The Return of the Freeholders was compiled from the assessment rolls of the Property-Tax Department (predecessor of the Inland Revenue Department). It lists the names, addresses, and occupations of owners of land in 1882. If the land was in a county, the acreage and value is given. If the land was in a borough or city, only the value is given.

At the 1st October, 1882, the male adult population of New Zealand (excluding Maoris) was about 143,000, and, as the number of owners of land was 71,240, it may be roughly stated that every second man was a landowner. However, that figure includes many women who held land in their own right, trustees for marriage settlements, and other trusts.

The assessment rolls, from which this resource was compiled, have not survived.

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“K” will not be available until later in the year.

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