Kōrero: The voyage out

Whārangi 11. Personal accounts: 1960–today

Stories from the community

The huge plane did nothing to calm my husband’s nerves, but we were together and it was only 11 hours to Los Angeles. We hardly spoke and kept looking out over Greenland, amazed at our planet, and wondered what on earth we were all doing. – Elaine Cartlidge, who emigrated in 2002

Since 1960 people have travelled to New Zealand mainly by air, and a journey which once took several months has been reduced to a matter of hours. But the reasons for emigrating largely remain the same. Whether they are forced to flee their home countries as refugees, or are simply choosing to explore New Zealand’s opportunities, all immigrants stake a gamble on their future.

We asked people around the country to send us stories in their own words of the journey they or their relatives made, to begin a new life in New Zealand. Here is a selection.

What's your story?

Impressions from the deck

Impressions from the deck

At 22, when Graeme Eyre caught his first glimpse of Auckland in 1960 from a merchant navy ship, he instantly fell in love. He tells of his emigration from England’s industrial north, and a remarkable stroke of luck for his parents, who arrived a year later.

To find the sun

To find the sun

The Anderson family’s memories of emigrating from England on the ocean liner Australis in 1968.

From refugee to reverend

From refugee to reverend

Bloody conflicts between ethnic groups in Sri Lanka drove out Kumar and Gowri Anandanayagam and their two young children in 1983. Four years of instability followed as they struggled to find another country to call home.

A 20-year stopover

A 20-year stopover

In 1983, the Schroyens set sail from Canada on their nine-metre yacht, with no fixed destination and guided by the motto, ‘For as long as it’s fun’.

Assisted immigration

Assisted immigration

Unable to find their feet in Canada, the Cawstons took up new opportunities in New Zealand – after some help at Auckland airport.

A long time returning

A long time returning

Elaine Cartlidge, who was 'made in New Zealand' but grew up in England, eventually immigrated with her family in 2002.

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

John Wilson, 'The voyage out - Personal accounts: 1960–today', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/the-voyage-out/page-11 (accessed 20 September 2019)

Story by John Wilson, published 8 Feb 2005