Members of the public are being encouraged to apply for the current funding round of the Chinese Poll Heritage Trust. The trust was established in 2004 after the Government’s 2002 formal apology to all Chinese poll tax payers and their descendants for the tax and other discriminatory statues during the Gold Rush era and beyond.
The infamous tax began in 1881 at a price of £10 (equivalent to nearly $1700 today) and restricted immigration to one Chinese passenger for every 10 tons of cargo. In 1896 the tax was raised to £100 (nearly $19,000) and limited one Chinese passenger for every 200 tons. Although largely ignored for most of the early 20th century, the legislation was not officially repealed until 1944. The Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust helps fund activities that promote the preservation and awareness of Chinese New Zealand history as well as provide support for Chinese New Zealanders’ history, language and culture.
Previously the fund has supported such projects like the Lawrence Chinese Camp Charitable Trust with $10,000 for the restoration of Joss House, not to mention the Dunedin Chinese Language and Cultural Trust with $2,500 for educational and cultural teaching programmes. With so much Chinese history buried in Central Otago, this funding is a great opportunity for conservation and preservation in our beautiful region. The trust chairman, Mr Kai Luey, encourages people to make applications for proposals that support the aims of the Trust. To apply for funding, visit the Community Matters website www.communitymatters.govt.nz or phone 0800 824 824. Applications for funding close on March 25 2020.