Saturday, October 29, 2011


Americans who have been influenced by the Orient to the extent of taking their tea clear, without milk or sugar, will be astonished to learn that the Occident is now bent on teaching the Chinese to use milk with their concoction of tea leaves and condensed milk at that (says an American exchange). An enterprising condensed-milk company is pushing the campaign, and expects to be successful. This concern already has introduced condensed-milk ice cream to the Chinese, and they like it so well that many of the restaurants keep it always ready. Practically no fresh milk is to be had in China, although the natives seem familiar enough with the virtues of both the fresh and the condensed article. Perhaps after all the. Orientals have taken their tea clear because there was no milk to put in it, and not because they thought the addition of milk ruined the bevevage. Evening Post, Volume LXXXIX, Issue 90, 17 April 1915, Page 11

One suburb - two separate worlds

By Lincoln Tan and Simon Collins
5:30 AM Friday Apr 15, 2011

Investor Murray Gleeson and his Malaysian-born partner Jeffery Yang feel society is 'more integrated now' and more outward-looking. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Investor Murray Gleeson and his Malaysian-born partner Jeffery Yang feel society is 'more integrated now' and more outward-looking. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Meadowlands, a shopping centre in one of the most Chinese parts of Auckland, tells a story of how New Zealand is still adjusting slowly to a new community in its midst.

It is now 14 years since Hong Kong migrant Kit Wong built several blocks of shops and restaurants to serve the local Chinese population.

In 2006 Chinese made up 30.7 per cent of the surrounding census area just south of Howick.

When the Herald visits, Filipino migrants Arturo and Jane Pasamba are the only non-Chinese customers around.

"We've got Chinese friends," Mrs Pasamba explains. "We are also interested in their cooking and my daughter is now learning how to speak Chinese at Rutherford College."

But just across Meadowland Drive at the older Meadowlands Shopping Plaza dominated by a Woolworths supermarket, most shoppers are Pakeha. They see the Chinese as isolated.

"They don't assimilate as readily as some of the European populations," says teacher Kiri Kirkpatrick, 35.

"I play hockey. Not many of them play hockey, although there are a few."

A retired man says only two of the 150 members of his bowling club are Chinese - "whereas when we were in Vancouver a couple of years ago, something like 40 per cent of the members there were Chinese".

We ask non-Chinese people here, "Has your life been affected by the growing number of Chinese people in New Zealand?" Only nine say yes; 14 say no. Even here, Chinese newcomers and other Kiwis still live largely in separate and parallel societies.

In broader Kiwi society, many are still wary. A poll this week on asked, "Is the increasing Chinese influence in New Zealand a positive thing?" Of 11,000 responses, 67 per cent said no.

It's not that the Chinese are shunned. Ask the Meadowlands shoppers how much interaction they have with Chinese people in various settings, and they all have some kind of contact.

Kiri Kirkpatrick has Chinese pupils in her class and had close Chinese friends growing up in Bucklands Beach. "I went to Hong Kong with one of them," she says.

Retired couple Sue and Hank Mooy say "lots of Chinese people" are in their square dancing club, and some have taken square dancing back to China.

Investor Murray Gleeson and his Malaysian-born partner Jeffery Yang feel society is "more integrated now" and more outward-looking.

Gun dealer Clive Jordan imports 30 per cent of his guns from China and says 40 per cent of his customers and 30 per cent of the local pistol club members are Chinese.

"We were fairly insular in our culture and it's broadened our horizons," he says. "They don't all look the same any more!"

Mr Jordan and several others often attend Chinese New Year celebrations in the Howick Domain. Others were among the 250,000 Aucklanders at this year's Lantern Festival in Albert Park.

Nineteen of the shoppers feel their interactions with Chinese people are mostly "positive", against three who say they are mostly "difficult".

But ask them which ethnic groups come to mind when they think about the term "New Zealander" and many admit that Asians are still only an afterthought.

"If I'm honest I tend to think of European and Maori," says Hebie Capill, 42. "If I have to think about it more, the others would be there, probably Pacific Islanders before Chinese."

Equally, many Chinese people live in their own world. Auckland Chinese Community Centre chairman Arthur Loo says there is "no real incentive" for new migrants to learn English because they live in a parallel Mandarin-speaking society.

"We're trying to involve some of the Mandarin-speaking ones into our activities, but we've got to find some common interests first," he says. "There aren't very many of them who can hold a decent conversation with an NZ-born kiddo about rugby."

Even at Auckland University, where 35 per cent of students are Asian, Chinese Students Association president Krono Wei says most Chinese students live and study with other Chinese.

"White people play with white people, Indians play with Indians, Pacific play with Pacific," he says. "There's not much socialising across the boundaries."

Mr Wei worked part-time clipping rugby and cricket tickets at Eden Park and saw only one Chinese face in a year.

Yet out of 500 young people packed into the popular Chinese nightclub Primo, he sees only "two or three or five" Kiwis.

Even the internet is segregated. When Malaysian-born business student Linda Tay wanted to be friends with some of her China-born school mates on Facebook, she struggled to find them because Facebook is blocked in China.

Instead many Chinese use their own sites such as Renren (, Pengyou ( and Kaixin (

Separateness can become nastiness. Law student Melody Guo, who featured in yesterday's Herald with her two Kiwi flatmates, says people have thrown rocks at her family's car when they travelled around New Zealand.

"It's quite common," she says. "It happened everywhere. It's either from another car beside you or someone just walking by."

A 2005 Asia-NZ Foundation survey of 94 Asian people in focus groups in five cities found that "the vast majority" had experienced some form of racism.

"Most common was verbal abuse and 'the finger' - often by teenagers or children.

Overt racism included damage to cars identifiable as 'Asian', bottles or stones being thrown, being laughed at because of poor pronunciation."

Statistics NZ's general social survey of 8700 people in 2008 found 23 per cent of Asians had experienced discrimination in the previous 12 months, compared with only 16 per cent of Maori, 14 per cent of Pacific people and 8 per cent of Europeans.

Many of the people in this series are trying to counteract this by bringing Kiwis and Chinese together.

Botany pastor Samuel Chong, who invited the Herald to a Neighbours Day dinner for his street, has organised a Neighbourhood Watch group.

Last year Ms Guo formed an International Social Network at Auckland University ( and drew more than 300 people to social events, with equal numbers of international and domestic students.

In 2008 a young professional group launched a scheme called Omega ( which has matched 482 skilled migrants with local volunteer mentors.

In Rotorua, Waiariki Institute of Technology has signed up 100 domestic students to be "buddies" with some of its 450 international students, paying them $15 an hour to spend two hours a week with a newcomer for a term.

The 2005 Asia-NZ Foundation study recommended much wider use of mentoring for all immigrants, backed up by orientation courses. Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has proposed powhiri for all new settlers.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says that although it is natural to fear change, China will be a growing influence in the world like it or not.

"Having a proportion of our population which is engaged with and related to and knowledgeable about China is a major economic and social asset for us," he says.

"We should obviously acknowledge that the political and social and cultural climate of China is fundamentally different from the political and social and cultural climate of New Zealand. But I don't see any evidence that China wishes to destroy that in New Zealand."

He believes New Zealand's values of freedom and tolerance are expressed partly in accepting and celebrating a diverse society.

"In the end it will probably strengthen our society to have this diversity," he says. "A society that values its own diversity will also be able to engage with people throughout the world."
By Lincoln Tan and Simon Collins | Email Lincoln

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Betty Leung,

Betty Leung, of New Plymouth, received the Queen's Service Medal forservices to the Chinese community. Mrs Leung has been an active member of the New Plymouth community since she arrived from Hong Kong in 1997. She has acted as a volunteer interpreter for the Chinese community and is a member of the New Plymouth District Council’s International Relations Working Party. She is President of the Taranaki Chinese Association and a member of the China Friendship Society. She is involved with the Migrant Settlement Support Programme and has been a supporter of Women’s Refuge, a trustee of Taranaki Victim Support, a member of the Positive Ageing Council of New Plymouth, and has served on the Executive Committee of the Taranaki Justices of the Peace Association.
Achievement highlighted in portrait

By David Loughrey on Tue, 20 Sep 2011
News: Dunedin

Former mayor Peter Chin with his portrait, which was unveiled at the Dunedin Municipal Chambers yesterday. Photo by Jane Dawber.

Dunedin's Chinese Garden provides the background to former mayor Peter Chin's portrait, a choice Broad Bay artist Simon Richardson said indicated something about Dunedin's former leader.

In discussions with Mr Chin for the portrait, it was clearly the project he was "most proud of", Mr Richardson said.

The oil painting was unveiled at a Dunedin City Council meeting yesterday.

Mr Chin chaired the Chinese Garden Trust that developed the garden, and said before last year's election he took "huge pride" in its completion.

He lost the election battle in October last year, after serving for five three-year terms on the council, the last two as mayor.

Since the 1940s, each mayor has had their likeness hung on the council walls, with Mr Chin's portrait now next to former mayors Sukhi Turner and Richard Walls.

The latest addition stands out, in that while Mr Chin wears the robes and chains of office like the others, the background depicts the rocks and roofs of the Chinese Garden and the hills of Dunedin.

Mr Richardson, who grew up in Gore and studied at the Otago School of Art.

produced an oil painting of a naked former All Black Anton Oliver, which caused something of a sensation, and sold for more than $16,000.

Yesterday's unveiling was a more sober affair, with the artwork receiving a polite clap.

Mr Richardson said it was his decision to add the background.

The portrait had been painted slowly, with sittings that took "a long time" beginning in 2008, and Mr Chin's personality in the painting slowly evolving.

"I reckon he has flattered me," Mr Chin said after the meeting.

"It has been a pleasure sleeping through the sittings," he joked.

Kong Chew "KC" Loo

Kong Chew "KC" Loo's fruit shop is a Mt Eden landmark and consistently rates in the "Best of Auckland" surveys.
KC opened shop in 1949 and wife Eileen joined him in 1953 and they have not missed a day since.
KC arrived in New Zealand from China as a youngster in 1939, just after the outbreak of WWII.

He was one of the last immigrants from China to pay the notorious "poll" imposed to stem the flow of migrants.

The current site of KC Loo's fruit shop is in the prime retailing location in the Village. Its unique design marries well with the older style of the Village and adds to the Bohemian flavour of Mt Eden.

Raymond Huo

Raymond Huo _ or Highly Unique Oriental as he jokingly calls himself _ is fiercely proud of his Chinese origins.

The 44-year-old enters Parliament on the Labour list determined to use his knowledge of Chinese protocol to help bring some of that vast country's capital into our economy.

"There is a saying in China, nothing is permitted in China, but everything is possible."

And he has proved that anything is possible here, too.

At number 21 on the party list, he enters Parliament with a wealth of diverse experience.

Huo won a scholarship to study English literature and landed a Government job in Beijing.

However he then returned to his studies and completed a law degree. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1994.

Here his career changed again when he became a reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

He returned to law in Auckland and recently joined Queen City Law as a senior associate _ now he must hand in his notice.

- Anna Rushworth

4:00 AM Sunday Nov 9, 2008

As the Earth Turns Silver

Two homegrown writing debuts show promise

By Linda Herrick and Edited by Linda Herrick
4:00 AM Saturday Jul 25, 2009

Alison Wong's first novel is modest in style, generous in tone, accomplished in structure; wide-ranging in characters. It's not surprising that overseas publishers are interested.

The Titahi Bay author, almost inevitably a graduate of Victoria University's writing school, sets her story at the start of the 20th century, when a Chinese person on a central Wellington street is an instant target for beggars and bigots, name-calling and plait-pulling.

Racism is one of the book's central motifs, in poems lip-smackingly recited by an apparently cultured lunch guest, stones thrown through a greengrocer's window, a Prime Minister quite unabashed by his membership of an anti-Asian faction.

It's not only Chinese who are targeted. Maori are apparently dying out — and a good thing too, say People In Power. There are also the situations vacant ads: "Maid required for light duties by respectable gentleman. No Irish need apply." And there's the prejudice against women, in the smug misogyny of Truby King et al. But it's "John Chinaman" who is victimised most.

Amid the bigotry, a love affair begins, between Yung the quick-minded, quick-fisted shopkeeper, ridding himself of his long rope of hair and his premises of invading thugs, and Katherine, with her caricature of a bullying husband (who has the decency to fall drunk into Wellington Harbour).

Both parties feel "an emptiness, a hungry space". Both are dissatisfied with convention or tradition, and are ready for transformation.

Things start under a cabbage tree by the Basin Reserve, and lead via delight and terror to an ending on a shop floor.

A quick shuttle of chapters keeps the plot pulsing along. Wong spreads complex nets of love and grief that catch up nearly every character. She does an impressively unshowy job of capturing the varied voices.

Period details feel just right. There's Mrs Newman the emancipist, fuming against being addressed by her husband's name and celebrating the first women in the Olympics. There's the jingoistic marching and cheering as WWI is declared. And there's a splendidly-evoked Haining Street, with "the smell of garlic and ginger", where a European shoots an Asian walking home, then defends himself with the argument that a Chinese "is not a man".

You could suggest that the ending is a bit prolonged and unremitting. You could also suggest that there's a whiff of Mills & Boon about the love affair, with its lingering glances, meaningful hand-touchings, and fireworks going off inside. But this is a striking and successful debut. Bring on Alison Wong's next one(s).
As the Earth Turns Silver $37: reviewed by David Hill
David Hill is a Taranaki writer.



If you ever call the Liang residence, here's a tip: Don't ask for Dr Liang.

The response is: "Which one?"

With three doctors in Renee Liang's family - her father is also a paediatrician and a sister is a surgeon on the Gold Coast - she has never been far from excellence.

A third sister is a film maker.

Renee Liang, 37, grew up in Auckland and is a proud old girl of St Cuthbert's College in Epsom.

She says that growing up in a family who supported her love of both medicine and the arts helped her to become a confident woman.

"I always felt encouraged and always felt mastery.

"My primary school friends tell me that they can still remember me saying that I wanted to be a pediatrician - and I was 7 years old!

"But my dad was one and I knew the word - I always looked up to him and now I'm here."

Dr Liang works as a consultant paediatrician and researcher.

She has an interest in community and child health and her research involves looking at human development.

Her second love - the arts - has also seen her become a widely published poet, playwright and short-story writer, as well as being involved in the performing arts.

She says her Chinese name, Wei Wei, was given to her by her grandfather and means "literary blossom."

"My grandfather named me that because he said there were too many doctors in the family - we need a writer or an artist!

"My mother didn't tell me that until my third year into medicine, so who knows what would have been if I had known that before."

Dr Liang plans to continue her journey in life "as sort of a surprise".

Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards
By Vaimoana Tapaleao
4:00 AM Saturday Jun 26, 2010

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Obituary: Gam Lee

Gam Lee, MBE. Doctor, community leader. Died aged 74.

Gam Lee said on being made an MBE for services to medicine and the community that all he was doing was repaying his "debt" to NZ.

But the 1995 award followed decades of hectic work both for medicine and the communities in which he lived. During his life he became accustomed to rushing from his medical surgery to local body or medical administration meetings and to fundraising committees.

It was a work habit he started as a schoolboy, after his family had settled in Mangere Bridge, South Auckland. They had a 2ha market garden growing seasonal vegetables. Part of the land is now the site of the Chinese Community Centre that Dr Lee had a key role in building.

Young Gam Lee's days while at Otahuhu College included helping his parents in the market garden before school and again when he came home, then finding time to do his homework.

That was the way it was in those days, for the family were war refugees from the Japanese attacks on China in which millions died.

As a young boy Dr Lee walked 100km with his mother and an uncle from their little village in the Xin Tang province in what is now Guangzhou (formerly Canton) to the safety of Hong Kong.

He made it to NZ in 1940, his family coming on a temporary visa. The Japanese attacked Hong Kong in late 1941, only hours after their attack on Pearl Harbour.

The family's visa included a £200 bond (the male New Zealand average wage was then £5 a week). And they entered on the understanding they would eventually return to China, although the policy was later changed and they stayed.

Gam Lee went to Otago University and qualified as a doctor in 1959, the same year he became a naturalised New Zealander. His family describe his approach to life as "sheer determination". He was a psychiatric registrar in Otago for a time and helped his younger brother Peter through medical school.

Dr Lee started a general practice in sparsely settled Waiheke Island in the early 1960s. In three years there he was involved in setting up a Lions Club and being a member of the Waiheke County Council. After that his practice moved first to Mangere and later to Pakuranga. Apart from orthodox general practice and obstetrics he also got involved in acupuncture, manipulation, chelation therapy and other treatments and gave time to their organisations. He spent two terms on the Manukau City Council and one on the Auckland Hospital Board.

Apart from his numerous efforts in the Chinese community he was also a Rotarian for more than 20 years and helped establish the multicultural Harbourside Rotary Club.

He believed it was important for Chinese people in New Zealand to be involved in the community. "New Zealand adopted me and gave me an excellent education," he said in 1995. "I owe this country so much that I will never be able to repay my debt."

Dr Lee is survived by Hane, his wife of 50 years, two sons and a daughter.
By Arnold Pickmere | Email Arnold Obituary: Gam Lee By Arnold Pickmere
5:00 AM Saturday Jun 23, 2007

Auckland: A new wave

As Auckland merges to create a supercity, the Herald looks back at how Auckland has changed over the years.

At the beginning of the 21st century, immigration is an important
issue in New Zealand and Auckland, and much of the public and media focus relates to the increasing ethnic diversification of the population.

A century earlier, immigration had a very different meaning and impact. For more than a century after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840,
immigration was largely about British settlement in New Zealand.

Though we tend to think of these migrants as farmers who settled the land after the Land Wars of the 1860s, there were also skilled tradespeople, white-collar workers and entrepreneurs who settled in
urban areas.

By Dr Ward Friesen
5:30 AM Saturday Aug 28, 2010

In the 19th century, Maori were sometimes called New Zealanders; by the first half of the 20th century this term tended to apply more to the Pakeha population, with the great majority of these being of English, Scottish and Irish origin.

There were some notable exceptions to British immigration before the 1950s. The gold rushes in Otago in the 1860s resulted in an influx of
Chinese workers to the goldfields.

Though some of these sojourners returned to China, or moved elsewhere after the rushes ended, many stayed in New Zealand and moved to urban centres. By the end of the 19th century, Auckland had an established Chinese community, many working in market gardening or retailing.

Another significant migrant group to arrive in the late 19th century was the Dalmatians. Initially many came to work in the gumfields to the north of Auckland, but many diversified into other activities, the vineyards to the west of Auckland being a notable legacy.

One other non-British migrant group in Auckland in the first half of the 20th century were the Indians, some of whom had moved on from the indentured labour system of Fiji and others who came as independent traders and established themselves in various economic sectors, especially green-groceries and dairies.

Of course, many of the New Zealand-born descendants of these non-British migrants have, through education and hard work, become well-represented in the professions and other highly skilled occupations.

After World War II new waves of migrants arrived in New Zealand, and in each case Auckland was an important place of settlement.

The post-war economic boom resulted in an expansion of manufacturing and demand for labour resulting in the urbanisation of Maori as well as the opportunity for migration from the Pacific nations which were still New Zealand colonies at that time - (Western) Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.

Central Auckland provided many employment opportunities for these immigrants on the wharves, in factories, and in hospitals among other places.

Pacific immigration continued for decades after this, with other countries also becoming important in these movements, especially Tonga and Fiji.

Though some of these migrants settled in other parts of
New Zealand, they also dispersed to other parts of the Auckland region, and recent censuses show that about two-thirds of New Zealand's Pacific population has settled in greater Auckland.

British immigration continued to be important after World War II but another European group, the Dutch, were favoured migrants in the 1950s and 1960s.

Refugee movements have formed an important part of New Zealand and Auckland's immigration. Jewish and other displaced peoples arrived as refugees in the post-war period and into the 1950s.

New Zealand signed the UN Convention on Refugees in 1960 and each year accepts 750 "quota" refugees as well as an average of 300 asylum-seekers a year in recent years.

In the 1970s, a new wave of refugees resulted from the Vietnam War; the largest groups being Vietnamese and Cambodian. Though they were intentionally settled with sponsors in various parts of New Zealand, in
the longer term many from other parts moved on to the largest clusters in Auckland.

Refugee intakes in recent years have also been an outcome of conflicts in various parts of the world with significant numbers arriving from Chile, Somalia,Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

The most dramatic shift in immigration policy and patterns in the 20th century was a result of the Immigration Act 1987. It replaced the "favoured country" criteria for migrant selection, which had favoured European and Pacific countries, with criteria based on age, education, skills and investment potential.

Even though Great Britain remained the single most important country of origin after 1987, a significant result of this change in immigration policy was a dramatic increase in immigration from Asia.

The largest numbers have arrived from China, India, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Malaysia, but many other Asian countries are represented as well.

The greatest impact of these "new" migrations has been in Auckland, where two-thirds of all Asian migrants have settled. Whereas there were about 13,000 Asia-born residents of Auckland in 1986, 20 years later this number had multiplied by about 12 times to more than 165,000.

New Asian "ethnoscapes" have become apparent in Auckland, often with certain Asian groups predominating. Chinese shops, restaurants and temples are obvious in various parts of Auckland, with well-known examples in Sommerville and Dannemora in South Auckland, in New Lynn and along Dominion Road.

There are Indian shops, restaurants, temples, and mosques in Mt Albert and Mt Roskill as well as in parts of Manukau City. Less visible aspects of these ethnoscapes include newspapers, radio stations, and ethnic associations which serve to support new migrants in a direct sense as well as support linguistic and cultural maintenance, but also help to provide links to other ethnic groups in Auckland.

The number and variety of migrants has also increased, with people coming from the Middle East, other parts of Africa, Europe (including Eastern Europe) and the Americas.

The variety of new migrants does not only relate to those who have come as permanent residents, but also in terms of increasing numbers who have arrived since the mid-1990s as international students and, over many years, those who have come on working permits. Many of these students and workers have later applied for permanent residency, often successfully.

In the 2006 Census, many people identified themselves as "New Zealanders", some because they thought "New Zealand European" was not applicable to them, others because they had multiple ethnic backgrounds, and still others as a sign of commitment to their new country of
residence. However, underlying these statements of nationality lie a great deal of ethnic diversity, and the place where these multiple
identities are being contested, negotiated - and celebrated - is Auckland.

Dr Wardlow Friesen is a senior lecturer in geography in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland.
By Dr Ward Friesen

Tom Ah Chee. Photo / Supplied

Auckland: Flourishing society

As Auckland merges to create a supercity, the Herald looks back at how Auckland has changed over the years.

The outbreak of World War II had been a major turning point for Chinese in New Zealand. Stringent immigration restrictions were temporarily relaxed in 1939 to allow the wives and children of long-time Chinese residents and itinerant workers to enter New Zealand as war refugees.

Japanese armies had overrun many of China's coastal provinces, including the home villages of the Chinese New Zealanders in Guangdong Province in the south.

Each refugee wife had to pay a £200 bond and promise to leave at the end of the war, taking all her children, including any babies who might be born in New Zealand.

A total of 249 wives and 244 children gained temporary refugee status - and this modest number transformed the Chinese community from being mainly a group of itinerant sojourners into real families.

Grey's Ave witnessed many patriotic activities. The colourful parades on "Double-Tenth" (October 10, , the National Day) were spectacular.

The Nationalist Party Headquarters was the centre of very effective fund-raising for the Chinese war effort.

The Q-Sing Times, an Auckland-based Chinese language newspaper, started in 1938 at 49 Grey's Ave. The fortnightly newspaper was a labour of love: all 30 pages were handwritten and then cyclostyled and distributed
to every Chinese household in the Auckland area.

It served to disseminate important homeland news throughout the war years and galvanise the patriotic weekly donation efforts.

The regular donation rate was 10 shillings for employers and 2 shillings for employees. Those who did not pay would be named and shamed in the newspaper.

The war years witnessed the flourishing of Auckland's Chinatown when the community took root.

Even more significantly the war in China forced a number of New Zealand-born Chinese young people, who had been sent to China for a proper Chinese education, to return hurriedly to New Zealand.

Many of these families lost their lands and property during the Japanese invasion and the subsequent Chinese Civil War.

Among them were the Ah Chee siblings. Tommy Ah Chee was only 3 when he left New Zealand, and he returned when he was 11, having totally forgotten his childhood English.

His father also lost much of the family fortune and he recalled the hardship of having to work long hours trucking apple cases for the family fruit shop.

The family made its fortune a second time through hard work and business acumen. Clement Ah Chee chose sites close to the tram stops so that customers could cart away heavy produce.

In 1958, Tommy Ah Chee launched New Zealand's first modern supermarket, Foodtown, in Onehunga, complete with roomy carparks, catering to the
new age of motor cars.

Aucklanders were so intrigued by the new experiment that cars blocked the motorway on its opening day, and special messages had to be broadcast on the radio to discourage customers from flocking in.
By Manying Ip

By Manying Ip
5:30 AM Friday Aug 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Brian Rudman: Political battles of mainland China have no place in central Auckland

The Chinese Government is hardly the first foreign country to try to stick its nose into the running of our little remote corner of the world.

The Americans haven't hesitated to try to influence the local decision-making processes on issues such as the Vietnam War and anti-nuclear-ship policies.

But the way the Chinese try to manipulate local migrant communities, and put pressure on local councillors, does seem to take this sort of interference up another notch.

In recent weeks, Auckland councillors have received a letter from Liao Juhua, the Chinese consul-general in Auckland, warning them off attending a Falun Gong-sponsored Chinese dance show at the Aotea Centre. An unknown number of parliamentarians have received a similar "stay-away" circular signed by 29 Auckland Chinese "front organisations".

The consul-general "kindly requested" Mayor Len Brown and Auckland councillors "to stay away from the event" because it was organised by "an anti-society cult banned by the Chinese Government".

He said: "The real intention of holding the event is to slander the Chinese Government and propagandise the cultic theories and heretical ideas of Falun Gong."

The letter to MPs is even more intemperate, referring to "an evil cult harboured with anti-scientific and political purposes".

It's not the first time the Chinese have tried to bring their internal battles to Auckland.

In 2002, the consul got his knickers in a twist over banners on Queen St and Karangahape Rd welcoming that peripatetic thorn in China's side, the Dalai Lama, to town.

The Queen St banner referred to him as "in exile in Auckland", while the Karangahape Rd banner demanded "China out of Tibet".

The Chinese wanted both signs to come down and the wimpish Mayor John Banks and his right-wing majority kowtowed to the demands.

The "China out of Tibet" sign clearly breached the "anti-political" sign regulations and should never have gone up. But the other was promoting a coming event and was clearly okay. But the Chinese went boo, and the city fathers ran a mile.

This time, Mayor Brown has chosen not to respond. His office has indicated he declined the invitation because of a prior engagement before the threatening note appeared.

Councillor Cathy Casey is one politician who has taken "great exception to the tone and content of the letter". Writing to the chief executive, she said: "This is New Zealand, not China. We embrace democracy and people's right to freedom of expression. I greatly resent the attempt of the Chinese consul-general to try and influence elected members against Falun Gong members in this way."

It would be naive to expect first-generation migrants, whether they be Falun Gong refugees or supporters of the Chinese Government, to immediately turn their backs on their past lives. Other waves of migrants haven't, so why should they? In 1922, for example, after a report appeared in the Herald of a rousing speech in the Auckland Town Hall during a St Patrick's Day rally, Catholic Bishop James Liston was charged with sedition for inciting disaffection against His Majesty and promoting hostility between different classes.

The New Zealand-born bishop had spoken of his parents being driven out of Ireland by "their foreign masters" - the British - and prayed for a time when Ireland would be free. A jury found him not guilty.

These days, the "rebellious" Irish are well-integrated ingredients of the Kiwi soup. History suggests the latest wave of migrants will, in time, be absorbed into the mix as well. But the process is not helped by diplomats from the old countries stirring up old battles in a new land.

As for a night out, councillors can decide for themselves what shows they want to see without advice from fake drama critics from Embassy Row.
By Brian Rudman | Email Brian By Brian Rudman
5:30 AM Friday Feb 4, 2011

Distance heals historic wrongs

On July 7, 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army attacked the Marco Polo Bridge - a crucial access point to the city of Beijing, marking the beginning of the Japanese invasion of China and the start of the Second Sino-Japanese war.

The war lasted more than eight years, with 35 million Chinese casualties - four-fifths of them civilian. Ninety-five million refugees were created as the Japanese Army swept through Eastern China.

My grandmother lived in a village on the edge of the fighting, the provider for her younger siblings. When the Japanese army was sighted near her hometown, the residents fled to the mountains and so my grandmother buried her savings in silver coins beside a tree. For weeks the villagers hid, scavenging for food until the Chinese army retook the area.My grandmother still recalls arriving at her home where everything of value was either looted or broken.When she found her life savings gone she wept.

To this day she maintains "Japanese people are very wicked, very cruel", a view shared by many Chinese.

Where does that leave me, a 16-year-old born in China five decades after the end of the war, who immigrated to New Zealand aged 1? A teenager in multicultural New Zealand whose only obvious association to China is the colour of his skin? How do those long-ago events affect my life? How does my grandmother's animosity affect me?

This is my fourth year of learning Japanese at college. The songs on my playlist are a mixture of English, Chinese and Japanese.

I eat sushi at least three times a month and I have more Japanese friends than Australians. I think that speaks for itself.

That's not to say that I don't feel anger when hearing about the atrocities of the war. Some things still cause an involuntary shudder. I can empathise with those who feel resentment towards Japan, and I don't condemn them for feeling that way.

Nevertheless, I find it difficult to connect the Imperial Japanese Army of the 1930s with the courteous island nation of today. The ones responsible for the war are long gone - is it fair for their descendants to inherit our hatred? Is it appropriate for me to inherit my grandmother's?

I've chosen not to. Or perhaps "chosen" is not the right word. I'm just not inclined to.

Maybe it's the environment I've grown up in, as well as the generation gap. Could it also be the technology we have access to, where information is a mere click away and foreign people are more than nameless hostile faces?

Is it what we see and hear that determines the way we feel about these things, not any innate disposition? Could it be my grandmother's stories, and the lack of any outside influence that gave my uncle the views he has today, which stop him from eating at Japanese restaurants? Is it because I grew up in New Zealand that those same stories have had less of an impact on me, that in some ways I have inherited less?

I think in many ways, yes. I do not have all that much in common with my relatives in China. I've taken less from my grandmother's stories than they have. However, less is not the same as nothing. The way I see it, it's the value of what you've gained that matters.

When my grandmother told me about the war, I doubt her anti-Japan sentiments were what she wanted to impart. Rather, I believe there was something more important for me to grasp, something I am very glad to have inherited - a love for the nation.

More than the money she lost, I'm sure it was the loss of her home, her heritage, which underlies her ire. In all the stories I've heard about the war and life in China of old, I have always sensed a love for the country.

Whether it was in the form of anger and protectiveness when the Japanese desecrated the land, or of fondness when recounting games in the street as a child, my grandparents loved their home. They taught me to love mine.

And for me, it's not just one nation. I love both New Zealand and China. When people ask what nationality I am, it's a toss-up, so I usually stick with saying: "I was born in China but moved to New Zealand when I was 1." New Zealand is my home - the lush green landscape with its ever-changing weather and ever-present sheep.

But when I visit China, walking out of the airport into smoggy air and stifling heat, or standing on a rocky hill in the countryside, I'm overcome by a sense of nostalgia. I never miss China, not like I miss my home here when I'm overseas, but sometimes, even if it's hearing an old Chinese song, there's a feeling of belonging.

That's how I know I still recognise myself as Chinese. Even if my Chinese language skills are sub-par, even if my way of living is decidedly Westernised, I feel there is a place for me there.

At times when I find myself getting lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I'll close my eyes and go back to my grandparents' home, to the hot food and even warmer hospitality. That's what it means to me to have a culture, not so much a way of doing things, or even of thinking, but a world to immerse myself in.

That's my heritage.

Andy Chen, Year 12, Macleans College
By Andy Chen By Andy Chen
12:23 PM Tuesday Aug 30, 2011

Gilbert Wong: Two heads of the dragon

New Zealand has been good to the Chinese and the community would say the reverse was true as well.

To borrow a phrase from a perceptive friend, I belong to the last generation to be brought up in a tomato box.

She was referring to the long-settled New Zealand Chinese community. As children we built forts out of apple boxes in the back of greengrocer's shops or learned to drive a tractor under the big sky above the tilled fields of market gardens in places like Pukekohe and Ohakune.

Our parents and grandparents gave their working lives, not always happily, to the aspiration that their children would become educated. Within a generation a community swapped manual labour for white collar toil.

At weddings and funerals, doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants have almost replaced the greengrocers and market gardeners. When the old people happily natter and compare the achievements of their grandchildren at these gatherings, there are many reasons to be thankful. The elders arrived in a foreign place and built a life with little except unrelenting labour.

They had the best of motivations. They never wanted their children to know the grinding ruin of poverty, insecurity and war.

The first Chinese arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century searching for gold and found instead a new home. Later more Chinese came as refugees fleeing the three-way war between the Japanese, the nascent Community party and the teetering Nationalist Government of 1940s China.

The early mining population numbered at its peak no more than 5000. By the time David Lange was prime minister, in 1986, the population had grown to about 17,000, bolstered by women and children war refugees - barely half of 1 per cent of the country's population. The Chinese community was deliberately stunted by an immigration policy that favoured those with the right skin colour over the reality of geography.

Today a white New Zealand immigration policy seems like the kind of racist artefact an apartheid South Africa might spawn, rather than the country that prides itself as the downunder laboratory of social progress and land of the fair go.

New Zealand has been good to the Chinese and the community would say the reverse was true as well.

The long-settled New Zealand Chinese worked hard, abided by the laws and endured the xenophobia encapsulated in the 19th and early 20th century poll tax and hysteric anti-Chinese rhetoric by some politicians and media. They did their best to conform and readily accepted the tag model minority when it was offered.

So it came as an unpleasant surprise to many in my community to be re-categorised as Asian, sometime in the early years of the 1990s.

As a descriptor "Asian" is about as useful as "European." Yet the way mainstream New Zealanders commonly categorise race, little distinction is made between a Korean New Zealander and a Chinese New Zealander.

The term "Asian" can be applied to more than 60 per cent of the world's 6.9 billion people. When used this way "Asian" only serves as shorthand for the amorphous insecurity felt by Western nations as Asian economies prosper.

While "Asian" is undeniably true - check out my eyes, hair and skin colour - it hardly seemed fair to be suddenly lumped in with the broad target for the odium cast by the kind of dopey headlines from the mid-90s "Asian Invasion", spawned by classic Winston Peters rhetoric to a North and South magazine cover story "Asian Angst: Time to send some back?" in 2006.

If for many generations your home was here, the cover line was a stiletto in the ribs. Chinese New Zealanders had fought and died in this country's wars, we were largely absent from the prisons and rarely signed up for social welfare.

In its defence, the media's job is to reflect society and it is hard to ignore the negative connotation the descriptor "Asian" has come to have: Asian driver, Asian money, Asian crime, Asian triad.

At community gatherings a prominent crime story involving recent migrants is discussed, heads are shaken, and a pall descends. Everyone around the table knows that each horrendous crime committed by an individual from a minority finds the whole community judged.

So it is not uncommon for the long settled New Zealand Chinese to view more recent arrivals from China with wariness. We have become a minority within a minority that has become too significant to be ignored as we were. The fear is that our voice will be lost.

The recent arrivals come from a different time, China as economic super-power rather than failed state. They arrive with contemporary culture and language intact and in numbers great enough to preserve both.

By contrast the long-settled New Zealand Chinese are a marooned colony, our dialects, if spoken with any fluency, a flashback to rural villages in southern China. Most of us are unable to read Chinese with any confidence.

So the long-settled New Zealand Chinese are sometimes viewed as objects of pity or amusement to a person recently arrived from China, a country where growing economic clout has led to a resurgent chauvinism.

There is no reason why a recent Chinese immigrant should be aware that each of us is a mixture of culture and ethnicity with culture constantly kneaded and moulded by place.

The long-settled New Zealand Chinese know what turangawaewae means. The hope must be that we will no longer need to remind others that this is our place to stand and that each person, whatever the colour of their skin, who chooses to call this wonderful country home is accepted as a New Zealander.
By Gilbert Wong

By Gilbert Wong
5:30 AM Saturday Apr 16, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

The History of Chinese Growers in New Zealand

The Dominion Federation of NZ Chinese Commercial Growers Inc. have nearly completed a set of books about the history of New Zealand Chinese Growers from 1866-2011.


Chinese Market Gardeners in New Zealand

The book travels through each major region where there were communities of Chinese market gardeners. In the growers’ own words, the book presents their stories, their experiences and their thoughts on the life of a grower.


A History of the Dominion Federation of New Zealand Chinese Commercial Growers

The Dominion Federation was established in 1943 and since then it has been the representative body of Chinese market gardeners throughout New Zealand. This book covers the Federation’s history including its formation, the challenges it has faced and its achievements over the years.

Both of these books will be of interest to Chinese growers and their families; those associated with the vegetable growing industry, members of the Chinese community, and the general public.

Pre-orders available now

Howe Young, 153 Union Road, R.D. 3, PUKEKOHE, 2678 New Zealand 09 2389612 , fax: 09 2388813

Profile of Authors:

Lily Lee

Lily Lee (Ho Li Li) born in Auckland in 1940 is a second generation Chinese New Zealander. Her mother and sister arrived as war refugees. Lily grew up on a market garden in Mangere during the late 1940s to 1960s. Lily graduated in Geography from Auckland University in 1961. She taught in primary and secondary schools for a number of years before joining the Ministry of Education as a Liaison Officer in 1989. She spent 17 years working in the school sector before retiring in 2005. In 2008 to 2010 she was invited to work with Asian communities for the Ministry of Social Development. In 1963, Lily visited her parent’s village of Gum Kei, Zhong Shan and gained a better appreciation of her culture, language and heritage. Over the years she has returned a number of times to China documenting her family history.

Ruth Lam

Ruth Lam, born in 1956, is a third generation Chinese New Zealander of Jung Seng descent. She is married to Alex (Pak Hung) who for many years has been market gardening successfully at Pukekawa. Ruth often assisted in the garden while bringing up their family of four children. Ruth has also been involved with local community groups including the Plunket Society and the Pukekawa School PTA. She co-edited the 1995 Pukekawa School Centenary book. In 1998, Ruth completed a Master of Arts degree in Education, with Honours from the University of Auckland. She then worked at the University on research projects to improve children’s reading. In recent years Ruth worked for the Franklin District Library Trust as a Customer Services Manager. It was during her time at the library that Ruth developed an interest in the history of Chinese market gardening in the Pukekohe district. Through this project, Ruth has enjoyed using her research skills to contribute to the preservation of the history of Chinese New Zealanders.

Nigel Murphy

Nigel Murphy is a sixth generation New Zealander of Irish-German-English descent. He was born in 1958. He holds a Master degree in History. He has studied Chinese New Zealand history for over 25 years and has been involved in the Chinese New Zealand community as secretary of the Wellington Chinese Association and chair of the Wellington Chinese Language School. His publications include ‘The Poll Tax in New Zealand: a research report’ which was published in 1993 and 2003, and a 'Guide to Laws and Policies relating to the Chinese in New Zealand 1871-1997' which was published in 2008. He co-authored the 2005 ‘Aliens at My Table: Asians as New Zealander see them’ with Manying Ip. He also contributed chapters to 'Unfolding history, emerging identity: the Chinese in New Zealand' and 'Dragon and the Taniwha: Maori and Chinese in New Zealand' published in 2009. He was a research librarian at the Alexander Turnbull Library for 25 years. In 2002 he was seconded to the Office of Ethnic Affairs as a researcher and historian to support the Chinese poll tax apology reconciliation process. Between 2007 and 2010 he was an historian with the Waitangi Tribunal.

History of Chinese New Zealand Growers

The New Zealand Chinese Growers’ Federation
In 1867, just one year after the first group of Chinese goldminers arrived in Otago, the first Chinese market garden was established in New Zealand. Since then Chinese New Zealanders have formed the backbone of New Zealand’s vegetable-growing industry. Chinese growers were, and still are, an integral part of the market gardening industry in New Zealand. Their history provides multi-faceted insights into a range of social, political and community changes spanning 140 years.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Gloria Kong kidnapping

The Gloria Kong kidnapping One of New Zealand’s most unusual crimes occurred in Oamaru in June 1983, when 14 year-old Gloria Kong, daughter of a Chinese market gardener was kidnapped for a $120,000 ransom. Premeditated kidnapping is rare, but the high profile means police chose to conduct the investigation is unique. Police managed to obtain a total news blackout for 36 hours, with the media itself agreeing to hold off publishing or broadcasting news of the crime because police feared publicity might lead to Gloria’s execution. Outrage and jail

On 12 April 1984, in the High Court in Auckland, kidnapper Paul McFelin was sentenced to 11 years jail and his sister Karen to 6 1/2 years, for what the judge described as one of the most serious and terrible crimes. Nine months earlier, McFelin, his sister and two accomplices kidnapped Gloria Kong in a well-planned, but subsequently abortive attempt to extract a $120,000 ransom. The crime, described by defence counsel as ‘the most publicised crime in living memory’ outraged the while country and especially the small, ultra-conservative South Island town of Oamaru.

The accomplices, David Larnach, 25 and Paul George’ 35 were arrested 13 days after the kidnapping and information they supplied led to the McFelin arrests. Larnach and George leaded guilty in 1983 and were sentenced to 7 and 5 1/2 years jail respectively. Both were key Crown witnesses at the McFelin’s trial which lasted five weeks and was characterised by unjustified defence attacks on the integrity of police witnesses. Criticism was rejected by the jury and in delivering sentence, Mr Justice Hillyer complimented police saying:

"A detective arrived at Paul McFelin’s house on a routine inquiry, noticed that he seemed a bit nervous, that his hand was trembling. That was only the vaguest hint but that was the beginning of the inquiry which resulted in your arrest and conviction. What I am saying is that the certainty of detection comes first, from careful, meticulous, proper police inquiries. The second was that the whole community rallied to the support of the law enforcement agencies and assisted police with the inquiries to the fullest extent they were able. That is a factor which would-be criminals in this country should bear in mind, that the community can and does rally behind the police and assists in detection of offences. People need not believe that they can get away with this sort of offence in this country".

The community did rally behind the police, but not by accident. (Then) Detective Inspector Neville Stokes of Christchurch, the officer in charge of the investigation and his media manager, (then) Senior Sergeant Joe Franklin of Wellington, used every means at their disposal, including a co-operative news media to promote that public outcry. This was unusual for the times.

Unlike today where there are many high-profile police officers, the 1983 environment saw very few effectively utilising the media The small-town environment and its conservative character provided Stokes and Franklin with a near ideal stage to exploit the drama for the purpose of catching the kidnappers.

Mr Franklin, who was the National Media Unit Manager at Police Headquarters in Wellington, was called to Oamaru the day after the kidnapping and spent 10 days there as the operation’s media manager. He later entered the media management aspect in the Peter Cherrington Memorial Award, presented by the Public Relations Institute of NZ for the outstanding public relations campaign of the year, which is strongly contested by New Zealand’s corporate and commercial consultancies. The entry was narrowly edged out of first place and received a Highly Commended award.

The Crime

On Wednesday 29 June 1983, McFelin, Larnach and George, masked and armed, entered the rural home of Chinese market gardener Jimmy Kong and, after a gunpoint robbery, kidnapped Gloria; leaving Gloria’s parents and three other relatives bound and gagged. She spent the following 36 hours bound, blindfolded, gagged and with her ears plugged, with Karen McFelin as her jailer until she was finally dumped in a isolated haybarn during the night of 30 June. She freed herself that evening but fearfully remained hidden in the barn all night.

At 8.55am on Friday she walked to a farmhouse further along the road and phoned her father. Police sped to the house where they found Gloria shocked and distressed. She was dirty, dishevelled and wearing only the light skirt and clothing in which she had been kidnapped. She was showing signs of hypothermia including speech difficulties, skin discolouration and impaired movement. One consolation was that she had been spared sexual molestation.

The most disturbing aspect was the manner in which she was abandoned in the barn, extensively trussed up with ropes, tape and sacks and hooded, gagged and blindfolded. Her ears had been plugged and she was buried in a cave made from hay bales and loose straw had thrown about to disguise her prison. Had she not been able to free herself, her body may not have been discovered until the hay was fed out at winter’s end.

Within hours of the crime being reported, a large team of detectives which sophisticated scientific support had assembled at Oamaru and commenced a major investigation. There were no suspects or significant leads.

The media operation

Stokes and Franklin set as a priority, the need to co-opt the news media to promote as much public awareness of the crime as possible. The offenders were likely to be part of that same community and they calculated that a climate of public revulsion would flush them out. A deliberate campaign was mounted but without the luxury of time to pre-plan. The campaign had to be intense but carefully managed. Defence lawyers scan media coverage of crimes to look for loopholes in the prosecution’s case. As well, police must be mindful of confidentiality, libel, contempt of court and what is published must not jeopardise inquiries, future interviews of suspects or effect anyone’s right to a fair trial.

In short, the 10 day media liaison part of the operation was a public relations campaign with police as the client and the media manager the ‘public relations consultancy.’. The ‘product’ being marketed was the need to catch those who had committed a cruel crime. The campaign succeeded even beyond police expectations. Gloria was reunited with her parents relatively unharmed and the offenders were arrested. Mr Stokes publicly attributed the success to the Oamaru community and the news media. However, unlike any other police operation before or since, this one from its outset, had a major complication.

Unique News Embargo

Apart from the $120,00 ransom demand, the offenders warned the Kong family not to tell the police. There were genuine fears that publicity could spark an execution. Police requested a local news embargo which was agreed to on the night of the crime. The following morning Mr Stokes asked Commissioner Ken Thompson at Police National Headquarters, to secure a national news blackout.

From this point Mr Franklin became involved and on the Commissioner’s behalf, he sought and obtained a news embargo agreement through the New Zealand Press Association, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand and the private radio network. There were initial reservations from two editors but after further discussions all agreed.

At no other time in NZ’s history had such an embargo been sought or obtained. It was in the nature of an agreement and could not be imposed by police. Concurrence hinged on the question of Gloria’s safety. Media accord was also sustained on the basis that police guaranteed to keep them as fully briefed as possible, even if the information was not at that time published or broadcast.

Mr Franklin arrived in Oamaru shortly after midday on Thursday 30 June and took control of a large group of both local and out-of-town reporters, film crews and photographers including those from the tabloids. The embargo was difficult to sustain and as various deadlines approached, reporters became increasingly nervous, some even distrustful and a few tempers flared. Full news releases were issued as they would be in normal circumstances. This meant newspapers could set copy and be ready to publish at a moment’s notice. Radio and television could also file stories and be fully prepared when the story did break.

During the morning staff briefing on Friday 1 July, police learned Gloria had contacted her father. Within minutes a patrol crew collected her and confirmed she was safe. By 9am, just 10 minutes after the report Mr Franklin told reporters the embargo had been lifted and recounted the circumstances under which Gloria had been found. Police would have preferred an operational advantage a continued news blackout would provide because the kidnappers would not have been aware she had escaped, but with her safe, the embargo justification was gone.

As brief as it was, the embargo was useful in unnerving the offenders, but was low key enough not to have panicked them into harming Gloria. It also obviated the usual crank calls and gave police breathing space to plan media strategies. On the debit side, the embargo was difficulty to sustain, was stressful for reporters, it added more drama and promoted even greater news media interest.

Features of the media strategy included:

A deliberate plan to seek front page coverage in the Oamaru Mail each day and this was achieved for 14 consecutive days. A new angle was released daily and in some cases subtly dramatised (graphic details on how Gloria was trussed and ‘left for dead’, the fact that offenders seemed to have local knowledge so "is or was your neighbour" and the house where Gloria was being detained "might be the house next door". The scene was set early, for a mood of full public support. Townsfolk were made to feel the offenders were ‘people within their community" and "needed to be flushed out".
The investigation was packaged as a community project. A $2000 reward was promoted by the Oamaru Mail and this whipped up even more interest (This was subsequently claimed by someone who identified the house where Gloria had been initially detained).
In an attempt to arrange a drop off of the ransom money, Larnach made several phone calls. A decision was made to have a tape of the voice broadcast over Radio New Zealand and on television. Callers supplied more than 20 names and a number positively identified Larnach.


On 11 July, the four offenders appeared before the Oamaru District court on a variety of serious charges including kidnapping, aggravated robbery, assault, unlawfully taking a car and burglary. They were subsequently tried, convicted and sentenced and between them they accumulated 30 years jail, ample time to reflect on whether or not crime pays.

Is an embargo possible today?

Soon after the Kong investigation, Mr Franklin learned a tabloid newspaper editor had decided to publish news of the kidnapping that Sunday, whether or not the embargo remained. In her view, the public’s right to know took precedence over the possibility publicity might lead to Gloria’s execution.

Since, the news media has been deregulated, there has been a significant proliferation in news outlets and we have personality-driven programmes such as the Holmes Show. Competition and the battle for ratings among the media would make a similar embargo impossible.


Neville Stokes reached the rank of Detective Superintendent. In spite of his high profile in the Kong kidnapping he preferred to avoid the media limelight. However, he decided early in the investigation that the key to success was the public and he fronted the media as often as he thought necessary, with apparently practised aplomb. Towards the end of the media phase of the inquiry, he remarked that if he appeared once more on television, Actors Equity would insisted he joined the union!

Monday, October 03, 2011


PA AUCKLAND, This Day. An armed hold-up took place in a Chinese fruiterer's shop at Remuera at midnight when two men, one wearing the uniform of a New Zealand soldier, robbed the proprietor after he had engaged in a desperate struggle with his assailants and had been struck on the head with the butt of a heavy automatic pistol. Altogether four men were involved in the hold-up. Two servicemen waited in a sedan car outside the shop, and when the other two men came out of the shop after robbing the Chinese the four drove off at a fast speed and escaped. The victim of the attack was Francis Wong Hop, aged 40. The Chinese opened the door in response to a knock, which he believed was from a policeman. One of the two men produced a pistol saying, "You know what we want. Hand it over." The Chinese broke away, but was finally cornered and given a hard blow on top of the head. Hop was not knocked unconscious, but was dazed. While m this condition his assailants took from his pockets a £5 note and two £1 notes. Investigations by the police are proceeding. Evening Post, Volume CXXXVI, Issue 81, 2 October 1943, Page 6

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Foreign concept for new volunteers 31/08/2011 8:54:00 a.m.

N his native Tianjin, China, volunteering was foreign to Cuixi Xi. It’s only in New Zealand that the 29 year old language student has had time to experience what he describes as little-known concept in his homeland. Xi is studying English at the Making Futures Happen international institute and spent a day spreading bark at Wellington zoo with his class. The project was sponsored by the Nikau Foundation on behalf of the Richard and Doreen Evans fund and organised through Volunteer Wellington.
“It’s the first time I’ve volunteered and the first time for many of the students here so it’s a special experience,” grins Xi, “Tianjin has about 10 million people and I think society is different there; I was so busy working all the time.”
He plans to work in New Zealand and volunteer again and notes the benefits to both the volunteers and the people they lend a hand to.
“It’s beneficial for everyone. We help others but also learn labour skills at the same time,” Xi explains, before politely excusing himself to continue helping his classmates, all enthusiastically ferrying buckets of bark, “They need me!” he smiles, and disappears.
Xi’s teacher, Simon Neale, says he was ecstatic that his class was keen to get involved.
“The students tend to come from wealthy families so I wondered if they’d be keen on the concept, but they were really happy to be doing something both worthwhile and interesting. I can see the want to help others is universal,” says Neale.
He has been teaching for over ten years and is always looking for new ways to help his students learn.
“I want to harness their skills in a new environment. Some can cook and others are good with children. It’s good for them to practice English while using their skills. Volunteering gets them in that new setting,” Neale explains.
Learning a language is so much more than just classroom study, he says.
“Students can find English language knowledge online. We have to offer something that can engage them and show them that what they learn in class resonates in the outside world. So we find an activity that matches,” says Neale.
He says his class will do more volunteer work in the future.
Eager volunteers can search a database of voluntary roles at

The First Asian A* B*,

Not about the rugby
Lynn Freeman Capital Times

28/09/2011 10:37:00 a.m.
The First Asian A* B*, Directed by Edward Peni, Bats Theatre. Reviewed by Lynn Freeman
FIRST I, George Nepia at Circa and now The First Asian A* B* at Bats – the RWC, whether it goes our way or not, deserves a big cheer for much of the art we’re seeing courtesy of the Real NZ Festival. Don’t be fooled by the title though, this is a play about friendship and understanding, not rugby.
Renee Liang has written a lot about the Asian New Zealand experience and her work always hits a nerve. She doesn’t lecture, nor does she flinch from reminding us that as a country we can still have a ‘them and us’ mentality that stops us being truly multi-cultural.
In this play, she brings a young Malaysian-Chinese lad to New Zealand and puts him in a Timaru homestay with well meaning parents. It’s hard for Willy to fit in initially. Not only is he dealing with the isolation of being a stranger in a strange land and being torn between two cultures, but his dearly loved Grandmother is seriously ill. The school bully Mook eventually comes to respect Willy and indeed they become best mates. They share a love of rugby and through hard work and determination get to within a whisker of being selected for the All Blacks.
Ben Teh (Willy) and Paul Fagamalo (Mook) work up a sweat playing a multitude of characters and they do it miraculously well. There are shades of Toa Fraser’s Bare here in the compelling storytelling and the gorgeous characters brought to life at breakneck speed under the direction of Edward Peni. Both actors have an unforced style of acting which makes them a pleasure to watch. The fact they are real life friends is reflected in their on stage chemistry.
The only criticism is that there is a bit too much packed in to this one act play. We spend so much time with the lads during their school years that the ending feels too rushed, we really need to get to know them better as adults to appreciate how their fractured friendship affected them both.
A Reminder of the Past. In Wellington in years gone by Chinese carrying tvcll-laden baskets of fruit and vegetables attached to tho ends of a long bamboo pole placed across their shoulders was a fairly common sight. Tho Chinaman today is well abreast of tho times, and most of those who hawk produce from the orchards and' the gardens hav,e a motorlorry or a horse and cart. The basket method of hawking has not died out entirely, however. One Chinese lately has attracted more than passing interest with his two baskets and long pole. Ho was out in One of the suburbs yesterday, the long pole across his shoulders bending to the weight he was carrying, and his baskets swaying rhythmically to his littlo jog-trot. All that was missing to complete once familiar sight was a long pigtail down his back.

Evening Post, Volume CXV, Issue 149, 27 June 1933, Page 6

Saturday, October 01, 2011

condensed milk in tea - who remembers this?


Americans who have been influenced by the Orient to the extent of taking their tea clear, without milk or sugar, will be astonished to lea.m that the Occident is now bent on teaching the Chinese to use milk with their decoction of tea leaves^— and condensed milk at that (says an American exchange). An enterprising condensed-milk company is pushing the campaign, and expects to be successful. This concern already has introduced condensed-milk ice cream to the Chinese, and they like it so well that many of the restaurants keep it always ready. Practically no fresh milk is to be had in China, although the natives seem familiar enough with the virtues of both the fresh and the condensed article. Perhaps after all the. Orientals have taken their tea clear because there was no milk to put in it, and not because they thought the addition of milk ruined the bovevage. Evening Post, Volume LXXXIX, Issue 90, 17 April 1915, Page 11