Tarara Croatian Maori

While surfing Facebok I came across and interesting group: Tarara Croatian Maori

From the end of the 19th century, men from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia started arriving in NZ looking for work. Many ended up in the Northland's gum fields. Pakeha society wasn't particularly welcoming to the new immigrants, particularly during WWII - they were considered Austrians. Not so in the small Maori communities of the north. Here they found an echo of Dalmatian village life, with its emphasis on extended family and hospitality, not to mention a shared history of injustice at the hands of colonial powers.

The Maori jokingly named them Tarara, as their rapid conversation in Croatian sounded like "ta-ra-ra-ra-ra" to the Maori ears. Many Croatian men married local wahine (women), founding clans that have left several of today's famous Maori with Croatian surnames, like singer Margaret Urlich and former All Black Frano Botica. You'll find large Tarara communities in the Far North, Dargaville and West Auckland.  Now, 100-years later, ‘Tarara Day’ is held annually in West Auckland.

Some famous - Tarara Maori Croatians:
- Frano Botica - Professional Rugby Player - Article
- Mira Petričević Szaszy, the daughter of a Dalmatian and Maori who fought for Maori rights

More on the Tarara Maori Croatians
- Inaugural Tarara Day, Henderson, Auckland, 1999
- Croatian ties with Maori celebrated
- Tarara: Croats and Maori in New Zealand: Memory, Belonging, Identity
- Upoznajte Maore koji se prezivaju na -ić

The Maori Women

Croatians in New Zealand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are around 2700 Croatians in New Zealand. The majority of these are located primarily in and around Auckland and Northland with small numbers in and around Canterbury and Southland.


The earliest Croatian settlers in New Zealand date from the 1860s, largely arriving as sailors, gold miners, prospectors and pioneers. Following this, five significant influxes of Croats have arrived:
* 5000 between 1890 and 1914, prior to World War I.
* 1600 during the 1920s before the onset of the Great Depression.
* 600 in the 1930s, prior to World War II.
* 3200 between 1945 and 1970.
* Arrivals during the 1990s, fleeing the conflict in former Yugoslavia

In July 2008, 800 people attended a celebration of 150 years of Croatian settlement in New Zealand hosted by Prime Minister; Helen Clark and Ethnic Affairs Minister; Chris Carter.

Dalmatian, Yugoslav, Croatian?

Political beliefs - Many early immigrants to New Zealand hated the Austro-Hungarian empire, and when Dalmatia became part of Yugoslavia they proudly called themselves Yugoslavs. But those who arrived after the Second World War had lived in Yugoslavia and did not share this enthusiasm. As the war atrocities in Yugoslavia mounted during the 1990s, factions developed in the Auckland community. For some, the sight of the Yugoslav flag became offensive.


- NZ celebrates 150 years of Kiwi-Croatian culture
- The 150 years of Croatians in New Zealand video resource
- Promotion in Split of book about emigrant Croats from New Zealand
- Book & Print in New Zealand: A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa (Croatian section)
- Marica's Meanderings - NZ 150 Years Later

Kola dancing, performed here at Henderson’s inaugural Tarara Day, is one of the most visible parts of Dalmatian culture. It is a form of circle dance where dancers hold hands or waists and spin around to the music of the tamburica orchestra. In Northland, kola was often performed during the 1960s and 1970s.