Memorial honours historic links between Chinese and Māori

Group pic Ventnor memorial groundbreaking 25 May 2020
Te Hua o te Kawariki Trustees and New Zealand Chinese Association representatives at the Ventnor memorial site, 25 May 2020 (photo: Kirsten Wong)

Ground has broken on a planned memorial marking historic links between Chinese and Māori formed in the aftermath of the 1902 SS Ventnor shipwreck.

At dawn on May 25, representatives from the New Zealand Chinese Association (NZCA), Te Hua o Te Kawariki Trust, the Far North District Council, and Far North Holdings gathered at Opononi in the Far North. Te Hua o Te Kawariki Trust runs the Manea Footprints of Kupe cultural centre, where the memorial is located.

There was a blessing – incense lit – and the ground was broken on a memorial for the remains of 499 Chinese who never made it to their family burial sites.

“The most important thing is the enduring connection that the Chinese New Zealand community and the people of Te Roroa, Te Rarawa, and all those represented by Te Hua o te Kawariki Trust, will have into the future,” NZCA national president Richard Leung said.

Read more on this story and what it means to our communities at the Asia New Zealand Foundation media centre