Scottish Highlanders/Nova Scotians (Waipu and related settlements)
Reasons for Migration
The Waipu pioneers were of Highland Scottish origin and had left their homeland in the
late eighteenth century to settle in Nova Scotia due to the effects of ‘enclosure’. As
more and more land was cleared of its inhabitants to make way for new farming
practices, pressure on coastal land grew intense. Nova Scotia was chosen as a new
homeland and there followed many years of ongoing struggle for survival. Letters and
newspapers sent from South Australia by the son of the settlement's leader, the Rev.
Norman McLeod, put the idea of further migration into the migrants’ minds.
Getting there and settling in
In all, six vessels were built and the first, the Margaret, carrying the Rev. Norman
McLeod, sailed in October 1851 arriving in Adelaide in April 1852. From there, the
pioneers, unable to find suitable land in Australia, their original destination, transhipped
to Auckland by the Gazelle. The first block surrounding Waipu itself was bought from
the government in 1854. Branches of the clans were spread widely over the surrounding
district. The shores of the Whangarei harbour attracted some of the sea-faring
settlers and pioneers' farms were established near the Whangarei Heads. Some also
settled at Omaha (Leigh) and Matakana. Another offshoot of the Waipu settlement was
the timber milling establishment set up by John McLeod at Helensville. He named the
settlement after his wife, Helen McLeod.
Efforts made to attract these migrants
Those who arrived in the Gertrude and the three succeeding vessels were given land
grants by the government of 40 acres to each adult and 20 acres for each child, and
they could buy as much more as they wished. At the time (1857) it was not the
government's policy to make land grants and it was only done in the face of the threat
that the settlers would return to South Africa where the government was very willing
to offer inducements to immigration. [Note here the Provincial government’s keenness
to get these settlers]
Nature of the Settlements
With them on the voyage that ultimately led to New Zealand the Nova Scotians had
taken their ministers, their school teachers, and even their representative in the Nova
Scotian Legislature. They migrated as a self-contained community. The early settlers
were a combination of farmer, timber worker and gum digger and from the original
stock came many seamen who made names for themselves in the coastal and overseas
shipping trades. Those who settled in the Kaiwaka district in particular, found that they
could maintain themselves by gum digging while clearing their farms, for the whole area
had once been covered by kauri forest.
The matriarchs and patriarchs [“elders”, female and male] of the settlement ensured
that it retained its religion and customs by strictly enforcing the ‘old ways’. While this
became more difficult as the community became more established and spread, marriage
within the community (not infrequently between cousins) ensured that the Scottish
Highland cultured remained strong.
Bohemians (Puhoi Settlement)
Reasons for Migration
On 26 February 1863 the Bohemian emigrants assembled at Staab, a township in the
west of Bohemia [modern-day Czech Republic]. In their homeland they had many causes
for dissatisfaction, not the least of which was the semi-feudal condition under which
they still lived [where the owner of the land had almost ownership rights over ‘his’
people that worked it]. There seemed no possibility of advancement for any person of
peasant background and Captain Krippner's glowing accounts of possibilities in New
Zealand were a prime force in leading to their move. Low wages in Bohemia were
another factor. Small landowners were losing their local markets for grain as improved
transportation systems flooded the country with cheap Russian wheat. Add to all this
severe taxation, and there were adequate reasons for attempting to find a new life.
Getting there and settling in
The journey was a long one – over 1600 miles. As reported on the journey: “Had seven
births during the passage, and one death, a German, by accident during a fearful gale of
wind.” Upon arrival the settlers did not stay long in the capital. “After a few hours
delay at Auckland, we were transported by cutter in charge of the late Captain Kaspar,
to the mouth of the Puhoi River, and thence into punts and canoes by Maoris and
conveyed to our Home.”
They did not at first see very much for they arrived in darkness, but there was
sufficient light to make out the steep hill slopes and the heavy bush. The next morning
brought new sights - the bush, the thick scrub and matted fern, and the river, the sole
means of access, winding tortuously round the base of the sharp ridges. As one of the
first residents described it:
“The more timber trees, the more undergrowth. The timber trees run up to a height
of 40 to 80 feet almost without branches. They do not spread too much of a head but
keep their branches close and compact together. The whole space is filled up with the
tree ferns 6 to 20 feet high, nikau palms about the same size and an immense variety
of trees and shrubs. The whole of this is again festooned and intertwined with
creepers of all sizes which grow horizontally across the other shrubs lashing the
whole together into an impervious thicket. If in addition to this, you imagine the whole
forest strewn with innumerable trees which have fallen from the effect of winter
storms, you will begin to have some idea of the difficulty.”
Efforts made to attract these migrants
In 1860 Captain Krippner approached the Provincial Government with a proposal for
bringing to New Zealand a number of his countrymen and women. As an inducement to
the migration the Provincial Government agreed to provide 40 acres of land for adults
and 20 acres for those between five and 18 years. This was the pattern more and more
being followed in these years to attract suitable immigrants. Despite not being ideal –
that is, not British - the Bohemians did have a number of desirable features. There
were some 50 families – and their occupations, useful in the new colony, included
foresters, farm labourers, shepherds, cow-herds, domestic servants, dairy-maids, coal
miners, small landowners, but just two tradesmen: a shoemaker and a tailor.
Nature of the Settlement
With only the founder of the settlement, Captain Krippner, able to speak English the
community remained relatively isolated and self-contained. Furthermore, Puhoi was in
fact an ill-sited settlement, chosen in advance by Krippner, who had owned section of
land at Orewa, a few miles south of Puhoi. It was isolated and heavily wooded, making it
difficult for the poor settlers to earn a living. At first they survived by felling timber
and cutting it up into roof shingles for the Auckland market. Unable to afford the
transport charges the setters would walk the 30 miles to Auckland carrying great
loads. Having sold their goods and unable to afford accommodation, they would
immediately begin the journey back. It was only by dint of much hard labour and even
greater perseverance that the settlers were able, after many years, to maintain
themselves and achieve some measure of prosperity.
The ‘Albertlanders’ of the Kaipara
Reasons for Migration
The “Albertlanders" was the name given to a group of colonists who settled at Port
Albert, on the Kaipara Harbour, north of Auckland during 1862/1863. The
Albertlanders were religious Non-Conformists who came from several different parts
of England. Many worked as framework knitters, lacemakers etc. and relied on cotton
for their trade. During the American Civil War a cotton shortage occurred in England
and families struggled to feed themselves. They were virtually living on oats soaked in
water. At that time the provincial government in Auckland was offering Special
Settlement Schemes to encourage development in the north. This was incentive enough.
Getting there and settling in
On 29 May 1862 1,000 emigrants left London on two ships, "Matilda Wattenbach" and
"Hanover" bound for New Zealand. A 30,000-acre block on the Oruawharo River, on the
upper reaches of the Kaipara harbour, had been set aside. Under the terms of the
settlement grant, every man would be allotted a 40-acre block by ballot. After working
the land for five years he would be granted freehold title to the land. If the applicant
had a wife and child, the allotment was increased to 100 acres.
After more than three months at sea, the settlers arrived in Auckland. The journey to
the proposed settlement site was very difficult as there were inadequate roads and no
river fords along the way. Many decided to stay in Auckland after hearing of the
adverse conditions. Jobs in Auckland were plentiful at this stage and housing readily
available. Only about half of the original thousand decided to make the journey north.
On arriving at the "township" of Port Albert the settlers found that the promised
allotments had not been surveyed, and because of the wet bush it was impossible to
build any sort of permanent dwelling during the spring. Many made the trip back to
Auckland. Others pushed further north to the settlements of Paparoa and Matakohe.
Those who stayed slowly cleared the land of bush, and gardens and orchards were
planted. Maize, wheat and potatoes were grown. Wild pigs and cattle supplied the
occasional meal. The settlers were very isolated in these early days and as there was no
common meeting-place (hall or church) sometimes neighbours did not see each other for
months at a time. From the very early days a Sunday church service was held in one of
the settler's homes, but owing to limited space and the condition of the newly made
roads, usually only one or two families attended at one time.
During the 1870s there was a marked improvement for the settlers and work was more
plentiful - mainly bush-felling and fencing. Six more ships eventually bought more
settlers to the wider district and prosperity replaced the earlier hardships faced by
the first settlers. Despite this, Port Albert itself declined and was eventually
Irish Protestants - Katikati
In June 1875 238 settlers left Belfast, Ireland bound for George Vesey Stewart’s
4000-hectare settlement near Katikati. A further 378 settlers came three years later
and settled on an adjacent 4000-hectare block. Unlike in most settlements, virtually all
of these migrants brought capital with them and were able to develop their lands. This,
along with their Protestant-Irish background, made them welcome arrivals in the
government’s scheme of things. Another shipload saw the establishment of a further
settlement near Te Puke. All up, Stewart was responsible for the arrival of at least
4,000 settlers.
Dalmatians – end of the 19th century
**NOTE: you will need to cover the Dalmatians in any essay question that asks you to consider
migration up to 1900
Most Dalmatians started arriving in New Zealand during the 1890s from the coastal
areas of what was once Yugoslavia. Many were attracted by the promises (often not
fulfilled) of ‘getting ahead’ after the poverty and lack of opportunity in their own land,
and by the promising letters from those who had already migrated. By the turn of the
century there were more than 1500 living in the Auckland Province (especially in
Northland where the Dalmatian gum-diggers had been working since the 1870s).
As did the Chinese, the Dalmatians met with much racial intolerance. They were often
shunned by British diggers, which often resulted in closer relations with Maori in the
area, including inter-marriage. In 1898 the Kauri Gum industry Act restricted the
remaining gum reserves to British diggers with the intention of restricting further
Dalmatian immigration.