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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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State Generation of Electricity

The local electrical supply authorities are the distributing or retail bodies, and the State is the generating, transmitting, and wholesale authority. On 31 March 1965 the Electricity Department had a capital outlay of £304,000,000. Completed works in operation totalled £243,000,000, works under construction £55,000,000, with a further £6,000,000 invested in plant, motor vehicles, and stocks. This money has been invested since 1911 in the networks of generating stations, transmission lines, and substations, as shown in the accompanying map. The State generating capacity in March 1965 was more than 2,250,000 kW – 1,429,000 in the North Island and 821,000 in the South. This development is summarised in the following table:

Government-owned Generating Stations
Station Capacity in Kilowatts, November 1965 Date of First Operation (or Purchase)
North Island
Arapuni 157,800 1929
Aratiatia 90,000 1964
Karapiro 90,000 1947
Maraetai 180,000 1952
Atiamuri 84,000 1958
Whakamaru 100,000 1956
Ohakuri 112,000 1961
Waipapa 51,000 1961
Kaitawa 32,000 1948
Tuai 52,000 1929
Piripaua 40,000 1943
Mangahao 19,200 1924
Meremere 180,000 1958
King's Wharf 27,000 1942 (purchase)
Evans Bay 22,000 1950 (purchase)
Wairakei 192,420 1959
South Island
Cobb River 32,000 1944
Arnold 3,060 1938 (purchase)
Lake Coleridge 34,500 1915
Highbank 25,200 1945
Waitaki 105,000 1935
Benmore 360,000 1965
Lake Tekapo 25,200 1951
Roxburgh 320,000 1956
Monowai 6,000 1936 (purchase)

State Charges for Bulk Electricity

The income derived from the sale of electricity to the distributing authorities is defined by statute and obtained through contracts covering five-year periods. Before contracts are negotiated, the gross operating expenditure, including interest and depreciation for the ensuing five years and the likely sales of electricity, are estimated. An amount equal to 25 per cent of the estimated expenditure is added and this additional sum provides moneys for loan repayment and capital works. The selling price is calculated so that, from the estimated sales, the gross expenditure plus the 25 per cent addition will be obtained.