The battle for the Rai (1898)

Lynne Lochhead[1]

New Zealand in the 1890s saw growing support for conservation and scenery preservation, manifested among other ways in the formation of scenery preservation societies. The Dunedin and Suburban Reserves Conservation Society was established in 1888 to improve and preserve the natural attractions of that city. Other societies followed between 1891 and 1899 in Taranaki, Nelson, Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland and Birkenhead. While the role of the Taranaki Scenery Preservation Society is often recalled in relation to the creation of Egmont National Park (1900), much less attention has been given to the Nelson society’s promotion, in 1898, of a part of Marlborough land district as the place for another such park. What follows is a description and analysis of the roles taken by the Nelson Scenery Preservation Society, their supporters and detractors, in the battle for the Rai.

The Ronga and Opouri Valleys lie to the north-east of State Highway 6 between Nelson and Blenheim at Rai Valley. The valley floors are now cleared and farmed, with the exception of one very small riverside reserve. Bush remains on the higher elevations of the surrounding ranges, which now form the northern extension of Mt Richmond Forest Park. In 1898, there were no roads through the area and the land was still fully clothed in bush, having been set aside as a forest reserve in 1886.

The event which spurred the Nelson Scenery Preservation Society into action over the Ronga and Opouri Valleys was the presentation of a petition to Parliament in 1897 by W. T. Erskine and others asking the Government to purchase a bush tramway belonging to sawmillers Brownlee and Co., and urging that the two valleys be opened up to sawmilling and settlement.[2] The Erskine petition was presented too late in the parliamentary session of 1897 to be heard that year so it was held over to the following year, finally being set down for hearing on 19 July 1898. This delay gave the Nelson Society time to organise a counter-petition which was heard together with the original petition.

On 22 February 1898 the Society convened a special meeting to discuss the protection of the two valleys.[3] It was concerned at the rapid diminution of bush in the region with the steady advance of settlement and as a result of fires, some deliberate, others accidental. Much of the bush which formerly abounded in the Rai Valley had been reduced to a blackened ruin by recent fires which had swept through it, though some side valleys had escaped unscathed. The area the Society sought to have protected was amongst those valleys which had remained untouched by virtue of their location. It was situated in a river basin which could only be approached by the opening through which the Rai River found an outlet, providing a natural immunity from fire which was further enhanced by the frequency with which the area was subjected to flooding and by the density of its forest cover. However, if sawmillers were let into any part of this compact block, the immunity from fire which was at the time provided by its location, would be quickly lost.

The Society accepted that ‘clearing of the bush was necessary to profitable settlement’, but at the same time it believed that ‘it was only proper that some portions of the forests should be preserved in their native state, so that the fauna and natural scenery of the country should not be entirely sacrificed’. It acknowledged that it would be unreasonable to ask the Government to reserve all the valleys in the district which still remained intact, but if a portion of these were reserved much of the primeval beauty of the bush could be retained ‘without unduly interfering with the claims of settlement’. In the Society’s opinion, the whole of the watersheds of the Ronga and Opouri Rivers, an area of approximately 10-12 thousand acres, were ideally suited as a national reserve for future generations. The area sought constituted only a small part of the Rai Valley itself and the neighbouring Pelorus and Wakamarina Valleys still remained available for settlement.

There were a number of reasons to favour preservation of these particular valleys, not least of them being the relative freedom they enjoyed from risk of fire. The fact that the area had already been set aside as a forest reserve was another important consideration, and the reasons which had justified its reservation in 1886 had not changed since. The Society provided three other major arguments favouring the perpetuation of the reserve. First, it was an important breeding and feeding site for native fauna. Species which were now rare in the vicinity of Nelson – tui, pigeons, kaka – abounded in the area, which if preserved on the scale proposed by the Society, would provide a safe and permanent home for the remaining fauna of the district. The Government had shown its interest in protecting native fauna by removing species to island reserves such as Kapiti, but in the present case, the Society argued, ‘they could be preserved in their natural home where they would fare better’. Second, the area possessed the advantage of ready accessibility to bush as magnificent as any in the country. It was situated just off the main road between Nelson and Blenheim, approximately equidistant from the two centres of population, a route that ‘a large number of travellers now patronised’. When the railway went through in the future it would pass close by. The area was also readily accessible from sea at nearby Croisilles Harbour. Third, little would be gained and much lost if it were opened for settlement, for of the 10-12 thousand acres, only 600-1000 acres was flat land. This would support few families and because of the density of the bush to be cleared and stumped, it would take many years to make a home there. The Society’s president, C. Y. Fell, must surely have been conscious of irony when he claimed that if the valleys were ‘subjected to the usual ravages of milling and fire, nothing but a howling wilderness would be the result’. This was a reversal of the traditional depiction of primeval forests as ‘howling wilderness’, but it summarised well the general feeling of the meeting.

A leading article in the issue of the Nelson Evening Mail which reported the meeting, supported the Society’s stance, stating that revocation of the reserve would be a ‘spendthrift act, robbery of our children and theirs’.[4] The writer saw no evidence of any special desire to select for settlements in the valley and concluded that the agitation for revocation was entirely on behalf of the millers. Its value as timber would quadruple with time and its continued protection would have no impact upon the livelihood of millers other than to force them a little further afield. The Society, he argued, was not asking for extreme conservation at the expense of industry and settlement but for the reservation of what was a typical example of New Zealand forest in an accessible but at the same time risk-free location. In his view, its preservation was a matter not just of local interest but of national concern. Leading articles in other newspapers supported the campaign as well.

The only newspaper to oppose the reserve was the Pelorus Guardian which asked, with the well worn rhetoric of settlement versus protection, ‘what is to become of the young men of the district waiting to get a few acres of land to make new homes for themselves and their children? ’ Protection would be bought at the cost of ‘curbing … a number of hardworking and thrifty men and their families out of employment simply for the gratification of a few people with ample means who wish to spend a few days roving through the bush in an aimless way, shooting a few birds[5] In response, the leader writer for the Nelson Evening Mail claimed, he would normally ignore a paper of such limited influence, the mouthpiece of its owner, C. H. Mills, member of the House of Representatives for Wairau and member of the Marlborough Land Board. He could not, however, ignore deliberate misstatements intended ‘to stir up class feeling by pretending the Nelson Scenery Preservation Society and its supporters were actuated by the desire to preserve forests as shooting grounds for the wealthy’.[6] The Guardian, he charged, must have known that the aim was a sanctuary where no shooting would be allowed and it had also exaggerated the extent of the flat land proposed to be reserved and its impact upon local millers. It was important to correct such misinformation which might influence people who were unfamiliar with the circumstance.

The sub-committee appointed to draw up the Society’s petition acted quickly. In essence, the petition asked that a reasonable portion of the lands lying midway between Nelson and Blenheim ‘be permanently set apart and for ever reserved as a national park for the preservation of the Native Bush and Fauna and for the recreation and enjoyment of the People of New Zealand and visitors from other countries.’[7] The intention that the reservation should be a permanent one was very clearly expressed here, with the words ‘for ever’ emphasised in italics.

The petition was remarkable in containing no reference at all to utilitarian grounds for preservation. The land was described as subject to flooding, notwithstanding its natural forest cover, but this point was made in order to demonstrate that it was not as well suited for settlement as some other areas. No issue was made of the potential downstream impact of flooding once the forest cover was removed. At least one person present at the meeting, a Mr. Kingsley, appeared uncomfortable that no concession had been made to utilitarian concerns. He argued that ‘two important points, quite apart from mere sentiment, had been overlooked’. There were, he said, ‘cogent climatic reasons’ for preservation and experience had shown that on some of the flats subject to flooding, once timber was removed the overflowing silt spread hard clay which rendered cultivation impossible. Fell’s response was that ‘it did not matter whether the land was good or bad. His contention was that they wanted the forests reserved on behalf of future generations’.

The meeting adopted a very methodical approach to collecting signatures for the petition. Nelson was apportioned into areas with pairs of volunteers assigned to canvass for signatures on a door to door basis. On the advice of John Graham, M.H.R., it was decided not to seek signatures beyond the two provincial districts immediately concerned. The strategy adopted was successful, for when the petition was presented a few months later it had been signed by 3,984 people. [8]

The petition for revocation of the forest reserve and the Society’s counter-petition were heard before the Waste Lands Committee in Wellington between 19 July and 16 August 1898.[9] They opened with evidence from Mills, in his capacity as member of the Marlborough Land Board, on behalf of those who desired to have the forest reserve revoked and the land made available for milling and settlement. The position taken by opponents of the reserve was that the Land Board and the people of the district had no objection to the creation of a national park in Marlborough but there were other portions of Crown land within the region which were more scenic and equally suitable for the preservation of flora and fauna and would not have the disadvantage of adversely affecting the timber industry. In fact, Mills maintained, the area in question had suffered from the ravages of roaming cattle over the course of twenty-five years, destroying nearly all the undergrowth and was therefore no good for flora and fauna. He pointed out that the Land Board had already set aside twenty-five reserves, eight of these in the Pelorus district, and that it was prepared to meet national park petitioners by allowing them to choose other land where the flora and fauna were intact.

Representatives of the Society adhered to their contention that the Ronga and Opouri Valleys were best suited for the purpose they had in view by reason of the quality of their timber, the abundance of fauna, their security from fire and their accessibility. The presence of other reserves in both Nelson and Marlborough was admitted, but it is clear that the Society felt justified in its assertion that no reserves had been made for public recreation or for posterity because these existing reserves failed, in its opinion, to meet the necessary criteria of quality, accessibility and adequate size. In contrast to the blocks of 50, 100, and in one case 2,000 acres which the Land Board had reserved, the Society sought the permanent reservation of 18,600 acres.

While Percy Adams addressed the issues of size and quality, Fell emphasised the inaccessibility of the existing reserves. He maintained that to meet the needs of a national park the reserve must be near a major road. Reserves in the Sounds, he conceded, were accessible in the sense that they could be reached by boat but they were very out of the way. The inevitable question concerning the suitability of land in the Nelson land district to meet the Society’s objective was fielded by Henry Baigent, who was himself involved in the timber industry. His response was that he knew of no large portion of bush which could compare in the slightest degree with the valleys in question.

The fundamental thrust of the Society’s case lay in the quality of the forest. Though accessibility and security from fire were key points in favour of the proposed location they were subsidiary in the sense that these advantages had no significance unless occurring in conjunction with a forest that was worthy of preservation. John Graham, appearing first for the park supporters, made the point most clearly. Their object was to preserve ‘for all time, an example of the best description of New Zealand forest that exists in the colony’. He was satisfied that the area met this criterion admirably. The bush was dense and diversified ‘containing matai, rimu, miro, rata, birch and all other kinds of fine timber’. He claimed never to have seen superior forest in his extensive travels up and down the country. He felt it was only fair to point out that although the land they sought to have declared a national park was but a small portion of the existing forest reserve (18, 600 acres out of 40,000), it did contain five-sixths of the merchantable timber.

The decision to stake the claim for preservation on the desire to preserve ‘a perfect specimen of the forestry of New Zealand as far a quality goes, and as a resting place for the flora and fauna of the colony’ rather than on scenic value was unusual but proved a strength rather than a weakness. It was a point the opposition never fully grasped. Ironically, in pressing home the assertion that the area did not conform to the conventional ideal of the picturesque, opponents of the park found themselves admitting precisely the argument the Society wished to make, that the area’s claim to distinction was the quality and grandeur of its forest. For example, C. W. Adams of the Land Board, having dismissed the scenic value of the area, conceded upon questioning that though other areas might be as good for scenery they were not as valuable for timber; in fact, there was just ‘one unique peculiarity about it, you can see grand forest scenery’. But unlike the Society, which believed ‘the more valuable the reserve the greater the reason why we should wish it retained for our children’s children’, Adams was convinced that no government would or should consent to lock up such a valuable asset. Like the majority of his contemporaries, he was not opposed to scenery preservation so long as it involved no sacrifice of merchantable timber or of land suited to settlement.

Time and again the opponents of the national park found themselves in the unenviable position of being forced to corroborate the Society’s claims in order to vindicate their own position. Unless the milling lobby could mount a convincing argument that there was a shortage of timber in the area requiring immediate exploitation of the block in question, then at the very least, all the evidence they could bring to bear on the question of the quality of the timber provided as strong an argument in favour of maintaining the status quo of a timber reserve, if not the declaration of a national park.

The timber quality argument could not be turned to such good effect against the petition requesting that the land be opened for settlement, which provided a more formidable obstacle for the Society to overcome. It could not deny that whatever the hardship of converting such heavily timbered land to farmland, the proposed national park included an area of fertile flatland in a province, which in all fairness, could not be said to possess an over-abundance of such land. There was no opportunity to fall back on the arguments frequently available to the Taranaki Society, that the land in question was only second rate sheep country or that there were strong water and soil conservation reasons in favour of retaining the bush cover.

The strongest argument in the Society’s favour was that the bush would furnish but a poor living for the present generation on account of its density. Unexpected confirmation of this claim came from the opposition. Mr. Erskine of the Havelock Town Board, in the course of evidence that milling was an essential prerequisite to settlement stated: ‘I positively assure you there is not a settler between the Pelorus Bridge and the Rai Saddle – – and some have been there for twenty-five years – – that is making a living …. In this heavy country, even when the mill has been through, you cannot get much more than three-fourths of it cleared. If it is a 100 acre section you cannot reckon on more than 75 acres of that in grass, for the first eight or nine years at all events.’

Both the pro-park and anti-park lobbies attempted to influence the outcome of the hearing by continuing the debate in the newspapers. Just prior to the presentation of evidence by the deputation from the Society, Gresley Lukin, the editor of the Evening Post, took up battle against ‘the reckless, blind, and unthinking utilitarianism that has resulted in the destruction of what in the aggregate is an immense area of valuable forest timber throughout the country without any adequate reward’, urging the Waste Lands Committee to heed the petition before it and set aside a permanent national reserve.[10]

This drew forth a response from Mills, who attempted to devalue the petition by pointing out that many of the 4000 who had signed it came from as far afield as Westport and Collingwood and were therefore unlikely to have any local knowledge of the block of land or of the impact their action would have on the local timber industry. By implication, these 4000 signatures could not be compared with the 1300 signatures of those seeking to have the block opened, all local residents, many of whom had been requesting the Government for years to open the land for settlement.[11]

Prompted in part by this very public exchange between Lukin and Mills, which was also reported in Nelson, the Society re-entered the fray with a lengthy open letter from Percy Adams to the Waste Lands Committee, Ministers and Members of Parliament, published in the Nelson Evening Mail on 19 August. It set out lucidly the reasons why the Society believed the area should be reserved. Clearer emphasis was given to the fact that alternative areas were available in the region for settlement and for the timber industry. It was stressed more explicitly that the forest contained all the major fruit-bearing trees necessary for birds. A stronger point was made of climatic influence with the statement that ‘the experiences of India and Australia point to the absolute necessity of large reserves to regulate climate for pastoral purposes and that in view of past destruction conservation was an absolute necessity’.[12] This was an additional argument in favour of the need for large reserves from that adduced earlier by Stephenson Percy Smith in Taranaki. The further new point was made that the forests were not only typical of those of the region but were the haunt of rare flora. Previously, the Society had stressed only the existence of rare fauna.

The decision of the Waste Lands Committee was reported at the beginning of September. It recommended that the Government should not purchase the tramway and that it should carefully consider the best means of conserving the valuable forest lands in the valleys of the Rai, Ronga, and Opouri.[13] Though not a clear-cut victory for the park lobby, it gave them grounds for optimism. However, the editor of the Nelson Evening Mail cautioned that in spite of the favourable report, the danger was not past. The Committee’s decision prompted opponents of the park, led by Mills, to organise ‘an indignation meeting’ at Havelock.[14] Hearing of this, the Society responded with a meeting of its own on the same night, intended as a ‘counterblast’ to the one being held at Havelock.

The sequence of events after this date is obscure. Apart from a rather ominous editorial in the Nelson Evening Mail on 26 September 1898, there is no other mention of the matter. The editorial claimed that Mills had succeeded in obtaining the support of the Minister of Lands, John McKenzie who had taken up the deer park propaganda. This appears to be a reference to a question put to McKenzie by Mills in the House of Representatives on 22 September, asking whether the Minister considered it desirable ‘to set aside 20,000 acres of valuable forest land for a national deer-park and a sanctuary for birds’, adding that such a move would be ‘suicidal to the interests of the whole district’.[15]

In response, McKenzie had indicated that he intended to consider very carefully the matter of making reserves for deer-parks and as sanctuaries for birds and though not opposed to the idea of a deer-park in principle, he believed that in order to be successful it would have to be removed far away from settlers.

Mills willful misrepresentation of the national park proposal as a deer-park had clearly worked its mischief. The concept of the park, it seemed, was now inextricably bound up with the idea of deer hunting and a suggestion of elitism in the Minister’s mind, notwithstanding that supporters of the park concept had explicitly disavowed any desire to create a hunting preserve. The first time the suggestion was raised they had made it abundantly clear that they desired a park where no shooting of any kind would be allowed. Mills had skilfully worked upon the prejudices of McKenzie, a well known champion of the small holder, whose strong convictions that New Zealand should be a country for small farmers had derived from first-hand experiences in his youth of the impact of the Highland enclosures on tenant farmers. Such a man was unlikely to show much sympathy for a wealthy elite who desired shooting grounds at the expense of needy and hard-working settlers.

The editor of the Evening Mail was evidently no admirer of McKenzie, whom he variously described as ‘a Ministerial calamity, a kind of Indian God that must be constantly appeased’ and ‘a spoilt child of New Zealand politics’ against whom Parliament and the public were powerless to contend. He foresaw that the decision of the Committee would be ‘futile against the desires of the Minister.’[16] Whatever the basis for this unflattering view of the McKenzie’s character, it does not seem to have been justified by events in relation to the proposed park. There is no record of any decision by the Minister on the issue and the bush was still intact at the time of his death in August 1901.

The bush was apparently still standing in 1903 when a report was written on the preservation of flora and fauna in the Marlborough land district by C. W. Adams, who was still Commissioner of Crown Lands.[17] He described the bush of the Rai Valley, including its two branches, the valleys of the Ronga and Opouri Rivers, as ‘the most valuable forest we have in Marlborough for timbers purposes’. However, the report gave a fairly clear indication of the inevitable fate of the area. Speaking of the agitation for the Rai watershed as a national park, he acknowledged that it was admirably adapted for the purpose but went on to add: ‘I fear that the commercial value of the timber is too great to allow of it being set aside as a scenic reserve.’ This view was the same as he held at the time of the Waste Lands Committee hearing. He then proceeded to describe the Pelorus watershed above its junction with the Rai as a suitable alternative, ‘which from a scenic point of view, is perhaps superior to the Rai Valley, although the timber is not nearly so valuable’. It would adjoin existing and proposed climatic and scenic reserves to embrace a total area of something like three hundred square miles. His implication was clear enough. The Pelorus was a suitable alternative precisely because it contained less valuable timber.

The precise date when milling began in the area remains to be established but there is sufficient evidence to indicate that it was under way within a couple of years of Adams’ report. A 1905 Report on the Timber Industry in New Zealand records two sawmills that might have been working in the area, the Rai Valley Mill and another with the suggestive name of the Ronga Sawmill, both described as working the Rai Valley.[18] In 1906 John Craig and Daniel Reece gained milling rights to 800 acres of the Upper Opouri, described as magnificent timber, ‘probably the best ever grown in New Zealand’.[19] Milling in the Opouri was well under way by 1911. A further report on the timber industry in that year is clear as to its fate. It refers to the ‘Opouri Valley, now being divested of timber’.[20]

Though the Society came to the very brink of success, in the final analysis, it was not able to overcome the stronger forces of utilitarianism. The response from New Zealand politicians was no different to that made by their counterparts in the United States. Although the United States had led the way with the national parks idea, boundaries were drawn as carefully there as they were in New Zealand to ensure that only ‘worthless’ land was included. The campaign to create Sequoia National Park to protect the giant sequoias was successful because they were of little value to the lumber industry on account of the brittleness of their timber and the inaccessibility of their location. On the other hand, American conservationists, in their campaigns to protect the sequoia’s close relative, the much more valuable coastal redwood, faced difficulties comparable to those encountered by their New Zealand counterparts who sought to protect the rimu forests of the Rai or the kauri forests of Northland.

But the Nelson Society’s campaign was not an unqualified failure. Even though the bush was lost in the end, it had achieved a moral victory. It had proven that it could mobilise public opinion and carry through a sustained battle. Moreover, it had convinced the Waste Lands Committee of the justice of its cause. In reaching this point, it had demonstrated a growing strength of public feeling in favour of scenery preservation, and by its actions, had forcefully drawn the attention of Parliament to this fact. The publicity given to the cause of scenery preservation by this campaign must surely have played a hitherto unrecognised role in the subsequent passing of the Scenery Preservation Act.

The battle for the Rai was important for its clear articulation of a number of conservation issues which would come to be accepted and promoted by increasing numbers of nature lovers with the passing of time. First, that it was necessary to have reserves which reflected the very best examples of New Zealand’s flora and fauna, even if that entailed sacrifice of land suited for milling or settlement. Second, that it was wiser to preserve forests in which birds were abundant at present than to be forced in future years to remove the remnant to some other and possibly unsuitable place. Third, that though the protection of scenically attractive sites was a good and sufficient reason to set aside a reserve these would not necessarily represent ideal habitat for wildlife or outstanding examples of flora. Fourth, that if birds were to be protected in their existing habitats, small, scattered remnants would not suffice. Fifth, that though upland forests might be scenically attractive and important for water and soil conservation values, it was the rich lowland forests which were of prime importance as a source of food for birds and that these needed to be of a reasonable size to maintain viable populations. Sixth, that it was not sufficient to confine national parks to remote corners which on account of their very inaccessibility were under no immediate pressure for settlement or milling.

The Taranaki Society had also made a case for protecting birds in their existing breeding grounds and the issue of accessibility had been an important aspect of its campaign to have Egmont declared a national park, but the arguments had never before been put so clearly and so forthrightly. The view that sanctuaries should be created where birds were found would not be articulated with greater clarity until Dr R. Fulton made the same point at a meeting of the Otago Institute in 1907.[21] In the meantime, the focus of the scientific society’s efforts continued to be directed almost exclusively to the protection of off-shore islands. The scenery preservation movement was as much a movement to protect flora and fauna as to protect scenery, as the Taranaki Society in particular had shown clearly. But even for the Taranaki Society, the protection of flora and fauna had tended to be subsumed under the general expression of scenery preservation in the majority of its campaigns. The importance of protecting the flora and fauna was stressed throughout the campaign for the Rai while the issue of scenery preservation was explicitly downplayed. The deliberate shift in emphasis brought about by the Nelson Scenery Preservation Society during the battle for the Rai, marked a significant development in the movement but it also highlighted the problem. With its desire to protect ‘an example of the best description of New Zealand forest that exists’, the Society was also groping towards an expression of the need to protect examples of forest types, but it lacked the ecological perspective Leonard Cockayne would bring to bear on this issue.

Though the force of the Society’s arguments made little impression in the short term, its efforts were not without immediate results, for the Marlborough Land Board was prompted into setting aside alternative reserves that it might not have done otherwise. Apart from the large areas of upland now forming part of the Mt Richmond Forest Park, the most significant of these was the Pelorus Bridge Reserve.[22]

If there was a major weakness in the Society’s campaign, it lay in the failure to present scientific evidence concerning the value of the forest of the sort which Cockayne would provide for Dean’s Bush, Kennedy’s Bush and for extensions to Tongariro National Park, and that he and later William McGregor provided in the protracted battles to save Waipoua Forest. However it is doubtful whether such evidence would have had any impact upon the final outcome. The campaign would probably have been lost no matter how the battle was waged because the time was not yet ripe for setting aside such a large area which competed with potentially high quality farming land.

The battle for the Rai demonstrated that New Zealand politicians were not yet prepared to protect scenery or flora and fauna except where material interests would not suffer.

[1]Dr Lynne Lochhead is an independent researcher. She lives in Christchurch.

[2]Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, 1898, I -5B.

[3]Nelson Evening Mail, 23 February 1898.

[4]Nelson Evening Mail, 23 February 1898.

[5]Pelorus Guardian, 1 March 1898, reported in Nelson Evening Mail, 3 March 1898.

[6]Nelson Evening Mail, 3 March 1898.

[7]Nelson Evening Mail, 1 March 1898.

[8]Nelson Evening Mail, 23 July 1898.

[9]Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, 1898, I-5B.

[10]Evening Post, 1 August 1898.

[11]Evening Mail, 10 August 1898.

[12]Nelson Evening Mail, 19 August 1898.

[13]Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, 1898, I-5B, p. 1.

[14]Nelson Evening Mail, 6 September 1898.

[15]New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 104, 1898, pp. 294-5.

[16]Nelson Evening Mail, 26 September 1898.

[17]Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, 1903, C13-B, pp. 15-16.

[18]Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, 1905, C-6.

[19]P 30 in John Orchard, ‘A short history of sawmilling in the Nydia Bay Area’, Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, 2(1), pp: 29-33, 1987.

[20]Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, 1911, C-1, Appendix III.

[21]R. Fulton, ‘The disappearance of the New Zealand birds’, Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, Vol 40 (1907), pp: 485-500.

[22]Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, 1903, C13-B, pp. 16-17.