Saturday, March 05, 2011

Street name doubles up - in English and Cantonese

By Edward Gay
1:15 PM Monday Aug 27, 2007
In what could be a first for New Zealand, a street on the Kapiti coast has a bi-lingual street sign in Cantonese and English.

Jean Hing Place on a new subdivision has been named after local Jean Young whose family arrived in Otaki about 100 years ago.

Mrs Young, whose Christian name is Hing, said it was a tribute to the Chinese community who have worked hard in the area since the turn of the 19th Century.

"We know my parents paid the poll tax but couldn't find the records," Mrs Young said.

The Hing's market garden is now the site of a new subdivision, said Kapiti Coast District Council historian Ron Proctor.

"It's a tribute to the Chinese who have been a part of Otaki over the years," Mr Proctor said.

Local history was rich with personalities, like Te Rauparaha, but the council was acknowledging that the history is multi-cultural.

He said the market gardeners came to the area after the railroad between Foxton and Wellington was opened.

"They supplied Wellington markets and, later on, the American forces and other armed forces during World War Two," Mr Proctor said.

Mr Proctor said there were also Italian market gardeners in the area and they may be researched in the future.
By Edward Gay

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