Story: Italians

Working the West Coast goldfields

Working the West Coast goldfields

The first significant wave of Italian immigrants came for gold in the 1860s. Some had arrived as crew on Italian ships bringing marble. By the 1870s, two main settlements had grown: the Garibaldi Diggings in Central Otago and Italian Gully in Westland. This photograph was taken at Manzoni’s sluicing claim in Westland. After the gold rush, some Italians moved on to the towns, and a few took up gum digging and dairy farming.

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West Coast Historical Museum

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How to cite this page:

Tessa Copland, 'Italians - Immigration 1860–1880', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 September 2021)

Story by Tessa Copland, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 25 Mar 2015