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The Waipu Settlers

for voice and guitar

Composer:   Willow Macky


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In the early 1800's, the absentee owners of some of the large Scottish estates evicted the tenant farmers, or crofters, from small holdings, in order to free the land for sheep grazing and grouse-shooting. This caused the crofters much misery and hardship. Under the leadership of their pastor, Rev. Norman McLeod, they emigrated to Nova Scotia, where they formed a small colony. After they had lived there for many difficult years, a letter arrived from Australia giving a glowing account of that country. This caused great excitement among the settlers, and they unanimously decided to emigrate once more with their now aging leader.

During the years between 1851 and 1859 they built their own ships and sailed them across the Atlantic and Indian oceans - a five to six months' journey - to their new home. Not a ship - and scarcely a life - was lost. A truly magnificent feat. The first two ship made landfall in Australia. The other four sailed on to New Zealand, where the settlers bought land at Waipu Cove, 100 miles north of Auckland.

There a "House of Memories" now holds relics of these hardy and courageous folk, whose descendants may be found today throughout New Zealand.

Willow Macky

Text note

Text by Willow Macky