Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/237

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223
FOUR OF THE FAMILY.

However, Te Kooti has now eluded justice for so many years that, unless some radical change should come over New Zealand affairs, the murderer of so many innocent men, women and children will in all probability never expiate his crimes on the gallows.

The "native difficulty" in New Zealand is by no means permanently settled. It has a disagreeable habit of forcing its way to the front when least expected; still, there is very little probability of actual war again arising between the Maories and the whites. The former are now too diminished to endanger the public peace. Settlers in New Zealand are now to all intents and purposes as free from peril as those who have chosen homes for themselves and their families in Victoria, New South Wales, or South Australia—colonies in which the "native difficulty" has never been experienced. Since the cessation of hostilities between the two races, New Zealand has made rapid strides in material progress. Railways and public works have been prosecuted on a very extensive scale. Indeed, in proportion to population, this active and enterprising colony has a greater mileage of railways than any other of the antipodean states. There are lines of well-appointed steamers maintaining regular communication with the ports of all the islands, as well as with Melbourne and Sydney. The exports and imports amount to £15,000,000, and the population of the three islands now exceeds 600,000. In addition to large droves of cattle and horses, there are 12 millions of sheep in the colony. Official statistics go to show that the average production of wheat is no less than 27 bushels to the acre. In mineral resources New Zealand has been specially favoured. Three provinces—Otago, Westland, and Nelson—have yielded large quantities of gold, the soil of Otago in particular being wonderfully