Afghanistan to New Zealand

Hi my name is Masoomah, I’m from Afghanistan. This is my story on how my family came to New Zealand. I interviewed my parents asking them a few questions about why and how we came to New Zealand, because I was too young to remember anything that happened.

My family has been living in NZ for 13 years now. My parents, my two older sisters and I are from Afghanistan, besides my younger brother who was born here. My parents said that our aim was too actually move to Australia, that was the plan, but they wanted to a safe environment to live in, and also a good future for us. “We came here by boat, even though was a dangerous journey to come here and risked our lives, but it got us here”.

My dad said “There were about 438 people on-board. I felt relief and I knew things were going to be okay. If it weren’t for the Tampa we would not have been here today. The Tampa was the boat, which had rescued us. The boat that we were in previously had a leak and we would have drowned. Australia did not let the Tampa in but it entered their waters anyway and they did not accept us, but when the current New Zealand Prime Minister of that time (2001) Helen Clark had heard about this affair she was the one who took action and wanted to help us”.

My family like it here in New Zealand as we have been living here for such a long time that we can call New Zealand home. My family are happy living New Zealand as we fit in and are accepted for our differences.


You can find out more about the story of the Tampa families here.