Smith’s Emigration To New Zealand 1907


Who Travelled

Why They Travelled

Fired up Ernest felt led to leave Mother England to lead a missionary family in New Zealand.





Berdie Goodman

Ernest Smith

These photos of them were taken when they were considerably older than went they actually travelled. The family numbered six at that time aged:

    Ernest & Birdie:  35, 29. The children would have been:  6, 4, 3, 6mnth.

How They Travelled

SS Paparoa was a medium sized long distance passenger ship catering for 3 classes with the following vital statistics:

    Passenger classes:


    Length and beam:

    Owner & Type:


    Fit out:

    Maiden voyage:


When They Travelled

Traveling from Plymouth and ending up very near New Plymouth must have seemed both bizarre and reassuring at the same time.

The ship left Southampton on:

Family boarded in Plymouth on:

The journey took 2 months sailing via Capetown and Hobart (Tasmania)

Arrived in Wellington (North Island) on:

Fare for whole family:

Stratford 1907 - 1909

Stratford in 1901 was one of only three towns in NZ to have electricity. Its population of 3500 was large by the standards of the day (Auckland 67,000 and Christchurch 57,000).

It was initially named Stratford-Upon-Patea by the Lands Board because the Patea River looked a little like the River Avon in England. Many of the roads then acquired Shakespearean names. Just as back home the region was governed by Stratford District Council !


Where They Settled

First - 34, Second - 45, Emigrant class - 400.

6563 tons.

430ft x 54ft

NZ Shipping Company Co Ltd (1873-1973), Refrigerated Reefer

13 knots,

Wm Denny & Bros, Dumbarton

9th November 1899 from London for Capetown, Auckland and Wellington.

Fire broke out that could not be extinguished therefore scuttled in the Indian Ocean on 17 March 1926.

23rd February 1907.

25th February 1907.

23rd April 1907.

£35    -equivalent to £2940 now !    (ref





Ohakune 1909 - 1912

The town was created as a central depot for railway building. Eventually it became significant for its vast logging industry.

At 600m above sea level it is now a central part of the skiing industry. It was once renowned for growing carrots and since 1984 has a giant carrot at the roadside. The world's first commercial bungy jumping started here. Director Peter Jackson shot scenes for The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit here.

Morrinsville 1912 - 1914

Named in 1873 after the town in Scotland from where Thomas Morrin’s father emigrated. Its lush land was then drained to make way for dairy farming in order to supply the nearby gold rush at Thames to the North. It still is one of the most prosperous dairy areas on the island. As a result of such prosperity the shops were also some of the best stocked in the country.

Other industries once in the area were flax and mushrooms.

There’s an exceedingly good collection of old photo at Morrinsville Heritage Centre.

Not to be outdone by other regions in November 2015 Morrinsville erected 42 large cows, artisticly painted, as a tourist attraction to the town. In May 2017 the Maber family paid for the erection of a 3 ton Mega Cow which is 6.5m tall !

Click pictures to return to person named.

Most information following kindly supplied by Derek Smith (Summer 2017) with some additional material online.

Modern Stratford boasts an unusual attraction. In 1924, on The Broadway, a bell tower was constructed to commemorate soldiers from Stratford who fell in the Boer War and WW1. Unfortunately it fell into dis-use. In 1963 the bells were removed and the tower demolished.

For more than 20 years the site lay in a poor state. In 1996 the curator of Tawhiti Museum, Nigel Ogel, placed an automaton in a tower with life-sized figures that play a five minute excerpt from Romeo And Juliet over loudspeakers four times a day !

It is now quite renowned see Elizabethan Glockenspiel Tower.