The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 11 (March 1, 1929)
“It was a very happy thought on the part of whoever was responsible for originating this gathering,” said Mr. D. Jones, M.P. Proceeding to give some very interesting facts relative to electrical development in the Dominion, Mr. Jones said that the first town installation was set in motion at Reefton in 1887, when there were four miles of reticulation. To-day there were ten miles of reticulation at Reefton. Wellington had an electric lighting system in 1888, only six years after the inauguration of the New York electric lighting scheme. Stratford had its system in 1898, Patea in 1901, and in 1904 Christchurch developed electricity at the destructor, used to destroy city refuse. In 1908 Auckland had its supply. These facts tended to show what a recent development electric lighting was. In 1903 the Government recognised what an immense potential factor the water power resources of the Dominion were, and a report prepared by Mr. Hay showed that ample power could be developed to meet the country's needs for many years to come. A few years ago he had had the opportunity of visiting Niagara, where the falls were capable of developing seven million horse-power, more than the whole of the New Zealand sources put together. The greater part of the Niagara Falls belonged to Canada. In 1915 the Lake Coleridge station started to operate with 4,500 horsepower, while its capacity was now 27,000. In 1921 the Springs-Ellesmere Power Board was formed, and only four years ago the Mangahao scheme started, and then came Waikaremoana and Arapuni. It was intended to link up the stations in the North Island, and do likewise in the South Island to ensure continuous supply Within two years the Waitaki scheme would be completed, while the Waipori scheme in Dunedin had been operating for a long time. New Zealand came sixth among the nations of the world in regard to the quantity of electric power developed, and he believed that so far as the use of electricity amongst the rural population was concerned, New Zealand led the world.