‘The industrious Dutchie’: Recording the experiences of first generation Dutch immigrants to New Zealand
Donaghey, Sara; Papoutsaki, Evangelia; Strickland, Naomi
Citation:Donaghey, S., Papoutsaki, N., & Strickland, N. (2008, September). ‘The industrious Dutchie’: Recording the experiences of first generation Dutch immigrants to New Zealand. Paper presented at the 15th International Oral History Conference, Guadalajara, Mexico.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1499
This paper is based on an oral history project that records the identity perceptions of post-war Dutch immigrants as constructed through pre-arrival and early period experiences and sense of contribution to New Zealand. These Dutch immigrants came to New Zealand from post-war Netherlands through an assisted passage scheme, which provided monetary and other support incentives from the Dutch government to those wishing to immigrate to New Zealand. The incentive for this project arose from the concerns of the trustees of the Dutch Connection, Museum of Aspirations and Achievements in New Zealand who felt that the voices of these early immigrants along with their unique war and immigration experiences would be lost with their death. The oral history research methodology was selected as the best approach to record their unique stories. This technique guarantees minimum interference by the researcher and allows the sensitive nature of their personal narratives to be defined by their voices. The research project focuses on the post-war construction of immigrants‟ identities and the process of their adaptation, integration and formation of their new identities. A group of 24 elderly Dutch people was selected from a list provided by the commissioning organisation; their narratives are recorded in audio and visual formats. A guiding questionnaire was drawn up based on preliminary research and interviews with related professionals to provide contextual information. The questionnaire was divided into three main parts: pre-arrival memories, experiences, perceptions and expectations; early arrival experiences and first impressions; sense of contribution as immigrants to their new country; and current perceptions of identity.