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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



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For its area New Zealand is well endowed with water for hydro-electric generation, the full economic development of which should take place within the next 15 or so years. The major alternative source of energy is coal but, in relation to the scale of development, New Zealand's coal resources are limited or very costly to extract. It is therefore likely that, within a period of 15 years, the increasing demand for energy will call for the use of imported fuels unless new sources are found.

The cost of power from a nuclear power station would, for at least 10 years, be higher than that of a coal-fired steam station, and New Zealand would have to depend on other countries for fuel for such stations. Atomic-power stations are unnecessary while other resources can be developed more economically. These facts have governed development of resources and will determine plans for further development.


by Victor Albert Le Page, B.A., formerly Administrative Officer, New Zealand Electricity Department, Wellington.

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