Interview with Michael Okkerse

Date
11 Nov 1999
By
Smaal, Elizabeth, 1948?-; Okkerse, Michael John Stock, 1949-
Ref
OHInt-0484-08
Description

Michael Okkerse was born in Wellington in 1949. Gives details of his family's background and his grandparents living in Indonesia with his father and siblings. Talks about the family's internment by the Japanese. Describes their emigration to New Zealand and his mother's involvement in helping refugees. Explains his father's navy career, his parent's courtship and his father going into his mother's family importing business, George E Stock. Describes the role of his maternal grandfather in the family, class differences between his parents, the dominance of women and the effect on his father. Discusses visiting Dutch relatives, Dutch traditions in the home and the tension between Dutch and New Zealand culture for his father. Notes that family friends were his mother's. Comments on the possible effect of the war on his father. Discusses Dutch food and language. Comments on visiting Holland and the effect on his father of a family reunion.

Summarises his education including secondary schooling at Wellington College, study in New York and further study in law. Mentions working in Rotorua, London and Washington DC. Describes the death of his grandfather George Stock and his father taking over the family business. Recalls going to India with Peter Hillary and his climbing team. Describes marrying and having a son Joel. Mentions brother Jan Okkerse. Describes buying out the family interest and running the business.

Discusses his involvement with IUD litigation and the exposure of issues about the Dalkon shield. Outlines the financial cost of the work he has done. Recalls acting as junior counsel in the Cartwright Inquiry and contact with Sandra Coney and Phillida Bunkle. Talks about acting for those who are less powerful, the importance of women's health work and the principles involved in this work in relation to his Dutchness. Comments on work with breast implant problems.

Mentions his wife has returned to the United Sates and describes spending time with his children, tramping, concerts and other forms of recreation. Discusses family responsibility, nursing his father during his death, talking about emotional difficulties and using the Dutch language in his eulogy to him. Comments on New Zealand as a bicultural society.

Interviewer(s) - Elizabeth Smaal

Quantity: 3 C60 cassette(s). 1 printed abstract(s). 1 interview(s). 2.30 Hours and minutes Duration.

Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete OHA-2710.

Additional description

Original recordings not available for playback. Surrogate copies will be provided.

Alternative form available: Listening copies OHLC-004433 - OHLC-004435

Use/Reproduction
Requires the written permission of the interviewee Copyright: NZ Netherlands Foundation
Access restrictions
Partly restricted material
Part of
New Zealand Netherlands Foundation oral history project, stage two
Format
3 C60 cassette(s), 1 printed abstract(s), 1 interview(s), 2.30 Hours and minutes Duration, Oral histories
There are 4 items in total.
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There are 4 items in this group.
From: New Zealand Netherlands Foundation oral history project, stage two Ref: OHA-2710 Description: Quantity: 1 printed abstract(s). Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete.
Date: 11 Nov 1999 From: New Zealand Netherlands Foundation oral history project, stage two Ref: OHC-008662 Description: Interviewer(s) - Elizabeth Smaal Quantity: 1 C60 cassette(s). Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete.
Date: 11 Nov 1999 From: New Zealand Netherlands Foundation oral history project, stage two Ref: OHC-008661 Description: Interviewer(s) - Elizabeth Smaal Quantity: 1 C60 cassette(s). Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete.
Date: 11 Nov 1999 From: New Zealand Netherlands Foundation oral history project, stage two Ref: OHC-008663 Description: Interviewer(s) - Elizabeth Smaal Quantity: 1 C60 cassette(s). Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete.