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Digital Archive of Documents on Italian Immigration in New Zealand

The history of Italian migration and presence in New Zealand may be both brief and small-scale compared to that of other nations, but it is still engagingly interesting, and worth recording.

It is said that the first Italian to set foot on New Zealand soil was Antonio Ponto, a sailor on Captain Cook's ship the Endeavour, in 1769.


A century later the first Italians started to arrive: missionaries, businessmen, adventurers and gold diggers. Following them came more permanent migrants, mostly single men at first, joined later by other family members in what is referred to as chain migration. Their descendants, together with recent Italian migrants like the Italian war brides and Istrian refugees of the 1940s–50s, the engineers and tunnellers of the 1970s–80s, and the professional immigrants of the last two decades, have all brought a piece of Italy to New Zealand, and still contribute to the tapestry of our multi-ethnic society.

In 2016 Com.It.Es. Wellington launched a project to research and collect the existing sources of information about Italian migration and presence in New Zealand. Thanks to funds from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), and the help of volunteers, the project materialised into this website and online archive: Archivio Digitale Documenti sull'Immigrazione Italiana ​in Nuova Zelanda (ADDIINZ).

Entries are divided into six categories: Books & Theses, Articles, Videos & Documentaries, Interviews, Websites, and Other.


Each single entry has a short synopsis, with links to online resources when available or to the location of the documented material (libraries, archives, universities, etc). When available, each page also lists other resources on the same topic. At present the main language of the archive is English, like much of the resources catalogued so far. For resources in the Italian language a synopsis is provided in both English and Italian.


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