Good roads ahead

The Main North Road at Herbert. — Otago Witness, 21.6.1921
The Main North Road at Herbert. — Otago Witness, 21.6.1921
The Dominion Roads Association is now in course of formation, and the following are the objects: (a) Improvement of the road conditions of the dominion, first consideration being given to main arterial roads; (b) the affirmation of the principle that all revenue derived from motor taxation be specifically and reputably allocated to main arterial road improvement; (c) education of the public upon the economic and military importance of sound roads to the dominion.

The association will hold public meetings in the north in support of its policy. It is anticipated that the Bill to be introduced during the coming session will provide for the creation of controlling authorities vested with power to deal with arterial roads over wide districts. The controlling authority will provide specifications for the roadways to be constructed, but the actual work may be left to local bodies in cases where adequate facilities are available. Many of the local bodies are served by competent engineers, and are in possession of what plant would be required for the construction of first-class roads.

Runholders in strife

When the Benmore Run, situated in the Waitaki County, near Omarama, at the terminus of the Oamaru to Kurow railway line, and comprising 240,166 acres, fell into the hands of the Crown at the expiry of the lease, it was subdivided into 21 runs. These were offered to the public in March 1916. Eleven of the runs, comprising an area of 91,431 acres, consisted of University endowment land, and they were offered at auction, the balance of the runs being selected by ballot. The endowment runs were put up at a total upset annual rental of £3200. There was a very large attendance of the public at the auction, held at the courthouse, Oamaru, and spirited bidding resulted in the whole of the runs being disposed of at a total annual rental of £5520. So long as the wool market was bringing top prices, no suggestion was made that the rentals were too high, but owing to present-day prices the settlers now find that they cannot possibly carry on and pay high rentals. A deputation consisting of Messrs G.R. Ritchie, H. Chapman and L.D. Ritchie, on behalf of the University Council, waited on the Land Board at its meeting on Thursday last. The chairman of the Land Board (Mr R.T. Sadd) said the lessees would be prepared to carry on at the upset rentals, but it had to be considered whether the tenants should be allowed to remain in possession at the upset rentals, or whether the board should accept surrender and put the runs up again to auction. Two of the lessees of the runs, Messrs Aubrey and Anderson were invited to listen to the discussions and Mr Aubrey explained the lessees’ position. University representatives explained they had to consider the University’s finances, and did not want to see new rentals fixed at the bottom of the wool market, but neither did they want to see the runs lying idle and producing no revenue. The board eventually decided to hold the matter over until a special meeting.

Wind cuts power to Christchurch

A heavy nor’-wester on the Canterbury Plains yesterday caused an interruption of the Coleridge power supply in the evening. An interruption occurred on one of the two main transmission lines at 2pm, the remaining line carrying the load till 7:20pm, when another break occurred, leaving the city and suburbs in total darkness, and stopping the trams.

— ODT, 18.7.1921.


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