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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45



Mr. Chantrey Harris makes the following pertinent remarks on this subject:—

"An intelligent white man, rather than a Maori, who can scarcely make himself or herself understood, is much to be desired, and his services are worth substantial remuneration, for he explains as he goes, passes by nothing worth inspecting, and plays a valuable intermediate part between tourists and the 'lords of the soil.' As Lofly, the Taupo guide, who is also thoroughly familiar with the Rotorua and Rotomaliana districts, replied to us when we tackled him upon the subject, 'well, sir, I will promise that no one but myself shall swindle you.' We thought the admission a candid one, and assured him that, so far as he was concerned, we had not the slightest apprehension about results. Fraser we found to be straightforward, and almost at enmity with the Maoris, because of his inclination to keep down expenses. A guide who is intimate with every nook and corner to be visited, who speaks the Native language fluently, and will really act fairly by those who place themselves in his hands, is worth liberal remuneration. We should therefore recommend tourists to, on no consideration, stint the guide, but pay him liberally. Ten shillings per day is insufficient page 80 as an aggregate charge for guiding a party of tourists, and we thought the following proposition, made by our guide, a fair one: to wit, 10s per day for one tourist; 15s per day for two; and for more than two, 5s per day each. More than one tourist entails extra labour and trouble on the guide, especially if the tour of the lakes is made."

Maori women often act as guides, and it is quite a common occurrence to see a Pakeha mounted on the shoulders of a big swarthy charmer, who wades through the sulphur holes with her burden as if she enjoyed the task. The adventures of a. South Island tourist, who made the acquaintance of one of those "fair-dark" guides, that rejoiced in the Celtic-sounding name of Erin-Nora, have been worked into the following lines: