TurakinaThe Turakina Highland Games, New Zealand’s longest running Games, will be held for the 148th time in 2012, the events taking place on 28th January 2012 in the Turakina Domain, Cameron Road, Turakina. Turakina is a small village in the western Rangitikei district in the southern North Island of New Zealand.

As the Turakina Caledonian Society details on its website, it was the Maori explorer Hau who named Turakina. The first European settlers arrived from Scotland from the 1840’s, with many making their way up from Wellington following the land purchase from the Ngati Apa people in May 1849, negotiated by Sir Donald McLean.

I will be giving a talk about the History of New Zealand’s Caledonian Games at the Turakina Games next year.The talk relates to two of my recent publications:

Please click here for further details (opens .pdf), or visit the Turakina Caledonian Society website.

Tanja Bueltmann

The Turakina Highland Games
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4 thoughts on “The Turakina Highland Games

  • 24 December 2011 at 2:15 am

    Thanks very much for sharing the link, Catherine! Very interesting and some great images too. The majority of Scots who went to New Zealand were from the Lowlands, but the popular memory described in the piece relating to the Highland Clearances is a very important element of the Scottish diaspora — with many migrants and their descendants looking back indeed at where they had come from.

    • 24 December 2011 at 2:36 am

      Thanks, Tanja. Yes, interesting how these “histories” are created (or perhaps more accurately, adopted, perhaps) to support the development of positive identity and culture – indeed, Te Ara tells us that the Scottish settlers in the Turakina Valley area were mainly from the Borders region of Scotland) http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/whanganui-region/7/4

  • 24 December 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Yes, I believe that strong links with the Borders region remain, for instance among a group of rugby players. Such regional links, in sport, culture, or more broadly in heritage and traditions, are not uncommon – Waipu is perhaps the best known example, but there are many more throughout New Zealand. I’am hoping to hear more about such ongoing links between Scotland and New Zealand when I come to Turakina.


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