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Interview with William Warman
Emigrant passenger by the ship Cardigan Castle to Lyttelton in 1873

In the 1870's, in order to promote immigration and to gauge the effects of increased advertising in the Home Country, the Colonial Government undertook a number of interviews with arriving immigrants. A number of set questions were asked and the responses to these were recorded by immigration officers throughout the country. The questions explored the reasons for persons deciding to emigrate, the ease with which this occurred, their treatment during the journey and their recommendations for the future promotion of New Zealand as an emigrant destination. They make for interesting reading.

The following are the responses of William Warman who travelled to Canterbury with his wife and four children (one of whom travelled in the Single Women's section).

Questions William's Responses
What is your name and condition -
(ie married or single)
William Warman - plasterer - married - 3 children
                                               
Where do you come from. Brighton
                                               
What first induced you to think of New Zealand for emigration. If advertisements state in what paper. If local Agent state name and address if possible. Work was very bad and I had a family of young children and very poor wages. I heard from people in New Zealand that wages were very good there and work plentiful.
                                               
When you made up your mind what steps did you take. I applied to Mr Gardiner, local Agent at Brighton. He answered my questions and wrote to Agent General for me.
                                               
Did you pay your own passage to the port of departure. I paid 1 and gave a promissory note for 2.10.0 advanced to me.
                                               
Had you any communication in London with the Agent General or his office. I wrote to the Agent General direct about my fare to Plymouth. All other matters were carried on through Mr Gardiner.
                                               
Were you detained at the port waiting for the ship and did you receive maintenance money and how much. Detained nearly a week at Plymouth.
                                               
Have you any remarks to make with regards to the promotion of emigration at home. Let emigrants write home describing the Country truthfully and also a description of their treatment on board ship and after arrival in New Zealand. Let these letters be published in English papers and also circulate Colonial papers, giving accounts of arrival of emigrant ships, engagement of immigrants etc. I find the description of the Country given by Mr Gardiner to be very truthful.
                                               
Immigration Office                                   J E March
            Christchurch 30 Nov. 1873                                            Immigration Officer
                                         

 

Copyright Denise & Peter 2001

Reference:
Archives New Zealand IM2/1 Questionnaires