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CHRISTCHURCH DRAINAGE BOARD.

Tho first mooting of fcho Board was hold afc the Oity Oounoil Chambers yesterday. Prosent—His Worship fcho Mayor, Messis H, J. Tanorcd, H. J. Hall, A. Dunoan, T. D. Jones, E. a. Wright, J. V. Boas, and B. J. S. Harman.

Tho Mayor said ho supposed ifc devolved upon him to open tho business of tho mooting, Bfo had convened it under the powers vested in him by olauso 22 of fche Drainago Aofc, and hoped fcho timo was convenient; fco the members of tho Board. He bed found ifc impossible to airango a meeting la it week that would suit the convenience of all. Tho flrsfc business tho Board had to consider was fcho eleotion of a Chairman, and hoprosumodifc was his duty fco preside until that wm dono. Mr Wright said he would movo—" That Mr Tailored be appointed Chairman of tho Board." Ho thought Mr Tancred's experience in fche Provinoial Oounoil, and for somo years as a Mombor of fcho General Assembly, thoroughly flttod him fco discharge the duties of Ohairman, to whioh ho would also bo ablo fco dovofco a largo amount of fcimo. Ifc mighfc bo thought that the Mayor should bo olooted os Chairman, bufc a largo portion of his Worship's fcimo was takon up with fcho affairs of fcho Oifcy, and he (Mr Wright) thought ifc would be better under those oiroumstancos fchafc Mr Tancred should bo requested to aofc. Mr Harman said he had groafc pleasure in seconding the motion. Although he roprosentod tho Oifcy, ho did nofc feel called upon to look after the interests of fche City alono. There had boon some talk outsido aboufc tho Cifcy Having aprepondoranoo of interest, bufc'bo bolioved fcho spirit; whioh would aofcuato all mombors of fcho Board was a oonsidoration for tho interests Of the Drainago Disfcriofc as a whole, and not for any partioular seotion of ifc. He had thoroforo great pleasure in sooonding fcho proposal to appoint an outsider as Chairman.

Mr Hall said ho would movo, as an amondmont—" Thafc fcho Mayor of Ohristohuroh (Mr F. Hobbs) be elected Chairman of tho Board." No ono had a greater rospoofc for Mr Tanorod, both personally and for his ability as a publio man, fchan ho (Mr Hall), bufc fchoy musfc reoplloot tbat Mr Hobbs had taken a very prominonfc parfc in fche Drainage question from flrsfc fco lest. No ono bad been moro earnest in ifc than Mr Hobbs. No one had taken the same aofcive part in promoting tho formation ot the Board, and had ifc nofc been for Mr Hobbs, ho (Mr Hall) believod the Drainage Bill would havo faHon through completely. This being the oaso, he would like to see Mr Hobbs olootod Chairman for fche flrsfc year, so fchafc ho mighfc bave tho opportunity of endeavouring to carry into effect fcho sohomo ho had initiated, and taken suoh a firm stand upon. In moving tho amondmonfc, ho (Mr Hall) did nofc wish fcho Board to fchink he intonded ifc as a prcoedonfc for fcho eleotion of fcho Mayor in future years, bufc ho did fchink undor fcho oiroumsfcanocs he had mentioned, Mr Hobbs should be eleofced for 1876.

Mr Dunoan said that, as ono of tho outsido members, he had muoh pleasuro in seconding fche amendment, nofc fchafc he failed fco see fcho advantages fchafc would result from Mr TanoredY influence and ability, but beoauso it was due fco the Mayor for fche aofcive parfc ho had takon in fcho mattor fchafc ho should, bo olectod ai first Chairman of fcho Board. Then again Mr Tancred was nofc so accessible as fcho Mayor from fcho faofc (hafc ho did nofc rosido in town, and this, for a time, would bo of greafc importance. The election of fcho Mayor in fchis instance should nofc bo hold as aprooedenfc,for he (Mr Duncan) would decidedly be against fcho Mayor of Ohristohuroh boing appointod Ohairman year by year. Afc present, however, he thought thoro woro oiroumsfcanoos whioh should weigh wifch fcho Board in asking fcho Mayor to oooepfc the appointmont of Chairman, and ho had muoh pleasuro in seconding tho amondmonfc.

Mr Jonos said ho thought fche feeling of (ho City Council was thafc thoy would like to see tho Mayor elootcd Chairman of fcho Board, as there wero so many matters oonneotod wifch tho Oounoil and tho Board that would have fco be dealt with during the firsts year. Tho Mayor said fchafc, personally, he would liko to aeo Mr Tancred, Mr Wright, or Mr Harman elected. He thought all of fchom woro more able to fill fcho position of Chairman, bufc in viow of the opposition fchafc had beon raisod against fclio establishment; of fcho Board mainly on fcho ground thafc the City had nofc a prodominanoo of mombors, he would consent; fco bo nominated. He did so purely on publio grounds, in order thafc tho City -should havo a majority, but at tho same time ho intonded to work for fche good of fcho District as a wholo. If oleoted, ho would take care to attend fcho meetings of fcho Board, and fco disohargo fcho dutioa of fche offlco to fcho besfc of his ability. Mr Tancred said ho had no wish to ocoupy fcho ohair, and though quito prepared to aocepfc offloe if he was oleoted, he thought as fcho majority of mombess wero in favour of electing tho Mayor, his (Mr Tancred's) name had bettor be withdrawn. Ho would, howovor, leave himself in fcho bands of fcho meeting. After somo Conversation, Mr Wright; withdrew his motion, and Mr Hall's rosolution was then pufc and agreed to. Tho Mayor said hp had to thank tho members or tho Board for electing him fco fche oflloo of Ohairman, ond could only say fchat ho would disohargo fcho dutioa pertaining to it fco tho best of his ability. The Chairman said in order fco faoilifcato business ho had requested fcho Town Olork to write to fche Government, asking what was (heir intontion with respoofc to the £1500 votod by fcho Provinoial Oounoil for drainago purposes in fche Ohristohuroh District, and fcho following reply had beon roooived s — Provinoial Soorotary's Oflloo, Jon. 4, 1876. Sir,— l havo tho honour to acknowledge tho reooipt ot your lottor of tho 30th ult., in whioh by direction of his Worship the Mayor you ask tho Govornmont to favour him wifch thoir intentions with rospoot to the disposal of tho grant of £18C0 mado by fcho lasfc Counoil for drainago purposes, and in roply to inform you that tho sum remaining in hand about £HOO, out of tho voto of tho Provincial Counoil, for procuring a good onginooring sohomo for Chrlstohuroh and suburbs, wfll ho plaood in tho hands of tho Board for tho purposo of obtaining tho host sohomo procurable in suoh mannor ob may bo agreed on botwpon tho Board and the Govornmont. , , I havo tho honour, tec.. Vt. M, Maskbm.. Provinoial Soorotary. P.S.—Tho Govornmont will bo glad to ooufor with tho Board at any timo which may bo convoniont for tho purposo of arranging this mattor. Tho aotion of tho Mayor was approvod. Mr Duncan askod the Mayor if ho would allow tho Town Olerk to koep tho ainufces of fcho Board until suoh timo as somothing was dono aboufc a seoretary. Tho Ohairman said ho had already mado arrangomonts in tho mattor. The action of tho Chairman was approvod.

Tho Chairman asked if tho Board would tako any notion on the letter from "tho Govornmont.

Mr Harman said ho oonsidorod ifc would bb proniafcu.ro for fchom fco dp so- a* be; for ono, oould nofc agree to aooopfc fclio voto if ifc was to bo an undorstonding fchafc every aofc of fcho Board had to bo approvod by fcho TCxeoufcivo. If, however, ifc was simply a question of fcho Govornmont; endorsing fcho aotion of tho Board in this partioular matter, he would r\afc raiso any objootion. >■.-.■ Tho Chairman explained fchafc ifc was merely a matter of form, and oould only rofor fco this parfcioular Vote. Mr Dunoan said fchafc ho thought; ifc advisable to go through fcho formal businoss flrst, -arid' he. would, therefore, move— "That; the lettor from tho Government bo deferred."

Tho motion was agreed fco Tho Chairman said fcho flrsfc business would bo to arrango for fche appointmont of a soorotary, and fix fcho. times and plaoo of meetings. With roforonco to fcho lafctor, ho mighfc Bay, on behalf of tho Oifcy Oounoil, that ho would bo happy to plaoo fcho Counoil Chamber at fcho disposal of fcho Board for fcho prosonfc. Mr Harman asked whether ifc would nofc bo necessary fco havo on indopondonfc ofllco for fche Board.

Mr Jones askod whon fcho Rosidont Magistrate's Courfc would bo afc disposal. Tho Chairman said tho Posfc Oflloo would nofc be available until af bor tho new publio buildings woro erooted, whioh mighfc be two or throo yoars henoo. After, somo disoussion, Mr Wright moved— •• That tho Board moot at 10 a.m, evory Tuosday afc fcho Oifcy Counoil Chambers." Ho said ho thought fchis would bo fche most oonvouiont iimo, and ifc would, of courso, bo nocossary to mako • somo arrangoment for paying fcho Cifcy Counoil a small ronfc, so long as fcho Board mado uso of tho Council Ohambor.

Mr Dunoan sooondod tho motion, whioh Was agreed to.

Tho appointment of a secretary was next considered.

Mr Harman said ho thought it would bo hotter to mako somo tomporary arrangomonts for the present, as fcho Board would bo muoh moro ablo fco proporly deflno fcho duties of a seoretary aftor fchoy had boon afc work for a short timo.

Tho Chairman said ho would make arrangomonts for fche work boing dono temporarily. Tho mattor was loffc in fcho hands of tho Chairman.

Tho Chairman said with rogard to tho appointmont of officials thoro would bo an enormous amount of work fco do, and ono of the flrsfc questions to bo considered wo. whofcher thp Board would havo a valuer of their own, or would aooepfc tho valuations of the oifcy, and various Boad Boards in fcho Disfcriofc.

Mr Wright said it would bo muoh better for tho Board to havo fchoir own valuer, as (he valuations in some of fcho Distriots had nofc boon fairly dono, Tho Chairman remarked fchafc Standing Orders would be required for fcho Board, and laid a oopy of fchoso adopted by tho City Counoil on tho table.

Mr Duncan thought ifc would bo bosfc to appoint a Committee fco consider tho subjoot, and report at tho nexfc mooting of the Board. He would thoroforo movo-—" That the Mayor and Mr Tanored bo appointed fco proparo a set; of Standing Ordors for fcho uso of fche Board."

Tho motion was sooondod and agreed to. Tho Ohairman askod whether tho Board would prooeed fco fcho appointment; of Committees.

Mr HaU thought thafc ono Committee would bo sufficient.

Tho Ohairman said, in fcho City Counoil thero was a Works Committoo of throo mombora, and a Finance Committoo of a liko number. Now ifc would bo romomborod fchafc an understanding was arrivod afc by tho Conference, thafc fcho preliminary oxponsos oonnootcd with tho establishment of tho Board should bo dofrayod by tho Cifcy Counoil and Boad Boards, who had taken parfc iv tho matter, bufc ifc might be doomed advisablo fco considor whether fcho oxpondituro should nofc bo defrayed out of fcho funds of tho Board, and fchis was a mattor on whioh a Finanoo Oommiltoo, if appointed, oould bo asked to roporfc. Messrs Garriok and Cowlishaw's aooounfc for preparing fcho Drainago Bill had been sonfc in, ana amounted to £119. Tho general opinion was that ifc bo premature fco appoint; Committees yet, and fche matter was accordingly doferrod.

Tho Lyttelton Times was appointod tho oflioial paper of tho Board for tho first six months.

Tho Ohairman said ho did nofc know how soon fcho Board oould look aftor fcho drainago of fche wholo District;, bufc there was ono portion— Waltham and Philipstown — which ho thought should bo attended fo as early as possiblo. Tho inconvenience and sufforing brought; upon residents in this part of tho District by tho last two floods had boon vory groafc, and as fcho Board would nofc havo time to take permanent measures, it was fco bo hoped something tomporary would be done fco prevent a roourrenco of pasfc ovils whon fche wet; season oamo round again. Thoro wore two ways in whioh this could bo dono, cither by fcho appointment) of an engineer fco report on what oould be dono for temporarily draining fcho locality, or by taking up fcho prosonfc Waltham drain, and having ifc proSorly oonstruotod to oarry off water. This rain was ono of fcho flrsfc fcho Board would havo to turn their attontion to, and ho bolioved thafc in its prosonfc nfcato fcho drain was of no use whatovor. He thought tho sooner thoy got a professional opinion upon ifc fcho bettor ifc would bo. [Mr Tancred : "Tho Heathcote and Spreydon Drainage Board havo somo reports on the drain."] Ho did nofc know whofchor Mr Wright could givo any opinion in tho mattor.

Mr Wright thought ifc would bo bottor fco dofor it until an engmeor was appointed fco tho Board. Tho Board would not bo justified in spending money without; having first obtained propor onginooring advioo. Thoro wero three oouraos opon to tho Board for doing this. They might advertise in the Colonios for an engineer or send to an ongineor of high standing in England and ask him to send ono out for them, or fco plaoo fchomselvos in thp' hands of fcho Engineer-in-Chief for fche Colony. Ho had oonsidored tho mattor very oaref ully for somo timo, and had come to tho oonolueioii thafc tho latter courso would bo tho bosfc for fcho Board fco adopt. Thoro oould bo no doubfc fchat Mr Carruthers wao a vory ablo man, and ho had oxprcßsod his willingness to tako fcho drainago of Ohristohuroh in hand, subjoot, of oourso, to tho approval of the Gonoral Government. The Board mighfc cor tainly sond to England for an enginoor, and got 01:0 with higb testimonials," bufc on arrival in tbo Colony fchey might; find fchafc ho was not suitablo. Mr Carruthors bad bad groafc oxporionoo in irrlga-

tion works, and it musfc be remembered that ho had fche whole bf the engineering staff in fcho Colony, moro or less, under his control. If fcho matter were placed in his hands, his flrsfc step would be to appoint an offioer whom he oould roly upon to tako the levels, and then, after ' considering them, he would be able t > lay before the Board a sobeme for the drainage of tho whole Distriot. He (Mr Wright) thought thafc would be fche best plan to adopt, hut he would prefer that tbe matter should be adjourned until next meeting for the consideration of members, and moved a resolution to that effeot.

Mr Herman seoonded tne motion. He thought it very desirable that the matter should be adjourned for consideration so tbat the Board would bo able to approach it in a manner whioh its importance deserved. Mv Hall said no doubt Mr CarrutheTS was a vory able man, but he thought the appointmont of onginoer to the Board should bo open to publio competition. In the meantime he quito agreed with fcho proposal to adjourn the whole question until next meeting. Tho motion was pufc and agreed to. On the motion of Mr Dunoan, Messrs Garriok and Cowlishaw were appointed solicitors to the Board.

Mr Hall moved— "That the Bank' '.; Australasia be appointed bankers to the Board." He thought ifc was a great mistake for the publio to give suoh a large monopoly to one Bank. Ho considered thafc if the aooounts of publio bodies were distributed more among the various Banks it would be very muoh hotter. The Bank of ' ustralasia had a flrsfc- class standing, both in 'he Australian Colonies and the London market, and he thought it would do anything in a proper manner that the Board might require. Mr Tanored seoonded the motion.

Mr Jones moved, es an amendment — "That fche Bank of New Zealand be appointed tbe bank of the Board." He said fcho position of fche bank was unimpeachable, and it would bo able fco do any business for fche Board, moro especially in plaoing debentures in tho markot on the most favourable torms.

Mr Ross sooondod the amendment. Tho Chairman Baid he would support the amendmont, booauso of the experience he bad gained in the' City Counoil. The Bank of Now Zoaland had acted in a very liberal mannor towards that body, both in allowing overdrafts and in assisting the Counoil to float the Drainage Debentures. By the influence the bank had with the New Zealand Insuranoe Company, it bad induoed the latter to tako up over £21,000 worth of Drainage Debentures at par, whereas tbe Counoil had previously advertised without receiving any tenders for tbem, and the market value certainly could not at that time have been much above 90. Ho also supported fche amendment beoauso he believed in looal institutions. Mr Duncan said ho oonsidored one Bank as good as another. The Board would not have muoh money to lie idle ; but they might want overdrafts, and be, therefore, thought thoy should adjourn the matter until tbey ascertained which Bank would be likely to treat fchem fcho bosfc in fchis respeot. After some further conversation, tbe amendment was pufc, when four voted for and four against. Tho Chairman said he would give. bis easting vote in favour of the amendment for appointing fche Bank of New Zealand to be the Bankers of fche Board. Mr Jones said ib was provided by the Act thafc £18,000 should be paid over to the City Counoil as purohaso money for tbe main outfall drain, and he supposed fchis would be one of the first things the Board would attend to after they had obtained funds. The £18,000 would bo entirely expended by tbe Cifcy in streofc drainage works, and he would suggest fchat the earliest opportunity should bo takon for oonsidoring fche advisability of raising money on debentures. It was deoided fchafc tho Board ehould meet evory Tuosday at 10 a.m. Tho Board then adjourned.

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Bibliographic details

CHRISTCHURCH DRAINAGE BOARD., Star, Issue 2429, 5 January 1876

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3,062

CHRISTCHURCH DRAINAGE BOARD. Star, Issue 2429, 5 January 1876

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