History of the Mackenzies in New Zealand

Waipu in the Northland area was one of the main settlements of Scottish people and mostly they came under the auspices of Rev. Norman Macleod who arranged ships from Nova Scotia when his settlement there had become unsuitable. Most of these people were originally from the West Coast of Scotland and their desire to leave was financial.

Port Chalmers and into Southland tended to be a very Scottish destination and there were also many Scots on the four ships that came into Petone in 1840.

At present the Society is compiling a book which will contain stories of what the Mackenzie families achieved after their arrival and we would welcome contributions from any descendants.

Society Beginnings

The New Zealand Clan MacKenzie/Mckenzie Society began in the year 1995.

As recalled by Sonia Mackenzie, Lieutenant to the Cabarfeidh from 2004 to 2009...

"It was a combination of suggestions and ideas from Margaret, the late Donald Mackenzie Commissioner of the Australian Society, and Jim Thwaites that eventually led us to a morning tea meeting with our Cabarfeidh, Lord John Cromartie at Castle Leod Strathpeffer in 1994. He was very enthusiastic about a Clan Society being formed in New Zealand, he asked Jock and myself to take on the job as Joint Commissioners to get things underway and that is how it all came about. We held an Inaugural meeting in Palmerston North in May 1995.

"27 people attended and from there the Society has gone forward in a very rewarding manner.

"We traveled to Scotland to the 2nd Worldwide Mackenzie Gathering in 2000 at Strathpeffer - 27 New Zealanders - and the whole event was finished with us, accompanied by our piper Ian McKenzie, singing Now is the Hour in both Maori and English."

In 2001 Jock was very honoured when Cabarfeidh elected to name him as his NZ Lieutenant, a position which he held until his death in 2004.

Cabarfeidh then asked Sonia Mackenzie to become his Lieutenent — a position held for 5 years. The next Lieutenant was Donald Mckenzie of Fortrose in Southland who passed away in 2016. The current Lieutenant is Alistair MacKenzie who took the position in 2014.

The structure of the Society has Cabarfeidh as the top point, with a New Zealand Lieutenant, a Senior Commissioner, Commissioners in both Islands, and the usual Officers.

Officers are listed on the back of the four newsletters we send out each year. A committee of 7-8 is complimented by area representatives who are expected to search out new members and if possible arrange a local event each year. All representatives are welcome to sit in at Committee meetings and as we have a pot luck lunch after each meeting, members are invited to join in too.

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