After gold was discovered on the West Coast in the mid-1860s, prospectors searched for an easy way to get from Canterbury to the diggings. At first they followed the traditional Māori route over Harper Pass. By 1865, as this cartoon from Punch in Canterbury implies, Browning Pass and Arthur’s Pass were the competitors for a road. In the sketch, John Hall (a member of the Canterbury provincial council) and a local newspaper, the Standard, keep their eyes on Arthur’s Pass.
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