Love Stories

US marines in New Zealand

We all know stories of girls who fell in love with the tall, handsome Americans. They knew how to talk to girls, they danced, brought corsages, chocolate and nylons. Their teeth were so white!

But those stories cut both ways. The Marines fell in love with us too. They found a warm familial embrace in New Zealand. They were doted on by Mums across the country, who cooked for them, wrote to them, sent them socks and care packages.

1500 New Zealand women married US Marines in the 18 months they were here. There are families right across the United States with kiwi grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

More than that, the influence of those young men in our midst changed our outlook on life in New Zealand. We engaged for the first time with our natural neighbours in the Pacific. We began to slowly disengage ourselves from Mother England and think about a 'can do' future with our new whanau from America.