THE KERMADEC ISLANDS.
It will be remembered that some two years ago the group of islands known as the Xermadecs was formally annexed to her Majesty's dominions, and has since been incorporated with the colony of New Zealand. Also that within the past few months the leases of certain areas m the largest of the group, Sunday Island, were submitted and sold, the idea of the Lands Department being apparently that these holdings would be utilised as grazing runs for sheep or cattle. But from an advertisement, coupled with an editorial thereon, which appears m the " Napier Daily Telegraph," of the 23rd inst, we find that a Company, which has become the lessee of two of these runs (Nob. 6 and 7), intends to utilise them to the extent of 2400 acres for the growth of sub-tropical fruits, and is desirous of ■üb-letting its holding m areas of not exceeding 50 seres each, and which it offers to setters willing to take them tip for fruit cultivation on the following terms r-~ " The Association will survey the allotments, and an agreement will be made between the Association and each settler, whereby the latter will retain his holding for twenty-one years 'rmt free. The Association will, however, receive ten per cent, of the gross proceed* of all sales of fruit, produce, or live stock, and" such sales must be transacted through an agent approved both by the Association and the settler. The agreement will also provide that if the settler) or his heirs or assigns, shall have continued to cultivate the holding, and be m occupation of the same at the end of twenty-one years, the Association •hall pay to the Bettler one half of the valuation for improvements, such valuation to be fixed by mutual consent, or, failing that, by arbitration. The settler Will have entire management of his own holding, and will provide such stores and implements as he may require, A sum of £5, to cover the cost of survey, must be deposited with the Secretary on making application, and the selection of holdings will be governed by priority of application ; applications being receivable up to the 30th June." It is added that the Association has engaged the services of an experienced medical man, who will reside on the Island, and that negotiations are pending for engaging the services of an expert m the cultivation of tropical products ; and, lastly, it is announced that a steamer to convey settlers to the Island will leave Napier probably during August next. Ihe charge will not exceed £5 per head; The following information with regard to Che Islands will be of interest to those . inclined to look favorably upon the project of the Kennadec Frnifc and Produce Association, The total area of Sunday Island is 7250 acres ; it is 674 miles N.E. of Auckland, m latitude 29 15 degrees south. The climate is mild and equable (the temperature ranging from 84deg m the summer to 46deg m winter). The rainfall is plentiful, and the soil is of a rioh volcanio nature. Writing of the Kennadec. Group and its capabilities, Mr Percy Smith m his published report (p. 25) says :— " Situated as it is, only about fifty or sixty hours' steam from Auckland, tropical fruits could be gathered there ripe and shipped to most parts of New Zealand m a fresh state, instead of m the stale condition m which we now receive them from Polynesia. A climate and a soil which will produce new potatoes and maize any month of the year, and where bananas take only twelve months to grow 20 feet high, and then bear full crops of fruit, cannot but be a valuable acquisition, and when the difficulty of shipping has been overcome, the island could produce enormous quantities of these and other fruits." The scenery is described as grand and striking, and the " Telegraph " m alluding to the project of the Association says, " the terms offered are decidedly novel and attractive, and it will be a matter of interest to watch the development of a settlement m this latest annexed part of the New Zealand colony, In these times, when colonisation proceeds by leaps and bounds, the island that is to-day luxuriant m a vegetation of Nature's planting may m a short time be tilled and cultivated, and the secene of a prosperous settlement. The position of Sunday Island as a fruit producing centre for New Zealand markets is advantageous, being 1200 miles nearer Auckland than Samoa and Rantonga, the present sources of supply. This will m time enable us to enjoy the luxury of sound ripe tropical fruits instead of the stale immature commodities with which we are now perforce content. Another noteworthy feature is that fruit imported from the Kermadecs would be exempt from the usual import duty, and this m the case of' tjie more valuable products would prove a considerable bonus to the grower', tphe comparative isolation of the settlement is distinctly qualified by the fact that Sunday Island is on the line of route of the s.s. Mawhera and Bichmond, trading between Auckland and Samoa, " so that communication could be held as required. The island has no harbor, r but thero are three landings, at one or . other of which landing can be effected Sn any weatfcer." f > '_ l: "
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