About Bror Erik Friberg
The Fribergs sailed from Hamburg on 9 February 1866 on the Grimsby. From Auckland, New Zealand, after the birth of their first child there in 1867, Bror Friberg transferred to Napier, where for three years he managed the Hawke's Bay Steam Boiling Down Company.
In 1871 Friberg offered his services to the Immigration and Public Works Department as a recruiting officer. With first-hand knowledge of New Zealand conditions and fluent in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German and English, he was appointed and proceeded to Europe. By the time he reached England in February 1872, the agent general for New Zealand in the United Kingdom, Isaac Featherston, had already arranged for the recruitment of Norwegian settlers.
Friberg sailed back to New Zealand from Christiania (Oslo), Norway, on the Høvding, arriving in Napier on 15 September 1872 with 292 adult immigrants, mainly Norwegians. He accompanied them to the Seventy Mile Bush where they balloted for sections in the settlements of Norsewood and Dannevirke. Friberg acted as interpreter, collector of promissory notes and paymaster for the immigrants, who were engaged in bush clearing and road building. The responsibilities of his position included frequent and detailed reports to the department on the state of health and employment of the immigrants, and recommendations for educational facilities and medical services. He also supported a petition for an extension of time for repayment of passage money.