Heritage

1906 International Exhibition

Department of Agriculture Court

  • The Department of Agriculture Court provided a stage for displaying the many and varied "fruits" of the country’s agricultural industry, one that is still vitally important today.
  • Visitors could view a vast array of plants, crops and livestock as well as the products that could be produced from these, and in some cases, see the process involved in creating them.
Open slideshow

New Zealand’s most important industry

It was fitting that the Department’s court was located in the premier place among the governmental courts at the exhibition. New Zealand was in 1906, and for many years still to come, first and foremost an agricultural country, depending for her prosperity on agricultural and pastoral industries. It was said that "It is the farmer that keeps the nation, the man who wins his way with the plough and the axe and the sheep-shears, the man of the dairy farm and the cattle run".1 Wool, frozen meat, butter and cheese, hemp and grain comprised over four-fifths of New Zealand’s total exports at that time.

Displays

The Department of Agriculture's Court occupied an annex of the main building on the western side. The space enclosed was 150 feet (46 metres) long by 80 feet (24 metres) wide, giving 12,000 square feet (1116 square metres) of floor-room for displays. These included an exhibition of poultry-raising requisites, including a model poultry-yard, fruit-preserving and canning methods and machinery, and bee-keeping methods with a model apiary and 20 colonies of bees supplied by E. Richards of Waihao Downs.

An agricultural museum with 4000 exhibits of plants, weeds, orchard-pests and agricultural seeds was based on the private collection of Thomas William Kirk. The remaining displays comprised various kinds of New Zealand produce, from wool, flax and rope fibre to dairy produce, wine and honey. Outside, at the rear of the Exhibition buildings, there were one hundred and twenty 12 feet (3.7 metres) by 8 feet (2.4 metres) garden plots of various grasses and fodder-plants on display.

Staff

The staff of the Department associated with the Exhibition court were:-

  • Officer in charge: Thomas William Kirk
  • Deputy officer in charge: George Bisset
  • Fruit-canning expert: W. Jacques
  • Apiarian: I. Hopkins and Miss Livesay.
  • Officer in charge of grass-gardens: A. Macpherson
  • Poultry experts: D. Hyde and F. C. Brown.
  • Fibre expert : C. J. Fulton.
  • Wine expert : R. Bragato

----------------

Related photos

New Zealand hemp
New Zealand hemp
A display of articles manufactured entirely from New Zealand Hemp
A display of articles manufactured entirely from New Zealand Hemp
One of the Agricultural department courts
One of the Agricultural department courts
A view in the poultry industry department
A view in the poultry industry department
Incubators and brooder pens in the poultry exhibit
Incubators and brooder pens in the poultry exhibit
Axemen's carnival
Axemen's carnival
The observatory hive
The observatory hive
Demonstration of the handling of bees
Demonstration of the handling of bees
Pupils transferring bees
Pupils transferring bees
A view of the model apiary
A view of the model apiary
A condemned system of bee-keeping
A condemned system of bee-keeping
Old style of hives - picturesque, but not profitable
Old style of hives - picturesque, but not profitable
A solar wax extractor
A solar wax extractor
Agricultural Departments staff
Agricultural Departments staff

Sources

Related links

Footnotes

  • [1] Cowan, J. Official record, page 115.