In New Zealand Company settlements, land was initially sold as a package: a small block of urban land and larger blocks of suburban and rural land. The idea was that landowners would farm their country land, while also having residences and business interests in town. This 1842 map shows the distribution of country sections in the Nelson district. The colour coding of the blocks highlights the speculative nature of the enterprise. Red was land sold in England, often to absentee owners who saw it as an investment; purple was land sold in the colony; and blue was land set aside as company reserves – some for future sale. A tenth of the rural land was meant to be set aside as native reserves (the Native Tenths Reserves) for the betterment of Māori, but no rural tenths were ever allocated.
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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MapColl 834.1gbbd/ Acc.3044
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