The telegraph spread rapidly as a means of communication. The first line and network was set up by Canterbury’s provincial government in 1862, with other provincial governments soon following. By 1868 major towns and ports were connected. By 1880 smaller centres were connected in both North and South islands, and by 1892 the network included many rural towns.
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Source: Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1868, E-5, 1876, F1-A; 1890, F1