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We notice that a notice is given by the Cbristchurch City Council that a Jocal Bill will be introduced to Farlia meat this session, which provides that in April, 1916. and every subsequent three years, an election of members of the Lyttelton Harbour Board will be held by means of proportional re presentation. This means that in future the parliamentary franchise will be sufficient for the Board,a elec tion, a thing that country districts should be wholly opposed to. The Lyttelton Harbour Board District in eludes the counties of Wairewa, Aka roa, Mt. Herbert, and the Borough of Akaroa, besides the country districts in North and South Canterbury, and the proposed bill would practically mean, if carried through successfully, that the city of Cbristchurch and its suburbs would, owing to the great preponderance of population compared with the country district?, have an oveiwhelming majority of canal membets to involve the country districts in the expense of a Cbriatchurcb canal. In fact, even now tbe voting being on the valuation basis, tbe Board consists of only a bare majority opposed to the canal. It is a pity that at the last Harbour Board election more interest was not taken locally to support tbe non canal candidate, Mr J. R. Webb. Mr Webb, writing to us on the sub j«ct after tbe election, stated "he c cood as tbe non canal candidate for filio combined Peninsula, Lyttelton and Woolston districts. He was pleas. ecTthat Akaroa polled much more in proportion than tbe other places on ibe Peninsula. He was very disap poinied with the Peninsula vote, as fir- expected it would counter-balanc3 the vote on the other side of tbe hills, which would be in favour of the canal Mr Webb concluded—"Although the time may come when a canal might' be necessary, I think that time in diafant, as it wou'd be fo'ly to m<tk e it until tht-re is a prospect of it p.iy

ing." The Peninsula has a right to have confidence in Mr Webb, who served them on the Board for three ye&rs, and his opinion is no doubt the one that the country districts in in tbe Harbour Board rating district would follow. Unfortunately, little interest was taken in tbe election on that occasion, though it is one of importance, and as Mr Webb states the voting was generally poor on the Peninsula. The residents of the Peninsula should take action to stop pas?age of tbe present Bill, however which might result in their being in volved in the expanse of a Christchurch canal, for which they, as ratepayers of the Lyttelton Harbour Board district, would be liable. The local authorities should, therefore, enter their protest and invite the other country districts in the Board rating district to do the same in order that they can oppose tbe Bill before it reaches the Statute Book If not, the power will be in the bands of a Board who will probably favour the construction of tbe canal for Christchurch, and the country districts, which will draw practically no benefit from such a canal, will be involved in paying for it. We hope then that some action will be taken in the mat ter immediately for combined effort by the country districts to oppose pro. portional 'representation, as it praoti cally means that those holding no stake in the country will have the opportunity of electing a Board fay ourable to the canal, and thus involve the ratepayers of tbe country districts in a big liability for no substantial benefit in return. It is apparent that Lyttelton Harbour provides sufficient accommodation for our shipping at the present time at any rate, and that the canal project is at present impracticable from the country districts' point of view. A stir should be made in the matter at once to opposo the Bill when i<; comes before the House.

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Bibliographic details

LYTTELTON HARBOUR BOARD, ELECTIONS., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3468, 25 June 1915

Word Count

LYTTELTON HARBOUR BOARD, ELECTIONS. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIV, Issue 3468, 25 June 1915

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