The twin geysers, Wairakei Valley, in the centre of the hot
lakes district of the North Island. - Otago Witness,
Mr J. Hamilton-Grapes, of Wellington, who is at present
on a trip to Dunedin, is well known throughout the dominion as
an authority on motor postal services. He is also very
optimistic as to the sphere of usefulness to be exploited by
the motor omnibus, and when waited on last evening by a Times
reporter courteously acceded to a request to give a few
opinions on these two subjects.
Mr Grapes said that New Zealand was in the proud position
to-day of being in the van of postal organisation. The
dominion had led the way with penny postage, while the
reduced parcel rates which came into operation on January 1
of this year were the lowest in any oversea part of the
Mr Grapes stated that New Zealand had the largest fleet of
motor postal vehicles in Australasia. They were giving such
satisfaction in Wellington that eight heavy lorries were now
employed there carrying mail matter. The last horse was sold
from the department's stables early last December. Four
companies had recently been formed in New Zealand to exploit
the possibilities of the motor omnibus. These were the
Hastings Transport Company, Waikato Motor Transport Company,
Manawatu Company, and the Kelburne-Karori Company.
In the South Island, other than the pioneer motor service
recently instituted at Mornington, the town of Timaru was the
only place to seriously entertain this method of transport.
There it was proposed, if the scheme were approved of by the
ratepayers, to place five 'buses in commission. As regards
the modern motor 'bus, its general advent had been greatly
delayed through the premature attempts made with experimental
machines in the dominion some eight or ten years ago, and
which did not meet with a great deal of success. The motor
'bus even now suffered as much from its friends as from its
enemies, as few people seemed to grasp its limitations as
well as its possibilities. Given a reasonably good road,
constructed of water-bound macadam efficiently rolled, or the
same class of road tar-spread, and the motor 'bus proved
itself a most satisfactory form of transport.
Evidence of this, remarked Mr Grapes, had been given in
Dunedin, where the Mornington Council's 'bus had in a period
of five weeks carried 21,353 passengers, the distance covered
being 2408 miles. In other parts of the dominion the
impression was sometimes conveyed that the people of Dunedin
were too conservative, but it must be laid to the credit of
the city that it had been the first to see the potentiality
of this form of locomotion.
• The new steamer which the Union Steamship Co. has ordered
for the Wellington-Lyttelton ferry service, the Wahine, is
generally similar to the Maori. Her principal dimensions are:
Length 374ft, breadth 52ft, depth 27ft 6in. Accommodation is
provided for 400 first class passengers, and about 180 second
class. The propelling machinery consists of three sets of
turbines, supplied with steam from water-tube boilers.
Turbines and boilers are by Messrs Denny and Brothers, the
builders, in whose yards at Dumbarton the Wahine took the
water this week. - ODT, 9.1.1913.
• COPIES OF PICTURE AVAILABLE FROM ODT FRONT OFFICE, LOWER
STUART ST, OR WWW.OTAGOIMAGES.CO.NZ