LOCAL GOVERNING BODIES. (CIRCULAR ACCOMPANYING QUESTIONS SUBMITTED TO LOCAL BODIES, WITH REPLIES RECEIVED THERETO.)
Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1882 Session I, A-10
1882. NEW ZEALAND.
LOCAL GOVERNING BODIES. (CIRCULAR ACCOMPANYING QUESTIONS SUBMITTED TO LOCAL BODIES, WITH REPLIES RECEIVED THERETO.)
Presented to both Souses of the General Assembly by Command of Sis Excellency.
Government Buildings, Sir,— Wellington, 13th May, 1882. The Government, in accordance with the pledges given last session, have under consideration the propriety of introducing in the ensuing session measures to improve the position of Local Governing Bodies, and to give them financial assistance in the prosecution of public works. The Government think that before Parliament deals with these measures it would he desirable for the local bodies to have an opportunity of directly expressing their opinions on some of the more important points. I therefore have the honor to ask that you will, on behalf of the body over which you preside, answer the questions in the enclosed paper, or as many of them as you take an interest in, and return such answers to me. at your earliest convenience. The bulk of the questions, you will observe, relate to the constitution, powers, and duties of the governing bodies. Eor your guidance, I propose offering an explanation on some of the matters to be dealt with. It is, I think, generally admitted that the government of towns and villages under the Municipal Corporations and Town Districts Acts needs no great alteration. Amendments on points of detail will no doubt be from time to time required. It is also generally admitted that there are a number of special purposes for which special bodies are required, and must be allowed to exist at present, such as harbour management, education, &c, &c. Therefore it is only to the government of the country districts that this circular is intended to apply. The Government, after careful inquiry, are satisfied that there are some districts which desire the dual governments of Counties and Road Boards, and others which wish only the government of one or the other of these bodies. It is evident that the legislation, to be satisfactory, must be so framed as to allow each district to choose readily which of such forms of government it prefers to have. One of the measures most needed is a consolidating Uoad Board Act, which, by bringing the whole law relating to Koad Boards into one statute, would much simplify the working of these institutions. I—A. 10.
Your answers to the questions as to Counties and Road Boards will materially help the Government and Parliament in dealing with the Road Boards Bill, and also the amending Counties Bill. As to the finances of local bodies, of course the greater part of their revenue must at all times be derived from rates. Believing that the present system of valuing is unnecessarily expensive, and that the local bodies might, at small cost to the colony, be relieved of the cost of valuation altogether by using the propertytax valuation, the Government are preparing a new Rating Bill on that basis. By such Bill it will be proposed that every third year, in March, commencing in the year 1883, the Property-Tax Commissioner, who will then have completed his valuation, shall furnish each body with a valuation roll; he will also have to furnish each body every intermediate year with a list of any alterations made by him owing to change of owner or occupier, purchase of land from the Crown, &c. Ratepayers will be protected from excessive valuations, for not only will they have the appeal to the Boards of Reviewers, but also under the Property Assessment Act of last session the Government must purchase the property if they do not reduce their valuation to what the owner has valued it at, while the Government are protected from unfairly low valuations by having the right of purchase at the owner's valuation, with £10 per cent, added. The rates will then be struck on the capital value of the land, and of course the making-out of the rate-book will, under the proposed Bill, be a matter of clerical work simply. It will also be proposed to vest the pow rer of selling or letting land for nonpayment of rates in the Public Trustee, six months after judgment has been obtained or notice given to the defaulters ; but compelling the Public Trustee to do so on getting a certificate of the judgment, and also enabling him to pay over to the local body the rates, &c, in arrear, before sale or lease, in which case he will retain the interest charged. As these powers are generally exercised in the case of unoccupied or deserted lands, over w rhich the Public Trustee has control, it will be more convenient for him to have these powers, and it will save both trouble and expense to the local bodies. As to the financial aid which should be given by the colony to the local bodies, the Government proposals of last year were embodied in the Roads Construction Bill and the Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill; but the Government are now considering the propriety of making important alterations in these Bills before introducing them again, and hope thereby to make them satisfactory to Parliament and the public. In considering this question, I would beg you to bear in mind— 1. That it is most desirable to avoid having to obtain aid for the local bodies directly from Parliament. 2. That, whether the money for the construction of local public works be found by Parliament or by the local bodies, it must to a great extent and for some time to come be found out of loans. 3. That, as regards such works as main roads which connect one centre of population with another, thereby promoting the prosperity of the whole colony to an even greater degree than they benefit the immediate localities through which they pass, it is only fair that the w rhole colony should bear, at any rate, the greater part of the cost of their construction. 4. That, as regards such works as district roads, which may be said to be constructed chiefly for the benefit of the property through which they pass, the greater part of the cost of their construction should be borne by the property so benefited —- —-in other words, by rates which should be spread over a reasonable term of years, so as to repay the principal with interest at a low rate. The Government endeavoured to effect these objects by the Roads Construction Bill of last session. Its main provisions were as follows :— A Board was proposed which was to distribute the Government aid provided by the Bill, and to obtain repayment of those portions advanced as loans. Neither the existence' of nor the method of constituting such Board was at all necessary to the scheme of the Bill, as the Board had practically no discretionary
powers as to the granting of loans, the rights of each local body to obtain grants of the money provided by the Bill being clearly denned by it. But the reason for proposing a Board was that without it the powers proposed to be conferred on it would have to be conferred on the Government of the day, and this especially as to the enforcing repayment of loans seems objectionable. Then the Bill provided £150,000 out of loan, and a yearly grant of surplus Land Eund up to £150,000, for giving aid to main roads, which were roads declared to be such by the Board, with the approval of Parliament. Any County Council or Councils which desired to construct a main road, and which could have provided a fourth of the cost, could at once have got the other three-fourths from the Board as a free grant in aid. If such Council was not in a position to provide the fourth, then, if the ratepayers approved by a poll the levying of a special rate to repay such fourth, the Board were to supply the whole of the money necessary for the construction, three-fourths of it as a free grant in aid, and the other one-fourth being repayable by twenty half-yearly debentures of the Council, which were not to bear interest. In order to show the working of this part of the Bill I will give an instance. Suppose a road from Ato B had been declared a main road. The Council was desirous of constructing the whole, or a portion of it, which would have cost, say, £10,000. The Council could, on finding £2,500 themselves, at once have got £7,500 as a free grant in aid, or else they could have got the whole £10,000 on giving debentures for paying £125 every half-year for ten years, to be secured by the levying of a rate whicla would every half-year for ten years have produced £125. Of course the amount of this rate could have proportionately diminished if the County could or chose to furnish a part of such £2,500. The other works to be aided by the Government were river works and district roads, which were all roads not main roads. Aid could have been given under this part of the Bill to Road Boards or River Boards as well as County Councils. To start with, it was proposed that the Board should be provided with £200,000 out of loan for these purposes. Any such local body had a right under the Bill to obtain an advance of the whole or any portion of the cost of such works, if the ratepayers had by poll approved the levying of a rate to secure the repayment of the amount advanced in the following manner. It was to give debentures for the whole amount advanced, paying principal back with interest by twenty-seven half-yearly payments of £4 10s. for every £100. In order to show the working of the Bill as regards river works or district roads I will give an instance. Suppose a Road Board required £500 to construct a district road. It could, on complying with the necessary conditions, have obtained the whole of the money on giving debentures for twenty-seven half-yearly payments of £22 10s. each. On the payment of the last of which the whole debt, principal as well as interest, would have been extinguished. The Act contained a number of machinery-provisions for insuring that the estimate of cost on which moneys were to be advanced were reasonable; that the moneys could have been applied only to the works for which they were obtained; for taking the poll of the ratepayers ; for enabling local bodies to unite in an application ; and for the making and collection of special rates, &c. If the applications for the year had exceeded the money at the disposal of the Board such money would have been divided pro rala, the Board having no power to grant the application of one body in preference to that of another. It should be mentioned that the definition of road given by the Bill included bridges, and that priority was given to the applications of bodies desirous of reconstructing roads suddenly destroyed by flood. Another part of the Bill provided a scheme for constructing roads through Crown lands, either before or shortly after sale, out of the purchase-money to be received therefrom, thus throwing the cost of the construction of all main roads through lands now in the hands of the Crown upon the Land Eund. It will be seen that by the proposal it was suggested to provide at once half a million of money for road-making; but, of course, if adopted and found to answer., it could have been expanded to any extent required for settlement, if
approved by Parliament, at any rate as regards those works the moneys for which were to be found entirely by way of loan. It might be as well here to show what the cost to the colony of these proposals would have been. As the colony would have been lending £200,000 for district works at £3 per cent., for which the colony itself pays £5 per cent., this would have meant an annual charge of £4,000; besides there would have been the full interest on the £150,000 paid out of loan for main roads as above shown, which is about £7,500; in all, £11,500. But, considering the large extent of country this expenditure would have enabled the local bodies to open up, thus promoting settlement and adding to the general wealth of the colony, it must be admitted that no money could be better spent. Had it been considered advisable to spend more money every additional £100,000 found by Parliament for the purposes of the Bill would have cost the colony £2,000 per annum. It should be noted, also, that the funds granted to the Board would every year have been increased by the receipt from the local bodies of the half yearly instalments made in repayment of loans, which would have been available for again advancing for similar works. As to the maintenance, after construction, of the works above referred to, there cannot be much doubt that in all ordinary cases the cost must be defrayed out of rates—in other words, by the owners of property benefited by the same. It is because of the recognition by the Government of this principle that they introduced the Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill, which brought the Crown andthe Natives within the operation of such principle. The following is an outline of the provisions of that Bill: — (a.) There were first some general exemptions of Crown property : (b.) All Crown lands in boroughs would have been rated like private lands to the Colonial Treasurer, and the rates paid out of the Consolidated Fund; (c.) All Crown lands anywhere (subject to above-referred-to exemptions) on which there are buildings used by Government would have been dealt with in the same way : (d.) All Native lands in boroughs would have been rated to the owner or occupier just as in case of land belonging to Europeans : (c.) The Governor in Council might have denned districts at any time, in which all Native lands should be treated in the same way: (f.) Then, as to all other Crown and Native lands not yet dealt with, certain fixed values for rating purposes were given by the Bill; and also the quantity in each district to start with was fixed by the Schedule, and would have been diminished every year as any lands ceased to be Crown or Native lands. It was thought that the thus fixing these two points of value and quantity, though the amounts of either were, of course, open for modification, would have saved much trouble and dispute. In the case of such lands the rates were proposed to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, but any so paid on Native land would have been collected as a stamp duty when the land was sold or leased to Europeans. I trust that this explanation will aid you in comprehending the scheme of these Bills; and I shall be glad to receive any suggestions from you generally on the matter dealt with by this circular, as well as your answers to the specific questions set forth in the Schedule. I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, H. A. ATKINSON.
1. Should County Chairmen be elected as Mayors are ? 2. Should counties be enabled to split up or amalgamate, or otherwise alter their boundaries, without the consent of Parliament, as is now required ? 3. Should the road districts in each county form the ridings of the county ? 4. Would you suggest any alteration in the mode of electing the Councillors ? 5. Can you suggest any new duties which, should be imposed, or new power which should be conferred, on counties, more especially as to power of making by-laws ? 6. Should the counties be enabled to create new road districts or alter existing ones of their own motion, or only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers? 7. Should the counties or the Road Boards have the power of altering the divisions and the numbers of the members of Road Boards ? 8. "What rating powers should counties have ? 9. What rating powers should Road Boards have ? 10. If the operation of the Counties Act is suspended in any County, should Road Boards be enabled to exercise any of the powers of the county, and, if so, which ? 11. Should Road Board members hold office for a fixed time, and, if so, what; or should a proportion retire every year ? 12. Should Road Board Chairmen be elected as Mayors are ? 13. Is it desirable to allow of Road Board elections being held in open public meeting, like those of School Committees, in districts where the Road Board, by special order, adopts this plan? 14. What alterations do you suggest in the Rating Bill as sketched in the circular enclosed herewith ? 15. Please state whether the provisions of the Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Rating Bills would suit your district, and, if not, what alterations would you suggest which would make these measures more useful? 16. Have you any suggestions to make generally on the matters dealt with in the circular in which this is enclosed ?
REPLIES TO QUESTIONS SUBMITTED TO COUNTIES AND EOAD BOARDS IN CIRCULAR OF 13th MAY, 1882.
IUP° Counties are distinguished hy italics; Road Boards within counties hy being printed in inner margin.
1. Should County Chairmen be elected as Mayors are ?
Mangonui —Yes. Kaeo —Yes. Oruru—No. Totara —Yes. EoTcianga — Present system works well here, this being a mixed Council of Natives and Europeans. If the ratepayers had the power they mi ght return a Chairman unfitted for position. Whangarei —No. Maunu—No. Many elections are unfair to those residing far from polling places. Parua —No. Waikiekie —No answer. Waipu Middle —We deem such elections too expensive. Waipu South —Better as at present. Hohson —No answer. Okahu —No ; let the Councillors elect their own Chairman. Paparoa—No. Wairau —No; as at present. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —I should think it would be most undesirable. Whakahara School Committee — I think as he has so much power the ratepayers should have a voice in his election. Sodnet/ —No; because the county constituency is too large and unwieldy, and the expense would be much heavier than any problematical advantage that might occur. Albertland South —If elected for same term as Councillors, and at same time (viz., three years), yes ; too many elections waste time, and should be avoided in local affiiirs. Arai —As a general rule, no; because in counties persons are not well known outside their immediate neighbourhood, so that the great 2—A. 10,
body of ratepayers would have no data to guide their votes. A permissive clause allowing this kind of election to be adopted, if petitioned for by a majority of ratepayers, would, however,not be detrimental. Upper Mahurangi —No. Mangawai —No ; the Chairman should be elected as at present under "The Counties Act, 1876." Omaha—Yes. Matakana West—No. Puhoi—No. Tauhoa—No; elected by Chairmen of Eoad Boards through the county. Wharehine —No, by the members of Council, as at present. Wainui—No answer. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—No. It would be waste of time. Lake —No alteration in election necessary. North Shore—No; too expensive. WaitakereiWest —Abolish the county altogether. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle)—l say abolish the County Councils, and road districts to be enlarged by vote of ratepayers ; the Chairman to be elected by the Trustees or Councillors. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter) —My opinion is that County Councils should be abolished and highway districts enlarged by the vote of the ratepayers, the Chairman to be elected by his brother Trustees or Councillors. Whangaparoa —We do not believe in County Councils at all in this district ; they are useless and too expensive.
ISden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Mount Koskill—We think better as it is. The more elections there are1 the more time wasted. Mount Wellington—No. Newton —Yes. Panmure —No ; they should be ballotted for by ratepayers. Ponsonby—No. (1) Because a mul' titude of public elections consumes too much revenue; (2) the exist* ing arrangement answers well. Waikomiti —County Chairman should. not be elected as Mayors are. HtLanulcau —No answer. Mercer.—Present mode appears to me to be the least expensive, and gives general satisfaction. Hunua—Yes, if elected at all. Karaka—No. Maraetai—County members. Opaheke —No. Otahuhu—No. Papakura—No need for counties. Pollock —To remain as it is. Pukekohe Eaßt—No. Pukekohe West —The Counties Act is not in operation in this county (Manukau). We much prefer Road Boards. Waipipi—Not at all required. Wairoa —No. Thames —No answer. Parawai —No. Waitoa—No. Piako— No. Waikato —No. Kirikiriroa —No. The expense and loss of time incurred by these elections are very objectionable. Waiga —No answer.
Hamilton —I think County Chairman should be elected by the Council, who are naturally the best judges of a man's fitness and public spirit. Kihikihi—No. Rangiaohia—lf the Counties Act is to be retained, elect them as heretofore. Tuhikaramea—No. Present system best. Eaglan —No. As they are at present. Pirongia—No. Raglan Town—No answer. Whakatane —No. Cook— No. Ormond—No. Patutahi—No. Te Arai—No; but as now. Poverty Bay—No. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati—Council should elect Chairman. Te Puna—Yes. Wairoa —No. Leave as at present. Hawlce's Bay —No. Should be elected as heretofore. Heretaunga—No. Kereru and Aorangi—No. Maraekakaho—No. Okawa —No. As heretofore. Papakura—No. As at present. Petane —No. As heretofore. Te Mata—No. As at present. Waipdwa—No. ' Should be elected as heretofore. Norsewood—No. Oero—No. Ormondville—No. Should be elected as heretofore. Ruataniwha North—No. As at present. Tamurnu—No. As heretofore. Woodville—No. Taranaki— No. Manganui—No. Mangarei—Yes. Carrington—No. Waitara West—That the Chairman be elected by the county. Egmont—No; elected by Councillors as before. Moa—No. All local bodies to elect their own Chairman. Okato—County Councillors should elect the Chairman. Clifton—No. Waitara East—lf elected, to be members of County Council. Inglewood—No. fatea —No. Haioera —No answer. Hawera—No. Waimate —Yes. Ngaire—No. Wanganui —No. Waitotara—No. Rangitikei —No. Rangitikei—No. Lethbridge—No. Manawatu —No.
Question I— continued.
Manawatu—No. Otaki—No. Halcombe —No. Hutt— No. Kilbirnie —No. Should be chosen by County Councils, aa at present. Kaiwara—No. Wairarapa JVest —No. •Featherston —No. Carterton —No answer. Waimea— No. The existing method is preferable. Motueka—No. The existing method is preferable, being carried out without expending the county's funds. Upper Motueka—No; the present system preferable. Waimea—Yes; if a paid Chairman. Not otherwise. Richmond —Not necessary, as it would add to the expenditure of county funds. Pangatotara —No ; by the Council themselves. Riwaka—No; they should be elected by their own body. Lower Moutere—No. Collingtoood —Should remain as at present. Collingwood—No ; as at present. Buller —Yes; and the term of office two years. Inangahua —No. The present mode of election preferable for many reasons, especially for economy's sake. Grey —Yes ; the ratepayers to elect, and the Chairman to retain office for three years; the election to take place at same time and places as county election for councillors. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere —No ; they should be elected by the Boards over which they preside. Omaka—No; present mode preferable. Pelorus—No; the cost of electing one reason, and present system the best, as Councillors are the best judges of those elected fitting for the position of Chairman. Picton—No ; as at present. Spring Creek—No ; present mode preferable. Wairau—No; present mode preferable. Lower Wairau—No; as at present. Pukaka River Board—No; they ought to be elected by the bodies over which they preside. Kaikoura —No answer. Kaikoura River Board —No, but by a majority of the members of the Council. Ashley —No answer. Byre ton —No. Mandeville—Elected as now. Oxford—No. Waipara —No. Present system the best. West Eyreton—No.
Selieyn —No. Consider the present mode of election the most suitable for this provincial district. Courtenay—No. Heathcote—No. Lincoln—No. Eiccarton —No. Templeton—Yes. South Waimakariri—No. AJcaroa —No answer. Little River—No. Present mode preferable. Pigeon Bay —No. Port Victoria—By vote of its members. Ashhurton —No. Wakanui—No. Mount Somers—No. G-eraldine —No ; but elected as at present. G-eraldino—No. Mount CookI—Members1 —Members of any local corporate body should elect their Chairman from among themselves, and he should be Chief Magistrate of the district. Mount Peel—No. Temuka —No. Westland —No. Waitaki— No. Kakanui —No ; present system preferable. Waiareka —No ; we consider the present system is more satisfactory. Waitaki—No; present system of electing County Chairmen satisfactory. Waikonaiti —No. Palmerston South—Yes. Waikouaiti —No. Maniototo —No ; the Council has no fault to find with the present method. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula—County Chairman should not be elected as Mayors are. Taieri —No ; we are satisfied with the present mode. Waipori—County Chairmen should be elected by County Councils. Bruce —The present mode of electing Chairman preferable. Crichton —No. G-lenledi —County Chairmen should not be elected as Mayors are. Matau —No answer. Mount Stuart — County Chairmen should not be elected as Mayors are. Tokomairiro--County Chairmen should not be elected as Mayors are. Clutha —The present system works very well. Pomahaka —County Chairmen should not be elected as Mayors are. Molyneux South —No. Tuapelca —No. Clydevale—No. Southland —No. Knapdale—No. Toitois—No. Tuturau—No.
2. Should counties be enabled to split up or amalgamate, or otherwise alter their boundaries, without the consent of Parliament, as is now required ?
Mangonui —No. Kaeo—No. Oruru —No. Totara—No. Hokianga —Yes. Whangarei —No. Maunu—Yes j by mutual agreement. Parua —No. Waikiekie—No. Waipu Middle—Counties should be enabled to amalgamate, &c. Waipu South—Majority of ratepayers should. Stibton-*Ko answer.
Okahu—Yes ; and that all counties should not contain more than 20,000 acres. Paparoa—Yes. Wairau —If counties were divided, as they should be, then no change without the consent of Parliament. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —Yes, most certainly, in accordance with the request of the ratepayers interested. The present mode is prohibitive of any improvement. Whakahara School Committee—No. Rodney^- No.
Albertland South —No answer. Arai—Do not possess sufficient information on the subject. Upper Mahurangi—-No. Mangawai —Counties should be enabled to Bplit up or amalgamate only by a vote of a majority of ratepayers. Omaha —No. MatakanaWest—Should be enabled to split up or amalgamate without the consent of Parliament. Puhoi—Under condition that the majority[of ratepayers (ballot) agree.
Tauhoa—No, decidedly not. Wharehine—No. Wainui—No. Such powers ought not to be given to the inferior class of men who are monopolizing and gradually overriding many of the Councils. TVaitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—No. Lake —Counties should have power to alter boundaries where other counties interested are agreeable to such alterations. Worth Shore—No. Waitakerei West —Most certainly not. Waitakerei West (J. Cottlo)— I think not. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter)— Certainly not. Whangaparoa—See answer to No. 1. Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No- 16. Mount Roskill—No ; there would be too much log-rolling if allowed. Mount Wellington—No. Newton—No. Panmure —No ; unless two-thirds of ratepayers agree to it. Ponsonby—Road districts ought to continue to have power to leave counties. Waikomiti—Road districts ought to continue to have power to leave counties. . Mannkau —No answer. Mercer —No. Hunua —No. Karaka—No. Maraetai—With consent of Parliament. Opaheke—No. Otauuhu—Yes. If local self-government is to abound, the people, by their Councillors, are the proper judges when and how alterations should be made. Papakura—See answer to No. 1. Pollock—No. Pukekohe East —No. Pukekohe West^See answer to No. 1. Waipipi—Yes ; the delay is objectionable in getting consent of Parliament. Wairoa—No. Thames— No. Parawai—No. Waitoa—Yes. PiaTco —If the ratepayers in the counties affected by any alteration be agreed, yes. Wailcato —Yes, upon an application made by a majority of the ratepayers. Kirikiriroa —Not without the consent of Parliament. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton —No. Kihikihi—No. Eangiaohia —I would suggest that County Councils be done away with altogether. Tuhikaramea—Yes. Sac/Ian —No. Pirongia—No. Raglan Town —No answer. Whalcatane —-No. Cook— No. Ormond —No. Patutahi—No. Te Arai—Yes. Poverty Bay—Yes. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati —No. Te Puna—No. Wairoa —No. Consent of Parliament requisite. Hawke's Say — Yes. In cases where counties cannot agree the matter in dispute should be decided by the Government. Heretaunga—Yes. Kereru and Aorangi—Wo.
Question 2— continued.
Maraekakaho—No. Okawa—Yes. Papakura—As at present. Petane—Yes. Te Mata—Yes. Waipawa —Yes. In cases where counties cannot agree the matter to be decided by Parliament. Norsewood — Yes. In cases where counties cannot agree, the matter to be decided by Parliament. Ocro —Yes. Ormondville — Yes. In cases where counties cannot agree, the matter should he decided by Parliament. Ruataniwha North —Yes. Tamumu —No. Woodville—No. Taranaki —No. Manganui—Yes, upon petition of a majority of ratepayers affected by change. Mangarei—No. Carrington—No. Waitai'a West —It would not be desirable to alter the boundaries of counties, unless at least threequarters of the ratepayers should agree to the same. Egmont —No. Moa —If such is necessary, with the consent of ratepayers. Okato—No. Clifton—No. Waitara East—lf necessary to split up or amalgamate, consent of ratepayers to be first obtained. Inglewood—No. Patea —Not without the express consent of Parliament. Hawera —No answer. Hawera —Yes, as at present, by petition ; but without consent of Parliament. Waimate —Yes. Ngaire—Yes ; as at present, by petition, but without consent of Parliament. Wanganui —Yes. Waitotara—No. Rangililcei —No. Rangitikei—No. Lethbridge—No. Manawatu —Yes ; substituting a decision of a Judge of Supreme Court for a reference to Parliament. Manawatu—No. Otaki—No. Halcombe —No. Sutl~ Yes; on the petition of majority of county ratepayers. Kilbirnie —No. The consent of Parliament should be requisite to alter the boundaries of a county, but the County Council should have the power to alter the boundaries of ridings. Kaiwara —Yes ; on a petition of majority of ratepayers. Wairarapa West —-Do not wish present arrangement disturbed. Feat h erston —No. Carterton —No answer. Waimea —No. Motucka —No. Upper Motueka—No answer. Waimea—Yes. Richmond —Yes ; without the consent of Parliament. Pangatotara—Yes; on the request of a majority of ratepayers in the whole county. Eiwaka—No. Lower Moutere—No. Collingwood —Should remain as at present. Collingwood—No. Huller —No. Inangahua—Yes j if three-fourths of the ratepayers 'within the portion which sought severance or amalgamation would petition the respective governing bodies.
Grey— Yes. Marllorough—TSo answer. Awatere—No. Consent of Parliament should be necessary. Omaka—lf counties agree, yes. If not, leb Government decide. Pelorus—No; any alteration or amalgamation desired should be submitted to Parliament. Picton—No. Spring Creek—lf all the counties agree, yes; if not, let the Governor decide. Wairau —-If counties agree, yes; if not, let Governor decide. Lower Wairau —Not without consent of Parliament. Pukaka Eiver Board —No. Kaikoura —No answer. Kaikoura Eiver Board —Not without the consent of three-fourths of the ratepayers paying two-thirds of the rates. Ashley —No answer. Eyreton—Yes. Mandeville —No. Oxford—No. Waipara—Counties should not be allowed to be split up without consent of Parliament, as they are quite small enough already. West Eyreton—Not without the consent of Parliament. SeVwyn —No. Courtenay—No. Heathcote—No. Lincoln —No, only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Eiccarton—No. Templeton—No. South Waimakariri—No. Akaroa —No answer. Little Kiver —Yes. Pigeon Bay—No. Port Victoria—No occasion for any alteration in present rules. Ashlurton —No. Wakanui—Yes, without the consent of Parliament, but not without consent of ratepayers. Mount Somers —No. G-eraldine —No. Geraldine—No. Mount Cook—Certainly ; subject to the Governor having power to veto any dismemberment of a county which it could clearly bo shown was against the welfare of the majority of the inhabitants, they having the right to memorialize the Governor to that effect. Mount Peel —No. Temuka —Yes, subject to consent of ratepayers. Westland —No i especially gold fields counties. Waitaki —No ; should have consent of Parliament as at present. Kakanui — Not without consent of Parliament. Waiareka—No; parliamentary consent should be obtained. Waitaki —Yes. Waikouaiti —With consent, as is now required. Palmerston South — Yes j provided that a petition to that effect be signed by not less than three-fifths of the electors in the district so desirous to alter the boundaries. Waikouaiti —Yes ; by majority of ratepayers. Maniototo —No ; the consent of Parliament should be required. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula —Counties should not be allowed to split up or amalgamate without the consent of two-thirds of the ratepayers and of Parliament. Taieri— No,
Waipori—County Councils should be co allowed. Bruce —Act left as at present. Crichton —No. Glenledi — Counties should not be allowed (o split up or amalgamate without consent of Parliament, as at present. Matau —No answer. Mount Stuart —Counties Bhould not
Question 2— continued.
be allowed to split up or amalgamate without consent of Parliament. Tokomairiro- —Counties should not be allowed to split up or amalgamate without consent of Parliament as at present. Clwiha— Yes. Pomahaka—Yes. Molyneux South —Only with the con-
sent of the ratepayers, irrespective of their voting powers. TuapeJca — No. Clydevale—Should be able to alter boundaries. Southland —No. Knapdale—No. Toitois—No. Tuturau —No.
3. Should the road districts in each county form the ridings of the county ?
Mangonui — No. Kaeo—Yes. Oruru —No. Totara—No. Sohianga —No answer. Whangarei —Yes. Maunu —Yes. Parua —Not unless road districts were enlarged. Waikiekie —No answer. Waipu Middle—No. Waipu South —Not necessarily. Hohson —No answer. Okahu —Yes. Paparoa—Not necessarily. Wairau —Yes. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —Yes, if so desired. , They already do so throughout the County of Hobson, and prove satisfactory. Whakahara School Committee —Eoad Board districts whero possible. ftodney —No. Albertland South —No. The road districts in the north are too many and too small in size and in number of ratepayers. Arai —Such an arrangement would be beneficial if an additional proviso was made that each riding returned one member to the Council. Upper Mahurangi—By all means, and each Chairman of the District Boards Bhould form the Council, if we must have a Council. Mangawai—Yes. Omaha—No answer. Matakana West —Yes. Puhoi—No. Tauhoa' —Yes. Wharehine —Not necessarily so. Wainui —No. Many of the Eoad Boards are not represented under the present system, and are antagonistic to the Councils. The Wainui Eoad Board has neither voice nor vote in Eodney Council. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa —Yes. Lake —Not necessarily ; in many cases this would be quite impracticable. North Shore—Yes. Waitakerei West —No ; where the road districts are large it would do, but where small knock three or four into one. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle) —No suggestion. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter)— The enlarged Eoad Boards to be ridings. Whangaparoa —If these must be County Councils, Yes. Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Mount Boskill—This would be desirable. Mount Wellington—Yes. Newton —Each highway district to be a riding, and return one member. Panmure —Yes. Ponsonby—No. To constitute every road district a riding with representation would unfairly apportion the. representation of the people in the County Councils.
Waikomiti —Eoad districts should not form the ridings of the county. Manulcau —No answer. Mercer. —Yes, inasmuch as it should be advisable to have as Councillors representatives from all portions. Hunua—Yes. Karaka—Yes. Maraetai —Yes. Opaheke—Yes, where large ; where small two or three agree to amalgamate, where interests are identical. Otahuhu —As the Road Boards are at present constituted (geographically) in this county, Manukan. it would not be advantageous; tv iLe same time the present boundaries give undue advantage to poor ridings. T?apakura—See answer to No. 1. Pollock—Yes. Pukekohe East —Yes. Pukekohe West—See answer to No. 1. Waipipi—Yes ; it simplifies matters considerably. Wairoa—No. Thames —Yes. Parawai—Yes. Waitoa —As a general rule; but it would not be advisable to make it compulsory in all cases. PiaTco —Yes, as a general rule. Waihato —Not in all eases ; some road districts are too small for special i-epreeentation. Kirikiriroa —Not in all cases; some road districts are too small to form a riding. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton — Yes ; and one member from each Soad Board should form the Council. Kihikihi—Yes. Eangiaohia—Yes. Tuhikaramea—Yes. 'Raglan —Yes. Pirongia—Yes. Eaglan Town —No answer. WhaTcatane— No. Cook —Not necessarily. Ormond—Yes. Patutahi—Yes. Te Arai —No ; but would suggest that the Chairmen of Eoad Boards should be members of the County Councils ex officio. Poverty Bay —Not necessarily. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati—Yes. Te Puna—Yes. Wairoa —No road districts in county. Council have no suggestions to offer. Ha/mice's Bay —Yes. Heretaunga —Yes. Kereru and Aorangi—Yes. Maraekakaho—Yes. Okawa —Yes. Papakura —No. Petane —-Yes. Te Mata—Yes. Waipawa —Yes. Norsewood —Yes. Ocro —Yes. Ormondville —Yes. Buataniwha North—Yes.
Tamumu — Yes. Wherever practicable. Woodville —Yes; and the road districts enlarged. Taranahi— No. Manganui—Yes. Each county to be made into seven or nine ridings. Mangarei —No, unless the road districts are made more uniform in size than at present in this county. Carrington —Yes, in most cases. Waitara West —It would be desirable to have the road districts formed into ridings of the county. Egmont—Yes, if connected with county. Moa—No answer. Okato —No; the road districts are too small in this county. Clifton—Yes. Waitara Bast—Eoad districts should form the ridings. Inglewood—-Not in the County of Taranaki. Patea —Yes, where road districts have natural boundaries. Hawera —No answer. Hawera—Yes. Waimate —Yes. Ngaire —Yes. Wanganui —No. Waitotara —No. Hangitikei —No. Katigitikei—No. Lethbridge—No. Manawaln —Yes, one or more, or vice versa. Manawatu —No such arbitrary rule should be laid down — c. g., the Eangitikei District, whose county and highway district, and ridings and wards, are the same, or nearly so. Otaki—Yes. Halcombe —Not in all cases. Sutt —To remain as at present. Kilbirnie —Yes. Each Eoad Board should be a riding, with one or more representatives, according to number of ratepayers and amount of rate. ' Kaiwara—Yes. Walrarapa West —No. Feathers ton —-Yes. Carterton—No answer. Waimea —It is convenient as a general rule that one or more highway districts should form a riding, or that one or more ridings should form a highway district. Motueka —Each road district should form a riding of the county. Upper Motueka —One or more ridings might form a highway district, or one or more highway districts form a riding. Waimea —Yes. Eiehinond —No; as it would create too many ridings. Pangatotara —Yes; as far as possible. Eiwaka —Yes. Lower Moutere —Yes. Collingwood —Yes. Collingwood—Yes. Butter—No Eoad Board within the county.
Inangahua —Yes ; would suggest that anyriding of a county not having at least sixty ratepayers should be merged in that riding adjoining it having the next smallest number. Grey —No. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere—Yes ; they should. Omaka —Yes. Pelorus —Yes ; I think for every purpose. Picton —Yes. Spring Creek —Yes. Wairau—Yes. Lower Wairau —Yes. Pukaka—Yes. Kaikoura —No answer. Kaikoura River Board —Yes ; they should, generally. Ashley —-No answer. Byre ton—Yes. Mandeville—Yes. Oxford—Yes. Waipara—Yes. West Eyreton—Yes. Selwt/n —No. In this county, should each Road Board be a riding and return a member, the Council would be unnecessarily large, while great inequality exists in the size of Road Board districts. Courtenay—No; as some Road Boards are too small. Heathcote —Consider section 36 of "Counties Act, 1876," sufficiently provides for fixing the ridings of a county. Lincoln—No, not necessarily. Riccarton—Yes.
Question 3— continued.
Templeton —Yes ; but when two or more small districts join each other, let the boundary thereof form one riding. South Waimakariri —Remain as at present. AJcaroa —No answer. Little River —When too large should be re-divided into two or more ridings. Pigeon Bay—No, except in case of nearly equal valuation. Port Victoria—Best course to follow. Ashlurton —Not necessarily. Wakanui—'Yes, if suitable to fair re presentation on the Council. Mount Somers —If possible. Geraldine —Yes. Geraldine —Yes. Mount Cook —Generally; but it should be competent for the local body to make any alteration in this re- Bpect which a particular case might seem to require. Mount Peel —Not of nocessity, though generally most convenient. Temuka —Yes. Westland —No Road Boards on the coast- Waitahi —Not necessarily ; when practical it is convenient. Kakanui —Not necessarily. Waiareka —Not necessarily. Waitaki —Not necessarily. Wailcouaiti —Not necessarily; but, when practicable, boundaries should be coterminous. Palmerston South —The riding to be
apportioned of equal annual rateable value as near as practicable, Waikouaiti—The road districts should not necessarily form the boundaries of county ridings. Maniototo —No road districts in this county. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula—Yes ; road districts should form the boundaries of the ridings of counties. Taieri —Not in all cases. Waipori—Road districts should not necessarily form the ridings of counties. Bruce —Yes, as far as practicable. Crichton—^No. GHenledi —The road districts should not necessarily form the boundaries of Council ridings. Matau —Not necessarily. Mount Stuart —Eoad districts should, as far as possible, form boundaries. Tokomairiro —Yes ; as far as possible. Chitha —Should not always, form the ridings of a county. Poinahaka—The road districts should not always form the ridings of a county. Molyneux South—Yes. Tuapeka —Yes. Clydevale—Where practicable one or more Boards to form ridings. Southland —Yes, where practicable. Knapdale—Yes. Toitois —Yes. Tuturau —Yes; where practicable.
4. Would you suggest any alteration in the mode of electing the Councillors ?
Mangonui —No. Kaeo —No. Oruru—No. Totara—No. HoManga —Not any. Whangarei —lf road districts form the ridings in each county, each Road Board should elect one of their Board to represent that body in the Council, and thereby save the expense of so many elections as there are at present. Maunu—County Councillors should be elected by the Trustees of the highway district. Parua —If candidates were confined to Chairmen of Road Boards, or, if the road districts being enlarged the Chairmen should be Councillors ex offieio, it would make counties and District Boards work more harmoniously together. At present counties have a tendency to domineer over districts, and expend all funds in large centres of population. This would be remedied by some such scheme as the above. Waikiekie—No answer. Waipu Middle —No. Waipu South —Present system is satisfactory. Many would like to see Councillors elected in open public meeting. Hohson —No answer. Okahu — The Chairmen of Road Board to be County Councillors. Paparoa—No. Wairau —No; except in doing away with them altogether. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —In rural districts, or where the number of electors is limited, it would be a great improvement if the election could be conducted in the same manner as that of Highway Boards. This would be much more simple, inexpensive, and less troublesome,
requiring only one attendance of electors instead of two for nomination and election, which in sparsely settled districts is 100 great a tax on the time of electors. Whakahara School Committee —Pre- method good. Rodney —No. Albertland South —No anßwer. Arai —No answer. Upper Mahurangi—No. Matigawai—Councillors in outlying districts should be elected annually, under "The Local Elections Act, ]876." In Road Districts the Chairman of the Board should be Councillor ex offieio. Should he not signify his intention to act as Councillor within fourteen days after his election as Chairman, an election o£ Councillor should be made within a further period of fourteen days under " The Local Elections Act, 1876." Omaha—No. Matakana West —No. Puhoi —None. Tauhoa —No; but if Councils are still to exist, the elections should be yearly. Wharehine —Should the County Councils be continued no alteration is desirable, the present mode being satisfactory. Wainui —It would be better that the Chairmen of Road Boards should be the members of the County Councils, limiting the number of Boards to eight or ten in each county. The Chairman could be selected and appointed from among their number, and so do away with County Councils in these northern parts. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—No; the present mode is very good.
Lake—No alteration required. North Shore—No. Waitakerei West —No remarks. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle) —No suggestion. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter) —,1 have no suggestion to make. Whangaparoa—See answer to No. 1. Mden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Mount Roskill —No. Mount Wellington—No. Newton —No answer. Panmure —We do not offer any suggestion in the matter as we do not require the services of a County Council; we wish to maintain the Highways Act in the district, as at present. Ponsonby—No. Waikomiti—The Board offers no suggestion in the modo of electing Councillors. Mannlcau —No answer. Mercer.—None. Hunua—No. Karaka—The Chairman of each Road Board should form the Council. Maraetai—Dispense with counties and Councillors. Opaheke—No. Otahuhu—No; except that a ratepayer should not have more than one vote, on the ground that the Council have to deal with questions of social economy. Were their functions confined to the making and repairing of roads, then I think property should be represented at the poll. Papakura—See answer to No. 1. Pollock—No answer. Pukekohe East—Let Chairman of Road Boards have seat in Council, and so avoid any election. Pukekohe West —See answer to No. 1.
Waipipi—None. Wairoa—No. Thames —Councillors should be elected for three years ; one third to retire annually. Parawai — The County Councillors should be nominated and elected by the various Boad Boards, say the Chairman of each Eoad Board within the county, if the counties are subdivided into Koad Boards. Waitoa—No. Piako —No. Waikato —No. Kirikiriroa—No. The present mode has worked well. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton —See answer to Question 3 —chosen by the Highway Boards. Kihikihi—No. Eangiaohia —No. They are useless as a local body. Tuhikaramea —Let each Eoad Board nominate one of its members as a member of the County Council. Raglan — The Chairmen of the Eoad Boards should form the Council. Pirongia—Would suggest that there be no elections whatever, but that the Chairmen of the road districts be ex offieio members of the County Council. This would save numerous unnecessary elections and attendant expenses, besides insuring joint action between Eoad Boards and Councils, instead of antagonism. Eaglan Town —No answer. Wha/catane —No. Cook— No. Ormond —None. Patutahi —No. Te Arai—No. Poverty Bay—No. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati —No. Te Puna—No. Wairoa —No. Sawke's Bay —No. Heretaunga—No. Kereru and Aorangi —The Chairmen of Eoad Boards ought to act as County Councillors. Maraekakaho —No. Okawa —Councillors to be annually elected, with the right of re-election. Papakura —None. Petane—No. We think the present system adequate. Te Mata—No. Waij>awa —No. Norsewood —No. Ocro —We would offer no suggestions. Ormondville—No. Euataniwha North—No. Tamumu —No. Woodville — That they Bhould be elected by the Eoad Board. Taran aki —No. Manganui—The Chairman of each riding to be member of Council. Mangarei—Would it be possible to elect Chairmen of Eoad Boards at the annual meeting of ratepayers, and make each Chairman a Councillor ? If so, the answer to your third question should be Yes instead of No. Carrington—No. Waitara West —The members of the County Council to be elected by the Eoad Boards, each Eoad Board sending one member. Egmont —One should be returned by road district if not separated from county. Moa —Our idea is to dispense entirely with County Councils. Okato—No. Clifton—No. Waitara East —Simplified: by rate-
Question 4— continued. payers at a meeting called for the purpose electing a Chairman by show of bands, the Chairman to declare to be elected the one haying the greatest show, Bending written notice thereof to the proper authority. None but those whose rates have been paid up to be allowed to rote or be elected. Ingle wood —-No. Patea — The suggestion, made by the County Council Conference was adopted as the answer to this question. Haivera —No answer. Hawera—No. Waimate —No answer. Ngaire —That County Councils, if appointed, should be elected by the ratepayers from members of each Boad Board. Wanganui —Non c. Waitotara —None. Eangitikei —No. Rangitikei—No. Lethbridge—No answer. Manawatu —No ; the present system suits very well. Manawatu —No. Otaki—No. Halcombe—No. Eutt— No. Kilbirnie —Yes. The Council should be composed of the Chairmen of the Boad Boards. The Council would then be composed of men who knew and would constantly watch the wants of both the road districts and counties, and would be well acquainted with the capabilities of both. When a Road Board had two representatives on the Council, one of them should be the Chairman of the Boad Board, in virtue of his office. Kaiwara—No. Wairarapa West —No. Eeatherston —Part should retire annually. Carterton —No answer. Waimea —By open nomination instead of by nomination papers as at present. Motueka—By nomination at a public meeting called for the purpose, instead of by nomination papers as at present. Upper Motueka —No. Waimea —See answer to Question 16. Richmond —No alteration suggested, with the exception of doing away with plural voting. Pangatotara —No. Eiwaka —No answer. Lower Moutere —By open nomination. Collingwood —No. Collingwood—No. Bailer —Yes. Term of office to be for two years. Election of councillors to be held on same day as Chairman. Irumgdhua— Would not BUggest any alterations. Grey —Electors should only be entitled to one vote ; no cumulative voting should be allowed. Marlhorough —No answer. Awatere —I think the Chairman of the various Boards should be the Councillors, as they would then directly represent the interests of the Boards. Omaka—No. Pelorus—No; I cannot see that any improvement can be made or desired. Picton —■ Would suggest that the Chairmen of the Boad Boards should be the members of the County Council ex officio. Spring Creek —No. Wairau—No. Lower Wairau—No. Pukaka River Board—The Chairmen
of the local bodies should be the members of the County Council. KaiJcoura —No answer. Kaikoura Eiver Board —No, cannot suggest a better mode of electing councillors. Ashley —No answer. Eyreton—No. Mandcville—As at present, Oxford—No. Waipara—No answer. West Eyreton—No suggestion. Selwyn —Think that one-third of the members of the Council should retire annually, so that there might be more continuity in the body. Courtenay—Yes. Half the Councillors to retire each year. Heathcote —Suggest that where the County Council consists of ninemembers, fourof the number should retire at end of first year after election, and five to retire at end of following year. The members thus holding office, after first year, for two years. Lincoln—Yes, so that one-third or portion should, like the members of Education Boards and Road Boards, retire annually. Eiccarton—Elect under " The Regulation of Local Elections Act, 1876." Templeton—No. South Waimakariri—One-third of the members to retire annually to secure continuity of experience in the Council. Alcaroa —No answer. Little River —No. Pigeon Bay—No. Port Victoria — None whatever, if their existence is deemed necessary. Ashburton —That one-third retire annually in rotation. Wakanui—No. Mount Somers—One-third retire annually. Oeraldine —Yes. That a proportion retire annually, so that entire change in the Council may take place every three years. No member to hold office longer than three years without re-election. G-eraldine —No. Mount Cook—No. Mount Peel —No. Temuka—Yes, a proportion to retire every third year; but no member to hold office more than three years without re-election. Westland —County Council works well here under present mode of procedure. No alteration to suggest. Waitahi No; the present system works well. Kakanui—No. Present system satisfactory. Waiareka—No. The present system of electing Councillors works very well, and we approve of plural vote according to property as at present. Waitaki—Vo; Wailcouaiti —None; the present mode ia very good. Palmerston South — Present mode satisfactory. Waikouaiti—The present mode is very good, hut there should be no plurality of votes. Maniototo— This Council is perfectly satisfied with the present mode. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula—The present mode of electing Councillors is believed to be thoroughly satisfactory. Taieri —No. Waipori—No ; as the present system is satisfactory. Bruce —Present method satisfactory. Crichton—No.
G-lenledi —The present mode of electing Councillors is very good. Matau —No answer. Mount Stuart —The present system is very good. Tokomairiro—No.
Question 4— continued.
Cluiha —The present method of electing Councillors is satisfactory, Pomahaka—No. Molyneux South —No. Tuapeka —No. Clydevale—No.
Southland —No. Knapdale—No. Toitois —No. Tuturau—No.
5. Can you suggest any new duties which should be imposed, or new powers which should be conferred, on counties, more especially as to power of making by-laws ?
Mangonui —That the issue and regulation of game licenses be a new duty imposed on counties, and the fees be county funds; also that the Councils be empowered to issue gum-diggers' rights on the same principle as miners' rights are now issued. County Chairmen should be authorized to frank letters on county business, as the want of this privilege often causes great inconvenience in country districts. Kaeo—That the issue of game licenses be handed over to the county. That the Council have power to issue gum-diggers' licenses on the same principle as miners' licenses. Oruru —Would suggest that County Councils have the entire management of the waste lands, and be empowered to issue depasturing and gum-diggers' licenses. Totara—We suggest that the regulations of game licenses, and revenue derived therefrom, be a new duty imposed on counties. That the local bodies be empowered to issue gum-diggers' rights on the same principle as miners' rights are issued. Where there are no Harbour Boards, the charge of harbour works, with suitable endowments, should be vested in counties. HoManga—The County Council should have some direct control over the waste lands of the Crown, either by returning a member to the Waste Lands Board, or so much land annually opened for settlement. The present system does not work well —too much delay ; intending settlers get tired out and leave the district. Whangarei —No answer. Maunu—County Councils should have power to settle disputes between highway district, and generally determine all local matters without reference to the General Government. Increased powers will bring out better men. Parua—No. Waikiekie—No answer. Waipu Middle —No; they have too much power. Waipu South—No suggestions to offer. Holson—No answer. Okahu —None. Papaora—No. Wairau—No. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —I am not aware of any. It is possible, however, that such provisions may be necessary, as it is some time since I ceased to be a member of the Council. Whakahara School Committee —No answer. Rodney —No. Albertland South—No answer. Arai —Not sufficient information. Upper Mahurangi —No answer. Mangawai—The counties should be enabled to make by-laws affecting bird, animal, insect, and weed pests. Omaha—No answer. Matakana West —Road Boards should have the power to make by-laws; for instance, power to give a grant '
for the suppression of the introduced birds nuisance. Puhoi—None. Tauhoa —No new duties and no new powers should be conferred; and there is a strong feeling in this district in favour of the abolition of County Councils, as they clash with Road Boards in working—are very unfair in the expenditure of their revenue ; as, under the present system, the place with the most inhabitants, best roads and communication (in consequence of the powerful Road Board they can support), monopolize most of the money, while far-lying districts, as ours, are left totally out in all questions, owing to the very inefficient representation we have. And the general feeling with the ratepayers is, that they prefer to rate themselves, and have the whole control of the money raised. Wharehine —None. Wainui —No answer. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—No. Lake —County Councils might discharge the duties of Licensing Commissioners under the Licensing Act; they should also have the issuing of game licenses, with power to receive fees, and also to pass by-laws for destruction of small birds. North Shore—No. Waitakerei West —No remarks. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle) —No suggestion. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter)—No suggestion. Whangaparoa—See answer to No. 1 Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Moimt Roskill —No. Mount Wellington—No answer. Newton —No. Panmure —No. Ponsonby—lt would be much better to confer increased powers upon Highway Boards. Under existing law, even in suburban highway districts, narrow streets can be laid out by owners of property, and when those districts are filled up with population these narrow unhealthy streets with crowded houses become fever nests in our great centres of population. Again, owners of property in highway districts can keep back their land from sale for building purposes until the value is much increased by the expenditure of rates mainly contributed by improving owners, and then they can lay out Btreets that, under existing law, must be formed and made at the expense of ratepayers generally. Were such owners compelled to pay for making new streets, many thousands of pounds would be saved to ratepayers every year, and streets so laid out, instead of lying in a state of mud for years, would be made at once and constitute an element in the progress of the colony. Municipal powers in these cases might be given to Highway Boards.
Waikomiti —No answer. ManuJcau —No answer. Mercer.—No. Hunua—No more power. Karaka—No answer. Maraetai—No answer. Opaheke—Believe Road Boards to be better than County Councils; more economically worked, and they give better satisfaction in every way. Otahuhu—No answer. Papakura—See answer to No. 1. Pollock—No answer. Pukekohe Bast—No answer. Pukekohe West—See answer to No. 1. Waipipi—No experience. County Act suspended. Wairoa—No. Thames —ln all gold fields within the limits of the county boundaries the entire control and management should be Tested in the Council, the functions of Warden, Mining Inspector, and Receiver of Gold Fields Revenue being performed by the Council. The Borough Council acting in same way within boroughs ; the Chairman and two Councillors sitting in open court, as the Warden's Court. County Councils should be River Boards within their boundaries outside the limits of Harbour Boards. Councils should have power after twenty-one days' notice to form or to maintain in good repair any main road through a Road Board District, provided the Road Board does not form such road or keep same ia repair, and should have power to sue and recover cost of such works from Road Board, or to strike a rate on all properties on the line of road, if the Road Board does not pay the amount on judgment being obtained. Police within county limits should be under the control of the County Council, who should decide the number of police to be stationed within the county. The Chairmen of every four or five County Councils whose boundaries are contiguous, and the Mayors of the Boroughs within that area, should be the Waste Lands Board for that district. Parawai —If County Councillors are elected by Roadßoards,the management of waste lands might be conferred on them, and the county worked somewhat like the Shires in Victoria. Waitoa—County Councils Bhould have power to compel Road Boards to keep roads passing through their districts in repair for the use of the public. It sometimes happens that a Board neglects those parts of such through-roads (usually near a district boundary) as are not much used by the ratepayers of its own district; in such a case, the County Council, on the application of the adjoining District Board, should have full authority to investigate the matter, and, if satisfied that the Board complained of has been guilty of neglect, the Council should be empowered to do such work as may be required in order to make the road passable; and, for defraying the cost of such work, to levy a separate rate in the de,
faulting road district', without the petition required by " The Counties Act, 1876," section 109. When the boundary between two districts coincides with a county boundary, some means should be devised for compelling the defaulting Road Board to do the work. PiaTcoSo. Waikato —No answer. Kirikiriroa—lt would reduce the cost incurred by the election of numerous boards and committees if local government could, as far as practicable, be concentrated in County Councils (excepting Eoad Boards), such as licensing publicans oi* auctioneers. The control and maintenance of all main roads and bridges, education, hospitals, and charitable aid, waste lands, and, generally, all local government at preeent managed with much trouble by the Gf-eneral Government. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton—l would suggest that the counties Bhould be custodians of all reserves in the county, with power to lease. Kihikihi—No. The County Councils are not rquired where Road Boards are in operation. Rangiaohia — I would recommend that they receive no further powers; but, on the contrary, I respectfully suggest that they be abolished- altogether. Tuhikaramea —Q-ive Councils power to grant licenses, both auctioneers' and ptiblicans'. Very littlo interest is taken by the public, and a large unnecessary expense incurred by present system. Also give Council control of educational matters in own district, in place of provincial Boards. Do not allow Councils to make by-laws. Raglan —We think the Council should also act as the Waste Lands Boards for their own county. Pirongia —The administration of the Diseased Cattle Act, the Publicans Licensing Act, the Protection of Animals Act. These suggestions are on the supposition that the Counties Act will still be in force in certain counties; but the general opinion of this Board is that the county system is entirely unnecessary, at least so far as this provincial district is concerned. Raglan Town—No answer. Whakatane—'No. Cook —Should be empowered to make bylaws to compel owners of land to destroy obnoxious weeds growing thereon. Ormond —None. Patutahi —No answer. Te Arai—No answer. Poverty Bay — That the counties should have increased powers to make laws or rules for the conservation of rivers and forests. Tauranga— No answer. Katikati —None. They have too much power already, and we believe they exercise their power to the injury of the colony. Te Puna—l believe an Act has passed the General Assembly having for its object the conservation of forests. It is, for all intents and purposes, a dead-letter. The dividing range between this district and that of the Upper Thames and Rotorua, which is covered with forest, has passed, most of it, into the hands of speculators, and will in time become quite denuded. This cannot but have the most injurious effect upon the climate auci productive-
Question s—continued.5 — continued. ness of all the surrounding country. There ought to have been some one to Bee to this, and prevent it. Would not the objects of the above measure be in every way attained by making them a consideration for County Councils ? Their own interests would be so much involved. It would be for them to apply to have reserved such portions of bush as they might consider importantly affected their climate. Such reserves should be vested in them for purposes 01 its protection, and power given to enact by-laws for this purpose. Wairoa —Councils should have power to fix the fees for auctioneers' licenses under a by-law. Councils to act as Licensing Committees for the counties. Councils to have representation on the Waste Lands Board. Extended powers to make by-laws generally; especial powers to compel owners of unoccupied land within township boundaries to clear such land 3 of briars, brambles, and gorse. Sawlce's Bay —That the Council should have power to prevent pigs running at large on unfenced lands near roads; to prevent artesian water being allowed to run over roads ; and to levy and expend rates for Road Boards in districts which neglect their duties. Heretaunga —Counties should have power to regulate flow of water from artesian wells; to prevent pigs from running on unfenced land; and to deal with the nuisance caused by pigs kept in sties. Kereru and Aorangi—No answer. Maraekakaho —That of raising rates on behalf of Road Boards ; they to be the sole rating body for all local rates. Okawa—Power to make by-laws for keeping pigs off unfenced lands near roads, and artesian water to I be Btopped from running on public roads ; and to levy and spend rates for Boards not carrying out their functions. Papakura—None. Petane—No answer. Te Mata—The County Council should not necessarily strike a uniform rate for the whole county. Those road districts which strike a sufficient rate to keep their own roads in good order should not be subject to the same rate as others in which county money is expended. The Council should have power to prevent pigs running at large on unfenced lands near roads, and should also have power to prevent artesian water becoming a public nuisance. Waipawa — Counties should be represented on Waste Lands Boards. Countieß should have power to compel owners of land to clean their land of briars, brambles, gorse, &c, when the growth of such is likely to lead to a public nuisance. Norsewood —No. Oero—No. Ormondville ■ — Counties should be represented on Waste Lands Boards. Ruataniwha North—Counties should be represented on Waste Lands Boards. Tamumu —No answer. Woodville—Waste lands, education, &c. Taranaki —County Councils Bhould have full power to make all by-laws necessary for the protection of county works and roads. This Council is of opinion that County Councils should be constituted the Licensing Committee for the whole county. We are of opinion that the
present system of administering libspital and charitable aid Bhould be abolished, and that a system should be organized by which the whole [coat of maintaining hospitals should be pro- Tided by the G-eneral Government from Consolidated Fund. Manganui—One comprehensive town and county police statute would be much better than having from fifty to sixty different bodies making bylaws. Counties to have power to carry out provisions of Health Act, Slaughter-yards, Dog Registration, and Impounding Statutes. Mangarei—Would like to see County Councils abolished, and main lines of roads taken over by the Government j the land abutting on such roads paying rates to the Government. Carrington—Unnecessary. Waitara West —All by-laws made by the County Council to be sanctioned by the Governor in Council. Egmont —None. The ratepayers, at a special meeting I called to consider what answers should be given to questions asked, unanimously and urgently request to be separated from the county, und under the General Government supervision only. This would be local government, and much better adapted to our district. Moa —No answer. Okato —No answer. Clifton—No. Waitara East — Too many powers already. Inglewood —No answer. Patea —-County Councils should be the Licensing Committees, and the boundaries of licensing districts should be coterminous with those of counties. County Councils should have power to regulate traffic upon roads and bridges, and the weight to be carried on different descriptions of vehicles. That County Councils should be consulted before boroughs or Town districts are formed. That County Councils should have power to make bylaws to eradicate burrs and noxious weeds on private property within the county. That the electoral roll for counties be made up, as the burgess roll of boroughs, from ratepayers who have paid their rates. That subsection 4, section 177, " Counties Act, 1876," be repealed, and that it be sufficient for the Council to publicly notify their intention of passing any by-law, and that they will receive objections up to a certain date. That the fees for auctioneers' licenses should belong to the county in which the holders thereof hold their sales, or if they carry on business in the borough only, then in the borough; but if carried on in the county and borough, then the license fee should be divided between county and borough; if they carry on business in two or more counties, then the fee to be divided between the counties. JSawera —No answer. Hawera — 'lhat County Councils should have power to regulate the weight of load and width of tires on wheels of vehicles; also to Hcenße carriers, and take license fees from them. Waimate —No answer. Ngaire—That County Councils should have power to regulate the weight of load and width of tires on wheels of vehicles; also to license carriers and take license fees from them. Wanganni —No answer. Waitotara—No answer. Bangiti/cei—No answer. Kangitikei—No answer,
Lethbridge—Wo answer. Manawatu —(l.) Tliat the Councils shoulc be constituted the Licensing Commit tees for the county. (2.) That th County Councils should make the valua tion for rating purposes once ever; three years, having power to adjust the roll annually in cases of change o ownership, &o. The Highway and Towi Boards to be supplied by the County Councils with their valuation rolls (3.) That County Councils should have power to make by-laws to regulate the width of tires on the wheels of vehicles plying on the roads within the county (4.) That County Councils should bo the Waste Lands Boards for their repective counties. Manawatu—No. Otaki —No answer. Haleombe —-Power should be given to enable all local bodies to regulate the width of tires on drays and wagons. Suit —The powers of counties to make by-laws to be simplified as much as possible, so as to avoid " special orders," and to reduce cost of advertising to a minimum. Kilbirnie —No. As far as I know the powers are sufficient as at present conferred ; except perhaps the regulation of the traffic on county roads, Kaiwara —No. Wairarapa West —No. Ifeatherston —No answer. Carterton —No answer. Waimea — The County Councils should have a voice in the administration of waste lands within their county. Power to create or alter highway districts. Motueka—County Councils should be intrusted with the administration of the waste lands in their respective counties, but should not have power to create or alter highway districts. Upper Motueka —Power to receive a portion of the revenue accruing from sales and rents of waste lands of the Crown within their boundaries. Waimea —Powers should be confined to matters of detail, or to make plain what might appear to be ambiguous. They should have the power, after bringing the Act into full force, of relinquishing the same if subsequently found desirable. Bichmond —Power should be given to counties to create new Road Boards and to provide for the election of members and to define their duties j power should also be given to counties to create River Boards in the same manner as that of Road Boards; and if power does not at present exist, it should be given to Committees to levy a special rate for river protection, &c.,from owners whose land adjoins rivers, and who would be benefited by such works, Committees to make by-laws to protect and guard river banks. Pan gatotara —No. Riwaka —No. Lower Moutere—Should have some authority in the management of Waste Lands. Collingioood —That Councils Bhould act as Licensing Committees, and have power to nominate a member of the Waste Lands Board. Collingwood —Should have a voice m the administration of waste lands. duller —That the administration of the Licensing Act be placed in the hands of the County Council. Inangahua —Yes. Councils should haye 3—A. 10
Question s— continued.
the management of all hospitals anc charitable institutions within their boun daries, and power given them to levy a annual rate of 10*. upon every mal adult, such rate to go towards the main tenance of such hospitals and charitabl institutions. " The Municipal Corpora tions Act, 1876," and "The Countie Act, 1876," should be incorporated, by which new powers would be given to counties. Grey —That, with the view of saving expense, nil moneys voted by Parliament for works within the county should be expended under the sole supervision of the County Councils, where such bodies maintain an efficient staff of officers for carrying out public works : that County Councils should be local Land Boards: that County Councils should be empowered to make by-laws to license vehicles and horses in lieu of tolls : that the words "advertise for thirty days" in subsection 1 of section 103 of " The Public Works Act, 1876," be struck out: that County Councils should, like the General Government, be exempted from stamp duty on contracts : that in clause 44 of the Counties Act the Receivers of Gold-fields Revenue should be compelled to send in their lists of miners' rights on or before February Ist, instead of April Ist. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere—No answer. Oinaka—Tes ; in regard to fencing. Pelorus—Council to have power to make by-laws when Act in full operation only. Picton —No. Spring Creek —No answer. Wairau—Yes, in regard to fencing. Lower Wairau —Yes, with reference to fencing. Pukaka River Board—No answer. Kaikoura—lSo answer. Kaikoura River Board —No, unless it be to conserve rivers and streams that are not under the jurisdiction of any River Board. Ashley —No answer. Kyreton—No answer. Mandeville —No. Oxford—No. Waipara—No answer. West Eyreton—No suggestion. Selwyn —No answer. Courtenay—No answer. Heathcote- —Do not suggest any alteration in present Act. Lincoln —No answer. Riccarton —No answer. Templeton—None. South Waimakariri —No. Akaroa —No answer. Little River—The Council of the Akaroa County, in which county this district is situated, have been of no practical use as far as this district is concerned ; consequently this Board have no suggestions to make in relation to that body, except to abolish it. Pigeon Bay—No. Port Victoria —None whatever. Ashburton —They should be able to make by-laws on any matter subject to their control. Wakanui—Yes. To receive 20 per cent, of the moneys received from the sale of Crown lands within its boundaries, the same to be divided equally between the Road Boards and County Councils. Such, in our opinion, would be preferable to the proposed Crown Lands Rating Bill. To have the powers at present held by the Licensing Committees vested in them. The power of appointing Cemetery Trustees, Domain Boards, &o.
Mount Somers — That the Council should have power of making bylaws for all public works which they are empowered to undertake. Geraldine —That the election of Cemetery Boards, Park Commissioners, &c, should be made directly by the ratepayers, and the counties have the regulation of such elections. That hospitals and charitable aid should be under the management of the County Councils, the Government handing over tho funds to the county which are now applied to these institutions. That the control of the Licensing Courts be left to the County Councils, and a simplification and reduction of expenses be provided for in the working of the Act. Geraldine—They have already sufficient power. Mount Cook—That the whole of the local governing power and Government agency should be executed by the local body ; that is, that they should supply the Government with agricultural statistics, census returns, &c, and they should be made as useful to the country as possible by the Government imposing on the counties or Road Boards —if in existence—any duty they might advantageously undertake, such as Licensing Committeeship, Cemetery Trusteeship, and others now under separate and individual Boards. With regard to by-laws, the necessity for their existence is much felt in some counties, but a multiplicity of perhaps different and opposite by-laws adopted by each county would not be conducive to the welfare of the country. We think counties should be enabled to make by-laws subject to their approval by the Governor; that the by-laws desired should be submitted to the Government year by year; that the Government might alter or modify them so that there might be some uniformity and consistency throughout the colony. Mount Peel—No. Temuka—No answer. Westland — Power should be given to County Councils to make by-laws for the licensing of vehicles using county roads. The County Chairman should be an ex-qfficio member of the Waste Lands Boards. Vaitahi —Counties should have more power to regulate traffic on roads by regulating width of tires j they should bo the licensing body for the county, subject to the local-option clauses j they Bhould have the control of cemeteries, and grant aid to sparrow clubs out of county funds. Kakanui —No answer. Waiareka — Counties should have power to make by-laws to regulate width of tires of wheels of vehicles used on all roads within the county. Waitaki —Counties should have large powers for passing by-laws on local subjects. Vaikouaiti —County Councils should have large powers for passing by-laws on locals subjects ; but such by-laws should be inoperative until the Governor's assent is given thereto. Palmerston South—That the counties be empowered to levy a tax on the carriers. Waikouaiti—lt ought to be made compulsory that the rates and other revenues raised in ridings be spent in such riding, less a fair proportion for expenses. taniototo - — This Council is of opinion that, in the interests of settlement, and as a safeguard against the alienation of,
auriferous land, County Councils should be created Boards of Advice to the Government and Waste Lands Boards; and that many of the administrative powers at present exercised by the latter might safely be confided to the County Councils. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula —■ The County Councils should form Licensing Committees outside boroughs. Should have power to expend Council votes on other than county roads; to have control over ground game and the small-birds pest, and large powers generally for the framing and passing of by-laws on local subjects. Ttlieri— The County Councils should form Licensing Committees outside of boroughs ; have pow rer to expend Council votes on other than county roads; to have control over ground game, and the small-bird pest; and large powers generally for the framing and passing of by-laws on local subjects. Waipori—County Councils should be Licensing Committees outside boroughs ; should have power to make by-laws to meet the cases of bush teamsters and wagoners, as at present Councils and Eoad Boards have no power to tax those parties for the maintenance of roads ; and also be empowered to increase the tax on all dogs other than collies. Bruce —County Councils to form Licensing Committees outside boroughs ; also, to have powers to expend Council votes
Question 5— continued.
on other than county roads; also, to have control over ground game and small-bird pest, and large powers on making by-laws on local subjects. Crichton—No. Glenledi — The County Councillors should be Licensing Committes outside of boroughs; have power to expend Council votes on other than county roads, as also to compel the Road Boards, where necessary, to continue, deviate, or make new roads where the exigencies of the district requires them. Matau —No answer. Mount Stuart — County Councils should form Licensing Committees outside boundaries. Tokomairiro —County Councils should have large powers for passing bylaws on local subjects, but such bylaws should be inoperative till the Governor's assent has been given thereto. Cluiha —The counties should have power 1o frame by-laws, and carry out elections under Licensing Act, and also to caiTy out the Rabbit Act. Pomahaka — The County Councils should form Licensing Committees outside boroughs ; have power to expend Council votes on other than county roads; to have control over the small-bird pest ; and large powers generally for the framing and passing of by-laws on local subjects. Molyneux South — Counties should have the power to administer the
Rabbit and Licensing Acts, smd to make by-laws to enforce same. Tua/peka —(l) To give counties power to regulate weight of loading to be carried on county roa is ; (2) That County Councils form Waste Lands Boards for respective counties failing members of Waste Lands Boards as at present constituted being elected by the people ; (3) That absolute separation be made between colonial and local finance ; (4) That property-lax be considered and treated as local revenue ; (5) That local bodies receive full powers (a) to make by-laws, (b) to deal with reserves, (c) Crown lands till required for settlement. (6) That County Councillors be ex-officio members of and forai Licensing Committees. (7) That mining revenue be paid to counties direct. Clydevale—County Councils to act as Licensing Boards and such similar duties. Southland —That the powers of the Licensing Committees be vested in the County Councils; that the powers under the Protection of Game Act be vested in the County Councils ; that the appointment of Cemetery Trustees be vested in the County Councils. Knapdale—To appoint Trustees of cemeteries. Toitois—No. Tuturau — Should be invested with power of Licensing Committee, working Rabbit Act, power to deal with small-bird nuisance, power to borrow up to the extent of two years' reveuue.
6. Should tlie counties be enabled to create new road districts or alter existing ones of their own motion, or only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers ?
Mangonui —Yes ; on the petition of resident ratepayers. Kaeo — Yes. Counties should have power upon majority of resident ratepayers. Oruru—Yes ; the counties should have the power with the majority of resident ratepayers. Totara —Yes ; on the petition of a majority of resident ratepayers. JloJcianga —No answer. Whangarei —Only on a petition of the ratepayers. Maunu—Only on petition of ratepayers, whether a majority or a minority, the latter have rights that are not always respected. Parua —We should bo sorry to see counties have this power, and would prefer the Governor to create or alter new road districts on petition of majority of ratepayers. Waikiekie —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Waipu Middle—No. Waipu South —Only on the petition of a majority of ratepayers. Bobson —No answer. Okahu—Only on the petition of the ratepayers. Paparoa—On request from ratepayers. Wairau —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) — The power to create new road districts and alt er existing boundaries should undoubtedly be vested in the resident ratepayers, the parties most interested and best able to judge, and form a correct opinion, and, as being those taxed, best entitled to take the initiative in all these proceedings. Whakahara School Committee —See , answer to Question 16.
Rodney —Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Albertland South—No answer. Arai—The latter is certainly the only fair mode. Great inconvenience might result if the first named plan was adopted. Upper Mahurangi—Only on a petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Mangawai—On receipt of petition of majority of ratepayers occupying an area of not less than thirty thousand acres in an outlying district, counties should create such a road district. Counties should not alter boundaries of road district unless on petition of majority of ratepayers. Omaha—On majority of ratepayers. Matakana West—Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Puhoi —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Tauhoa —The interference of counties is entirely repudiated. Ratepayers should haye the entire power of petitioning the Colonial Secretary for the creation and alteration of Road Board districts. Wharehino—No answer. Wainui—lt would be as well to place a check upon the proceedings of County Councils to prevent injustice and confusion, and therefore it would be safer to leave such powers with the Government or with the Governor. Waitetnala —No answer. Kaukapakapa—Only on a petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Lake —Counties should have power to create new districts or alter existing ones on their own motion. North Shore —Only on thepetilion or
consent of a majority of the ratepayers. Waitakerei West—Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers in each district any alterations would effect. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle)—Only on petition of the majority of each particular district. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter)— Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers of each particular district. Whangaparoa—Only on a petition of the majority of the ratepayers. Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Mount Roskill —Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Mount Wellington — Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Newton—Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Panrnure —Only on the majority of ratepayers. Ponsonby—lt 19 desirable that such powers should be left in the hands of the people, and be exercised by inexpensive petition, and not by expensive polling. Waikomiti —The county should have no power to alter or create road districts ; it should be loft in the hands of the ratepayers, and be exercised by them by petition. Manufcau —No answer. Mercer. —Alterations such as suggested I would prefer, allowing the ratepayers to determine. Hunua—Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Karaka— -So. Only by a majority of ratepayers. Maraetai —On the petition of majority of ratepayers.
Opaheko—Only on petition of ratepayers. Otahuhu—Only on petition of a majority of ratepayers. Papakura —See answer to No. 1. Pollock—On the petition of ratepayers. Pukekohe East—On petition of majority. Eukekohe West—See answer to No. 1. Waipipi —Counties should not create new road districts, nor alter existing one?, except by petition of ratepayers interested. Wairoa —On a petition of ratepayers. Thames —Only on a petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Parawai —Should hare power to create new road districts on their own motion. Waitoa—On petition of ratepayers, if road districts are not made coterminous with ridings by any new enactment. Pialeo —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Wailcalo —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Kirikiriroa —Only on the petition of at least three-fourths of the ratepayers. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton —No answer. Kibikihi—No. - Eangiaohia—Such powers, if granted to them, would act injuriously on the community ; and would, in my opinion, cause annoyance and irritation amongst ratepayers generally. Tuhikaramea—Only on a petition of a majority of ratepayers. Saffian —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Pirongia—Only on the petition of ratepayers. Kaglan Town—No answer. Whalcatane —On the petition of a majority of ratepayers. Cook —Yes; counties should be able to do so of their own motion. Ormond —Majority of ratepayers. Patutahi —Only on a petition of the majority of ratepayei-3. Te Aral —Only on the petition of the majority of the votes of the ratepayers. Poverty Bay — Only on petition of ratepayers. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati —Only on the petition of the majority of the ratepayers. Te Puna —On petition of ratepayers. Wairoa —No road districts in county. Council have no suggestions to offer. Hawlce's Bay —The counties should have full power on their own motion. Heretaunga —No. Kereru and Aorangi—Only on petition of a majority of two-thirds of the ratepayers. Maraekakaho —Only on petition of ratepayers. Okawa —The counties to have the power, on petition of ratepayers. Papakura—No answer. Petane —No. Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Te Mata—Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Waipawa —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Norsewood —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Ocro —Yes, of their own motion. Ormondville —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Buataniwlia North —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Tamumu — Only on a petition of a majority of the ratepayers.
Question 6 — continued.
Woodville — Petition of ratepayers only. Taranahi —That the county should have the power to alter road district boundaries, unless objected to by two-thirds of the ratepayers within the district proposed to be altered. Manganui —Yes, from seven to nine, or from nine to Beven, upon petition of a majority of ratepayers affected by change. Mangarci—On petition of a majority of ratepayers only. Carriugton —Only by majority. Waitara West —All alterations made in road districts should emanate from the ratepayers, after being converted into wards of a uniform area as to extent or rating power. Egmont—Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Moa—ln the event of any alterations in road districts we would strongly recommend appealing to ratepayers. Okato —Yes. Newly-settled districts should be allowed to amalgamate, but not divide existing ones, on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Clifton— By petition from ratepayers. Wailara Eaet —Only on a petition of a majority of ratepayers. Number of votes to be in proportion to the value of property, as per Counties Act, in electing the members for counties. Inglewood —They should have power to alter, after giving three months' notice of their intention to make a specific alteration, provided a majority of the ratepayers in such road district do not object. Palea —Only on petition of a majority of ratepayers. Kawera —No answer. Hawera —On petition of the majority of the ratepayers. Waimate —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Ngaire—On petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Vt ran(jamd —Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Waitoiara —Only on the petition of the majority of the ratepayers. Sangitihei —Should be left to ratepayers. Kangitikei — Should be left to the ratepayers. Lothbridge—No. Manawatu —No ; the better plan is that contained in " The Highways Act, 1874" (Wellington), substituting the Colonial Secretary for the Superintendent. Manawatu—Counties not to have tho power to create now road districts. Otaki—Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Halcombe —Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Utitt —On petition of majority of ratepayers. .Kiibirnie —The counties should have no powers over Koad Uoavds. At present they have some, which are generally abused ; and under the new system, as per circular, certainly the Road Boards should in no way be under the control of the County Councils. The Koad Boards would have to find all the money necessary for their own wants, and should therefore be under no other body, especially one like the County Council, who would gain by any loss of Eoad Board. Kaiwara—On a petition of majority of ratepayers. IVairarapa West —Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Featherston —On the petition of majority of ratepayers.
Carterton—Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Waimea —Only on petition of the majority. Motuelia —No. Only a petition of tho majority of the ratepayers. Upper Motueka—Only by decision of majority. Waimea —Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Richmond —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Pangatotara —Only on petition of a majority of ratepayers. Riwaka —No. Lower Moutere —Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Collingwood —Yes ; but only on a majority of the whole of the ratepayers of the district. Collingwood—Only on majority of ratepayers of road district. Butter —Only on petition of ratepayers. Inangaliua —Counties should be enabled to create new road districts, or alter existing ones, only on the votes of not less than three-fourths of the ratepayers. Gfrey —That it be only on the petition of the ratepayers. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere—Only by a majority of ratepayers. Omaka —Only on the petition of the majority of the ratepayers in the respective districts. Pelorus—Only on petition of ratepayers. Pioton—Only on petition. Spring Creek—Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers in the portion of a district desirous of detaching itself from one district and attaching itself to another, provided that a majority of the ratepayers in the district to which it would attach itself shall agree thereto. Wairau —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers in the portion of the district desirous of detaching itself from one district and attaching itself to another, provided that a majority of the ratepayers in the district to which it would attach itself shall agree thereto. Lower Wairau —On a petition of a majority representing the major part of the rateable property. Pukaka River Board —Only on the petition of ratepayers. K.aihoura —No answer. lioikoura River Board —Only on the petition of a majority (numerically) of the ratepayers. Ashley —No answer. Eyreton —By a majority of the ratepayers only, liandeville —Only on the petition of the ratepayers. Oxford —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Waipara —Counties should not interfere with the construction of Koad Boards in any way. West Eyreton—Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Selwyn —Think that any interference with Eoad Boards in the direction of altering boundaries, &c, on the motion of the County Council, should be avoided; but that the Council should have the power to make alterations on petition of the majority of ratepayers concerned. Courtenay —By a majority of the ratepayers. Heathcote —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers interested in the alteration. Lincoln—Only on petition of.majority of ratepayers.
Rieearton—On the petition of majority of ratepayers only. Templeton—Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. South Waimakariri —Only on petition of majority of ratepapers interested. AlcaroaSo answer. Little River —Only on a petition of two-thirds of the ratepayers of each district. Pigeon Bay —County Councils might be suspended, and if not, they should only have power to create new districts or alter existing ones only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Port Victoria —I think no alteration needed. Ashburton—Not without consent of majority of ratepayers. Wakanui—Only on a petition of the majority of the ratepayer. Mount Somers —On petition of ratepayers only. Geraldine —Only on the petition of the majority of the ratepayers. Geraldine —Only on the petition of a majority of ratepayers. Mount Cook —Eoad districts, if in existence, should only be altered by the petition of ratepayers affected thereby to the County Council; any petition should have weight by number of votes according toboldings and not by number of persons petitioning ; any such petition should be
Question 6— continued.
advertised, and in case no counterpetition was presented the Council should make the alteration petitioned for. Mount Peel—Only on a petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Temu'ka—Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. WeMand —No Eoad Boards on the coast. Waitaki —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Kakanui —Only on petition of a majority of the rateyapers. Waiaveka —Only on a petition from a majority of ratepayers. Waitaki —Only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Waikonaiti —Only on petition of a majority of ratepayers. Palmerston South —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Waikouaiti —Only on a petition of majority of ratepayers interested. Maniototo —No road districts in this county, therefore this question has not arisen. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula —Only by a petition of a majority of the ratepayers should counties be enabled to create new road districts, or alter existing ones. Taieri —Only by a petition of a i;.;.jority of the ratepayers should counties be enabled to create new road districts, or alter existing ones.
Waipori—Only on a petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Bruce —Yes, on a petition by a majority of the ratepayers. Crichton —We object to any change. Glenledi —Only by a petition of a majority of the ratepayers in each district affected thereby should counties be enabled to create new road districts, or alter existing ones. Matau —By petition of the majority o£ ratepayers. Mount Stuart—Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Tokomairiro —Only by a petition of a majority of the ratepayers should Counties be enabled to create new road districts or alter existing ones. Chdha —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Pomabaka —Only on petition of a majority of the ratepayers should counties be enabled to create or alter road districts. Molyneux South —Only on a petition of the ratepayers, irrespective of their rating powers. Tuapelca —Only on petition of ratepayers. Clydevale —On petition of ratepayers. Southland —No alteration from present process. Knapdalc —Only on the petition of a majority of the ratepayers. Toitois —No. Tuturau — Only on petition of majority of ratepayers.
7. Should the counties or the Road Boards have the power of altering the divisions and the numbers of the members of Road Boards ?
Mangonui —The Eoad Boards should have this power. Kaeo —No. Oruru—The Eoad Boards should have the power with the majority of resident ratepayers. Totara —The Eoad Boards should have the power. JTolianga —No anwer. Whangarei —None. Maunu—Counties on petition. Parua —No. Waikiekie —No answer. Waipu Middle —No. Waipu South —Such powers should be given to ratepayers. Holson —No anßwer. Okahu —Eoad Boards. Paparoa —No answer. Wairau —The Eoad Boards. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —I think no such powers should be granted either to Councils or Eoad Boards. The Acts under which the Eoad Boards for the Provincial District of Auckland are constituted limit the number of trustees to five, which works satisfactorily. Whakahara School Committee —No answer. Rodney —Counties should not interfere with constitution of Eoad Boards. Albertland South —No answer. Arai —Neither Road Boards nor counties should have such power, except when requested by a majority of ratepayers. Probably it might be best for provision to be made by Act fixing the minimum valuation, population, and area of road districts. With those exceptions let ratepayers fix boundaries and divide the districts into wards not leßa than five or more than nine in number, each ward returning one member to Eoad Board.
Upper Mahurangi—Road Boards; the number of members is all right at present. Mangawai — Counties might have power of altering boundaries of road district as specified above. Number of members should not exceed five in number. Omaha —No answer. Matakana West —Eoad Boards. Puhoi—The Boad Boards. Tauhoa —Eoad Boards. Wharehine —Only on petition of the ratepayers. Wainui —Neither the counties nor Eoad Boards should hare such power; it would certainly be abused. Wailtmaia —No answer. Kaukapakapa —No ; the people are the best judges as to the divisions, tinder the present Act the present number of five seems to answer very well. Lake —Counties should have power to alter divisions of districts where desired. Present number of members sufficient. North Shore—No. Waitakerei West —The Eoad Boards. Waitakerei West (J. Cottlo)— The Eoad Boards. Waitakerei West (11. Hunter) —The Eoad Boards. Whangaparoa—The Koad Boards. Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. IG. Mount Eoskill—Not without consent of Government. Mount Wellington—lf thought desirable by a majority of the ratepayers Eoad Boards should have the power. Newton —Neither. Panmure —Yes; on the application of two-thirds of the ratepayers.
Ponsonby—This power also ought to be left in the hands of the people, and to be exercised as in last reply. Waikomiti —The counties should have no power to alter the divisions or the members of road districts ; it should be left to the ratepayers. Mav/akau —No answer. Mercer. —No. Hunua—The Eoad Boards. Karaka—Only the Eoad Boards. Maraetai —Yes; for altering the division. Opaheke —No. Otahuhu — Counties should have power to alter, but only on application from Eoad Boards. It should be determined by statute what Bhould be the number of members, as at present by the Highway Act. Papakura—Boad Boards should have the power. Pollock —Eoad Boards. Pukekohe East—No. Pukekoho West—See answer to No. 1. Waipipi—Eoad Boards. Wairoa—No. Thames —No answer. Parawai—Eoad Boards. Waitoa —Eoad Boards, subject to the approval of County Councils. Pialco — No. Waikaio —The Eoad Boards only should have the power. Kirikiriroa — Alteration should be made by county, but only on the application of the Eoad Boarc concerned. Waif a —No answer. Hamilton — Number of me Eoad Boards as at present. Kihikihi—The County Counui-i not make alterations; neither should they interfere with the constitution of Road Boards.
Rangiaohia — The counties should have nothing to do in this matter ; but this question should be settled by ratepayers at their annual meetings. Tuhikaramea —0-ive Councils power to alter boundaries, but only on a petition of ratepayers being presented. Raglan —lf the County Councils continue to exist, the County Councils. Pirongia —The Road Boards. Raglan Town —Boad Boards. WhaTcalane —No. Cooh —Boad Boards, with right of appeal to County Council. Ormond—No. Patutahi —Counties. Te Arai —Boad Boards. Poverty Bay—Boad Boards to have power. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati—No alteration. If any, the Boad Board should have the power. Te Puna—Counties. Wairoa —No road districts in county. Council have no suggestions to offer. Haiolce's Bay —Boad Boards should have the power to subdivide their districts into wards. County Councils to have the right to object to such subdivision within three months. Heretaunga —Boad Board should have the power. Kereru and Aorangi —Boad Boards. Maraekakaho —Road Boards. Okawa —Boards should have the power to subdivide districts into wards. Papakura—Only on the petition of a majority of ratepayers. Petane —No. Not without first appealing to the ratepayers. , Te Mata—Boad Board should have the power. Waipaioa —Road Boards should have power to divide a district into wards. County to act as arbitrator in case of dispute. Norsewood—Boad Boards should have the power to divide a district into wards. County to act as arbitrator of disputes. • Ocro —The counties. Ormondville — Boad Boards should have the power to divide a district into wards. Ruataniwha North — Boad Boards; and only on petition of majority of ratepayers. Tamumu —Road Boards only. Woodville —Boad Board. TaranaJci —Counties. Manganui — Counties to have power of altering boundaries, but not the number of the members of Boad Boards. Mangavei—Counties, if in existence. Carringlon—Boad Boards. Waitara West—All alterations should emanate from the ratepayers. Egmont—The ratepayers only at their annual meeting. Moa—We consider Road Boards should have the power. Okato —The counties. Clifton —Counties should have power on application by Boards affected. Waitara East — Should be in the hands of the ratepayers. Inglewood—Yes. Fatea —That where road districts are now divided into wards it be left to them, but if not divided it be left to counties, with the proviso that public notice be given in either case once a week for one month before the meeting deciding the question. Haivera —No answer. Hawera —Road Boarda should have
Question 7 — continued.
the power of dividing the districts into wards. Waimate —That Boad Boards should have the power of dividing the districts into wards. Ngaire —Boad Boards should have the power of dividing the districts into wards. Wangawui — Counties should have the power of receiving a petition from the ratepayers. Waitotara —The counties should have no control over the Boad Boards. llangilikei —No. Kangitikei —No. Lethbridge —No. Manawatn —The answer to No. 6 applies to this question also. Manawatu — The Boad Boards, on petition of a majority of ratepayers, should have the power of altering the divisions, &c.; but it is objectionable to constitute the counties —bodies performing similar function —as superior Courts with jurisdiction over Boad Boards. Otaki —The Boad Boards only. Halcombe —Yes, on petition of twothirds of the ratepayers. Suit —Counties should have the power. Kilbirnie —The Boad Board should have the power of altering the wards within the district; but the County Councils should not have any power over Boad Boards. Kaiwara—No ; neither. Wairarapa West —Koad Boards. Featherston — County. It may be necessary that a higher body should arbitrate ; in such case the Council would be best, while the Highway Boarda might disagree in any necessary alteration. Carterton—Yes. Waimea —The power should be vested in the counties of altering the divisions and the uumber of the members of the Boad Boards. Motuoka —The Boad Boards should have the power of altering the divisions and the number of the members of Boad Boards. Upper Motueka —The counties. Waimea —Boad Boards, when in existence. Richmond —Counties should have the power of altering Boad Board districts and members, but Boad Boards that of subdistricts. Pangatolara —Only Boad Boards in Boad Board districts; ditto in counties. Biwaka—The Boad Board to have the power to alter the divisions and the numbers of their members. Lower Moutere —The ratepayers to have the power of altering the division, and the Boad Board the numbers of members thereshould be. Collingwood —lt should be left to the ratepayers, through their Board, to alter the number of members. That it would be advisable to divide the districts into wards for the better representation thereof. Collingwood —Should be left to the ratepayers through their Board to alter the number of members, if required, or divide into wards. Butter —The counties. Inangahua —The counties should have the power of altering the divisions, if sanctioned by the votes of not less than three-fourths of the ratepayers within such division, but not otherwise. Grey —That the counties have the power to alter the divisions and numbers of the members of Boad Boards. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere —Boad Boards. Omaka—Boad Boards.
Pelorus —Counties on petition of those interested, i.e., the ratepayers. Picton —Boad Boards, if absolutely necessary. Spring Creek —Boad Boards. Wairau—Boad Boards. Lower Wairau —Counties, when in full operation ; otherwise the Boad Boards. Pukaka Eiver Board —The Boad Boards, if such alterations are absolutely necessary. KaiTcoura —No answer. Kaikoura Biver Board—Not without the sanction of three-fourths of the ratepayers. Ashley —No answer. Eyreton—Road Board. Mandeville—Neither. Oxford—No. Waipara—Boad Boards. West Eyreton—No. Selwyn —Present number of members of Boad Boards has been found hitherto to work satisfactorily. Think that should any proposals be made for increasing the number of these bodies, the decision should rest with the Council, after consideration of the wishes of majority of ratepayers. Think it would not be advisable to leave power of alteration of divisions of road districts in hands of the Boad Boards. Power of ultimate decision should rest with County Council. Courtenay—Yes. Heathcote—Consider it very desirable that County Councils should have the power of altering divisions and number of members of Boad Boards upon receiving petition from ratepayers or Boad Boards make such alteration ; say from five up to nine members. Lincoln —No. Biccarton—Boad Boards. Templeton —Boad Boards only. South Waimakariri—Consider it very desirable that County Councils Bhould have power of altering the divisions and the number of members of Road Boards upon petition from ratepayers or Boad Boards, the Boards to consist of not less than five nor more than nine members. Akaroa —No answer- Little River—Boad Boards generally seem to have conducted their business satisfactorily in the past, consequently desire no change as asked. Pigeon Bay —The Boad Boards are more competent to do it. Port Victoria — Present system of Boad Boards working well enough. Ashburton —No necessity for alteration. Wakanui—The Road Boards. Mount Somers—Stand as at present. Qeraldine —The counties. G-eraldine—Give Road Boards the power. Mount Cook—Boad Boards should have this power entirely in their own hands. Mount Peel—Neither one or the other. Temuka —The counties. Westland —No Boad Boards on the coast. Wailaki —Boad Boards should have the power of recommending alterations in the divisions, and in the number of members of Boad Boards, but the county should have the final decision. Kakanui —Boad Boards Bhould have the power, with consent of a majority of the ratepayers. Waiareka—Boad Boards should have power to alter the boundaries of subdivisions on petition of a majority of ratepayers. Waitaki —Road Boards. Wailcouaiti —Boad Boards should have the power of recommending alteration; but
the County Council should have the final decision. Palmerston South —Road Boards. Waikouaiti —Same answer as No. G. Maniototo —See answer to No. G. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula —The Road Boards should have the power of altering the divisions and the numbers of the members of Road Boards. Taieri —Neither should have the power. Waipori—The Roid Boards should have such power. Bruce —Road Boards to recommend alterations, &c.; County Councils should have final decision. Crichton —No ; to remain as now.
Question 7— continued.
G-lenledi —Road Boards should have the power of recommending alterations in divisions, and in the number of members of Road Boards, but the county shall have the final decision. Matau —The Road Boards. Mount Stuart —County Councils only should have power of altering the divisions and number of members, on the recommendation of Road Boards. Tokomairiro —The county, onthepetition of the Road Boards, and the Road Board on the petition of the majority of the ratepayers.
Clutha— The Road Boards. Pomahaka —The Road Boards should have the power of altering the divisions and the number of the members oi Road Boards. Molyneux South —Road Boards. Tuapiea —No. Clydevale — Yes, with consent of county. Southland —Road Boards, with the approval of the County Councils. Knapdale—Road Boards should have power only. Toitois —The Road Boards. Tuturau —No.
8. What rating powers should counties have ?
Jtfangomii —A general rate not exceeding Ir. in the pound, without the restrictions imposed in clause 107, Counties Act. Kaeo —General rate not exceeding Is. in the pound. Oruru —Not to exceed Is. in the pound. Totara —A. general rate not exceeding Is. in the pound without the restrictions in clause 107, Counties Act.' Holcianga —Power to rate all the Crown lands and Native lands. Power to rate up to Is. in the pound annual value. Whangarei —Two shillings in the pound. Maunu —Any moneys required by the County Councils in excess of their ordinary revenue should be levied on the Road Boards of the county. The latter only should have the power of levying rates, excepting they neglect or refuse to pay their quota to the Council, or to keep connecting roads in fair order. On such neglect or refusal the county should have power. Parua —Tho power of rating outlying districts, and rating, on petition of majority of ratepayers, for special works. Waikiekie —No answer. Waipu Middle —None whatever. Waipu South —Should have no powers to rate within road districts, except on petition of ratepayers. Sobson —No answer. Okahu —None, where such powers are in the hands of the Highway Boards. Paparoa —No rating powers in highway districts without consent of ratepayers. Wairau —None whatever. Wairau (by ex-Chairman)— See answer to No. 9. Whakahara School Committee —As at present. Rodney —Bating powers should be at our own discretion, so that we can exceed Is. in the pound if deemed necessary. Albertland South —No answer. Arai —Present powers seem reasonable. Upper Mahurangi —Only over outlying districts. They should not have the power of striking a rate over highway districts. Mangawai—Counties should not have power to strike a rate in road districts for any purpose whatever, unless petitioned by a majority of members of the Board. Counties should have power to strike rates in outlying districts. Omaha —Not more than Is. in the pound. • Matakantt West —No answer.
Puhoi—Levying rates under extraordinary circumstances, in case the means of the Road Board were entirely insufficient, and the Government would not or could not grant subsidies. Tauhoa —None. Abolish them. Wharehine —Not the counties, but the Road Roarda. Wainui —Under the proposed system of valuation by an officer of the Government the residents will be heavily taxed for revenue purposes and for road rates, making them pay for all the improvements they have made, and because they have been accumulating capital through hard work and industry. If the useless counties are to have power also to levy a rate, it will be most disastrous to the settlers. It is well known that unimproved and unoccupied lands under the present Rating Act are of small use for taxing, and since it has been in force most of the northern Road Boards have lost half their incomes. The acreage rate, not exceeding three or four pence, with the power to let or sell for non-payment of rates, proposed to be given to the Public Trustee, would be most beneficial to these districts. Waitemala —No answer. Kaukapakapa —Two shillings in the pound should be the maximum, hut ratepayers should have the option of fixing the amount of rate to be levied. Lake—Present rating power sufficient. North Shore —None where Road Boards are formed and rates levied by the Board. Waitakerei YYeat—None. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle) —No suggestion. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter) —No suggestion. Whangaparoa —None. JSden —No answer. Fjpsom —See answer to No. 16. Mount Roskill —No answer. Mount Wellington — None in the Eden County. Newton—As at present. Panmure—Optional as at present. Ponsonby —No rating powers where such powers are in the hands of Highway Boards. Waikomili — The counties should have no rating powers in highway districts where there is a Board elected and strike a rate. ji&anulcau —No answer. Mercer.—The amount set forth by the Rating Act is insufficient, but an alteration is required when a Road Board exists within a county where
the Act is in operation, in order to avoid double rating, which presses heavily. Hunua—None at all. Karaka —None. Maraetai —No powers over Road Board Districts. Opaheke —One shilling in the pound in counties, but no power to levy a rate over districts where Road Boards are in existence. Otahuhu —None others than at present given by statute. Papakura —No answer. Pollock —None. Pukekohe East —No answer. Pukekohe West —See answer to No. 1. Waipipi —Counties should exercise a power in rating over that of Road Boards, so as to take advantage of such Acts as the Roads Construction Bill only. Wairoa—Not exceeding 2s. in the pound. Thames—A general rate up to 2s. 6d. in the pound on all lands and properties within the county except within those portions of the county comprising a road district. County Councils should possess no power to rate within a road district, except as before stated for main road. County Councils should possess power to strike special rates for tramways, bridges, and other special works. Parawai —None. Waitoa—A general rate for the whole county as at present. A general rate in outlying districts, as a substitute for Road Board rates. Separate rates and special rates, as provided by the Counties Act. Separate rates, as suggested in reply to Question 5. Pialeo —As at present. Waikato —The present rating power is considered sufficient. Kirikiriroa —The present rating power appears to be sufficient, We do not think tbat any Council in this locality would attempt to 'levy a rate. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton —As at present. Kihikihi —None. Rangiaohia—None whatever. Tuhikaramea — None, where Road Boards are in existence. Raglan —Same as at present. Pir.mgia—No answer. Raglan Town—No answer. Whalcalane —The same as at present. 'Cook —Remain as at present. Ormond—Five per cent. only. Patutahi — Five per cent, general rate, and 5 per cent, special rate, with the sanction of the ratepayers. Te Arai —Up to 5 per cent.
Poverty Bay—Same as now—ordinary. Special powers for rivers and forests. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati —Where Road Boards exist, as in our case, we are not in favour of the County Council striking any rate; but should the new Act give them the power to do so, then we say Cd. in the pound should be the maximum, unless with the consent of the majority of ratepayers in the district. Te Puna —All rating power. Wairoa —No road districts in county. Council have no suggestions to offer. Haioke's Bay —Counties should have the power to levy rates not exceeding 2s. in the pound on annual value for county and Road Board purposes combined, the counties to have power to levy a special rate of, say, Is. in the pound on any district for special works required for the benefit of that district only ; also to have power to strike a rate for several years in advance as security for any loan. Heretaunga—Same as under Counties Act of 1876 Kereru and Aorangi—They should have power to levy special rates in the district the work is executed in, or any district it may benefit, for any special and costly works such as bridges, the* special rate not to exceed 6d. in the pound. Maraekakaho —Power to levy rates up to Is. in the pound and power to levy,special rate for any large works, such as bridges; such rate to be levied within such districts only as are especially benefited by such works. Okawa —Counties should have power to levy Is. in the pound for general purposes, and Is. in the pound for special purposes. Papakura —Road Boards. Petane —No powers. One valuation should be sufficient. Te Mata —As at present; and also to have power to levy a special rate on any district for works required for the benefit of that district only. Waiipaiea —As at present. Norsewood—As at present. Oero—The same as under the existing Counties Act. Ormondville —As at present. Ruataniwha North—None. Road Boards ought to have the power of rating, not counties. Tamumu— One shilling in the pound where there are. no outlying districts ; 2s. in the pound in outlying districts. Woodville —None; to receive through Road Board. TaranaJci —One shilling. Manganui —Two shillings in the pound. Mangarei—One shilling in the pound. Carrington—One shilling. Waitara West —The ratepayers should strike the rate both for Road Boards and county. Egmont—Not exceeding Is. in the pound. Moa —None. Okato —No answer. Clifton —Not to exceed Is. in the pound. Waitara East —None. We get no benefit, they keep no road for us in order out of rates collected. Inglewood —A power to levy a rate of Is. 6d. in the pound, besides special rat es. Patea —That county rating powers be as now, but, where Road Boards are merged, the County Council should have power to levy a separate rate of not exceeding is. in the pound without receiving a
Question B—-continued.8 — -continued.
petition from the ratepayers, as required by section 109, "Counties Act, 1876." Haivera —No answer. Hawera — Where no Road Boards exist a double rating-power should he granted. Waimate —Aa at present. Ngaire—Where no Road Boards exist, a double rating power should be granted. Wangamd —As at present. Waitotara —No answer. Eangitikei —The same as Highway Boards. Rangitikei—-The same as Highway Boards. Lethbridge — Powers already given sufficient. Manawatu —One shilling in the pound, as at present, except where Road Boards are abolished, when it should be 2s. Manawatu —Where both counties and highways exist together, a maximum rate of Is. in the pound each, as at present; where only one body, 2s. Special rates, extra. Otaki—Where counties only exist, the power of levying a rate of Is. Halcombe—Same as Road Boards. Suit —The same as at present. IGlbirnie — None. Under the new system, let the counties have sufficient for repairs by way of fees, fines, and tolls. The Road Boards cannot bear more than their own burthens ; and, as all subsidies are to be stopped to Road Boards, whereas the counties are to have a subsidy of £3 for £1, surely it could not be expected that the Road Boards can support both. Kaiwara —No more than at present. Wairarapa West —Same as now. Peatherston —One shilling maximum. Cartorton —No answer. Waimea —Sufficient general rating powers exist; but power to specially rate localities specially benefited by outlay on protecting river banks or on other works should be conferred on counties and on Highway Boards. Motueka —No more than they at present possess. Upper Motueka — Sufficient general rating powers are already in force. Waimea —None, when Road Boards are in existence. Richmond — Counties should have power to levy special rates, and Road Boards general rates, as at present. Pangatotara—No answer. Riwaka—None. Lower Moutere—For maintaining trunk line, and for special works, after putting it to all the Road Boards within the county, and obtaining majority of votes frornsame. Collingwood — Sufficient rating powers exist. Collingwood—Sufficient rating power exists. Bailer —Not to exceed Is. in the pound. Inangahua —The same as at present. Grey —That counties should have no power granted to them to exceed Is. in the pound of ordinary rate upon the annual value. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere —As at present. Omaka—As at present. Pelorus —I think the rating power of counties at present quite sufficient. Picton —Equivalent to the present. Spring Creek—As at present. Wairau —As at present. Lower Wairau —As at present. Pukaka River Board—Equal to the present. Kailconra —No answer. Kaikoura River Board —Hie same as at present. Ashley —No answer.
Eyreton—No answer. Mandeville—Remain as at present. Oxford—As at present. Waipara—No answer. West Eyreton—As at present. Sehoyn —No answer. Courfcenay—Power to make special rates for special works only. Heathcote—Do not suggest any alteration in Act. Lincoln —No increased powers at present. Eiccarton—None, unless ratepayers approve. Templeton—None. South. Waimakariri—Remain as at present. Aharoa— No answer. Little River —Only one rating body should be allowed in each district, and the Road Boards, being most conversant with the requirements of their particular districts, should be allowed to levy and collect within their particular district. Pigeon Bay—None. Port Victoria—None at all. Aslibnrton —As at present. Wakanui—Same as at present existing. Mount Somers—As at present. Geraldine —Present powers. Gteraldine—Limited to Is. in the pound. Mount Cook —Limits defined by each. Mount Peel —No more than at present Temuka —The same as at present. Westland — Same as at present, with power to rate Crown and Native lands. Waitalci —Up to 2s. in the pound, and have power to rate any riding according to its requirements; say one riding would require 4d. in the pound, another Bd., &c. Kakanui—Same as at present. Waiareka—One shilling in the pound. Waitaki —One shilling in the pound. Wailcomiti —Same as at present. Palmerston South —To have no power to levy rates where a road district ■ exists. Waikouaiti —■ Counties should have power to levy rates in any riding of Is. in the pound without having to do so over the whole county ; also, to levy special rate in any riding, or portion of riding, when requested by majority of ratepayers interested. Maniototo —This Council is content with the powers at present possessed. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula —Counties should have the same rating powers as at present. Taieri —County Councils should have power to levy a rate in outlying districts without being required to levy a rate within road districts. Waipori—Counties should have the optional power of levying a rate either in outlying districts or road districts. Bruce —Counties to have power to levy a rate on outlying districts without being required to levy a rate within road districts ; also, power to levy a special rate in any riding for a special work up to Is. in the pound. Orichton —Their present powers. G-lenledi — County Councils should the power to levy a rate in outlying districts without being required to loy a rate within road districts, which may rate themselves; also power to levy a special rate in any riding, for special works, up to Is. in the pound. Matuu—One shilling in the pound. Mount Stuart — County Councils should have power to levy rates in outlying districts only. lokomairiro—County Councils should.
hare the power to levy a rate in outlying districts, but not within Road Board districts. Clutha —The rating powers of counties shouldjie ls.?in the pound. Pomahaka —County Councils should have power to l^vy a rate in outlying districts, without being required to levy a rate within road districts ; also power to levy a spe-
Question B— continued.
cial rate in any riding for special work up to Is. in the pound. Molyneux South—One shilling in the pound in road districts, and 2s. in the pound in outlying districts. Tuapeka —Same as at present. Clydevale—Present. Southland — That the rating powers remain as at present, with power to impose an additional rate, not exceeding Is.,
one or more riding?, by the order of two-thirds of the whole Council, without poll of ttie ratepayers. Knapdale—Shilling rate. Toitois—The same as at present. Tuturau—Should have power to levy an additional rate up to Is. in the pound, without reference to ratepayers, and leviable in any separate portion of county.
9. What rating "powers should Road Boards have ?
Mangonui —As at present under the Auckland Highways Act. Kaeo —As at present in the Province of Auckland. Oruru —As at present in this province. Totara —As at present under the Auckland Highways Act. HoTcicmga —No answer. Whangarei—l&o answer. Maunu —As now ; to be increased by consent of Council. Parua —Present powers ample. Waikiekie —No answer. Waipu Middle —The powers now enjoyed by Council. Waipu South —Boards have sufficient rating power under the present Act. Sobson —No answe.r. Okahu —As now, with borrowing powers, if needed, to be decided by a poll of the ratepayers. Paparoa—As at present. Wairau^The whole rating power; but all rates struck must be sanctioned by the majority of the ratepayers. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —This is undoubtedly the most difficult point in tho whole question of local government equitably and satisfactorily to adjust, and should have been more maturely considered and clearly defined when the Counties Act was framed. At present both bodies have the power to rate ; but this double rating is in these districts felt to be too heavy a burden, and therefore strongly objected to, and resisted. If the Council collects a rate (always Is.) tho Road Board usually declines to do so, and is consequently disabled from the due performance of its duties, and all but the proclaimed " county , roads" suffer accordingly. Sometimes the Road Board levies a small rate of 6d. or 9d., but collectors do not think it worth attention, and the result is very unsatisfactory. The general opinion and feeling is that where the Board collects a rate, the Council should not do so ; but, as all the lands at this end of Hobson County are comprised within highway districts, the Council will not consent to this arrangement. The remedy would appear to be to give the ratepayers, in annual meeting assembled, the option of declaring which should be the rating body ; if the Council, then a pro rata portion of the rate, subsidy, and other moneys should be handed to the Board for expenditure on the local works. If the Board should be the rating body, then the Council should have power to withdraw their proclamation of " county roads," and the Board assume the onus of the care of all works within their district as heretofore. This would be by far the most satisfactory arrangement for these parts, where; for a series of eighteen years, the settlers have annually taxed
themselves for public works, more especially for main roads, which now really require very small outlay by the Council to keep repaired. Whakahara School Committee —As at present. Rodney —No answer. Albertland South—l think they should not be limited to any fixed sum of rate, as they would take care that an excessive rate was not laid (being ratepayers). Rates at present levied will not be sufficient for future demands. Arai —Present powers seem reasonable. Upper Mahurangi—No more than they have. Mangawai—Road Boards should have power to strike rates not exceeding £1 per £100 of the value of the feesimple, ascertained by the propertytax valuation. Omaha —As much as they like up to 2s. in the pound. Matakana West —An easier method to enforce the payment of absentee rates. Puhoi — Rating the district on the petition of a majority of ratepayers. Tauhoa —Same as at present, which is quite satisfactory. Wharehine —Where there are Road Boards established they only should have the power of rating. Wainui—No answer. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—The same as the counties ; giving the ratepayers the power of fixing the amount. Lake—Present power sufficient. North Shore —If rates are levied on the property-tax valuation no rate more than Id. nor less than id. should be levied. Waitakerei West —Same as at present. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle) — Not less than 6d.; not more than Is. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter)— Minimum 3d., maximum 2s. Whangaparoa—Limited as they are at present. Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Mount Roskill —The rating powers as at present in use are working well. Mount Wellington—The same as at present. Newton—As at present, with added powers to make a special rate. Panmure—All rating and construction of roads and public works. Ponsonby—The limit might be enlarged to 2s. in the pound, but the striking of the rate ought to be the prerogative of the ratepayers exercised at annual meetings. Waikomiti —The limit ofratingpowers by Road Boards be 2s. in the pound, the striking of the rate be left to the ratepayers. Mctnulcaii —No answer. Mercer. —The amount set forth by Rating Act is sufficient, but power should be given to rate those squatwithin
ting on Grovernment land. Hunua—To Is. in the pound value to let. Karaka—A limited one. Maraetai —Highways Act of 1871 and 1874, and those suggested in Rating Bill. Opaheke—Two shillings in the pound for all purposes, Otahuhu—None others than given by the Rating Act, 1876. Papakura—Whatever is required. Pollock —Ordinary rate not to exceed Is. in the pound, special rate not to exceed 2s. 6d. in the pound. Pukekohe East—As at present, Is. in the pound on value to let. Pukekohe West —As high as 2s. in pound. Waipipi—Rates should be made on the real value to sell, and not tc lease. Wairoa—" The Rating Act, 1876." Thames —A general vote up to 2s. 6d. in the pound, and special rates for such purposes as gas, water, tramways, fire, subsidizing steam shipping, sewerage, &c. Parawai —For all necessary rates, and not to exceed 2s. 6d. in the pound on the annual value. Waitoa —The same as at present. Piako —As at present. Wailcato —As the Boards think fit. Kirikiiiroa — The Government may safely intrust Road Boards with the power to levy any rate they please. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton —As at present. Kihikihi—All that is requisite to carry on necessary works. Rangiaohia—lncreased rating powers, the control of licenses, and all other necessary functions of local selfgovernment. Tuhikaramea —Let ratepayers in each district decide amount of rates, also whether on basis of valuation or acreage (classified). Maglan —Same as at present, provided County Councils and Road Boards both continue to exist. Pirongia—Any rates not exceeding Id. in the pound on the value to sell in one financial year, exclusive of special rates. Raglan Town —As at present. Whakatane —The same as at present. Coolc —No answer. Ormond—Five per cent. only. Patutahi—Five per cent. Te Arai —Up to 5 per cent. Poverty Bay—Same as at present. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati —Up to Is. in the pound, unless the majority of the ratepayers agree to a special rate. Te Puna—None. TVairoa —No road districts in county. Council have no suggestions to offer. Hawke's Hay —No direct powers. Every Road Board to estimate what funds would bo needed for the year, and to inform the Council. The Council to levy and collect a rate sufficient to coyer.
such estimate, and hand it over to the Boad Board for expenditure. Heretaunga —Same as at present. Kereru and Aoranga —The same as at present. Maraekakaho —None. County Council only to levy rates; to return to the Eoad Board two-thirds of rate levied within each Eoad Board district. Okawa—To levy and expend rates according to the wants of their districts, not to exceed Is. in the pound. Papakura—As at present. Petane —Sufficient to enable them to meet requirements of Eoad Board district. To Mata —Their present powers. Waipmoa —As at present. Norsewood —As at present. Ocro —The same power as they now hold. Ormondville—As at present. Euataniwha North —As at present. Tamumu —Not to exceed Is. in the pound where the county levies a rate; 2s. in the pound where no county rate is struck. Woodville—Up to 2s. Taranalci —One shilling. Manganui—Two shillings in the pound. Mangarei—One shilling in the pound. Carrington—One shilling. Waitara West—The ratepayers should Btrike the rate both for Eoad Boards and county. Egmont —None. The ratepayers only should have power to levy a rate. Moa —If Council is dispensed with, 2s. in the pound, with power to levy special rates by consent of ratepayers. Okato —No answer. Clifton —Not to exceed Is. in the pound. Waitara East—To rate up to Is. in the pound on rental value. Inglewood—One shilling and sixpence in the pound. Patea —Not considered. Mawera —No answer. Hawera —Where no County Councils exist a double rating-power should be granted. Waimate —Not to exceed Is. Ngaire —Where no County Councils exist, a double rating power Bhould be granted. Wanganui—As at present. Waitotara —Same as at present. Rangitikei —The same as at present. Eangitikei —The same as at present. Lethbridge— Powers already given sufficient. Manaioatn —One shilling in the pound, as b_ at present, except where Eoad Boards are abolished, when it should be 2s. Manawatu —See last question. Otaki —Where Eoad Boards only exist, the power of levying a rate of Is.
Question 9— continued.
Halcombe—Same as at present. Suit —None. Kilbirnie —One shilling in the pound general rate, and a possible Is. in the pound special rate for their own purposes. Kaiwara—Same as at present. Wairarapa West —Same as now. ITeatherston —One shilling maximum. Carterton —No answer. Waimea —Highway lioards should have power to levy special rates on portions of the highway district for any by-road of special benefit to such portions. Motueka —Eoad Boards should have power to levy special rates for work of direct benefit to any locality, subject to the approval of twothirds of the ratepayers interested. Upper Motueka —They have sufficient general rating powers. Waimea —At least double existing power. Richmond — Counties should have power to levy special rates, and Road Boards general rates, as at present. Pangatotara—Unlimited. Eiwaka —Same as at present. Lower Moutere —Not more than Is. in the pound. Collingwood — Sufficient rating powers exist. Collingwood—Same as at present under the Nelson Provincial Highways Act. Bailer —-None in existence in this county. Inangahua —The same as at present. Grey —That when counties levy rates the Eoad Boards within these counties should have no power to do so. Warlborough —No answer. Awatere—As at present. Omaka —All the powers. Pelorus —We have the power at present to levy a special rate; this I think sufficient Picton —Equivalent to the present. Spring Creek —As at present. Wairau —As at present. Lower Wairau —As at present. Pukaka—Equal to the present. KaiJcoura —No answer. Kaikoura Eiver Board—The same as at present. Ashley —No answer. Eyreton—The power given under the Roads Board ordinance is considered sufficient. Mandeville —Eemain as it is. Oxford —As at present. Waipara—No answer. West Eyreton—There is no alteration required by the Eoad Boards as to rating at present. SeVmyn —Eating powers should remain as at present. Courtenay—Power to rate up to Is. in the pound for maintenance only. Heathcote —Eemain as at present, except for special purposes, for sug-
gestions on which see answer to Question 16. Lincoln—No more than already provided for. Eiccarton—Not more than at present. Templeton—Same as at present. South Waimakariri—Eemain as at present. Alcaroa —No answer. Little Eiver —No answer. Pigeon Bay—The same as at present.. Port Victoria —The same as they have now. Ashburton —As at present. Wakanui —Same as at present existing, with the addition that they should have the power to determine what rate, or part of rate, shall be struck in each separate subdivision of their district, and not necessarily to be an uniform rate throughout the district. Mount Somers—As at present. Geraldine —Present powers. G-eraldine—Limited to Is. in the pound. Mount Cook —Limits defined by each. Mount Peel—No more than at present. Temuka —The same as at present. Westland —No Eoad Boards on the coast. Waitalci —Up to Is. in the pound. Kakanui —Same as at present. Waiareka —One shilling in the pound for general purposes, with power to levy special rate as at present. Waitaki —One shilling in the pound. Waikouaiti —Same as at present. Palmerston South—A3 at present, in accordance with " The Eating Act, 1876." Waikouaiti—Same as at present. Maniototo —See answers to Nos. 6 and 7. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula—Eoad Boards should have the same rating powers as at present. Taieri —Same as at present. Waipori—The rating powers of Eoad Boards should continue as at present. Bruce —The Act to remain the same aa at present. Criohton—As at present. Gtlenledi—Eoad Boards' rating powers should be the same as at present. Matau —One shilling in the pound. Mount Stuart —The rating powers of Boards should continue as at present. Tokomairiro—Same rating powers as at present. Clutlia —One shilling in the pound. Pomahaka — One shilling in the pound. Molyneux South —Same as at present* Tuapejca —Same as at present. Clydevale—Same as present. Southland —Same as the present. Kuapdale—Shilling rate. Toitois—The same as at present. Tuturau —No alteration.
10. If the operation of the Counties Act is suspended in any county, should Road Boards be enabled to exercise any of the powers of the county, and, if so, which ?
Mangonui —The operation of the Counties Act should not be suspended. Kaeo —No. Eoad Boards should not exercise powers of county. Oruru —In districts where the Counties Act is not in force, the Eoad Boards should have the same powers. Totara—The operation of the Act should not be suspended. SoTcianga —No answer. Whangarei —No answer. Maunu —Theoperation of the Counties Act should be made imperative. 4—A. 10.
Parua—The receipt of license fees, and the charge, under the direction of the Government, of main roads. We think, however, that Boad Boards should have as little to do with all duties outside of charge of roads as possible. Waikiekie—No answer. Waipa Middle —The whole of the powers. Waipa South —One Board, or more, should be enabled to form themselves into a River Board, and be
enabled to rate for the improvement of fiver navigation. Three or more should be enabled to form themselves into a County Board, and undertake the larger works where no Engineer is in charget Boards should have control of wharves and slaughter ■ houses, should collect license fees and dog tax, establish ferries, and be given power under the Public Health Act, vaccination, &c. Sohson —No answer.
Qkahu —Wo answer. Paparoa—No answer. Wairau —The Counties Act should surely be suspended, especially in the North, and the powers conferred on the Eoad Boards in so far as the Act can be applied to Eoad Boards. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —All such powers as shall facilitate the object for which they are constituted, viz., the construction and repair of roads, bridges, culverts, drains, wharves, &c, by fairly and properly rating the property of the district under their control for their own local wants and requirements, and by obtaining from the Government all the assistance they can by grants in aid, subsidies, Land Fund, &c, and by judiciously expending the same on all bucli works on the main roads used chiefly by the travelling public as well as by local residents. Whakahara School Committee —See answer to Question 16. Rodney —No answer. Alberlland South — : No answer. Arai —There is no reason, if Eoad Boards are fairly constituted by Act of Parliament, they should not be be able to exercise local-government functions as well as County Councils or Municipalities ; therefore they should have as much authority as-possible.' Upper Malrarangi—ln case the Coun, ties Act is suspended in any county, the Eoad Boards should have the power to rate outlying districts, to enable them to look after main roads from one highway district to another. That is all we want with the Counties Act. Mangawai —Where the Counties Act is suspended, Eoad Boards should be allowed to exercise any of the powers of the Counties Act except borrowing, in road districts. Where the Counties Act is in operation it should be suspended in road districts, on petition of majority of ratepayers. Omaha —The power of collecting all licenses and dog-tax. Matakana West —Eoad Board should have the 'power to collect all fees, licenses, &c, arising from publicans' licenses, and fees of any description. Puhoi—ln this ease the Boad Board should exercise in its district the , respective powers of the. County Council. Tauhoa —Tes ; making by-laws; control of licensing fees ; control of slaughter-house fees. Wharehino —If the Counties Act is suspended, local bodies should take charge of main roads and carry out the works of the County Council, and the Chairmen be remunerated for their services. Wainui —So far the Eodney County Council has merely been a dispenser of Government moneys, and there is besides this nothing that they have done which Eoad Boards could not have done better and at little or no expense. The Counties Act is also too difficult for inexperienced persons to work successfully, leaving the question of revenue out altogether, and much too ex.' pensive for thinly-populated places; and, if it was properly carried out, it would require move than all the county revenue, minus Government subsidy, to pay the salaries of the necessary officers and other contingencies ; therefore, if the Eoad Board's had extended powers,
Question 10— continued.
County Councils would not be required. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa —If the Counties Act is suspended in any county, Road Boards should have all necessary powers to enable them to carry out the functions of local government. Lake —In districts where Counties Act is not worked the Chairmen of the several Road Boards should as far as possible have the same powers aa County Councillors. North Shore —No answer. Waitakerei West —The Eoad Board to have the privilege of exercising any of the powers of the county. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle)—The Road Boards to have the same power. Waitakerei West (11. Hunter) —Road Board to have the same powers. Whangaparoa—All of them. JSden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Mount Eoskill —We are not anxious for any more powers. Mount Wellington —No answer. Newton —Y res; the power of making special rates. Pannmrc —No answer. Ponsonby —The powers provided for in the circular accompanying this list of questions might bo given to Eoad Boards. By-laws might also be in operation in road districts, but in a form similar to that in the Auckland Municipal Police Act. Waikomiti —No answer. ManuJcau —No answer. Mercer.—Yes; such as in granting slaughterhouse and hawkers' licenses. Hunua —No answer. Karaka —Yes; the following : Charitable aid, establish libraries, manage reserves and places of public recreation, also marketplaces, slaughter - houses, and pounds. Maraetsii—Delegate powers to Eoad Boards. Opaheke—No answer. Otahuhu—Counties Act being suspended Road Boards should be enabled to exercise more municipal powers'than are given under the Highways Act. I believe the powers given under the Town Districts Act are more suitable for Eoad Boards. Papakura—No answer. Pollock—All necessary powers should be vested in the Road Board. Pukekoho East —No- answer. Pukekohe West —Under the contemplated Act Road Boards will have sufficient power ; quite as much as they are able to use intelligently. Waipipl—No experience in the working of the Counties Act. Wairoa —No answer. Thames —The Eoad Boards in that county I should each appoint one of their members, and the members so appointed should possess all the powers of a County Council. Parawai —Yes. All powers now held by counties. Waitoa—No. Pialco —Counties Act should not be suspended. Wailcaio —The whole of them as far as is practicable. Kirikiriroa —We do not believe in permissive legislation ; the Counties Act should be operative throughout the colony or repealed. In the latter case, then, Eoad Boards would require extended powers to enable them to^levy a special rate, or to borrow money in case of accident
to a large bridge, &c, requiring an extraordinary and immediate expenditure beyond the ordinary revenue. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton—No answer. Kihikihi —Yes ; any powers they may wish to exercise. Rangiaohia—Should the operations of the Counties Act be suspended in county, the Eoad Boards should most certainly be endowed with ample powers to exercise and carry on tho work of local self-government. Tuhikaramea —If Counties Act suspended in any district, give full present power of Council to Eoad Board. Raglan —None, if tho Counties Act is only suspended ; but, if the Counties Act is altogether abolished, some of the powers now conferred upon the County Councils should be delegated to them (the Road Boards). Pirongia—The general powers for the construction of public works, the administration of the Slaughterhouse Act, the Publicans Licensing Act, the Dog Act, and the Protection of Animals Act. Eaglan Town—Yes ; the whole of them. WhaJcatane —The Act is in forco in thia county. Cook —No answer. Ormond—All of them. Patutahi—They Bhould be enabled to exercise the counties'power of rating in addition to their own. Have control of pounds and slaughterhouses. Power to make by-laws to regulate traffic on their roads. Receive dog-tax fees. Te Arai —The Eoad Boards to take full powers of the County Council. Poverty Bay—All of them. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati—We, as a Road Board, wish tho operation of the Counties Act to be entirely suspended in our . road district, and extra powers to be granted to the Eoad Board. In fact, we earnestly desire the same powers which tho County Council , had or may have under the new Act. Our reasons are these: we are the only Eoad Board in existence under the Tauranga County Council; Tauranga Road Board, with a debt of over £2,000, merged in the County Council; Te Puna Road Board, with a debt of £1,500, also merged in the county ; while Katikati Highway Board, which docs not owe £10, is rated Is. in the pound to help the County Council to pay their debts. The Tauranga County Council will not contribute one farthing for the formation of a district or a by-road in our riding. The Government grants of £2,500 and £2,000 are amply sufficient to complete the main road from, Tauranga to county boundary at Thames County. And we consider our rates to the Road Board, quite enough to keep the one main road in good order, and also make our by-roads. We memorialized the late Premier, the Hon. J. Hall, to abolish County Councils. Te Puna—Operation of Counties Act should be made compulsory. Wairoa —If the Counties Act is suspended Road Boards should have all the powers of the county. Haiolce's Bay —Road Boards should have full rating powers, and receive all license fees, dog-taxes, &c, taking over all roads and bridges. Heretaunga—No answer.
Kereru and Aorangi—Yes ; to hay rating power enabling them to kee roads in fit and proper repair. Maraekakaho—All powers. Okawa—Road Boards to ha.ye fu rating powers, to receive all licens fees, &c. Papakura—No answer. Petane—Road Boards should have a the powers of the county. Te Mata—To have full rating power and receive all fees, &c. Waipawa —Road Boards should have fu] rating powers, and receive all licens fees, dog-tax, &c., and take over all roads Norsowood—Road Boards should hay full rating powers, and receive a] license fees, dog-tax, &c. Oero—No answer. Ormondville — Road Boards should have full rating powers, and receiv all license fees, dog-tax, &c. Ruataniwha North—All the power of the Counties Act. Tamumu—That they should receivo all publicans' and auctioneers licenses, poundage fees, &a.; tha they should subsidize local chari ties; and undertake in their own dis trict all works at present performed by the oounly. Woodville—Road-making only, with power to enact such by-laws as affect' roads. Taranalci —No answer. Manganui —Yes, all; but in that case any two ridings, upon petition of a majority of ratepayers, to have power of altering their dividing line. All license fees, &c, of each riding to be payable to that riding. Mangarei —No answer. Carrington—Road Boards all. Waitara West—lf the operation .of the Counties Act is suspended, the Eoad Boards should exercise in any district all the powers of a county. Egmont—All the powers already in the hands of County Councils, such as dog-tax, licenses arising from publichouses, pedlars, hawkers, slaughterhouses, &c. Moa —JS'o answer. Okato —No answer. Clifton—Road Boards should have powers of counties in that case. Waitara East—All main roads should be maintained .by G-overnment; other roads to be maintained by Road Boards out of rates levied, together with subsidy on rates collected from G-overnment to assist Road Boards, as Road Boards could not levy a sufficient rate to undertake works of any great extent without crippling the industry of farmers, and it is the duty of the Government to assist to open up roads. Ingle wood—No answer. Patea —Not considered. Bawera —No answer. Hawera —Yes, all. Waimate —All the powers of County Councils. Ngaire —Yes ; all. Wanganui —No answer. Waitotara —We consider that, in the event of the Counties Act being suspended in any county, the Road Boards should discharge the duties devolving upon the County Councils. MangiiiJcei —All the powers of the Council. Rangitikei —All the powers of the Council. Lethbridge—No answer. Manawatu —No recommendation. Manawatu —We can see no reason why the Eoad Boards should not exercise all the powers now possessed by the County Councils,
Question 10 — continued.
Otaki—On suspension of the Counties Act in any county, Road Boards should bo enable:! to exercise all the powers of the County Council. Halcombe—Same powers as counties. Suit —Yes ; all powers. Kilbirnie—Where the Counties Act is suspended and not in force in any county, the Road Board should be enabled to exercise the powers o the County Councils. —the whole powers if necessary. Kaiwara —All the powers. Wairarapa West —Yes ; all the powers. Eeatherston —No answer. Carterton —No answer. 'Waimea —Maintenance of pounds and the appointment of Pound-keepers. Slaughterhouse and Dog Registration Acts. Motueka —In many cases suspension of the Counties Act would be beneficial, then all their powers should be vested in the Road Boards. Upper Motueka —Collect and expend dog tax, publicans' license fees, manage pounds, slaughterhouses, and other minor matters contained in Counties Act. Waimea —All. Richmond —If the Counties Act should be suspended in any district, Road Boards could undertake reserves, markets, pounds, slaughterhouses, dog tickets, pedlars, and hawkers. Pangatotara—All. Riwaka —The same power a3 the county now possess re public works. Lower Moutere — Maintenance of pounds, appointment of poundkeeper, slaughter - houses, Dog Eegistration Act. Collingwood —The whole. Collingwood—The whole. Sutler—Yes; all. Inangahua —lf operation of Counties Act suspended, General Government to exercise the powers of the Council, and not the Road Board. Grey —That the operation of the Counties Act should not be suspended in any county. MarlborougJi —No answer. Awatere —All; as in Mai'lborongh, where the Counties Act is not in force. Omaka—One-half retire each year. Pelorus—Road Boards should have extended powers ; those given counties might be somewhat modified and adopted by Road Boards when the Counties Act is suspended. Picton—All. Spring Creek —All the powers. Wairau—All the powors. Lower Wairau —All the powers of the county. Pukaka —Should have all the powers of County Councils. KaiJcoura —No answer. Kaikoura River Board —No; none. Ashley —No answer. Eyreton — All the powers of the County Act. Mandeville —The powers of the Drainage and River Boards as at present held by the Counties Act. Oxford —That Boards should have power to exercise all the functions and duties of County Councils, as stated in Part X. of the Counties Act, with the exception of charitable aid, which should be dealt with by the local bodies direct; and Boards and local bodies should have power, to send cases to any hospital they may wish, and that the charge be made to the Boards or local bodies sending such cases; and that Boards should have the powers given to
i counties under " The Public Works i Act, 1876," and amendments, with [ reference to drainage. Waipara — The powers the Road Boards have are quite sufficient without taking any of those of the counties; they have the greatest of the powors—viz., the management of the main roads. West Eyreton—The powers of Drainage and River Boards as at present held by County Councils. Selwyn —lt should be compulsory on all counties to lake up the Act in full. Courtenay—-All counties should be compelled to take up the Act; but, if this is not done, sufficient powers to work with adjoining Boards for drainage, main roads and rivers. Heathcote —Do not suggest any alteration in Act. Lincoln—Yes, all. Riccarton —All the powers. Templeton—(l) Should have lond fide power of dealing with the reserves in their respective districts; (2) have full power and management over main roads and bridges ; (3) have the supervision of all slaughterhouses and receive the fees derived therefrom in their respective districts ; (4.) also the registration of dogs, and receive license fees for same; (5) and also receive the fees deriVed from tall hotel licenses situated within their respective districts. South Waimakariri —No suggestion. Akaroa— No answer. Little River—ln the event of Counties Act being suspended, Road Boards should assume the powers generally vested in County Councils, including the issue of slaughtering, dog licenses, &c. Pigeon Bay — Road Boards should within their own district have all the power at present possessed by County Councils, not incompatible with other opinions expressed elsewhere in this circular. , Port Victoria —Let Road Boards be left alone, and County Councils abolished. Ashburton —Counties Act should be compulsory. Wakanui —Yes, the whole of the powers of the county. Mount Somers —Yes, all. Qeraldine —Yes, all the powers. Geraldinc —If suspended, give Road Boards all the powers. Mount Cook —Road Boards should, in the event of suspension of Counties Act carry on the executive duties of the counties only, until it should be finally settled what the form of local government should be. Mount Peel —Those with regard to reserves, places of public recreation, markets, slaughter-houses, pounds, collection of dog-tax, watercourses, and drains. Temuka —All the powers. Westlancl —No Road Boards on the coast. Waitahi —In the event of the Counties Act being suspended, the powers of the counties should devolve on Road Boards. Kakanui —All, when Act is suspended. Waiareka—lf Counties Act is suspended Road Boards should have all the powers of the county. Waitaki —All, when Act is suspended. WaiTcouaiti —Road Boards should not be enabled to exercise any of the powers of the County Councils, except the area of a road district is as large as the county area usually is. Should that be the case, then there would be no objection to the Board exercising the functions ; but would suggest that the road district
subdivisions should be large, with similar limitations to number of members as now pertain to members of ridings. Palmerston South —To have all powers as afc present vested in counties. Waikouaiti —Road Boards might safely be intrusted with all the powers possessed by County Councils. Maniototo —As stated above, question has not arisen. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula —Should the operations of the Counties Act be suspended in any county, the Road Boards should be enabled to exercise all the powers the counties have.
Question 10— continued.
Taieri —Unanswered. Waipori—The Road Boards should not be enabled to exercise the powers of the County Councils. Bruce —No answer. Criehton—No. Grlenledi—No answer. Matau—Road Boards should have all the powers of the county within the Road Board district. Mount Stuart — 75 o answer. Tokomairiro —Should the operations of the Counties Act be suspended in any county the Koad Boards should be enabled to exercise all the powers the counties have, provided
they receive the emoluments of the county. Clutha —lf so, the Road Boards should be enabled to exercise all the powers of the county. Pomahaka —All the powers the counties have. Molyneux South —All. Tuapelca —Yes, same power as counties. Clydevale—No answer. Southland —No. Knapdale—All the powers. Toitois—No. Tuturau —No.
11. Should Road Board members hold office for a fixed time, and, if so, what; or should a proportion retire every year ?
Mangonui —Should be elected annually aB at present under the Auckland Highways Act. Kaeo—Elected annually, as at present. Oruru—Should bo elected annually, as under the Highways Act. Totara —Should be elected annually as at present, under the Auckland Highways Act. HoTcianga—~£lo answer. Whangarei —No answer. Maunu —Two-fifths should retire annually, or some such proportion of more than five. Parua—We think a term of three years, two Trustees to retire annually (eligible for re-election), would remedy the inconvenience of a total change of Trustees, as often happens under the present system. Waikiekie —A proportion every year should retire. Waipa Middle—They should hold office for a fixed time,- and two members should retire at the end of each financial year. Waipa South —Road Board members should hold office for one year only. Sobson —No answer. Okahu —The Trustees to be elected every three years, one or two of the members retiring annually. Paparoa—Annual election as at present. Wairau — Road Board members should be elected yearly, as at present. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —All should retire annually, as provided by the Act in force here ; those who are suitable get re-elected, those who are not are left out. Whakahara School Committee—Present method answers well in this district. Rodney —No answer. Albertland South—No doubt if a portion only retired at the end of year it would be better, as those left would have a better acquaintance with work in hand, contracts, &c, than an entirely new Board. Arai —About half the Board retire yearly. Upper Mahurangi—Road Board members ought to hold office for two years—three to retire the first year, and two the second; then three, and so on. So that we should always have a portion of the old Board to instruct the new members. Mangawai —AH members of Road Boards should be elected annually, say in July, and hold office for one yeai"only.
Omaha —Same as at present. Matakana West —Members should be elected for two years, and members to retire by rotation. Puhoi—The election of the members of the Boad Board being quite inexpensive, the present style of election seems satisfactory. Tauhoa —Yes, for a fixed period of twelve months ; the elections to be held early in April, instead of July, as at present. Wharehine —Two should retire one year and three the second, or vice versa. Wainui—We can suggest nothing better than the present system under the Highways Act. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—Road Board members should be elected for three years ; a portion should retire every year ; retiring members should be eligible for re-election. Should this be approved the number of Road Board members should be increased to seven. Lake—Present system satisfactory. North Shore—Eoad Boards should consist of seven members, three to retire annually. Waitakerei West—Yes ; to be elected annually. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle) — For one year, the same as at present. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter)— Yes, for one year as at present. Whangaparoa—They should be kept just as they are at present. Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Mount Roskill—For a year as at present ; then if any do wrong they can be turned out. Mount Wellington—Remain as now, being elected annually. Newton —Present system works very well. Panmure —They should hold office for twelve months as at present, and be elected by the ratepayers under the Highways Act of 1874. Ponsonby — Road Board Trustees should be elected for three years, and one-third of the members of eacli Board should retire annually as in Municipal Councils. Waikomiti —The Road Board members should be elected annually. Manukau —No answer. Mercer.—Tho present term of office of Road Board members seems to work admirably. Any long term might be very disastrous to some districts, whore members might be elected who had ycry little property in the district,
Hunua —Proportion retire every year. Karaka—Members should be elected annually, as it thus gives a better supervision to every portion of the district. Maraetai —Elected by ratepayers yearly. Opaheke—Two years; two retire one year and three the next, to commence with two being elected for one year and three for two years. Otalmnu—Yes ; say three years, two to retire annually, but the retiring members should not be eligible for re-election until after the lapse of one year, which will prevent cliques forming to the detriment of the district, there being always plenty of good men to place in such offices. Papakura—Three retire annually. Pollock—Two years. Two and three alternate years. Pukekohe East —-Remain as at prosent. Pukekohe West —The ratepayers are in favour of electing the entire Board yearly. A good Trustee can be re-elected; a bad one, if retained two or more years, could do much mischief. Waipipi—Members should hold office for at least one year, and all retire. Wairoa—Hold office for two years. Thames —For three years ; one-third of their number to retire annually. Parawai —All to retire every year. Waitoa —One year; the whole Board to come in and go out together. Pialco —No alteration. Wailcato —Road Boards should be elected in April in each year; at end of first year two retire, but may be re-elected ; at end of second year three retire ; and so back to the third year, &c. Kirikiriroa—Road Boards should be elected in April in each year; at the end of the first year two members retire—those having the fewest votes ; at end of second year three retire, and so back to two. Retiring members to be eligible for re-election. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton —As by Act, 1874. My experience in this matter is that if a Trustee will look after his neighbours' roads and neglect his own he may be Trustee for life, but if he attempts to look after his own road the ratepayers will soon get rid of him. Kihikihi —Road Boards should be elected for one year only. Rangiaohia—Of the five members, I would suggest that two of them retire every year. I am convinced that in doing so it would be highly
advantageous to the ratepayers. Tuhikaramea —As at present. Raglan — Road Board members Bhould hold office for three years. Pirongia—For two years. Three to retire one year, and two the next. Kaglan Town—Eor a fixed time, as at present. Whakatane —As at present. Cook —Annual elections. Ormond — Members of the Road Board should be elected in a similar manner to the Borough Councils. Patutahi —A fixed time of three years. Te Arai —Hold office for one year. Poverty Bay—Annually. That four members should have the power to expel the fifth if obstructive and objectionable. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati — Annually. New election every year. Te Puna —Should be elected annually. Wairoa —No road districts in county. Council have no suggestions to offer. Sawke's Bay —Where divided into wards, elections to be annual; where not so divided, one-third to retire each year. Heretaunga —Should be elected annually. Kereru and Aorangi —As now existing. Maraekakaho —The whole to be elected annually. Okawa—Road Board members should be elected annually where district divided into wards; where not so divided, one-third to retire annually. Papakura—Elected annually. Petane—There should be an annual election to give all ratepayers an opportunity of holding office. Te Mala — The Board should be elected annually. Waipawa —Koad Boards Bhould be elected annually. Norse wood — Should be elected annually. Ocro —Road Board members should be elected annually. Ormondville —Road Boards should be elected annually. Ruataniwha North — Road Boards should be elected annually. Tamumu —That the present system of electing Wardens for twelve mouths is the most satisfactory one. Woodville —Annual election. Taranaki —One year. Manganui—Yes, two years, a portion retiring each year. Mangarei —I do not think you will belter the system adopted here at present. Members are appointed for twelve months, and all retire together. Carrington—Yes, for three years. Waitara West —Road Boards should be a continuous body, about onethird going out each year. Egmont—Should hold office for one year only. Moa —The whole to be elected annually by ballot. Okato—Yearly election, as at present. Clifton —All retire every year. Waitara East —To be elected every three years, or one-third to retire yearly, the first retirement to begin with those who have the least number of votes. This would make Road Boards less liable to have work begun, one year, laid aside by their successors. Inglewood—For a fixed period of twelve months. Patea —Not considered. Matvera —No answer. Haw era —: The same system as at present.
Question 11 — continued.
Waimate—That Road Board members should hold office for three years ; one-third retiring annually. Ngairc—should hold office for three years, and one-third retire annually. Wangatiui —Three years fixed. Waitotara —We see no reason to alter the present arrangements in that respect. Mangitilcei — The same as at present, under "The Highways Act, 1874," (Wellington). Rangitikei—The same as at present, under "The Highways Act, 1874" (Wellington). Lethbridge — Election for three years, three members to retire every year. Manawatu —For three years, as in " The Highways Act, 1874" (Wellington). Manawatu —The present system seems to us to act well enough, whilst the method of retiring by rotation would entail annual expense and annoyance. Otaki—Road Board members should hold office for not longer than two years. Halcombe —Same as at present. Suit —Left as at present. Kilbirnie—The present arrangement of a three years' term of office suits very well. Kaiwara —Same as at present. Wairarapa West —Same as now. Featherston —Part should retire annually. Carterton —They should hold office for a fixed period, say three years. Waimea —One-half Bhould retire every year. Motueka — One - half should retire every year. Upper Motueka — One-half retire every year as at present. Waimea — One-half should r tire every year. Richmond —One half to retire every year. Pangatotara —A proportion should etire every year. Rikawa—One half retire yearly, as at present. Lower Moutere—A proportion should retire every year. Collingwood —One-half yearly. Collingwood— One - half retire annually. Bullei —Fixed time, and same as counties. Inangahua —Road Board members should hold office as long as members of County Councils. Grey —That Road Board members should hold office for one year, retiring annually. JKarlborough —No answer. Awatere—A proportion should retire every year, so as to keep up a continuity of the Board, and to avoid an entirely new body being created. Omaka —No j by a majority of the Board. Pelorus —Do not think that we can improve on our present system, as to term and retirement of members. Picton —A portion retire every year as at present. Spring Creek—One-half retire each year. Wairau —One-half retire each year. Lower Wairau —Hold office for two years, and half the members retire every year. Pukaka —■ A portion should reti every year. TLaikoura —No answer. Kaikoura River Board—A proportion should retire annually. Ashley —No answer Eyreton—The p esent system of be-
ing elected for two years, a portion to retire each year, is satisfactory. Mandeville —As at present. Oxford—As at present. Waipara—The present Bystem works very well. West Eyreton —A proportion retire every year. Selwyn —ln this provincial district Road Board members hold office for two years, two out of the five retiring one year and three in the next. This system has worked exceedingly well. Courtenay —No alteration required. Heathcote—The present method of electing members for two years has worked satisfactorily. It is recommended that whatever the number of members may be, one-half, or as nearly one-half as possible, should retire annually. Lincoln —Yes, a proportion retire every year. The present Road Board Ordinance makes ample provision for this. Riccarton —Hold office for two years, and a portion retire every year. Templeton—Proportion should retire every year. South Waimakariri —If consisting of only five members they should retire from office as at present, two one year and three the next; i£ more than five, suggest one-third retire each year. Alcaroa —No answer. Little River —To hold office as at present. Pigeon Bay —The present system in Canterbury is satisfactory. Port Victoria—Just as they hold office now. Ashburton —Same as at present. Wakanui —Same as at present. Mount Soniers —As at present. Geraldine — The present system works satisfactorily. Geraldine —A proportion of the members to retire. Mount Cook —Road Board members should hold office for two years each ; half should go out of office each year. Any storekeeper or publican in the district, unless the bond fide owner or occupier of land by lease for five years of the rateable value of £100 per annum, should be disqualified for election as a member of a Road Board or county. Mount Peel—The system adopted in the Provincial District of Canterbury is that Road Boards consist of five members, of whom two and three retire in alternative years. We consider this cannot be improved upon. Temuka—The system in force at the present time works satisfactorily. Westland —No Road Boards on the coast. Waitaki —Road Board members should be elected for three years, one-third retiring annually. Kakanui—For three years, one-third to retire annually. Waiareka — Road Board members Bhould be elected for three years, one-third to retire every year. Waitaki —For three years, one-third to retire annually. Waiicouaili —Members should be elected for three years, one-third retiring annually. Palmerston South —No alteration to present system. Waikouaiti —■ Present system work well enough. Maniototo —This Council is not in a position to express an opinion. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula —Members of Road Boards should be elected for three years
one-third of their number retiring annually. Taieri —Eoad Board members should be elected for three years, one third retiring annually. Waipori—The present system should be adhered to. Bruce —No alteration required in the present Act. Crichton —Same as now. GHenledi — Eoad Board members should be elected for three years, one-third retiring annually.
Question 11— continued.
Matau—Three years, one-third retiring annually. Mount Stuart —The present system of holding office should be adhered to. Tokomairiro —The present Eoad Board Ordinance suits well. Clutha —Should be elected every three years, one-third of their number to retire annually, as at present. Pomahaka —Eoad Board members should be elected for three years, one-third retiring annually.
Molyneux South—Same as at present. TuapeJea —Eoad Board members should be elected for a fixed period of three years similar to County Councillors. Clydevale—Present system works well enough. Southland —Should hold office for three years, similar to County Councils. Knapdale—Yes ; for three years, and one-third retire every year. Toitois —The same as at present. Tuturau—Same as county.
12. Should Road Board Chairmen be elected as Mayors are ?
Mangonui —No. Kaeo —No. Oruru —No. Totara —No. SoTcianga —No answer. Whangarei —No. Maunu —No. Parua—No. Waikiekie—No answer. Waipa Middle —No ; too expensive. Waipa South —Chairmen should be elected by the Boards. Holson —No answer. Okahu—No. Pa'paroa—No. Wairau' —No'; but the Chairman to be elected by the ratepayers immediately after the election of the Boad Board members. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —No. A Chairman elected by his co-Trustees is more likely to be respected by them, and work harmoniously with them, than an independent person not selected by them. The prestige and extraneous honor attached to the title of Mayor do not appertain to that of Chairman. Whakahara School Committee —Pre- method answers well in this district. Rodney —No answer. Albertland South —No. Arai—This might be beneficial: but, if so, the Chairman of Road Boards should be ex officio member of the County Council. The Council ■would then consist solely of the Chairmen of Eoad Boards. Upper Mahurangi—No. Mangawai — Eoad Board Chairman should be elected by members of the Board. Should he act as Secretary also, he should be allowed to receive a sum not exceeding £5 from the funds of the Board. Omaha—No answer. Matakana West —No. Puhoi —No; the elected members, it is humbly supposed, should be able to put the right man in the right place. Tauhoa —Yes. Wharehine —No ; as at present. Wainui —No answer. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—No ; but in case Eoad Board members should be elected for three years as above, the Chairman should be elected annually from among the members of the Board. Lake —Present mode of election more satisfactory. North Shore —No ; too expensive. Waitakerei West—No; the present way is the least expensive. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle) — No, but the same as now, by their brother Trustees. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter)—No, but by three brother Trustees.
Whangaparoa —No ; as they are now. Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Mount Eoskill—No; leave it as it is Mount Wellington —No. Newton —No. Panmure—Yes. Ponsonby—No ; as a multitude of public elections consumes too much revenue, and the present system answers very well. Waikoiniti —Boad Board Chairmen should not be elected as Mayors are ; the present system works well. ManuJcau —No answer. Mercer.—No. Hunua—Yes. Karaka—No. Maraotai—Elected by Eoad Board members. Opaheke —No. Otahuhu —No. The present system has worked well hitherto in this provincial district. Elections are too costly for Eoad Boards. They eat into the rates. The privilege of Toting is not compensated to the district by reason of the cost. Papakura—No. Pollock —To renain as it is. Pukekohe East —No ; as at present. Pukekohe West —Eoad Board Chairmen should be elected by the other Trustees. Waipipi —No; the present mode is sufficient and satisfactory. Wairoa—No. Thames —No. Parawai —No. Waitoa —No. Pialco —No. Waikato —No. Kirikiriroa —No. It would be well if Mayors of boroughs were elected in the same manner as Chairmen of Eoad Boards ; much expense and loss of valuable time would be saved. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton — Elected by the Boards, who are the best judges of a man's fitness. Kihikihi —Eoad Board Trustees should elect their own Chairman. Eangiaohia—The simplest and less expensive mode is the existing way. Tuhikaramea —No. Raglan —No. As they are at present. Pirongia—No. Raglan Town —As at present. Trustees elect their own Chairman. W hakatane —No. Cook— No. Ormond —No. Patutahi —No. Te Arai —No. Poverty Bay—No. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati —No ; by the Eoad Board. Te Puna —By members. Wairoa —No road districts in county. Council have no suggestions to offer.
MatvJce's Bay — No. By the Board annually. Heretaunga—No. Kereru and Aorangi—No. Maraekakaho—No. Okawa —No. By the Board. Papakura—As at present. Petane —No. The Chairman to be elected by the Wardens as hitherto. Te Mata — No. By the members of the Board. Waipmoa —No. By the Board. Norsewood —No, Ocro —No. Ormondville—No. By the Board. Euataniwha North —No. As at present. Tamumu—No. As heretofore. Woodville —No. Tarmiaki —No. Manganui —Yes. Mangarei—No, unless Chairmen of i Eoad Boards are made County Councillors. Then Chairmen should be elected at same meeting as Commissioners, if practicable, so as not to increase number of elections. Carrington —No. Waitara West — The Chairman of Eoad Boards should be elected by the Commissioners. Egmont —No. Moa —No ; to be elected by Board. Okato —No; Eoad Boards should elect the Chairmen. Clifton—No. Waitara East — Elected by Eoad Boards. Ingle wood —No. Patea —Not considered. Hcmera —No answer. Hawera—No. Wainiate—No. Ngaire—No. Wanganui —No. Waitotara —-No. Rangitikei —No. Eangitikei —No. Lcthbridge—No. Manmoatu —No. Manawatu —No. The electors in a country district are not competent to elect the Chairman for the Eoad Board through a want of acquaintance with the individual members of the Board, and such election should be left to the Wardens themselves. Otaki —So. H alcombe —No. Mutt—So. Kilbirnie —No. The present arrangement suits very well. Kaiwara —No. Walrarapa West —-No. Featherston —No. Carterton —No. Waimea —No; by the Board itself. Motueka —No'; by the Board itself. Upper Motueka —No ; the present system is preferable, Waimea —No,
Eichmond —Certainly not. Pangatotara —No. Eikawa —No ; they should bo elected by their own body. Lower Moutere —No. Collingwood —As at present. Collingwood—No ; as at present, by the Board. Suiter —Yes, Inangahua — Chairman of Eoad Board should be elected just as Chairman of Council is at present. G-rey —That Eoad Board Chairmen should be elected annually by the ratepayers. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere—No ; but by the members of the Board. Omaka —Not desirable. Pelorus —No ; cost of electing should not be overlooked, my opinion being that it is the best plan for members to elect o:ie of their number as Chairman every year, Picton—No. Spring Creek —No; by a majority of the Board. Wairau —No ; by majority of Board. Lower Wairau —No. Pukaka—No ; by the members of the Board. Kaikoura —No answer. Kaikoura Eiver Board —No ; but by a majority of the members of the Board. Ashley —No- answer. • Eyreton—No.
. Question 12 — continued.
Mandoyille—No. Oxford—No. Waipara—Certainly not. West Eyreton—No. Selwyn —No. Present system of election by majority of the Board we believe to be quite satisfactory. Courtenay — No. Election as at present. Heatheote — The members of the Board should certainly elect their own Chairman. Lincoln—No. Eiccarton —No. Templeton—No. Soutli Waimakariri—No ; the members of a Board should elect their own Chairman. A/caroa —No answer. Littlo Eiver —No. Brother members being the best judges who is most suitable. Pigeon Bay—No. Port Victoria —As they are elected now. Aslihurton —No. Wakanui —No. Mount Somers—No. Q-eraldine —No. G-eraldine—No. Mount Cook —TJoad Board Chairmen should be elected by members of Board. Mount Peel —Certainly not. Temuka —No. Westland —No Eoad Boards on the coast.
Waitaki —No. Kakanui —No; but by members of the Boards. Waiareka —No; but by the Boards as at present. Waitaki—No. Wailcouaiti —No. Palmerston South—Yes. Waikouaiti —No. Manioloto —See answer to No. 11. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula —■ Eoad Board Chairmen should not be elected as Mayors are. Taieri —No. Waipori—No. Bruce —No ; elected as at present. Crichton —No. Glonledi —No. Matau — No ; should be elected Boards. Mount Stuart—Eoad Board Chairmen should not be elected as Mayors are. Tokomairiro—No. Clutha —Present system is satisfactory. Pomahaka —Eoad Board Chairmen should not be elected as Mayors are. Molyncux South —No. Tuapelca —No. Clydevale—No. Southland —No. Knapdale—No. Toitois—No. Tuturau—No alteration.
13. Is it desirable to allow of Road Board elections being held in open public meeting, like those of School Committees, in districts where the Road Board, by special order, adopts this plan ?
M.angonui —The provisions of the Auckland Highways Act suit this district, except proxy voting, which should be abolished. Kaeo — Elected as at present in the Province of Auckland. Proxy votes should be abolished. Oruru —The Auckland Act suits this district, except proxy voting, which should be abolished. Totara —The Auckland Highways Act suits this district, except proxy voting, which should be abolished. ffokianga —No answer. Whangarei —No. Maunu —No. By all elections being under the Local Elections Act a great deal of squabbling and ill-feeling will be avoided. Parua —Yes. Waikiekie —No answer. Waipa Middle—Yes. Waipa South —Eoad Board elections should take place in open public meetings. Jlobson —No answer. Okahu—Yes. Paparoa—Pofer election by ballot. Wairau —No. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —I cannot conceive the propriety or the possibility of Eoad Boards, or any similar body authorized to levy taxes on a community, being elected in any other manner than by open meeting or by ballot, as provided by the Local Elections Act; in either case the vox populi is obtained. The former plan is almost universal here, tho ballot being adopted in a simple form. Whakahara School Committee —The Eoad Board in this district is elected in open meeting, and I have never heard any reason to object to .the plan.
Rodney —No answer. Albertland South —With us they are held in open ratepayers' meeting. This I think quite sufficient. Arai —This has been the plan under tho Auckland Highways Act, and has given general satisfaction. Only a small minority of road districts have adopted the plan of electing their Board under Upper Mahurangi—By all means it should be so. Mangawai—Elections of Eoad Board members should be by ballot; ballot papers should be written, and be distributed by the Chairman of the annual meeting and two ratepayers; poll to be open for one hour ; result of poll to be recorded in minute-book. Ballot papers might be destroyed as soon as Board and Chairman are elected. Omaha —Same as at present. Matakana West —Yes, by accumulative votes, as School Committees. Puhoi —The present form of election seems to this Board sufficient; the fewer elections the more money saved. Tauhoa—Yes. Wharehine—Yes. Wainui —The present system cannot be improved so far as this district is concerned. Waltemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—Yes. Eoad Boards should have power to adopt this mode of election if they see fit, but ratepayers should not be able to give all their votes to one candidate, as in the case of School Committees. Lake —No alteration required. North Shore —Yes ; but no process should be allowed.
Waitakerei West —Yes; in open public meeting. Waitakerei West (J- Cottle)—By a public meeting aa now. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter) —By a public meeting of ratepayers. Whangaparoa—No ; the ratepayers are sufficient. Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to Wo. 16. Mount Boskill — Ratepayers only should take part in the proceedings.. Mount Wellington—Eemain as at. present. Newton—Yes; in open public meeting. Panmure—Under Local Elections Act. Ponsonby—lt is desirable that elections should be held in public meetings where ratepayers desire it, but not where special order of Board may favour it, as such special order might be used unfairly towards ratepayers. Waikomiti—Eoad Board elections should be open to the ratepayers of the district only. Manulcau —No answer. Mercer.—Yes. Hunua —Yes. Karaka—No answer. Maraetai—Yes. Opaheke—Yes. Otahuhu —The practice in this provincial district is that elections take place in open public meeting, subject to the provisions of clause I], "The Highway Act, 1874." If the election of members for Eoad Boards, School Committees, and Licensing Committees were held at the one time, the Local Elections Act should be worked. So many elections at different times in the year is a great waste of money and energy.
Papakura—Present system preferable Pollock —No. Open to ratepayers only. Pukekohe East —Enforce Local Election Act in all districts. Pukekolio West—Yes. Waipipi—Certainly not. Wairoa —It is desirable. Thames —Yes; such is the method at Thames. Parawai —Yes. Waitoa —Yes. Piako —Yes. Waikalo —By the Auckland Highways Act these elections are held in open public meeting; they are satisfactory, and cost only one advertisement. Kirikiriroa —By the Highways Act (Auckland) these elections are held in open public meeting, and are perfectly satisfactory. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton —By open public meeting. Vote as Act, 1874. Kihikihi—Tea. Rangiaohia —Yes. Such a mode is more in unison with the views and opinion of people in country districts. Tuhikaramea —Yes. Raglan —Elections should be conducted by ballot, in the same way as they now are for the County Councils. Pirongia—Yes. It is done so now without ahy special order, and thero is no apparent reason for necessitating a special order. Raglan Town —At a public meeting of ratepayers only. Whakatane —Approve of Local Elections Act. Cook— No. Ormond —No answer. Patutahi —Yes. Te Arai—-To be held in open public meetings. Poverty Bay—No. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati —No. Te Puna —As at present, by vote of ratepayers. Wairoa —In the opinion of this Council all elections for public bodies should be held under the Regulation of Local Elections Act. Hawke's Bay —No. All elections should be held under Local Elections Act. Heretaunga —Yes. Kereru and Aorangi—Yes. Maraekakaho —Yes. Okawa —Yes. Papakura —As at present. Petane —Yes. Elections should be held in public meeting of ratepayers. Te Mata—All elections should be under the Local Elections Act. Waipawa —Road Board elections should be held at open meetings of the ratepayers. Norsewood —As at present. Ocro —Yes. Ormondville —Road Board elections should be held at open meetings of the ratepayers. Ruataniwha North —No. the elections should be by ballot, under the Regulation of Local Elections Act. Tamumu —No. That only ratepayers should be present; and that all elections should be under the Local Elections Act. Woodville—No. Taranaki —Yes. Manganui—Yes; but, upon application of any candidate, the voting to be by ballot. The Chairman of open meeting to send the names of candidates to County Clerk, who should be Returning Officer for his county, and that officer to cause election to
Question 13— continued.
come off within fourteen days from date of public meeting. Mangarci—Yes. Carrington —Unnecessary. Waitara West —It is desirable for Road Board Commissioners to be elected in open public meeting by plurality of votes. Egmont —Eoad Boards should be elected in open public meetings, in or as near centre of district as possible. Moa—To be elected by ballot. Okato—Yes. Clifton—Yes. Waitara East—lt is desirable there should be no secresy. Ingle wood—Yes. Paiea —Not considered. Hawera —]STo answer. Hawera—No. Should all be under the Local Elections Act. Waimate —No. Ngaire—No. Wanganui —No. WaitotaiM —No alteration in the present mode of election required. Rangitikei —Wo. Rangitikei—lSTo. Lethbridge—Not necessarily. Manaioatu —No. Manawatu—No. The present system of nomination and poll and ballot quite satisfactory. Otaki—lt is not desirable. Halcombe—No. Htitt —No ; under Local Elections Act. Kilbirnie —The present way answers very well, and gives more time for the ratepayers to vote, and no public clamour to control the voting. Kaiwara—No. Wairarajpa West —Present arrangement satisfactory. Peatherston —No. Carterton—No. Waimea —Open nomination and election by ballot. Motueka—By open nomination, and ballot if required. Upper Motueka —By open nomination and ballot if necessary, as at present. Waimea —Yes ; in small, but not in scattered districts. Richmond—lSfo; we prefer the provisions of the Regulation of Local Elections Act. Pangatotara—Yea. Rikawa—Yes. Lower Moutere—Open nomination and election by ballot. Collingwood —Under the Regulation of Local Elections Act. Collingwood—Under the Local Elections Act. Buller—No. Inangahua —Road Board elections should be held just as county elections are now held. Grey —No. MarliorougA —No answer. Awatere —Yes. Omaka —The present system of valuation preferable. Pelorus —■ Would not suggest any change other than bringing the Local Elections Act into operation. Picton —Yes. Spring Creek—Not desirable. Wairau—Not desirable. Lower Wairau —No j by [the Regulation of Local Elections Act. Pukaka—Yes. ICaikoura —No answer. Kaikoura River Board —It is not desirable that Road Board elections should be held like those of School Committees under any circumstances.
Ashley —No answer. Eyreton—No. Mandeville—As at present. Oxford—No. Waipara—No. West Eyreton—No. Sehoyn —Most of the Road Boards have adopted the Local Elections Act. Think it would be well to make this system compulsory, as it avoids confusion. Courtenay—Compel all Boards to take up the Local Elections Act. Heathcote—Should remain as at present conducted under Regulation of Local Elections Act, which gives every satisfaction here. Lincoln—No, by ballot under Local Elections Act. Riccarton—Yes. Templeton—No. South Waimakariri —No ; should be conducted under the Regulation of Local Elections Act, as is now done in almost all districts. Akaroa —No answer. Little River—" Local Elections Act, 1876," best. Pigeon Bay—Should be optional, as at present. Port Victoria —No alteration to the present mode of election required. Ashburton —No ; no method could be possibly worse than that embodied in Education Act. Wakanui —Same as at present adopted. Mount Somers—No. Geraldine — That the adoption of the Local Elections Act should be compulsory. Geraldine—Members to be elected by ballot. Mount Cook—No ; the election should be by ballot. The Regulation of Local Elections Act is most equitable and easily worked, and should everywhere be enforced. Mount Peel —The adoption of the Regulation of Local Elections Act should be compulsory. Temuka—No. Westland —No Road Boards on the coast. WaitaTci —No. Kakanui —No; but as provided for by Otago Roads Ordinance. Board would also suggest that section 10 of "Otago Roads Ordinance 1871 Amendment Ordinance, 1874," be altered so that Chairmen of Boards have power to appoint fresh nomination day when election lapses. Waiareka —No. Would prefer present system of election as provided for in " Otago Roads Ordinance, 1871." Waitaki —No. Waikouaiti —No. All such elections should be under " The Regulation of Local Elections Act, 1876." Palmerston South —No. Waikouaiti — Road Board elections should not be held in public, but in accordance with " The Regulation of Local Elections Act, 1876." Manioiolo —See answer to No. 11. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula ■ —■ Road Board elections should not be held in public, but in accordance with "The Regulation of Local Elections Act, 1876." Taieri —Road Board elections should not be held in public, but in accordance with " The Regulation of Local Elections Act, 1876." Waipori — Road Board elections should be held under the provisions of " The Otago Roads Ordinance, 1871." Bruce— Not desirable. Crichton—Not to be held in public meetings.
Glenledi —■ Road Board elections should not be held in public, as at present, but in accordance with " The Local Elections Act, 1876." Matau —Should be elected as at present. Mount Stuart—Road Board elections should be held under the regulation of "Local Elections Act, 1876." Tokomairiro—Eoad Board elections
Question 13 — continued.
Bhould bo held in accordance with "The Regulation of Local Elections Act, 1876." Clutha —lt is not desirable. Pomahaka—lt is not desirable to have the Road Board elections held in open public meeting. Molyneux South —The present system of Eoad Board elections is satisfactory.
Tuapeka —No. Clydovale—Yes. Southland —Tes ; without a cumulative vote. Knapdale—No. Toitois—Same system as at present. Tuturau—Yes; without cumulative voting.
14. What alterations do you suggest in the Rating Bill as sketched in the circular enclosed herewith ?
Mangonui —We fully approve of the Bil as sketched. Kaeo — Approved of as suggested in circular. Oruru—We fully approve of the Eating Bill as sketched in the circular enclosed herewith. Totara —None. We fully approve. Hokianga —Not any. Whangarei —No answer. Maunu—No answer. Parua—None. We would prefer an acreage rate as more suitable for this district, but consider the Eating Bill, as sketched in circular, a great improvement upon the present law. Waikiekie —No answer. Waipu Middle—No answer. Waipu South—Valuation by Property- Tax Commissioner highly approved. The whole sketch approved, but we do not know about Native lands. None in this district. Sobson —No answer. Okahu —None. Paparoa—A ratepaying clause, excluding all defaulters from the electoral roll, as under the present Highways Act. Wairau —I do not see that any change can be made in the Eating Bill for the better. I think it a very fair way to get at, or as near as possible, to the true rateable value of each holding. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) —It is impossible to express an opinion upon the merits of this Bill without having a copy of it, and also a statement of some of the properties of the district showing their respective rateable values, to compare with the existing valuation roll; but it seems to me that it could not be regarded as a valuation roll at all if prepared, as proposed, by the Property-Tax Commissioner, inasmuch as his returns, though professedly made by valuers, are virtually those of individual proprietors valuing their own respective holdings, which it is not to be expected could possibly form a uniform valuation roll, which uniformity of value is, after all, the principal point to be attained, because, for a valuation to be satisfactory, each ratepayer must be satisfied that his neighbours are assessed at aii equal ratio with himself : this could never be attained by the Government proposal. Tbere ■would also, I think, be considerable difficulty as regards the holdings of absentees, who would not be in a position to make any appeal before Eeviewers. The circular makes no allusion to any proposed limitation of the amount of rate to be collected, or whether any such limitation is fixed. The objections to the present mode of valuing are: the heavy expense annually incurred 5—A. 10.
in preparing rolls, advertising, anc holding Assessment Courts, both for Highway Boards and Councils, the former having the heaviest burden besides, these being an annual as sessment, all improvements on the properties are taxed, evon in cases where there has not been time to utilize them. To remedy these evils, the general opinion is thai the Council should engage a competent and independent valuer, who should prepare the valuation roll for the county upon a uniform scale and system throughout, that is, for each class of land and the state in which it may be, whether fenced or unfenced, pasture or arable, &c. This valuation to be made triennially. The valuer to deposit the roll for each district in a suitable locality for one month, and publicly notify a day for hearing appeals, when he should be present. Appeals to be heard by the Highway Board (or Council in outlying districts) and settled by them, subject to hearing by the Resident Magistrate if Council is dissatisfied. Practically, the present Courts are a mere farce. With reference also to the preparation of the valuation roll by the Property - Tax Commissioner, would not that be regarded as a breach of trust on the part of the Government ? Are not the officials in that department required to be reticent as to the returns sent into the ofllce ? The proposal to vest in the Public Trustee the power to sell or lease, for payment of rates, deserted and unoccupied lands (if found to be practicable), would prove immensely beneficial. The large amount of these lands, the result of the 40-acre system in Auckland District, proves a great impediment to settlement, and a large annual loss in the collection of rates. Whakahara School Committee —No answer. "Rodney —We approve of the new Eating Bill in its present form. Albertland South—No answer. Arai —Care should be taken that valuation of rateable property is on a uniform basis ; it should, therefore, be as open as possible. The Government valuer Bhould furnish valuation lists to the local bodies as soon as possible, and might sit with them a3 a primary Court to hear objections. The Board of Eeviewers would then only have to hear such cases as could not be settled locally. Probably the greatest objection to the Eating Act now in force is the needless expense in preparing valuation rolls, and the extravagant system of Assessment Courts. Under the Auckland Provincial Act the
local body could hear objections to the assessment rolls, and, in the vast majority of cases, such objections were settled at once, without the expense of any Court whatever. In the very few cases where objections could not thus be settled, the nearest Court of Petty Sessions or Eesident Magistrate's Court formed an appropriate Court of appeal. Upper Mahurangi—With reference to valuation of property, the Boards should appoint their own valuers; and property should only be valued once in three years. Objections to valuation should be decided by the Boards; then we should get rid of those abominable Assessment Courts. Mangawai—Bates of defaulters, and of land reserved for public purposes, should be paid by the Public Trustee. Assessment Courts under Eating Act, 1876, should be abolished. Notices of assessment list, rate struck, and for annual meeting, should be only advertised once each. Omaha—None. Matakana West—None. Puhoi —The Board believes the Eating Bill, as sketched in the circular of the 13th May satisfactory, except that this Board, not knowing the power of the Boards of Eeviewers, finds a great ambiguity in the terms of tho section concerning protection for excessive and unfaiy low rating. For instance, the Property- Tax Commissioner values the land at £600, whilst the owner values the same at £400; at which valuation will the land be sold — for £600 or 400 ? Tauhoa—The preparation of the valuation-roll is a small expense, but we approve of a triennial valuation; yet we claim the power to make that valuation ourselves, and object to the property-tax valuation, as those properties that are too small to be taxed would be either unfairly or carelessly valued, and the protection proposed in the sketched Rating Bill would never work fairly, as many would either have to bear an unjust burden, or part with the property which perhaps took half a lifetime to form. The proposal to invest power with the Public Trustee to sell is very satisfactory to us; yet we think the sale should be made compulsory, and that no power for letting should be given. Wharehine —We suggest none ; the clauses are very applicable to this district. Wainui —If the lands in these districts could be subjected to an acreage rate, it would in most cases double the income of the Eoad Boards. The expenses of valuing the lands every year and advertising
and attending useless Assessment Courts have hitherto been a very heavy drag on our resources. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—The Eating Bill as sketched is very good. Lake—Proposed mode of rating satisfactory. North Shore—None. Waitakerei West —I have no suggestion to offer. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle)—l have no alteration to suggest. Waitakerei West H. Hunter) —No Iterations to suggest, the Eating Bill sketched in the circular appearing to be based on sound principles. Whangaparoa—We would rather see an acreage rate. Eden —No answer. Epsom—See answer to No. 16. Mount Eoskill—None. Mount Wellington—No answer. Newton—Local bodies to appoint valuer. Panmure —None; we, as a Eoad Board, wish to retain the rating in existence as at present quoted in the Highways Act of 1874. Ponsonby — None. The Bill as sketched is a good one. Waikomiti —The Board do not suggest any alteration ; they consider the Bill a good.one. ManuTcau —No answer. Mercer. —No mention is made of what property it is intended to exempt from taxation. If railway reserves are included our district will then be left in the same position as at present, a good number of the residents here being employed on the railway, and are living within railway boundary. Only exemptions should be educational reserves. Hunua —No alterations. Karaka—A valuation roll for three years, by a local valuator, who as a rule has a better knowledge as to its true value. Maraetai—None whatever. Opaheke—Approve of the principle of the Bill. Otahuhu—lt is quite open to question whether it is politic to rate Crown property. It looks very much like Peter paying Paul. It can only be correctly decided by actual trial. Native lands ought to pay taxes, and the mode proposed seems to be as inexpensive as is possible under the circumstances, provided always that the Government are firm in not remitting the sums due j otherwise it will be unjust to the European population, and will inordinately enrich the Natives. Papakura—Strike it out altogether. Pollock —We are in favour of the Colonial Treasurer's suggestions. Pukekohe East—We consider the present value of land too high to be rated on. Pukekohe West —I heartily approve of the entire Bill as sketched in the circular. Waipipi —A more ready way of dealing with defaulters. Notice in Gazette should be sufficient if owner out of the colony. Wairoa —I have no suggestion to make, other than what is in circular, which I approve of ; and I, as well as others, sincerely hope that the system of annual valuation will be done away with. Thames —No copy of Bill received. Parawai —None. Waitoa —No answer.
Question 14 — continued.
Pialco —Not sufficient time given for consideration. Waikato—"Ha Eating Bill as sketched is considered satisfactory. Kirikiriroa — The Eating Act as sketched is an improvement on previous legislation, more especially in reference to valuation and the payment by a Pnblic Trustee of rates due on the property of absentees. Waipa —No answer. Hamilton—All arrears of rates for any number of years should be paid by the Eeceiver-General or Public Trustee, who should be empowered to pay rates for all absentees and all who fail to pay from whatever cause twelve months after the rate has been levied, and register same against the land in the Supreme Court. Kihikihi—Approves of the Property- Tax Commissioner furnishing Eoad Boards with valuation lists, together with list of alterations owing to change of owner, &c. This system, in my opinion, will facilitate the work of the local bodies, and will be more satisfactory to the ratepayers than that hitherto adopted. Eangiaohia—l think it a good thing to consolidate the Eoad Boards Act by bringing the whole of the law relating thereto under one statute. I also approve of the Property-Tax Commissioner furnishing the district valuation rolls; this will give great satisfaction. But I do not, nor can I see my way to, approve of any local body raising loans for public works by debentures to be paid in the manner indicated. Tuhikaramea—None. Very suitable. Raglan —None. It appears to be very good. Pirongia—The provisions of the Eating Bill are very satisfactory, and this Board cordially indorses the principle that one general valuation by the Property-Tax Department is sufficient for all rating purposes, and that rating should be on the value to sell. Eaglan Town—No answer. WTialcatcme —Native Land Eating Bill. Cook —None. Crown and Native Lands Eating Bill would have been beneficial to this county if clause 11 is complied with. Ormond—No answer. Patutahi—None. Te Arai—That, instead of the Public Trustee valuing the property, the owner himself should put the capital value on it, and, if the Public Trustee does not think it a fair valuation, the property should be put up to auction; if the owner buys it in he should be allowed 10 per cent, reduction: and, moreover, that land should be valued as if improved to its full grazing capabilities, so that owners of land who do not improve their properties would be paying the same proportion as those who do. As it now stands, a man who buys land, and does not improve, has a low valuation, at the same time roads are being made to or through Ids property, and so increasing its value. Poverty Bay—None. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati—No answer. Te Puna—None. I highly approve of all the provisions. Wairoa— The Council approve of the suggestion that the Public Trustee should pay the rates of absentees' sections, but
they consider the County Councils should have the power of appointing their own valuators. Sawke's Say —lt would be of great service to local bodies if one reliable valuation were made by the Government, which was available; but it is quite open to doubt whether the valuations made by the Property-Tax Department are anything like as reliable as those which could be made by the counties themselves appointing a valuer. If the Property Assessment Act remains as at present, there will probably be no valuations made under it that can be utilized as a basis upon which to levy local rates. It does not appear very clear that the proposal to rate the owner of lands upon their value to sell will be any improvement upon the present system of rating the occupier on the annual value of the property he occupies. The circular is not very distinct upon the question of liability. Is it the owner of the land ? Is it the holder of a long lease, whose beneficial interest may be much more valuable than that of the owner? Who is to pay the rates upon lauds leased from Natives where the lease is valuable, and the improvements, which are the property of the tenant, also valuable ? Who is to pay rates in cases where an imperfect title exists ? It seems that the incalculable amount of confusion which would ensue from the adoption of the Property Tax valuations would altogether outweigh any advantage to be derived from it, while it would perpetuate in its worst form the unsatisfactory connection between the Government and local bodies. Heretaunga—No answer. Kereru and Aorangi—Provisions of Native Lands Eating Bill are suitable. The Property-Tax Commismissioner's valuation should certainly form the basis of county and Eoad Board valuations. Maraekakaho—Valuations to he made by the General Government on the same basis as the property-tax; such valuations to remain in forca three years, subject to alterations from time to time should the valuer for the property-tax see occasion. Okawa—None. Would not approve property-tax valuation. Papakura—No answer. Petane —No answer. Te Mata—No answer. IVaipavia —Have no alterations to suggest. Norsewood —None. Oero—That one valuation be made every third year for all purposes of taxation. Ormondvilie —Have no alterations to suggest, Ruataniwha North —Have no alterations to suggest. Tamumu —That, instead of the property-tax valuations being adopted, one permanent valuator should be appointed for two or more counties, to. be paid, partly by the Government and partly by the counties, who would value all the property in his district for the County Councils and the Eoad Boards, and that the valuation so made should also be the valuation for the property-tax. Woodville — Annual revision. Improvements of considerable value might be made on properties immediately after valuation, such as buildings, and which would escape taxation for three years. TaranaJci —We entirely agree with the proposal to make property-tax valuation the valuation for all local bodies.
Manganui — That all private lands unoccupied or unused to be subject to an acreage tax of from Id. to 6d. per acre; the above to be in addition to the present tax levied under Eating Bill, which would be simply taxing the speculator for the accruing value of such land from the settlement of the adjoining lands. Mangarei —Think Eating Bill will be a great assistance to Eoad Boards. A great deal of dissatisfaction has been expressed here against " The Eating Act, 1876," in cases where an outgoing tenant has to pay rates on a property which he has ceased to be interested in prior to the rate being struck. No doubt the name on the rate-roll should be responsible for the rate, but the tenant should be able to recover such rate from the owner. Carrington—None. Waitara West—The Eoad Construction and Native and Crown Lands Eating Bills would suit this district. Egmont—None; except that the ratepayers would prefer an acreage rate to the valuation rate for district. Moa—Eor our district the acreage rate would be preferable. Okato —No answer. Clifton —No answer. Wflitara East —All Crown and Native lands should bo treated as other lands of like quality, the rate to be charged to the Government, and paid by the Government to the Commissioners; such rates to be a first charge on the land when sold. Inglewood—None. Patea— That section 65 of " The Eating Act, 1876," bo amended, so that the County Council should be the valuing body ; also that the valuation should be made triennially, the local body to revise the list; that a copy of the valuation roll should be supplied to Government, and that the cost Bhould be borne by Government. That all property be valued by the valuators appointed, without any reference to owner of property, and so do away with threat of compulsory sale, which is a disgrace to any stalul e-book. Hawera —No answer. Hawera—Would suggest that the Property-Tax Commissioner's valuation-roll, as furnished to each body, should, before becoming the roll for the district, undergo inspection and bo certified to and paßsed by each body. Waimate —That Crown and Native lands be rated on a fair valuation, bearing due proportion to adjoining freehold. Ngaire —That Crown and Native lands be rated on a fair valuation, bearing a due proportion to the value of ad. joining freeholds. Wanganui —No answer. Waitotara —Eoad Boards should have the power of making a triennial valuation by their own valuer. Kangitikei —No answer. Eangitikei—No answer. Lethbridge—No answer. Manmoatu —That valuations be made as in answer to Question 5. Eor the following reasons, among others, we hold that the property-tax valuation would be objectionable for rating purposes: (1) That it would be a means of perpetuating the property-tax were the proposal to make it the valuation for ratiDg purposes accepted ; (2) that Government officials in Wellington have not the local knowledge necessary to enable them to choose the best valuators; (3) that
Question 14 — continued.
there would be a certain amount of indifference on the part of a valuer for property-tax purposes when dealing with small holdings which come withir the £500 exemption, hut which are stil liable to be rated. That rates be allowec to accumulate year after year with 10 per cent, interest added, instead of being irrecoverable after two years. Thai facilities be afforded for obtaining judgment on arrears of rates in bankrupt estates. Manawatu —Object to property-tax valuation. Triennial valuation nol suited to the rapid development oJ a new country. Present system, with all its faults, preferred. Otaki —That the valuation of Crown and Native lands be made by the Property-Tax Commissioner in the same manner as that of the adjoining private lands. Halcombe — Have no alterations to suggest. Consider the Bill an admirable one. Hutt —We agree with them. Kilbirnie —No alteration. I do not think the income-tax or propertytax valuation list at all suitable to road districts, the benefits are not carried out, and the evils more than counterbalance them, even if they were carried out. Kaiwara—We agree with them. Wairarapa West —Strongly approve Eating Bill as sketched. Featherston—Would like to see Government proposals in force. Believe them to be good. Carterton — The Eating Bill as sketched in circular meets with our approval, but it should be made clear that the powers to strike local rates be left to Local Boards, and the maximum be fixed as at present. Waimea —The suggestions sketched in the circular would operate beneficially and economically so long as the propertytax valuation is necessary. Motueka—The property-tax valuation taken as the valuation basis by all rating bodies would prore beneficial and economical Upper Motueka — If property-tax forms basis of valuation, care should be taken that lands and houses only be assessed. Waimea —■ We entirely agree with general principles of circular. Eichmond—That a separate column of the rental value of all properties should be given with the Property- Tax Commissioners' valuation roll, for the pwrpose of striking a rate in those districts where rates are struck on the rental value. Pangatotara —None. Eikawa —No answer. Lower Moutere—Assessments once in five years would be a great saving in a district like this, where so little change takes place. Collingwood —No alteration. Collingwood—None. Butter —Only that the rate be increased. Inangahua —The Eating Bill, as sketched on circular alluded to, would not suit this county, as the valuation of the Property-Tax Commissioner would not extend to miners' huts, from which a great amount of our rates is at present derived. Q-rey —None. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere — The provisions of the Eating Bill seem satisfactory. Omaka —Approve of both Bills. Pelorus —Either adopt the propertytax valuation and do away with Eoad Board valuers, or make valuations once every three years, with
Borne plan of revision of roll annu" ally, to lessen the cost of annual valuations. Picton—No answer. Spring Creek —The property-tax valuation would not be satisfactory. Eating on the capital value of the land is objectionable ; the present system, on the annual value, being more equitable. The body levying the rate should appoint its own valuers, as now provided by Act. Wairau—The property-tax valuation would not be satisfactory. Eating on the capital value of the land ia objectionable; the present system, on the annual value, being more equitable. The body levying the rate should appoint its own valuers, as now provided by the Eating Act. Lower Wairau —Assessment to be made as at present, on the annual value to let. Assessors to be appointed by Eoad Boards or County Councils, as the case may be. Pukaka Eiver Board —Special provisions should be made for Eiver Boards. Under "The Hawkesßay and Marlborough Eivers Act 1868 Amendment Act, 1872 " the Eoad Board valuations must be taken, but part of a property as rated by the Eoad Board may be outside the river district and the remainder in two classes. We think that outside towns an acreage rate, as in the original Act of 1868, would be the fairest, as the land that requires great protection has a low value. Kailconra —No answer. ICaikoura Eiver Board —No answer. Ashley —No answer. Eyreton—No answer. Mandeville —No reply. Oxford —No answer. Waipara—No answer. West Eyreton—No reply. Sehvyn —Consider that the property-tax valuation may be thoroughly available in the country districts, but in the suburban districts it has been pointed out to U3 that loss would accrue on the rate roll if only readjusted every third year. Property may not increase in value in the bulk, but is being constantly cut up and subdivided, and portions may and do acquire considerable additional value; but this could not be considered in the rates until after the expiry of the third year. Notice of change of owner and occupier from the Commissioner would not carry with it the increased value which the change might involve. Courtenay — Property-tax valuation to be used for all, but must be thoroughly revised every year. Power to amend valuation roll by the Eoad Board on application, if land changes hands. Heathcote —This district, in common with other suburban districts, would be disastrously affected by the passing of the Eating Bill; in fact, we consider it would be almost impossible to work under it. The annual rating of'suburban districts Bhould be left to the local bodiei. This Board suggests that power Bhould be given to local bodies to make from time to time necessary alterations in the rolls in the names of owners and occupiers on changes taking place in ownership or occupancy being duly verified, so as to enable the proper person to exercise voting power. Lincoln —The rates should be struck on the letting value of the land, aa at present, and most certainly not on the capital value.
Biccarton — Valuation every three years will not suit suburban districts, the value being chiefly household property, which increases every year. Templeton—As far as this district is concerned, it would be better to remain as at present, the valuation being included in the Clerk's duties. South Waimakariri —Consider the districts should be assessed annually as at present, otherwise this Board will be a loser if the assessments are only made every third year. ATcaroa —No answer. Littlo River —This Bill might answer, but in taking the property-tax valuation it must be borne in mind that this valuation does not include properties of less value than £500. At any rate a number of properties in this district were excluded in the last valuation. Pigeon Bay —No answer. Port Victoria —Peoplo are rated to as great a point as they can stand, and therefore my opinion is: have no County Council, and let the Road Boards proceed as heretofore ; let the Chairmen of the various Boards in a county meet (Bay once in three months) and allocate any funds accruing to them through the Bounty funds j let there be no other expense. AsKburton —Approve of proposal that local bodies should be able to use Government valuations. Wakanui —Object to the Rating Bill. Thoroughly approve of your proposal respecting the making of the valuation rolls. Mount Sorners — That Government valuation be adopted. Geraldine —No answer. Geraldine —The Board approves of the present mode of local valuation. Mount Cook—The multiplicity of valuations is totally unnecessary and wasteful; either the local body should supply the Government with the district valuation for levying property-tax, or the Government
Question 14 — continued.
should, as proposed, send a copy of the property-tax valuation with corrections year by year to the local body. We are much in favour of the local body supplying the Government with tho assessment for property-tax instead of the reverse 0 .urse proposed, for the local valuers must be much better able to make equitable valuations than strangers. The Government would of course revise the valuations, so all probability of unfair dealing would be prevented. When property changed hands, or a person held property in different districts, we think it would be difficult and expensive for the Government to furnish correct information to the local bodies. Mount Peel —No recommendation. Temuka —The Board agree that it would be highly desirable to make the valuation under the propertytax available for local bodies, and it should be compulsory on them to adopt such valuation. The Board also agree with the provisions of the Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill as sketched in circular. Weslland —The Rating Bill appears to meet the case of counties on this coast, and the Westhmd Council approve of it. No alterations to suggest. WaitaJci —Disapprove of the Rating Bill. Kakanui —Sketch approved of. Waiareka — Board approves of property-tax valuation being used, as long as the tax is in force, as sketched in circular. Waitaki —We approve of the Rating Bill as sketched in circular. TVaiTconaiti —None, as no one is of opinion that a great saving will be effected thereby Palmerston South—None. Waikouaiti —No answer. Maniototo —This Council does not approve of the principle of the Rating Bill, and is of opinion that a return to the system of a fair percentage of the land revenue would better serve the object sought to be attained, at all events, in this county. Peninsula —No answer.
Peninsula—Would suggest no alterations in Rating Bill as in circular. Taieri —We would suggest no alteration in the Rating Bill as in circular, for we are of opinion that a great saving will be effected thereby. Waipori—We consider that no alterations should be made in the present Rating Act. Bruce —Present Rating Act preferable : amended "That valuations stand for three years, with powers to correct same." Crichton—As in circular, but provide for separate valuation where a property extends to two or more districts. Glenledi —We would suggest, no alterations in the Rating Bill as in circular, for we are o£ opinion that a great saving will be effected thereby. Matau —Rating Bill, as sketched in circular, quite satisfactory in our opinion. Mount Stuart—We consider the present mode of rating by local bodies the best, Tokomairiro—We approve of the rating, as sketched in the circular. Clutha —The Council approves of the Rating Bill, as sketched in the circular. Pomahaka—We approve of the Rating Bill, as sketched in the circular. Molyneux South —This Board does not approve of the Rating Bill, as sketched in the circular. Tuapeka —Rating Bill as sketched not required if suggestions herein contained be complied with. Clydevale—No answer. Southland —Present plan of rating to remain unaltered, except that county valuation should be legalized as valuation for Road Boards. Knapdale—That the appointment of valuers rest with the Road Boards. Toitois —The members of the Board approve of the adoption of Government valuation, one member dissenting. Tuturau —County valuation should be sufficient for Road Boards within their boundary.
15. Please state whether the provisions of the Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Hating Bills would suit your district, and, if not, what alterations would you suggest which would make these measures more useful ?
Mangonui —The Roads Construction and Crown Lands Rating Bill suit us. We consider the Natives should be made to define their titles and pay rates same as Europeans. Kaeo —We approve of the Roads Construction and Crown Lands Bill. The Natives should pay rates as Europeans. Oruru —Both the Bills would suit our district. Totara —Natives should be made to define their titles and pay rates same as Europeans; otherwise the Bills will suit this district. Holcianga —Would be very satisfactory. All lands, whether Government or Native, or held by Europeans, should be rated. Whangarei —No answer. Maunu—Not to rate at all, or to fix a nominal value only on Native and Government lands for rating purposes is very unfair, especially to districts having a largo portion of such lands. The only fair way is to rate all lands or properties of whatever nature, as all are benefited by
the expenditure on roads, including all reserves, excepting only public school sites, forest reserves, and those for public recreation. Parua —With respect to borrowing from loan for roads and bridges, to be recouped from special rates, we are of opinion it would not suit districts like Ibis, as we have great difficulty in collecting the ordinary rate, which appears to be as much as people can bear. The area of Crown and Native land in this district is very limited, about 2,500 acres, but we consider the measure good. We have no alterations to suggest. Waikiekie —No answer. Waipu Middle —No answer. Waipu South —Consider that colonial lines of road should be laid out by Government engineers independent of local bodies, and constructed under the superintendence of such engineers. Hobson —No answer. Okahu—None. Paparoa —Would suit our district. Wairau —The Roada Construction Bill
I consider very liberal; but I consider 9 per cent, high for paying back principal and intorest of moneys advanced to Road Boards for construction of district roada. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) — There being no Native land, and very little Crown land, iv this riding, that Bill would be praclically inoperative here. The Roads Construction Bill appears to be a measure calculated to afford very efficient aid to local bodies in the construction of many desirable works which, without such assistance, are beyond their means, and it would doubtless be largely availed of by them. Whakahara School Committee —No answer. Sodney —Yes; the Bill generally approved. But the colony should be divided into a number of large districts and a fair proportion of the whole sum voted by Parliament placed to the credit of each such division. The district north of Auckland to form one such division.
Albertland South—l think they are quite suitable to this district. Arai' —Would suit this part of the colony, if the fixing as to wha Bhould be main roads could be Batis factorily arranged. But we do no ccc how this could be done. Every section of road proposed to be con stituted a main road would cause a parliamentary struggle. Upper Mahurangi—This Bill woulc not suit us. I consider it a mos' unworkable measure. Ido not see the force of rating Governmen: lands. It would be robbing Peter to pay Paul. Mangawai—Tho Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Bil would suit this district; that is to say, the upset price of Government land should be taken as the value of the fee-simple. Omaha —■ The provisions would be suitable. Matakana West —Yes. Puhoi — The provisions would suit, under the condition that the expenses for the construction and maintenance of main roads be entirely borne by the colony. Tauhoa —Only affects us here, and would work satisfactorily. Wharehine —Yes ; the Native Lands Rating Bill will suit this district. Wainui—Not suitable for this district. In view of the proposed increase of taxation under Government valuation, it would not be desirable, if practicable, to borrow money on our homesteads and lands. As these districts are but thinly populated, the burden would fall upon the few, while the majority of landowners would pay little or nothing. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—Yes; these Bills would suit this district very well. Lake —Provisions of proposed Acts very suitable. North Shore—Yes. Waitakerei West—No answer. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle)—l am of opinion it would suit our district. Waitakerei West (H. Hunter) —I am of opinion it would suit our district. Whangaparoa—Very well. JUden. —No answer. Epsom —See answer to No. 16. Mount Roskill—Do not feel inclined to borrow in this district. No Native lands, and very little Crown lands. Mount Wellington —Think the roads construction provisions, as sketched in the circular received with this, might be exceedingly beneficial to this district by enabling new roads to be made. Newton —The Bill as framed would work well in our district. Panmure — The present powers answer the district. I have no suggestions to make. Ponsonby— The provisions of these Bills are good. Waikomiti —The Board considers the Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Bills good. ManuTcau —No answer. Mercer. —Yes ; Eubject to the foregoing. Hunua —Would suit our district. Karaka —A limit should be named as to amounts borrowed. No Board ought to have power of borrowing over the amount of three years' rates, except for reconstruction,
Question 15 — continued.
caused by sudden destruction b; floods. Although there is Native and Government land in this dis trict, yet on the whole the countr is better without the Rating Bill. Maraetai—All Native lands shoulc be rated, especially those where they derive a direct benefit, anc their property advances in value. Opahcke—Believe my district conic take advantage of the Bills, but a great repugnance to borrowing money for making roads by the district; but a free grant-in-aid by the Board paying a quota is good A yearly rate to pay interest anc principal is not viewed with favour Otahuhu —They are not applicable to this district. It is the bounden duty of the Government to make and maintain all roads. The Roads Construction Bill is too cumbersome, i.e., in multiplying officers The money Bhould return to the taxpayer through as few filters or processes as possible. Papakura—No answer. Pollock—Yes. Pukekohe East —Generally approved Pukekohe West —The Roads Con- Btruction Bill would suit us. There is no Crown or Native land in this district. Waipipi—l am in favour of both these Bills, as they appear suitable to this district. Wairoa —No answer. Thames —No answer. Parawai—l think it might. Waitoa —The word "construction" should be made to include the improvements necessary for the completion of those portions of main roads which have been formed but not thoroughly completed; otherwise the Bill will be of little use in this district, nearly the whole of our main road having been formed more or less, but very little of it made really good, as the Board has never had money enough to finish it. Crown and Native lands should be valued in the same manner as land in the occupation of Bottlers. ]?iaho —Roads Construction Bill should aIBO apply to improvements on existing roads. Crown Lands Rating Bill satisfactory. Waihato —Crown and Native lands should be valued in the same manner as private property. Kirikiriroa —We think tho provisions generally suitable, but are of opinion that Crown, and especially Native, lands should be put down at their market value, the same as private property. TVaipa —No answer. Hamilton —No answer. Kihikihi—Yes. Rangiaohia—l would recommend that all Crown and Native lands in towns and road districts be rated the same as that belonging to Europeans and private property. Tuhikaramea —Immaterial to this district. Raglan —Both Acts would suit well in this county as they are. Pirongia —They also are strongly in favour of the provisions of the Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill and the Roads Construction Bill. In this latter there seems to be an omission as to the funds for maintenance after construction of main roads. The same principle as enunciated in subsection 3 of the circular. Raglan Town —No answer.
WhaJcatane —Yes. CooTc —Remarkably well; but think tho sum proposed to be set apart is inadequate. Ormond—The proposed Bills would suit this district. Patutahi—Will suit our district very well. I would suggest that districts that have no main roads connecting them with other centres should have a prior right in obtaining grants-maid ami loans from the Board over those districts that have railways and some portion of their main roads constructed by Government. Te Arai—No answer. Poverty Bay—Yes. Tauranga —No answer. Katikati —We consider this Bill would suit our district. Te Puna—Would suit. Wairoa —The provisions of the Roads Construction Bill approved. .Re tho Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill, resolved, " That all lands — Crown, Native, and European owned—be under one uniform rating law, and that such rates be recovered in the usual manner, the land to bear the burden, or else to be handed over to the Public Trustee, he to pay the rates." Hawlce's Bay —All lands, whether Government, or Native, or held by Europeans, should be rated on the same basis. No political considerations should be allowed to interfere with questions of local finance. Herotaunga—One valuation should be made every third year, to be adopted for all purposes of taxation. Kereru and Aorangi —No answer. Maraekakaho —Provisions of Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill very suitable for this district. Okawa —All lands, whether Government, Native, or European, should be rated on the same basis. Papakura—No answer. Petane —No answer. Te Mata —No answer. IVaipaiva —All lands, Native or Crown, should be fairly rated according to value. Norsewood—All land should be fairly rated, according to value. Oero—No answer. Ormondville — All lands, Native or Crown, should be fairly rated according to value. Ruataniwha North—All lands, Native or Crown, should be fairly rated according to value. Tamumu —All lands, whether Government, Native, or European, should be rated upon the same basis ; and that Native lands in the occupation of Europeans, but which have not been through the Court, should at once be brought under the operations of the Rating Act, and not allowed to escape the payment of rates as at present. Woodville —Yes, if Crown lands and Native lands be fairly valued, and on same proportion as other lands in their neighbourhood. Taranaki —We entirely agree with the proposed measures. JM anganui—Yes. Mangarei—Yes. Carrin gto n—Yes. Waitara West—No answer. Egmont—Suitable, as we have greatly felt the loss of rates not being paid on Native and Government reserves. Moa —The Bill would suit. The rateable value not to bo less than £1 per acre. Okato —No answer,
Clifton—lf Native lands in this district were occupied by Europeans (say about 14,000 acres), their rateable value would be at least £5 per acre; and we see no reason why they should not be rated at that. Waitara East—Not suitable; too much borrowing powers are now given to local bodies. Waste lands of the Crown : After paying the purchasemoney and survey expenses, &c, the remainder should be applied in opening up roads to the land sold, in order to get a settled population on as early as possible, otherwise the land will be valueless, and not readily occupied. Inglewood—They will suit this district exactly. Patea — The Council indorse clause 3, page 2, of circular, with the addition of the words " and maintenance." In the Patea County the main roads are cut up by Government for public works, and by the trade of the adjoining borough and county, who in no way assist in maintenance ; but, on the contrary, the borough receives all auctioneers' and publicans' licenses, which were formerly paid to the county. The funds of the local bodies could also be relieved by Government either allowing them access to Government gravel-pits, or supplying gravel to. them at a cost that will cover cost of labour, &c. That, previous to Government land being sold, a sum of money, to be deducted from proceeds of sale, should be handed over to the local body for the purpose of making roads into the said land, and after the sale a further portion of the proceeds should be handed over for the same purpose, provided there is any left after deducting cost of road first made, price of land, cost of survey, &c. Hawera —No answer. Hawera—Yes ; the provisions of these Bills would suit the district. Waimate — That the Government should form, bridge, and metal all roads required to open up Crown lands for sale. Ngaire—-That the Government form, bridge, and gravel all roads required to open up lands to be sold or leased by the Crown. Wangatmi —lt meets with the decided approval of the Council, more especially the Native Lands Rating Bill. Waitotara —The Board approves of the Bill generally. Mangitikei —Very suitable for this district as proposed. Rangitikei —■ Very suitable for this district as proposed. Lethbridge—Consider that the Bills mentioned would meet all requirements of this township. Manawatu —Yes ; but, in making roads through Crown lands, district roads Bhould be made, as well as main roads, out of the price of the land. In last year's Bill this principle was affirmed, but the paragraph relating to this subject in the Treasurer's circular would seem to propose that main roads only should be made out of proceeds of sale. We also think that tramways should be allowed to be constructed under the same provision as roads, where desired by the ratepayers instead of roads. That district roads are hardly treated as compared with main roads: three-fourths of cost of main roads are borne by the colony, while district roads have to be altogether provided for locally. A saiall grant-in-aid, say one-third, would render the disproportion of assistance less glaring.
Question 15 — continued.
Manawatu —In the main suitable ;. but consider too wide a distinction between main and district roads. Would suggest that at least onethird be granted to district roads as subsidy, as settlers on district roads are too heavily handicapped. We would further urge that in new blocks all roads—both main and district —be either made or guaranteed out of the Laud Fund, and that all road-lines be at least cleared prior to the sale of the land; and that roads through bush country have a prior claim on the fund, as there can be no development of such a country without roads. Otaki — The provisions of the Acts named would suit this district. Halcombe—Well suited to this district. Hutt —Yes ; will suit. Kilbirnie—We have not the Bills, and therefore cannot say. Kaiwara —Yes. Wairarapa West —Would suit our disdrict fairly well, and the passing of some such measure during the present session is a matter of extreme urgency. Featherston —No answer. Carterton —No answer. Waimea —The provisions of the Roads Construction Bill, if amended by granting larger assistance to Highway Boards for the construction of district roads, would be very beneficial. The operation of the Crown Lands Rating Bill, as originally proposed, seems well adapted to the aiding of outlying districts where population is scanty and roads are greatly needed, instead of further enriching districts already rich and populous, and leaving poor districts to their poverty—-the result of the subsidy system. Motueka — The provisions of the Roads Construction and Native Lands Rating Bills would prove of great benefit to this and adjacent districts for—(l.) A great deal of the land is of very inferior quality, making the amount of rates raised erj small to maintain long lines of road. (2.) Crown lands are unavailable for settlement through want of roads. (3.) The Natives are yearly becoming repossessed of lands once leased to Europeans, thereby reducing the amount of rates levied for road purposes. Upper Motueka —Roads Construction Bill seems fair. The Crown Lands Rating Bill, as originally proposed, would, if carried into effect, materially promote the prosperity of this district. Waimea —Yes. Richmond —We cordially agree with propositions in 3 and 4 of circular, but the quantity of land is so limited in this district that the rates that could be levied on them would be much less in amount than subsidies now received from the Government. Pangatotara—Eirst, does not suit our district ; second, any rating of Crown land in this district would benefit it. Rikawa —Yes. Lower Moutere—So far as doing away with yearly valuation, which in this district is unnecessary. Collingwood —Suitable for the requirements of this district. Collingwood—Suitable for this district. Buller —Yes; provided the rate is increased. Inangahua —The provisions of the Roads
Construction and Crown and Native Lands Eating Bills would suit this county, but it should extend to unincorporated towns as well as to boroughs. Grey —That neither of these Bills will suit this district. That all boroughs situated within the boundaries of a county should be made to pay a moiety of the the rates collected in the town towards the maintenance of county roads. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere —Yes; they would be beneficial. Oniaka—Quite satisfied with the present Road Board system. Pelorus — The Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill would suit our district very well; but not favourable to the Roads Construction Bill. Picton—Yes. Spring Creek—The Native Lands Rating Bill is objectionable on principle. With regard to Roads Construction Bill, the only legitimate fund from which subsidies can be given to local bodies is the land revenue. Wairau—The Native Lands Rating Bill is objectionable in principle. With regard to the Roads Construction Bill, the only legitimate fund from which subsidies can be given to local bodies is the land revenue. Lower Wairau —Not interested. Pukaka River Board—Yes. Kaikoura —No answer. Kaikoura River Board — Bill not suited to our district. Ashley —No answer. Eyreton—No answer. Mandeville —No reply Oxford—No answer. Waipara—The main roads in our district being made, it would not be much affected by the Bills. West Eyreton—No reply. Selwyn —We suggest that power be given to the local bodies to make alterations in the rolls, when they have been completed, where a change has occurred in owner or occupier. At present property may change owner immediately after the roll is signed, but there is no power to insert the new claimant until the lists are again revised, thereby preventing the real owner from voting on questions involving his interests. Courtenay—No answer. Heatheote —See reply to No. 16. Lincoln—Not suitable. Riccarton—Roads Construction Bill not applicable to suburban districts like this. Rating Bill suitable, with less exemptions on Government property. Ternpleton—No. South Waimakariri —Do not affect this Board. AJcaroa —No answer. Little River —Yes; as the Board is not likely to take advantage of its clauses without the consent of the ratepayers. The Crown and Native Lands Bill would suit, provided local bodies had power to rate the European tenants of Natives. Pigeon Bay—No answer. Port Victoria —No answer. AsKburton —Unable to give an opinion. Wakanui —Would not suit this district. Mount Somers- —Not suitable. G-eraldine —No answer. Geraldine —No answer. Mount Cook — Road construction : Legislation is urgently needed on this head. In this district many miles of main roads and other roads through Crown lands were coustrueted
when the local bodies were in receipt of the Land Fund percentage. Theße roads were made to give access to Crown lands, in the faith that the cost of their construction would one day be repaid by the Bale of the Crown lands which they benefited, and consequent receipt of revenue by the local body. Now that this form of aid to local bodies has been abolished, the roads and bridges in question have been constructed at the sole cost of those persons who purchased freehold in parts of the district not benefited by these roads. Crown lands have been enhanced in value and made accessible by means of these works, and it is only fair that threequarters of the cost of them should be repaid to the district as if the roads were to be made under the provisions of the Roads Construction Act, and that the Crown lands should be rated asif they belonged to private individuals. Mount Peel—The Board having only just received these papers do notfeel in a position to answer this question. Temuka—The Board do not agree with the principle of the Roads Construction Bill; its provisions would not be suitable to the district. IVestland —The Bills mentioned meet with
Question 15 — continued.
the approval of this Council. For the reasons set forth in answer to Question 16, the Council consider the Government proposals would suit the whole of this coast. Waitalci —Disapprove of the Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill as sketched in the circular, and suggest that they be withdrawn. Kakanui — These measures are not suitable for this district, and would suggest that they be withdrawn. Waiareka — These Bills would not suit the district, and would suggest that they be withdrawn. Waitaki—No answer. Wai/couaiti —No answer. Palmerston South—Yes. Waikouaiti—Does not suit our district. Maniototo —This Council is of opinion that the provisions of the Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Rating Bills would not suit this district, and it cannot suggest any alterations that would make them do so. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula—No answer. Taieri —Unanswered. Waipori—No answer. Bruce —Bills would not suit our district; property-tax should be under the counties, and its proceeds given to the support of local bodies.
Crichton—Would suit our district. Glenledi —The provisions of the Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Bill do not suit our district. Matau —No. Mount Stuart —The provisions of the Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Bills do not suit our district. Tokomairiro —We approve of the Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill generally. Clutha —The Council approves of these Bills generally, if the Board would divide the money fairly. Pomahaka —The provisions of the Roads Construction Bill do not suit our district; and it would be advisable to have the propertytax under the control of the counties, the proceeds accruing therefrom to be devoted to the support of local bodies. Molyneux South —This Board does not approve of the Roads Construction Bill, unless district roads are placed in as favourable circumstances as main roads. Tuapelca —Not directly interested. Clydevale—Only for special works. Southland —Would suit for specific works. Knapdale—Yes. Toitois—No answer. Tuturau—No answer.
16. Have you any suggestions to make generally on the matters dealt with in the circular in which this is enclosed ?
J£angonui —We consider that either counties or Road Boards should be abolished ; but, if both are continued, their respective duties should be clearly defined. The financial year of all local bodies should end the 31st March, and elections take place in April. The above answers were agreed to unanimously, except No. 1, at a meeting of the Council, 26th May, 1882. Kaeo—We believe either Council or Road Boards should be abolished. Failing this, there should be some clear line drawn as regards their powers. The financial year of all Road Boards should end on the 31st March, and each Road Board election should take place early in April. Oruru —We would suggest that County Councils should beabolisbed and the Road Boards have more powers granted them ; but, if both the Road Boards and County Councils be continued, that their duties and powers be more defined. That Road Boards should wind up all their accounts on the 31st March, and new Boards be elected as soon as convenient in April. Totara —We consider that either Councils or Road Boards should be abolished, but if both are continued their respective duties and powers should bo clearly defined. These answers were approved at a meeting of the Board, May 29th, 1882. BoManga —l will take this opportunity of explaining the peculiar situation of this county. The bulk of the land is either Crown or Native, and endowments, and not rateable ; there is a very small proportion of rateable land in this county. So that unless assistance is given, either as proposed by the Roads Construction and Crown and Native Lands Rating Bills, grants-in-aid, or endowments, the county system here will soon be at a deadlock. The county has had very little help heretofore, with the exception of £6,500
out of £65,000 for roads and bridges north of Auckland, which sum has been expended on main roads, to open up the county. Tin's is the position of affairs at the present time: Money all expended, roads not completed, powerless to do anything' with the present revenue from rates and licenses. Whangarei —No answer. Maunu —In such country as Whangarei, broken, divided by forests, bad roads and other impediments, numerous annual elections are inconvenient and undesirable, and however fair in theory are not so in practice. The result is that voting is almost confined to the residents in the immediate neighbourhood of polling-places. The elections for Licensing Commissioners are awful farces. Elections should only be held for members of House of Representatives, for Trustees of highway district, and for School Committees. If a proportion only of the Trustees and Committees be elected in each year, the day of election should not be in the winter, and they should be held on the same day. The County Councils should have the control of hotel licenses, either by adjudicating themselves, or by appointing the Commissioners. Counties should not be larger than will permit of Councillors attending without very seriovis loss of time. A central place of meeting and their boundaries should be determined not so much by size as by identity of interest. Paru—No answer. Waikiekie —Giving the Road Board districts power to refuse dual government would be desirable. A Consolidated Road Board Act, bringing the whole law relating to Road Boards into one statute, is very much needed. Your remarks on the present system of rating is quite correct, and the alteration
proposed would greatly benefit the Road Boards and tend greatly to lessen llie number of appeals, by the wbole country being assessed on a uniform basis. Touching the recovery of rates, as proposed in your circular: if such a measure can be carried, it will be almost an inestimable benefit to such districts as the one I now write from. The manner in which, by your circular, it is proposed to give financial aid to County Councils and Road Boards appears to be satisfactory. Waipu Middle —It is generally admitted in this and the surrounding districts that it would be more advantageous to the public welfare that the County Councils should be abolished. Waipu South —It is generally doubted in the North that a Board of Works sitting in Wellington could understand our circumstances or be impartial enough to do us justice. We think that such a Board for every provincial district would be preferable. The wisdom of giving borrowing powers to country local governments is doubtful, and especially unsuitable in poor scattered new districts. ITohson —No answer. Okahu —The general opinion in this district is that County Councils have had too much power, and that the money they have had has been squandered in a most shameful manner; in fact, what has not been spent in log-rolling has been taken up in expenses, and we are, and it is the general feeling of thera tepayers ,quite satisfied that, had the Road Boards had one-half the money the County Councils have had, the roads in this district would not have been in the shameful state they are at present. In our County Council one of the members has to travel over fifty miles to get to the
place of meeting of the County Council; the expenses of his attending the several meetings costs the county more money than the district he represents pays rates, and another member within a few shillings of the rates collected within his riding. In fact, the rates collected in Hobson County just about pays the expenses to spend the G-overnment grant-in-aid. If we are to have County Councils, I would suggest that five or seven Road Board districts form or make a Council, and the Chairmen of Road Boards be the Councillors. It is the general opinion here that County Councils and Road Boards cannot work together, and that in districts like ours County Councils cannot do the work as well or as cheap as Road Boards. That where Chairmen of Road Boards act as secretary, inspector of works, &c, the ratepayers should be allowed to remunerate him out of the rates. Paparoa—One form of local government would bo preferred, say a county with a minimum acreage of 100,000, or Road Board, with power to amalgamate, with county powers. Under the present county system outlying districts pay one rate, whereas the highway districts must eitherpay two rates or have nothing for expenditure on the district roads. Approve of proposed triennial valuation. Wairau—No. Wairau (by ex-Chairman) — When the measures referred to in the circular were before the House last session I took the liberty of addressing the sitting member for Marsden, Captain Colbeck, and through him the Hon. the Premier, upon the absolute necessity which it is manifest exists when legislating upon these subjects, to give the fullest consideration to the extreme difference subsisting between the mature and wealthy local bodies of the South and those of the struggling, sparsely-eettled districts of Auckland North. Thus in preparing a Consolidated Road Board Act, which is a most desirable measure, it will require the most careful consideration of the several Provincial Acts which may have been found suitable for these parts as well as those of the Assembly, and great care not to import into the Act provisions which, though suitable for other localities, may not be adapted to these. Above all things it should not be brought forward until draft copies have been forwarded to and well considered by the major part of the local bodies. The hasty legislation upon these and kindred subjects, such as fencing, impounding, &c, has been productive of incalculable mischief. So far as can be done, the introduction of optional clauses will often be found very desirable. This important provision is I see intimated in the 9th clause of the circular, as offering to the districts the option of choosing whether the Council or Road Board shall be the local governing body. This will, I feel sure, be regarded as a great boon by the ratepayers of these districts, whose predilections have always been strongly in favour of Road Boards, which have been found amply sufficient for all requirements, and for many years previously to the
Question 16— continued.
Counties Act have been doing good and efficient work. One great impediment which exists here to the working of the Counties Act is the extended area which the counties are made to embrace, compelling the members to take long and toilsome journeys to the place of meeting and to long absences from their homes ; thus entailing also heavy charges on the funds to meet their expenses. Especially is this the case with Hobson, the boundaries of which were laid out by Sir R. Douglas without knowing at all what he was doing, and without consultation with any of the local bodies, who would willingly have assisted him ; the result being that the timber-producing district of the Wairoa, without either roads or Road Boards, and which until the county rate was levied had never been taxed for public works, has been annexed to the four Highway Districts of Matakohe, Paparoa, Wairau, and Pukekaroro (or Kaiwaka), which have been settled for nearly twenty years, and during that period have regularly been rated; consequently in the Wairoa everything has to be done, entailing heavy contracts and large outlay, necessitating also the employment of a resident Engineer at a salary of £250 per annum, whose services in these districts are never required. It is moreover insisted upon that the Council meetings shall always be held at Tokatoka, in the Wairoa District, from hence forty miles, and from Kaiwaka fifty, so that it is with much difficulty any resident can be obtained to accept the office of Councillor, and their expenses amount to £5 each time. At the very first meeting, when I represented this district, and two other Chairmen of Boards also, it was at once evident that such an incongruous arrangement never could work satisfactorily, and efforts were forthwith made to effect a separation, the necessary documents being prepared as well as they could be, and committed to the charge of the then sitting member for Rodney, Mr. John Sheehan j but, as nothing was ever heard of the matter afterwards, I presume they were committed to that honorable gentleman's capacious receptacle for good intentions. Since then the requirements of the Counties Act to obtain this object are such, as to have deterred any further action being taken in this direction. In framing the Counties Act, I apprehend that one principal object in view was to relieve the Government as far as possible from the necessity of having to deal directly with such a very large number of local bodies as the Road Boards now constitute, and there can be no doubt that this is a most cogent reason for some sort of amalgamation or union of them to be effected. The Countieß Act, however, seems in many instances to have gone too far beyond what the state of the country and population justify. It would appear that if facilities had been provided for the union of contiguous highway districts (somewhat similar to unions of parishes under the New Poor Law Act of England), with power to embrace outlying districts, and the ready formation of highway districts where non-
existent, it would have been amply sufficient for all present needa, and haye largely relieved the Government in the direction above alluded to. It might further also have been provided that the Chairmen . of these Boards should constitute the Council, which would thus have been composed of individuals best qualified to understand the requirements of the locality and the means of supplying them. If, in the preparation of the measures about to be introduced by the Government, somewhat similar provisions to those indicated can be brought in, I think they will be found to prove very acceptable to the settlers north of Auckland, even though some of the honorable members of the House may not appreciate them. Whakahara School Committee—There are in the opinion of the writer many defects in the working of County Councils and Road Boards side by side, and it is seen in this county, and in others of which we may read, the same difficulties seem to occur. Each system has its good points, which are worth preserving. The writer thinks that a system combining the two, and making one system out of them, would be preferable to either by itself, or to the two on the same ground. Sometimes in opposition, or it may be perhaps sometimes in harmony, this might be accomplished in this way—(l). Every county to be divided into ridings containing as nearly as could be an equal population ; every riding to be a road district, and where no Eoad Board exists, or inhabitants neglect or refuse a Commission to be appointed, elections to take place as now, or like Councillors are elected. (2.) Every district Eoad Board to elect every year, as soon as they themselves are elected, a County Councillor. (3.) The Council to elect a Chairman as at present, or as Mayors are elected. (4.) The County Council to be empowered to collect a rate of 2s. in the pound, to be collected in one sum; Is. of this to be voted by Council for county purposes, Is. to be at the disposal of Road Board. (5.) The Council to arrange what county works should be done, and as far aa can be these works to be under the superintendence of the Road Boards of the district in which the work is done. This system would save travelling—one or two meetings a year would be sufficient, inspection, two collectors of rates, quarrelling between Road Boards and Councils, and would give local inspection of work, and would be more popular, as the Council would be a large Road Board. Rodney —If the whole colony is placed on the same footing in applying for grants for construction of main roads the wealthier counties will at first have a great and unfair advantage over the poorer counties. To remedy this the colony might be divided into a number of large districts, and a fair proportion of the whole sum voted by Parliament placed to the credit of each such division. We do not profess to speak for other portions of the colony, but suggest that the district north of Auckland should form one such division. The counties in this division would compete fairly with each other in their rating powers, and their ability to obtain the benefit
of the sum voted by Parliament. Along with the financial proposals of the Government we would strongly urge the prayer of the northern counties petition, now before Parliament, with regard to endowing these counties with a landed estate for the reasons set forth in that petition. We are of opinion that no amount of alteration in our institutions will be of any avail unless adequate funds are provided to carry them out. We would further suggest that Parliament at once fix what are to be main roads for the whole colony, so that a struggle need not be constantly taking place as to whether any particular line should be considered main road or district road. Albertland South —Should road districts be continued, or an amended Road District Act be contemplated, care should be taken to divide the district into wards, as many wards as members. This clause should be mandatory, not left to vote of ratepayers. Reason for above is, that it frequently happens that one portion of a district can and does elect the whole Board, to the manifest injustice of the weaker (in voting power) portion of district, and who thereby suffer in not having a fair proportion of the rates expended on their portion of the district. It is to be regretted that the road districts are so small (in this part) and not continuous. The expenses in printing, &c, are greatly out of proportion to the benefit they confer; some means should be taken to reduce these expenses. The Assessment Court is exceedingly unpopular and expensive, and ought to be done away ■with ; not a Road Board or Council in the northern part of Auckland that would vote for the retention of it; the old system of appeal to the Board was fully as satisfactory, and no expense beyond loss of time to parties concerned. Surely the members of the Board were, and are quite as competent to judge as to the justice or injustice of the rate laid on a person's land as an individual from another district with no qualification beyond the Government appointment, over any member of the Road Board. Annual valuations are unnecessary and expensive ; the roll furnished by the Property-Tax Commissioner would be an improvement. Arai —No answer. Upper Mahurangi —■ A Consolidating Road Board Act would be the proper thing. It would simplify matters: at the present time Highway Trustees require to be lawyers. Assessment Courts ought to be abolished — too expensive ; in fact, they are a perfect farce. I have known our Judge and his clerk ride thirty miles to hold a Court; all they did was to reduce one man's rate a shilling ; this would cost the country about £8 or £9. (Shameful.) The Counties Act ought to be repealed—it is a most expensive Act, and quite uncalled for in the North of Auckland. I know there are some who will call it a good measure, but if you were to take the remuneration from the Chairman and travelling expenses from Councillors, and compel them to work for nothing, the same as Road Board men do, the County Councils "would soon die out in this part of New Zealand. As we have no 6—A. 10
Question 16— continued.
railways in this county, I consider the Government ought to make special grants to Road Boards in proportion to public works carried on in other parts of the colony. We have to pay our Bhare of the interest on loans, and we ought to share in the expenditure. Mangawai —That the Road Board receive all fees paid for dogs in the district, under The Dog Registration Act; all fees and licenses paid under "The Licensing Act, 1881;" and all licenses paid under the Protection of Animals Act, in the road district. All fees and licenses paid in outlying districts should be paid to County Councils. If a Road Board or County Council permits a road to get into a bad, dangerous, or impassable state of repair, they should be liable to be summoned by any ratepayer before a Resident Magistrate's Court; if sufficient evidence is forthcoming to secure a conviction, the Resident Magistrate should have power to strike a rate not exceeding £1 per £100 of the value of the fee simple; appoint and employ clerk, collector, engineers, and inspectors, and let the work by contract, and thus cause the road to be repaired, balance (if any) of the rate to be handed to the Board or County in whose district it was collected. No gates should be permitted to be erected across any public road, as per section 67, Highways Act of 1874 (Auckland) ; they are a great nuisance to travellers. If the value of the fee simple of the property of ratepayers in any road district or riding is less than forty thousand pounds, no ratepayer should be allowed to exercise more than three votes at any election of members of the Board, riding, or Licensing Committee. Any ratepayer should have power to summon owners of pigs doing injury on roads before any two Justices of the Peace. Omaha—That the ridings in counties be so altered as to return one member each. Matakana West —That Road Boards with extended powers are more efficient in sparsely-settled districts than County Councils. I beg also to furnish you with some particulars of the position of the Matakana West Road Board, as illustrating the position of the majority of Road Boards in the north of Auckland, and the inability of County Councils with small revenue, in large and sparsely-settled districts, to assist Road Boards —thus unnecessarily taxing for the administration of the dual governments of the County Councils and Road Boards. The total revenue of this Board, to date, was £70, including £36, amount of rates collected; the expenditure legally required was — Valuation, £2 10s.; advertising, £3 10s. A bridge on the Great North Main Road—leading through this district —which was constructed by the Provincial Government before the existence of Road Boards, became unsafe ; the Board asked the assistance of the County Council, and have received none, thus compelling the Board to incur the whole cost of construction, amounting to about £100. Notwithstanding that, the Council derive revenue from this district, consisting of one publican's license, £25 ; and registration of dogs fees, £12. Up to the present
date this Board lias not received any grant from the County Council. Puhoi—This Board humbly suggests that the existence of two local bodies is expensive and unnecessary ; but which of these two forms of government is preferable this Board must leave to the decision of the higher intelligence of the most Honorable the Houses of Parliament, only remarking that in case County Councils should be abandoned, an amalgamation of Road Boards seems to be the most beneficial. In conclusion, this Board also suggests that if the number of advertisements required cannot be decreased, the charges for the same might be lowered, as the expenses for these form a considerable item in the accounts of the local bodies. Tauhoa—No answer. Wharehine—lt ia the opinion of this Board that County Councils ought to be done away with, as not being adapted for the North of Auckland; they are too expensive; the mileage fees paid to Councillors would be far better spent on district roads. The clauses for compulsory advertising in the district papers making everything legal ought to be abolished, and simplify this thing by having it posted in a public place in the district, same as is done at Home by Highway Boards. We consider this one of the greatest drawbacks to Highway Boards — the excessive amount of advertising to mate everything legal. Wainui—No answer. Waitemata —No answer. Kaukapakapa—ln regard to main lines of roads, the Government should take over their construction and maintenance entirely. County Councils might then be done away with altogether ; all other local matters could be carried out efficiently by Road Boards under an amended Act. In the accompanying circular the G-overnment propose to make a free grant of threefourths of the cost of construction of main roads. Better to do the whole j and for after maintenance some combined scheme of rating lands abutting on main roads and setting apart blocks of land in the districts through which such roads run, might be adopted. Road Boards should be endowed in the same way that harbour or other Boards are. Lake —If County Councils are to be continued as at present, they should have the control of the main roads and have sufficient funds at their disposal for this purpose. Failing this arrrangement, Road Board government is, in the opinion of this Board, quite, sufficient. North Shore—No answer. Waitakerei West—No answer. Waitakerei West (J. Cottle)—l believe no other system would suit our district so weU as the old one of the acreage. But if the obnoxious one of valuation be persisted in I should be in favour of receiving the valuation roll, as it would be an annual saving to the district. Wnitakerei West (H. Hunter)— None] Whangaparoa—We believe, a great deal of the advertising at present compulsory with Road Boardsmight be dispensed with; for instance, why could not the Government proclaim a day for the annual meeting for all
Board 3 throughout the colony ? As Chairman of Board I may state that I come from a largo agricultural district in the centre of England where the rates collected are £4,000 and there is no such thing as this excessive advertising. The ratepayers must elect their officers, strike rate, &c, all on 25th March in each year. Why could not it be same here ? Ten per cent., and in some cases 20 per cent., of rates collected, as is the case at present, is far too much. These answers were given at a meeting of the Board held for the purpose, sth June, 1882. Eden— No answer. Epsom—The circular herein referred to was considered by the Epsom Eoad Board on the 2nd instant, when the following resolution was unanimously carried : " That this Board considers the Counties Act as applied to this district a cumbrous piece of machinery, and should be repealed with a view to substituting in lieu thereof extended powers to the Eoad Boards, which is the only really useful form of local self-government in the country, more especially in its general application to the Auckland Provincial District." Mount Eoskill —It is to be regretted that laws are so frequently altered. The session before last a useful Dog Act was passed, in which a uniform tax of 10s. was imposed ; last session it was amended, giving the Eoad Boards the power of fixing the tax, now one Board fixes the tax at 10s., another at 55., while owners of dogs residing in districts where the tax is 10s. obtain collars from a district in which the tax is 55., and great confusion is the consequence. Mount Wellington—No answer. Newton —Where the Counties Act is suspended extended power to be given to Eoad Boards to compel the adjoining Eoad Boards to make and maintain a fair share of boundary roads. The cost of advertising under the present Eating Act is excessive. Pantnure—None. Ponsonby—No. Waikomiti —No answer. Manuhau —No answer. Mercer. —In small town districts like ours it would be advisable to lessen as far as possible the cost of advertising meetings, valuation lists, &0., since more publicity would bo given by posting notices at several points within the district. Hunua —Yes. (1.) Our district ism favour of Eoad Boards and against County Councils. (2) That the financial year should close when the Trusteeship closes, namely, on the 30th June instead of the 31st March. (3) Consolidate all the power to Eoad Boards. (4) We endorse your suggestions with reference to valuation. It would save the Eoad Boards a lot of unnecessary expense. Karaka —Each district should be allowed to choose its own form of government, i.e., either County, Koad Board, or dual government. A consolidating Koad Board Act is greatly needed ; provisions might be made for a less amount of advertising, which at present costs nearly as much as all other working expenses. The proposed power of Belling or letting land for non-
Question 16 — continued.
payment of rates, to be vested in a Public Trustee, is essentially necessary. It ought, however, to be left to the discretion of the Boards to decide when sale is to take place; meanwhile arrears of rates from absentees (i.e., owners out of the district) might be registered against the'land at the District Court; all expenses caused therefrom to be charged to the owner. llaraetai—Kate all Native lands ; and rates should be paid by Natives where they derive a direct benefit by roads passing through their lands; as, for instance, Maraetai District, where hundreds of pounds have been spent improving their property and they not contributing towards the same. Opaheke — A consolidating Eoad Boards Act is much wanted, and I would suggest that, as the financial year ends on the 31st March with Eoad Boards, the annual election of Trustees should be in the month of April, instead of the month of July, as at present. The Trustees not to be paid or have their travelling expenses paid, or have any interest in contracts. The yearly valuations are a very heavy drain on the resources of Boards, and Assessment Courts every year are useless and a heavy expense. In my district there has been no objections for the last two years, but yet the farce of holding an Assessment Court was gone through, although the Judge got notice there were no objections. The only business to he done was to sign the valuation list, and sign cheques on the Government Treasury, one for the Judge himself, and another for his clerk. The list could have been sent to his residence for Is. to get signed by him. Adopting the property-tax valuation is a decided improvement ; would save a lot of money to the Boards, and also to the G-overnment Treasury. Otahuhu—Many districts throughout the colony are now in a position to do without the aid derived from borrowed money. Cities, boroughs, and surburban districts, at least, should not receive grants of money in aid of making roads out of borrowed money ; and I hold it to be bad policy to tax the people and gather it into a central treasury, and afterwards re-distribute the money again in the forms of grantsin-aid. I believe that, practically, the appointing of a valuer, as required by the Eating Act, has not been any protection to the individual ratepayer against improper valuations. The members of Eoad Boards are intelligent enough, and as a rule willing enough, to make the valuation of their several districts. It should be optional to appoint a valuer. The several local bodies are sufficiently well-informed of any change of ownership, or value of property as to be able to make a valuation rate, without having recourse to the Property- Tax Commissioner. The present Assessment Court is a sufficient protection to the ratepayers against any attempt to over value, whether designed or not. As the boundaries of the County of Manukau are at present defined, the Counties Act cannot be worked without inflicting an injury on the ratepayers of the northern portion of it—that is to say, the southern por-
lion having a large portion of their roads to make yet, and having a preponderance of members in the Council, the natural result would he that an undue share of the rates would be appropriated to the south. There are road districts in the north-west portion of the county that would he rated in the proportion of fifteen to one over other portions, and that have treble the number of miles of road to make. Papakura—No answer. Pollock —No answer Pukekohe East —We would suggest that the day of election of local bodies be appointed and advertised by Government; also, that the financial year terminate in March, and election be held in April. That in districts where no other buildings are available, public schoolhouses be open for meetings connected with district matters. Pukekohe West—No. Waipipi—No answer. Wairoa —No. The circular, on the whole, is highly approved of in this district. Thames —No answer. Parawai—No answer. Waitoa—No answer. PiaJso —No. Wailcato —The Waikato County Council is of opinion that, with extended powers, Eoad Boards might perform all the duties at present performed by County Councils. Kirikiriroa —We would suggest that the local governing bodies should not be subsidized from loans, but that the Land Fund or Propertytax, or both, should be permanently allocated for local purposes, to be distributed on a basis liberal to new districts. The financial year should terminate on the 31st March. The present mode of debiting counties with an indefinite sum for the maintenance of hospitals and charitable aid is considered very unjust. It is presumed that by this time the cost of treating a patient in the Auckland Hospital, Lunatic Asylum, &c, has been ascertained, that being the case, what would be easier than to debit Waikato County, say, with the cost of treating persons from Waikato, and give the county power to recover from persons or their relatives who are in a position to pay ? Waipa —No answer. Hamilton —No answer. Kihikihi—Main roads, especially in outlying districts, "should be undertaken by the colony. No Trustees of Koad Boards should be allowed to burden the district with more debt than one year's rates, and only that on the approval of the ratepayers expressed at a meeting called for that purpose. Colony should make roads through districts adjoining Native or Crown lands, when such roads are intended principally to give access to such lands. Revenue raised by the property-tax should be available for public works in the district wherein it was levied. Approves of bringing and consolidating the Eoad Boards Act into one statute. Approves of Public Trustee paying the local bodies the road-rates due by absentees. Eangiaobia — Whether it be the Crown or Natives that are benefited by the construction of public works, I would suggest that they be rated accordingly, as such enhances the value of the property by opening it
up for traffic and facilitating agriculture, &x. Tuhikaramea —The Road Boards can discharge all the duties of. County Councils at much less expense, provided fall power be given them, and means provided for enforcing the payment of rates at a less cost and more quickly than under present Act. Haglan —None ; except that I am of opinion that, if the powers of the Eoad Boards were increased, and an allowance was to be made to the Chairman and also to the members for each meeting they attend—the amounts to be fixed by law—they would be quite able to perform all the work which is now divided between them and the County Councils, The Karioi Road Board have adopted the views in this paper in toto Pirongia —Would necessitate the provision of funds other than ordinary rates from adjacent landa for the maintenance of arterial roads, especially in districts where the Counties Act is not in force. What this provision should be we are not prepared to suggest, but we are of opinion nothing adequate is shadowed forth in the circular. As to the construction of the Board of Public Works, it seems the powers would be. practically in the Minister for Public Works, while the responsibility would be divided. This does not seem expedient. In the matter of elections it seems desirable to reduce the clerical and advertising charges for management of local elections as far as possible, and at the same time secure unanimity of action between two bodies where there are such. Raglan Town—No answer. Whakaiane —No. Cook —The basis of the valuation as proposed is the new Rating Bill. Meets with the approval of this Council, as also the proposal to rest power in the Public Trustee of selling or letting land for non-payment of rates. Ormond —None. Patutahi —No answer. Te Arai —No answer. Poverty Bay—That the accumulated rates on Native properties would eventually lead to difficulties. Tauranga —No answer. ICatikati —We entirely approve of the property-tax rating, and that there should be a simplified method of collecting the rates of absentee's. We also think that the licenses in districts in which there are Road Boards should be granted to the Road Board, not to the County Council, and we are totally opposed to a dual rating. We wish to spend our own rates and whatever grants the Government may kindiy give us on our own roads, and not be subject to the jobbery and maladministration of our rates by the County Council. For instance, the County Council, after the Government granted £2,500, and latterly £2,000 for the Thames-Tauranga Eoad, immediately increased their Clerk's salary from £70 to £150, and allowed their Engineer an increase from £250 a year and travelling allowances to somewhere over £1,000 a year, that is, 5 per cent, on every shilling granted by the Government on the Thames- Tauranga Road, Te Aroha Eoad, Haurini Bridge, &c. Te Puna-*-It may not be inadvisable here to submit the following remarks upon the working of Road
Question 16 — continued.
Boards, derived from lengthened practical experience of them, and suggest the following alterations as likely to prevent the evils they expose ; In considering the many measures with which you have had to deal, the difficulty that must have met you at every point must have been to protect the powers to be conferred from abuse. It appears impossible to entirely do so; and, through the opening that must be left to cupidity and self-interest, no small proportion of the resources of the whole colony is prevented of the effect it should have in the general development and prosperity. In this way a very large proportion of the rates of Road Boards is expended on works that are not immediately, and in many cases not at all, necessary, but are undertaken solely to serve the private ends, and confer value on the properties, of the faction having for the time the upper hand in the Board. In nearly every road district these factions exist, and they are divided and engaged in a struggle to get a majority in the Board for this purpose. Once in power, the object is to get as much money as possible—in many cases the Boards are run hopelessly into debt—and lavishly expend it in employing their friends and dependants in or about their own properties. In this way the general needs of the district get entirely uncared for. In some eases the object is to rapidly increase the value of the property, and sell out at the increased value, when the district, saddled with a debt incurred for the purpose, is left. It will immediately appear to you how this must interfere with the due development and sound progress of the colony, and also how distressing and annoying it must be to those who wisl'i to have things conducted honestly and to best advantage. The root of the evil lays in the morals of the sort of people into whose hands the power unavoidably falls, and is beyond the present scope of legislation. The remedy would be to place the power in better hands, and so that there would be more checks. This can be done by transferring to the County Councils all power of rating or raising money ; and by making, subject to their consideration and discretion, all grants or payments to Road Boards. County Councils, have a larger number of members, and proportionately would be the difficulty of unfairly using their powers. It is obvious from this that it would be unwise to subdivide them, or reduce the number of members. In proportion as the powers, members, and importance of Councils are increased, the higher would be the class of men that would seek to enter them. These would in themselves be a guarantee of a higher integrity; they would have the public eye more on all their official doings ; and there would be the practical, official, and interested vigilance of the Road Boards keenly watching them. Road Boards should continue, and be elected as at present, but have power to subdivide into and appoint officers for subdistricts. Their functions would be: every year to ascertain and furnish to the Council a list of their requirements for ensuing year, with estimate of their cost, and to ap-
point officers to ascertain these, and see them carried out. For this purpose, in every district and subdistrict there would be appointed two ratepayers who, without pay, would undertake the supervision of all roads and matters in their district, and would direct and control all labour and works not under professional supervision. These would report at regular intervals to their Boards, and the Boards annually would have to produce to their Councils a report and balance-sheet. Such an arrangement as the above, while it would reduce the possibility of abuse to a minimum, would save a considerable sum of money now lost in expenses. Every Road Board has to pay Valuer, Collector, Clerk or Secretary, and Engineer. These would all be done away with. One staff would do the work for all; and, the number and extent of the Council's operations being thus greatly increased, they would have permanent employment and be able to maintain a more competent and efficient staff. I have an idea that a system somewhat similar to the above is in use in Scotland, and is found to work exceedingly well. Wairoa —If the valuations under the Counties and Rating Acts are kept in force, provisions should be made for appointing Boards of Reviewers, instead of making Resident Magistrates Judges of Assessment Courts, without any appeal from their decisions. Respecting the scheme for constructing roads through Crown lands out of the purchase-moneys, the Council trust the Government will act up to their proposals. Smoke's Bay —(l.) If Government valuers be not appointed, the right of appointment should rest with the counties and not with Eoad Boards, for the following reasons. Firstly, Eoad Board valuations are very uneven ; secondly, it appears by the present Rating Act that the County Council has no power to object to Road Board valuations. (2.) It is a question whether the powers vested in Judges of Assessment Courts are not altogether too large to be used by the class of Judges appointed, unless some power of appeal be given. Heretaunga—No. Kereru and Aorangi—No answer. Maraekakaho —County Councils and Eoad Boards to have power to make roads through Native lands not through the Court. Okawa — Road Boards to have the power to value the rateable property in their districts. Papakura —No answer. Petane —Eoad Boards should have the power to appoint their own valuator, providing the Property- Tax Commissioner's valuation is not made universal. Te Mata —The valuations would be more easily and justly made if valuers were appointed by each Council for each county. Waipawa —Respecting the scheme of constructing roads through Crown lands out of the purchase-money, the Council trust the Government will act up to their proposals. Norsewood —Respecting the scheme of constructing roads through Crown lands out of the purchase-money, the Road Board trust the Government will act up to their proposals. Ocro —No answer. Ormondville —Eespecting the scheme of constructing roads through Crown landa out of the purchase-
money, the Board trusts the Government will act up to their proposal. Ruataniwha North —Would like to see legislation on the subject dealt with carried through the House this session. Tamumu — That a power of appeal should be given from the decision of the Judges of the Assessment Court as at present constituted; and that, if public valuators are not appointed, the Road Board Districts to appoint their own valuers as at present. Woodville—We would suggest that the Chairmen of Road Boards be members of County Councils, thus preventing the clash which takes place in the dual system. We would suggest also that the County Councils should take the place of the Waste Lands Boards, as the members of the Council would bring a greater knowledge of the requirements and capabilities of their several districts to bear on this question. We should like to see all reserves for gravel or other road purposes Tested in the local body of the district in which they are situated. Taranalci —No answer. Manganui—^Counties to be compelled to employ a Clerk, who should be one of the Auditors of Road Board accounts, —ratepayers to elect one at general annual meeting; also a qualified Engineer, who should superintend all works in the county whether carried out under the County Council or Rofid Boards: the salaries of these officers to be paid by County Council. Each Road Board to pay 5 per cent, of their funds for such offices. All work above the value of £5 to be done by contract. One uniform system of accounts to be kept by all counties and Road Boards. The forms to be used to be fixed by the Governor in Council. Members of Rond Boards to receive no payment for attendance, and not to hold any contract under riding. Any member of Road Board performing the clerical work of the Board to be allowed a sum to be fixed by County Council, but not to exceed 10s. per cent, of rates, to be paid by Road Board. Members of County Council living over five miles from county office to receive 3s. 6d. per day and 6d. per mile one way, but not to exceed 255. per day. Upon death, or absence of Chairman from Road Board or county meetings two or three times without leave, the Road Board to elect another Chairman from amongst themselves, to act until first general meeting of ratepayers. Upon death, &c, of a Road Board member the members of such Road Board to elect another ratepayer to act until general meeting of ratepayers. Upon first general meeting of ratepayers a vote of the ratepayers in the county could be taken as to whether County Council should meet or not. Should the vote be adverse to a County Council, then some provision should be made to compel the Road Boards to appoint one general Auditor and an Engineer, the appointments to lav with the Chairmen of Road Boards. I know that Road Boards keep their accounts very badly, and also that all over the country districts sums of money are spent upon works which
Question 16— continued.
are badly carried out for want of proper supervision. If the local bodies are to be compelled to use the valuation roll as prepared by the Government, then each county or Road Boards of a county should be allowed to appoint one if not two members of the Boards of Reviewers, and the mode of appealing against the valuation should be made as easy as possible to all ratepayers in any part of the county, i.e., that the Court should, if necessary, sit in each riding. Mangarei — There is a very strong feeling in this district against the system of having toll-bars on public roads, on the ground that it is an expensive and inconvenient method of taxation. Carrington—(l.) Abolish toll-gateß. (2.) Main roads go back into Road Boards. (3.) County Councils only to take over bridges, &c, with a chain of road on either side, and to always have a reserve fund in case of bridge collapsing. (4.) Hospital charges to be made a separate rate. (5.) Quite unnecessary such an amount of advertising. (6.) County Council to be obliged to keep Engineer ov Surveyor. Waitara West —The foregoing resolutions are based on the supposition that no radical change will take place in the present form of local government. We would suggest that a very great difficulty will exist in the making and maintaining of a main line of road, especially through poor counties. The General Government will always be called upon to contribute funds both for the making and maintaining those portions of the main lines running through poor districts. We are therefore of opinion that the only way in which the arterial lines of communication throughout New Zealand can be constructed with economy is out of the general revenue. Good roads will extend settlements and create local industries, which will create more revenue. If that plan was adopted the Road Boards would be left free to keep the by-roads open. That the system of rating be optional with ratepayers, whether to adopt the acreage or valuation. Egmont^-Xhe meeting is anxious to be separated from county control; to have an acreage rate for district road purposes, but does not object to valuation rate for property-tax. The district wishes local management to be as economical as possible, so that as much of the rates collected may be spent improving the roads. I have given the opinion of the ratepayers at a public special meeting, held on the 26th May, 188-. Moa —From what we know of the working-system of County Councils they are very costly, and we are strongly of opinion that the several Road Boards cannot be dispensed with, but could manage the several county roads at a much less cost to the ratepayers if they had the power. Okato —No answer. Clifton —We consider that the fact of two rating powers being in the same district is objectionable, and would like to see a workable Act amalgamating counties and Road Boards. Waitara East —County Councils are unnecessary. Valuation should be
only once in three years. Valuation should be made locally by the road districts, as valuators appointed by Government are appointed without reference to qualification, and when appointed make use of the Road Board valuations, and are paid more for merely copying valuations than the Road Boards pay for a first value. Likewise, were it not for Road Board valuations, the valuers would completely lose sight of numbers in a road district, where property is continually changing. Therefore, local bodies could do the work cheaper, as there is no question as to their knowing more about the value of property and change of owners than a Government valuer. Road Boards could supply a copy of their valuations to the Property- Tax Commissioner. We want a Road Board Act and no County Council Act, and the Act should simply and clearly show who should pay the rate, whether owner or occupier ; and where rate has not been paid the land should be liable, No part of the Act should be of so vague a meaning as to necessitate the advice of two or three solicitors and a Resident Magistrate as to what the meaning is. For when solicitors are engaged to draw an Act it is drawn in such a manner as to be unintelligible to other solicitors even; and how can simple road districts interpret when lawyers disagree ? Inglewood —This Board is in favour of passing the Ronds Construction Bill and the Crown and JSative Lands Rating Bill. Pate a —That subsidies for the future be distributed in a larger ratio to the requirements of the poorer or less advanced districts, and not, as now, according to the rating, whereby the populous and richer districts receive more than equitable share. That section 115, " Counties Act, 1876," be amended by the addition of the words "or being incorrectly rated," after "poverty." Hawera —No answer. t Hawera —That the proposals in circular are generally good. Would suggest that proper destination of different licenses, such as publicans', auctioneers', and other fees, should be defined in all Bills relating to local bodies. Waimate —That only one working body, either Road Board or County Council, was required. Ngaire—That only one body, either Road Board or County Council, is required to undertake the executive duties on roads. IVanganui —That the dual system of local government — Road Boards and counties —is, in the opinion of this Council, unfitted to the wants of the colony. Waitot ai a —We are of opinion that the work of the County Councils could be done with increased economy and advantage by the Road Boards, but we do not consider that it would benefit our district to merge the Road Board into the County Council. Sangitikei —No answer. Rangitikei—No answer. Lethbridge —No answer. Manawatu —No others. Manawatu —(1.) That facilities be afforded the ratepayers for abolishing counties in cases where they wish to do so, as, for instance, we are of
opinion that they would take such, a step in the Manawatu, where we believe the government by Road Boards to be sufficient, and at the same time more suitable to the necessities of the country. (2.) That, in cases where the counties are abolished, certain main roads— hereafter to be decided on—should either be taken over by the Government, or subsidized at per mile out of the Colonial Fund : as, for example, the road leading from Napier through the Manawatu. Otaki — That private individuals should hare the power of making over lands to a public body by a simple deed of conveyance, instead of having to go through the forms provided by "The Public Works Act, 1876." That the power of letting only should be vested in public bodies or the Public Trustee for non-payment of rates. That one local body only is required in this district, and that body should be a Road Board. Haleombe —Where it is necessary in carrying out any Act that public notice should be given, that it be left to the discretion of local bodies whether it be published in a newspaper or by placards posted in conspicuous places. • Huff —That the same facilities should be given to counties to borrow from the Government for the construction of tramways or light railways as is given for the construction of roads in Road Board distriots. Kilbirnie —Generally. Keep County Councils and Road Boards separate, as one profits by any loss that happens to the other. The more powerful of the two is always trying to overreach the other, and is never particular as to the means ; and, under the proposed arrangement, as the county is to have £3 to £1 as a gift, whereas the Road Board gets nothing as a gift (only a loan at 3 per cent.), surely the Koad Board should not be further rated to pay any of the 25 per cent, of the cost of roads made by the County Council. The Road Boards, by great care and good financing, may (?) make their present means serve, but they are utterly unable to pay the needs of the county besides their own ; and, if possible, some help should be given to Road Boards by way of subsidy, as many Boards are, from want of development, not yet able to carry on at present. No ratepayer nor other person should be allowed to be a member of any local Board who has compounded with his creditors, or been bankrupt, and who has paid less than 10s. in the pound sterling. Kaiwara —Yes; if it could be arranged, to abolish the Kaiwara tollgate. Wairarapa West —We wish to express the most emphatic approval of the proposal to pass a consolidating Road Board Act; also of the proposal to relieve local bodies of the cost of valuation by providing the property-tax valuation. We also approve the proposal to vest the power of selling or letting land for nonpayment of rates in the Public Trustee. J?eatherston—Property-tax valuation should be amply sufficient for any number of purposes. At present a large amount of money is wasted in so many valuations. Selling or letting lands'for non-payments of rates should be vested in the Public Trustee.
Question 16. — continued.
Carterton—No answer. Waimea —The dual government of counties and Road Boards is undesirable, unless the powers and revenues of counties are considerably increased. The county revenues having been greatly curtailed by legislation, especially by the removal of the land revenue and by the reduction of subsidies, the county system, unless some sufficient substitute is provided, must remain weak and inefficient. To confer rating powers is useless, as they cannot be exercised. The enormous expenses attending the working of the Licensing Act has in this county nearly annihilated the remaining revenue, without conferring any benefit on the county. Motueka—Recent legislation has deprived County Councils, and thereby Road Boards, of a considerable portion of their revenue by the reduction of subsidies, withdrawal of the land revenue, and the expenses attending the working of the Licensing Act. Upper Motueka—Powers of County Councils should be very much increased, as also their revenue, if they are to play a useful part in the government of the country. They should have power to collect and expend some portion of existing general revenue. Might also undertake, either wholly or in part, the administration of waste lands, as better local knowledge would be obtainable and more pains taken to realize the utmost value of reserves, &c. As at present, Road Boards are, in our opinion, quite sufficient to exercise all the powers and dispose of all the funds of both bodies, and the work would be more economically done. Waimea —While we disagree with the principle of multiplying Road Boards ad infinitum, we believe that Road Boards would more efficiently carry out the duties of local self-government by themselves than where counties and Road Boards co-exist; but if it should be found that counties are an absolute necessity, then, in our opinion, every Chairman of a Road Board should ex officio be a member of that body. In conclusion, we beg to express our sense of the courtesy of the Government towards the local bodies in this matter, believing, as we do, that the great question of local selfgovernment is about to be taken up in real earnest. Richmond — This Road Board cordially agrees with the principle as illustrated in circular, that of counties aiding Road Boards in opening up and forming new roads out of aid afforded by Government. Pangatotara—None. Rikawa —No. Lower Moutere—The Licensing Act appears to us to have been unnecessarily expensive. Could not the counties make it less costly ? Collingwood —No answer. Collingwood —No. Buller —No answer. Inangahua —There should be an amendment to section 40, " Counties Act, 1876," to this effect: that, after the expression " twenty-one years," in first line of said section, the words "not being an alien" should be inserted. The necessity of such amendment is obvious, tending, as it would, to make aliens become citizens of the country by becoming naturalized. " The Regulation of Local
Elections Act, 1876," should be so amended as that, in subsection 1 of section 30, the words " have you paid all rates now due by you ? " should be inserted ; and section 41 of " The Counties Act, 1876," should be so amended as that, after the word " elector," in the first line, the words " having paid all rates due by him" should be inserted. Grey —That gold-fields County Councils should be awarded one-half of the polltax levied upon all Chinese coming into the colony : that in the event of any of the present sources of gold-fields counties' revenue being abolished, the Government to take steps to substitute by special legislation the grant of a sum equivalent to whatever revenue may be bo taken away. Marlborough —No answer. Awatere—>No answer. Omaka —As at present. Pelorus —Approve of Public Trustee selling or letting land for non-payment of rates. Main routes to connect centres should be done as proposed by Government. Counties or Road Boards should have the power to exchange roads in a simple way, the present mode being cumbersome and expensive. One statute for Road Boards to work under would be an improvement. My wish is decidedly against the Roads Construction Bill becoming law, but the Government ought to provide for the construction of roads through Crown lands out of the purchase-money, immediately after sale. Another reason against the Roads Construction Bill is liability to increase our public debt through local involvements. Picton—No answer. Spring Creek —In this district we find the Road Board system works well, and is much to be preferred to the County Council. We would suggest that General Government expenditure should be reduced. Subsidies to local bodies abolished, except from land revenue ; no fresh loans contracted; the property-tax repealed, and local bodies left to find their own funds. Wairau —In this district we find the Road Board system works well, and is much to be prefered to the County Council. We would suggest that the General Government expenditure should be reduced; subsidies to local bodies abolished, except from land revenue; no fresh loans contracted ; the Property-tax repealed, and local bodies left to find their own funds. Lower Wairau —Subsidies to local bodies to be paid from land revenue, including rents as well as sales. Pukaka River Board—River Boards, under "The Hawkes Bay and Marlborough Rivers Act 1868 Amendment Act," must repay loans by annual instalments. Power should be given them to repay half-yearly as proposed inyour circular, and to levy rates sufficient for the purpose, notwithstanding anything contained in the Rivers Acts to the contrary, to do away with any doubt caused by clause 4 of the Amendment Act of 1872. Also some power should be given to local bodies to borrow from the Government to pay off existing debts in such a case as the following : The Pukaka River District contains a quantity of good swamp land, which was flooded the greater part of the year by the Pukaka River, the drainage of a considerable extent of hills to the north
of the Wairau. There was absolutely no channel outside the hills, and the water which spread over the swamp remained there till it evaporated or soaked away. The land was almost valueless, and under the Road Board valuation the rate that the River Board could levy was almost nominal. The ratepayers authorized the Board to borrow £1,000, estimated to be necessary to make a ■watercourse through the swamp to the Wairau Eiver. Owing to the unsatisfactory state of the Bivers Act the loan could not be negotiated. Two ratepayers made advances on account of the loan, and an overdraft was obtained on the personal security of the members of the JBoard to the extent of £580 in all, and this money was spent in completing a channel half the proposed width from the river to the hills, wilh very good effect. It is very desirable that the Board should be enabled to obtain money, as proposed in your circular, to complete the necessary work and to pay off the money borrowed at a high rate that has been already spent on the work. These answers were unanimously agreed to. JCaikoura —No answer. Kaikoura River Board —Eoad Board Act: A measure for consolidating this Act is ■ very much required. New Eating Bill: If valuation ia to be made by the Property-tax Commissioner by the provisions of this Bill, the method of appeal should be made as simple as possible for the convenience of appellants. Proposal to vest power of selling or letting land for the non-payment of rates in Public Trustee is a good one. Roads Construction Bill and Crown and Native Lands Rating Bill: If the former is adopted the latter would appear to be necessary to it, though the rating of Crown Lands seems objectionable. In districts where the difficulties arising from such matters as rivers are excessive and permanent, and the rating capacity totally inadequate, special provision should be made by endowment with grants of land or otherwise. Education : Cost for maintenance of this department is far too extravagant; State should only borrow money for primary education (if any) and assist denominational schools; secular education will become an evil instead of a good. Asliley —No answer. Eyreton — This Board considers the present system of each local body making its own valuation is best, and that the proposal to take the property-tax valuations would not be satisfactory. The clause vesting the power of selling or letting land for nonpayment of rates in the Public Trustee was approved of. The system of valuing adopted by this Board is to invite about five ratepayers to assist the members of the Board, -which cost about £12, including making up the valuation roll. The remainder of the questions, where no answer is given, will be considered at the next meeting, when the members will have had time to give the matter full consideration. Mandeville —No reply. Oxford —No answer. Waipava—The County Council Act not being in force in our district, we are not prepared to give much
Question 16 — continued.
advice about the matter, but we are of opinion that as both bodies have rating powers, the mixture of counties and Road Boards is a mistake. A meeting of the representatives of the several governing bodies of the Northern District of Canterbury has been convened for the purpose of considering the various questions contained in your circular; the date fixed is 3rd July. West Eyreton—No reply. The above answers are in accordance with the unanimous opinion arrived at by the meeting of representatives (delegates only in fact) of local bodies in North Canterbury. On reconsidering, however, Question 11 it seems on the whole desirable that Road Board members should hold office for the term of one year only. It may happen (and occasionally does) that an untried man is elected on the Board, and by his action during the first year (a quite long enough time to " taste his quality") loses the confidence of the ratepayers, and so ceases to represent them during the second year of his term. Of course it is competent for them to pass a vote of want of confidence (in effect ask him to resign), but this would be an invidious line of action, and in the majority of cases they would prefer to get rid of him by the effluxion of time. Tho argument of " extra expense of election " lias no value here, as, under the existing system, there must be an election, and it is as easy to elect five as two or three. The analogous case of School Committees, which work on the whole fairly well, possesses some weight in favour of an annual term. The only argument in favour of the present system of a triennial term and a proportion retiring every year, I take to be that the old members serve to " break in " as it were the new men ; but, as generally some members are sure to be re-elected,this does not seem of sufficient moment to counterbalance the fact of ratepayers being represented on a Board during a second year by a member who has lost their confidence ; the more representative these bodies are most probably the better will they perform the duties required by them. Selivyn —AVe think that considerable expense might be avoided in the preparation of tha county electors roll. General elections occur only once in three years, but the roll is directed to be made up annually. Suggest that it would be sufficient to make out roll in the year when the election takes place, and for any extraordinary vacancy the necessary compilation from the valuation rolls might be made as required. Courtenay —That the areas of Eoad Board districts bo equalized, and the powers now conferred on the County Councils be vested in the Road Boards ; the County Councils to be abolished. Heathcote—This Board considers it absolutely necessary that powers should be given to Road Boards to borrow money for special purposes, such as construction of district roads, bridges, side-channels, &c, from such a fund as proposed to be established by the Roads Construction Bill, to be repaid in the manner proposed in the circular. Power should also be given to Eoad Hoards to levy special rates on those portions of districts specially
benefited by the expenditure of such borrowed money. He " Eating Act, 1876:" We strongly recommend that the rate of 5 per cent., which is provided in this Act as the minimum at which the annual value of the fee-simple shall be fixed, should be altered to 3 per cent. As this rate of 5 per cent, in the Act now stands it operates as an excessive hardship in many cases, particularly of suburban lands of a quasi building character. Lincoln —Re Counties Bill: The County Councils should not have the power of electing two members to the Harbour Board Trust, as now provided ; they should be elected by the ratepayers direct. Riccarton—No answer. Templeton—No. South Waimakariri —-Circumstances may arise under which the fund proposed to be created may be utilized for river protective works. Alcaroa —No answer. Little River—lt will be readily understood that the difficulty is not in the ability of local bodies to manage any necessary public works required in their respective districts, but in the want of funds to carry out those necessary works. In considering your proposition No. 4 in the circular, that the construction of district roads should be borne by the properties which they benefited. It must be borne in mind that the settlers were to a great extent paid for roads which have never been constructed, inasmuch as when they bought their lands years ago, at £2 per acre in Canterbury at least, it was with the understanding that 25 per cent. was to be returned in the shape of roads, and to enable them to get to their properties. This has not been carried out further than to tlie extent of about one-fourth as far as Akaroa County is concerned. There is another matter that has never entered into the calculations of the purchasers—viz., roads were mapped off by the Survey Department in totally inaccessible places, and now practicable roads can only be obtained through the tedious and expensive process entailed by the Public Works Act, and compensation paid in addition. This Board is of opinion that, to charge this to rating account, is out of the question, as no reasonable amount of rate would open up land in difficult country, in reference to your proposition in No. 3 in the circular, this district is peculiar. There are about thirty-five miles of main road passing through the district connecting Christchurch with Akaroa, the greater portion of which is subject to periodical inundations by Lakes Ellesmere and Forsyth. These lakes have to be let through to the sea when practicable, and generally not before considerable damage is done to the main road. The cost of this work the Board think ought to be borne by pastoral rents accruing from Lake Ellesinere Run. Generally this Board would approve of the principle of the Roads Construction Bill, provided that the borrowing of funds be left to the decision of not less than two-thirds of the ratepayers. Pigeon Bay—Boards should not have borrowing powers ; neither should Couneila, if not suspended, have them.
Port Victoria — My opinions are already stated. Ashburton —Eeetore 25 per cent, of the Land Fund, especially in those counties which have not as yet received their share in the past, either from Provincial or General Government. Wakanui —None. Mount Somers —That 25 per cent, of Land Fund be returned lo tecal bodies, Geraldine —That the property-tax be allocated (less expenses of collection) to the districts which contribute them. Geraldine—(l) The Board suggest that the Geraldine County Council be suspended, and the various functions be handed over to the different Eoad Boards in the county. (2) Should the Counties Act remain in force as at present, then the main roads and bridges—viz., the Bangitata, Orari, and Temuka,&c, should be under the control and management of the County Council. Mount Cook—We are of opinion that throughout the colony, unless perhaps in some very exceptional cases, there should be but one form of local county government —viz., the county. In many cases, notably in the case of this Geraldine County, the county boundaries are too large, and include tract's of country having entirely distinct and opposite interests. The Geraldine County is divided into two totally distinct districts—sea coast and inland, the two districts having interests entirely distinct from each other, and which could never be satisfactorily governed by the same body. We consider that Eoad Boards should, if they felt the necessity thereof, amalgamate and form a county, having such boundaries as they consider most beneficial. We think that counties and Eoad Boards can never exist happily together, nor while Eoad Boards are in existence and in the full exercise of their functions can the counties be of any use, but create a duplicate and unnecessary expenditure in every department, also vexatious and needless interference with each other. We certainly are of opinion that, if this country is to be opened for settlement by the construction of means of communication, it cannot possibly be done by the present colonists out of current revenue ; but the construction of such works must be a permanent charge on the Crown estate which they benefit, until repaid by a future and more populous generation. The current revenue is, as a rule, but barely sufficient to pay for the maintenance of roads and works. Mount Peel—No. Temuka —No answer. Westland —The Council desire to point out the reasons for exceptional legislation with regard to sources of revenue for County Councils on gold fields on this coast. The half of the whole revenue of £10,000 per annum is absorbed in maintaining 162 miles of main roads running, for the most part, through Crown lands. The total amount of rates on the present rateable property in the county is but £800, at a Is. rate. Frequent floods necessitate almost every year vmforeseen expenditure. Besides the main roads referred to above (162 miles in length), the Council maintains
Question 16 — continued.
22 miles of the Christchurch Eoad and 187 miles of by-roads and tracks. There are 62 bridges in the county, spanning from 20 to 900 feet, and 21 ferries across dangerous rivers are subsidized at an annual aggregate cost of £700. The Council think that the Government Bhould maintain the main roads, through the Council, and leave some residue of the revenue for the new works from year to year so urgently required. If the Government or some other equally advantageous proposals with regard to rating Crown and Native lands are carried out, this will compensate for the loss of the gold duty. Waitalci —-As to the finances of local bodies, of course the greater part of their revenue must at all times be derived from rates. This county admits the soundness of the proposition laid down in the above sentence in your circular, and that it may be given effect to suggests —(1) That all rateable property be exempt from the operation of the property-tax; (2) That in the event of a land-tax being imposed, the proceeds be handed over to the local bodies, each county receiving the whole tax accruing froai the lands in that county ; (3) That in deferred-payment blocks and other newly-sold blocks, 25 per cent, of the land sales be handed to the county to open up roads in those blocks ; (4) That counties be empowered to borrow to the extent only that onethird of their extreme rating power will provide interest and sinking fund for the loan ; (5) That counties do their own valuation for rates, and that Eoad Boards shall rate on the county regulation, and pay a proportionate share of the cost of the valuation. ICakanui—No answer. Waiareka—No answer. Waitaki —Would much prefer 20 per cent, of the Land Fund being restored to counties, and also the property-tax localized, as this Board is of opinion that these would be much more beneficial than the provisions of the two Bills referred to in Question 15. Waikouaiti —Would much prefer 20 per cent, of the Land Fund being returned to the county, and also the propertytax localized, as this Council is of opinion that these would be more beneficial than the provisions of the two Bills referred to in Question 15. Palmerston South —That the Licensing Committee be abolished and power vested in the several local bodies in each district. Waikouaiti —With regard to the rating powers of County Councils and Eoad Boards, County Councils ought not to have the power of rating road districts which wish to retain their Eoad Boards, or at most it ought only to be a nominal rate. If the Act had not given them this power, very few of the road districts would have merged into the counties. It was more the dread of a double rate than any dissatisfaction with the Boards that caused so many to merge. Main roads and large bridges and such like works ought not to be maintained out of rates. It is surely too much to ask the settlers along a main line of road to keep it up for the general public. Government ought to find the money for that purpose. Maniototo —We have not been able to
consider the matters dealt with co full as to entirely comprehend their effect and any suggestions that occurred to the Council are made in the answers to the foregoing questions. Peninsula —No answer. Peninsula—Would much prefer that a fixed sum of pound for pound on the rates raised should be annually granted to County Councils and to Boad Boards. Taieri —That all subsidies be stopped; that 20 per cent, of the land fund be handed over to counties; and that the property-tax be abolished. Waipori—No answer. Bruce —No answer. Crichton —That some provision be made to lessen the cost of advertising. The costs incurred in this are so great as to gravely mar the benefits of every Eoad Board in the Provincial District of Otago. G-lenledi—No answer. Matau—No answer. Mount Stuart—No. Tokomairiro—We would beg to suggest that a consolidating Road Board Act would do much to simplify the working of Eoad Boards. Clutlia —No answer. Pomahaka —No answer. Molyneux South—This Board considers that, if the property-tax was given to Eoad Boards on an equitable basis, and 20 per cent, of land revenue, including rents from Crown lands given to counties, would be a better way of subsidizing counties and Eoad Boards than the Government scheme. That all valuations be made by the General Government. That any county or Eoad Board requiring to borrow should do so from the Government, to be secured by special rate. Tuapeka —That under the peculiar circumstances in which the Tuapeka County Council is placed financially said Council suggest that Government make provision for the expenditure of the sum of £1,5000 on main arterial works within the County such as Beaumont, Teviot, and Waitahuna Bridges, &c. Clydevale—No answer. Southland —That the consideration by the Government of the financial position of this county, since the reduction of the subsidy, and the withdrawal of the 20 per cent, of the land revenue, is earnestly requested. While extension of settlement leads to largely-increased calls for works, the above reductions have caused a serious diminution of revenue, which renders it impossible for this Council to adequately cope with the position. That, therefore, this Council suggests to the Government — (1) the adoption of a system of substantial subsidy ; (2) the granting of a fair proportion of the land revenue. Xnapdale—No answer. Toitois —The Board beg to suggest that the whole of the ordinances relating to Eoad Boards require consolidation and simplification to be brought into accordance with the Eating and Electoral Act, to be furnished with an index, and so arranged as to form a sure and simple guide to the Boards in the execution of their duties. Tuturau —(1) That counties should receive back 20 per cent, of Land Fund as previously. (2) That a. subsidy on general rates be paid to local bodies of pound for pound.
Authority: CteoEGE Didsbxtby, G-oyernment Printer, Wellington.—lBB2.