Cabinet 14

Rambles in New Zealand.

Bound in with William Swainson’s Observations on the Climate of New Zealand (1840) is John Carne Bidwell’s Rambles in New Zealand (1841), the end result of a botanical trek into the interior of the North Island in 1839. Exeter-born Bidwill was the first Pakeha to climb Tongariro and was perhaps the first tourist in New Zealand. He was an excellent salesman. Over 680 copies were purchased by his home-town acquaintances, making it now a very scarce work. He died in Australia in 1853, aged 38, suffering from the effects of starvation while marking out a new road near Moreton Bay. Hocken records this fact at the front of his copy but mistakenly gives Bidwell’s year of death as ‘1851’.

John Carne Bidwell, Rambles in New Zealand. London: W. S. Orr & Co., 1841. Vol. 100, no. 1. Hocken Pamphlet Collection.

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Light Country Railways and Street Tramways.

This ‘N.Z. Railways’ volume contains eight pamphlets on provincial rail systems in New Zealand including Otago Central, East and West Coast, and Akaroa, and information on world-wide railway inclines such as the Trincheras incline in Venezuela. Many of the pamphlets have maps and sketches which enhance the technical nature of the text. Although outside his usual field of collecting, Hocken valued them enough to save them, and to railway buffs today, they remain collectible. Opposite the Wellington-produced Light Country Railways and Street Tramways (1878) is the last page of a pamphlet that documents the opinions offered by various Otago agricultural societies and manufacturers on the then railway management. A question arises: did Management listen?

Light Country Railways and Street Tramways. Wellington: Lyon & Blair, 1878. Vol. 74, no. 8. Hocken Pamphlet Collection.

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Federation! Should New Zealand Federate with the Australian Colonies?

The sub-title to J. Kennedy Brown’s article on Federation! is ‘To Which the Answer is an Emphatic Yes!’. Brown, the founder of the New Zealand Stone Company, extolled the virtues of union, and was super-critical of the lack of effort by New Zealand’s representatives, Sir John Hall and William Russell, when they met with Australian delegates in Melbourne in February 1890 to discuss the notion. Later meetings in Hobart and Sydney moved Australia further towards federation (1901); New Zealand was no longer involved. Numerous publications were generated by the Federation question. Fifteen other items are bound in this aptly named ‘Federation’ volume.

J. Kennedy Brown, Federation! Should New Zealand Federate with the Australian Colonies? Wellington: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1897. Vol. 68, no. 15. Hocken Pamphlet Collection.

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