The first European to visit New Zealand was Dutchman Abel Tasman in 1642.He is responsible for putting New Zealand on the map and even though he never set foot on land, other groups of Dutch colonists followed his example and started to explore this new land far from Holland in 1840. After the war in 1945 many Dutch people were looking for a better life.They were encouraged by the government to move abroad because Holland was suffering from a bad economy, high unemployment rates and housing shortage. New Zealand needed people for post war nation building and this turned out to be a great match for both countries. This first group of immigrants therefore came with different reasons than immigrants of today. Leaving Holland in the fifties meant leaving for good, with usually only one box of belongings. The only contact these people had with family ‘back home’ was via mail. These first immigrants have always kept a strong connection with Holland because of that same reason.This is evident in places like Netherville, a retirement village originally built for Dutch people. A place where they could all live together and share their culture. This created a sense of home and belonging. Today people come to New Zealand because it is their choice and with that they bring all their belongings in large containers. Even though the distance has not changed, technology has made it possible to stay in contact with family and friends on a daily basis. This book is a reflection of Dutch immigrants and how they kept their roots alive on the other side of the world.


The Mandarin Tree
1034 Gordonton road

RD 1 Gordonton, 3281

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 © 2016 by Claudia Aalderink