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Arrowtown in Queenstown-Lakes District, Otago, New Zealand — Southwestern Pacific Ocean
 

Welcome to the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement

and the story of a remarkable people

 
 
Welcome to the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement Marker image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Thomas P. Martin
1. Welcome to the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement Marker
Inscription.  From the late 1860s to the 1880s this was one of many camps and settlements established by Chinese gold seekers in Otago-Southland. By the turn of the century, however, most had been abandoned, their simple dwellings left to decay. Today the restored remains of Arrowtown's Chinese settlement offers a rare glimpse into the life and times of New Zealand's first Chinese immigrants.

Approximately 8000 Chinese came to Otago-Southland and West Coast goldfields. They came not as settlers but to make money and return home. Yet in the 1870s these quietly resilient men provided 17%of the Otago-Southland goldfields' population, 40% of its miners and, for many years, produced 30% of its gold.

Who were they?
What brought them here?
And why did their settlement stand apart from the Arrowtown community?

Heritage Walk
A walk through the Chinese settlement will answer some questions and provoke others. Take time to wonder at the cramped huts that were home to lonely men, far from family and friends. Sit beneath shady trees and imagine the tranquil scene come to life with Cantonese [illegible] the aroma of
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cooking fires.

It will take approximately 40 minutes to explore the [illegible] leisurely pace. If your time is limited, make sure [illegible] store which was the heart of the community's [illegible].

In February 2002 the Government apologized formally to the Chinese community for legal discrimination against New Zealand's early Chinese settlers. In 2003 the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement was upgraded by the Department of Conservation as part of a national reconciliation process that confirms “the unique identity, history and strength of the original Chinese New Zealanders.” — Helen Clark, Prime Minister
[The Chinese-language portion of the marker is not transcribed here.]
 
Erected by New Zealand Department of Conservation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1870.
 
Location. 44° 56.258′ S, 168° 49.735′ E. Marker is in Arrowtown, Otago, in Queenstown-Lakes District. Marker can be reached from Buckingham Street north of Villiers Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Arrowtown, Otago 9302, New Zealand. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. Invited but Unwelcome
Welcome to the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement Marker image. Click for full size.
Beast from the Bush via WikiMedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0), October 23, 2005
2. Welcome to the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement Marker
Marker is to the right, at the settlement's entrance.
(within shouting distance of this marker).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 27, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 254 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 27, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Feb. 27, 2024