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About me

  The best of both worlds  
First of all I should make it clear that I am not a professional in the history field. I am simply interested in the history of my birth country, and for this reason I decided to try to put together an account of New Zealand's past - but as reasonably accurate as possible for a non historian...

I commenced this site due to a growing interest in web design and computer related subjects. I decided to concentrate on New Zealand history as a subject for my web site. Building and maintaining this site takes a lot of time, but I enjoy working on it, all the more so as this combines my three passions - computer related subjects, web creation and New Zealand history.

The material I am using for my research is not my own. I have gleaned all information from various recommended and reliable historical books and encyclopedias, which I am constantly studying in the hope of eliminating any errors which may have slipped my attention. The Auckland University Press has been a particular mine of literary information for me. Good French friends are working with me, helping to correct the french section of this site into better written french than my own...

All material I have used for researching this site is listed on my resources page here.

In view of the fact that this is a personal homepage, I would advise anybody doing serious research to cross check subjects by paying a visit to either The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage website, or the Ministry's sister site, at All three contain a mine of information on every aspect of New Zealand history. Other links to excellent and reliable New Zealand history sites are listed on my Links page.

I would like to mention a grateful thanks to those web sites, persons and institutions who have granted me permission for the use of their images on this site, in order to encourage me in my work.

The Alexander Turnbull Library of New Zealand has kindly granted me permission for the use of certain historical images. The Northland Web site has contributed a large number of Northland photographs which are sprinkled throughout the site. Peter Sundstrom and the New Zealand Tourism Board have made available their beautiful photographs of New Zealand. Focus New Zealand Photo Library has granted me permission to use two copyright photographs. These sites and more are acknowledged on my acknowledgement page.

So who am I exactly?

My name is Robbie Whitmore, and I am a fifth generation "pakeha" New Zealander. (A pakeha is a New Zealander of European descent.)

Although born in New Zealand, I have now become a French New Zealander. A "kiwi" - as we New Zealanders refer to ourselves - far from home. We left New Zealand for France quite some time ago, and have settled into the French way of life very easily. We had researched our French Huguenot ancestry, starting with the French embassy in New Zealand, the Bishopsgate Library in the United Kingdom, and then continuing on to France. We ended up staying here, where I now belong to the 2% Protestant minority in France...

My ancestors fled France for the United Kingdom at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685. My forbears settled in London, to become members of the French Protestant church of "La Patente", then situated in Spitalfields, London.

Living in France is something akin to returning to our roots.

I love life in France, it really is a unique experience for a New Zealander. There are many differences to adapt to; a different mentality, different customs - not to mention a new language and a totally different way of life. If an expatriate is prepared to make an effort to assimilate, adapt and accept certain cultural differences, a wonderful and enriching new life can be lived.

Before leaving New Zealand I used to take the Milky Way and the Southern Cross for granted. I have only seen the Milky Way once since I have been here, which was in the heart of the French countryside one lovely clear night. But these are choices one makes in life, so I am not complaining.

The South Pacific sky is studded with stars. Whenever I returned to New Zealand my father was always amused at the fact that I would disappear around 10pm. He would find me in the back garden, contemplating the night sky. The South Pacific diamond studded sky, with its millions of incredibly bright stars, winking down at me from the depths of an amazingly deep inky blue. The sight used to enthrall me, and still does whenever I return.

Being genealogy enthusiasts we also researched the British side of our ancestry. To our surprise we located the passenger listing of one of the early ships to arrive in New Zealand, the "Strathallan" (link will open in a new window) on which figured the names of our great great grandparents. They too were expatriates, adapting to a lifestyle which could be difficult to imagine today.

Now that I am living in France, I have a particular interest in underlining the prominence of the French presence in New Zealand's early days. After all, it seems that the South Island at least may have just missed becoming a French possession.

Some people write asking why I do my best to maintain a history site. In recent years I have noticed, particularly in France, a growing interest in New Zealand. This has inspired me not only to continue maintaining this site, but to create a French language section as well. History and computers - my two passions.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you enjoy browsing this site.

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Related Links
The Huguenot Web site
Huguenots of France and elsewhere
The Wars of Religion - events leading to the Edict of Nantes
My favourite link
The Creation - Great flash animation from Kids4Truth


 Please be aware that this website is a personal homepage. It would therefore be wise to cross check information which I have presented here. A list of many official New Zealand history sites may be found within my Links section.