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The population of New Zealand was increased by 544 persons yesterday, that being the number of third class passengers brought to the dominion by the Shaw, Savill liner Mamari, which arrived at Port Chalmers early yesterday morning.
They are described as being a specially desirable lot, and, with the exception of eight young people, who are laid up with measles, they all arrived in good health. The eight mentioned will have to remain on board for from two to eight days. Early yesterday morning over 300 left by special train for Lyttelton, where they joined the Mararoa en route for various northern destinations. The new arrivals are being distributed throughout the dominion.
There were 500 assisted passengers on board - 235 women, 147 men, and 118 children - a record number for New Zealand. Of these 228 were nominated by residence of New Zealand, 145 adults and 83 children, and 237 adults and 35 children were approved by the High Commissioner. Among those assisted there are 132 domestic servants, 25 farmers, and 78 farm labourers, 2 ploughmen, 1 cook, 2 gardeners, and 44 wives joining their husbands. The capital runs from 2 to 300 each.
• Christmas Eve in Dunedin passed off very quietly. Beautiful weather was experienced both during the day and in the evening, and till well on till 11 o'clock at night the streets were crowded.
The popularity of ''week-ending'' is, however, growing here every year, and a large number of people must have gone out of town, as, despite the fine weather, it is not considered by those competent to form an opinion that the crowd was quite as large as that on the streets on Christmas Eve of 1911.
The different shops were well filled with people throughout the day, and the takings of the business people must have been very satisfactory indeed. In the early hours of yesterday morning several parties of musicians followed the time-honoured practice of journeying round the different suburban districts singing and playing Christmas carols.
Taken all round, the crowds were most orderly; there was an absence of the boy with the cracker, and very few cases of drunkenness came under the notice of the police. It may be of interest to point out that it was the day before Christmas last year that the heavy flood took place in North-east Valley.
From Press Association telegrams we learn that in the northern centres the weather was good, and that the business people had a busy time on Christmas Eve.
• One frequently hears Australians and New Zealanders engaged in debate as to whether the average pronunciation of our common language approximates nearer to the English standard in the Commonwealth or in the dominion.
Travellers who speak on the matter mostly declare in favour of the people of New Zealand. We here are said to be developing a twang akin to that of the cockney. It would appear to be a general tendency in new countries to import a nasal accent into the spoken language. No doubt it can be explained on some physiological ground or other. - ODT, 26.12.1912.