George Grey (right) and James Macandrew (left), former superintendents of Auckland and Otago respectively, had been the most vocal opponents of abolishing the provinces. But in October 1877 Grey became premier and Macandrew minister of public works. As this cartoon of the time suggests, some believed that the public works programme announced by Macandrew in August 1878 favoured Auckland and Otago, though Macandrew himself defended what he claimed might be seen as undue generosity to Canterbury on the grounds that ‘it was only returning to her the money raised from her lands’. (Evening Post, 28 Aug 1878, p. 2)
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