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American New Zealanders

American New Zealanders
Total population
21,462 (by birth, 2013 census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
American-born people by region
Bay of Plenty1,053
New Zealand EnglishAmerican English
Protestantism · Judaism

American New Zealanders are New Zealand citizens who are of American descent including immigrants or American-born citizens and residents. American New Zealanders constitute a small minority of New Zealand's population.


In the 2013 census in New Zealand, when asked to indicate their ethnic identity, 12,342 New Zealanders described themselves as "American", and 21,462 stated they were born in the United States.[1][2] This marks a sizeable increase, in proportional terms, from the 8,451 US-born New Zealanders in 1991.[3] In 2013, there were also 636 persons born in American Samoa and living in New Zealand,[4] and small numbers of persons born in other US territories.[1]

American-ethnic New Zealanders are distributed across New Zealand, with 31.1 percent living in the Auckland Region, 16.2 percent in the Wellington Region, 13.4 percent in Canterbury, 26.7 percent in the wider North Island, and 13.2 percent in the wider South Island.[5]

Community history

Americans began visiting New Zealand at the very end of the 18th century. These settled the nation as discharged British soldiers and sailors, as convicts (who were arrested at sea for maritime offenses, tried, and transported), and as whalers, sealers, or travelers. Many of these who were brought to New Zealand had a temporary stay and were returned and/or brought to New South Wales in neighboring Australia. In 1839, there were about 50 Americans living in New Zealand, constituting about 4% of the non-Māori population of the country's North Island. That number increased to 306 in 1858, 720 in 1861, and 1,213 in 1871, an increase due primarily to a gold rush in Otago.[6] Subsequently, there were only 881 Americans living in New Zealand in 1901, their numbers then increased to 1,713 in 1951, 8,383 in 1976, and 13,347 in 2001.[2]

Between 1942 and 1944, during the Second World War, about 100,000 US troops were stationed in New Zealand. They exercised a notable influence on the country's way of life, and a small number settled in New Zealand. Immigration rates from the United States remained low until the 1960s, however. A "surge" of US immigrants was noted in the 1960s, 1970s, and again from the mid-1990s. Some of these came as New Zealand recruited foreign teachers to meet with local shortages.[3]

Notable people

Name Born – Died Notable for Connection with New Zealand Connection with The United States
Augie Auer 1940–2007 atmospheric scientist and meteorologist moved to New Zealand in 1990; naturalised New Zealander in 1996 born in St. Louis, Missouri
Tab Baldwin 1958– basketball player and coach moved to New Zealand in 1988; naturalised New Zealander c. 1994; coached the men's national team; honorary Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2003 born in Jacksonville, Florida
Wyatt Creech 1946– former Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand moved to New Zealand when 1 year old; raised in New Zealand; Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit born in Oceanside, California
Denis Dutton 1944–2010 philosopher, academic and internet entrepreneur; Founder of Arts & Letters Daily moved to New Zealand in 1984; naturalised New Zealander in 1991 born in Los Angeles, California
Julie Anne Genter 1979– politician and transport planner moved to New Zealand in 2006; naturalised New Zealander in 2011 born in Rochester, Minnesota
Roger Curtis Green 1932–2009 archaeologist, Professor Emeritus at the University of Auckland moved to New Zealand in 1961; naturalised New Zealander c. 1966; honorary Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit born in Ridgewood, New Jersey
Jim Flynn 1934– Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at the University of Otago; Discoverer of the Flynn effect moved to New Zealand in 1963; naturalised New Zealander c. 1970; honorary Royal Society of New Zealand born in Chicago, Illinois
Mike McMillen 1964– speed skater as a New Zealand citizen competed in the 1992 Winter Olympics and 1994 Winter Olympics born in Las Vegas, Nevada
Stefania Owen 1997– actress (Running Wilde, The Carrie Diaries) New Zealand-born father; moved to New Zealand at age 4 born in Miami, Florida
Mark Peck 1953– Politician; Member of Parliament for Invercargill 1993–2005 raised in New Zealand born in Hamilton, Ohio
Jessica Lee Rose 1987– actress moved to New Zealand when 8 years old; raised in New Zealand Born in Salisbury, Maryland

See also


  1. ^ a b c "2013 Census totals by topic". Statistics New Zealand. Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b "North Americans: Facts and figures". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  3. ^ a b "North Americans: 1940–present: closer contact". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  4. ^ "Samoans: Facts and Figures". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  5. ^ "2013 Census ethnic group profiles: American". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  6. ^ "1797–1870: years of opportunity". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.