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British & Irish immigration, 1840-1914

Page 7 – Where did immigrants move to?

British-born population living in New Zealand provinces in 1871

Image
graph

Map of New Zealand showing provincial boundaries in 1871
 EnglishScottishIrish
Auckland54.9%17%27.2%
Taranaki69.6%9.5%20.5%
Hawke's Bay55.2%20.9%23.2%
Wellington63.5%20%15.4%
Nelson56.4%15.9%25.9%
Marlborough62.1%20.4%16.4%
Canterbury62.7%16.9%19.4%
Westland40.1%19.9%37.9%
Otago31%51.5%16.9%
Southland24.4%61.4%13.9%
New Zealand49.7%27.3%22%

*The Welsh have not been included in these figures as they made up less than 2% of the population of any province

The table and graph suggest:

  • There was strong regional variation within New Zealand as to where different groups settled.
  • In the 19th century Wellington and Canterbury provinces were dominated by the English. This in part reflects their New Zealand Company origins.
  • Auckland had a strong representation from Ireland which reflected partly the influence of the early military settlers and partly the free migration of Irish across the Tasman to Auckland.
  • Westland also had a large number of people from Ireland. Many of these were miners who had migrated across the Tasman from the Victorian gold fields to the West Coast gold rushes.
  • Otago and Southland had a majority of British immigrants who came from Scotland. Again this reflected the character of the first organised settlement.

How to cite this page

Where did immigrants move to?, URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/home-away-from-home/where-to, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated