Title: Exotic Intruders

Author: Joan Druett

Publication details: Heinemann, 1983, Auckland

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Joan Druett

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

Conditions of use


Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Exotic Intruders

The Hawkes Bay Acclimatisation Society

page 92

The Hawkes Bay Acclimatisation Society

At a meeting of the Hawkes Bay Agricultural Society on 27 January 1868, it was resolved 'that, as it is highly desirable to encourage the introduction of insectivorous birds, useful plants, and trees, an Acclimatisation Society be formed.' Within a month the Society was selling pheasants for five pounds a pair, and in April and May it was distributing seeds and vine cuttings.

For the next three years the Society was inactive, perhaps overwhelmed by the personal business of its members and by awe of the reputed performances of other societies. It is difficult to establish a month-by-month history, because all the records of the Society were destroyed in the 1931 earthquake. However in March 1871 the Hawkes Bay Herald was asking plaintively, 'Is nothing going to be done towards forming an Acclimatisation Society, or rather towards revivifying the one already in existence?'

In 1874 the Society demonstrated its revitalised existence in October, when it accepted delivery of a consignment of 650 birds from the Queen Bee . Later, in February 1875, it received a second delivery of birds, from the barque Hudson , after a record-breaking voyage of 84 days.

From then on the Society concentrated on acclimatising trout, salmon and game birds. The difficulty in maintaining high numbers of game birds was apparent here, as it was everywhere else in New Zealand, and the Society blamed hawks, offering a bounty of sixpence for each one killed.

It is notable that a loyal and constant committee member of the Hawkes Bay Acclimatisation Society was William Shrimpton, the man who introduced red deer to the Province.

page 94