Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/238

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rich in deposits of the precious metal. There was what is colonially known as a "rush" when the news of the Otago discoveries was circulated. Crowds of Victorian miners filled the steamers en route to New Zealand, and, in the excitement of the moment, hundreds of educated men threw up good remunerative situations and joined in the exodus. Many of them afterwards had reason to regret their unthinking impulsiveness in preferring the pick and shovel to the pen, but most of the experienced miners did remarkably well and settled down as permanent residents. In addition to gold, almost every known variety of iron ore has been found in New Zealand, and there are also numerous coal measures continuously and profitably worked. The New Zealand Government has ever pursued a wise and liberal policy in regard to immigration, and, thanks to the commendable facilities that have been afforded, a large number of Irish families have been enabled to found new homes in the South Pacific. All honour to the men who received with open arms and words of welcome the victims of landlord oppression on the other side of the Equator, who raised no objection on the score of country or creed, but took the honest new-comers by the hand, placed them securely on the land, and formed them into happy, industrious, land contented colonists.