The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69
The first public works initiated in the colony were roads, for without them no regular settlement could take place. New Zealand ft is well intersected by roads of various kinds, from bridle tracks among the mountains to macadamised roads in the older settled districts. All the main roads have been made by the General and Provincial Governments, but the maintenance is done by the counties, except in a few isolated cases where a main line of communication runs through sparsely settled districts. The district roads are under the control of small local bodies, who make and maintain them out of their own funds.
It is impossible to give even a rough estimate of the number of miles of roads and tracks constructed in New Zealand: they comprise many thousands. The portion done by the General Government since 1870 is only a fraction of the whole; yet it amounts to page 4 8,800 miles of road of all classes, and 83,800ft. of bridging over streams of a minimum width of 30ft.
Nearly all the larger rivers on the main roads in both Islands are bridged. At first the bridges were all constructed of timber, but latterly stone and iron have been extensively used, and in a few-cases the ironwork has been manufactured in the colony. There are a number of drawings and photographs in the Exhibition illustrating the different types of road bridges in New Zealand.