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Celebrating the Polish – New Zealand Story

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In the years following the arrival of Europeans in Aotearoa, immigrants began to fill the southern islands from all corners of the globe. Among them were the Poles.


The Polish Orphans

The story of the Polish orphan refugees who found sanctuary in Pahiatua

Listener October 31 2009

Street name recognises Polish Heritage
Celebrating the unveiling of Pomerania Way are (from left) Polish ambassador Zbigniew Gniatkowski, Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust chairwoman Ewa Rozecka-Pollard, Polish descendant and trust member Paul Klemick and deputy mayor Christine Garey. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON (ODT)


Polish Honour for Heritage Advocate
Founding member of the Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust Cecylia Klobukowska has been awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland


Polish honour for Toitu curator
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum curator Seán Brosnahan is one four people from Otago to be awarded one of Poland’s highest honours, the Polish Gold Cross of Merit.


How to make barszcz and uszka
Cecylia Klobukowska, from Poland, shows how to make traditional Polish Christmas fare: barszcz with uszka (clear beetroot soup with mushroom dumplings), honey cakes and honey cookies.


Art exhibition to help Ukraine relief

Examining the art on offer at the “From Dunedin With Love” exhibition yesterday is Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust chairwoman and exhibition organiser Ewa Rozecki-Pollard.




Gravestone of Polish prince restored and consecrated
The latest of many big changes of fortune in the world of a former Polish prince and patriot was marked in a ceremony at the Dunedin Southern Cemetery yesterday.


Life After Pahiatua

The lives of the Polish orphan refugees after Pahiatua.

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‘Present’ for Polish community
In a welcome “birthday present” to Dunedin’s Polish community, two names recognising the city’s Polish settlers will be added to Dunedin’s road registry.

Dunedin city councillors voted to add the names “Pomerania” and “Polish Settlers” to the road registry earlier this week, at an infrastructure services and network committee meeting.



Polish phenomenon

The cultural phenomenon of Polish poster art is in Dunedin as part of a celebration of 250 years of Polish theatre. Members of the Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust tell Rebecca Fox about its significance.



Society sends gifts to Polish children

When Dunedin City Councillor John Bezett visits an orphanage in Poland this month, he will take with him some very special gifts from Dunedin.



Art being sold to help with Polish celebrations
An exhibition of works by top Otago artists will be a fundraiser for the Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust.


Zdzislaw Lepionka b July 14 1936, d August 22 2022

The Obituary of Zdzislaw ( Eric” Lapionka, one of the last of the “Pahiatua” children

Stuff article Oct 22 2022 



The Children of Pahiatua
How 700 Polish children made an unlikely journey from the depths of Siberia to the New Zealand countryside.
(Podcast Adam Mickiewicz Institute)


Art Exhibition Raising Funds for Church Restoration

Thirty-five Dunedin and Otago artists are supporting a Polish cultural group’s bid to raise funds for to renovate Broad Bay’s historic Church of Mary Queen of Peace.

ODT, 2 March 2012

Otago Link to Polish President

The Dunedin Polish woman who was once a neighbour of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who died in Saturday’s aeroplane crash, says she cannot remember much about him but their fathers were both in the Polish resistance movement.



Polish trust using art to benefit Ukraine
Polish Heritage of Otago and Southland Charitable Trust secretary and exhibition organiser Anna McCreath Munro with some of the artwork which will be sold at an exhibition to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees.


Celebrating Polish Heritage


Paul Klemick awarded QSM

Paul Klemick was awarded a QSM for services to Historical Research in the Queens Birthday Honours list 2022




Polish links to Otago church celebrated

The first Sunday of Advent saw a significant congregation gather at Mary, Queen of Peace church in Broad Bay on the Otago Peninsula to attend a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael Dooley of Dunedin.

NZ Catholic, Feb 8th 2023…. Jeff Dillon




Chairperson .....  Ewa Rożecka Pollard
Phone ......+64 3 477 5552
Secretary ..... Anna McCreath Munro
Phone ..... +64 3 464 0053

Facebook ..... Poles Down South 

Contact Poles Down South

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Poles in New Zealand   We would like to hear from Poles or people with any Polish connection, who visited New Zealand and particularly those of you who paid a visit or lived anywhere in Otago or Southland.

Polski  “Poles Down South” jest stroną internetową organizacji polonijnej w Nowej Zelandii działającej w rejonie Otago i Southland na Wyspie Południowej. Siedzibą organizacji jest Dunedin.