Gallery 7. Refugees
You are in: Room 7e.
Polish Refugees in New Zealand (1944-51)
- On 28 December 1943, the Prime Minister Peter Fraser invites 500 – 700 children and staff to find temporary refuge in New Zealand.
- On 31 October 1944, 733 children and 102 staff arrive in Wellington on board the USS General Randall.
- The Polish children’s camp is settled on 1 November 1944 and remains in operation until 15 April 1949.
- In response to the installation of a pro-Soviet communist government in Poland in 1945, the New Zealand government welcomes the refugees to remain permanently in New Zealand.
- From 1945, the children begin leaving the camp for secondary schools or apprenticeships.
- After the closure of the children’s camp in 1949, hostels are established for boys and girls in Wellington and Hawera.
- From 1947 Polish ex-servicemen and women related to the children and adults from Pahiatua settle in New Zealand.
- The Polish Association of New Zealand based in Wellington is established in 1948
Journey – USS Randall Invitation – Peter Fraser Arrival in New Zealand – boarding the train Arrival in New Zealand – train to Palmerston Photographs TestimoniesPolish Refugees in New Zealand (1944-51) - the script for the audio narration
Pahiatua Camp – ClassroomJourney – Map of journey from Iran to New Zealand
Delegate from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of the Polish Govt in Exile in London