THE "OTAGO WITNESS." Saturday, April sth, 1851.
It is gratifying to observe the spirit the settlers are now evincing in matters so nearly concerning their interest and well-being. It shews an onward progress, which we trust no jealousy or petty interests will disturb. As will be seen from our columns, two meetings have been held since our last publication on matters of importance to the colony. At the meeting held on Friday week, in reference to the beach-road to Port Chalmers. Mr. Wakefield read the report of the Sub-Committee appointed at previous meeting to discover if such a line of road was practicable ; it having been frequently asserted that no such road could be formed. The Report, which is drawn up in a masterly manner, speaks for itself; — a good road in the line indicated appears to be, not only practicable, but of easy construction, and at no very great expense. By means of certain deviations from the sinuous line of the beach, the distance from Port Chalmers to the North point of Pelichet Bay is shortened to about 541 chains, or 6f miles. The expense of construction in a superior manner is calculated to cost, on an average, £500 per mile for the whole distance, — no great sum after all, when we consider the importance of the work, it being the first connecting link of road in the settlement. We are assured, however, on very good authorit} 7 , that the work could be done for a much less sum. We should think there could only be one opinion regarding the utility of such a road. The present ' pet bridle path ' over a steep mountain, and by a circuitous route, we consider perfectly useless as a means of conveyance or transit ; and in bad weather it is totally unfit for pedestrians, or even for those mounted on horseback, as many, whose necessities call them to and from the port, can testify. The present road is even inefficient for driving cattle along. Mr. Charles Sidey, the largest importer of stock into this colony, assured the writer of this article, that he would willingly give £50 each trip he made, towards such a road as the one now
contemplated. Stating, as his reason, that he could make it up out of the losses he regularly sustains on the present road.
We have heard it stated that roads into the interior are of far more importance ; and that the time for constructing such a road is premature ; and that a steamer on the waters of the harbour would answer all purposes. This, Jatter is for the Sub-Committee to solve : our impression, however, is, that .the steamer would cost as much as. the road. It is not the first cost alone, but subsequent outlay that must be looked into : — the keeping up and repairs ; "building jettys, buoying the harbour, and so on. With regard to roads into the country districts, we are of opinion that the sooner these are formed the better ; if it be not soon done, much confusion, and, probably, litigation, may arise, in consequence of the alterations and deviations that will be necessary to. be made from the original, in carrying out. neve lines of, roads. The present is a good opportunity to urge upon Government to assist us in our endeavours to open up a communication all over the Otago block, by roads, bridges, and other appliances ; being assured, that the country only requires to be made attractive to settlers by such means; and that it would soon repay the amount laid out, from the land-sales alone.
. Hitherto the settlers have had no control over the expenditure of the fund for civil uses ; nor do they know at this moment what has been laid out on roads and bridges, and what on surveys. &c. It is to be hoped the settlers in future, now that the New Zealand Company's trust is at. an end, will have the management of this fund in their own hands. Money expended by them would be more economically and advantageously applied for all road-making purposes. We would suggest for the management of this fund a * Road Trust,' similar to those existing in Scotland j. and where are better roads to be found than those under the management of such Trusts ?
We re-print this week from the ' New Zealand Journal' of the 1 2th Jan., 1850, part of a * Report on Colonial Surveying,' by Felix Wakefield, Esq. That gentleman was educated on the Ordnance Survey of England : in 1831 he emigrated to Van Diemen's Land, and remained there as a colonist until within the last two or three years. During a considerable part of his sojourn in Tasmania, he was employed in the Government Survey of that colony. He therefore combines long colonial experience with a perfect knowledge of his profession. The system of surveying so successfully carried out by Capt. Thomas at Canterbury was the result of instructions drawn out by Mr. Wakefield. But our principal reason for presenting extracts from this important document to our readers is, that the principles therein recommended for the encouragement of pastoral husbandry, as well as the details by which he pro. poses to apply those principles to the waste lands of the whole Southern Province of New Zealand, appear well worthy of attentive consideration, now that the subject of a modification of the pasturage regulations of this settlement is awakening great interest among our landowners and stockholders.
Mr. Kettle returned a few days ago from a second expedition which he has made for the purpose of exploring the country lying to the westward of the Otago block ; and we hope to be able to publish in our next number a report which he has promised to furnish us with.
A communication from Mr. Kettle on the subject of the Port Chalmers road will appear in our next number ; it came in too late for insertion in full. We would remind correspondents to send in their communications on as early a day as possible, so as to ensure insertion.
On Thursday last we had the gratification of hfling present at Mr. Valpy's
Harvest Home, at the Forbury, when a large party assembled to do justice to the hospitality and good cheer provided by the worthy host. A large tent was erected on a sheltered part of the grounds for the occasion ; and under the canopy two of the beautiful ferntrees so peculiar to New Zealand, spread their graceful foliage over the happy company. After thanks returned by our esteemed clergyman to the bountiful giver of all good, Mr. Valpy rose and addressed the party in a neat and appropriate speech. He said — I have great pleasure, my good friends, in greeting you with a hearty welcome to another Harvest Home at the Forbury. The abundant produce this year, while in one or two of the other settlements we hear there has been a partial failure of the crops, demands our gratitude to God who has crowned our efforts with success. Had it been otherwise in this early stage of agricultural engagement, how many of us would | have been disheartened ! But we have cause to rejoice and be thankful that it is not so; and I think we may now all be convinced of the capabilities of the soil, and the advantage of the climate;, and what maybe effected by diligence and zeal, we have a good example in my bailiffj Mr. Howden. Let us then, my friends, take courage. Let us all unite in a spirited endeavour to grapple with any little difficulties and disappointments we may meet with in the way ; and surely at this early stage of our colonial career we must expect to encounter some difficulties. Let us one and all endeavour to raise our own supplies, and render ourselves independent of foreign markets ; and then I think it will not be presumption to anticipate that, in a few years, this beautiful settlement will be placed at least on a par with the most flourishing colonies. But let us not forget that the battle is not to the strong, nor the race to the swift ; — that we must ever look to • the Lord of the Harvest ' who hath hitherto helped us, and who, we may trust, will continue to help us. Mr. Valpy again rose and proposed the health of our gracious Sovereign the Queen. Drunk with great applause. Rer. Mr. Burns said the toast he was about to propose the company, would, no doubt, anticipate, and readily appreciate. It was the health of Mr. Valpv. He did not wish to say beforeMr. Valpy what he could moie readily do were he absent. His kindly disposition and urbanity, and the good he had done to the settlement, all were aware of. Drunk with three times three, Mr, Valpy then proposed the health of his bailiff, Mr. Howden. His stalkvard would testify to the excellent manner in which he managed his farming operations. Mr. Howden, in returning thanks, said he wished all to take an example by Mr. Valpy. They could not do better than go and do likewise. Mr. M'Glashan proposed the health of Mrs. Valpy. Received with great applause, with three cheers for the youn? ladies. After which the party broke up, and dividing into parties, visited the fields and gardens ; others the new dwelling house in course of erection, by Mr. D. Calder, for the worthy proprietor; the beautiful stone of winch it is being built eliciting the admiration of all. Another party betook themselves to the Ocean Beach, and amused themselves in the interval betwixt dinner and tea ■with leaping, racing, and other manly exercises. After tea was served, Capt. Cargill addressed the party in some appropriate remarks j and again wished Mr. Valpy long life and much happiness. The [ company then broke up, delighted with the entertainments of the day. Much has been said in the other settlements about the ill-feeling existing among the settlers. We would, how1 ever, point to this as an illustration, and ! ask if more cordial harmony, or a kindf Her and happy feeling could exist, than [ appeared among the large assemblage ' of all classes on this day ?
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Otago Witness, Otago Witness, Issue 5, 5 April 1851
THE "OTAGO WITNESS." Saturday, April sth, 1851. Otago Witness, Issue 5, 5 April 1851
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