Photo courtesy: Mandy Simpson – wikimedia.org
I was in Wellington, not to enjoy the capital or visit the suburbs along the ocean, but to check the archives. I had a book idea that’s still simmering all these years later as well as a rare chance of finding out some family history. After the search I had a feeling the family rumour was a deliberate lie to put me off the scent.
I found the New Zealand system frustrating because each search required me to key in the necessary file details on the computer and then wait. If I requested information at 12:35, I had to wait till 13:30! Everything was done half hourly.
Without finding any tangible information, I requested school district boxes and was informed they were too much to bring up. After some three hours of searching, I discovered from one of the staff that their records were incomplete anyway.
As I would probably never again return to Wellington, I spent the following day scanning births, deaths and marriages. Don’t ask me what Wellington looked like. I remember its great location and driving past bays where houses perched on cliffs, but my head was in the files until I came away no wiser than when I entered except being more confused with more unanswered questions about our family tree.