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Life in Early Poverty Bay

The Cry of Roads and Bridges

The Cry of Roads and Bridges.

The hiving off of various districts into new counties was all for the best as, originally, the county was so cumbersome that the Council was unable to do justice to all parts with the small income and the small loans at its disposal. Those were the days when the cry of “Roads and Bridges” was to be heard loud and long throughout this portion of the Dominion. Difficult as it was to do much in the way of road-making in the more settled districts the case of the far distant settler was infinitely worse. As showing how hard it was to make real progress it may be mentioned that in 1882—that is in the days when the County remained undivided—it was proposed to raise a loan of £7000. for expenditure on the Patutahi-Wairoa, Waipaoa-Makaraka, Ormond-Makaraka and Makaraka-Town boundary roads. The rateable value of the County was then £40,000, the loan was to be for ten years, and the security was to be two per cent. of the annual rateable value. It was, inter alia, proposed to use limestone from the Patutahi quarry in place or river bed material. Makaraka riding was overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal, as was Arai riding, but in the other districts, even the Ormond Riding, the voting was adverse to the suggestion. At Tolaga Bay, for instance, not a single vote was cast in its favor and the feeling was just as strongly hostile further north. It seems that by 1882 much good road work had already been done on the Flats and the Wairoa-Gisborne Road was being proceeded with at the Poverty Bay end.