Despite the fact that it was a Dutchman who discovered New Zealand, the Dutch have taken little interest in the country. The hostile reception they received from the Maoris must have remained long in their memories, though Dutch have not often been migrants. In 1878 there were in New Zealand only 138 born in the Netherlands or its colonies, and the number remained steady around this figure until the outbreak of the Second World War. From the beginning of the war with Japan the situation began to change. Dutch refugees from what is now Indonesia came to New Zealand and they were followed by others who were regarded as surplus to the Netherlands optimum population and who were encouraged by New Zealand Government policy to settle.
In 1963 there were nearly 14,000, who had been born in the Netherlands, registered as aliens in New Zealand, though large numbers had become naturalised.