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
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
All material I have used for researching this site is listed on
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,
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
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
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
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.