The first identifiable Muslims resident in New Zealand are 15 Chinese gold diggers working in the South Island, recorded in the government census of April 1874. Little is known of them and it is assumed they either moved on to Australia or returned to China.
In the 1890s several Muslim Punjabi men migrated to the North Island and in the 1900s three Muslim men also arrived from the state of Gujarat. They were followed by other migrants from the same regions and occasionally their wives and families.
From these beginnings, the New Zealand Muslim community now comprises of over 42 different nationalities. Over the last five decades the number has swelled from approximately 200 in 1950 to around 37,000 today, including almost 4000 European/Pakeha and Maori.
Below, in PDF format, are the stories of just a few of the early Muslim New Zealanders about whom we have a good amount of recorded information. These are New Zealand's Muslim Pioneers.