Story: Energy supply and use

Expanding network, 1930

In this map the electricity network can be seen extending into farming areas. Canterbury, Otago and Southland, like Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Rangitīkei and Wairarapa, were electrified relatively early. The first farms had been electrified in the early 1890s. Remote areas of the country (Northland, the East Cape and the West Coast) were not yet connected in 1930. Farmers could use electricity for heating, lighting and running machinery. Some set up their own small hydro schemes rather than wait for the network to reach them.

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Source: Malcolm McKinnon, ed. Bateman New Zealand historical atlas: ko Papatuanuku e takoto nei. Auckland: David Bateman, 1997, plate 88

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Energy supply and use - Electricity, late 19th to mid-20th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 May 2022)

Story by Megan Cook, published 11 Mar 2010