Article.

OPUNAKE.

Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume IV, Issue 462, 6 April 1883, Page 2

 

OPUNAKE.

(from our own correspondent.) " The upsets are far too high for the native reserves leases. Don't yon think so ?' r This if what I luar on all sides. I know a gentleman who has leased one of the very choicest farms on the Plains for a term of ten years for 15s per acre per annum. The land was frpcfld, laid down in grass, and had a aix-roomed house, stable, &c, built upon it. The upset price is supposed to 5 per cent, ou the value of the land to sell. Would Manaia's reserve fetch j£ls per acre, if sold for cash ? In the present state of the money market, I very much doubt if it would fetch on th« average £10 per acre, How people are to make 15s per acre off rough land is a puzzle whioh " no fellah " can understand. The publio trustee, or his deputy, or his vice-deputy, or the irrepressible and omniscient Minister of Lands, may be able to explain. The problem is too deep for the general farming public. "Is it derogatory for a iarmer to sell fruit ?" Such was the question, put to m« by a very sensible farmer some time ago. The American farmer does not consider it derogatory to sell an apple, a chicken, a porker, a calf, or a bullock. Why should our colonial farmers object to do likewise ? As well might a respectable chemist object to Bell a toothpick, or a merchant an opera-glaBS. Sheltered localities on this coast are specially adapted for fruit growing, and with anything like an ordinary run of luck, nothing can be more profitable. A farmer from Marlborough lately informed me that a relative of his sold three acres of fruit last year for £150. , He reserved to hims»lf, besides, as much as lie required for the use of bis own family.' Whafc other crop will give such good returns ? Where is the necessity for any mawkish s«ntimentality, if farming ii to be worked as a commercial and paying business ? I have reason to know that in two or three years the hop crop on this coast will be one of our established farming industriei. There are thousands of acres on the edge of the bush very suitable for hop culture. That is another fruitful revenue crop. The Canterbury Time«, some months ago, had a very favorable leading article on the results of the harvest on the Waimate Plains. A special correspondent from that paper (not Mr. Croumbie Brown) took a flying survey of the coast. The conclusions' of the Canterbury Times amounted to this : that our farmers should not put all their eggs into one basket. You do not often hear of Maori wives invoking pakeha justice for protection from their husbands' violence. We had a case of tht kind last week. Whatarau, a native who has been attached to the Royal Commission in some shape or form, was summoned by his spouse for ill-treatment. Tamati, her father, was very wroth about the beating that his daughter had received from her " batter half," and I am told that he appeared in court with a law book printed in English and Maori, which had been presented to him by Governor Browne. Tamati's legal knowledge had the desired effect, Whatarau having been bound over to keep the peace for a period of six months. Colonel Roberts and Mr. Breach were the presiding justices. A negro named George Saddler, who has been working at the flax mill for the past year, was sentenced by the same gentlemen to two months' imprisonment, with hard labor, in New Plymouth gaol, for stealing two £1 notes from W. H. Phillips on the night oi the 31st March. Constable Twomey, who arrested tbe prisoner, found £1 9s lid on him, and stated that Saddler made a number of contradictory statements in reference to the theft, which was rathev a barefaced one. The prisoner went home with Phillips, and the latter becoming dizzy, lay on the sofa, when Saddler put his hands in complainant's pockets and took out the money. Saddler was a hard working, pleasant specimen of the African negro, and his employee, Mr. AVagstaff, speaks highly of him. Latterly he has been on a drinking bout. The old, old story; Drink is the parent of nine-tenths of the crime in the world. Saddler was a good templar Up to the time of his going on the spree, and had saved some money. I heard him offer £30 cash for a section of land a week or two ago. The same day that Sadler received his sentence, a shoemaker named William O'Brien (working for Mr. Hill) was charged with obtaining a coat and hat by means of false pretences from the firm of Messrs. Stitt and Ching. After hearing Mr. Ching'* evidence, and that of Constable Twomey and Mr. Hill, the bench dismissed the case, on the ground that there was no intent to defraud. Our so-called " political drill-shed " comes in rery handy for these sittings of the court. Mr. Rawson, the R.M., comes here only once in every six weeks. But in the intervals we have the benefit of Colonel Roberts' magisterial experience. The colonel was for some years B.M. at Tauranga, and during a tour to the* Hot Lakes about two years ago I heard lain spoken of in the highest terms b$ laumy old residents in that plaoe,' '*-*;- «c

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