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Chris Elder (ed)

New Zealand's China Experience Its Genesis, Triumphs, and Occasional Moments of Less than Complete Success

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New Zealand’s China Experience collects fiction, poetry, personal accounts, historical narrative, anecdotes, transcribed oral narratives, newspaper articles and more, all bearing in one way or another on New Zealand perceptions of China and contacts with China and the Chinese.

Highlights include:

  • An 1823 report pointing to the importance of the Chinese market.

  • The lives of Chinese goldminers seen by the missionary Alexander Don and the contemporary writer Alison Wong, and in the film Illustrious Energy.

  • First-hand reports of the bombing of Shanghai by Robin Hyde, and Mao Zedong in the Yunan caves by James Bertram.

  • The Chinese contractor in Dunedin who changed his name to MacPherson in order to bid successfully for Council contracts.

  • The New Zealand sheep flown 2,500 miles inland from Shanghai and rafted down the Yellow River to establish a breeding flock.

  • The New Zealand Honorary Consul in Tianjin who caused a diplomatic incident when required to remove his trousers at a Japanese checkpoint.

  • The ship’s captain who took greenstone from Milford Sound for the China market, losing an eye and fracturing both arms in the blasting operation.

New Zealand’s China Experience is richly illustrated with photographs, paintings, posters, cartoons and more. Highlights include photographs by Brian Brake, George Silk and Tom Hutchins, and three works by the contemporary artist Kerry Ann Lee.

New Zealand’s China Experience is published to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China in December 1972.

Chris Elder has edited two literary anthologies published by Oxford University Press: Old Peking: City of the Ruler of the World and China’s Treaty Ports: Half Love and Half Hate. He has researched extensively New Zealand’s early relations with China, and written a number of articles and research papers on the subject. He has served twice in the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing, most recently as ambassador 1993–97.

Cover: Kerry Ann Lee, Blue Willow Landscape (2007)

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