The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1888. A COLONISATION SCHEME.
Our readers are aware that some months ago Mr W. L. Rees, and Mr Wi Per©, both former members of the House of Representatives proceeded to England for the purpose of exploiting a scheme for the colonisation of a large area of land m the North Island. Mr Rees is a man of wonderful energy, and is leaving no stone unturned to achieve success. He has interviewed the private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he has delivered lectures, read papers before Associations, sent out circulars, and enlisted newspapers m favor of his cause, and if his scheme fail it will certainly not be his own fault. But it is quite on the cards that he may succeed. He has drafted the prospectus of a Company to be formed to carry out his proposals and if he can gain the guarantee of the Imperial Government, which he has asked, of § per cent upon the required capital of £500,000, there is no doubt that the Company will be floated, and the required funds forthcoming. He is himself sanguine that this will be the case, and expects to be able to place a number of people on the land within twelve months' time. Under these circumstances, tljen, let us see what are Mr Rees' proposals, These arc thus set out by the iJome correspondent of the " Otago Daily Times " :— " Mr Rees intends to visit Scotland m the course of about three weeks for the purpose of bringing under public notice a scheme that he has proposed for the formation of five crofter settlements or colonies upon land ceded by Native owners m Cook county to the New Zealand Native Land Settlement Company. This will comprise 2000 families, or about 8000 bouls. Three-fourths of the families will represent 8000 men and women, who are estimated to have an average of three children to a family, thus making 7500 souls, and the remaining 500 will consist of 250 unmarried men and 250 single women. Out of these, 1750 men and 250 single women will be employed by the Association which conducts the scheme, and will bo engaged m the work of clearing »nd cultivating 90,000 acres whioh the Association will retain round the settlements. Each settlement will consist of 400 families, and, m all, 10,000 acres will be allotted to the crofters m plots of from four to si? acres respectively. The scheme embraces 111,000 acres, and such of the land as is not apportioned off amongst the crofters will be farmed by the Association m the way that Trill produce the greatest commercial profit. Mr Rees, however, has the option of taking up another 140,000 acres, mak> 250,000 m all, and this could be done by raising another £140,000 by share *
capital or debentures. Each settlement' will possess all the elements of civilisation, a church, a school, a store, mechanics | shops, surgeon, minister etc. The hotels and houses of accommodation % will be kept strictly under the control of the Association. The cost of transit and the actual settlemont of the people on the land, which will cover buildings and necessary furniture, is estimated at £129,000, of which £69,000 will be passage money, and the balance will go towards the buildings and furniture without including the cost of labor. The Association will erect buildings to the value of £6000 on each settlement. The cost of settling will be repaid by the families themselves. The money will be advanced to them, and they will have to pay interest upon it at the rate of 4 per cent, their homesteads not becoming their absolute property until the debt has been liquidated. Ihe settlers who are m the employ of the Association will receive £1 per week wages m the case of men, and 12s m the case of unmarried women, iliete wages, however, will be subject to a reduction of 15s a week for rations suppled to families, 12s for rationß supplied to single men, and 8s m the case of single women. The cost of rations is estimated at about £20,000 a year. It is roughly calculated that the Association would pernfanently sink about £350,000 m the operation ot settlement. Ot this £111,000 would be devoted to the purchase of the necessary acreage at £1 per acre, and the balance would be made up of the passage money, £69,000 ; dwellings and furni i ture, £60,000 ; general buildings, £30,000 ; 100,000 sheep, £30,000 ; 5,000 cows, £20,000 ; tools machinery etc., £20,000 ; etceteras, £10,000. The expenditure for the first year is estimated at, £121,000, of which £32,000 would go m wages, £20,000 m rations, £30,000 m salaries, taxes, and miscellaneous expenses, £9000 being interest upon £300,000 at ' 3 per cent., £10,000 interest upon £200,000 at 5 per cent., and £20,000 for grass seed, leaving £29,000 of the original capital of £500,000 to be carried forward. The outlay for the second year is estimated at £126,000, being wages, £32,000 ; rations, £20,000 ; interest. £19,000 ; salaries, taxes, and expenses, £15,000 ; 50,000 additional sheep, £15,000 ; 5000 cows, £20,000 ; 6eeds, extra machinery, and stock, £10,000. The Association is expected to receive a revenue of £129,000 at the end of the second year, of which £15,500, would be derived from profit on the sale of wool, £50,000 from the export of frozen meat, £30,000 from dairy produce, £5000 from other crops, and the balance of £29,000 of the original capital brought forward, leaving a credit balance to be carried to the third >ear of £3000. The value of the property of the Association at the end of the second year is estimated at £936,300, which, after deducting the capital of £500,000 which had been sunk, would give a credit balance of £436,800. " Of the original capital of £500,000 it is proposed that £200,000 should be raised m the ordinary way— £150,000 by the general public and £50,000 by the Maori owners — and that the remaining £300,000 should be obtained either from the British Govern ment or from the public by the issue of debentures." As regards Mr Wi Pere's part m the matter, it is added that he " has given a guarantee that if Mr Rees' project is carried out, 2,000,000 acres, extending from Hawke's Bay to Taranaki, shall bo thrown open to settlement, Mr Rees himself, however, says that this is a very modest estimate of the land that will be available, inasmuch as he has received assurances from influential chiefs m the King Country that six or seven millions of acres will be at the disposal of British settlers if it can be shown that the first 250,000 acres are settled upon terms advantageous to the Natives."