The electoral device known as the “country quota” was first used in New Zealand in 1881 when, for the purposes of maintaining the existing balance between urban and rural parliamentary constituencies, a “quota” equivalent to 33? per cent of the population was added to rural constituencies. In 1887 this was reduced to 18 per cent, but was increased in 1889 to 28 per cent. It remained at this figure until 1945 when it was abolished by the Labour Government. Between 1881 and 1945 the “country quota” was added to the population of rural electorates which, for the purposes of the Electoral Act, meant population other than that contained in a city or borough of over 2,000 inhabitants, or in any area within 5 miles of the chief post offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, or Dunedin.