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THE DRIFT TO THE NORTH.

WHAT THE CENSUS RETURNS SHOW. The Minister of Interna] Affairs informed a representative of <£ The Press" yesterday that the Government Statistician had prepared a forecast of the total Enropean population of the Dominion based on the census recently taken, the total being 1,094,000. This total does not include the New Zealand soldiers on active service. The population of the Dominion as determined by'the census of April 2nd, 1911, was 1,008,468 persons, exclusive of Maoris.

Referring to the fact that the returns from the South Island show a shrinkage as compared with the 1911 census figures, Mr Russell said that, as a South Islander, he thought it very deplorable that the attractions of the North Island were so great as to cause a drift of the population, during the past five years, from the South to the North Island. There was no doubt that the cheap land obtainable in the North Island was acting as a tremendous incentive. Ho would like to see a conference held irj the South Island of public men connected with farming and other industries to try and devise some means by which the South Island could retain its population. Such a conference could, if necessary, be held altogether apart from the Government. As the result of the 1911 census the South Island lost two constituencies, and as things looked at present it seemed to him there was a likelihood of a similar result following the present census when the final figures were available. While one could not help congratulating the North Island upon its prosperity, it was ridiculous to suppose that the South Island is at present carrying all the population it is capable of carryng. There was in the Nelson district magnificent mineral resources, which, if developed, were capable of absorbing a large population and, a,s far as Canterbury and Otago pre concerned, there was room for a largely increased population provided the economic conditions were such as would counterbalance the allurement of the cheap land of the North Island. TTie question would have to be dealt with on i>road lines, and if the public men of Canterbury, nnd Otago in particular, were to tak.> the matter up, probably si solution would be found to the problems that are resulting in the drift of population to the North Island.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP19161117.2.24

Bibliographic details

THE DRIFT TO THE NORTH., Press, Volume LII, Issue 15750, 17 November 1916

Word Count
389

THE DRIFT TO THE NORTH. Press, Volume LII, Issue 15750, 17 November 1916

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