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No. 3. WHAT ARE THE RESOURCES OF NEW ZEALAND?, Daily Southern Cross, Volume 1, Issue 17, 12 August 1843
No. 3. WHAT ARE THE RESOURCES OF NEW ZEALAND?
In the history of almost all modern colonies we discover (independently of the effects of bad government) two circumstances to the existenco and operations of which may be traced the majority of those periodical convulsions or monetary embarrassments, failures, and consequent miseries which too commonly occur in such countries ; the first of these belongs to the settlers themselves, and the other to the colony. The one the settlers carry along with them, and the other almost invariably meets them on their arrival in a new colony ; by the first, we mean that desire on the part of the settler to obtain, and to possess at any sacrifice or expence the comforts, if not the luxuries to which he has been accustomed at home. He is not only not satisfied, unless he can procure all these, and perhaps many more, in the new country, but if the colony does not itself produce them, or supply them to his taste, he must procure them from the Mother country. He will spend all his own means, and even consent to incur a heavy debt rather than forego them. The other circumstance to which we wish to refer, is the fact that few of the colonies have an exchangeable commodity or " export" to give in return for the necessary and unnecessary supplies which they thus obtain from the parent country. The colonists are in short, always paying away money with the one hand, and generally speaking, receiving nothing in the other. The inevitable consequence is the occurrence of such convulsions as are at the present moment- upsetting the order of things in the neighbouring colonies. The debt, in time becomes so large, that the lender and the borrower cease to entertain hopes of its ever being discharged ; the former presses the latter, and the latter becomes bankrupt. Much individual misery and suffering are the necessary result. The colony apart from the individual sufferers, is in the end the gainer, the settler, it is true, is ruined, the debt is never paid to England, but the money is not all lost, too much of it is certainly spent in unnecessary and expensive articles of consumption, such as wines, spirits, &c, a small portion has however, been expended in cultivating andj improving the land ; this is not lost to the colony. It sustains for a time a certain i amount of discredit, but confidence will again be restored, and again destroyed as may be seen in America, where this principle isj almost converted into a regular system. Every canal, rail-road, wharf, and almost hoter\have been constructed by means of Englisu capital. The companies, or individuals to whom such monies are lent from England, as a matter of course fail, but the undertakings on which they have expended their means, cannot be exported from the country to pay off the debt ; they remain, and so far America or the colony derives a benefit. But this after all, is both a slow and a dishonest way of establishing or advancing a colony, and has its origin, generally speaking, in the two circumstances stated above ; expensive and extravagant habits on the part of the settlers, and the absence of proper natural exports in the colony. But even in the absence of the latter, if the settlers would accommodate themselves to circumstances, and exercise industry and frugality, they might at least, \\n a country naturally so productive as we !haVe represented New Zealand, avoid bei coihing the subjects of such a disgraceful and ruinous system. Under proper management, New Zealand might be made to produce all that is requisite to a man's necessary, comfortable, and luxurious existence, and even made extensively to minister to the wants and luxuries of other countries. We have already treated of her means of supplying the wants of her own inhabitants, and we shall now apply the second test of a country's greatness, by briefly treating of her mineral and vegetable productions, or what may properly be called articles of export,- Articles, by means of
which, if we judiciously avail ourselves of them, we need never allow the debt of import to exceed the credit of the export. In this respect we have a manifest advantage of many other colonies. In the list of our exports we have already mentioned provisions of all kinds, which we may certainly, and very soon be in a condition to export, together with wine, beer, spirits, and wool, in a very few years more. But the resources of New Zealand do not by any means depend upon the sure, though tedious operations of the agriculturists ; nature has at once, and abundantly supplied the first settlers with the means of making other countries our debtors. She has supplied us with valuable exports in the articles of copper, sulphur, manganese, coal, spars, timber of all kinds, and last, not least, flax. I To give any thing like an adequate idea i of the facilities for procuring each of these articles in New Zealand, and the efforts that have been already made, would occupy more time than our limits will allow. The article copper is well known to exist in various parts of the country, but the only place where it has hitherto been attempted to be procured is at the Great Barrier. On this island, indications of copper are found in various parts. One mine only has hitherto been attempted to be worked, and the quality and abundance of the oar are said by competent judges to be superior to that of South America. Although the capital of the Company under whose auspices the Barrier mines have been worked, is too small to enable them ty conduct their operations on a proper scale, yet the result is such as to satisfy every person of the great value of this export. We are credibly informed that notwithstanding the very large and necessary first outlay, the ore already procured, is more than enough to cover all expences, although the operations may scarcely be said to have fairly commenced. On the very surface, veins of the richest description have been discovered, and almost without any digging. About 150 tons have been already shipped to Sydney and England, and from recent accounts wo are led to believe that 70 or 80 tons more are by this time ready for shipment. The value of this ore in England, is said to be at least .£3O per ton, so that the mine has already yielded about £6,000, and the expences will not, most likely, much exceed the half of that sum. The freight to Sydney is at present the chief draw-back ; but when (and we hope it shall be soon) flax is procured in sufficient quantity to enable us to load vessels from New Zealand direct for England, the copper will be conveyed as ballast, almost free of expence, as is done from Sydney at present in the wool ships. But in order to make the copper ore of New Zealand available, this government ought to hold outievery inducement for the establishment of English companies, the capital of whom alone can effect this desireable object. Wherever copper, or any other ore was found to exist, the government ought to give the party so discovering it, the right of bargaining with the natives for the purchase of the same, making the party bound to work the mine within a given time ; every inducement should be held out for the investment of English capital in these profitable undertakings. Manganese is the next export to which we would direct attention. This metal, though in itself not so valuable as copper, is still very extensively used in the arts. The various bleaching powders, as all must know, are made by means of an oxide of this metal, it is' also used in making glass, and for several other purposes. We do not exactly know its present value at home, but we are quite convinced it will pay well to export from New Zealand. The facilities for obtaining manganese are very great. On an island within fifteen miles of this town, indeed, almost in the harbour of Auckland, the oxide of manganese exists in such quantity, and is so easily obtained, that a vessel may be loaded at an expense of not more than five shillings per ton. One of our traders, the Shamrock, a few weeks ago, shipped in one day upwards of twenty tons ; any vessel coming to our harbour, may more conveniently ballast with manganese than with the ordinary materials. Both sulphur and coals are to be obtained in various parts of New Zealand, but hitherto neither the one nor the other has been to any extent made articles of exports. Sulphur abounds in many of the volcanic mountains and islands on the coast, but whether the price at home is such as to defray the present expence of collection, we are not able to say. We would recommend some of the settlers on the coast to make the experiment on a small scale. That both will eventually become of value, we have no doubt whatever, though in the commencement of a colony, that occupation alone which pays best, will be pursued. Iron is also to be found in great abundance, but circumstances will alter much before it is attempted to be manufactured in New Zealand. Lead, we.
have every reason to "believe, is one of our minerals, and wo understand that indica. tions of gold have been recently found in some places to the southward. The ne. phrite (jade) or green stone, which is used for ornaments by the natives, is said to abound in the interior of the Middle Island. This is an article highly prized by the Chinese, and would be, by far the most valuable of our exports could it be obtained in suffi. cient quantity. Its value in the Chinese markets is very great ; we would stronglj recommend the settlers in the Middle Island to endeavour to discover the locality of tliii stone. Shark's fins are also much esteemed bj the Chinese, and abounding as the coast a New Zealand is with sharks, and all mannei of fish, we wonder that more attention ha not been paid to this subject. The curin| of fish for the Mauritius and South America, would also prove a very profitable occupa tion in this country. There is no place it the world better adapted for this trade than New Zealand. The " Habuka," are equal to any cod or ling, and would, we are per suaded, sell just as high in the Mauritius as the best New Foundland fish. Why do not some of our settlers turn themselves to some of these occupations, every one of whict would assuredly pay them better than tfe miserable Maori trade ? Flax and oil are two of our exports whicl we merely deem it necessary at present t mention, as it is our intention in a future number to treat of each of them separately, Whaling from New Zealand would to a most profitable investment for Englist capital ; their vessels could be provisioned and refitted in Auckland at a much cheapei rate than in England ; and persons instead of fitting out whalers from home, would fid it a much more profitable plan to appoint a resident manager, or agent in Auckland, t» receive the oil as caught, and to ship by othei opportunities, • always leaving the whaling ships ready to prosecute. their trade. Th long and expensive voyage home might in this manner be avoided, and the oil mighi always be shipped home, instead of being kept as at present, for two or three years is the ship that caught it. There are various kinds of mineral painti and dyes in New Zealand, which are ci ceedingly likely to be valuable at home Kauri, gum, and bark, will also in tinif become articles of export, and the manufac ture of barilla from our numerous man groves, would' certainly pay the labour oi any person who chooses to direct his attention to this subject. From these, and a variety of other natural productions, it must be at once apparent that New Zealand is in every respect calculated and destined to become a great countrj, Blessed with soil and 'climate unequalled and abounding in the most valuable vege table and mineral productions, her resource require only to be made known, in order t< be valued. It is matter of much regret tlia* among all the numerous items of the monstrous expenditure of the New Zealand gov eminent, not one sixpence has been ci pended in the attempt to explore the countn to discover either its mineral or vegetabl' treasures. Not even a Surveyor has travel led through the country, nothing has beet bestowed upon the attempt to obtain tin slightest knowledge of the geography, bota ny, mineralogy or geology of our country. It would have been some redemptio: of the extravagance of our rulers, could the] even point to one item of their vast an; enormously extravagant expenditure, am say, this sum has been spent in explore! New Zealand ; by means of this sum tf have extended the limits of science, we hav> added such and such plants to the catalogu of the Botanists ; such and such mineralwe have submitted to the glass, hammer and blow-pipe of the geologist ; and ou Surveyor General has made us so mud acquainted with the geography of the island. of New Zealand ; and our Physioian* a» Chemists have added to the means of healiui disease, and extending the duration of man' life by their analysis of the mineral spring; hot, cold, and tepid baths of Toupu Rotu rua, Weimate, and the Thames. Nothing of this kind will however, meet the eye o the scientific, or humane man, in lookinover the list of New Zealand's expenditurt It is gross and animal, and has not in on solitary instance tended to advance the it terests of science, education, benevolent morality, or religion, like the debt of th New South Wales settlers, it has been in curred on account of meat and drink. From the geographical position of & islands of New Zealand, it is scarcely nec# sary that we should devote any time to $ • consideration of the third test of a country greatness, •or fitness for becoming a com mercial and trading depot. Besides befe situated in the very centre of the best spert and black whaling grounds, New. Zealand"' within a few day's sail of the continent island of New Holland ; on the High ro& from that oountry to South America, a»
!<ln°-laud ; almost contiguous to the richest ,nd° loveliest islands of the Pacific, the ugar, cotton, coffee, cocoanut, oil, fruits nd spices of which, must ere long find their test market in this country. China, Java, nd India, are almost our next-door neighfours. So that viewing New Zealand in very possible light-; no one need for ono Inoment doubt that it contains all the elefnents of a great and a prosperous country. ;That mis-rule and mis-government may lor ft time (and but for a time) prevent therr aevelopement, we can believe, but whatever our own fate, and that of the other objects v and subjects of the present despotism may Ije, New Zealand will eventuaEy become a great, and we trust, a free country. v — Q
No. 3. WHAT ARE THE RESOURCES OF NEW ZEALAND?, Daily Southern Cross, Volume 1, Issue 17, 12 August 1843
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