The Counties Act 1876 replaced the provinces, in respect of rural areas, with counties. They were intended to build roads and bridges, but in many instances already established roads boards continued to do that work and were constituted as counties. With expanding settlement the 32 North Island counties in 1876 had become 76 counties by 1921.
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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MapColl -830fb 1881 29305
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