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Life in Early Poverty Bay

Vast Improvements Tackled

Vast Improvements Tackled

The condition of the roads and footpaths, such as they were in those days—merely bullock tracks in a quagmire of mud—is best described by a minute appearing in the Council books: “The Council to take sieps compelling the horses and traps to keep off the footpaths, as at present the drains are so completely blocked at the upper end of the township for drays by keeping one wheel in the drain, that the footpaths are only passable by going knee-deep in mud and water.” This state of affairs no doubt induced the Council to enter into negotiations for a loan of £6000 for the metalling of the main road from Read's Quay to the Roseland Hotel, Makaraka, and the offer of the money by the Bank of New Zealand was accepted, the interest rate in those days being as heavy as now, 7 per cent. The first extensive roading programme was initiated in 1887, when a loan of £7000 was raised at 6 per cent. and with which the metalling of the Waerenga-a-hika back road was carried out, besides formation work on other roads. Most amusing opposition to this loan proposal was raised by one Councillor when the scheme was mooted, for he objected to borrowing money because it entailed paying interest! On this loan a special rate of 1¼ per cent. was levied on.