By 1930 many farming areas, especially Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Rangitīkei, Wairarapa, Canterbury, Otago and Southland, had access to electricity. Others, notably Northland, the East Cape and the West Coast, had yet to experience its benefits. From 1918 government made it a priority to extend distribution of electricity to farms, and 80% had electric power by 1936. A highly versatile source of power that could be used for heating, lighting and running machinery, it made labour-intensive farm jobs such as milking and shearing easier and more efficient.
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Source: Malcolm McKinnon, ed., Bateman New Zealand historical atlas: ko papatuanuku e takoto nei. Auckland: David Bateman, 1997, plate 88