Polish Refugees in New Zealand 1944-1951


The City of Wanganui organised a paddle steamer boat trip down Wanganui River as one of the many activities organised by the city for the visiting Polish children. August 1945. Source: Polish Reunion Committee 2004.

Krystyna Skwarko: In order to help the children get acquainted with the New Zealand way of life and to tighten the bond of friendship the Catholic hierarchy and the New Zealand Army collected 830 invitations from New Zealand families for the Polish children and adults to spend two weeks’ holiday with them in August, 1945, and in January, 1946.

So the Poles dispersed over both islands where they formed many close friendships that frequently continued to last to the present day. (p71)

… With their unselfish kindness and hospitality the New Zealanders won the hearts of the Polish people and gained their appreciation for being in New Zealand. The Poles were soon to learn that the friendly New Zealanders were resourceful, not afraid of hard work and always ready to help their neighbours in need, whether at home or in another less fortunate country.

The Invited; p71