Curtis Island the ‘third island of New Zealand'

CURTIS Island has often been referred to as "the third island of New Zealand".

But because our Kiwi workers don't require a visa in order to find work on either side of the Tasman, the exact size of the population of our ANZAC compatriots in Gladstone is ambiguous.

The president of the Gladstone Kotahitanga Roopu, Ivan Karaitiana, says the group has grown exponentially since it was founded in 2012.

"We started out quite small and now we have over 300 members," he said.

"We saw there was a need in Gladstone to reconnect with our families. It's a very important aspect in our culture."

Mr Karaitiana said there was a large percentage of New Zealand employees working on LNG projects on Curtis Island, and also throughout the wider community.

"A lot of us have decided to transition from FIFO to making Gladstone our home and bringing our families here," he said.

"Multiculturalism is important because it broadens horizons. Kiwis are very adaptable people as it is."

The Gladstone Kotahitanga Roopu group meets three times a week for activities, including traditional Maori martial arts classes, family days and cultural exchange meetings.

Contact Mr Karaitiana on 0435 817 644.

FAST FACTS:

  • 237 new Australian citizens were welcomed to the Gladstone region in 2013-14
  • New Zealand tops the list of countries of birth outside of Australia
  • 12.4% of the Gladstone region's population was born overseas
  • 26.4% of those people came from a non-English speaking background


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