Immigrants from the Russian Empire in the Early History of New Zealand

Rudnikova E.V.


The article highlights some of the little-known pages in the history of the Eastern branch of the Russian Abroad. In the focus is the pre-revolutionary emigration from the Russian Empire to New Zealand, this being officially proclaimed as a British colony in 1840. At that, the first documented mention about a Russian migrant to New Zealand dates back to 1845. The study reveals the real number of Russian emigrants in New Zealand for the pre-revolutionary period, which is very important for explaining the general and special in the further history of the Russian diaspora in this country. By the year 1916, the number of Russian immigrants in the country reached its peak. As there were no official emigration statistics in the Russian Empire, the main sources of the article are regular historical population censuses of New Zealand in 1874–1916. This made it possible to highlight the issues of numbers, gender-age and ethnic composition of the Russian emigrants in the country before 1917. The data reflecting the numbers of Russian immigrants by years and showing their resettlement across the country are taken from the New Zealand censuses and other sources. Discussed are the gender disproportion, the features of age cohorts and ethnic composition of immigrants from Russia in particular years. Some conclusions are illustrated by unpublished materials from the National Archives of New Zealand.


Russia; New Zealand; Pre-Revolutionary Russian emigration; the Russian Empire; Russian immigrants.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2020.03.01

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