New Zealand Emigration and Immigration

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
New Zealand Wiki Topics
New Zealand Flag.jpg
Beginning Research
Record Types
New Zealand Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources
New Zealand Ships

How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Naturalizations[edit | edit source]

Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]

Offices and Archives to Contact[edit | edit source]

Archives New Zealand (Head Office)[edit | edit source]

Archives New Zealand
10 Mulgrave St
Wellington, New Zealand

PO Box 12050
Wellington, New Zealand
Telephone: +64 4 499 5595
Fax: +64 4 495 6210

"We hold a variety of ship records, mostly in Wellington. All passenger lists held n Wellington have been digitized and are available through the FamilySearch website under ‘New Zealand Immigration Passenger Lists ’.

Passenger lists: "Card indexes have been created, from all surviving passenger lists and immigrant information held at our Wellington archive, of those assisted to New Zealand by the New Zealand Company, other colonising ventures, provincial and central governments, 1840-1880s. These card indexes are held in the Wellington Reading Room.
  • General Biographical Index c1840-1880s [Bio 1]
  • Assisted Immigration Scheme Index 1871-1888 [IM 15]
  • Canterbury Provincial Assisted Immigrants Index
  • Additionally, ships’ papers from nineteenth century voyages, especially in the 1870s, may include reports on the voyages and other information. References to these papers are also in the card indexes."[1]

Auckland Regional Office of Archives New Zealand[edit | edit source]

Archives New Zealand
Auckland Regional Office
95 Richard Pearse Drive
Mangere, Manukau. 2022
New Zealand

Telephone: (64-9) 270-1100
Fax: (64-9) 276 4472

Mailing address:
PO Box 201103 Auckland Airport
Manukau. 2150
New Zealand

Finding the Town of Origin in New Zealand[edit | edit source]

If you are using emigration/immigration records to find the name of your ancestors' town in New Zealand, see New Zealand Finding Town of Origin for additional research strategies.

New Zealand Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

"Emigration" means moving out of a country. "Immigration" means moving into a country.
Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or arriving (immigrating) in the country. These sources may be passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, or records of passports issued. The information in these records may include the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, destinations, and places of origin or birthplaces. Sometimes they also show family groups.

Immigration to New Zealand[edit | edit source]

  • The Māori were the first people to reach New Zealand, followed by the early European settlers.
  • Following coloniszation, immigrants were predominantly from Britain, Ireland and Australia because of restrictive policies.
  • There was also significant Dutch, Dalmatian, German, and Italian immigration, together with indirect European immigration through Australia, North America, South America and South Africa.
  • Net migration increased after the Second World War; in the 1970s and 1980s policies were relaxed, and immigration from Asia was promoted.
  • In 2009–10, an annual target of 45,000–50,000 permanent residence approvals was set by the New Zealand Immigration Service.
  • In the 2018 census, 27.4% of people counted were not born in New Zealand, up from 25.2% in the 2013 census.
  • Over half (52.4%) of New Zealand's overseas-born population lives in the Auckland Region.
  • The United Kingdom remains the largest source of New Zealand's immigrant population, with around a quarter of all overseas-born New Zealanders born *Other major sources of New Zealand's overseas-born population are China, India, Australia, South Africa, Fiji and Samoa.[2]

Emigration From New Zealand[edit | edit source]

While most New Zealanders live in New Zealand, there is also a significant diaspora abroad, estimated as of 2001 at over 460,000 or 14 percent of the international total of New Zealand-born. Of these, 360,000, over three-quarters of the New Zealand-born population residing outside of New Zealand, live in Australia. Other communities of New Zealanders abroad are concentrated in other English-speaking countries, specifically the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, with smaller numbers located elsewhere.[3]

Records of New Zealand Emigrants in Their Destination Nations[edit | edit source]

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png One option is to look for records about the ancestor in the country of destination, the country they immigrated into. See links to immigration records for major destination countries below.

Types of Records[edit | edit source]

Archives New Zealand has produced the useful Migration Reference Guide to the history of migration in New Zealand and the records generated.

Passenger lists are not the only types of records generated by emigrants/immigrants. Emigration and immigration records are those generated by people leaving one country (emigrating) and coming into another (immigrating). These records include:

  • Permissions to emigrate
  • Records of passports issued
  • Correspondence
  • Statements of sponsorship
  • Records of assisted immigrants

The information in these records may include:

  • names of the emigrants,
  • ages,
  • occupations,
  • destinations, and
  • sometimes the place of origin or birthplace of the emigrant.

Some records have been known to include:

  • the names of the parents of adult emigrants,
  • whether living or deceased,
  • their places of birth, and
  • occupations.
  • Where immigrants were sponsored, the information on the sponsor is included. These sponsors were either family members or future employers and provided information on the location of eventual settlement in New Zealand.

In addition to their usefulness in determining where an emigrant lived in the country before leaving their country of birth, these records can help in constructing family groups.

  • Single adults sometimes emigrated with siblings, children usually came with parents, and as mentioned above, some records give even further family information.
  • It was also a common practice to emigrate to a place a relative had already settled, so extended family members can also be found.
  • If not going to a relative, many emigrants joined people from their home town, thus communities may be known for predominantly German, Danish, or English settlement.
  • Sometimes the determining factor was religion, where a congregation would move almost en masse to a new country to escape either real or perceived persecution, or in an attempt to more fully live their religion in a country not yet bound by religious tradition.
  • In some cases, immigration was assisted by a company which needed workers to develop and work the land that the company had purchased.

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

There are additional sources listed in the FamilySearch Catalog:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Migration Reference Guide, Archives New Zealand,, accessed 1 July 2021.
  2. "New Zealanders", in Wikipedia,, accessed 30 June 2021.
  3. "Demographics of New Zealand," in Wikipedia,, accessed 30 June 2021.