What have the Chinese ever done for New Zealand?

Last night, Whaleoil stalwart Euan wrote

I know you didn’t mean it but you have made a racist statement by talking of only European and Maori.

There were many other people including Chinese who made this country what it is.

Meet Appo.


It was an unconventional arrival for New Zealand’s first Chinese immigrant in 1842. Wong Ah Poo Hoc Ting, approx.1820-1920, and who became known as Appo Hocton, (sometimes Hockton) left China aged nine to work on English vessels as a ship’s boy. When the immigrant ship the Thomas Harrison berthed in the colony of Nelson on May 26, 1842, he joined other crew members and jumped ship.

The captain?s refusal to supply soap with which to wash his clothes is one reason given to explain Appo Hocton?s desertion from the Thomas Harrison in 1842.

The young Chinese ship?s steward hid in the hills above Nelson Haven until being caught. He appeared in court on November 4, 1842 charged with desertion and was eventually sentenced to 30 days in the ?house of correction? on Church Hill. Family stories persist that he was freed without serving his sentence, possibly assisted by the ship?s surgeon, Thomas Renwick.

Appo stayed in Nelson, becoming the first Chinese immigrant in New Zealand. In 1843 he began working for Dr Renwick as a housekeeper, saving enough money to buy a bullock and cart and setting up his own business. Appo Hocton is listed in the 1849 Nelson Census as a carter living in Bolton Square, a location near today?s Suter Art Gallery. He built up a solid business, successfully tendering for work constructing or upgrading Trafalgar, Milton, Collingwood and Nile Streets, and Waimea Road.

And for some strange reason, we’ve been hating them ever since. ?Well, those on the left, anyway. ? Here’s something terribly ironic….

Appo was classified as an alien and, as such, could not buy property.

He successfully applied for naturalisation, so that he could become a British subject, and was formally naturalised on January 3, 1853, being the first naturalised Chinese New Zealander.

He bought land in Washington Road and what became Hastings Street, and built houses, living in one and leasing the others.

It seems these Chinese real estate slum lords have a deep deep history folks! ?No wonder the Labour Party are just chomping at the bit to degrade and denigrate hard working entrepreneurial Asian immigrants to try and keep the status quo for their ne’er-do-well constituency of layabouts and government dependents.

Appo Hocton was highly regarded as a Nelson pioneer and was one of 84 who attended a settlers? luncheon to mark Queen Victoria?s Golden Jubilee in 1887. ?He remained active into old age, suffering only one accident, when he fell from his horse during a regular trip between Dovedale and Wakefield to buy fish.

His date of birth was never verified, and his age at the time of his death, on September 26, 1920, ranges from 98 to 103, depending on which family story or document is quoted.

New Zealand?s first Chinese immigrant and first naturalised Chinese New Zealander is buried alongside family members in the Dovedale Cemetery. By the turn of the new millennium he had 1600 living?descendents?throughout the country.

I bet you didn’t know that. ?Now you do.


The Prow,