The New Zealand Herald.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 1870.
SPKUTKUUR AOKMM '(five every m:in rliliie e.ir, but few thy voice; Take each man's consiire, but reservu thy jugment This abovo all, —To thine own self be true And it must follow, as tho night tho day, Tliou cans't not tben be false to any man."
The people of Auckland must be considered among the most conservative of mankind, as is particularly exemplified in matters of a sanitary character. There are few places, we imagine, where nuisances most dangerous to health are nursed and kept in free play as they are iu this city of Auckland. As «i people, we seem to be careless of sanitary measures, and are quite accustomed to bear with removable health destroying agencies as if they were mere matters of course. Our city authorities have done little in the endeavour to remove those causes of disease from among us, which necessarily accumulate in every large town. The streets are not regularly swept; the want of sewers causes surface water to lie in the streets, forming long lines of festering matter, giving out noxious and healthdestroying gases. Garbage lies about, and evil smells rise to warn the passer by of decomposition, of foul atmoshere injurious to breathe. Then, again, if we pass from the street to the yards of dwelling houses, we have accumulations of filth in receptacles which are scarcely ever emptied, which are not lined and cemented to prevent the adjoining ground being saturated with the foul matter, while the well from which the family supply of water is obtained is in immediate contiguity, and is in consequence ] polluted. Thus we have two great causes of sickness ever present among us, namely, impure water and a foul atmosphere. Were Auckland less I favourably placed as regards certain | natural phenomena, it would, of necessity, be a most unhealthy place to j live in.
And how can all this be altered? Easily, if we set about it; but only by judicious expenditure of a considerable sura of money. We can remove the oiiences which we all know about, only through the expenditure of money. And the sooner steps are taken to make the town more cleanly and more fit for the residence of civilised beings, the sooner shall we wipe off a great )lot from our civic administration. That abomination, the Ligar Canal, has been written about over and over again, but it is still a pestiferous ditch, the receptacle of every imaginable filth, bubbling in the noon day sun, and for every hour of the day and night sending out poisonous gases to mingle with the air we breathe. And why is this filthy nuisance permitted to exist—an open, dirty, evilsmelling sewer, in the very heart of the city, with a City Board to look after such matters ? "Were this disgraceful state of things in existence through the want of action of some distant or central Government, instead of through the want of action of a local Government, how loud would be the demand for an alteration ? But we govern ourselves, and we are content to be poisoned by ourselves.
And with respect to the filthy closet system, why could not a change for the better be made ? Every one of these receptacles ought to be emptied, and filled up by a given day, of which due notice should be made known, under pain of a fine for each day's neglect. The earth-closet system should be made compulsory ; and if farmers would not undertake to bring soil and remove it again at slated periods, the City Board ought to do so. it is to be hoped that this will not be lost sight of when the bill for incorporating Auckland is drawn. It is no use fancying we can continue living with Auckland as it is. We must have it cleaner and healthier, with fewer overpowering evil smells meeting us at each step we take, no matter in what direction we wend our way. We now come to the standing | nuisance, and with regard to the Quecn- ! street sewer strangers may well wonder how a civilised community can permit J such a disgraceful nuisance to exist for ! a single day. It will ooafc money to
remove the nuisance, and that is the reason why it is not removed. "We shall not dwell on this nauseous subject. But we must nevertheless again raise our voice against the continuance of a donothing policy. The harbour is filling up very fast witli the matter carried into it by the sewer, and this will entail expense of a very serious character. The dispute has been, we believe, as to who is liable for the removal of the nuisance. The City Board appears to say that it has a right to discharge the washings of the city into the harbour, regardless of the injury and the nuisance that may be caused thereby. The Government, as trustee for the harbour, has taken no action in the matter, but stands by regardless of the effect of the sewer on the harbour. We understand, however, that the present Superintendent is seriously considering how best to remove the nuisance complained of. There are two or three ways, any of which will be attended with expense, h n iron pipe of large dimensions might form a cozztinuation of the sewer to deep water, where thero would be sufficient scour to carry away the largo quantity of solid matter carried by the. sewer into the harbour. This pipe could cither run alongside the wharf or underneath it. Alongside it would bo in tiie way of vessels ; carried underneath it would probably so interfere with the by no means very sound piles in such a manner as would in i'acfc preclude the work being done. But there is another method that might be adopted, that is, to divert the sower at the corner of the Thames Hotel, and carry il along Custom Housestreet to somewhere in (lie neighbourhood of i.'orfc Britomart.
It should eior be remembered that the filling-up of the harbour between the breakwater and the wharf is a matter of most serious importance, and ought to be inost carefully guarded against. We protested at the time the breakwater was canstructed, and a part of the wharf was made a continuation of Queen-street, agaiustthe plans adopted, on the ground that there being no wash of the tido through an opening or openings under the wharf, there would be a rapid h'lling-up of the space between the breakwater and tiie wharf. Were two or throe archways now made under the solid part of the wharf, there would be considerably loss silting up than is now going on, for then there would be some scour where now there is absolutely none. To carry the sewer on only to such a distance that the solid matter taken dowu by it would bo merely deposited out of sight, but not where the scour of the tide would carry it away, would be a great mistake. The subject requires consideration, so that the harbour may be injured as little as possible, and the present nuisance be at the same time effectually abated.
There is another nuisance to which we must allude, and that is the wretched tumble-down shanties on the site of the old Supremo Court House. There is a splendid site, capable of being pat to really profitable account, and also of obtaining au architectural ornament to the town. The Ligar Canal, cleansed aud filled up, and a small sewer made there, the site in question might, part of it, be let on lease for building purposes, with a provision that buildings of a certain character only should be erected upon it, and the other portion would be specially suitable for a Town Hall aud corporate buildings, including a free public library. If we could see these things brought to pass, Auckland would be purged of some of its nuisances, it would be a healthier town to live in, and other important advantages and benefits would be secured.