«The land оf Nicholas von Tunzelmann»: Russian traces in New Zealand

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Researcher
Affiliation: Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of Far East,Far-Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Vladivostok
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 3

The article deals with a group of geographical names in New Zealand and one toponym in Antarctica, the history of which is associated with the immigrants from the Russian Empire in the second half of the XIXth century. They are Nicholas and Alexander von Tunzelmann, representatives of the first two generations of the New Zealand branch of the Tunzelmann family, which had Russian roots. 

Nicholas von Tunzelmann was one of the pioneers of the European colonization of New Zealand. There are a mountain, a river with two tributaries, a river valley and a mountain lodge situated on the west coast of Wakatipu Lake (South Island) received his name back in 1860s. His nephew Alexander is considered in New Zealand as one of the pioneers of Antarctica and the first New Zealander to set foot on its shore. In 1998, the extreme point of Cape Adare at the northern tip of Victoria Land was named after him.

Based on various sources, the details of their biographies, events in the lives of their families and descendants are restored. It is emphasized that the Russian origin of Nicholas von Tunzelmann was a significant aspect for himself to the end of his life. It is concluded that it is important to preserve the memory of this Russian contribution to New Zealand toponymy.

Keywords Russians in New Zealand, Russia-New Zealand relations, New Zealand toponymy, Nicholas von Tunzelmann, Alexander von Tunzelmann
Publication date24.03.2022
Number of characters14785
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