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George Hawkins Ethnic Affairs

RT HON HELEN CLARK
PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND

12 February 2001

School essay competition on the
history of the Chinese in NZ

Senior students from secondary schools throughout New
Zealand are being invited to enter a national essay writing competition on the
history of the Chinese in New Zealand.

The three successful authors will be presented with books by the Prime
Minister Helen Clark at a reception to be arranged with the Chinese community
later in the year.

"The Chinese people have one of the most tragic and distinctive stories in
New Zealand history. They first came in some numbers to New Zealand to work on
the goldfields in the 1860s, but soon suffered from discrimination and legal
restrictions on migration which split families and caused considerable hardship.

"The competition provides an opportunity for young New Zealanders to study
this aspect of New Zealand's history."

This essay competition follows successful school essay competitions on
Gallipoli in 2000 and the Battle of Crete in 2001. Students are being invited to
imagine that they are a Chinese migrant and to write a letter home describing
their life. A second topic invites students to look at the ways in which the
experience of the Chinese in New Zealand was different from that of other New
Zealanders.

Entries for the competition will close on Wednesday June 26, 2002. The
address for entries is the Office of the Prime Minister for attention Alec
McLean, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

The competition is being run in association with Ministry for Culture and
Heritage.