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AUCKLAND NOTES.

[From Our Own Correspondent.] May 8. The present fruit season has been the most prolific ever experienced in this part of the North Island. On every hand fruit o { all descriptions has been plentiful, and, although the price has been considerably high in town for first-clas3 fruits, nevertheless consumers have been enabled to purchase a good article for a sum which, in tho end, left only a very poor margin to tho grower. It is curious to note that while the land about Wado is of a poor description, and is looked upon by many as useless except as gum diggings, the soil should be so adapted for fruit growing. That this is tho case is evidenced by the large amount of fruit exported lately from the Waitemata district; but while oxporting has been rapidly going on for months past, I am sorry to have to record that the growers have made very little out of this class of industry. The orchards in the country parts here contain up to over 1,000 trees of various kinds of fruit, and on visiting one of these lately I was informed by the owner that he had shipped for export 400 or 500 cases of firstclass apples, and after paying freight and other expenses he had only a profit of 7d per box. Another fruit grower, within a few yards of the same orchard, sent to Auckland 12cwt of eating pairs (I was Bhown and tasted one, and I must confess it was delicious), and after paying expenses for shipping, auctioneers' fees, etc., he was 2s Gd out of pocket. From what I can learn there appears to ba some sort of " ring " in Auckland whereby the market is not allowed to be glutted, the consequence being that when a superfluous amount of fruit is put forward the thing is so arranged that a great quantity remains unsold, and ultimately becomes bad and unsaleable. Whether this fruit growing industry will become a success remains to be seen ; in fact, the enormous quantity of fruit grown here cannot fail to keep down the price, as far as the grower is concerned, and it will hardly pay to export it to the other colony. Although the future prospect of this industry looks very discouraging, I noticed that there are ouo or two enterprising individuals over towards the Wade district, who are fencing in land with tho view of fruit growing ; but whether they will be able to make anything out of it in time remains to be seen. However, as I said before, the land appears to be of little value for anything else ; and, as it ia_to be had at a very reasonable figure, thi3 industry may some years hence prove a financial success to those who are engaged in it.

A person, when visiting some out-of-tlir-way place, generally hears of public interest which has escaped the vigilance of the Press, and which serves to show how those in authority exercise their power when sufficient pressuro is brought to bear on them. A case which I think should be mentioned has just come to my knowledge, which will show how uncomfortable things can be made for anyone holding a subordinate position in the Civil Service. Everybody who has been for any length of time in New Zealand has heard of TiriTiri, which is an island (about twenty miles from Auckland) of something like three miles in length and one mile in breadth, and was the scene of the wreck of the s.s. Triumph some seven or eight years ago. Tiri Tiri is a lighthouse station, the soil of which is as good, if not better, than any up in this direction, with an abundant supply of grass, which would keep at least three or four head of cattlo to the acre. (I am now speaking of seven or eight years ago.) This will give your readers a pretty fair idea of the immense value of the island as a grazing place. There were two lighthouse-keepers, one of whom had a family. The latter bought a few head of young cattle, brought them to the island, and in a couple of # years they turned out really magnificent animals, some of which supplied those on this station with a plentiful supply of milk, which was most acceptable in preference to the condensed article which is used on nearly all the lighthouse stations in the North Island, except where the keepers are fortunate to possess a goat or two. The cattle wore then bought by some dealers and sent to Auckland, and realised a good profit. To be brief: Some farmers got wind of this matter, brought it before those in authority up hero, and represented the " great injustice" done them by allowing Government to breed cattle on public property, servants etc., etc, the result being that the keeper received instructions that he was to dispose of some more young cattle which he had bought in the meantime, and that he was to discontinue keeping cattle on the island in future. This may not appear a great hardship at first blush; but the sequel to it is that Tiri Tiri is now overrun with rabbits, and what was at one time one of the finest grazing blocks in this part of the colony is now nothing more than a rabbit breeding island ; in fact " bunny " is so plentiful there at the present time that I have it from good authority that they are actually undermining the lighthouse. lam not aware whether the lighthouse-keepers down in your province are debarred from keeping a cow or cattle on their stations, but up here such is the case ; and it seems a great pity that lighthouse stations such as I havs mentioned should bo allowed to go to waste and no one reap the benefit of them, j There are plenty of cattle breeders who would willingly have leased TiriTiri for the purpose I have mentioned. As it is, no one has benefited by it except the rabbits—who, by the way, don't appear to thrive about the Waitemata district especially. This may appear strange, but I have it from some settlers of long standing here that, although several of these animals were seen years ago in this district, they appear to have become extinct. Captain Arnodeo reports that when the s.s. lona was coming out of Tryphena Harbor (Great Birrier) last Thursday, the vessel was felt to have slightly grazed on a sunken rock near the land, and which was not marked on the chart. From the masthead the position of the rocks were indicated. Tho mate was sent to take soundings, and found two distinct rocks about 200 ft apart. Tho correct magnetic bearing of the outer rock are as follows:—Outer south head of harbor (in line with extreme north end of Mercury Island) S.E, by E, i E,; Bird Rock (in line with white beach at end of bay) N.E. (northerly); outer north end (in a Hue with highest peak of south end of the Little Barrier) W. £N. (westerly). The inner rock, which lies in a north-westerly direction, was found to have 10ft of water on it at low tide. The lona was uninjured. Mr R, Gray, of Ruapehu, stateß that the hot lake on the top of that mountain, which has been continually emitting steam fjr several years past, has during tho last month been gradually lessening in volume, and during the last week has entirely ceased. . The Hugo Minstrels are drawing crowded houses at the Opera-house. The company has bein considerably strengthened by the addition of several new faces, but whether it is the " popular prices " or tho merits of the entertainment that hj the means of drawing such large audiences nightly I will leave your readers to judge, as the company will make their way to your part of the colony shortly.

An a-.iidenr, which was fortunately unattended v/ith any serious results, occurred on the Queen's wharf ou Saturday night. A youny man named Hugh Matheaon, who is better kno>v» m '•''"> boneless boy," fell into the water near the i<'<;rry Company's wharf. Sergeant Clark and Constable Mackay, who happened to be on duty, immediately ran to the spot indicated by the splash, when they observed Matheson swimming in the vicinity of the wharf. The constable and a seaman belonging to H. M. S. Dart secured a boat, and after a little delay rescued the unfortunate fellow, who was the worse for drink. Ho was taken to the lock-up, but could not give an account of how he fell into the water.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890520.2.36

Bibliographic details

AUCKLAND NOTES., Evening Star, Issue 7911, 20 May 1889

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AUCKLAND NOTES. Evening Star, Issue 7911, 20 May 1889

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