Roads were built and telegraph lines laid across the middle of the North Island in the 1870s, isolating the Māori strongholds of Te Urewera in the east and Te Rohe Pōtae (the King Country) in the west. ‘The true weapons of conquest,’ said Governor George Bowen in 1872, ‘are the spade and the pickaxe’ (Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives 1872, A-1, p. 86).
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