Family history

Some of the party of thirty Chinese refugees from the Canton area who were brought to New Zealand by relatives. Chinese history and family history

Information about Chinese history in New Zealand.

Since the arrival of Chinese goldminers in the 1850s, Chinese immigrants and New Zealand Chinese have fast become part of the New Zealand society. However, little has been documented about the Chinese in Auckland.

Auckland Libraries has the largest family history collection in a public library in New Zealand. Our heritage collections also include many books, maps, manuscripts, photographs and ephemera which chart the changing face of this country and city through its short history. We are in the process of identifying heritage resources relevant to Chinese Aucklanders for present and future generations.

Chinese history and family history collection

Currently, the Central Auckland Research Centre holds books on both Chinese settlement history and Chinese genealogy. These include the famous Windows on a Chinese past by James Ng and Manying Ip's Unfolding history, evolving identity: the Chinese in New Zealand.

New Zealand Chinese history materials from the Digital Library

The Digital Library offers many useful databases for Chinese genealogy, such as:

Some biographical and historical events about Chinese New Zealanders can also be found on the Index Auckland database.

Chinese Digital Community

The Chinese Digital Community is a wiki that contains historical and contemporary information (articles, images, audio, video, documents, discussions and web links) about New Zealand's Chinese community.

The result of a collaboration between the former Auckland City Libraries and the NZ Chinese Association (NZCA), the website welcomes any member of the public to register and add information to it.

Built as a storage facility to preserve the heritage of New Zealand's Chinese people, we hope the website will grow to become a rich Chinese resource and in turn, a useful research tool for family history enthusiasts.

Chinese historical materials from the Sir George Grey Special Collections

The Sir George Grey Special Collection's Manuscript collection contains a diary by Elizabeth Shirtliff who travelled to Southeast Asia and China in the early 1900s. They also hold some photographs of Chinese market gardeners in early Auckland and some unidentified portraits of Chinese women by photographer Clifton Firth.

New Zealand Chinese journals

The NZ Chinese Journals database contains over 16,000 digitised pages from three Chinese language publications:

  • Man Sing Times (1921 – 1922)
  • New Zealand Chinese Growers Monthly Journal (1949 –1972)
  • New Zealand Chinese Weekly News (1937 – 1946)

Chinese immigration records from Archives New Zealand

Archives New Zealand holds some Chinese New Zealanders' limited citizenship records as well as their migration records.

© Auckland Council