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Ng New Zealand Chinese Heritage Collection


The Ng New Zealand Chinese Heritage Collection of documents and information, including a detailed record of 3,500 19th century Chinese goldseekers, honours the earliest heritage of the New Zealand Chinese community.

Presbyterian missionary, Rev. Alexander Don, ministered to Otago’s Chinese gold-seekers from 1879. Chinese gold-seekers comprised the second-largest group of Otago goldminers, with a population of over 3700.

In over 35 years of diligent and detailed documentation, Don created an unsurpassed record of more than 3500 Chinese individuals. Don’s Roll of Chinese and his four handwritten diaries together reflect the changing nature and lives of the Chinese community in New Zealand and their relationship to China. In 1959 Dr James Ng, a leading Chinese New Zealander, began to collect documents and other information relating to the heritage of the New Zealand Chinese Community, including Don’s Roll and diaries. These items, along with Dr Ng’s research notes for his 4-volume publication Windows on a Chinese Past, also include papers (including unpublished Chinese community newsletters), books and at least 300 letters in Cantonese and English.

Archive Location

Presbyterian Research Centre, Dunedin, New Zealand

James and Eva Ng, 2014

Dr James Ng holding Don diaries

James and Eva Ng, Lawrence Chinese Camp (in front of the renovated Joss House, one of the original three remaining buildings from the camp, being moved back into its original position)

Alexander Don

Earliest diary with details about the Round Hill Chinese Camp in Southland


Catalogue Record

Presbyterian Research Centre, Dunedin