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New Zealand Croatians / Hrvati Novog Zelanda

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  • Samuel Anthony Jakish (1893 - 1977)
  • Paul Dominik Arnerich (1835 - 1899)
    iz MK rođenih - str. 57 pod rd. br. 4 -> Probate estate Ref # 1899/2056 dated 13 Oct 1899 - Arnerich, Paul, Kumara; water-ganger, died 18 Aug 1899. Probate estate Ref # 1899/1943 filed 13 Oct 1899. ...
  • Jakov Cibilić (1832 - 1922)
    Seaman : at sea 1850-1854 ( unbroken service 4 years and 10 months) as navigator (u navigaciji) on. Madre Mimbelli under Captain Župa.Gold miner in Victoria for over 50 years.An advertisement in the Ot...
  • Frana Pamich (1895 - 1987)
  • Ivan Matić (1880 - 1905)
    Photo taken when Ivan was 22Came to NZ with either three brothers or three cousins for gumdigging. Left Northland to help back in Racisce due to the war. His cousins stayed in NZ. Died at 24 when he re...

See Dalmatia is and has always been a part of Croatia. In the 1880s when the first Dalmatians came to New Zealand, the Austro-Hungarian empire ruled Dalmatia, and this is why they were often mistakenly called ‘Austrians’ in New Zealand. After Austria-Hungary was defeated in the First World War, Dalmatia was incorporated into the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1929 this was renamed Yugoslavia. In New Zealand, Croatian immigrants have been known as Croatians, Dalmatians but also as Yugoslavs.

Stages and reasons in the migration to New Zealand

  1. wave - early pioneers - the loners, seafarers, mobile and unsettled
  2. wave - econmic pressure - gumfields from 1892-1899, supporting their families at home
  3. wave - 1902-1914 - generally family members of previous group, sent to help families or to avoid service in Austro Hungarian forces. Largest group.
  4. wave - 1921 - 1940 - large scale movement of wives, families and single mana and women.
  5. from 1946 onwards - consistent migration from Dalmatia, joined by other migrants from ex-Yugoslavia

The intention is to include the first member of the family born in Croatia and died in New Zealand.

From Distant Villages, by Stephen Jelicich

Early pioneers - 19th century

Post First World War

Early years - 1920-40

Post Second World War

  • Dr Maurice D. Matich
  • Dr Ronald Valentine Trubuhovich

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                                         The Gumdigger  (Author not know - cca 1880-1890)

We are the Dally peeples, from Podgora we come, We come to Norden Wairoa to look for kauri gum When Tony write to mama back in old contree,

He say he getting all his gum from climbing up a tree

We do'nt feel to climg a tree so we don't feel to come, But even on Island Brać all talking is kauri gum Mate send some money he living in a camp, This place they is digging he calling it Black Shwamp,

We picking up our clothes and come, we bring dt and dis, I say goodbay to Kata, I giving her great big kiss, We told to see the Mate whwn we get to Dragaville,

He give us tocker, spade and spear, our gum will pay the bill,

We dig four sachs and take itin, he look at it any say, "Pracae is down, I sorry boys, four more sacks to pay" We can't speak much English; we feel to smash him down, We pick up empty sacks and go, no uze to stay in town,

We go back to camp and learn to speak and about the cash, If he play his game next time, his face we bledy smash,

The gum she running out down here and up at Scootty's too, Looks like we got to pick our bags and go up to Kahu, 

They washing one big shwamp up there in place they call Aranga, Zou work for wages on that job for Franich ond Marriner, Dig the tranches, wos the dirt, stack chips in a heap Wark all day, gamble bit, better get some sleep,

Save some cash, buy bit land, maybe piece you dug, Have to fill all the holes you dug, just a bleddy mug,

Bay you couple of cows to milk, maybe dig some drains, Cows go dry, lend too poor, where's you bleddy brains,

Keep working hard; make  some cash, send home for my Kata,  Build good shantty plant  some grapes, cabbage and tomato, Kata here now, couple kids, mmanure nmake grass grow, Things is looking pretty good, plenti things to show,

When I go to pay my tax, they look at me and say, Just like bleddy Mate, "You got some more to pay" When I leave Podgora, they say I must be brave, I been here bout a forty years, I still a bleddy slave,

We been here for long time now, we dig a lot of holes, But one thing sure in New Zealand, we Kings whwn come to bowls, In fours, in pairs, in singles too, we bound to strike it rich If you full up of Dally blood and your name ends in ich,

In the north we got lawyers, doctors and some dentist too, All ful up od Dally blood, what better can you do? When counting up our peeples, I know my latest tallies, Although your jails they overflow they dom'thold many Dallies,

So here's to me, and here's to you, we drink this glass of wine, I'm here to stay and going to stay, "The Wairoa, suit me blessy fine".