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Industry in New Zealand

    Naturevolume 134page694 (1934) | Download Citation



    DISCUSSING the prospects of industry in New Zealand in an address to the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce on August 21, Lord Bledisloe said that the decline in international commodity exchange and the growing tendency towards economic self-sufficiency must inevitably cause anxiety in countries like New Zealand, Denmark or Argentina, the economic existence of which is conditional upon the export of agricultural produce. New Zealand will have to search for new directions in which her industrial activities may expand, though this as yet can scarcely be in the direction of large-scale industrial production owing to her small population and limited consumptive capacity. First and fore most, efforts should be made to develop the ‘tourist industry’, which presents great possibilities provided the travel, hotel and similar interests organise and co-ordinate their efforts. Timber plantations, especially of the native beech, should prove a valuable asset, since conditions elsewhere foreshadow a world wide timber famine within the next half-century. If properly managed and protected from insect and fungoid pests, the forests should afford remunerative employment to a large section of the rural population. Of New Zealand's mineral resources, gold is the most important and indeed seems likely to open up the most promising avenue for providing fresh employment. Yet another development of importance would be the revival of the once profitable kauri-gum industry now made possible by new methods of refining low-grade gum. The extraction of oil from the local ‘groper’ presents distinct possibilities since it is 100 times richer in vitamin A than the average cod liver oil. Important new industries might be inaugurated for canning meat and for manufacturing casein from surplus milk; the former could readily be marketed in Britain since there is no quota for canned meat as there is for chilled meat.

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