The Dominion of New Zealand is not, at present, an exporter of canned fruits. The canned fruits which are made are made for home consumption. So far as the export trade of fruit is concerned the New Zealand growers have mainly concerned themselves with raw apples and to a smaller extent with pears. Everyone knows that the Dominion extends over a small range of low southern latitude that it has a sunny and equable climate a rainfall well distributed over the year a variety of excellent soils. It will, in a word, grow almost anything, a fact that has not altogether proved to be an unmixed blessing. Up to 1876 its hundred thousand square miles of area was divided into nine provinces after that date by the Provinces Act, 1876, the country was divided for administrative purposes into counties with powers of local selfgovernment. The central government, at Wellington, is responsible for the Acts referred to in this article, these Acts being applicable to the whole of the Dominion. Such legislative measures as have been passed in relation to the fruit industry have for their main object the development of fruit orchards, chiefly those of apples at present. In the year 19301, 3,539 tons of fruit were used in the making of jams, jellies, canned or bottled fruits and other products. The value of the fruit canned or bottled was 45,763, as against 165,655 for jams and jellies, and 119,104 for other products in the same period. This works out roughly to about 14 per cent. The Orchard Tax Act No. 25, 1927 provides for special taxation for the development of the fruitgrowing industry and the protection of orchards from fireblight. Under Section 3 of the Act any fruit grower with 120 or more trees in his orchard shall pay one shilling for every acre or part of an acre. The minimum yearly tax under this section shall be five shillings. The term fruit includes apples, pears, quinces, oranges, lemons, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and cherries, and any other kind of fruit which may subsequently be declared by the GovernorGeneral in the Gazette. This is a good list of fruits and illustrates as well as anything of the kind can the great possibilities of New Zealand as a fruitgrowing country. Lemons are an important crop in North Island. Much of the lemons consumed in New Zealand are home grown, but it is desired to make the Dominion selfsupporting in this respect. The Poorman Orange, according to the New Zealand Journal of Agriculture, is becoming popular as a substitute for imported grape fruit. Oranges it seems have been cultivated with success since about 1875, as well as citron, lime and lemon in the neighbourhood of Auckland. Thompson Naturalisation of Animals and Plants in New Zealand, 1922 quotes a remark by an officer of the brig Hawes in December, 1928, that he saw a few orange trees that had been introduced with success. The same author remarks that apples, pears, and, according to Major Cruise 1820, peaches had been introduced by the missionaries. It was about this time that missionary enterprise, which would appear to have been somewhat badly needed, made its appearance.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 1933