Tarara Day celebrates the union of the Maori and Croatian cultures in New Zealand. This year 14500 people attended the event. Croatian-Maori descendants have the opportunity to celebrate their cultures and learn more about their heritage.
The Following text appears in the website
Our People - New Zealanders 'Kiwis'.
In the 1880s when the first Dalmatians came to New Zealand, the Austro-Hungarian empire ruled Dalmatia, which is on the Adriatic coast of the Mediterranean. Through this they were often mistakenly called 'Austrians' in New Zealand. Dalmatians clustered together in the gum fields of the Far North, where they lived in rough huts constructed from manuka poles and sacking.. Their days were spent deep in trenches and swampy holes where the prized kauri gum lay buried. Eventually with time, the land did offer a better way of life, with some diggers becoming farmers in the north while others started vineyards. Today the founders' names read like a who's who of New Zealand wine - Babich (1919), Selak (1934), Yukich (Montana Wines, 1944), Nobilo (1943) and Delegat (1947). Their wine was scorned at first and nicknamed Dally-plonk. Prejudice and ignorance hounded the Dalmatians for many years. Harsh rules that favoured the British made it increasingly difficult for them to dig for gum. During the First World War they were mistakenly called ‘Austrians’ and treated as enemies.
Dalmatians got on very well with Māori of the Far North - Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa, Ngati Kahu and Ngati Kuri, who dubbed them ‘tarara’ - ‘fast talkers’. Intermarriage occurred, producing some significant figures such as Dame Mira Szászy, one of the outstanding Māori women leaders of the 20th Century, and the first Māori woman to graduate with a degree from The University of Auckland. She was a former President of The Māori Women's Welfare League. Dalmatians and others from the former Yugoslavia are proud of their heritage. Their hard-working attitude and contribution to the country is well recognised, especially in Northland and Auckland, where the term ‘Dally’ is now one of affection.
Tarara Day 2009 brochure
Croatian-Maori Day Celebration
Maori and Croat join in festivities
Tarara: Croats and Maori in New Zealand