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NZ celebrates 150yrs of Kiwi-Croatian culture

Hon Chris Carter
Minister for Ethnic Affairs

25 June 2008 Media Statement

NZ celebrates 150yrs of Kiwi-Croatian culture

Croatian New Zealanders have much to celebrate on their National Day this year, which marks the community’s 150th anniversary of settlement in this country, says Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter.

To commemorate this milestone, the New Zealand Government is holding a celebration at Parliament to honour the contribution Croatians have made to New Zealand over the past 150 years.

"The first settlers from what was then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire arrived in 1858 and over successive generations were variously known as Dalmatians, Yugoslavs and now identify as Croatians.

"Many succeeded in the harsh conditions of the gum fields of the Far North, working in strong family and community groups.

“Others started off our wine industry and are still associated with the best of New Zealand wines today," Chris Carter said.

The contribution of the Croatian community to New Zealand life has been considerable and across a range of endeavours, from sport, music, art, industry and academia.

To celebrate this contribution and to highlight Croatian culture, the 150th anniversary Celebration will be held on Tuesday 29 July, 6.00-8.00pm, in the Banquet Hall, Parliament Buildings.

"Today is a special day for the Croatian people as it marks their National Day, when the modern nation of Croatia was formed in 1991. I warmly congratulate Croatia and its people, and in particular those of Croatian descent in New Zealand who I look forward to celebrating with at Parliament next month," Chris Carter said.


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