This graph shows the substantial level of public investment during the late 19th century in 1885 pounds. Transport was a particular focus of public investment as it facilitated the private development of new agricultural regions. Railway construction boomed in the 1870s under major investment initiated by Julius Vogel. It suffered in the depression of the late 1880s, but then revived again as the economy recovered in the late 1890s.
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Source: Statistics New Zealand