Story: Other Western Europeans

Page 1. Other nationalities

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Most of New Zealand’s European immigrants have come from north-western Europe. As only small numbers arrived from other Western European countries like Spain, Portugal or Belgium, they have not formed discernible groups with distinctive cultural or social lives.

At least a few people of almost every European nationality came during the gold rushes of the 1860s. For the rest of the 19th and early 20th centuries, people from these other European countries arrived intermittently, as individuals or in small family groups. Their numbers seldom rose above a few hundred.

The contrast with Australia

People from some European countries migrated in much greater numbers to Australia than to New Zealand. The Spanish, for example, never exceeded 300 in New Zealand right through the 20th century, but by 1986 numbered more than 16,000 in Australia. Small groups of Europeans in New Zealand often maintained their cultural identity by forging links with the larger communities of their compatriots in Australia.

How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'Other Western Europeans - Other nationalities', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 April 2024)

Story by John Wilson, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 25 Mar 2015