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WAIROA AND ITS POSSIBILITIES

County- fit.- AVairoa, lying Bay and P0y'..",'J..1- f\erty 4 Bay,., and touching. the ■'.",:,..„•>.).province;.,;' of ,'.Auckland, with, itsv.chtef town and port, Wairoa, on the" mouth of the river'of that;,name, should"'Bo'"one'' of the most valuable of/the Dbm'inio'n'. But behind; it there .. is'.i'aV.long history ".of neglect,' against. which. tlie settlers have fought for fojlf . a.centur.y.. '■ To-day 'Wairoa -is ■going leaps-and. bounds, .and wichits chief drawback, lack of a ready ;me'ans of communication ■■" with other ••centres, removed, the county should .emerge_ from/the comparative obscurity which has covered its operations of re;.cent years, to take its. place well in:the job. of i progress.. .- .•...;.• . The'chief-town of.the county is Wai-'' rqa, situated on the month of the Wai- . Tqa River, about 40 ,miies from Napier. . Fojryears past a'terribly,.uncertain bar. has/rendered shipping to the'port of a very! casual nature, but now, after an expenditure .of £80,000, a permanent !river port, for vessels of small tonnage; 'seems assured./ What, this will mean to riWairoa.; nobody but those who have A'isited the. place can realise. There . is : no (railway communication, to the district, :although there will be when the, East Coast railway is completed, and the distance by road to Napier is about 80 miles, the port of Gisborne also being, about. 70 miles away in the other direction. '. The.sea route,will be the main outlet for the district, for. years, perliaps. for; all. time, as the seaborne traffic , should/ increase; after .the railway opens'up the back lands. , It is essentially'.' a (sheep country,, but as 'yet it has failed to reap the full benefit of;, its sheep lands'. There are no freezing works ia.-the..district, ~butr with the agitation going on fcir-the establishment of works, •it/should not.be long .'before .they are secured/'..lt'is;'estimated, oh. a conservative, -basis, that .the. settlers-must lose. £30,000. per, year, owing- to"the,lack of freezing works/;.Situated.ais Wairoa is, SO miles from a freezing works oh the one hand," and 70 on the other,,it is impossible, to send any fat lambs away, and this trade has been entirely lost. (When sheep 'are purchased -for freezing, buyers take into consideration the long distance' to be travelled, and only sheep, that,.will stend the.drive, are ■taken; '■■■ Amongst -the' proposals mooted during the- past five' y6ars: were those ito'Secure'Native lands" on the river at iiWairpa 1 -';' to' erect ■'the" 'works at' 'FTa'ser-itownj-and barge the product nine miles down ; -'the•river,.■'• and again to-start operations""' at-'- '.Waikokopu' towards MaWa, nonet of these schemes' has come to a head. ■■ The difficulty of get-" tingiari.'adequate.supply.of fresh water nas; been -one'.thing- that has held, opera-' tions'back, but eventually the town .will-.-have- to -have-:water brought in, and the. Question is whether a" freezing works', company or the borough will be thevfirst :to undertake a scheme. ."."..■• -..Closer/'settlement,-■ and - individualisa?tibniof .the Native..ilandsj.is.anotiier tliing:aeeded to, send theidistrict anead.. T;hisais gcingvonj to'.att extent, and inevery case.[has; proved satisfactory. i In Marohv."l9lo, -the Government took' up the iCiydehank Settlement, close 'to the te.wn,; .and, twenty-three; - families have startled nomee ; ,where_ bify;..one 'existed before. ; .The/iulKlisisioits' of the Clydehank- Estate,,range.froni-55, acres up to .821,' acres,., the/ smaller sections' being. used for/dairymg,purposes,, and.the larger for sheepi raising. The Government' is, how proposing 'to- take up "a;: large.pbrtion of.Native-land at Poutere, abbut/30 miles,; from' Wairoa..'.'.' Another effective.,means. v .of,". settlement' was Jilso. -undertaken by. the Whakaki Drainage Board, whb for two years' havei.beeii reclaiming swamp land adjacbrit:.to' the/port.'... Their pperationsj haye,.J),rought into, cultivation a .large area.'aiid 1 much..'more/remains to/be reclaimed/'. -/'Also,, 'during "recent" 'years,' •Mt""J. ! ''''HTinter''Brwm'cttt./up'-hu;,:.'s|ar' tion at Whakaki into nine .blocks/varying from' 600 acres up to 1140 acres, and practically "all "has' been' taken' 'up.:''" /From a/business standpoint the' district'is in a"healthy condition-. It has bacltobuhtry, excellent '''"'' for * raising slieep',' 'running practically'4o"miles in' airy'"direction. ; The natural' outlet for: BBvffiat- 'area -is- -Wairoa,-: but owing;- to; tke'.'ihadeqiiate*' port 'facilities'' of the past, nruch' : 'b'as' been' diverted"-,to' Na<^r,,;' and .even/to'Gisborne.- -Roads .•into'the -hack lands have-greatly im•prbv'ed during'the last five years, l and a .steady'rise is apparent in land ; values, j But at' present sheep land can be V.bought in the county at a .rate-compar-ing very favourably with the prices in other' V.parts of New Zealand. '.'These are more fully. ..dealt with in another part of this issue. While sheep raising mostly indulged in, there is a certain amount of cattle in the district, [but it is apparent that much more could ibo carried, to the general welfare, of; the land, for it is the stations breeding ; large; numbers -, of- cattle that are the. ' bo'stin ,the„'c6unty. -.The: settlement of■ the.district dates back-.to the early sixties, and the country teems with Maori legend and histtoric interest.., In Wairoa County the ' isolation of the Maoris, until comparatively: recent years, has tended to preserve much detail of the,doings of the early occupiers. The tourist country is particularly interesting in: this respect. Besides being the distributing -port for • a. wealthy county, AVairoa is the starting point for one of the finest tourist counties in New Zealand. Its chief glory is Lake .Waikaremoana, "The Sea ; .of Rippling ' Waters." Situated about. 40 miles inland, it is reached by a-- good road from Wairoa, and the Hawke's Bay Motor Company are al- '■ .ways willing to arrange for parties ' to j-visit the. hike. Waikaremoana, as a 'tourist resort, is not an asset of AVaicoa alblie, but rather of Now Zealand, for.-it'is one of the most beautiful spots in the whole of the Dominion. Another famous beauty spot to bo reached /from Wairoa is the Te Reinga Falls, under thirty miles away, on tho Gisborne inland road, while tho Morere ~Hot Springs are situated 20 miles from the town. The Marumaru. Caves are another historical resort, thirteen miles froin Wairoa, on the AVairoa-Gisborne Road, ■ not far from the scene of the Battle- of Marumaru, fought on Christmas ;Day, 1865,/ when Captain Hussey and'several.'"friendlies" were killed, in an- attack on the Maoris. ''j.'he business people no longer intend Jo lot-the beauties, and commercial possibilities of'the town and .district remaiu'unkiibwn, and a progressive comniitt'co'has been set up to "boost; the interests of the placs..alpng. . One of tlioir main activities is the-manage-ment-"of. .an annual carnival week, at tho ond of January, when the .county races/the'annual .agricultural shbw/aud a river carnival, are hold. In advertising; this, and" in other _ ways mduciug -travellers to. visit : Wairoa, the distrifit, is .to bo; -'boostecl" to. a progress. w]}.ich,should'.b&.n3tutaU-.- -7-::/ :--.- ■■-•■

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Bibliographic details

WAIROA AND ITS POSSIBILITIES, Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2382, 11 February 1915

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WAIROA AND ITS POSSIBILITIES Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2382, 11 February 1915

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