Story: Family welfare

Denied the old age pension (2nd of 2)

Denied the old age pension

Chinese immigrants to New Zealand were not eligible for the old age pension. The exclusion of Chinese was consistent with prejudice against Asians generally as 'barbarians' whose language, pigtails, and practice of sending money home to China generated suspicion and dislike. This elderly Chinese man would not have enjoyed the household comforts of the pensioners photographed by Enos Silvanus Pegler in his series celebrating the passing of the Old Age Pensions Act 1898. Like many elderly Chinese, he probably lived in makeshift accommodation, either by himself or with other men. The bundle of firewood on his back suggests the he sold firewood to others on the goldfields in Lawrence – Otago's first gold-rush town.

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Hocken Library, University of Otago
Reference: S10-151a

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

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How to cite this page:

Maureen Baker and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Family welfare - Mothers and children – 1800s to 1917', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 July 2022)

Story by Maureen Baker and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 29 Jun 2018