Saturday, March 30, 2013

Second Burial: New Zealand Chinese Experience 1883 and 1902

Second Burial: New Zealand Chinese Experience 1883 and 1902 - Researched by Helen Wong ISBN 978-0-473-24298-5 The Cantonese custom of secondary burial, the idea of exhuming the dead, cleaning the bones, and then burying them again, helps to explain why so many (overseas) Chinese were not only willing to exhume their dead but also to clean the bones and put them in containers for shipment back to China. * Reburial: Exhuming the Dead and Returning Them to China There were two periods of mass exhumation of Chinese in New Zealand, organised for the Panyu people, by the Dunedin Sew Hoy family. In 1883, 286 Chinese from the South Island were repatriated on the Hoi How. And in 1902, 499 were aboard the ill fated Ventnor when it sank 10 miles off the Hokianga Heads. This time Panyu men from both the South Island and the North Island were included, as well as eleven Wellington men from the Jung Seng county of China. helen.familytree at To purchase email helen dot familytree @

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Union says immigrants forced to accept pay below minimum wage

Hundreds of Chinese chefs are entering New Zealand under the free trade agreement with China. Photo / Thinkstock Expand Hundreds of Chinese chefs are entering New Zealand under the free trade agreement with China. Photo / Thinkstock Chinese chefs working here are being asked to accept pay cuts or face losing their jobs, because of hundreds of Chinese chefs entering the country under the free trade agreement with China. This ready supply of chefs, some of whom may be prepared to work for less than the minimum wage, could put chefs out of work here, the National Distribution Union said. As part of the agreement, a fixed quota of Chinese workers - including 200 chefs - is allowed here under a special immigration work category. Chef is the most popular occupation, with the entire 200 quota having been snapped up. Other occupations include Chinese tour guide, Chinese wushu martial arts coach, Mandarin teacher's aide and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. To manage demand, Immigration New Zealand said it will, from April, be making approvals in batches of 33. A Chinese chef told the Herald the restaurant where he works was offering the new arrivals "minimum wage less living expenses". "Our boss deducts money for staying at his property and meals at the restaurant, so effectively, they will just be getting about $8 an hour," he said. "I have been told to either match this, or face having to go back to China when my working visa expires in March." The union said it was seeing about three cases of migrant workers complaining of being paid below the minimum wage each month, but could not say if any were linked to Immigration's China special work category. "We are hearing that Chinese and migrant workers are getting $10 an hour," said the union's migrant support co-ordinator, Dennis Maga. People who complained to the union did not lodge official complaints for fear of losing their visas and right to remain in the country. John Howard, Department of Labour general manager, said the department has not received complaints specifically linked to the China special work visas. By Lincoln Tan Email Lincoln A rise in the minimum wage falls well short of what is needed by those struggling to get by, say unions and opposition parties. File photo / NZ Herald Wage rise falls short - critics Campaign launched for 'living wage' By Lincoln Tan 5:30 AM Monday Jan 16, 2012

Asiatic influences in full bloom

Asiatic influences in full bloom By Justin Newcombe 5:30 AM Saturday Jan 21, 2012 Cherry blossoms often feature in Chinese gardens. Photo / Christine McKay The Chinese have been the trailblazers in so many fields, from anatomy to astronomy to architecture and arithmetic and things that begin with other letters too. With this in mind it's not surprising that they are also trailblazers in garden design and implementation. What's interesting is how the Chinese garden tradition has been absorbed, re-digested, modified and reconstituted in our own Western gardens. From our use of pebbles, rocks and water to some of our favourite plants like many of the citrus, rhododendrons, roses and of course bamboo, little echoes of the Chinese garden tradition have, through time, trickled into our backyards. To sum up Chinese garden design philosophy in one word, it would have to be "poetic". Each garden has a narrative about the landscape surrounding it, the philosophy of the designer and the motivations of the owner where individual elements are symbols of the natural world. We've established our own little tradition with Chinese roots - that Kiwi backyard classic the lemon tree. These originated in central Asia and China along with more than a thousand other citrus varieties. The original wild citrus stock is now seen as a national treasure in China and a citrus library has been set up to protect and study the original wild varieties and develop new ones. Flowers, being an important part of any garden culture are also central to the Chinese garden landscape. Climbing roses and jasmine have been prized for their scaling habits, sweet smell and strong colours, while azaleas, famous for their almost surreal early springtime show, appeal also because of their longevity. Indeed, in Chinese garden philosophy terms, azaleas represent wisdom. Trees also carry a lot of cultural currency. As populations grew and gardens shrank, representations of trees in the surrounding landscape became the norm and gardeners manipulated, gingko, maple and pine into grotesque weatherbeaten shapes as a way of depicting themes such as resilience and survival of nature against adversity. To keep the often vigorous growth habits of these varieties in check, trimming the roots became necessary and developed into penjing, a more natural predecessor of the Japanese bonsai. Like the Japanese, Chinese place great importance on the flowering trees such as cherry, plum and magnolia. In New Zealand these flower mainly early in spring and, most years, put on a cracking show. Even though the flowers only last a few weeks the vibrant colours are hard to beat, especially on a scale that a tree provides. I couldn't in all sincerity write an article on Chinese gardens and not include bamboo. I know many readers who have had a bad experience with bamboo are pretty much rolling their eyes right now but I think bamboo is a wonder plant. It has so many uses, is totally sustainable and has proven to be incredibly versatile. It is also, in the right setting, very beautiful. A Chinese garden may seem like an ancient curiosity from another world but it's not that hard, with a little imagination, to see its influence on even our most basic gardening experiences. You only have to go outside and smell the roses to realise that. By Justin Newcombe Email Justin

Migrants' hearts remain in China, study finds

Permanent resident Cherry Li came here in 2002, but says her loyalty would be with China if she had to choose. Photo / Sarah Ivey Expand Permanent resident Cherry Li came here in 2002, but says her loyalty would be with China if she had to choose. Photo / Sarah Ivey China's emergence as a world power is resulting in more Chinese New Zealanders feeling a greater sense of attachment to China than to New Zealand, a study has found. More than 94 per cent of Chinese permanent residents and more than half of those with NZ citizenship told University of Auckland researchers that they felt a greater sense of belonging and identified more with their country of origin than New Zealand. Between 2009 and last year, the researchers interviewed 90 migrants originally from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. "An overwhelming 94.5 per cent stated they were Chinese/Taiwanese/Hong Konger, while only 5.5 per cent said they somehow felt they belonged to both New Zealand and their country of origin," the report said. The study also found that Chinese migrants aged 15 to 44 felt significantly more attached to their homeland identity than those aged 45 and over. Manying Ip, the professor of Asian studies who led the project, described this as "surprising" and said the finding contradicted earlier assumptions that older Chinese migrants were more conservative and therefore felt more attached to their homelands. "The finding is surprising in that it contravenes accepted migration and acculturation theories," she said. "It indicates that the younger cohort are more attached than their older counterparts to their native homeland and feel their identity is more Chinese than anything else." Professor Ip said the finding carried "significant implications for future interpretation of migrants' sense of allegiance and their acculturation process". "China's rising status as an emergent world power would likely impress young patriotic Chinese much more than older counterparts, who may have had negative first-hand experiences [of] the People's Republic." The study also found Chinese who first came here as students felt more attached to the country, only 44 per cent of those with New Zealand degrees claiming homeland identity. Those with a local degree were also more likely to stay. Chinese national Cherry Li, 27, who first came to NZ as an international student in 2002 and now has permanent residency, said "family ties" were a key reason she still felt more Chinese than Kiwi. "I feel very strongly for New Zealand, but China is still home for me and where my parents and other family members are," she said. "If there is ever a conflict ... and I have to choose one country, I will still go for China as I am Chinese." Ms Li, a marketing executive, said she was reluctant to become a New Zealand citizen as it would mean giving up her Chinese passport because China, unlike Taiwan and Hong Kong, does not recognise dual citizenship. Local-born Chinese community leader Kai Luey said negative attitudes towards Chinese by "mainstream society" made it difficult for many Chinese migrants to feel a total sense of belonging in their adopted homeland. "Feeling accepted isn't just about attending lantern festivals or eating Chinese food, you got to also accept them as desirable neighbours and employees ... New Zealand has still got this little Britain in the South Pacific syndrome." By Lincoln Tan Email Lincoln By Lincoln Tan 5:30 AM Tuesday Feb 7, 2012

Flying Boats at Fergusson

history on our doorstep! Did you know that Fergusson container terminal and the present Ports of Auckland administration building wereconstructed on the site of New Zealand‟s first commercialinternational airport? Before containers there were flying boats in our port Way back in December 1937, a big four engined Empire class flying boat the “Centaurus” alighted on the Waitemata harbour after her pioneering, survey flight to New Zealand from England. An estimated 50,000 people, which was just about the whole population of the city,crammed the waterfront vantage points and hills around the city to see the spectacle of her arrival. The potential for internationalpassenger travel and for mail and freight to be carried to all corners of the globe in only a matter of days was being realised. For 20-odd years after that first proving flight, Mechanics Bay and more specifically, the breastwork in front of our present building became an international airport complete with Pan American Airways and TEAL passenger terminals and numerous workshop and maintenance facilities. Getting back to the trans-Tasman air link with the world, TEAL flights to and from Sydney were becoming so popular that by 1944 , they were operating three return flights a week.By war‟s end,TEAL was owned solely by the New Zealand and Australian governments. More aircraft were acquired but thesefour “Sandringham” or “Tasman” class planes as they were known, were converted military Sunderlands and although they shortened the Sydney to Auckland route toabout seven hours,and flights became daily, they were subject to engine cooling problems and were underpowered,so in 1949, TEAL bought four Solent Mark IVs from the Short Bros. factory in Belfast. It was a great choice, even though the government was the main driving force in opting for flying boats rather than the TEAL management- preferred option of land-based planes like the Douglas DC-4. The Solents, with their four Bristol Hercules engines each putting out 2040hp, not only offered a luxurious form of travel but were also the most powerful and reliable of their type–and they were the final and best development of the Short flying boats. Withtheir introduction, the trans-Tasman flight time was further slashed to a mere five and a half hours and passenger numbers continued to grow. My Mother and Father returned from China in 1948 in one of these planes.