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FARM SETTLEMENT SYSTEMATIC PLAN EVOLVED j O.C. ROTORUA, this day. Full approval of plans tentatively drawn up by the Rotorua Maori Rehabilitation Committee for the settlement of returning Maori servicemen on tribal lands was eixpressed by the Director of Rehabilitation, Mr. F. W. Baker, after meeting members of the Rotorua committee and gatherings of the Arawa people during a visit to Rotorua, which concluded yesterday. Major H. R. Vercoe, D.5.0., D.C.M., Maori liaison and recruiting officer for Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty district, who presided at the Ohinemutu meeting, said yesterday that the results of the conference had been most satisfactory and would clear the way for the systematic settlement of returning Arawa servicemen. It was definitely the policy of the Arawa Farms Rehabilitation Committee, said Major Vercoe, to ensure that all returning Arawa servicemen who desh;ed to settle on the land should be given the opportunity to do so. There was ample land available. Already the committee had offers of approximately 20,000 acres in the area between the Waikato River and Maketu. 200 Men Requiring Land At a very conservative estimate it was expected that some 200 returning men would require land for settlement, and it was the policy of Arawa leaders to ensure that these meTi would in the first place receive sound farming training, and then be given an opportunity to take up unit holdings of varying areas. Major Vercoe said it was desired that holdings should be as large as possible to provide for the future expansion of families. If holdings were too small in the beginning, as families increased the farms would prove inadequate for their support. Prospective soldier farmers would be trained on the group system under Native Land Department supervisors, said Major Vercoe. The Native Lands Department would be responsible for the administration and development of blocks, and groups of men would be established and set to work to carry out initial development. When this had proceeded to a sufficient stage, all the men engaged would participate in ballots for unit holdings. Stock and implements would be provided on the same basis as that adopted by the Native Department in ordinary native land settlement schemes. It was anticipated that unit holdings could be taken over two or three years after the first general development commenced. The Arawa Rehabilitation Committee has under consideration for soldier settlement several large blocks of land in different parts of the district. This includes areas in the Rotoiti and Rotoehu districts formerly worked in one case as a station and in the other for timber milling purposes.

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Bibliographic details

MAORI SOLDIERS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945

Word Count

MAORI SOLDIERS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945