Our Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, hosted a Chinese New Year event at Parliament on 13 February at which the Government offered a Cantonese language version of its Poll Tax Apology.
The Poll Tax Apology was offered in 2002 by the then Prime Minister Helen Clark. Poll taxes were imposed by law on Chinese migrants during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and their entry into New Zealand was restricted based on the number of Chinese passengers per certain tonnage of ship cargo. These measures were highly discriminatory and had a heavy impact on Chinese migrant families.
A Mandarin translation (but not a Cantonese translation) followed the Prime Minister’s Apology statement at that time.
As the Chinese migrants and families who were subjected to the Poll Tax were primarily Cantonese speakers, the New Zealand Cantonese community have been asking since 2002 to receive a Cantonese language version of the Apology.
We acknowledge the importance to the Cantonese community of receiving the Poll Tax Apology in their own language, and are pleased to have played an advisory role in helping it to occur. We hope it will foster continuing reconciliation and healing.
Following in the footsteps of the original Apology, the Cantonese version was also delivered by professional translator and Chinese New Zealander Dr Henry Liu.
Find out more about the poll tax:
2002年時任總理海倫·克拉克道歉。 人頭稅喺19世紀和20世紀初向華人徵收。根據每噸位嘅船舶貨物限制入境華人數目。 這一系列措施具有高度歧視性。而且對華人移民家庭有深厚的影響。
繼原版道歉之後，粵語版也由專業翻譯紐西蘭華人 Henry Liu 撰寫和宣讀。