8 January, 2015

Some of us may remember the local Chinese laundry, where our parents or grandparents worked for long hours in hot, steamy conditions. Laundry work was one of the main occupations that Chinese immigrants to New Zealand took up after the gold rushes, along with market gardening and fruit and vegetable and grocery stores. Chinese laundries were so prevalent by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they became an ethnic stereotype, particularly in the United States and Canada.

The Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust has commissioned a project to research and produce a publication on the history of Chinese owned and operated laundries in New Zealand. We need to ensure that this significant part of New Zealand’s social history is not lost; this project aims to preserve our memories of those times.

If you or your relations have any information, photographs or memories to share about Chinese laundries, please contact:
Joanna Boileau
tel 09 528 1174
mob. 0226710 334
email joanna1boileau@gmail.com