Flooding in Hawke’s Bay

Driftwood piles up against the Whakatu railway bridge following flooding in the Hawke’s Bay...
Driftwood piles up against the Whakatu railway bridge following flooding in the Hawke’s Bay region. — Otago Witness, 25.3.1924
NAPIER. The floods, which rose with frightful rapidity late yesterday afternoon to the west and south-west of Napier, commenced to recede about 2am, when an emergency mouth was blown open in the shingle on the beach four miles south of Napier. The man marooned in a tree was rescued at midnight by a young man on horseback. Immense losses of stock have occurred, but no fatalities are reported. South of Napier, a washout on the railway 15 chains long is being repaired, but it is believed that the big bridge at Whakatu is buckled and unsafe for traffic.

Mayo on newspapers

During the course of his address at the Rotary Club luncheon yesterday, Dr William J. Mayo, the famous American surgeon, in referring to the newspapers of America, said that those in New Zealand were of a much higher standard. He had been agreeably surprised at the standard of the press of the dominion and its newsgiving qualities. These newspapers were in a class of their own.

Port, city supplies improve

Port Chalmers reservoir was very low before the rain started on Saturday, but it has now risen over a foot, and the inflow has increased in volume. A brief statement on the position of the city water supply was made to the council last night by Cr Begg, chairman of the water committee. They had had a slight fall of rain on Saturday and Sunday, and a little more that day. The rain that had fallen had just been sufficient to enable the reservoirs to hold their own. 

Strategic section of the Exchange

Considerable interest is being taken in the triangular-shaped piece of ground which is situated between the Stock Exchange building and the Telegraph Office, facing Customhouse square. The land was recently leased to Mr Arthur Geddes, at an annual rental of £52, and at yesterday’s meeting of the Otago Land Board objections were heard to this action of the board, but the members of the board, after discussing the matter in committee, refused to disturb Mr Geddes’s tenure.

Not in our front yard

The successful applicant for a lease from the Crown of the small triangular piece of land adjoining the Customs House may congratulate himself upon having, so to speak, stolen a march upon everyone else to whom the possession of a vacant site, in the heart of the city, would have been of value for business purposes. It is a matter of distinct public concern that if the site is to be built upon, as it clearly is, it should not be occupied by a structure of an insubstantial and perhaps even temporary character. It seems, however, that the Land Board, under whose jurisdiction the section has come, has granted a lease or license — the latter is probably the more appropriate term — upon the terms that it is terminable on three months’ notice without valuation for improvements. We find it difficult to believe that upon a tenure so precarious as this the section will be ornamented with a building of a kind that should be regarded as necessary in such a part of the town.  The idea that a squat and inevitably small building should be planted down in the centre of the city — at what at some hours of the day is the busiest part of the city — practically in the shadow of some of the finest specimens of architecture in Dunedin so completely outrages the canons of seemliness as to call for the strongest possible protest. — editorial — ODT, 13.3.1924

Compiled by Peter Dowden