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No. 29 (December 1959)
– 55 –
 

New Life comes to Pouto; continued from page 31

in the community. When the instructor suggested the use of potash in manure and this proved effective in improving the pasture, it established a healthy regard for the wonders of agricultural science. In a young settlement like this, there is much to be said for regular meetings with agricultural experts so settlers will develop a scientific attitude towards farming.

It will be more than ten years before all the projected 35 farms will be settled. This delay is due to the high cost of development. By the time the land is cleared, grassed, fenced and provided with houses and other improvements the development cost per acre is £69. Such a cost could never be repaid by a dairy settler. For this reason the land is used as a sheep station for a few years to reduce the development debt, so the settler has to pay only £53 per acre which is regarded as an economic figure.

The fate of Pouto as a settlement ultimately depends entirely on the quality of the farming. The start has been promising but steady progress is essential. The same is true for the other areas that have been settled.

Yet farming and economic life is by no means everything. A happy community needs also social activities, recreation, and if possible also some cultural satisfactions. It is good to see that much of this social life has already grown up and that there is confidence in the growth of Pouto as a new Maori farming district.

A lot has happened since Brown Kena persuaded his people to place their land under development. It is likely that Pouto as it looks today is fairly close to the dream of the forward-looking leader of 1933.