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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Lebanese and Syrians

It is not certain when the first immigrants from Syria and the Lebanon came to New Zealand, but in 1878 there were 74 males in this country, all of whom had been born in various parts of the Turkish Empire. By 1901 the Syrians and Lebanese numbered 240; in 1921, 707; and in 1945, 1,396. The latest figure for 1961 gives 503, and 554 as being of mixed blood. The tendency has been for these people both to marry Europeans and to consider themselves European in race.

The principal occupation is clothing manufacture, though the Lebanese were among the pioneer viti-culturalists in the area around Auckland.

by James Oakley Wilson, D.S.C., M.COM., A.L.A., Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library, Wellington.

  • From Europe to New Zealand: An Account of Our Continental European Settlers, Lochore, R. A., 1951.
  • The Chinese in New Zealand, Fong, N. B., 1959. (Note: Contains inaccuracies.)
  • The Scandinavians in Australia, New Zealand and the Western Pacific, Lyng, J. S., 1939.
  • The Making of a Nation a Series of Eight Articles, G. H. Scholefield,New Zealand Times, 13 Feb – 3 Apr 1907.
  • Indian Settlement in New Zealand, 1900–56, McGee, T. C., New Zealand Geographer, Oct 1962.