Number of Croats in New Zealand and their immigration
According to estimations, 20-60 thousands of Croats and their descendants live in New Zealand. First Croats immigrated to New Zealand at the beginning of 19.century. Their main preoccupation was fishing and agriculture, especially wine making. Most of these Croats came from Dalmatia, especially islands.
Today, largest number of Croats lives on Northern Island and they are mostly concentrated in Auckland. There are number of Croats in Hamilton, Whangarei, Wellington and Christchurch as well.
It is considered that Croats represent largest immigration in New Zealand after Irish.
First immigrants mostly came due to economy reasons. Men were highly represented; there were only a small number of women immigrants.
For the last 10-15 years more than 10 thousand of highly educated Croats immigrated to NZ. Most of them stayed in Auckland, smaller number left for Wellington, Palmerston, Borth and New Plymouth. They were mostly IT specialists, professors, doctors, dentists, solicitors, economists etc. Average age of such immigration is 26-45 years old, mainly married couples with one or two children.
Status of Croats in New Zealand
Most Croats in New Zealand are New Zealand citizens. New Zealand does not acknowledge term “temporary workers” or “National minorities” such is the case in European countries. Therefore, Croats have no special political status but rather enjoy all rights as New Zealand citizens.
After three years of living in New Zealand immigrants gain citizenship. By such status they may travel to Australia without Visa. In some cases, it was only a starting point to final destination - Australia.
Croatian Associations ant Catholic missions
Croatian Associations ant Catholic missions cherish and maintain Croatian heritage, identity and culture. Well known associations in New Zealand are:
- Croatian Cultural Society in Auckland ( part of which is Croatian Women league)
- Dalmatian Cultural Society in Auckland
- Croatian Cultural Society in Hamilton
- Croatian Cultural Society in Wellington
- Dalmatian Cultural Society in Kaitai
Croatian classes and Lectorate for Croatian language
Croatian Additional Teaching is established in New Zealand in 1997 by Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sport. Croatian Cultural Society provides own teachers. Within Dalmatian Cultural Society class of Croatian Language has been held for years.
Publishing and media
There are no Croatian publishing activities in New Zealand, or Croatian newspaper for that matter. Once a week, there is a Croatian radio broadcast in Auckland and Hamilton.