Olavi Koivukangas: From the Midnight Sun to the Long White Cloud. The Finns in New Zealand. Migration Studies C 11. Institute of Migration, Turku 1996. 398 pages.
The history of the Finns in New Zealand starts with H. D. Spöring from Turku, Finland, sailing on board the “Endeavour” with James Cook in 1768–71. The first permanent settlers were whalers, sailors and gold miners followed by farming people to settle in small colonies by chain migration.
During the Second World War the New Zealand Government seized the Finnish sailing vessel “Pamir”, pictured on the cover, in Wellington, and many crewmembers remained in New Zealand. In the 1950’s Finns were the pioneers of the New Zealand pulp and paper industry in Tokoroa and Kawerau.
In the last few decades a major reason for a Finn to settle in New Zealand has been marriage with a New Zealander. Finnish emigration to New Zealand has been only a trickle compared with the major flows to the United States and other destinations.
But the arrival of some 2,000 Finns to the “Aotearoa” is a unique and interesting story of the European overseas emigration worth telling to the posterity – as well as the contribution of sturdy Finns and their descendants to the multiethnic society of New Zealand.