Transport inland from Taranaki was much more difficult than that on the Taranaki plain or along the coast. Māori tracks provided some guidance, but wheeled transport needed roads, or rail. Building roads and railways absorbed large quantities of resources from the 1890s to the 1930s. The Stratford–Taumarunui railway – a major link – was completed in 1932. Ironically by then the economic depression was underlining what some had already realised – that the inland areas did not have the same productive potential as the Taranaki ring plain. In the early 2000s the principal land routes from Taranaki still led north and south, not east along State Highway 43, which was known as the ‘Forgotten World Highway’.
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