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SURVEYING IN NEW ZEALAND. The Surveyor-General's Department of the New Zealand Government is a well-organised official service, in which detached parties are frequently employed to survey the extensive tracts of public lands still awaiting the occupation of agricultural or pastoral settlers, more especially in the North Island, in the former provinces of Auckland and Hawke's Bay, or Napier, where much work of this kind yet remains to be done. A correspondent who has been engaged in Government surveying, which often commands the temporary assistance of newly arrived colonists desirous to see the country and to gain experience in a somewhat rough but healthy campaigning life of out-door labour, sends these Sketches of a few amusing incidents, one being that of a dispute with some females of the Maori race. This is not a rare occurrence in the back districts, where the natives have a fixed idea that once the chain passes over the land, their claim to it is impaired. Women and children are usually sent to stop a survey in the first instance, it having no doubt been found that the object can sometimes be gained in this way without the serious results of a quarrel between men. Another lively scene is that of "a wild sucking-pig scramble." The wild swine, not indigenous, but descendants of those which have run loose, absolutely swarm in certain districts of New Zealand. A chase after the young ones, commonly called “suckers," is very great fun. These, when caught, are not generally killed, as there are plenty of large ones to be had. They will probably be taken to the camp, where, in a few days, they will become so tame that they will sit round the fire with the dogs. Wild pigs, says our correspondent, are the cleanest of animals. In the New Zealand bush the trees grow so thickly together, and the masses of fallen trunks covering the ground are so numerous, that, in some forests, one walks almost as much on timber as on terra firma, becoming in time a sort of amateur Blondin. In this performance, similar to that on the tight rope, a surveyor's theodolite may sometimes be useful as a balancing-pole. Still, even to the wary and skilful, "accidents will happen." In one case, the surveyor has evidently been traversing the creek, as may be seen by the flag on the opposite bank. In crossing over, his foot has slipped, with this dire result. The survey party usually have a pack-horse to carry all the food and other necessaries for several months. The pack-horse, we are told, before starting, to fortify him for his arduous task, has been fed on oats for the last few days. Being a grass-fed horse, as most horses up-country in New Zealand are, this generous diet has had a greater effect on him than anticipated. He kicks and gallops away, and the party enjoy the melancholy spectacle of a distribution of all their little effects to the four winds of heaven. Meanwhile, the pack-horse, his speed increasing in exact proportion to the lightening of his load, gradually becomes a speck in the far distance. Provisions, however, are somehow to be got, supplies of flour, sugar, and tea being the most essential. Potatoes and other vegetables can, perhaps, be had of the Maoris ; and there is sometimes a chance of catching fish or shooting birds, not to mention wild pork. The culinary arrangements may devolve, by turn, upon any of the party. Upon the disastrous occasion represented, the cross-bar of "cook's" simple fireplace has no doubt been burnt through ; and the prospect of dinner for the hungry survey party who will presently arrive has become problematical. They usually live under tents, and care little to seek shelter in the wooden huts of squatters. When a new settlement grows up rapidly, before a survey of the township has been made, the houses of thoughtful and far-seeing men are built on wooden sledges, so that, after the survey, each man can move his house on to his own particular section. This is done by teams of bullocks ; or, if a river happens to bisect the future metropolis, by the simple process of a boat towing the house across the river. As New Zealand is an extremely loyal colony, the principal hotel in every new town is generally called “The Loyal Hotel." At some more commodious hostelry, in an up-country town-ship, we see the party enjoying a game of billiards. Surveyors, after several months in the bush, are something like sailors after a long cruise. They have got back to "the delights of civilisation." 29.1.1887