Runholding in Otago and Southland, 1848 to 1876.
Campbell, Marilyn Janette
This thesis describes and discusses runholding in Otago and Southland during the provincial period. The main emphasis is upon runholding as a form of land use rather than as a social institution. This involves an examination of the day to day management of the runs, the people involved, the problems faced, and the technical aspects of sheep-raising and wool production. Closely interwoven with this is the complex question of land legislation, for the conflict in this sphere between the agricultural and pastoral interests dominated provincial politics. Throughout the work I have attempted to show the importance of Australia’s proximity to New Zealand with regard to the development of pastoralism. I have approached the work chronologically from the foundation years of the Otago settlement in 1848 to the abolition of the provinces in 1876. Particular topics - such as cattle, the problems of sheep diseases, rabbits, wild dogs, sheep breeds and wool production, for example - have been treated in separate chapters to facilitate reading and understanding. The bulk of the information gathered for the writing of the thesis was taken from contemporary newspapers, Government publications, and contemporary manuscripts – particularly runholder's diaries. It has been used to describe runholding through its various phases from the explorations of the runholders in search of country, to the stocking and establishing of the runs, and finally to the attempts to protect the pastoral industry from the inroads of closer settlement and the problems of the sheep surplus and falling wool prices. The chief conclusions drawn have been that runholding was an arduous and hazardous undertaking, beset by many unforeseen problems unencountered in Britain or Australia and complicated by constantly changing land and stock regulations. In both regards the settlers lack of experience meant that solutions were often a matter of trial and error, and it was perhaps the land issue more than anything else which demonstrated the weakness of provincial administration.
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: History
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
viii, 74 leaves :ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references.