Katikati - The Ulster Colony Down Under

From Spectrum, 1:30 pm on 9 February 2014

What persuaded a party of Ulster Scots pioneers to leave their homes in the 1870s, and travel halfway round the world to begin a new life in new Zealand?   Irish historian Mark Thompson  narrates the story of how one man's bid to rebuild his fortune led to the world’s only planned Ulster settlement at Katikati on the Tauranga Harbour

George Vesey Stewart

Photo: George Vesey Stewart (1831-1920)

 George Vesey Stewart  wrote that he hoped "to transplant a little corner of Ulster upon a Garden of Eden in New Zealand, free from rents and taxes, with magnificent soil and the finest climate under the British flag, and in a country devoted and loyal to its noble Fatherland".  And a poster that appeared in Orange halls in the north of Ireland he offered  "all Protestant friends and brothers - the rare opportunity of being amongst the 40 families who will become a part of a settlement of Ulstermen in the country of New Zealand.  The place he chose was the Bay of Plenty.    Some 140 years later, Irish Journalists John Deering and Kathleen Carragher visited the scene of his settlement,  recorder in hand, and gathered together this story of Katikati: The Ulster Colony Down Under.