Kōrero: Asia and New Zealand

Lau Fong and his certificate of registration

The Immigration Restriction Amendment Act 1908 required that Chinese leaving New Zealand – and wishing to return – obtain a certificate of registration. The certificate displayed copies of their thumb prints and also showed that the Chinese resident had paid their poll tax. Many Chinese saw the thumb print requirement as deeply humiliating and believed it was based on the European assumption that all Chinese looked alike. The images above show the certificate of registration for Lau Fong, a Chinese man resident in New Zealand in early 1909, along with the photograph he presented when applying for the certificate.

Using this item

Auckland Regional Office, Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: BBAO 5544/121a 1910/801

Permission of Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga (Auckland Regional Office) must be obtained before any re-use of this material.

All images & media in this story

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

David Capie, 'Asia and New Zealand - Early 20th-century fears', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/zoomify/36224/lau-fong-and-his-certificate-of-registration (accessed 20 July 2019)

Story by David Capie, published 20 Jun 2012