Croatian New Zealanders
|2,550 – 100,000 (est.)|
|New Zealand English, Croatian|
|predominantly Roman Catholic|
Croatian New Zealanders refers to New Zealand citizens of Croatian descent. There are 2,550 people who declared their nationality as Croats in the 2006 New Zealand census. The majority of these are located primarily in and around Auckland and Northland with small numbers in and around Canterbury and Southland. It is estimated that over 100,000 New Zealanders have Croatian ancestry.
The (generally neutral but sometimes mildly derogatory) term Dally or Dallie (short for Dalmatian) is often used in New Zealand to refer to people of Croatian descent. The term has been wholeheartedly adopted by Croatian New Zealanders, among them the Auckland-based Dalmatian Cultural Society. Founded in 1930, it is New Zealand's longest-surviving Croatian cultural organisation. A further neutral term, Tarara (literally, "fast talkers"), is used to refer to people of mixed Croatian–Māori heritage.
The earliest Croatian settlers in New Zealand date from the 1860s, largely arriving as sailors and pioneers, and as gold miners and prospectors during the Otago Gold Rush. The first person born in New Zealand of Croatian descent was Leander Thomas Pavletich in 1864. After the gold rush many moved to Northland attracted by kauri gum-digging, then a major source of income for Northland Māori and settlers. These early Dalmatian settlers were also responsible in large part for establishing the New Zealand wine industry. Forced off the kauri gumfields many moved into viticulture and winemaking instead, mainly in West Auckland around Kumeu, and in the Hawke's Bay region. Croatian family names such as Selak, Nobilo, Šoljan, Babich and Delegat still feature amongst the names of New Zealand's notable wineries, and two of the largest in New Zealand, Montana Wines (now Brancott Estate) and Villa Maria Estates, were established in the mid-20th century respectively by Croatian New Zealanders Ivan Yukich and Sir George Fistonich.
Croatian settlers have arrived in five main waves:
- 5,000 between 1890 and 1914, prior to World War I.
- 1,600 during the 1920s before the onset of the Great Depression.
- 600 in the 1930s, prior to World War II.
- 3,200 between 1945 and 1970.
- Arrivals during the 1990s, fleeing the conflict in former Yugoslavia.
Notable Croatian New Zealanders
- Nick Afoa
- Kevin Borich
- Milan Borich (Pluto (New Zealand band))
- Tina Cross
- Maria Dallas 
- Brad Devcich (Fast Crew)
- Lorde (Ella Yelich-O’Connor)
- Peter Posa
- Mike Perjanik
- Desna Sisarich
- Peter Urlich
- Margaret Urlich
- Michael Erceg - Founder of Independent Liquor, now known as Asahi Beverages (NZ) Ltd.
- Huljich family - Food manufacturing, property, new business startups, finance and movie-making.
- Sir George Fistonich - Founder of Villa Maria Estates.
- Nobilo family - Nikola Nobilo the founder of Nobilo wines.
- Talley family, owners of the Talley's Group.
- Sir James Belich - Former Mayor of Wellington
- Frana Cardno - Former Mayor of Southland District
- Fred Gerbic - Former Member of Parliament
- Shane Jones - Member of Parliament and cabinet minister
- Clem Simich – Former Member of Parliament
- Dame Mira Szaszy - Maori Leader
- Dame Rangimarie Naida Glavish - Maori Leader
- Denis Devcich - Director of the Mother of God Brothers
- Antony Sumich (born 1964) – priest of Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter; rugby union and cricket international (for Croatia)
- Abby Erceg – NZ Football Ferns football player
- Tony Laus - All Whites football player
- Stefan Marinovic - All Whites football player
- Paul Urlovic - All Whites football player
- Ivan Vicelich - All Whites football player
- Chris Zoricich – All Whites football player
- Anthony Boric – All Black player
- Kevin Boroevich – All Black player
- Frano Botica – All Black/ NZ rugby league/ Croatian Rugby
- Matt Cooper – All Black/ Croatian Rugby
- Percy Erceg – All Black player
- Sean Fitzpatrick - All Black player
- Wayne Pivac - Rugby Union coach
- Ron Urlich – All Black player
- Ivan Vodanovich – All Black player/ coach
- Frank Nobilo - golf player
- John Radovonich – NZ hockey player
- Anna Simcic - swimmer
- Nick Unkovich - lawn bowls player
- Greg Yelavich - shooter
- Brajkovich - Kumeu River Wines
- Fistonich - Villa Maria Wines
- Vuletic - Providence Wines
- Yukich - founder of Montana Wines now known as Brancott Estate
Fictional Croatian New Zealanders
- Fisher Brankovic — Filthy Rich (television)
- Darijo Doslic — Westside (television)
- Draska Doslic — Outrageous Fortune (television)
- Mila Jizovich - bro'Town (television)
- Johnny Marinovich — Shortland Street (television)
- Nina — Broken English (film)
- Trupinić, Damir. (2009) New Zealand Croatian Immigrant Press 1899-1916, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, ISBN 978-3-8383-0743-5.
- Božić-Vrbančić, Senka. (2008) Tarara: Croats and Maori in New Zealand : memory, belonging, identity, Otago University Press, ISBN 978-1-877372-09-4.
- Walrond, Carl (8 February 2005). "Dalmatians – Page 7. Facts & figures". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- "Carter: NZ Celebrates 150 Years Of Kiwi-Croatian Culture". Voxy. Digital Advance Limited. July 30, 2008. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
- Jelicich, Stephen (2008). From distant villages: the lives and times of Croatian settlers in New Zealand, 1858-1958. Auckland: Pharos Publications. ISBN 9780473130299.
- Barton, Warren (6 December 2010). "Saluting Selaks: Let's drink to the 'Dallies'". The Southland Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
- Dalmatian Cultural Society official website
- Walrond, Carl (1 March 2015). "Dalmatians – Page 6. Dalmatian culture". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- "Mrs Thomas Pavletich, Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand". www.toituosm.com. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
- Walrond, Carl (24 September 2007). "Kauri gum and gum digging – Page 2. The gum diggers". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- Mabbett, Jason (April 1998). "The Dalmatian influence on the New Zealand wine industry: 1895–1946". Journal of Wine Research. 9 (1): 15–25. doi:10.1080/09571269808718130. ISSN 0957-1264.
- "Kumeu Wine Region". Wine-Searcher. 30 August 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
- Dalley, Bronwyn (24 November 2008). "Wine – Page 2. Migrant groups and the wine industry". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
- Jelicich, Stephen; Trlin, Andrew (1997). "Croatian". Book & Print in New Zealand: A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa. Wellington: Victoria University Press. Retrieved 2009-08-13 – via New Zealand Electronic Text Collection.
- Herkt, David (21 August 2014). "Maria Dallas Profile". AudioCulture. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- "'Kia ora lady' made Dame Companion". Stuff. 30 December 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- "The Story of the Mother of God Brothers". pamphlets.org.au. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- "Famous People with Croatian Heritage – Part 2". Croatia Week. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2020.