Portraits – 2016

The first significant Dutch Immigration to New Zealand followed soon after World War II. The Dutch suffered greatly during the war, both economically and psychologically. Even after the war, everyday items were strictly rationed and the housing shortage was a significant problem, with many people waiting up to ten years for appropriate accommodation. New Zealand’s Assisted Passage scheme was extended to the Dutch in the 1950s. It helped migrants with special skills to immigrate to New Zealand and become a part of the community they were assigned to. Despite this, there has been little research on Dutch Immigration to New Zealand.

This series within Ons Erfgoed aims to create a kind of “artistic ethnography” of Dutch New Zealanders (from Dutch societies in Auckland and Christchurch) by recording their experiences of immigration and their life in pre-war Holland. An important part of the project is taking photographs of these people and their homes, because images can tell a story too: they can become part of a narrative, saying things that can’t be put into words.


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