The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, MAY 5, 1890. THE FOUR CITIES.
As regards the. relative progress of the four chief cities of the colony during the past six years or so, few persons we imagine will be prepared, to discover that Auckland leads the way, followed closely by Wellington, that Christchurch has been stationary, find that Dunedin has, to use. -an Hibernicism, been progressing backward. And yet according to> a return, which has been prepared by Mr Page, town clerk of Wellington, this would appear to have* .been the case during the years 1882-3 toil.'3Bß-9, the figures being as follow:—Welling-,. tDn: 1882—Population, 21,714 ; 'rate-' able value, £226,907; 1888—popula-' tion, 29,095 ; rateable value, £308,696.", Auckland : 1882—Population, 26,758 ; rateable value, £268,583; 1888— population,,. 35,600; rateable value, £323,206. Dunedin: 1882—Population, 25,431; rateable value, £303,724; 1888—population, 23,243 ; rateable value, £253,534. Christchurch :' 1882 —Population, 15,858 ; rateable value, £251,910 ; 1888—population, 16,455; rateable value, £200,886. The i foregoing figures (to quote Mr Page) "show that in Auckland the population has increased by 8842,. and the valuation by £54,623; in Wellington the increase has been 7381 • in population, and £71,789 in rateable value; in Christchurch there has been ah increase in of 587 in population, and a decrease of £51,024 in rateable value ; and in Dunedin a decrease of both— viz., 2188 in population, and £5,0,190 in rateable value." -We should have liked to see the' comparison I brought down to date by including the figures for the year. 1889-90, and so far as Christchurch is concerned it is necessary that Sydenham—to all intents and purposes a part of Christ-, church, should be included with Christ^ church, as it would then be possible to form a correct estimate of the relative position of the four cities. Without this it is not possible so far as Christchurch is concerned, as it may be that while there hasbeen scarcely any increase of population and a large decrease of rateable value in the city proper (that is to say that part of it which is governed by the Christchurch City Council) there has been an increase in population and possibly in rateable value in Sydenham. Of course, on the^ other hand, this may not be the case, but until the figures are given no correct estimate of the relative positions of the four centres can be arrived at. Assuming the return, however, to ■be so far as it goes correct, two remarkable facts are disclosed, and these are, that Dunedin has retrograded both as to population and rateable value,, while Auckland and Wellington have more than correspondingly increased. ,