When packing to come to the colony, early settlers had to be very careful to make sure they forgot nothing, for there was no corner store to visit to stock up on things forgotten. Consequently, luggage was plentiful, everything including the kitchen sink. The more affluent even brought entire kit set buildings.
To send home for a parcel of necessities involved a wait of many months.
Some typical costs in the 1800's
- FARES TO THE COLONY: On one of the first 5 vessels, Oriental, Aurora, Adelaide, Duke Of Roxburgh or Bengal Merchant; 1st Class Cabin passengers. £75 and allows for 2 tons of free baggage per fare , 2nd class £50 with 1 ton of baggage free & steerage £18-15/- and a half ton per person baggage allowance. FREE Passage to gardeners & agricultural Labourers if they are married and under 30 years of age.
- COB HOUSES; 3/- per yard or for cash 2/3d per yard. So a nice little cottage can be built for about £125
- FARMHOUSE a moderate farmhouse could be built for around £50 with mortice & tenon studs, no nails. Chimney bricks bonded with lime and mortar mix. Timber milled on site.
- POSTAGE 1840 from Thorndon to Wellington (The only postal service at that time) was 2d per letter and 1d per newspaper. It went by boat when the weather allowed otherwise overland.
- GUNS £1-10s
- PRIVATE SCHOOLS: 1863; board £30 per year for tuition and £15 to study bible, ancient and modern language, history, geography, arithmetic and mathematics. GRACES WGTON ACADEMY in 1847 charged 1/- per wek for reading; 1/6d for reading and writing or 2/-s for the 3 R's.
- CLUB FEES; typical fees for club membership were; Pickwick and Wakefield Clubs, both £25 entry with an annual subscription of £5.
- FINE for firing a gun on the beach £5
- JETTY at Kaiwarra was built in 1885 for £214
- NEWSPAPER, annual subscription £1-10s in advance
- SALARIES & WAGES: Labouring men £1-10s per week, Maid £10 to £12 per annum; sawyer £3 per week; Town Surveyors £50 per annum; Postmaster £140 : Police Clerk £91-5s ; Harbour Pilot £40: Gaoler £91-5s: Laundress 4/- per dozen shirts & pants
- FOOD - BREAD 8d for 2lb's BUTTER 2/6d or Fresh 4/- per lb CHEESE 2/6d BEEF & MUTTON 7d, 9d, & 11d. HAM 1/6d PORK leg7d BACON leg 9d COFFEE 2/- TEA 5d
- TIMBER in 1894 the Horowhenua County Council paid; Rimu 7/- per 100 superficial feet, Matai 8/-, but Totara was 16/-
- GROG - BEER 1/- a quart GIN, WINE & RUM, 6d a quart
- BULLOCKs were 1/- per lb
- CUPS & SAUCERS 6/- per dozen
- SOAP 7d
MORTGAGE, for land in the Kiwitea Block. The land sold for £1er acre which was a government regulated minimum. 20% deposit was required with10% of the surrounding bush too be felled within one year. The 80% baalance of money to be paid within 5 years at zero interest
A report of an early auction sale by
BETHUNE & HUNTER appeared in the NZ Journal
25th December 1841, viz:-
100 wethers at 25/- to 27/-
300 ewes at 21/- to 22/-
6 heifers at £15.10/- to £16.10/- (GBP)
2 milking cows at £21. to £27
8 working bullocks £21 to £29
2 steers at £20
The Early Settlers Journal, Jan 1923, p7 gives the particulars of the first businesses established on the beach (now Lambton Quay) in 1840. These were HARVIEs Caledonian Tavern and Stores, (choice wines and spirits, groceries, pit and other saws, slates and slate pencils, steel and brass pens, regatta white and striped shirts, linen and clicoes, red fustian and cord jackets and trousers, dress coats and stocks of candle and lamp cotton), also a 'canteen' complete, containing every requisite
for an exploring party. The Advertisment was dated 16-5-1840. J.J. TAINE - Whale oil, "go ashores" Negro head tobaccoo etc. 9/5/1840. W. KAREY and W NICHOLS, coopers; 23/5/1840. A ANDERSON wines and spirits etc., 8/7/1840. Dr JOHNSTON chemists and druggists store, wholesale and retail, 28/5/40.
The Post Office advertisment that a "mail between Thorndon and
Pito-one will b emade up for the first time on Monday next at 8 am
and a return one from this place to Thorndon at 1pm. Rate is 2d for lettersand 1d for newspapers. Mr PATON to superintend at Thorndon (11/7/1840)
Prices at the 'Ames Arms' at Johnsonville in 1860 when James BRYANT took over the business;
Beer 4d per pint.....rum 5/- ......whisky 6/-, per bottle. Meals 1//6d......stabling 1/-......
James and his boys worked for 6/-per day and a working bullock was hired out at
4/6d per day. those who had to work their way up the winding Ngahauranga Gorge road would have found several bridges in good enough order; a road to the right led to Lavender Gully, so named for a boiling down works.