And just as New Zealand looked forward to a time of peace, the Boer War burst on to the South African continent.
New Zealanders were encouraged to enlist - and they did, sailing off to defend Empire, King and Country.
In all, 10 contingents of volunteer troops shipped to South Africa. The ties with mother England were strengthened, and a respect for the New Zealand soldier was earnt on the foreign shores of the veldts and plains of Africa.
This fierce reputation, including the Maori Battalions, would be acknowledged in the ensuing First World War, and in the Second World War.
Not that everyone thought War was a good thing - a small minority spoke out, including (image below) Wilhelmina Bain, who said in Dunedin, 1900:
"With all the ardour of its young, strong nationality, she said, New Zealand had thrown itself headlong into the melee of old-world turmoil. We had selected from our young men those of the very finest physique and we had sent them across the Tasman Sea and the Indian Ocean to slay boys of 16 and old men of 70, or be slain in the attempt our poor British boys were led through the black night that they might bayonet to death Boers slumbering within their tents, and the horror was justified. When the Boers committed any special atrocity, our language failed to express enough reprobation."
She was publicly chastised for her beliefs.
In 1907 the Colony of New Zealand became a fully-fledged Dominion, and in 1911 acquired it's own Coat of Arms.
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