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THE PUBLIC WORKS STATEMENT.

''''-WisftHrow&i '&g& Y Ok theHonßp.resutmngat7.3o, Mr. Hall, in mating the Public Work* statement, said: The loss, which I regret, of my late colleague tho Minister fZ Public Works, Mr. Oliver, has imposed on me a heavy duty in the statement lam nn» undertaking. Intimately acquainted as £ is with every detail of the wo-ks be . spoken of, tho task would for him have been a comparatively eay J one, but taking up the matter as I bavs done at an advanced date in the period under consideration, I am obliged to ask for special indulgence for the deficiencies which JJr Olivers absence is sure to excuse. Thew willbe attached to this statement, iu, addition to the usual "tables and statements of ex. penditure and liabilities, reports from tho Lngineers-in-Cbarge of the North and Midd\l Islands on railways, roads, water races, anl public buildings, from the Marine EnKi neeP on lighthouses, and from the Oeneni Manager of railways. I shall deal with the subjects, in the following order 1. The progress of construction durin" ISSo" 81, of the several classes of public works" fa), railways. (1.) Their construction, ("j Their maintenance and working, and tho ™ suits of traffic, (b), roads, (c), harbor works and lighthouses, (d), coalfields (t), waterworks on goldfields. (f) telpl graphs,. public buildings. 1. Proposals for the current year 1881-82, in the same order . . RAILWAYS.

The considerable expenditure of the vrif amounting to £969,165, has been almost wholly upon works already bezun bcW the period ISSO-Sl, including the cx T n! ditunv dunng the first quarter of the current year, and the liabilities outstanding on the 30th of June last. No Bingle croup of lines can -be said to tmlshed and provided with suitable appliances, bat I am glad to inform the House that the calls for 'additional accommodation and increased plant are diminishing in importance, the lines beim, for the most part equal to an extended traffic. Beginning in the North, I come first to the Kawakawa-Whangarei lines. The small coal line at Kawakawa (Bav of Islands) and that at Whangarei are making good progress. The former is all under contract; the latter is finished to a point below the town wharf, but not to the deep-water wharf, at one mile fifteen chains lower down the harbour. A contract for the extension to this point has been entered into. Kaipara: The Kaipara lino was opened for traffic to Henderson's Mill on the 21st of December last. There then remained but a short subsection (about 11 miles) to complete communication" between Auckland and Kaipai-a, at Hclensville, a distance of about 40 miles, lam glad to say tliat this remaining section has since been completed, and the line was opened for traffic throughout, from Auckland to Heleusville, on the lStli of July. Auckland-Waikato :Of considerable interest to the colony at large is the advance (since the date of last statement) on the southern side of Auckland to Awamutn, a point within three miles of the southern boundary of the. confiscated territory in the Waikato district. The line thus extended is now close on 100 miles in length and with the Kaipsra line will form a continuous railway of HOmiles. Waika to-Tliamcs: Some progress has been made with this line. trom the Auckland-Waikato line at Hamilton the formation towards Morrinsville is finished for a distance of fourteen miles, and the remaining four miles of the section are in hand. ISO part can bo : usefully worked until the bridge over the Waikato at Hamilton is erected. The ironwork for it has been already shipped. At the other end of the Thames-Waikato line a contract has been let for tho formation between Grahamstown and Kopu, wherea deep-water wharf can be obtained. ■ Napier-Wellington (northern division) : The northern division of the trunk line between Hawkes Bay and Wellington lias been lengthened by 4 miles 13 chains ending at Maketoto, opened last year. The gap in the trunk line is thus reduced to about SO miles. The exact position of a portion of the work remaining to be constructed within the Seventy-mile Bush lias not been yet determined. Some work has been done on the southern division of this railway, but no extension has been effected, and the northern terminus remains at Masterton. New ■ Plymouth-Foxton : The northern division of this trunk line, being the portion from New Plymouth to Hawera, a length of about 51 miles, is completed. Twelve miles between Ngaere andNormanby were opened for traffic during tho last financial year, and the remainder will be opened in a few days. The southern division of the New Plymouth-Foxton line lying to the north between Hawera and Foxton, has now a total extension of 9S miles, of which 19 miles between Kai Iwi and Waverley have been opened up during the year. The length remaining to unite the Wavsrley and Hawera is 25 miles, of which the precise direction between Manutahi and Hawera is as yetj undetermined. The present surveyed line passes near the coast, but we consider that it would Be preferable to adopt one further inland if it should turn out to be economically practicable, and to bring the new station into proper working order. Foxton-Wellington : The earthworks on .this part of the trunk line (the total length of which is about 70 miles) were begun in the neighbourhood of Wellington by the labour of the "unemployed,'' but funds not being available for its continuation, the works have been discontinued. The House will be aware that with a view to carrying on the project a company has been initiated in Wellington. The promoters have been in treaty with the Government for terms, including the graut of lands on the lino of the earthworks executed, and of material already provided. The Government propose also to undertake the definition and survey of the whole line, and in any arrangement \rhich may be made to reserve to the colony the right of purchase. The completion of this work would open unbroken railway communication between Wellington and the whole Wanganui and Taranaki country by a line of 240 miles. This matter will come before the Legislature in connection with a Bill to be introduced, empowering grants of land for purposes of this kind required to complete trunk lines unsurveyed. Intervals of 120 miles on the west and 160 miles on the east separate the extremity of the Waikato line at Awamutu from Waitara (Taranaki) and Napier respectively. The Government will lose no opportunity which may present itself fer obtaining such information with regard to the intervening country as will enable the best mode of completing this main arterial line to be determined.

[Mr. Hall then detailed the works in progress in the South Island.] Summing np the additions made to the working lines, in both Islands during the year we have a total of 106 miles. This gives a length of 1287 miles of trunk railways and brandies now in work. To complete the main trunk lino in both Islands, the following additions "will be required In the North Island : From Wellington to Foxton, 70 miles; from Waverley to Hawera, 25 milesand from Waitara to Awanratu, 120 miles; ' being a total of 215 miles, besides a . gap of 80 miles on the Wellington-Napier line. In the Middle t?i i^'- a about 140 miles between Blenheim and -Waikari will complete the trank line from Picton to Bluff.

VORKIXG RAILWAYS. I now. come to the review of the year's experience of the working railways. Impox*-

ad- ( of „ this. department. For ] the each Island) one general manager has been substi- , S t'rited,i wfiose'liead-quarters are in Wolfington. The two accountant?departments have also amalgamated, as likewise the two stores departments'.' "lutlepehdehtly of the considerable annual ,* saving which has resulted from these changes, they are calculated to - insure >prompt'and efficient" management. They have also given to the Minister a more complete' control over the business of; the department .thau.- he * could possibly have under the'fo'rmer system. The results of the traffic for the year have been, on the whole; satisfactory. In the passenger, traffic there Ting been a considerable falling, off, an indica- ■ tion in agreement with that furnished until recently by the ..Customs and other revenue returns of the general depression in ■ • which the colony" has shared, and the forced economies that have been the result. . The decrease has not been caused by any increase in passenger fares .which, have not been raised. In some cases reductions have " been " made. This falling off has affected chiefly the business parts of the country. On the Hurunui-Bluff lines, which furnish three-fourths ' of the whole receipts, it yearly reached 10 per cent, of those of. the ( preceding period, though the length of lines open to traffic has been augmented by above per cent. There has been, a contemporaneous, and very general and 'large increase of the gocds traffic revenue," amounting to 24 per .cent., and; dependent not. alone on. the increase of the tariff, but on. tonnage also. On the two classes of receipts, namely, passengers and goods combined, there lias been an. increase of nearly 10 per cent. Thanks partly to this augmentation, and partly to increased economy in tho management, the nett returns - from the railways-as a whole, have during the past year been equal to £3 Ss 3d per cent, on the cost of construction. The decrease of train mileage, conssN queut on the greater care everywhere visible in the administration, together with large economies in the railway staff, have resulted in a considerable growth of the nett revenue. The gross revenue of the year ISSO-SI, amounted to £53G,454, against £762,572 in 1579-SO, an increase of £73,882. The nett revenue was £314,497, against £182,552 in 1579-SO, an increase of £131,935, the differences between these two increases, £58,053, being due' to the causes already pointed out'. Notwithstanding the increase of mileage under work, 9 per cent., the total cost of maintenance and traffic was reduced from £550,010 in 1579-S0 to £521,957 in ISSO-Sl, a reduction exceeding 10 per cent., and as large probably "as due care of the lines and plant will permit in the existing state of the traffic. Only two openings for further economy can be suggestedon the face of the copious returns as to the working management for the year. I refer, first, to the selection in future.purchases of the types of locomotive which experience suggests as most suitable, and,to the employment of the fuel which, having regard to its cost, has proved most effective. In this connection it will be satisfactory to hon. members that I should observe that New Zealand coal alone is now used on the locomotives, and that these returns show that the West Coast coal may claim to rank in point of value for locomotive purposes ab«re that obtained from the ..Newcastle, New South Wales, mines, which stand second on the list. I refer to return No. 27, "which records experiments on an extensive scale, including, among others, a comparison of the effective work of the above two varieties of coal used under similar conditions and by machines of the same type. The second hope of economy • arises from what appears at first sight the "excessive proportion of lecomotive expenditure, under the head "Shunting.;' This appears to be owing to peculiarities of the traffic, and to some extent to the imper- I fection of station arrangements "in places where the traffic has, in the course of time, outgrown existing accommodation. The large number of station's and of sidings, independent of, stations, the number, of blind sidings, and of short branch lines, and the inadequate water services, are also features of our, system which swell the cost of locomotive work, by increasing the item "shunting." The item in question is about one-fourth of the total (£137,000) of class D, "Locomotive Power," in the return No. 3, and if a moderate additional expenditure in the extension and equipment of some of the stations would diminish the charge materially, the result would sensibly affect the nett reyenue. Doubt? have been entertained, and expressed in several quarters, whether the Government may not be deluding themselves and the country as to the amount of profit on the working lines. It is thought, first, that the condition of the lines and plant is perhaps declining in some particulars, and, secondly, that payments which should be debited to maintenance have been placed to the account of construction. In reply to the first supposition, I • request hon. members to refer to return.No. 5. From this statement, it will. be found. that .the proportion of the whole working expenses due to maintenance is 35 per cent. .Of this amount, the cost of the daily operations for keeping the permanent way line in form and level absorb 23J per cent., the cost of material in repairs of the way is 5 per cent., that of maintenance of bridges, signals, and other works of the kind 5 per cent., and the repair of stations and buildings I*J per cent. Take again the analysis of locomotive expenses, which in the whole enter for 26J per cent, of the annual expenditure, it will appear that 21 per cent, is for running expenses (fuel, oil, labour, &c.) and 5£ per cent, for repairs and renewals of the locomotives. The next subdivision of the same return refers wholly to repairs and renewals of waggons and carriages, and these make 5J per cent, of the total. We have then in all 22£ per cent, of tha annual expenditure devoted to renewals and-repairs of rolling stock of permanent way, bridges, culverts, and buildings,,in addition to the 23$ per cent, already stated for the daily operations in keeping up the gauge and levels of the permanent way. * I will not say that extra charges may not arise from time to time for entire renewals of Bleepers or rails on sections of the system, but these will not, I think, come npon us on a scale to make U3 anxious. Our total mileage is now considerable. The lines have been opened at very different dates. The wear and tear due to traffic must be so various on different sections, that this class of charges will arise gradually, .will become almost as regular as other parts of the cost of maintenance, and should be \fully met by the increased traffic to which we confidently: look forward. Thirty-six miles of sleepers were replaced during the period just ended, upon a working length of 1200 miles, that is to say, 3 per cent, of the sleepers were ■; renewed.. The nominal average may....be .about 10 per cent., good timber being employed.. Four miles and a-half of rails have been replaced at about J per cent, of the total length. The average renewals will probably reach 5 per cent, when all "the system has been some years at • work. I exclude sidings : and stations on which old rails serve after rejection from the rnnning line. The charges that may be anticipated for renewal of our ■ timber bridges are a less calculable matter, but they need _not cause any anxiety. Bridges of the kind erected in Europe thirty years ago are still in existence on some railways, and it. appears unlikely, from our local experience, that well, conatrueted bridges of colonial timber carefully attended to from month to month will become unserviceable in less that 20 to 30 years from the date of their erection. As to ./liJiiAM .ii •:

-the-second doubt Thave mentioned,"whether" maintenance-may'."not Ipcrhap'i have been' sometimes charged,.to construction, it will, I think, be sufficient to remind the committee ' that the 'construction and the working of tho lines are now entrusted to'absolutely,independent department, each properly,solicitbus for its own, character-' for,' economy/ (and I may • assure the -..-.committee" that < each as a matter 1 .- 1 of facti jealously resists the attempt' to charge on it any expenditure that may more fairly be charged to the account of the other.' While it may bo possible to effect still further economjy in working ; expenses, the t main hope for j improvement in the nett return.from our railways must consist in ■an augmented traffic, which the lines, with their present appearances, are capable of carrying with-but little increase of cost. . -: \ THE TARIFF. V I ['. A gradual revision of the/present tariff, with a view to the encouragement of traffic by diminished charges, and the progressive adoption of that tariff to the circumstances of the several parts of the system, is receiving constant consideration by the Government. * . . ROADS —1880-81.' . i

Following the order sketched, I now turn to the subject of roads begun or'completed during the period 1880-81. These have been under the charge of two departments—that of Public Works, and that of Crown Lands. The division, has been in somo cases rather one of convenience than of proper classification. Some of ■ the .works carried on by the engineers of . the Public "Worlsf ,will give access to Crown lands not yet opened, whilst some of those of which the surveyors of-the Crown Lands Department haye'eharge, are of political value. I think that there is. no sufficient reason for altering the present arrangement, if due care be taken, to avoid overlapping estimates, and want.'of,,proper* co-operation. Much progress has been made with the road works, but comparatively few have arrived at completion. Of tho road works, under the vote of £66,650. for. roads, etc., North of Auckland, part have been carried on by the several County Councils of the , district under agreement as to the objects which the several grants were to be expended. A portion of the vote has been applied to the construction of a main road between Auckland and Mangonui, and is being expended on this work, under tho superintendence of the chief surveyor, Auckland, Mr. Percy Smith. The works done on the road have made it fit for wheeled traffic, as far' as Weilsford, a distance of 55J miles, and tliey include three bridges of considerable size. On the next two sections contracts are in progress. In tho neighbourhood , of Whaligaroa and Mangonui works are also in progress, and between Mangonui and Awanui contracts are completed, or in progress oyer about 18 miles. These when fiuished, will make a road between the last-named places fit for wheeled traffic. * On the whole distance from North Shore to Awanui, about 40 miles of new road will, on completion of the contracts now on hand, have been formed, a portion of which ; has been metalled. Arolia Drainage : In Wai : kato and Thames, the most important works are the Aroha drainage, in which considerable progress has been made. About SJ miles of drains remain to be done. Whatawhata Bridge : The bridge across the Waipa at Whatawhata, on the Hamilton-Raglan road, in length 520 feet, was opened in April last. Te ilore Bridge: The Te Rore Bridge across the same river, 2§ miles below Alexandra, providing communication between Kawhia and the Waikato and Auckland railway is under contract, and progressing satisfactorily. Mountain and coast roads (Taranaki): On the Taranaki promontory, the road at the back of Mount Egmont has been metalled for a distance of nearly eighteen miles. The formation of the coast road, or that leading through the Waingohgoro Plains and the Parihaka block to Stoney River, has been completed during the year. It is now practicable for wheeledvehicles throughout its entire length, and for more than half that lengthy is already gazetted. The committee are aware that, in addition to facilitating settlement in a very promising district, this work is one of special political importance. It has been carried out to a large extent by means of the Armed Constabulary force.

HARBOUR WORKS. The great works authorised under ithis head being almost all under the direction of local Boards, the only important expenditure that comes within the scope of the present statement is for the improvement of the river at Greymouth. These operations are being carried out on the plans of Sir John Coode, are progressing satisfactorily, and have already had a beneficial effect on the channel. LIGHTHOUSES. Cape Egmont: The lighthouse removed from Mana Island has been re-erected at Cape Egmont, and was put in action on the Ist of August. I: may fairly congratulate the committee on the completion of a work that has been long urgently required, but which, for political reasons, it would have been imprudent to undertake at an earlier date. COAL FIELDS. The operations of the Department of Public Works affecting this important industry have been limited to the construction of the railway lines already referred to under another head, and to the adoption of New Zealand coal as fuel in their working. The Inspectors of the mines, "with a view to the security of the miners, are actively enforcing the needful precautions, and in making suggestions for more systematic working. Thoroughly effective and economical mining can only be expected when the,development of the mines has advanced, so far as to attract capital, and abundant technical experience of the first order from Europe. In the meantime the progress is encouraging. From the long list of mines, most of them very small, which is attached to the report npon the control and inspection of mines, I extract a few facts regarding the most important. The largest output of coal during the year 1880, it will be observed, is from the Kawakawa mine, Bay of Islands, which produces a "glance c0a1,".-largely used by the Union Steamship Company. The Kawakawa mine, opened 16 years, yielded 54,865 tons; Kamo (Whangarei), opened 4 years, 6382 tons; Taupiri (Waikato), opened 5 years, 14,817 tons; Waikato (Waikato), opened 4 years, 15,849 tons; Waitangaro (Buller), opened 5 years, 880 tons; Banbury (Buller),-opened 2 years, 3892 tons; Brunner (Grey), . opened 16 years, 32,505 tons; Coalpit Heath (Grey), opened 4 years, 14,330 tons; Springfield (Malvern), opened 4 years, 7060 tons; Holmbush (Malvern), opened' 8 years, 7873 tons"; Prince Alfred (Otago), opened 2 years, 1089 tons 1 ; Prince Alfred No. 2 (Otago), opened 2 years, 2030 tons ; Shag PointJ(Otago), opened 18 years, 36,066 tons; Walton Park (Otago), opened 10 years, 19,370 tons ; Abbot's Roy'd (Otago), opened 5 years, 8216 tons; Kaitangata (Otago), opened 5 years,-15,830 tons; Kaitangata, No. 1- (Otago), opened 3 years, 10,799 tons.;. The total output of the'coal mines of the colony is 300,000 tons for the year 1880, showing an increase of 68,700 tons - on the yield of 1879, and of 137,700 tons on that : of. .1878. ; Asl; have already stated. New Zealand coal ; is now exclusively/used: on New Zealand A list of accidents during the year is given among the reports already quoted," causing death in two cases and injury to ' persons iri twenty. The majority are from fails of coal •or roof and other causes, all but • inseparable

from labour " Connected with, machinery." Two accidents arose from explosions of. gas. [The/hon M gentleman then gave details with respect to" water-races on the West Coast goldfieldi.]' . ! ; . TF.LEOIiAI'HS. ' : ; ) >.;t The telegraph system' of this ; colony, is already so far advanced that blit little in the way of addition *.ha 3 been found necessary during the past year....... Between ; Stoney River and Opunalce tho gap which has existed for several years has at last been filled.up.; The greater part of the work was performed by members of the Armed Constabulary force.* The total length of this addition to the line is 28 miles. , From Motueka to Colfirigwood a line has been conducted '48' miles in length,. with an ■ intermediate office; 'at Takaka. Thi3 line is worked by the'Edisori ■bell telephone.' From Port Chalmers to Seacliffe, a line carrying two wires has; been erected from the Railway Department. This line is the first in New Zealand on which, old iron rails' are used' as poles,' and in point .of cheapness and stability is a great success.The line "was erected at a cost of £16 16s 8d" per mile. The removal of the difficulties which so long interfered with the opening of the Komata, in the Valley of the Thames, will enable the Thames-Waikato telegraph to be shifted 'to.a line on which the maintenance will bo much more economical than in the very difficult country through which it is now carried. i ' PUBLIC JICTLDIKGS. . -,- In tho North Island the principal buildings which have been completed during the financial year are the new Supreme Court and offices, and the new Police Station in Wellington. A' considerable, number of police stations have been erected in various part 3 of the country, and four new post and telegraph offices. Extensive alterations and additions have been made to the lunatic asylums 'at Auckland and Wellington, and to the gaols at Wellington and Gisborne.' In the Middle Island about 40 buildings have been* in course of erection, or been altered or repaired during the year. REDUCTION IN PUBLIC WORKS, A considerable reduction has been effected during the last fifteen mouths in: the staff of the Public Works Department throughout the colony, the number of officials dispensed with being 95, the aggregate of whose salaries amounted to £21,664 annually. Owing to the extent of country over which operations of this department have to be carried on, the staff is still numerous, but during the current year further reductions may be found practicable. PROPOSALS FOR TJIE CCRREXT PERIOD. My hon. friend the Colonial Treasurer was able to place before the House a very gratifying statement of the condition, and prospects of the ordinary finances of the colony. The improvement he was able to announce will in due time have its effect in the resources at our disposal for the prosecution of public works. With regard to the loan' expenditure, however, we have now reached the period when the operation of the pledges on the subject of further borrowing, which were required of us in 1879, are to be practically felt, and oar expenditure on public works must be less than it has been for some time past. The balance remaining of the public works funds on the 31st March was £1,560,373, of this sum £645,793 is absorbed by the expenditure between Ist April and 30th June, and by liabilities, irrespective of native land purchases outstanding, of the latter date. There remains, therefore, but £1,214,550 available for additional public works, and for engagements in respect of native land purchases. For this, latter pur- ■ pose £57,6'-3 will be required during the current year, and £100,000 should be reserved for further liabilities. When hon. members call to mind that the payments out of; the public works fund during the nine months of 1579-S0 amounted to £1,750,350, and during 18S0-S1 to £1,055,351, and when they are aware . that of . the : expenditure we can now afford, a considerable share must be devoted to the completion of works already in hand, and to the further equipment of railways already being worked, they will not be surprised to learn that we are compelled to disappoint some reasonable expectations, and to postpone forthc present some important undertakings, the value of which is admitted. I trust, however, that this limitation of direct Government expenditure will to a considerable extent be compensated for by the operation of companies which will avail themselves of the facilities we propose to them for the construction of railways by the system of land grants. ' Our proposed expenditure will in the course of a day or Wo be laid before the House in detail in the Public Works estimates. As already stated a large part of most of the votes asked is required in respect of works or contracts for works entered upon under previous authority. It will also be found that a considerable proportion of the expenditure of the year will be devoted to roads and bridges. This is partly with a view to facilitate the settlement on Crown lands, and partly to render justice to those portions of the colony which have benefitted but little by railway expenditure.

RAILWAYS.' I now come to the proposed railway works. 1. Kaipara-Waikato—Auckland to Helensville: It is proposed to finish the equipment and minor works still necessary on the Kaipara line,, of which the last section has just been opened. The vote asked will cover all expenditure that is at present necessary between Auckland and Helensville. 2. Waikato-Thames : This vote will cover the cost of the bridge over the Waikato at Hamilton, and continue the line for a great part of the distance towards the Thames at Te Aroha. It also provides for construction of the Thames portion 6f the line a3 far as Kopu. 3. Hamilton to Cambridge: Upon this branch, 13 miles in length, it is proposed to break ground. The country is easy, and the line will be much below the average in cost. It will demand little additional plant, and possesses considerable political as well as commercial importance. [Mr. Hall then referred to the proposed expenditure on Napier-Wellington, Welling-ton-Foxton, Foxton-New Plymouth, and several lines in the South Island.]

Of the total proposed expenditure on railways I may inform hon. members that a considerable amount (about £436,000) is to cover outlay during the first quarter of the current year, and liabilities on the 30th of June last. There remains onlyabout£sSo,Sos for further expenditure on railways during the remaining nine months of the period, 1881-82. It must not be supposed, however, that the expenditure of the last financial j year was in excess of the votes for the year. * 'Those votes amounted to £1j572,000. The expenditure brought to book on the . 31st March (covering the liabilities 1 coming over from the previous year, 1879-So).amounted to £960,065,'. and this sum, together with the expenditure of the : ; ] last March-June " quarter and the outstanding liabilities, on 20th June* last amounted to about .£1,495,906, or £166,094 within our last year's authority after an expenditure of' five quarters, and provision for all claims existing at the end of that time. The aggre-: gate of the votes now voted amounts to a' large sum, but the House may depend upon their being carefully' husbanded, with due regard to the period over which their expenditure should-be spread; I have "already said that negotiations have been opened .with the promoters of companies: for carrying out the lines from - Wellington to Foxton, and , from Canterbury to Wcttland,, and ■that one part -of the proposals; is a' grant

of "Crown lands by way of subsidy. .Tho | Goyernment are i form* of• land grant..wffjild induce, capitalists "toundertake useful'works'of thiscbaracter,, which the " condition" of tho Public Wprkfl'. :funds, and of-; the revenue and the: pledges of, the jcolorryi.; preclude' the Legislature,, from ' . proceeding- with, at, *~ ,;A}though with. . regard to.tlie Otag9, Central .lines no. definite proposals 1 have'yet reached the 'Gpyerriment, I'dd'n&t'dMit' that' so'favourable tiinity for the 1 exerciie 1 of; private enterprise will be taken ad vantage of. ' If appears also, • far froWimprobable that the Continuation'of, the lino North of Auckland, which has already, ■been partly surveyed, may-at:no distant date; 'be undertaken on similar" 1 conditions.; With' .this view»l.shall bring down*; a; Biltanthbrisi ing such grants within limit -to : be laid down, and.under'arrangements to be subject to theapproval "of Parliament. This mode of engaging private capital iri. the' .development and. colonisation' of .the' country, /the com-, niittee is 'well aware, ig no rioveltyi " It has been employed ; on the :largest scale ini the United States* and-Canada,: and.'also in Queensland, and with; good :results. The method of dividing the territory abutting On the proposed line 3. in .alternate blocks of moderate area. for grants to the -and 1 for retention'by: the, State' removes all possibility of the lands being occupied advantageously in very; large .areas, a danger' which in , any case would -not,; be . serious; ' since .the peopling, of the adjoining;lands- is the most obvious. mode .of making the railway enterprise profitable. - T

" ROADS." ' ■ I continue to bring all bur proposals under this' head into one view, whatever - department may'be charged with .their execution. But there is a distinction between our'other suggestions and" those" for , roads "to. open Crown . lands. The full account for i the "roads of -.this, class,, viz., £150,000,. .will be shown, in thev estimates, • but it is * proposed to': extend ' the • construction over three years,' and not to expend more than £50,000 during the current year. The total vote asked for •on roads and ' bridges, including expenditure in the March-June quarter, arid all liabilities to the 30 th June, "amounts to about £260,000.' .As in the case of the railSvay proposals, the Estimates .'will . show, the, sums proposed to be spent in each provincial . district. Beginning with the most northerly, and taking them in geographical order, it is proposed to run a road through the fertile region extending from Kawakawa to Okaihau and Victoria Valley, and to continue tho line recently opened between Victoria Valley and Herd's Point, into . Kaihu,. Wairoa, both by the'coastal line via Mangonui, Bluff, and the inland line over the Waioku plateau, in the counties of Mongo--nui, Whangarei,:Roclney, and Waitemata.' Blocks at present inaccessible will be opened by cross roads run on from the main line. In this manner more than 800 mile3'of new road will penetrate the Crown lands lying north of Aucklaud, which comprise an area of 1,200,000 acres. ; Passing south of. Auckland to the Waikato basin we have two roads penetrating the Awaroa survey district, from a point on tho railway system, and a line to open the Huihuitaha block. In the Thames District a very necessary road has at leHgth been obtained through the Komato block, and is now under construction. When fiuished it will be a summer coach road from the Thames through Te Aroha, Hamilton, and Whatawhata to Raglan. It is of importance' to complete the drainage of the Te Aroha block and to continue to improve the coastal main line of road from Tauranga to Opotiki and East Cape, and also .to follow up the construction of the important line from Cambridge to Rotorua, which, when available for wheeled traffic, will complete a coach road from Wellington to Auckland. Another important section is between Cambridge and Taupo, which will form part of a future main line from Waikato to, Hawke's Bay. Sums varying in amount will be asked for these works, as also to improve a set of roads in the Bay of Plenty branching inland from the coastal main road. These are from Matata (Richmond) to Te Teko, and from IVhakatane to To Teko and its continuation to Galatea on the edge of the Kaibgaroa plains. The importance 'of opening the extensive East Coast district has received much consideration. The road line from Opotiki."to Gisborne has been under construction during the past year. It is very desirable to complete it, and so establish communication between the Bay of Plenty and Poverty Bay. Branching from this road an inland line has been explored and surveyed to the valley of Waiapu. Another road, to connect Gisborne with the Waimata blocks, and that from Gisborne to Wairoa with branches to Crown lands, require forming, so as to afford the opportunity of settling a country which for the present may be said to be hermetically sealed from settlement. [Mr. Hall then explained, the. intentions., of the Government with respect to roads in Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Taranaki, and the South Island.]

. . LIGHTHOUSES. The resent melancholy .loss of life in Foreaux Straits has brought home to us the urgent necessity which exists for an additional light in this locality. Instructions have been given to have the neighbourhood of Waipapa and Slope Points carefully examined for the purpose of determining the precise site which should be adopted, and a vote is proposed for the erection of the lighthouse, ard steps will at once be taken to procure a suitable light. The light and apparatus which has for some time been in store at Auckland, for erection on one of the islands as a guide to the entrance of the Hauraki Gulf, will now be utilized for the object for which it was procured. Small sums will also be asked for the erection of leading lights already in store at the entrance of Tory Channel; and for placing a substantial beacon in the French Pass. IMMIGRATION. Operations under this head have been almost suspended during the past year. : The state of the labour market is not a'l such that we should be justified in attemptingto renew a large assisted immigration. Believing, however, as we 'do, that a considerable addition to the population .of New Zealand is as necessary for the development of its resources as. to the prosperity of" those who are now settled within its borders. We look forward to being able at no distant date to' again afford facilities for the introduction .of suitable immigrants, but at present circumstances do not permit us ,to do .'more , than; .to assist ~ a number of persons who have been to some degree surprised by the suspension of subsidised immigration, to extend this assistance to a very'limited! number of single women and of nominated immigrants, who are anxious to join their relations in tho colonyi • ---- '".'.* .;; ' CONCLUSION." .' ''*■'.

■ There are indications of a great and early, change in the prospects of New Zealand, and especially. ol_the districts—signs that one long-standing obstacle to their, progress is about to disappear. There are few parts of this favoured: .land of which we may rationally-hope, not to say' calculate, that , their , special 'advantages. l, of climate or soil, accessibility, ; mineral t or other wealth, will not ■ in due time make: them : populous ,' and prosperous. ; • It is the interest; of .all. ,to ,6peri, 'every,':part of the land to enterprise • and . industry, and in asking authority - to •: -make' the expenditure out ' of . the , Works, fund •. necessary - for /. the works to - be undertaken we hope inthe' early, future, we are asking the Legielature to act in a' hearty, optional' spirit,"fto'-rMOiyeV'that'T the |waste

spaces shallbe developed, that a yet wider for'.oui:'children and for ' a multitude_o£ our.countrymen and race.ipunsurpassed*for : ,climate, and :soil , and. for,the of its resources. I'v After^'the of, the",' Public Works 'Statement,>the;'.debate l was!resumed'on: the motion for Supply. Sir G. Grey-said that : they'had' not Been; the Public - Works" or - the report ( of ■ the Civil Service'Commißsioiiere,'' and he:had called for returns necessary' to. elucidate the finance',of: : the.,colony. ;.. In these circumstances, he, asked that the estimates should be gone on with slowly, so as to"enable'these: various matters to be supplied. , '•' • , ;Mr. Hall said that by following the course proposed, the time would be most "unnecessarily wasted. J ' ' ■: ! : .. :; Mr. Jones moved the adjournment of the ,:uebate. ; Sir. G. .Geey.; said the. intention was to push the estimates through by sheer fatigue at untimely hours of ithe morning, and then without further ceremony to send, them about their business.. Savings of upwards of £40,000 could be made, and it was but fair they should be allowed time to think the matter over. The, time need not be wasted, as the important measures'on. hand could be' gone on with. ' Mr. Jones withdrew the motion for ad- . ournment. ' ' .- . Mr. Moss and Mr. Thomson supported the amendment, the latter stating that if the Legislature met in any other tow* than Wellington, where a properly conducted newspaper existed, they could do away with Hansard, £5400. Afte^further.discussion,.the question that the House go into Committee of Supply was put. The House_diyided.„ Ayes, 40 ; noes,' 36. The House went into Committee of Supply. Class 2 : Colonial Secretary, Government Statist Department, £7109. Mr. Saunders proposed to reduce the item Government Statist £550 to £400. He complained that the information supplied was invariably behind hand, and was otherwise rendered useless when it came to hand. The amendment .was negatived, and the item agreed to, The vote as printed passed. Geological and meteorological, £3403 10s. Mr. • proposed a reduction by £800. The House divided : Ayes, 17 ; noes, 30. Mr. Andrews proposed the reduction of the vote by £450. Negatived, and the , vote as . printed passed. \ Agent-General, £3315 17s 6d. Mr. Siieeiian complained that a letter from the late Agent-General had been suppressed, and that most improperly. Mr, Ball explained that the letter in question was a most improper one, and contained offensive and untrue statements. It was of no practical importance, and was returned to the writer. When the letter was written, Sir J. ."Vogel had ceased to be an officer of the Government. Mr. Gisborne complained that while the letter was suppressed, the fact of the letter having been written was communicated to the newspapers. Mr. Hall denied that any information had been given to the Press. Mr. Siieeiian agreed that Government in the matter had acted improperly. It might have contained a serious charge against Government, and it might have been of service ,to the colony in exposing improper practices. Ho would ask Government to lay on the table a copy of the letter written to Sir J. Vogel returning the letter. The votes as printed were earned. Charitable, £30,796, pasied. Lunatic asylums, £35,289, passed. reported, and the House adjourned at 1.15. LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. Tuesday. The Council met at 2.30.

St. Paul's Presbyterian Church Trustees Incorporation Bill was read a second time. The report and evidence of the Civil Service Returns Inquiry Committee was ordered to be printed. The Public Domains Bill was read a third time. The Real Property Limitation Bill was read a second time, after a short debato by 19 to 11. The remainder of the afternoon sitting was spent in committee on the Licensing Bill, and at 5 p.m. the Council adjourned till 7.30. The Council resumed at 7.30. ' The committal of the Licensing Bill being continued, numerous amendments were made in the club clauses, and at 10.30, the Bill was reported with amendments, and ordered for third reading on Thursday. The Bill to be then recommitted. Mr. Wilson gave notice of a number of clauses re clubs. The Council then rose. ,

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New Zealand Herald, New Zealand Herald, Volume XVIII, Issue 6157, 10 August 1881

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6,948

THE PUBLIC WORKS STATEMENT. New Zealand Herald, Volume XVIII, Issue 6157, 10 August 1881

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