Scottish Ethnicity and the Making of New Zealand Society, 1850-1930

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Scots accounted for around a quarter of all UK-born immigrants to New Zealand between 1861 and 1945, but have only been accorded scant attention in New Zealand histories, specialist immigration histories and Scottish Diaspora Studies. This is peculiar, because the flow of Scots to New Zealand, although relatively unimportant to Scotland, constituted a sizable element to the country’s much smaller population. Seen as adaptable, integrating relatively more quickly than other ethnic migrant groups in New Zealand, the Scots’ presence was obscured by a fixation on the romanticised shortbread-tin façade of Scottish identity overseas. Uncovering Scottish ethnicity from the verges of nostalgia, this study documents the notable imprint Scots left on New Zealand, and examining Scottish immigrant community life, culture and identity between 1850 and 1930. The book explores how Scottish immigrants negotiated their ethnicity and how that ethnicity fed into wider social structures in New Zealand, arguing that Scottish ethnicity functioned as a positive mechanism for integration into the new society. It shows that the Scots made a huge contribution to the making of New Zealand society.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Print)9780748641550
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2011


  • New Zealand
  • immigration histories
  • Scottish Diaspora Studies
  • scots
  • Scotland
  • ethnic migrant groups
  • Scottish identity


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