The Chinese were the people most discriminated against in New Zealand society in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The formal, legal discrimination was centred on immigration controls which restricted entry in general for Chinese and which also imposed a substantial poll tax on Chinese migrants.
The White New Zealand policy culminated in 1920 with legislation that passed control of Chinese immigration into the hands of a government minister. At this point Chinese migration was pretty much halted altogether.
Support for these racist immigration controls united Tory-style traditional conservatives, liberals, feminists, a layer of Maori leaders, the ‘militant’ leaders of the Labour Party and ‘moderate’ elements atop the overall labour movement.
Below are the nine articles we’ve stuck up on the White New Zealand policy and the theoretical tools for analysing it. We’ll be looking at the development of the policy in the 1890s and first two decades of the twentieth century in future feature articles.
Written in 1997: Arrested Development: the historiography of White New Zealand
Written in 1998: Racialisation, subordination and the first exclusionary legislation
Drafted in 1999/2000: (Re)presenting the parliamentary debates on White New Zealand in the 1890s – the data