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Land Administration.

That Mr G. F. Richardson's system of selling waste lands by tender is not absolutely perfect may be judged from the following interesting extract from the 'Evening Press :—'* We gave the other day in our columns the results of the last sales by tender in tho Wellington district, in which 38,191 acres were disposed of by tender. The tenders numbered 736, and the sections granted numbered 93. We have before us a letter p.ublished in the ' Wairarapa Advocate,' bearing the signature of Mr Alexander Reese, and dated Fahiatua, August 17. Mr Reese was not long since a member of the Wellington Land Board, and being a settler in Pahiatua, which we take to be one of the main centres of Crown lands speculation, ough't to speak with some authority on the

subject. He saya: ' I feel certain that I understate the case when I say that 50 per cent, of tho present applicants are dummies. Let me cite, for instance, tho operationa of one gentleman to show how completely the present regulations fail to prevent monopoly, and, indeed, play into the hands of the not over-scrupulous speculators. The person I refer to is —«*-s' Mr Reese gives tho name, address, and occupation, which we, mindful of the fire, withhold. 'I have it,' Mr Reese continues, 'on what appears to ho good authority, that he has been boasting here that ho will have an application in for every section open for selection in tho Puketoi and Makeiri districts, and further that he will have twenty applications iu for one section in the Mangaho. Thus you will see that dummyism is rampant, and speculation of the worst kind is fostered under the present administration of land, and that the best olass of would-be settlers in our neighborhood are iu consequence discouraged and disgusted when they see their chances of success in allotment reduced to a minimum by a series of subterfuges that ought not to be possible under the law.'" Another abuse in connection with land purchase was exposed in the House by Mr John fcl'Senzie, who asked the Minister for Lands: (1) If it is true that the Otago Land Commissioners have consulted His Honor Judge Williams in reference to persons who have acquired lands under Acts in existence prior to the coming into force of the Act of 1887, and that he advised that land acquired under Acts in existence prior to the coming into force of the Act of 1887 need not be included in calculating the quantity of land held by an applicant for land under that Act ? (2) If true, how has the statutory declaration necessary to bo made undor the Act been evaded in such cases ? (3) If tho Law is being evaded, will the Minister take steps to amend the Act at once ? Mr Richardson somewhat reluctantly admitted that the Government had been so advised, and that therefore people might buy land now who wore already possessed of many thousands of acres. He denied that he knew of any evasion of the statutory declaration that the buyer was not possessed of too much land to entitle him to purchase more. Mr M'Kenzie, however, assures me that persons and companies known to be holding large areas are now buying land. As this is contrary to tho plain intention of the Act of two years ago—at all events as that intention was understood by the Honse at tho time—Mr M'Kenzie means to move that tho necessary amendment be now mado to meet the flaw.—' Lyttelton Times's' correspondence.

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Land Administration., Issue 7995, 26 August 1889

Word Count

Land Administration. Issue 7995, 26 August 1889

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