HISTORY of NZCA
Up to 1909, Chinese organisations in New Zealand were related to clans mutual support with no overall organisation for welfare of all Chinese in NZ
From 1911-1924, The Chinese Association was headed by successive Chinese Consuls.
NZCA in its current form was incorporated in 1935 with a prime motivation to raise funds for the China war against Japanese invasion. A compulsory levy was made on all Chinese in NZ (employers 10 shillings weekly & employees 10% of wages) until the war ended. The first draft constitution of NZCA stated the aim of unifying Chinese in NZ and that all Chinese in NZ were members. Those 16 years of age and over would pay an annual subscription of one shilling.
From 1938 until 1990, an executive structure existed, and all executives were Wellington based. There were 15 regions originally, with ten still existing as Branches today, and others in Wairarapa, Greymouth, Otaki, Nelson & Ohakune.
There are now 30 branches throughout New Zealand.
The Association was established with specific intention of being a national Chinese organisation that represented and worked for the well-being of the Chinese people in New Zealand. It main objectives include:
- To provide NZ Chinese the means of mutual help, social interchange and recreation.
- To promote the intellectual, moral and physical well-being of Chinese in NZ.
- To unite and co-operate for cultural and educational purposes.
- To deal with matters concerning the welfare of Chinese in NZ.
- To be and remain non-political and non-religious
Programmes and Activities
Current national activities include
- Winter Camp
- Easter Tournament
- Cultural Activities
- Chinese Language Classes
- Banana Conferences
- Leadership Conferences
- Youth Leadership Conferences for young Chinese New Zealanders 18-30 years old
- National projects on the maintenance of Chinese culture and language.
- Providing annual grants to its branches to assist Chinese language schools within their region.
- Providing awards and scholarships for its branch members for the achievement of academic excellence.
- Providing special scholarships or grants to assist young Chinese high achievers. Organising an combined annual winter camp in Guangdong and China tour for young Chinese. Organising an Annual Sports Tournament and Cultural Concert during Easter
- Working with the NZ Government, Chinese Embassy, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office and other organisations on issues affecting Chinese in New Zealand
- The Poll Tax Inititiative - In the early 1990s, NZCA initiated ongoing dialogue and submissions to the NZ Government on the discriminatory nature of the Poll Tax levied on early Chinese settlers who migrated to New Zealand. This tax was only levied on the Chinese. The outcome was a apology from the Government (12 February 2002) and announcment of a reconciliation package on 11 February 2004. Subsequently, a Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust was established with the objective of the maintenance of Chinese identity history and culture so far as it relates to Chinese New Zealanders. One activity to date has been the NZCA-commissioned research and the publication of the book "The Poll Tax in New Zealand".
The Branches of the Association are involved in representing Chinese at the local level and in organising and promoting many local Chinese community activities. They also have programmes to help the local Chinese community to celebrate Chinese festivals and programmes that support the maintenance of Chinese language and culture.
Auckland Branch Activities
- Chinese New Year Dinner with the presentation of the Annual Achievement Awardsl
- Strategy Planning Meeting
- Participation of the Auckland delegation at Easter Tournament
- Annual Lawn Bowls Tournament on Queens Birthday weekend
- Annual Xmas BBQ
- Womens Group monthly meetings and outings
- Seniors Yum Cha
- Bilingual language/music school for preschoolers and primary school children
- SENIORS Lifestyle Groups weekly meeting