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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.

Splendid Record of Progress

Splendid Record of Progress

Waikohu County (900 square miles) was constituted in October, 1908. About two-thirds of the area was then in productive use. Much of the remainder was in heavy bush. Practically all the roads (188 miles) were unmetalled, many of them being only 9-foot tracks. The council first met on 3 March, 1909, its personnel being: W. D. S. MacDonald, A. M. Lewis, H. E. Tiffen, M. Campbell, H. Telford and E. M. Hutchinson. Mr. MacDonald was elected chairman.

The county took over a loan of £4,941 from the Waikohu Road Board, also loans amounting to £25,907 from Cook County. It had, up to 31 March, 1947, raised loans amounting, in the aggregate, to £88,815, all the money being borrowed in New Zealand. Debentures amounting to £42,000 were converted in 1935, and the conversion loan will expire in 1960. The net public debt at 31 March, 1947, was £49,894. Approximately one-half will be paid off by 1950. Of the loans raised by the county, £8,500 was page 407 for bridges, £9,500 for homes for county employees, £6,600 towards the cost of building Cook Hospital (1914), and £63,455 for the construction of, and the metalling of, roads.

By 1947 2¼ miles of roads had been sealed, 297½ miles metalled, and 101 miles formed to a width of 16 feet, but not metalled. The bridges then numbered 66, with an aggregate length of 6,903 feet. Te Karaka (the headquarters) was constituted a town district in 1916. Its board controls sanitation, a library, the side roads and footpaths. The main road is a State highway.

Statistics.—Rates: 1909–10, £7,813; 1946–7, £29,572. Ratepayers: 1909–10, 335; 1946–7, 623. Rateable properties: 1909–10, 637; 1946–47, 1,239. Capital value of the county: 1909–10, £1,407,172; 1949, £3,829,879.

Chairmen: W. D. S. MacDonald, 1909–11; E. M. Hutchinson, 1911–14; Cyril White, 1914–17; L. B. Tulloch, 1917–20; T. B. Spence, 1920–29; A. A. Fraser, 1929–. G. Warren was clerk from 1908 till 1915; J. G. Appleton (1915–49); then N. W. McCormick. Engineers: W. S. Charlesworth, 1909–10; J. Mouat, 1910–14; F. C. Hay, 1915–16; W. Whittaker, 1916–17; A. H. Benham, 1917–22; A. G. M. Lucas, 1922–45; S. R. Currie, 1945–.