The cook's call to dinner at a forest camp north of
Auckland. Suspended from the trees in the background are
five kauri gum climbers, who use ropes to reach the gum.-
Otago Witness, 4.12.1912. Copies of picture available from
ODT front office, lower Stuart St, or
It will be a matter for some regret if, in the period now
remaining before the date of the poll, the discussion on the
proposal for the amalgamation of St Kilda with the city is not
lifted on to a higher plane than that upon which it has been
conducted up to the present.
The imputation of motives and the indulgence in sneers at
officials may serve a very useful purpose on the platform,
but it would be a poor compliment to the intelligence of the
electors of St. Kilda to suppose that their judgement on the
issue regarding which they will record their vote next week
will be swayed by the use of oratorical tricks of this
The allegation that they will be mulcted in additional rating
if their verdict is in favour of amalgamation with the city
is, however, one which, if it cannot be fairly met, may be
expected to make a certain impression upon a number of them.
It is, of course, possible to make a careful selection of
cases in which, upon the present basis of rating, the rates
payable in St Kilda are less than those that would be paid on
the same properties in the City of Dunedin. And those who are
opposed to amalgamation may be relied upon to make the most
of these picked examples.
But, if it be granted - as it will be - that the figures
quoted are correct, and if it be assumed, though it is a
large assumption, that the tendency is not towards a
reduction of the rates in the city and not towards an
increase in the rating in St. Kilda, it may be suggested that
the electors in St Kilda have still to ask themselves a
question before they allow their votes to be determined by
the result of an appeal to their pockets.
That question is whether the value they obtain for their
contribution in rates towards the maintenance of the Borough
of St Kilda is equal to the value that is received by the
ratepayers of the city or to that which they would themselves
obtain if their borough became a part of the City of Dunedin.
To that question there should be a ready answer. If, however,
it still leaves a doubt in their minds concerning the
direction in which self-interest lies, there is another
point, and one of great importance, to be considered by them.
This is whether they are content that their suburb should
continue to be a mere appendage of the city, dependent on the
city for most of the amenities of life but enjoying no
effective voice in the control of the civic institutions.
The boast has been made to the electors that they have all
the benefit of the tramway, lighting, and water supply
systems which are supplied by the city without having any
liability in connection with the undertakings.
It is a curious boast, albeit one that should suggest to the
electors of St Kilda that the prospect of amalgamation with
the city should be by no means disturbing to any of them.
But they may reasonably argue that it would be to their
advantage if they obtained a share of the control over these
undertakings - each one of them a concern from which the
Corporation may look for handsome returns This argument is
strengthened by the fact that by nature St Kilda is part of
Dunedin and that it is only by an artificial and unreal
device that it possesses a separate municipal existence.
The arrangement under which the administration of the city
and suburban area was split up among several distinct bodies
was originally dictated by considerations of convenience, but
there is no longer any justification for its continuance, and
the present movement in St. Kilda for amalgamation with the
city is in sympathy with the trend of feeling that is
everywhere manifesting itself.
- ODT, 2.12.1912.