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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.



Quantities of Greasy Wool Sold at New Zealand Auction Sales 1963–64

(Source: New Zealand Wool Commission)
Quality Group Bales Percentage of Total Sales
60/64s and up 13,410 1
60s 10,257 ¾
58/60s; 58s; and 56/58s 87,063
50/56s; and 56s 123,362
52s 55,239
50s 128,736 10
48/50s 125,622
46/50s and 48s 405,405 31¼
46/48s 217,271 16¾
46s and lower 128,930 10
Totals 1,295,295 100

The figures given in the first column under “Quality Group” indicate the average fineness of the wool. In general, the higher the “count” or “quality number”, the finer the wool: 60s and upwards represents Merino wool, of which we produce only 2 per cent. A range in quality number (50/56s or 48/50s) indicates that the wool presented for sale is of mixed fineness. Counts 52s up to 58/60s represent half-bred and quarter-bred wools – showing varying proportions of Merino blood in the finer types: 20¼ per cent of wool sold at auction is of this class. The remaining 79 ½ per cent represents what the trade calls crossbred wool – a confusing term to the layman, for most of the wool comes from Romney sheep. (Besides fleece wool there are all the “oddments”, bellies, pieces, necks, crutchings, locks, lambs' wool, etc.) After every wool sale newspaper reports show a list of qualities and prices. The following table should be helpful in understanding these reports:

  • Merino, 60/64s

  • Extra-fine half-bred and Corriedale, 58s and 58/60s

  • Fine half-bred and Corriedale, 56/58s

  • Medium half-bred and Corriedale, 56s

  • Extra-fine crossbred, 52s and 50/56s

  • Fine crossbred, 50s

  • Medium crossbred, 48/50s

  • Crossbred, 46/50s

  • Coarse crossbred, 46s and 46/48s