I spotted the following today in a 23 December 1872 edition of the Evening Star. Couldn't resist it, just couldn't. Some places have problems with flies, others with possums: for Hokitika, it was cows. If cartoonist Gary Larsen had been around in the mid 19th century, he'd have had a field day with this ...
No one (says the Hokitika Star) will deny that cows, when confined to their proper sphere of action, are most useful animals, and a majority of our readers will very probably concede that they are very pleasant objects to contemplate -- in a picture; but when a legion of these interesting animals degenerate into "stray cattle", their glory has departed, and they immediately become a nuisance and a grievance, things to be reviled by men, pelted by boys, chased by dogs, and finally handed over to the Inspector of nuisances, and impounded.
It has been decided by competent authorities that there are more stray cattle in the town of Hokitika than there are in all the rest of the Municipalities of New Zealand put together, and it follows as a matter of course that there is a corresponding amount of dissatisfaction expressed at the ravages committed by day and night upon the gardens by the mild and inoffensive looking animals which are to be met with in droves in most of our streets. Some portions of the town, however, are specially favoured by the perpetual presence of mobs of cattle, and whole of Hampden street has long been a cattle station, and also appears to be used for mustering the cattle from the more remote parts of the district.
The cows of Hokitika are easily distinguishable from the cows of all other districts by the fact that they are strictly speaking omnivorous, greedily devouring any known substance which comes within their reach, although they are said to prefer sweet peas or honeysuckle to turnips or mangold wurzel. They combine the appetites of wolves, with the digestive powers of ostriches, and the trenchant dentition of Bengal tigers. Nothing comes amiss to them, and although as yet it cannot be proved that they have consumed any pile-driving or tip drays, it is darkly hinted that such feats are within their powers, if their inclination leads them in that direction.