Kiribati Emigration and Immigration

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Kiribati Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Polynesian Immigrants Records[edit | edit source]

Polynesian Immigrants Records, 1876-1914, are available at the National Archives of Fiji. These are records of Pacific Islanders who were brought to Fiji as laborers. Although the first ship arrived in 1864, records were not kept until 1876. Laborers came from New Hebrides (Vanuatu), Solomon Islands, Banks and Torres Straits Islands, Gilbert Islands (Kiribati), and Papua New Guinea. There were about 23,000 who went to Fiji. Others were taken to Queensland, Samoa, and New Caledonia. This movement of people is often referred to as "black-birding". These records include general shipping records, agents, and recruiters' journals, plantation records, and personnel documents.

  • To search the records, contact the National Archives by e-mail at They will advise you of information they need to conduct a search and any fees involved.

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or coming into (immigrating) a country. For Finland, emigration information is usually found in passport records and passenger lists. The information in these records generally includes the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, and destinations and their places of origin.

Background[edit | edit source]

  • Chance visits by European ships occurred in the 17th and 18th centuries, while those ships attempted circumnavigations of the world, or sought sailing routes from the south to north Pacific Ocean. A passing trade, whaling the On-The-Line grounds, and labour ships visited the islands in large numbers during the 19th century. More than 9,000 workers were sent abroad from 1845 to 1895, most of them not returning. The passing trade gave rise to European, Chinese, Samoan and other residents from the 1830s: they included beachcombers, castaways, traders and missionaries.
  • After the attack on Pearl Harbor, during World War II, Butaritari and Tarawa, and others of the Northern Gilbert group, were occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1943. Ocean Island was bombed, evacuated and occupied by Japan in 1942 and only freed in 1945. At the end of 1945, most of the remaining inhabitants of Banaba (one of the islands of Kiribati), repatriated from Kosrae, Nauru and Tarawa, were relocated to Rabi Island, a land of Fiji that the British government had acquired in 1942 for this purpose.
  • In June 2008, Kiribati officials asked Australia and New Zealand to accept Kiribati citizens as permanent refugees.
  • Kiribati is expected to be the first country to lose all its land territory to climate change. In early 2012, the government of Kiribati purchased the 2,200-hectare Natoavatu Estate on the second largest island of Fiji, Vanua Levu. At the time it was widely reported that the government planned to evacuate the entire population of Kiribati to Fiji. In April 2013, President Tong began urging citizens to evacuate the islands and migrate elsewhere.[61] In May 2014, the Office of the President confirmed the purchase of some 5,460 acres of land on Vanua Levu at a cost of 9.3 million Australian dollars.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Kiribati", in Wikipedia,, accessed 30 April 2021.