Prospect Offered to Women Emigrants   Social Life in New Zealand   What Markets are already Overstocked   A Demand for the Intelligent and Willing Domestic Worker

Prospect Offered to Women Emigrants - Social Life in New Zealand - What Markets are already Overstocked - A Demand for the Intelligent and Willing Domestic Worker

Of all the British overseas dominions, New Zealand, the farthest from the heart of the Empire, is probably the one in which a woman emigrating from England would find herself most at home, where she would find least in climate, social conditions, and character of the people to remind her that she was twelve thousand miles away from the land of her birth.

A great deal has been written about New Zealand's scenery, and the attractions it offers to travellers in the variety and the glorious beauty of its lakes and mountains, its rugged fiords, its rivers flowing among bush-clad hills, and its thermal wonderland, beautiful and mysterious. These are the guide-book attractions of the country, but they are not to be considered by the intending settler any more than the lakes of Westmorland, the Trossachs, or the beauties of the Southern English coast are to be seriously considered by the man coming from the colonies to live and make his fortune in England. They afford opportunities for many a delightful holiday, but that is all, though this also must be said, that most of the inhabitants of New Zealand live in or near to fine scenery, for most of the chief towns are beautifully situated by the sea with a background of hills or mountains, and even where inland towns are built on the flat the clear atmosphere affords a fine view of distant heights.

The question of climate affects the emigrant a great deal more, and it is in her climate that New Zealand boasts her greatest charm. The islands extend from north to south over a distance almost as great as that between London and Madrid, so that there is considerable variation in the temperature; but there are no great extremes of heat and cold and mild, warm days are common alike in summer and winter. The rainfall is heavy, but the sun shines for more than half its time, the climate is invigorating, and, as has been said, the air is singularly clear, giving one an outlook over such a wide stretch of country as it is difficult even to imagine in this hazier atmosphere.

And the social conditions are like the climate, without any great extremes of poverty and wealth, but with a general mild, sunny prosperity that shows itself in the appearance of the people, who spend much on dress, and a great deal on amusements, and in each large town support shops which would be no discredit to Kensington. Visitors to New Zealand from the Old Country say that life there is on the scale of life in a small English provincial town, and they are careful to add that socially it is much more lively, for the New Zealand woman, without a great choice of amusement, makes the most of what she has, and in a week there will be more social happenings in the way of teas and dances, and such small gaieties, than three months in England would see.

Heathcote Valley. Between Christchurch and Lyttelton, N.z. A characteristic glimpse of one of the longer established villages planted with British and Australian trees

Heathcote Valley. Between Christchurch and Lyttelton, N.z. A characteristic glimpse of one of the longer established villages planted with British and Australian trees

Photo, New Zealand Govt. Tourist Dept.

New Zealand is unlike some of the other colonies in this, that she is troubled by no racial problem, and among her million inhabitants the foreign element is very small; in fact, most of the emigrants have come from Great Britain and Ireland, and to-day New Zealand is perhaps more purely British in blood than any other part of the Empire - intensely British also in traditions, sympathies, and conventions.

Opportunities for Women

In most civilised countries the women by far outnumber the men, and constant stress is laid on the fact that in England the excess of women over men amounts to about a million; but in New Zealand, according to the last census, the bachelors of marriageable age outnumber the spinsters by nearly 10,000, a fact seeming to show that the New Zealand woman has a much greater chance of marrying than her sister in England. Whether married or single, the woman there, as in other young countries, has the satisfaction of knowing that she counts for something; she is not oppressed by the knowledge that she is only one unit in a great mass, but feels that she, too, has a part in deciding the social conditions and shaping the destinies of the growing country. It is not only, or indeed mainly, because in New Zealand women have the franchise, but that in the smaller community there is more need of them, and more room than can possibly be the case in a thickly-populated country.

Much might be said about the pleasantness of New Zealand life as it appears to those born in the Dominion, but the question is whether New Zealand offers sufficient opening and promise of fortune to tempt English women to cut themselves loose from all friends and home ties, and set out for a new life on the other side of the world, and, if so, what class of woman is most likely to be successful.

Professional Women

For the professional woman there are very few openings. Here and there a woman doctor may build up a good practice, but New Zealand is already fairly well supplied with medical men, and in Wellington, the capital, a town of not more than 70,000 inhabitants, there are no fewer than five medical women practising to-day. Several New Zealand women have taken their medical degree at the Otago University, and others have graduated at Edinburgh or London. Of course, the majority of these women look forward to practising in their own country, and the same may be said of the other graduates of the New Zealand University, and of the women who go through the training colleges for teachers. They look forward to staffing the schools of the Dominion, and, in making appointments, preference would naturally be given to them rather than to women of similar qualifications from other countries.