22, 23 & 24th February


At the Leaders Meeting following the 2011 Festival it was agreed that future Gatherings/Festivals be hosted by the Scandinavian Festival Trust, and be staged in and around the Tararua District.

We would welcome your suggestions as to what you would like to be included in your Festival.


The European settlement of Dannevirke began on the 15th October 1872 with the arrival of 13 Danish and 8 Norwegian families who came to New Zealand as part of the Vogel Scheme. These pioneer settlers were allocated lots, and they set to work, clearing part of the vast 70 Mile Bush, building roads and establishing the railway. After work they put themselves to clearing their allotments and housing themselves. With the clearing of the bush, timber mills arrived bringing with them English speaking immigrants.

As the land was cleared, farmland was developed and Dannevirke grew to become an important centre for rural communities. Today Dannevirke's Scandinavian Heritage remains, the Danish Flag flies proudly beside the New Zealand Flag on the Town Hall. A memorial plaque identifying the original pioneer settlers is situated in Copenhagen Square. With changes to farming patterns and the economy, Dannevirke has changed too, apart from being an important service centre, it has also become a popular stopping place for visitors. Dannevirke is the home of the Tararua District Council, and is served well by Mayor Roly Ellis, Councillors and staff. An enthusiastic Committee of members of the Dannevirke Scandinavian Club, Manawatu Scandinavian Club, Local Clubs, with support from the Tararua District Council are working together to make this festival a memorable occasion.



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