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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



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Growth of Pastoral Industry

Similarly, the growth of the pastoral industry, on which the economy of the province mainly rests, is shown by a statistical summary:

1861 300,000
1871 904,000
1881 1·9 million
1891 2·7 million
1901 3·3 million
1911 3·9 million
1921 5·3 million
1941 4·2 million
1961 5·9 million

The rapid increase between 1871 and 1901 would be related to clearing of bush, fern and scrub; a slow growth through 1901–1911 reflects decline in fertility of hill country; and an increase since 1911 would reflect improvement of lowland pastures. The sheep population has since been stable around the 1941 figures, but numbers of cattle on hill country have been increased as a means of improving control of grazing. The first sheep were Merinos, to be gradually crossed with strong-woolled Lincolns which in turn have been replaced by Romneys.

Sown Grassland (in acres)
1861 3,700
1871 62,000
1881 661,000
1891 1·02 million
1901 1·7 million
1911 1·76 million
1931 1·42 million
1941 1·91 million
1951 1·88 million
1961 2·00 million

The years of biggest expansion of new farmlands were 1871–1895. Since that time progress has mainly been by way of improving pasture quality on the lower and more accessible country.

by George Jobberns, C.B.E., M.A., D.SC., Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of Canterbury.

  • Tutira, Guthrie-Smith, H. (third ed. 1953)
  • History of Hawke's Bay, Wilson, J. G., et. al. (1939)
  • The Story of Hawke's Bay, Reed, A. H. (1958)
  • New Zealand Geographer, Oct 1954, “The Pastoral Fringe in Hawke's Bay”, Pirie, P. N. D.