. Reeves, State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand (2 vols., London, 1902); H. D. Lloyd, Newest England (London, 1901); André Siegfried, La Démocratie en Nouvelle Zélande (Paris, 1904). On Alpine climbing the best book is still The High Alps of New Zealand by W. S. Green (London, 1883).
- (W. P. R.)
- ↑ See the geological map of New Zealand by Sir James Hector (1884). A brief sketch of its geological history is given by Hutton, Trans. New Zealand Inst. (1899), xxxii. pp. 159-183. Fullest information about the geology of New Zealand is given in the Reports of Geological Explorations issued by the Geological Survey of New Zealand, and the Annual Reports of the mines department. A bibliography of the chief literature has been compiled by A. Hamilton, Trans. New Zealand Inst. (1903), xxxv. 489-546.
- ↑ Excluding Coal for Fuel by Ocean Steamers.