Global Asia Journal


Occasional Paper No. 4

Document Type



Transnational migration is an integral part of the modern world. Immigration policies, economic initiatives and international agreements of modern natiion-states have shaped the growth of transnational migration. Nation-states classify migrants into different categories for the purpose of border control; they have favoured some groups of migrants over the others. This is particularly true for New Zealand, which has maintained close connections with the United Kingdom and preferred British migrants to other peoples since the nineteenth century. New Zealand has always emphasized the economic integration of migrants into the society. Against this background, Chinese migrants arrived and developed their transnational networks across the Pacific Ocean for familiar, social and economic reasons. This paper discusses the transformation of New Zealand's immigration policies and its impact on transnational practices of Chinese migrants from the past to the present. It begins with a critical account of the early development of immigration policies in New Zealnd. Then it discusses the transnational networks of Chinese migrants in New Zealand throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The core of this study focuses on the different patterns of Chinese migration and settlement in New Zealand after the immigration reform in the 1980s and the emergence of Chinese transnational networks in the recent decades.