Kiribati Migration Story

Our latest story in the Migration and Legacy series of our Pacific mothers features Betuao Chung, who migrated to New Zealand from Kiribati in 1981 after marrying a Kiwi. Betuao’s feelings of sadness at leaving her home country was mixed with excitement about what life in New Zealand would hold for her. She admits to finding it very difficult upon her arrival, with the challenges of having to learn a new language, systems and way of living. Betuao is grateful, however, for the move to New Zealand and the opportunities it afforded not just her, as a woman, but her daughters. Her lingering sadness is seeing her homeland fighting what she sees as a losing battle against climate change and rising sea levels. But she has no regrets coming to New Zealand. Credit: Historic footage supplied by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision and Archives New Zealand.