Story: Farm fencing

Increases in fenced area, 1851–81 (1st of 2)

Between 1851 and 1861, most of New Zealand’s fenced area was clustered around the early settlements. Each dot represents 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) fenced. For example, in Otago there was an increase of about 40,000 acres (16,200 hectares) in the area fenced during this decade. When light wire became available in the 1860s, the fenced area increased considerably – mostly in the South Island as pastoralism expanded. From 1871 to 1881, the South Island remained the main region of farming expansion. However, considerable development was also taking place in the Wairarapa, Hawke’s Bay and the Auckland/Waikato regions.

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Source: R. P. Hargreaves, ‘Farm fences in pioneer New Zealand.’ New Zealand Geographer 31, no. 2 (October 1965), fig. 1

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How to cite this page:

Robert Peden, 'Farm fencing - Wire fencing', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 December 2023)

Story by Robert Peden, published 24 Nov 2008