A teacher desiring to find employment in New Zealand would probably find a thorough knowledge of French and German her most valuable qualification, for a correct accent is not commonly met with among those who have only studied these languages academically, and here and there it might be possible to find a good position in a college or private school or to secure a number of private pupils. But it must be remembered that New Zealanders have not the same desire or the same need to learn French or German as have those who live in England. The same teacher might obtain a good position as governess on a station, but only if she could teach music and English as well. There are possible openings here and there for the fully qualified teacher of other subjects - the kindergarten teacher, for instance, or the graduate from a school of domestic instruction, but it cannot be too strongly insisted on that there is no special demand for these, that it might be only after a long search that regular and lucrative employment would be found, and that it would be most unwise for any woman to risk everything on the chance of obtaining such employment within a short time of her arrival in the Dominion. If a woman with these qualifications could afford to combine a pleasure trip with a search for employment, she might have good reason to feel satisfied with the result, but that is the most that can be said.
It is sometimes suggested that there is a good opening in any of the Colonies for a woman with a thorough knowledge of gardening, fruit-growing, or poultry-farming. Among the many capable women in New Zealand anxious to employ themselves very few have followed these lines, and it is generally acknowledged that poultry-farming is a precarious venture with little prospect of success unless combined with bee-keeping and fruit-growing.
For the woman clerk, private secretary, typist, or shorthand writer there is very little chance of employment. There is far more opening in England for women secretaries than there is likely to be in New Zealand for many years to come, and the supply of colonial-made typists already exceeds the demand, the reason being that the working-men, whose daughters some years ago would have gone into domestic service, now send them into shops or offices instead, and the market is overcrowded with girls.
In some of the towns there is a considerable demand for more dressmakers, and there is no doubt that a capable dressmaker can always earn a good living, especially if she be willing to set up in business for herself, though here she will be hampered by the problem of obtaining assistants, a great difficulty at some seasons. Visiting dressmakers are always in request, and they receive five shillings a day if competent. The class of dressmaker most in demand is the young girl between sixteen and twenty-one years of age, who is wanted by the large shops. She begins with a wage of five shillings a week, with a yearly advance, the amount of which is fixed by law, till she reaches a twenty-shilling wage, and there the wage may remain or increase according to her ability and the competition.
It is the girl who will undertake domestic work, whether as servant or lady-help, that New Zealand wants and requires most urgently. During the past few years petitions from all over the Dominion have been presented to the Government by women who are almost distracted with the worry of trying in vain to obtain efficient domestic help, praying for assistance. A short time ago petitions were presented to the Premier signed by the doctors of two of the chief cities, declaring that the scarcity of domestic help was having a very bad effect both on the mothers of families and on their children, and when interviewed on the subject some of the doctors told how difficult they found it to treat their patients, since a woman who had unaided to look after her children and her home was frequently unable to take the rest her doctor prescribed. Suggestions have been made that the New Zealand Government should offer free passages to hundreds of British girls on the condition that they will continue in domestic service, on arrival in the Dominion; but the Government does not see its way to doing this, since it already assists the passage of domestic workers to a great extent. The cost of an isted third-class ticket at present is only from £2 16s. to £6 16s.
Photo, New Zealand Govt. Tourist Dept.
The woman who goes out to New Zealand as domestic worker must be prepared find the work more varied, and probably, on the who589,le, a little harder than she is accustomed to in England; but at least one advantage is that many of the houses are built on one floor, none have more than two floors, and there are no underground kitchens. The wages are high, a maid allowed much more time to herself, and she has much more prospect than the Engl girl of a comfortable home of her own.
The wages vary in different parts of the Dominion, and are rather higher in the north than in the south, but fifteen shillings may be taken as the average wage for a general servant - less in small houses, but as much as £1 a week in some cases; from fourteen to eighteen shillings a week for housemaids, and from fifteen shillings to £1 a week for a trained children's nurse, while a good first-class cook will get trom £1 to twenty-five shillings a week. These, it will be understood, are the best wages for trained servants. and the thoroughly efficient worker would easily obtain a situation at the highest rate
It has been suggested that there 1s an opening in the country homes of New Zealand for educated girls who will go out as domestic workers. This would be especially the case if two friends stipulated that they should be employed in the same household.
Women thinking of going out to New Zealand should apply for information to the High Commissioner, at the New Zealand offices in Victoria Street, London, and if they decide to go they will find it a great advantage to travel under the direction of the British Women's Emigration Society, which makes special arrangements for the well-being of the women who apply to it. The journey long one, and shipboard life is so much more tense and confined than life on shore, that it is a very great advantage for a young woman to be associated with a party instead of travelling alone. There is a certain charm in being independent, but association with a large party will save a girl from many perhaps rather unpleasant experiences.