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The immigration and emigration returns for August show a balance against the colony. This has been the case for so many months and years now that people .are becoming quite accustomed to it, and the circumstance calls forth little or no comment. As a colony we have been at great expense to people our shores. In the early clays the people of the colony rushed the wharves to welcome each shipload of immigrants as it arrived, and every " new chum" who landed was looked upon with pride as a distinct gain to the colony, Vast sums of money were expended to bring these people to the colony, and the money was considered to be well spent. " Population" was the one great want of the colony to drive it ahead, and to make New Zealand the foremost of all the colonies. Circumstances have wonderfully altered since that time. The people who were brought to the colony with the intention of their settlement upon the land, either could not or would not settle. The pick of the lands of the colony was slaughtered m large blocks to hungry speculators, and the barren jfidg/es fl.nd isolated plains were left to the immigrants to t»ke or refuse as jbhey chose. All manner of difficulties were placed m the way of th,e p^qple getting upon the land, the chief of which Avas the selling of the best iand to big holders at a peppercorn price, and then immediately raising the price of inferior land to much beyond its value, putting competition by smaller settlers \vitjh ijig Larger holders quite, out of the jqu.estj.on. As a result of this foolish land' policy, fcjie people were forced jnto £hp fwfts/ ijnd after waiting for years m tho hope of getting land upon which to settle, at a reasonable price and on reasonable terms, they have now given up all hope, and are leaving New Zealand m shiploads for Qtjjev colonies only too glad to welcome thjem. jyi confidence m the professions of r!fespectfy/3 governments to bring m a better form of foni ilk\wS has been lost, and. the consequence to the colony is a serious drainage of population, making the burden of those who remain doubly hai'd to bear, puriug tho reign of the present AtkinWi M-ifyistj'y there lias been an alarming outflow of population, b,u£ the Government have not raised so much as a finger to prevent it; the exodus is still going on, and yet no steps are taken to prevent it. The question, however, now remains m the hands of d& i^ftple, and it will be the fault of the elector's t^jj^hyos? j| men are not returned to'the House during fcbp CP^jing election whose views on phv kucj question go m the direction of hoiia fide settlement, as distinguished from 'iaijid #nppulation and the increase of take it, is'.</he'oj?iy w^}oJ ty which the exodus can be f^oppe^ >j,h|l ijtj.t burden of taxation lightened for those who have made their homes m the colony, and who intend to remain until .driven away.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2523, 20 September 1890

Word Count

THE EXODUS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2523, 20 September 1890