Much customs revenue derived from duties on alcohol and tobacco, which were seen as unnecessary luxuries and therefore legitimate objects of taxation. But when alcohol and tobacco duties were raised in 1864 and new duties levied on other goods, the Auckland Chamber of Commerce expressed its strong displeasure in this petition to Parliament (PDF, 80 KB). While the chamber insisted that customs levies should be imposed purely for revenue purposes and not to protect local manufacturing, they did suggest that all raw materials which assisted the development of New Zealand industry should be free of duty. The belief in free trade was firmly established in both Britain and the colonies by the 1860s.
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Reference: Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1865, G-1.
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