Merchant, Miner, Mandarin shines light on race relations in late 19th century NZ
A timely new book provides insight into a lesser known chapter of New Zealand history, including the impact of anti-Chinese legislation, through the life and times of an extraordinary man.
Authors Jenny Sew Hoy Agnew and Trevor Agnew have written a fascinating biography of one of New Zealand’s most distinguished entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as an intriguing account of late 19th-century society, industry and race relations.
Merchant, Miner, Mandarin: The life and times of the remarkable Choie Sew Hoy, published by Canterbury University Press (CUP), is a fascinating biography of one of New Zealand’s most distinguished entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as an intriguing account of late 19th-century society, industry and race relations.
The book explores the life and successes of innovative pioneer Choie Sew Hoy, from the time he arrived in New Zealand in 1869 to his death as a captain of industry in 1901. A man of two worlds, not only did he develop a range of exports from New Zealand and revolutionise gold dredging with new technology, but he also fought the racism that was frequently experienced by the Chinese community.
Co-author Jenny Sew Hoy Agnew is proud to be a direct descendant of Choie Sew Hoy.
“I felt personally inspired to share the compelling life story of my great-great-grandfather, especially as the importance of acknowledging the impact of racism is increasingly relevant, both globally and locally,” she says.