Scottish Diaspora in New Zealand: Part One
Scottish Influence in New Zealand
Reading your Newsletter, Alastair, has provoked considerable thought on
the Scottish Influence of those early immigrants who made New Zealand
their new home- their legacy and how the Scottish Influence has
permeated into our way of life – business, economics, transport systems,
community, church and culture.
been said at times that Dunedin is a true Scottish town – more Scottish
than Scotland. The newspapers of 1889 record a crowd of at least 15000
turning out to unveil a statue of Robert Burns.
Whyte MHR in a responding speech at a dinner held to celebrate the
opening of the Waiorongomai Battery and Tramway was reported as saying."
In the composition of the House there were about 50 English men, 6 or 8
Colonials, 4 Maories, 8 or 9 Irishmen, and 25 Scotchmen,” He added to
this that “ the presence of the Scotchman had had the effect of
producing a large amount of practical work.”
Scottish Family – “Roots”
still do not know exactly why our forebears left Scotland and can only
suppose the reason. That is still a grey area in Scotland. Whether it
was clearances, change in land ownership, technological and industrial
change, Church Disruption, the aftermath of the Jacobite Uprising – we
do not really know. Or maybe it was just to start a new life with new
opportunities elsewhere. We do know that they were fortunate – they had
access to education, access to capital, had skills and the drive to
succeed, contribute and a strong work ethic . This is what they bought
to their new chosen country. However more they had the following values:
· Passing on the stories, songs and traditions of their
native birthplace – Scotland.
· Providing for family – those dependent upon.
· Modest living - passed down to us was the growing of
vegetables and fruit, bottling, home baking, needlework and craft work.
No ostentatious display of wealth.
· A contribution to the community that was regarded as the
“greater good for the greater benefit of many.”
· The setting up of Trust Funds that were not just for
personal wealth or family gain but for benefit in the community also.
· A premise – “ sufficient to your needs, not your greed “
· Education – “follow your bent “ and use that gained for the
benefit of others – so that in our family in New Zealand today we have
teachers, policy analysts, engineers, farmers, accountants, bankers,
insurance officers, researchers. lawyers, social workers. Each putting
in 100% and more to their chosen field.
· A deep faith and involvement in Church followed by many of
· Applying oneself to the strong work ethic.
could be said that for those of us who are fourth generation New
Zealanders, because of the way we have been bought up we are proud of
our Scottish descent and the contribution left by previous generations
to this place. Those generations have put in to their new home in many
ways. A number of us have visited Scotland, seeking our “ roots.”
branch of the Stewart family my great grandparents left Scotland during
the 19th Century and came to New Zealand. For this branch a “double
banger” of Stewarts (my grandmother - Perthshire Stewart married my
grandfather – Lanarkshire Stewart ).
grandfather James Stewart (Perthshire) married Mary Anderson. James and
Mary arrived in Auckland New Zealand in 1859 on the clipper barque
“Joseph Fletcher “. Likewise Jame’s sister arrived in 1859 on the
“Whirlwind” and was married soon after arrival. The account of this
voyage of “ Joseph Fletcher ” is interesting:
· from the point of view of the passenger list - many of who
came from Perthshire ( Campbell, Davidson, Elley, McGregor, Miller,
Lamb, Stewart, Wilson.) ( from Auckland City Library Passenger Lists “
general labourers; 14 farmers; 10 female servants; 4 blacksmith; 3
carpenters; 3 cabinetmakers; 3 butchers; 2 millers; 1 surveyor; 1 clerk;
1 printer; 1 shipwright; 1 joiner; 1 governess and 1 yeoman, with their
several wives, families and relatives.” ( from Daily Southern Cross
· an account of a concert held on board indicating some
which some favourite glees and ballads, set as quartets, were sustained
– “Hail! Smiling morn”, “Hark! The lark”, “Glorious Appolo”, “Ye banks
and braes”, “Blue bells of Scotland” and “Home, sweet home”. Two rounds
or catches were rendered in character and rapturously received. “Old
chairs to mend” and “Would you know my Celia’s charms”.
The New Zealander 20/08/1859)
· the list of goods bought to New Zealand by these people –
the practical essentials – salt, candles, machinery, tools, oil,
oilman’s supplies, ( from Daily Southern Cross 19/08/ 1859)
grandfather James Stewart (Lanarkshire) married Henrietta Ferguson
MacFarlane and after a trail of Yorkshire, and London left for New
Zealand to oversee and organise National Banks in this country. He
arrived on the “Ben Venue “ in 1878 and was followed shortly after by
his wife and family ( including my grandfather) on the “ Halcione” in
1879. (the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 21 -Sep-2007
Thereafter the trail goes Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and
Toowoomba (Australia) where unfortunately this great grandfather died of
a fever. Great Grandmother then returned to be with her brother James
Buchanan MacFarlane in Auckland New Zealand.
Scottish Influence in the Auckland Province New Zealand
Scottish immigrants came in what could be said to be “waves” from their
birthplace in Scotland. Some of the ships were
‘Lady Lilford’ “London”(Wellington Port) 1842 “ Jane Gifford “
Joseph Fletcher “ “ Whirlwind”
Promptly upon their arrival the Scottish immigrants settled into the
community taking an active part in their field of business or skill. As
they settled in to their life in a new country they also involved
themselves in organisations such as initially the Mechanics Institute,
the Auckland Acclimatisation Society and church. Later as they were
established more some became involved in politics, helping to establish
the newly formed Auckland Institute in 1868, art, education (schools,
technical and a university.) , libraries, parks and benevolent
societies. Initially in a minority of immigrants from Britain, some rose
to prominence and their “Scottish influence “ had a huge impact on
business, economics, transport and transportation, community and church.
Scottish Influence in New Zealand Business
Familiar New Zealand Companies who have been household names for decades
and but a few written about in this article ( ones that are known
personally about by way of family associations ). Many of these evolved
from an Auckland Influence where the newly arrived immigrants of
Scottish descent had key roles in “growing a company” for it to survive
for many decades.
· Champion Flour - 1859 Scottish born miller, John Lamb took
over Waitemata Flourmills established by John Brigham in 1855. Josiah
Firth established The Wharf Mill at the bottom of Queen St, later
renamed the Eight Hour Mill 1875 Lamb purchased the Fort St site in
Auckland city and in 1888 moved his mill to Fort Street , Auckland and
renamed it Auckland Roller Mills.1889 Auckland Roller Mills merged with
Firth’s Eight Hour Mill and in 1899 the combined operation renamed The
Northern Roller Milling Company (NRM)
The Fort St mill was renamed to Champion Flourmills 2000 Goodman Fielder
closed Champion Auckland and Champion Palmerston North, and consolidated
at Mt Maunganui 2001 Goodman Fielder sold the Fort St property, ending
more than 100 years of grain milling on the site.
· Farmers – In 1909 Robert Laidlaw (originally from Dairy,
Ayrshire) set up a mail order company in Auckland. Called Laidlaw Leeds
business grew and 1914 saw substantial new premises opened on the corner
of Hobson and Wyndham Streets. 1918 saw a merger with the Farmers Union
Trading Company. The Hobson / Wyndham Street became head office and with
a large department store which over the years became an icon and a must
place to visit, especially for rural people visiting Auckland as well as
Auckland families. The reason a roof top cafeteria and childrens
playground. The other distinction began and which still continues today
was the annual Farmers Christmas Street Parade, attended by thousands.
Laidlaw remained general manager until his retirement in 1945.
1990’s through takeover Farmers and Deka were joined as Farmers Deka
Limited. By mid 2001 Deka chain closed due to financial difficulty. The
company was then renamed
Farmers Holdings Ltd. In 2003 James Pascoe Ltd and Fisher & Paykel
Finance bought Farmers in November 2003 from Foodlands Associates and
the company was split into a retail and a finance arm. Today almost 100
years later there are Farmers retail department store branches in a
number of New Zealand towns.
· NZI - New Zealand Insurance - Begun in June 1859 in Auckland
New Zealand, a board was appointed, its first chairman being Scottish
born businessman Thomas Henderson and vice chairman David Graham. During
the 1860s NZI underwent a period of rapid expansion, establishing
branches in most Australian capital cities as well as around the globe.
decades of this company two decisions of note spring to mind.
The San Francisco Earthquake when the Directors called for all
shareholders to make a decision whether to pay out on claims which could
end up bankrupting the company. It was decided that honour, ethics and
company values required them to do so. NZI was one of the few companies
that did so and rather than bankrupting the company it gave rewards that
they gained insurance clients.
The decision by the directors and shareholders to pull NZI operations
from South Africa because of the Apartheid Policy followed by South
Africa at that time.
saw NZI become part of larger group. Bank of Scotland was involved
initially. General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation (General
Accident) acquired a majority shareholding in NZI Corporation Limited.
General Accident ceased to operate as a separate company in
Australia and became known as NZI Insurance Australia Limited. Head
office of the new parent company was in Perth, Scotland. A subsidiary
company of NZI – NZI Trust was acquired by Guardian Trust. This ending
more than 100 years of insurance run by a New Zealand
Company with its head office based in New Zealand. However NZI continues
on in New Zealand and remains a major insurance company.
· National Bank - Founded in London in 1872, Its aim was "to
extend to the colony of New Zealand the additional banking accommodation
which the rapid increase of the population and remarkable development of
the mineral, pastoral and agricultural resources of the colony so
National Bank first opened its doors in 1873 with branches in
Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. Soon afterwards the new bank took
over the 13 branches of the then ailing Bank of Otago with its source of
valuable farming contacts.
was steady with the 100th branch opening in 1963. During 1972 its range
of services to wholesale banking was extended. 1992 the bank purchase
the New Zealand farmers bank – the Rural Bank. 1998 purchased
Countrywide Banking Corporation.
December 2003, the ANZ Banking Group purchased The National Bank from
Lloyds TSB. Today The National Bank belonging to a major Australasian
financial group, remains very much committed and more than 100 years of
banking continues to assist New Zealand and New Zealanders.
1978 when Head Office transferred from London to New Zealand, along came
the Bank’s distinctive Black Horse Logo ( previously the symbol of
· Northern Steam Ship Company – Formed on 11 May 1881 (
Northern Steam Shipping Company New Zealand Limited ) in a meeting of 19
businessmen from various industries with vested shipping interests.
(evolved out of a number of Steamship Companies amongst them the
Auckland Steam Packet Company, ) Amongst the original owners were
Scottish born James MacFarlane and manager of the new Company Alexander
McGregor. Other appointed directors were Thomas Morrin, David
Cruickshank, and Scottish born James McCosh Clark.
in 1881 Alexander McGregor had negotiated with James Mills of the Union
Company and secured the northern trade routes. The Northern Steam Ship
Company to serve all ports of the East Coast of the Auckland Province,
from East Cape to Parengarenga, and to the Hokianga in the north. On the
West Coast they served the ports of Onehunga, Waitara, New Plymouth and
well as plying the coastal ports Northern Steam Ship Company also ran a
regular river trade . Eg on the Waihou (previously called Thames River)
to Paeroa. Coastal shipping carried cargoes of grain, cement, coal and
stores for settlers.
November 1974 was the last cargo carried by the Northern Company vessel.
After ninety-four years of service the last three vessels in their fleet
were sold and operation as a ship-owner ceased. For a few years
afterwards the Company continued as a fork-hoist operator and as a
shipping agency, acting as agent for the Japan Line. Thus ended a long
history of coastal
shipping. Also leaving memories for many settler families of the relying
on the steamers regular visits to get their stores or get themselves to
Auckland as a passenger ( eg Whangamata NZ ) For many in those early
days of settlement the steamer was their only means of contact as there
were no roads or railway and only rough bridle tracks.
Reference Source National Maritime Museum NZ
Coastal Shipping NZ
· NRM – Stock Feed ( see Champion Flour )
· Union Steamship Company – Begun in Dunedin in 1875 by James
Mills ( an entrepreneurial, NZ born businessman. His success was through
talent drive and access to capital. Armed with letters Of introduction
he had headed to Great Britain.
his meetings was with Dumbarton shipbuilder and investor Peter Denny.
From this meeting the Company was up and running – Denny and colleagues
supplying the technology and a large part of the capital, Mills his
drive, talent, support from fellow directors and plans.
Union Steamship Company took over Wellington- based New Zealand Steam
Ship Company and from here on it just grew.
Auckland Manager for Union Steamship Company, for many years, was Thomas
Henderson Jnr until 1898. In 1904 he retired from the Union Steamship
Company and set up an office in Quay Street, Auckland, where he acted as
a shipping agent.
saw Union Steam Ship Company in its final stages. Thus ended 125 years
of this company’s shipping to just about every New Zealand port and many
overseas including the Pacific.
PIONEERS IN NEW ZEALAND Our Early Settlers
interesting point for the businesses written about is that takeover and
massive changes in ownership started taking place from the end of the
is a very brief overview. Part Two will explore some of the Scottish
Immigrants involved, their legacy’s left to Auckland Province and the
Scottish Influence that has permeated into the Auckland Province today. The
references provided in this article are also a very small part of what is
Scottish Diaspora in New Zealand: Part Two
Alastair – Part Two of this article which will discuss the “Scottish
Influence“ of some of those early Scottish Immigrants to Auckland Province,
their legacy’s left and the permeation of “Scottish Influence“ in the
Auckland Province today.
Some of Those
of Scottish Birth who were Leaders in 19th Century Auckland
from Scotland and upon arrival in Auckland, New Zealand set about becoming
involved in their new home. The “strong work ethic” saw commitment to
business, politics, community and church. Some by their involvement were to
have an “influence” within the newly developing town.
(Dundee) Arrival NZ 1840
Merchant, writer, newspaper proprietor, politician.
Brown & Campbell – Merchants
shipping, brewing, timber, export of flax, kauri gum and manganese.1843
started Auckland’s first newspaper The Southern Cross (this was later in
1876 (under new ownership then) to become the NZ Herald, still published in
Brown was elected to the Legislative Council in 1844 and
became second Auckland Provincial Superintendent March 1855 – November 1855.
Sir Dr. John
Logan Campbell (Edinburgh)
Arrival NZ 1840
writer, philanthropist. politician
Known as the
“Father of Auckland” Partner in Brown & Campbell– Merchants involved in
shipping, brewing, timber, export of flax, kauri gum and manganese Newspaper
Publishing. First Chairman of the Waihoihoi Coal Company at Drury. .Despite
his reluctance for politics, Auckland Provincial Superintendent from
November 1855 to September 1856, member for City of Auckland of the House
of Representatives, from October 1855 to November 1856, Auckland City
Honorary Mayor for part of 1901. Part founder and trustee of the Auckland
Savings Bank which began in 1847.Philanthropy amongst many things included
the establishment of the Logan Campbell Free Kindergarten. Campbell’s
interests were wide. It could be said that he took a keen interest to nuture
and encourage others and inspire them to become involved “for the greater
good for the greater benefit of many.” His return to New Zealand after an
extended holiday overseas saw him immediately involved with the newly
established Auckland Institute & Museum, both as a member and then on the
Governing Council. His farm at Cornwall Park saw experimentation with the
growing of olive trees. A keen interest was taken in the development of the
Auckland Provincial railway system. Later the new invention introduced to
Auckland – electric trams and tramways.
Clark, (Beith, Ayrshire) Arrival NZ 1849
clothing manufacture and wholesale business. Councillor Middle Town Ward and
Mayor 1851 - 1852 of the Auckland Borough Council. Archibald involved
himself in Auckland Presbytery and General Assembly of the Presbyterian
Church of New Zealand -1863 elected to the College and Education committee
with Thomas MacFarlane .Members of Auckland Church gave support to other new
churches being established elsewhere in the province. Archibald part of the
group that attended the opening of the new Presbyterian Church at Thames in
1868.Member of Auckland Institute & Museum.
(Beith, Ayrshire) Arrival NZ 1849
The son of
Archibald Clark, James became partner in Archibald’s business in 1856/57.
Treasurer of the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand
from 1862 to 1872. Member of Newton Auckland Provincial Council 1869 – 1870.
Mayor of Auckland City 1880 – 1883. His leadership skills saw him Chairman
of the Education Board. President Auckland Chamber of
Commerce and member of the Auckland Harbour Board. He took a keen interest
in the development of tramway and railway systems in the Auckland Province.
Member of Auckland Institute & Museum.
(Aberdeen) Arrival NZ 1855
foundry proprietor, ship owner
Started a major
Auckland iron foundry in Mechanics Bay (Fraser & Tinne – later the Phoenix
Foundry) which it could also be said in 1874 to have been a major employer
of that time 150 – 160 employees. Not afraid to experiment the foundry grew
from its involvement in a diverse range of Machinery and equipment. Boilers
and engines for ships, stamper plant for goldmines, machinery
for saw mills and flax mills. Fraser and Tinne gained the contract for the
supply of ironwork for Bean Rock Lighthouse on Te Toka a Kapetawa in
Waitemata Harbour. They were involved with Stewart C.E. in the design and
development of Auckland’s first compound principle engines in a steamer – “
Star of the South “ Fraser took a keen interest in the training of
his staff and the years saw many apprentices pass through the company. Their
reputation of being well- trained was high. A strong promoter
of iron ships,
Fraser was a member of the group which formed the Northern
Steam Ship Company Limited in 1881.
Member of the committee of the Auckland Technical School and keen advocate
of its worth. Member of Auckland Institute & Museum.
Bannatyne Gillies (Rothesay, Isle of Bute) Arrival NZ 1852.
firstly to Otago, Gillies became a settler farmer and then took over his
father’s law practice in Dunedin and was elected member Bruce to the House
of Representatives 1860. Following the death of his wife he moved to
Auckland 1866 and quickly became involved in work, community, and politics.
Gillies with a keen interest in botany were president of the Auckland
Acclimatisation Society and founder member of the Auckland Institute &
Museum in 1868. On the governing council and President of the Auckland
Institute in 1873 and 1876. Auckland Provincial Superintendent December
1869 – November 1873. Re entering General Assembly as member Auckland City
West 1871 – 1875. Appointed Auckland’s Supreme Court Judge in 1875, Gillies
ended his political career and was renowned for his clear reasoning and
analysis applied to his position as Judge in the courts.
(Barony, Glasgow, Lanark) Arrival NZ 1842.
Chairman first Board of Directors NZI in 1859. Appointed Director Bank of
New Zealand 1862.
Glasgow, Lanark) Arrival NZ 1842.
farmer, landowner, politician, tourism promoter
Representatives for the Southern Division of Auckland from 1855 to 1860.
Member Franklin 1861 – 1868 .Auckland Provincial Superintendent December
1862 until September 1865. Owner of hotels at Waiwera, Rotorua and Wairakei
Graham was a keen promoter of tourism and the benefits of using the hot
McLachlan, John Mitchell McLachlan
(Scotland). Arrival from Glasgow to NZ 1841 Timber milling, farmer
Auckland with his son John, Lachlan McLachlan, came on the “Brilliant”
which bought a group of Scottish settlers to Cornwallis. These settlers had
started out with dreams but on arrival found that things were not what were
promised. Conditions were harsh. Lachlan took over a leadership role and for
many years it was a struggle with nature, land ownership, establishing a
sawmill and two farms in what was supposed to have been an already laid out
town. Lachlan was a Member of the
Andrew's Society of Auckland.
In 1909 John
Mitchell McLachlan, Lachlan’s son made the gift of land for Cornwallis Park
- 1,927 acres to the City of Auckland – this gift as a tribute to his
– 1871 Involved with Art and founder member of the Auckland Institute and
Museum in 1868 MacKelvie returned to London and during this time put
together an art collection sending it to Auckland NZ. He bequeathed the
residue of his Estate for the building of an Art Gallery in Auckland. Just
before MacKelvie died, he wrote a record of the works titled Catalogue of
the Mackelvie Collection, for Auckland, New Zealand, 1885. A sixty page
works. The Estate residue was not enough to build an Art Gallery but
encouraged the building of an Art Gallery/Library/ Council Offices. The new
complex opened in 1888 and in 1893 the Mackelvie collection was displayed in
what was then known as the Mackelvie Gallery.
Arrival NZ 1842 Merchant, Ship Owner, Timber Mill Owner, Director,
origin the township of Henderson received its name. Committee member
Mechanics Institute 1845.
Provincial Council 1855, Member General Assembly 1856. Member Northern
Division House of Representatives 1856. Member Upper House 1879, First
Chairperson Board, NZI 1859.Established
Henderson Sawmills. With brothers-in-law Henry MacFarlane and later John
MacFarlane established the Circular Saw Line - shipping. John died and
Thomas MacFarlane, John’s brother, came out from Scotland to help run the
(Perthshire) Arrival NZ 1859
Mill, Riverhead; Fort Street Mill Auckland – flour milling. Lamb took a keen
interest and was active in promoting and lobbying for adequate
transportation systems to meet the needs of the Auckland Province. Member of
Auckland Institute & Museum.
MacFarlane (Glasgow, Larnark) Arrival
NZ Grain Merchant.
James was a
member of the Auckland Harbour Board, the Auckland Orchestral Society and
the Auckland Savage Club. A Justice of the Peace.
John MacFarlane (Perthshire) Arrival NZ
1840 Merchant, Importer Exporter, Ship Owner, With Thomas Henderson
established the Circular Saw Shipping Line. 1861 appointed Justice of the
Peace. Member of St. Andrew's Society of Auckland John MacFarlane died
suddenly of a heart attack September 1860 aged 44 years and was buried with
MacFarlane (Perthshire) Arrival NZ 1860
Upon the sudden
death of his brother John Sangster MacFarlane, Thomas was sent for to help
run the companies of Henderson & MacFarlane. Promptly on arrival he also
became involved in community, church and later politics. Auckland City Board
of Commissioners 1863 – 1864. 1862 Founder member and chairman of the
committee to establish an Industrial School of Auckland the
object of which was to support all children whose parents were unable to in
the learning of trades. Member of first committee set up in 1862 to
establish a bowling green. What was initially called the Edinburgh Bowling
Club, opened as the Auckland Bowling Club in 1865. Member of the Auckland
Institute & Museum. Northern Division representative in parliament
1867. May 1885 Thomas died as a result of injuries received through being
knocked down by a train at the Auckland Railway Station.
Renfrewshire,) Arrival NZ 1842
Shipbuilder, Ship Owner
Niccol was a
prominent Shipbuilder in early Auckland, clearly recognised as leader in
this field for the quality and seaworthiness of the ships turned out from
his yard. Niccol was also had adaptability as evidenced in his ability to
build both sailing ships and the new steamers coming to the fore of New
Zealand Coastal Shipping. An example of this was the auxiliary steamer
“Southern Cross” built for the Melanesian Mission Society it was able to
run both under sail and in the event of no wind, steam.
chairman of the Devonport Highway Board, and among members of the Auckland
Harbour Board established in 1871. Niccols sons entered the ship building
business with their father.
(Fifeshire /Perthshire) Arrival NZ 1859,
Farmer, Merchant, Importer and Exporter, Ship Owner, Shipping.
forays into the timber and goldmining industries, Daniel chose to settle at
Otamateanui, Helensville on the Kaipara Harbour and near Auckland. Here
Daniel farmed and founded a store which later when his sons became involved
became Stewart Bros. Well known to settlers, as typical of NZ “country
stores’ of that type sold everything needed. From iron and wire, ships
biscuits to machinery, seeds and clothing (some of it latest fashion direct
from Sydney) the store at Helensville grew into branches... Many of the
goods were imported direct to Helensville from all countries of the world
and even butter at the turn of the century was exported to England. (Stewart
Bros opened the first butter factory in Helensville) Daniel was elected to
the first Helensville Town Board in 1883 and also involved himself in the
Minst. C.E. (Perth) Arrival NZ 1859
Civil Engineer, Surveyor, Explorer. Steamer Inspection.
construction of Auckland Provincial Railways, Tramways. Designs and plans of
water works, lighthouses, bridges, steamer engines and boilers. One of the
Foundation members of the Auckland Institute & Museum in 1868, Stewart was a
member of the governing Council of the Institute since 1871-1914, except for
two very short breaks (away surveying and constructing railways in the
Province) Stewart was President of the Auckland Institute in 1890 and 1901
and from 1903 one of the representatives of the Institute on the Board of
Governors, NZ Institute. In 1906 he was appointed a Trustee of the NZ
Institute, a position which he held until February 1914.
In 1868 Stewart
encouraged by his friend T Kirk ,surveyed and drew plans of the Three Kings
Lava Caves in Auckland, wrote and read a paper on this to the Auckland
Institute ( in 2008 one of these is known as Stewart Cave)
The above are
only a few of those early immigrants of Scottish birth. At times, it is said
by some, that they were sometimes controversial. However they were not
afraid to speak out for a graving dock, a railway, a road, a school, a
church to be built or what was perceived “a better or different way of doing
things.” Their common sense, practical abilities and application of a
“strong work ethic” contributed and helped encourage others to become
Some of the
Legacies left for future generations – a contribution of “Scottish
It is these
that have provided an enduring, probably unmeasured Hugh contribution to
future generations and hopefully will go on doing so encouraging people to
learn, to strive, to benefit and to enjoy.
gifted to the people of New Zealand by Sir Dr. John Logan
Campbell in 1901. Visiting the park and summit of Maungakiekie (One Tree
Hill) where Campbell is buried, one is struck by the number of families
utilising this park – picnics, playing, running and just enjoying. One is
also struck by the number of people from overseas visiting this park and the
writer of this article met someone from Scotland while walking to the Summit
recently. Cornwall Park is but a part of a huge legacy left for future
The Auckland Institute -
dates back to 1867 and in 1868 when it took over management of the fledging
Auckland Museum and changed its name to Auckland Institute & Museum, also
becoming a Branch of the New Zealand Institute. The first members (which
included those of Scottish birth) set about building up the collections of
the Museum and establishing a Reference Library for future generations. Some
wrote papers published in the annual NZ Institute transactions and
proceedings. (Campbell Dr. J.L 1, Gillies 7, MacFarlane 1, Stewart, J 16)
Some of the individuals discussed previously in this article were foundation
members of the Institute and some remained as active members for a number of
decades, drawing others in also.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Act 1996 came into being. This separated the
Institute from governance of the Museum and established the Institute as a
‘body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal’. However a
support role of the Museum continued with the Auckland Museum Institute
providing advocacy, promotion of the use and understanding of the Museum’s
collections and the function of the Museum’s War Memorial aspect. Since
1996, the Auckland Institute has become a 'Learned Society', membership body
and Electoral College.
Stands on the hill known by Maori as Pukekawa. It has occupied this site
since 1929. Prior to 1929 Auckland Museum occupied premises elsewhere in
Auckland, the first Museum in a two-room farm cottage in the suburb of
Grafton in 1852. New Zealand’s first museum soon needed larger premises,
relocating to what was the Provincial Council Building in 1867. Then another
move to the old Post Office building in Princes Street three years later. In
1876 the Museum moved to its first custom-built premises just along the road
on Princes Street. Through the years collections including the Reference
Library were built up through the support of Auckland Institute Members.
Now in 2008
there are significant collections built up from those early years – Maori,
Natural History (Including the story of volcanoes), and Military History
amongst them. There is a very extensive and well-used library for Research
purposes and the museum is a War Memorial Museum.
MacKelvie intended for the residue of his estate for the purposes of
building a gallery in Auckland in which his collection would be displayed.
Funds were not enough to provide a new building, however the trustees
consented to the majority of the collection being shown in the Mackelvie
Gallery of Auckland City Art Gallery, added to the original building in
1893. The Mackelvie Collection grew considerably throughout the years until
what it is today in 2008.
AUT (Auckland University of Technology)
newest university, AUT first came into being in 1895 as the Auckland
Technical School, opening its doors with a roll of 30 students. At that
time it was a school for trades, teaching subjects such as mechanical and
architectural drawing, cookery and dressmaking. Newspapers of the time
reported the giving of liberal gifts of money and kind by businesses.
Support and promotion of the Auckland Technical School and Technical
Training was to see it grow.
In 1925 the
first Roller Mills Rugby Tournament was held in Auckland, supported by
Northern Roller Mills ( NRM) Northern Roller Mills have continued their
support of this as one of the major sponsors. The years have seen many
become involved in the sport of Rugby at primary school level and playing in
a Roller Mills team ( from the areas which used to be part of what was the
old Auckland Province ) in the tournament as a result of their striving and
effort. It has also involved parents as supporters and many a boy has gone
on with this sport, some later reaching All Black Level. (NZ Rugby Team)
Influence Today – 2008
In New Zealand,
it could be said that the Scottish Influence has permeated. Not only through
business, economics, community organisations and church but in some of the
cultural traditions that we have today.
Auckland Province there are many things which are an accepted part of our
lives and a perceived necessary “tradition “at occasions. (The influence of
Scottish Culture) Eg.
A Pipe band
usually heads a street parade, including our ANZAC Parades on April 25 when
we remember our fallen in the World Wars. The Pipe Band is resplendent in
tartan kilts with bagpipes. Some of the spectators sing away to well known
songs. Eg Scottish Soldier, Scotland the Brave. A Ball or
Community dance is not finished unless the last song - “Auld Lang Syne”
has been done. This then ends the occasion.
teas, suppers or lunches at rural community gatherings - we expect to see
scones and shortbread on the table ( or we may have contributed a plate
ourselves - brave thing to do because one knows that the Shortbread for
example will be very carefully analysed for quality, taste and texture and
does it measure up – is it proper shortbread? Has it been home baked or just
shop brought? If home baked what recipe?).
towns have Annual Highland Games eg. Paeroa, Waipu. Some celebrate with a
Celtic Fair on New Years Day eg. Coromandel. Some have Highland Dancing
New Zealand has
a growth rate area in the formation of Geneology Groups, Historical
Societies and Heritage Groups. Eg the Ohinemuri District Historical Society,
the Epsom & Eden Historical Society.
Many of this
generation are becoming very involved in researching their family tree which
includes the place and country their forebears originated from. Some may
have contact with relatives in Scotland, some have fragments passed down to
them and some have a solid story. Some are beginning the search.
The last three
decades in New Zealand has also seen growth rate in the area of books being
published about New Zealand Heritage – people, towns and the overall
development of industry, business, transport and transportation, goldmining,
shipping. Eg “The History of Epsom” – a project of the Epsom & Eden District
Historical Society was a book on the History of Epsom. A number of those
individuals discussed earlier are written about in this book.
In recent years
there has been the development of University Based Scottish Studies – at
Wellington’s University of Victoria and Dunedin’s University of Otago. Both
of these Universities are beginning to via formal studies, to explore the
“Scottish Diaspora” in New Zealand. Next year in 2009 will see the
establishment of a Chair of Scottish Studies at University of Otago (The
I know through
research for the biography being written about on James Stewart C.E. pioneer
Engineer, Surveyor and Explorer in the Auckland Province, the “Scottish/
Irish Influence” in Railway Survey and Construction and Settlement
definitely needs to be researched and studied further.
particulary railway had a significant impact in the development of
immigration and settlement in the Auckland Province as well as the rest of
New Zealand. Railways also created or consolidated other industries -
quarries for ballast; cement for tunnels, breakwaters, bridges and culverts;
brickworks for tunnels and water towers; shipping and transport to carry the
rails and equipment to the railway and coal to drive the locomotives. The
advent of a railway to an area resulted in the growth of towns, some new as
an outcome. Many, who came to construct a railway, settled permanently in a
town or area. Some left railway construction and took up other occupations
such as farming. Likewise with Goldmining, Shipping, etc. For many of these
families, the story is only just beginning to be written or researched
about. Eg Coromandel Heritage Trust, based in Thames New Zealand is one of
these. There is to be a Coromandel Peninsula Archives of the heritage and
families who lived or settled in the area (a number of these being of
Scottish birth or descent). The Archive is to be based in what is known as
“the old Carnegie Library “.
was one of 18 free libraries in New Zealand that were built with funds
given by Scottish born Industrialist Andrew Carnegie - the iron and steel
magnate who had immigrated to America. (Again that Scottish connection)
Scottish Influence for writer
The writer of
this article was born at Cornwall Park Hospital (now closed), Epsom, and
Auckland, New Zealand. A fourth generation New Zealander of Scottish descent
from great grandparents who emigrated from Scotland to New Zealand in 1859,
1878 and 1879. Having done what would be called limited research as an
outcome of being “jogged” into thinking about what is the “Scottish
Diaspora“ in New Zealand the writer feels that there has definitely been a
“Scottish Influence“ on and in her life.
wonders, looking back to those early years – how many other New Zealand
children experienced and continue to experience the following?
from Scotland – two spring to mind the story of the “Tay Bridge
(I think I
heard as much about that from father as NZ’s “Tangiwai Disaster“. The
Spider Story about Robert Bruce and the Spider? (the spider story retold
especially when one was about to give up doing something hard).
The songs and
– forays into music where in piano lessons one learned how to play and sing
“Ye Banks and Braes”, “Loch Lomond “and others. The Ceilidh dances attended.
being introduced at an early age to the Poems of Robbie Burns and of Sir
Walter Scott along with his stories – much loved not just because they were
great grandfathers books but because they were loved poems and stories (in
spite of being partly in Gaelic for which attempts were made to understand –
rather hard when everyone else around spoke English).
Zealand History interspersed with “Scottish“ History -
Being taken to places in the Auckland
shown and told about steamers and NZ shipbuilding, lighthouses, bridges,
railways, the trams, fertiliser ( the phosphate story ) flax milling, flour
milling, timber milling, gold mining, brewing, the Tarawera Eruption and the
site of the first Hydro electricity station on the Waikato River – the
people involved. At the same time the New Zealand oral history stories being
interspersed with those famous Scottish Inventors – Bell with the telephone,
Watt with the Steam Engine, Stevenson with the Lighthouse, Telford famous
engineer, Fleming with penicillin. The industries that had a Scottish
Influence in New Zealand - the Ship Building ( huge ships of course) in
Larnarkshire, the linen weaving ( absolute quality of course – very fine
linen ) of Perthshire, Banking ( of course Scotland has one of the oldest
and long lasting banks and banking system ) and Insurance. However
overriding all of this was an introduction to New Zealand history of those
people here before us – The Maori Place names and their meaning (the story
behind the name), that they too had had flax milling and shipping (the fine
navigation skills), their beautiful weaving and carving, and systems similar
Daily breakfast begun with Porridge – Rolled Oats with salt and milk (must
admit these breakfast tastes have changed) Shortbread – why is it that
instead of using the Edmonds Cook Book (just about every household in NZ
must have one of these) grandmother or great grandmother’s handwritten
recipe book is used? The good old shortbread recipe that great grandmother
bought with her from Scotland – and as the Edmonds Cookbook would say “tried
– the frenetic
activity to clean out the old dust from the house before Welcoming the New
Year in. Then the celebration – Scottish music, reels, dancing and “first
footing”. Or sometimes now it is a “good old kiwi “singsong with a guitar
and maybe a barbeque (what “diaspora” is that?) Yet the song at the hour is
“Auld Lang Syne“
After being born in Auckland, my childhood was spent growing up on a farm
(just as great grandfather and great grandmother had spent their childhood
on a farm in Dunning, Perthshire 1841) Another opportunity for father to
pass on some Scottish history – the Scotch Thistle (in New Zealand this is
regarded as a rampart weed and had to be pulled out before the Weed
Inspector arrived) I grew up with stories of why the Thistle was Scotland’s
National Emblem. As a child I could never understand why such a special
plant had to be pulled because it was regarded as a weed in NZ. Also given
that the Weed Inspector was also of Scottish descent. Nevertheless the
stories could not be pulled out or removed and have stayed into adulthood.
The purple of the thistle and the hillsides covered in flowering heather was
an awesome thing to see on a visit to Scotland in 1989.
a fourth generation New Zealander with “Scottish Diaspora” having permeated
– an outcome of a family
passing down the values and culture they knew from great grandparents to
grandparents to parents and to children. A natural progression for those are
the things that they were familiar with – it was their living, lives, values
and beliefs. Only it could be said that on the generation journey we are New
Zealanders with a mix as we have also learned some New Zealand “Diaspora”
too – yet the base – “the roots” are still there and a “yen” that comes to
many of us – to visit the land of our “roots” – Scotland.
The article is
also but a view from the writer’s experience. Others may have other views
and that can only be good to add to what is perceived as the “Scottish
Diaspora” of New Zealand and others will have their experience of the
Alastair for provoking the considerable thought on mine and for me to strive
that step further to share with others in this article.
information is scattered across numerous sources including family stories.
The following are but a few of these where more information can be found for
those who wish to explore more.
Library of New Zealand: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast
Library of New Zealand Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society
of New Zealand 1868-1961
PIONEERS IN NEW ZEALAND
Our Early Settlers
University of Technology http://www.aut.ac.nz/about/governance_and_history/
Mills Rugby (NRM)
Heritage Trust http://www.thetreasury.org.nz/index.htm
Books – further
Men Came Voyaging, Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd., 1963.