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THE WAKANUI ELECTION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 643, 23 May 1882
THE WAKANUI ELECTION.
Mr Joseph Ivoss addressed a large assemblage at the Town Hall last evening. In opening the proceedings, Mr Iveas moved that His Worship the Mayor take the chair.
The Mayor, on advancing to the front, remarked that Mr Ivess and himself did not always agree, but they always agreed to differ. He (the Mayor) felt himself very - much public property, and when asked to take the chair on an occasion like that he was bound to do soj whatever his private opinions might be. It was a great thing for the electors of Wakanui to have another chance afforded them of returning a Candidate to represent them in Parliament. There were many constituencies that would be glad of a second chance, and they should rerrieniber that Mr Ivess had been at considerable trouble and expense td secure them another chance. He trusted they would accord the candidate who was about to address them a fair hearing, and would not give way to rowdiness or unseemly conduct. Mr Joseph Ivess saidthat sincehelasthad the pleasure of addressing them from that platform an election for Wakanui had taken place, and had been declared void through no fault of his own or his opponent, who he was bound to say had conducted the contest in a most honorable, manly, and straightforward way. (Applause.) Ha might bo blamed by some for taking the late election to the Appeal Court, but ho was compelled to do so for the sake of the four electors whose votes were improperly refused by one of the Deputy Returning Officers. Through that error his opponent had had to pay heavy costs, which he certainly thought Parliament ought to recoup. (Applause.) There was no likelihood of the blunder occurring again, of that they might feel quite confident. The writs for the Franklyn and Wakanui seats, he had received telegraphic advices that day, had been duly signed and posted to the returning officers? and the election was fixed for the 9th of June.
Mr Ivess then proceeded to slate his views on several questions of the day, but as his views have been already very fully reported, we shall not repeat them here at any groat length. He thought', that a reduction should be made in both the present passenger and goods rates on the New Zealand railways. He was of opinion that the Mount Somers line which was likely to halt at its present terminus, woulu prove a loss to the colony. The main lines all through the country ought to be pushed forward, but political railways were to be condemned, and ought to be things of the past. The money spent on railroads must be spent on productive lines. Railway officials were not paid or otherwise treated as they ought to be. (Applause.) Taxation ought to be equalised- and not be levied solely on the class least able to bear it He hoped for the abolition of direct taxation. Ho did not favor the taxation of atooks-in-trade or a tax on goods and chattels. He thought that arable lands should be taxed. He did not go in for an indiscriminate “ burating-up ” policy, but thought it was pitiable to see large estates held back from cultivation while so many people were anxious to cultivate land. To give a simile it was like a miller, who, having accumulated a large quantity of grain, held it until he could obtain a high rasa for it while the people starved around him- Did they think the people would not compel that miller to grind and distribute his grain, under such circumstances? Well, it was just the same with the large land-holders and the people who were anxious to obtain small holdings. Ho saw no reason why professional men, lawyers, doctors, bankers, and others, should not pay th«ir fair share of taxation. He was glad to see by the Governor’s speech that provision was to be made for the conservation of native lands. If private speculators could make money out of selling land, there could be no reason why Government should not do the same. LIOO,OOO had been sacrificed by Government in connection with the sale of the Patetere Block. With regard to the question of law reform, he the time had arrived when a cheaper and readier process of recovering small debts at the Resident Magistrates' Courts should be introduced in the colony. There were other matters connected with the Courts that also needed re F ormiug. For instance, the Government had availed itself of the tele graph to wire the election writs, and why should not the telegraph be utilised for sum. mouses ? This would ensure the recovery of debts from fraudulently dispo aed persons. The land transfer fees wanted reforming also, and if returned this matter and the simplification of the process for the recovery of small debts should receive his attention-. The thought the time had arrived for tiio abolition of distress for rent, and saw no reason why the landlord should bo placed in a better position in relation to his claim than the merchant, the butcher, or the baker. Coming to Parliamentary reform, ho thought that each time a new Ministry was elected the public should be allowed to have a voice in the matter. The present system of election to the Upper Chamber of Parliament did not meet with his approval, and he would sweep away the honorarium paid to the members of the Upper House. The honor of election to the Legislative Council should be enough. Ho condemned the action of the Government in seeking suggestions from the various Road Boards le local government, and thought it was quite impossible for a Bill to be framed from the mass of conflicting replies likely to be received from the bodies in question. If local government was to be retained the Road Boards an I Comity Councils must be enti listed with the control of local affairs. He did not favor the Roads Construction Bill of last session, or the way in which it had been carried. The laud laws should be simplified and rendered more liberal. The proper settlement of the laud should bo the first aim of the Government. He would only favor further borrowing if he was satisfied that the money borrowed was to be expended judiciously in opening up the country, lie attributed the rapid strides made by the colony to its railways. He would, if returned, favor the encouragement of local industries for a limited term Ho was opposed to religious instruction in school hours buc not after school hours. Much, however, depended on home influence. The State should not be expected to educate children up to higher than the sixth standard, when, if a child possessed any real “ grit ” he would be able to make his way in the world. Ho thought .Education Boards should bo elected by the people at largo and not by school committees, and that cumulative voting should not be allowed at school committee elections. If a direct steam service could bo established with the Homo country at a reasonable cost he thought the scheme should meet with general support and encouragement. Before ho concluded ho would like to say a few words about the ballot-box. Ho was led to believe tint Ids candidature was favored by many who were afraid to record their votes for fear they should be revealed. Such persons need have no fear on that score, but should fearlessly vote for the mm who, in their opinion, was the most fit. Some people fancied the whole of the votes polled during the recent Wakanui election wore examined at tho liikaia Electoral Court, but as a m ttar of fact only ton voting papers -■■ere si examined. If returned he could assure them ho would do his best to servo them. In 0 eply to Mr Wilding, Mr Ivess thought Te Whiti and Tohu had been i unfairly treated by the Government. They had been imprisoned and kopt from ;
then 1 homos and their friends, and now Government was going to introduce a Bill to render their trial unnecessary The treatment of the chiefs had been a farce. Mr Jas. Brown asked if Mr Iveas thought it was right that Mr Wason should bear the costs of the late election petition?—Mr Ivesa replied that he had already referred to this matter. It was not right that Mr Wason should pay, and it was not right that a returning officer with the slightest tinge of partisanship should be allowed to act at an election.
111 reply to Mr Pickford, Mr Ivess would take care that a scrutineer Was at hand on the 9th to count his votes, at any rate. Last time this precaution had been accidentally omitted. In reply to Mr St. Hill, Mr Ivess would favor the reduction of the Governor’s salary by h 2,500 or L 3,000. Mr Jas. Brown proposed a vote of thanks and confidence in Mr Ivess, and that that meeting pledged itself to do its best to secure his return.
This was seconded by Mr Wilding, who could not agree with all that bad fallen front Mr Ivess, but if the constituency waited until fhey got a man who exactly suited them they might go unrepresented altogether. He hoped that whoever was returned would be returned by a big majority of those on ths roll. He thought that Mr Ivess, if elected, would fight hard for what he considered was the right, and was sure that, if elected, a man of his talent and ability would bo of infinite service to his adopted country. The motion was then put by the Mayor, when abtuo half those present held up their hands in its favor.
OU the M.iyor asking for a show ol hands ag a i n st, there were noTiands hob
up. The proceedings closed with the usual vote of thanks to the chain
THE WAKANUI ELECTION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 643, 23 May 1882
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