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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

New Zealand Migration by Philippa Werry


What a gem of a book! New Zealand Migration, written by respected author Philippa Werry, is a must-have for anyone interested in the history of Aotearoa’s diverse migrant nation.


With readable text and useful photographs, this book looks at migration from the first Polynesian navigators to the modern day and everything in between. There is a chapter on the first encounters, pre-1840, with explorers, whalers and sealers, then traders and missionaries. There is information about the New Zealand Company of the 1840s and the soldiers and surveyors who arrived. In the 1870s, there was Julius Vogel’s Immigration Scheme. There is information about the Scandinavian, Dalmatian and Scots settlers. The information about Chinese migrants is particularly eye-opening. The author hasn’t forgotten our Indian or German settlers, or immigrants after World War II or the Cold War. There is the Ten-Pound Poms, of course, as well as immigrants from Austria, Italy, Greece, and the Netherlands.


There are also refugees and asylum seekers, and the author looks at Māori migration from rural areas to the cities, the dawn raids and Pasifika people, and the impact of Covid-19 on migration.


This concise, well-considered book really makes me appreciate the melting pot that New Zealand society is, and it provides glimpses into the lives of migrants through the ages.


New Zealand Migration is a wonderful resource and is very well done.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Oratia Books

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