The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 1880.
Our correspondent in Wellington telegraphs to us that tenders have been accepted for a wcoden Courthouse for Ashburton, and adds, as a reason why the wooden structure has been decided upon, that- Government have been strongly urged not to incur, the delay of calling for alternative tenders. We have no reason whatever to doubt the accuracy of our correspondent’s telegram, and therefore assume that the information is to be relied upon. We are not very much surprised to learn that the new Courthouse is to be of wood—we had not much hope that it would be of any other material. If we had been in the midst of a dense bush, where timber was plentiful (as at Walmate, for instance), we should have expected to see a grand edificefif white stone put nil; but being on a wide plain, where timber only grows at the planting of the settler, and where wo are miles and miles away from the “forest primeval,” It is only in keeping with departmental intelligence and foresight that a wooden building should be put up that will last but a few years, and require its component parts to be imported from a distance. It seems to us such an exceedingly sensible thing to discard the very superior bricks we can turn out from our local factories for the timber we cannot fell on our treeless plains, and must therefore he beholden to some more sylvan locality for, that we were not a bit surprised to hear that wood has been the material selected with which to build the Courthouse. But wo were astonished to find that tne reason why timber bad been selected was that owing to the pressing urgency of the case there s was no time to wait for the calling of alternate tenders. We haven’t waited for two years already, and another month would make such a terrible difference. We are such a patient people, too, and we have been so long neglected that really it would he unkind 011 the part of the Government to keep us out of our Courthouse any longer. And so, rather than waste the other week or two in waiting for alternate tenders for a building in brick, the Government makes all haste to relieve the terrible pressure of legal business, and accepts a tender for the wooden house. Just so. Now that the tender has been accepted, will the work go on at once ? will every hammer available within coo-ey of the township he set to work like greased piece-work to fix the studs and weatherboards of the wooden Hall of Justice ? Not if the slow-movlrtg Government machine can obstruct their movements. And who, we should like to ask, was it represented the case to Government as so urgently pressing that we could not wait another month for alternative tenders in brick ? It would be interesting indeed to learn who tendered this advice, and to whom we are indebted for this piece of gratuitous kindness. As he a myth, or is he really living, and did he really so advise Government ? We shall not, probably, be able to ascertain for a lew months to come who the sage adviser is, but we hope the member for the district will make it his duty to ascertain, when he takes his place in the House. After waiting for more than two years for a Courthouse of any dosciiption, surely we could have borne with our troubles for a few weeks more, when those were to he lightened by the hope that they would really end in a comfortable brick building being provided for the accommodation of our Court. There is no very great amount of harm done, perhaps, by our having to be content with a wooden building. The suffering party will not be the district, for at an advance of ten per cent, on the total cost of a wooden structure a building that would have been good for a hundred years could ha v e been erected, whereas, by accepting the tender for a timber house, a structure of a perishable nature is obtained that roust be renewed in a comparatively short time. Government knows its own affairs best, but we would be very much pleased to learn who was the sago that advised the “ urgency,” and if we can we will learn to whom we are indebted for the “ hurry” in which we are to get a Courthouse, though not one altogether to our liking.
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