Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Allotments, small portions of land let out to labourers to cultivate in their spare time. They are believed to be a valuable means of promoting thrift, industry, and sobriety, and therefore the Legislature in 1887 endeavoured to encourage the extension of the system by passing "an Act to facilitate the provision of allotments for the labouring classes," briefly called the Allotments Act, 1887. Previous to this it depended entirely on the landowners whether land should be let out in allotments or not. The labourers would go to the landlord and endeavour to get him to let a piece of land to them, which he might or might not do, just as it pleased him. Now, however, by the Act of 1887, this perfect freedom is taken from the landlords, and if the sanitary authority in any district is satisfied that a demand for allotments exists in that district, and that such allotments are not procurable voluntarily, they can move the county authority to compel landlords to sell or let suitable land for this purpose. By the sanitary authority is meant the town council in towns, the local board in local government areas, and the guardians in rural districts. The way for a community to get the sanitary authority to act is for six registered parliamentary electors, or resident ratepayers, to sign a representation to the sanitary authority that such allotments are required. If the sanitary authority be convinced of this, it may then buy or hire available and suitable land, so long as it does not incur expense beyond what it may reasonably hope to recover from rents. It may not take land belonging to a park, pleasure-ground, or garden, nor can it touch the property of a railway or canal company, if such property be used in the company's undertaking. As to the tenants, they are chosen by the sanitary authority, and in virtue of their allotments have the right of exercising the parliamentary, municipal, and other local franchises. They are not allowed to sub-let, they may not build on their allotments, except sheds, greenhouses, pigsties, and such like, and at the expiration of their tenancy they may remove such erections, as well as trees, bushes, and so on, or else be compensated for these things. The maximum size of an allotment is one acre, and the rents are fixed at a figure sufficient to insure the sanitary authority against loss.