The Taranaki Herald. " Open to All— lnfluenced by None." NEW PLYMOUTH, FEBRUARY 14, 1855.
In our last issue we gave a statement of the Revenues of the Province during the past year, and it would be observed that the whole produce of the land sales, amounting to £3416, has been retained by the General Government. This is a violation of the law as contained in a provision of the Constitution Act ; but then, what is the law to a New Zealand Executive t What excuse can be made* for this dishonest appropiiation of the moneys of the Province is difficult to conceive ; but we have heard it stated that it is retained in payment of a debt due to the land fund for land purchased here, and if this be the case it is directly at variance with the direction contained in the 66th clause of the statute above referred to, which enacts — " After and subject to the payment! to lie made under tlie provisions hereinbefore contained, all the revenue arising from taxes, duties, rates, and imposts levied in virtue of any act of the General Assembly, and from llie disposal of waste lands of the Crown, under any Buch act mails in pursuance of the nuthority herein contained, shall be subject i to he appropriated to such specific purposes as by I any net of the General. Aaicmb'y shall be prescribed in that behalf ; and the surplus of such roveuuo which sb»ll not be appropriated as aforesaid shall be divided among the several Provinces for the time being 1 established in New Zealand under or by viitue of thii net, in the like proportions as the grosi proceeds of the said revenue shall li ive arisen therein respectively, and shall be paid over to the respective treasuries of such Provinces for tho public uiet thereof, and ahull lie subject to the appro, printion of ilia respective Provmciol Councils of such Provinces. ' The Act makes the purchase and sale of land matters of general revenue, and directs that the distribution of the surplus shall be to each Province in proportion to the gros3 amount its sales have produced, to be appropriated by the Provincial Government?. The Government abrogate the law. But eveh supposing that without our consent as j regards quantity, quality, situation or price, the General Government were empowered to spend the revenue of the Province set apart by law for local improvement in the purchase of land, where is the land we are charged with ? Is it open to the public and available for the wants of the settlement ? No. Government has, it is true, bought some thousands of acres of land here, but it has not taken any efficient measures to have it surveyed and thrown open. What it was its bounden duty to do it has neglected, and it would be well if this neglect was all that we have to complain of. But if the Government has taken I no measures to lay open the land for the Settlement, it has done something else; it has managed to give away to the natives a large portion of the available part of it, and I has sold them the rest for a less price than tho Province has to pay for it, leaving the
rfifiiHO, nnd the burthen of the charges of tiiirvey and cutting lines of road to be borno by tho Hettlemmt. The conduct of theGovoMiinr/Jl throughout the whole affair proves that tlio Innil wan really bought to enable ,lt lonntUfy ntitivci in other places who will presently be transmitted to their new poaflCH,iioti!i; nnd the difficulties they have settled ftliicwhcrc are to bo transferred with them iii mlditions to those already entailed on New Plymouth. Government has attained its object, and whether the land remaining to the province out of the purchase it good, or bad, nvailable to the requirements of the settlement or not, am matters they never trouble their heads with, and arc altogether indifferent to. This Sctt'cmcnt has for years past been over peopled with nntives and the endeavour of the Government scf ms to be directed to increasing the difficulty. Certain il is that every new purchase made elsewhere, is so directed, a.<j further to inundate the settled portion of the I'iovince with Maories. They are given land herß, and the province has to pay for it and for the surveying of it, and yet they hold nothing in common with the settlers, and render no obedience to the laws or local regulations by which European inhabitants are bound. And our own settlers are compelled to go farther afield placing a native population between them and the centre of the Province, and to locate themselves where they will be compelled in selfdefence to make roads through distiicts thus dishonestly wrested from them.
The perpetration of an injustice so gross, a spoliation so barefaced, proves most irrefragably that the men at present in power over us, have not the probity, or the will to exercise it, to qualify them to do equal justice in the affairs of the colony, or for the faithful superintendence of the interests of the several provinces of which it consists.
It was to the land fund that the settlement had been taught to look as the source from whence the means of public improvements were to come. From it the land was to be made available for settling on by the making of roarJs ; and an increase of population ensured by an immigration fund, adding strength where most wanted and conferring safety. These were to be its fixed, and are its legitimate appropriation. The illegal act of the Government deprives the settlement of these advantages, and if it is permitted to continue, progress will be thwarted, and improvement brought#to a standstill.
The very act of inducing an accession of native population in the neighbourhood of the settled parts of the Province, wlrilo at the same time transferring its means, and cutting off from it the resources of increase, would alone involve the Government in a grave responsibility ; but when coupled with a perfect knowledge of our present position as regards the surrounding tribes, is little less tnan a wilful compromise of the safety of the settlement, which in the event of mischief it would be found difficult either to justify or answer. It is then nearly time for New Plymouth to throw off its apathy and adopt some measures to put an end to the wanton injuries the Government so systematically and perseveringly endeavour to inflict on its most vital interests. The most temporising, must we should think ere now, have come to the conclusion, that, further application to the present executive would be a mere mockery, and a display of pusillanimity unworthy of the energies which have, despite of the most disheartening difficulties, worked out something like prosperity.
Since the prorogation of the General Assembly, the Auckland satraps have thrown, overboard even the semblance of decency in their treatment of the Province, and in their communications with its local authorities. Their despatches from time to time published show a shameless disregard and contempt of all remonstrance, and a spirit altogether at variance with a true appreciation of their duties. But the General Assembly will shortly meet again ; and there is another power, further off it is true, but all-potent — TheQue<yi and Parliament, from which remedy and redress may be calculated on j and the people will deserve a continuance of the same injurious treatment if they refrain any longer from making their grievances known where alone there is now any hope of remedy.
We have received our files of the Spectator to the 27th ult. by the Overland Mail, but no copy of the Independent. The former paper confirms the reports which have already reached us from Whanganui of the disasters caused by the recent earthquake in the Wellington district.' Amidst the devastation consequent upon this distressing
calamity wo have great reason to be thankful to an all merciful Provinence that only one life has been lost. The following is the account given by our contemporary —
" On Tuesday night the town of Wellington suffered from the calamitous visitation of an Earthquake, as severe mid a* deitructivc In its effects as those which previously occurred in the year 1818. During the day there had been a strong wind from the North West, with heavy showers about one o'clock. Towards Evening the wind fell, and it again commenced mining; the rain ceased nbont seven o'clock and tho weather was Kill and calm. The first shock which was very aevcre and of about two minutes duration, occurred about ten minutes pant nine o'clock p.m.; tnd was followed at intervals of a few minutes with sharp shocks, the earth during tho greater part of iho night having a tremnloiin motion. The shocks appeared to come from the North West. Tho injury which has been occacasiondd lo ilia buildings in the Town was caused by the first shock,— tho others not being of a destructive character, — but thli has been very consid. crnblo, chiefly among buildings of a substantial clans, constructed of bilck ; of thrso tho Bank iiui suffered most, the Gaol has also received d»mnge, the wooden buildings have mostly escaped without injury. In the Country Districts in the neighbourhoorl of Wellington the Earthquake was very severely foil ; in the Him District from the rifling of the water and the action of the Earthquake together the bridge over tho River Hutt has been thrown down so as to interrupt the communication between ihe two banks of the river.
"Thi« visitation has been as sudden and as unexpected ns it ha^ bi'rn disastrous. It is, however, consoling to refit ct that under the mercy of Divine Providence, with one exception, it has been unattended with the loss of human life, as might have been the case if it had occurred during the busy part of the day, or at a later hour when the inliabitnnts had retired to rest The exception to which wo refer is that of Baron Alzdorf, who had some months previously suffered from an appoplectic stroke, from tho effects of which he was slowly recovering. He wa* struck in the bady by portions of the brickwork of tho fireplace of the room in which he was sitting, and died immediately. He was one of the earliest colonists, and was very generally and deservedly held in high regard by his fellow-settlers for his many estimable qualities. During last night (Wednesday) several scvero shocks were felt, but none we believe to occasion any injury."— Spectator, January 24.
" Since our last publication accounts have been received from Wairarapa, and other districts! where it would appear the Earthquake hns been folt as strongly at at Wellington. <kW house at Wairarnpa was thrown down, and four mnories, who were within, were unfortunately killed by the ruins. The road from Wellington to tho Hutt, and up the valley, has been a good deal injured, as has also the coast road near Wainui, by a heavy land slip. Several smart shocks have since occurred at inter* vals during Thursday nnd yesterday, but not to severe at to occasion further damage. In reference to our former account wo may take this opportunity of correcting one or two inaccuracies. The fir.'t shock, which proved so destructive, we arc assured by a careful observer occurred at 17i minutes pact 0 o'clock p.m., and its duration was 50 seconds. It was followed so closely by another that the two shocks by common observers, have been confounded together. The shock is also stated by the same authority to l.aye proceeded from E S.E. towards X N.E., describing an arc of about 40 degrees."— Spectator, Jan, 27-
These accounts are deficient iv detail, no doubt occasioned by the difficulties and disturbance consequent on the calamity. Private letters, however, state that about forty houses (including the Bank, Baron Alsdorf 's hotel, at)d Bethune aud Hunter's warehouses) have been shaken to the ground and that there is scarcely y chimney left standing. The damage is estimated at upwards of £70,000, The consternation of the inhabitants is so great, that many are living in tents about the place fearful to trust themselves within the buildings. The eea rose at the time of the earthquake three feet high in the houses along the beach,. but since then high water has never come within ten feet of low water mark ; while in tho stream where the vessels lie there is a depth of water six feet greater than before.
In the road between Whanganui and Wellington there were cracks eight feet wide, rendering it impassible, and 'in other places where the ground had been quite dry the water was for miles two feet deep. Those who witnessed the convulsion of 1848 consider the present visitation far more severe. In the neighbourhood of Waitotara also, (near Whanganui,) the shock has been severely felt.
We regret to report the destruction by fire of Mr. Titos. Bayly's house on Saturday evening last. The fire originated from a light catching some curtains, and communicating itself with the thatched roof of the house before discovery, the inmates had only time to escape with what they had about them, aud the whole of the property was destroyed.
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The Taranaki Herald. "Open to All—lnfluenced by None." NEW PLYMOUTH, FEBRUARY 14, 1855., Taranaki Herald, Volume III, Issue 133, 14 February 1855
The Taranaki Herald. "Open to All—lnfluenced by None." NEW PLYMOUTH, FEBRUARY 14, 1855. Taranaki Herald, Volume III, Issue 133, 14 February 1855
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