Multicultural Oral History Project interviews

Listen to the stories of New Zealand immigrants in their own words. The Multicultural Oral History Project, one of many collections held at Research West, has seven recordings of the voices of people from the Pacific Islands, Europe and Asia. They talk of their lives in their original countries, their experience of immigration and settling in New Zealand.

Image: Photographer  unknown, children in traditional costume dancing at the Ons Dorp Dutch Retirement Village, McLeod Road, Henderson c. 1990, Auckland Libraries, West Auckland Research Centre Print Collection

Helen Tamatoa
Born in 1925, on Niue Island, Helen was one of 10 children (three sisters and six brothers). Educated in the London Missionary School in Mutalau and the Govt School in Kofekofe, she married the Rev. Tamatua Pahetogia. The family moved to New Zealand in 1982, living first in Grey Lynn and later in Avondale.
Listen to Helen Tamatoa

Sefuiva Siaumau Saumaleula Saifoloi
Born in Samoa, 1935, Sefuiva has three sisters and one brother. She was educated in Samoa and on graduating from Teacher's Training College, taught in Samoan primary schools until she came to New Zealand in 1967. On arrival in New Zealand she joined the staff at Cambridge Clothing Company.
Listen to Sefuiva Siaumau Saumaleula Saifoloi

Mii Marearai
Born in Rarotonga, Cook Islands in 1953, Mii came to New Zealand in 1972. She finally settled in Ranui, where she became involved in the Massey Presbyterian Church.
Listen to Mii Marearai

Teata Inakura
Born in Rarotonga, Cook Islands in 1934, Teata was the youngest of five children. She talks about life in Rarotonga before coming to New Zealand, living in Wellington and of her family and how she moved to Auckland in 1981 and lived at Kumeu.
Listen to Teata Inakura

Herman Tecklenburg
Born in the Netherlands (Holland), 1932, Herman trained as a chef and baker. He has played an active role within his church (Anglican) and also in Access Radio, Auckland.
Kura record: Herman Tecklenburg, oral history, 1999

Yen Young
Born in China, Yen Young came to New Zealand 1939. Yen talks about his life in China, his family coming to New Zealand, the Chinese community in Auckland and his first impressions.
Kura record: Yen Young, oral history, 1999

Ramon Claridge
Born in Burma (Mayanmar) in 1930, Ramon describes himself as Eurasian - his  father was European and his mother, Anglo-Burmese.  He moved to England in 1951 before migrating to New Zealand on the Ocean Monarch in 1971 with his wife and family.
Kura record: Ramon Claridge, oral history, 1999

Image: Photographer  unknown, Pacific Islanders picketing outside Crown Lynn, in New Lynn, c.1970, Auckland Libraries, West Auckland Research Centre, Print Collection.

This is just a taste of our collection of oral histories. To listen to the complete recordings contact us by submitting a request using the Comments box on each Kura record. You can also search Kura Heritage Collections Online to discover more recordings.

Author: Liz Bradley, West Auckland Research Centre

Updated: June 2023