About Scandinavian Trail

Sir Julius Vogel

Sir Julius Vogel

Between 1870 and 1876 around 5,000 people emigrated from Denmark, Norway and Sweden to New Zealand in conjunction with Julius (later Sir Julius) Vogel’s scheme linking the building of roads and railways with immigration.

This was as far as they could sail across the globe, on journeys lasting from three to four months. Government agents had led them to expect they would find arable land and constant sunshine. Instead, many were led inland until they reached the edge of towering rain forests, called ‘native bush’. Here was their home, unbuilt. To get supplies they would have to ford dangerous rivers. On the first day they wept, on the second they started work. There could be no going back.

NZ settlement map

Scandinavian settlement locations

Origins of Friends of Mauriceville

Friends of Mauriceville logo

Friends of Mauriceville
In 2008 a newsletter circulated through the Mauriceville District. It started "Greetings, my name is Kay Flavell", She went on to say that over the next three years she would be working on piecing together stories and photos of the schools, families and farms of the Mauriceville and Hastwell districts.
However as descendants of early Mauriceville families are now spread throughout New Zealand she was proposing setting up a group called Friends of Mauriceville Incorporated (FOM) so anyone with an interest in these districts could be kept informed of ongoing projects and could contribute to or support them. Additional information about these early Scandinavian settlers is also available from the Masterton Archive.
In 2009 the first AGM of FOM was held at Pukaha Mt Bruce and our organisation has grown from there.
FOM was established as an umbrella group to to supplement existing groups in the district that were endeavouring to preserve and promote historical and Scandinavian cultural heritage, and promote communication between them.

Friends of Mauriceville Inc was set up as a charitable incorporated society in 2009. FOM is registered with the New Zealand Charities Commission as # CC38983. As a registered charitable incorporated society it is able to apply for grants for specific projects on behalf of these groups. The Scandinavian Trail website is maintained by Friends of Mauriceville Inc and is supportive of other groups including NZ Pacific Studio Inc., an international artist residency programme based in New Zealand and in Vallejo, California, USA.
FOM also supports Heritage Wairarapa, a community group formed to advocate for the conservation of heritage places in the Wairarapa, and Friends of ANZAC Memorial Bridge, which is an Incorporated Society formed with the aim of protecting and looking after a unique war memorial in Kaiparoro.

Other groups associated with FOM include:

Whispering Roads and Rainbows over Mauriceville editor Kay Flavell at NZPS

Whispering Roads and Rainbows over Mauriceville editor Kay Flavell at NZPS

We owe a hug debt of gratitude to NZPS founder Kay Flavell for establishing FOM and encouraging us to become involved in researching and preserving the cultural heritage of the Mauriceville and Hastwell districts. She has edited two books for Friends of Mauriceville Inc.:

1. Whispering Roads, (Wellington to Napier – A Scandinavian Trail) which was launched at 2011 Scandinavian Festival in Dannevirke. Click the PDF link to view Whispering Roads. Hard copies of this booklet can be purchased for $10 each via our Contact Us form, below.
Download Whispering Roads booklet

2. Rainbows over Mauriceville, which was launched at the Kopuaranga Hall in January 2013 and is currently out of print. The venue for this was appropriate, as the hall is across the road from the site of the Scandinavian Camp that was set up in 1872 for new immigrants.
The proceeds of these books will enable FOM to begin restoration projects and for additional signage to be established in the district.
You can read more of Kay’s story: "Danish & Norwegian connections: an extract from living in Kaiparoro" by Kay Flavell, here:
Download Danish and Norwegian connections

Aims of Friends of Mauriceville

  • Promote awareness of the area's significant cultural history
  • Preserve and maintain historical buildings and cemeteries
  • Improve road signage for this part of the Scandinavian trail – Wellington to Napier
  • Erect signage at cemeteries, listing and mapping burials
  • Research history pertaining to the area,
  • Publish and sell booklets
  • Liase with interested parties (Community Organisations, District Councils, D.O.C., Historic Places Trust, Scandinavian Clubs and Church Trustees)
  • Apply for grants and funding for projects
  • Have community working bees as needed
  • Communicate with members with a regular newsletter
  • To be open to new ideas for future development.

The Current FOM Committee as of July 2024

Chairman Shaun McGillicuddy
Secretary Peter Christensen       Treasurer Peter Christensen
Newsletter Editor
Website Administrator Peter Christensen

Committee Members
Nerroly Hoar     Katrina McGillicuddy     Ian Trass     Julianne Buick     Willie Buick     Logie Atkinson     Norma Dunn     Brian Ammundsen     Stuart Hoar     Lyn Dawson     Maurie Halberg     Catherine Nelson     Lisbeth Groeberg     Sue Smith     Ross Smith           

The following people declined to be on the committee or were absent from the AGM but showed their continued support for Friends of Mauriceville:
Harold Devenport     Denise Devenport     Bruce Farley     Jo Farley     Beverley Lawrence     Christine Littlejohn     Glenys Hansen     

Friends of Mauriceville Membership

Existing members of Friends of Mauriceville, please pay your annual subscription of $10 into our bank account. For new members: we welcome your interest. If you wish to become a member, you can use internet banking and credit our bank account. Fill in the Membership Application Form below, save it and forward the completed PDF as an email attachment to the email address below, or print it out, fill it in and post it to the address on the form.


Send us your stories

Send us your stories
Here you will find all of our past newsletters, plus records of the names of settlers in the Mauriceville region and contributions from Scandinavian Trail readers. Our website is a place for story-collecting and for increasing our collective knowledge of the lives of New Zealand's Scandinavian immigrant families and their descendants. We want to locate their stories in the wider New Zealand landscape, and increase awareness of the extent of Scandinavian settler contributions to the development of roads, railways, bridges, the dairying industry and home crafts on a local and a national scale.
It is also a place for exploring contemporary Scandinavian and New Zealand cultural issues. We are interested in developing Scandinavian--New Zealand conversations that may find new creative expression in music, fiction, poetry and film.
We welcome your contributions. If you have a story or pictures you'd like to share here, Send us a message via the Contact form below and we'll be in touch.

We have attached PDFs showing the names of people buried in the Mauriceville area. If you have ancestors buried in the wider region around Mauriceville, you may be able to locate them using the Tararua District Council's cemetery search.

Below you will find stories submitted by individuals with memories, thoughts poems etc about the Scandinavian influence past and present. These memories may differ from published material but they rely on the individual's memory and story, so we're not saying that anyone is right or wrong. We have also attached PDFs showing information and contact addresses for other groups in and around the area.

  • Map of burial plots in St Francis cemetery
  • List of pew donors in the Mauriceville Lutheran Church
  • Names on the Mauriceville School Cenetaph
  • Friends of Mauriceville Membership Printable application
  • Danish and Norwegian connections
  • A history of Mauriceville North Norwgian Church 1881-1981
  • Whispering Roads Booklet by Kay Flavell
  • Larsen Family immigration story
  • Bill Gundersen, Kay Flavell & Val Burr
  • Trondheim Sculptor Kara Elise Mobeck
  • The Norwegian Methodist Church sits on a hill
  • The area was settled by Scandinavian settlers
  • Annual event held at the Clarke Domain in Mauriceville
  • The Lutheran Church played an important part in lives of first
  • The Manawatu Scandinavian Club was formed in 1879
  • Henley Mens Shed is a place to share & develop skills
  • Mauriceville School is a small rural school
  • The Wairarapa Archive is dedicated to collecting
  • The Mt Bruce Pioneer Museum is a treasure trove of rural relics
  • Kopuaranga Hall Committee
Click on the PDF icons below to either view the chosen PDF document in your browser, or download it to read later.


Copies of the FOM Newsletter, from Nov 2008 until the present.
 Newsletter 2008 November
 Newsletter 2009 April
 Newsletter 2010 March
 Newsletter 2011 January
 Newsletter 2011 March
 Newsletter 2012 December
 Newsletter 2012 June
 Newsletter 2013 May
 Newsletter 2014 October
 Newsletter 2015 July
 Newsletter 2016 July
 Newsletter 2017 July
 Newsletter 2018 July
 Newsletter 2019 July
 Newsletter 2020 August
  Newsletter 2021 October
 Newsletter 2022 July
 Newsletter July 2022
  The FOM Newsletter for 2023


A collection of Scandinavian settler's names from cemeteries around the Mauriceville area. Mouse over the respective PDF icons for a full description of the file contents.
 List of names on headstones in the Kopouranga Scandinavian Camp Cemetery
 List of names on headstones in the Mauriceville West Cemetery
 List of names on headstones in the Hastwell Cemetery
 Headstone On lone grave in paddock between Mauriceville West School and Hastwell monument.
 List of names on headstones in the Mauriceville North Cemetery
 List of names on headstones in the St Francis Cemetery
  Map of the Lutheran Church Burial ground list each area. A separate PDF shows alphabetical names of those buried. A second PDF list has listings by each area of the ground.
  Lutheran Cemetery burials listed alphabetically showing the area they are buried in.
  Lutheran Cemetery Burials listed by area of cemetery then names of those buried in that section


Miscellaneous documents that don't fit in to the preceding categories.
 Map of burial plots in the St Francis Cemetery
 List of pew donors in the Mauriceville Lutheran Church
 Names on the Mauriceville School Cenotaph
 Friends of Mauriceville Membership printable Application. Mail to 6 Wycliffe Place, Solway, Masterton 5810.
 Danish and Norwegian connections
 A history of Mauriceville North Norwegian Church 1881-1981
 Whispering Roads booklet by Kay Flavell
 Larsen Family immigration story
 Bill Gundersen, Kay Flavell and Val Burr, printed in a Norwegian local history magazine
 Trondheim sculptor Kari Elise Mobeck completed a NZ residency at New Pacific Studio in September-November 2009.
 The Norwegian Methodist Church sits on a hill above North Road, in Mauriceville North . It has a Category 1 Heritage New Zealand listing: Number 204.
 The area was settled by Scandinavian Settlers and the teachers had to cope with educating children who spoke English as a 2nd language.
 Annual event held at the Clarke Domain in Mauriceville.
 The Lutheran Church played an important part in the lives of first generation Scandinavian settlers,and many of those original settlers were buried within its grounds. The church building has since been sold and removed, and ownership of the historic burial ground has been transferred to Masterton District Council.
 The Manawatu Scandinavian Club was formed in 1979 and became the district's third such club. Members are usually descendants of early Scandinavian immigrants.
   Year 2021' >
 Henley Men's Shed is a place to share & develop skills, make or repair things, relate experiences, discuss health and other issues, talk about anything while enjoying a cuppa & biscuit or even another bloke's scones.
 Mauriceville School is a small rural school 20 minutes North-East of Masterton. It has two classrooms and employs three teachers, which includes the principal and two teachers. The Principal is Kim Lupo.
 The Wairarapa Archive is dedicated to collecting and preserving Wairarapa’s unique heritage, and presenting it back to the community. It includes a comprehensive reference collection of printed material relating to Wairarapa, both non-fiction and fiction
 The Mt Bruce Pioneer Museum is a treasure trove of rural relics. It is a huge shed packed with everything from dolls to books, gramophones and a pedal-operated milking machine, plus hands-on working displays - much of it restored by owner Henry Christensen.
 Kopuaranga Hall Committee
  The Rangitumau Horticultural & industrial exhibition was held on 11 April 1907
  This is the story about two familiesJens Laue Pedersen and Vilhelm Klausen Lemberg
  A history of the Mauriceville West Lutheran Church 1878 to 2019
  This is the final Lutheran congregation meeting held in the St Andrews Church in Greytown on 27 August 2023. The service was conducted by Bishop Mark.
  The Lutheran Church was to be removed so a closing De-consecration service was held on 24 March 2019. The Church was latter removed to the countryside between Carterton and Greytown to be a residence.


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