Story: Colonial and provincial government

Christchurch railway station, 1872

Christchurch railway station, 1872

The provinces all engaged in railway building in the 1860s, but did not always choose the same gauge (distance between the tracks). Mostly flat Canterbury, for example, selected a relatively broad 5-foot 3-inch (1,600-millimetre) gauge, while other, hillier provinces opted for a narrow 3-foot 6-inch (1,067-millimetre) gauge. The value of standardising the gauge was one argument for centralisation, and it duly took place – at 3-foot 6-inches – in 1876, at the time of the abolition of the provinces.

Using this item

Canterbury Museum, Bishop Collection
Reference: Weekly Press, 2 August 1905 (1923.53.700)

Permission of Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch, New Zealand must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Malcolm McKinnon, 'Colonial and provincial government - Julius Vogel and the abolition of provincial government', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 April 2024)

Story by Malcolm McKinnon, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 6 Oct 2023