Thousands of Chinese men came to New Zealand in the late 1860s to mine for gold in Otago, Southland and the West Coast of the South Island. Nearly all came from southern China's Guangdong province. When the goldfields were largely worked out, many returned to China. Others chose to stay on despite the prejudices they often faced. The poll tax charged per head, along with other expenses, meant that only the better off could bring wives or fiancées out from China, but some men married Māori or Pākehā women. The men often worked in laundries, small produce shops or market gardens, like the men shown here in Westmere, Auckland.
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Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Photograph by Ernest Charles Binns
Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.
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