National Library of New Zealand
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Migration Records

Archives New Zealand holds records of assisted immigrants only prior to 1883. These include New Zealand Company immigrants and those assisted by Provincial and General Government. All of the passenger lists have been indexed into our General Biographical Index 1840-1870 [Archives Reference: Bio 1] and our Assisted Immigration Scheme Index 1871-1888 [Archives Reference: Im 15 & Im-Ch 4].

Archives New Zealand holds records in the Social Security Department archives of shipping arrivals, to Wellington, Auckland and the minor ports from c.1883-1973 [Archives Reference: SS 1]. These include both assisted and unassisted immigrants.

These records include passenger lists (and some crew lists) and they were collected in order to validate pension applications. As the lists were not collected systematically until 1910, the pre-1910 lists are incomplete. The lists are arranged by port of arrival (Auckland, Wellington or the minor ports) and chronologically in three month (or sometimes six month) blocks.

These have been indexed for arrivals from Great Britain to Wellington (1886 - 1915) and Auckland (1883 - 1915) and for arrivals to the minor ports from Great Britain and Capetown (1887 - 1915). Please note that the index excludes crew members and those passengers who embarked on the way (in Australia for example).

For arrivals after the indexed period, you will need to include the arrival date (to within a three month period), port of arrival, and, if possible, the name of the ship to enable us to search the unindexed passenger lists.

Archives New Zealand holds many outwards ship passenger lists up to 1973 but these are not indexed. A ship's name or date for leaving New Zealand can narrow down the search of unindexed lists. These records are far from complete until after 1910.

The Arcchives New Zealand Migration Research Guide can help researchers with this type of enquiry.