Living Heritage - Tikanga Tuku Iho

Some problems that chinese people overcame

Legislation, policies and politics

Happenings from:

1895 – 1900

  • The Chinese Immigration Act: letting Chinese in to New Zealand to work.

  • Tonnage restriction for Chinese raised to one to 100 tonnes: for every 100 tonnes of cargo a ship brought to New Zealand from China, only one Chinese person was allowed to enter New Zealand.  This restriction was only placed on Chinese immigrants.

  • Old age pension introduced: Chinese not included even if naturalised citizens. Older people don't have to pay a higher poll tax. Old Chinese still had to pay when returning to New Zealand even if they were born in New Zealand.

1901 – 1947

  • Opium prohibition act: opium was a very important drug to the Chinese. It stopped them from getting hungry so they could work longer. When the law was put in against the Chinese people opium was the only illegal drug in New Zealand.

  • New Zealand police allowed to go into Chinese houses without a search warrant: police cannot go into other peoples houses without asking.

  • Lionel Terry murders Joe Kum Yung: Lionel killed Joe because he didn't like him because he was Chinese.

  • Wellington highlights the "yellow peril": Wellington (New Zealand's capital) made the Chinese most unpopular.

  • Abolition of the poll tax: the poll tax was something that the Chinese had to pay to get into New Zealand but since it has been abolished (made no more) the Chinese don't have to pay to get in to New Zealand.

  • Pension granted to old naturalised Chinese citizens: the Chinese were allowed to not pay all the taxes.
The poll tax

The poll tax was money that the Chinese had to pay to get into New Zealand and the amount that they would have to pay was 100 pounds.  It would take a Chinese man about 10 years to earn it.  When the poll tax was finally abolished in 1944 it was a great  relief to the Chinese.  Chinese were the only people who had to pay the poll tax to get into New Zealand.   In February 2002 Helen Clark (Prime Minister of New Zealand) apologised formally to the Chinese people for the poll tax.

Cruel children

Cruel children during the goldrush times would cut Chinese men's pigtails off as a joke. The Chinese believed that  their trip to the spirit world would be shorter if their pigtail was long.  When the Chinese people's pigtails were chopped off it would hurt them spiritually. 


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Our Project

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