Letters from New Zealand 1857-1911
These letters may be of interest to those who, like myself, have taken part in the colonization of New Zealand. My own share in it was limited to the South Island, the Province of Canterbury, with its Goldfields, in the Diocese of Christchurch. There may be also others who have friends and relatives in New Zealand, or who are generally interested in the great progress which the country has made in late years, to whom these letters may give useful information.
They are chiefly personal, perhaps none the less readable for that. Incidentally, they touch on problems of great importance which the Church in New Zealand has had to meet. Questions of Church Government and discipline; the position of the Laity; their proper share in a self-governing Church, which has never been established; their responsibility for the management of Church Finance, and the maintenance of the Ministry,—such questions as arise naturally in a Free Church in a Free State. Questions, too, which at some future date may have to be tackled by the Mother Church at Home. The organization of the Church in New Zealand is now fairly complete. It governs itself by means of General and Diocesan Synods. It is in page breakclose spiritual communion with the Mother Church, but in all matters of good government it has to look to itself.
Apart from these larger matters, I trust that these letters will find a welcome amongst the numerous friends and fellow-workers with whom I have spent so many happy years in New Zealand. A country not nearly the size of many of the Dominions of our Empire, but in climate, natural resources, and especially in the character of its people, second to none, whether for material prosperity, or general happiness of the conditions of life.
To have had the opportunity of pioneer work, with others, in such a country, with so great a future before it, is a privilege I cannot over-estimate, as I look back upon the last fifty years.
Henry W. Harper.London, 1914.