It is 1877 and a Mrs. Sheehy of Roxburgh is the first person to have a conversation on a private line using the new-fangled contraption called a talking telegraph.
Two years later New Zealand’s first telephone office opened in Port Chalmers and another two years went by till the first phone exchange opened in Christchurch in 1881. Auckland then followed suit with 10 subscribers.
The first telephone system opened in Blenheim in 1887 with 33 subscribers and it was not until 1920 that the first automatic exchange opened.
By 1930 all the main centres had been connected and toll calls between cities and towns were possible. Gossip never had it better.