You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
A large deputation, of whom Messrs Moses Brown (president of the Miners' Association) and Robt. F. Inder were spokesmen, was introduced to the Minister by Mr Robert Scott, M.P. Mr Scott, after explaining that the mining industry at Naseby was greatly handicapped by the want of water, said that an admirable site had been found at Idaburn, some 14 miles from Naseby, where an immense volume of water could be impounded at comparatively small cost.
Mr Brown produced plans of the locality and of the proposed dam. With a length of wall across the gully 27 1/4 chains in length, some 134 acres of water area would be enclosed, and it is estimated that at the 55ft level the reservoir would hold 150,000,000 cubic feet of water. This would mean a supply of water equal to five heads for 360 days.
Mr Inder pointed out what the consequences would be if this important industry failed for want of water.
It was well known that the goldfields of Naseby would outlast the life of the youngest man in the room, but, unfortunately, the supply of water from the Mount Ida race last year was such that miners could only work 90 days out of 365.
This reservoir would augment that supply, and if ever the time came when it was not required for mining purposes it could be used for irrigation. All the deputation asked in the meantime was that the Government would send an engineer to inspect the proposed site and report to the Government.
The Hon. Mr McKenzie said he could promise an engineer would inspect and report, but could not promise anything further.
He pointed out the Mount Ida race cost the county last year some 500, and the time might come when the local authority should take this race over. It was afterwards pointed out to the Minister the price of water per head per week had twice been reduced by different Ministers of Mines, first from 1 10s to 1, and latterly to 11s 3d. If the price were fixed a little higher, say 15s, the race, with an average season, would pay well.
Another deputation was introduced by Mr Scott asking that a telephone bureau be opened in Naseby connected with Dunedin. Messrs T. B.McNeil and C. E. Davey, who brought this matter forward, pointed out the very many advantages that would follow from this direct personal communication with the Dunedin exchange.
The Hon. Mr McKenzie said he believed it would not be long before most of the inland towns of Otago would have direct telephonic communication with Dunedin. Of course, the bureau system would be the system adopted first. Mr Scott thanked the Minister for his courtesy. - ODT, 29.5.1911.