Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

New Zealand's First Refugees: Pahiatua's Polish Children

The Polish Children's Camp in Pahiatua's administration

A report from the Prime Minister's Department, Wellington 15 April 1947

Object of camp

The object of this camp is that it shall be a Polish colony, administered as far as possible by Polish personnel. Until that object is fully attainable, New Zealand will remain to assist and advise. The New Zealand Government will provide and maintain accommodation, camp equipment and all rations.

Responsibilities and duties of New Zealand commandant

The camp commandant is responsible for the administration and discipline of all New Zealand personnel, for rationing and messing all personnel (New Zealand and Polish in camp), administration and supervision in a general way of the whole camp.

Responsibilities of Polish Delegate

Responsible for administration and discipline of all Polish personnel in the camp according to instructions from the Polish Government-in-Exile.

Responsibilities of Public Works Department

Responsible for maintaining buildings, grounds and appliances, fire-fighting appliances, and playing fields in and around camp area.


Accommodation is provided in 14 dormitories and 20 cottages, plus staff quarters for 840 Poles. New Zealand personnel are accommodated in officers' and sergeants' quarters, the Women's Auxiliary Ambulance Corps (WAAC) quarters and hutments for other military staff. Total New Zealand staff approximately 60.

Medical, health, sanitation

The care of Polish personnel is the responsibility of the Polish lady doctor (Eugenia Czochańska) who has with her as consultant and surgeon Dr HB Lange of Pahiatua. Dr Lange is also a visiting medical officer for New Zealand personnel. Care of sanitation in buildings is the responsibility of Polish and New Zealand personnel. The outside is the Public Works Department's responsibility.

page 306

Maintenance of camp and camp ground, including playing areas

Polish and New Zealand personnel will maintain watchful care over all camp property, but general maintenance is the responsibility of the Public Works Department.

Access to camp

Access to camp will be limited to visiting hours, which are from 1400 to 1600 Sundays, or by arrangement with Polish Delegate or camp commandant. Permission to leave camp for New Zealand personnel will be by ordinary leave pass. For Polish personnel and children, arrangements will be made by Polish Delegate.

Fire precautions

A trained team of New Zealand personnel under a fire master will be given responsibility for fire fighting. A detachment of Polish boys are being given instructions and will assist.

Recreation, entertainment

Playing fields, including football, basketball, volleyball, have been provided for the Polish children and are the responsibility of the Polish Delegate. A 35mm projector was installed in the camp and pictures will be shown as and when required. Concert parties and bands, etc, have generously offered assistance, and the Pahiatua subcommittee of the hospitality committee will keep a roster and provide entertainment as requested.

Hospitality committee

A representative committee of societies and organisations was formed to provide clothing, entertainment, toys, etc, which are not otherwise provided by the New Zealand Government.