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Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust

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Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust

History of the Trust

At the time of the Chinese New Year in 2002 the Government of New Zealand formally apologised to the Poll Tax payers and their decendants for the actions of previous Governments in imposing a poll tax on Chinese persons entering New Zealand and in enacting other discriminatory statutes.

As part of this apology, Government has supported the establishment of the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust, and, in 2005, paid to this Trust the sum of $5,000,000 as a gesture of reconciliation in support of the formal apology.

Further background on the poll tax, including an online database of poll tax records, can be viewed on the
Office of Ethnic Affairs website.

Aim of the Trust

The broad aim of this Trust is to strengthen the unique identity of Chinese New Zealanders and their communities in New Zealand in recognition of poll-tax payers.

Intention of the Trust

The Trust is intended as a gesture of goodwill to the poll-tax payers, their descendants and future generations in recognition of the hardship caused by the poll tax and other discriminatory legislation, and for the purpose of creating understanding in the wider Chinese community and New Zealand society as a whole.

Objectives of the Trust
  1. to promote the preservation of Chinese New Zealand history, and awareness of the contributions of early Chinese settlers, and
  2. to provide tangible support for Chinese New Zealand history, language and culture, particularly that of the early settler Chinese community.
  3. Within the context of the objectives above, the activities the Trust must promote (but are not limited to) include:
    • learning and use of the Cantonese language
    • awareness and understanding of the history of Chinese in New Zealand
    • the recording and preserving of Chinese New Zealand history
    • greater public understanding of ethnic diversity with particular emphasis on the contributions of Chinese New Zealanders
    • Chinese arts and culture (including Chinese New Zealand creative and cultural expression).

General Guidelines for Funding

The criteria for eligibility of applicants and projects include the following:
  • Applicants are not required to be Chinese or descendants of early settlers – but proposals for funding must support the objectives of the Trust and have support from the Chinese Poll Tax descendant community.
  • The Trust will consider its own priorities, and fit with the objectives of the Trust, in deciding which applicants will receive funding. This means that, in general:
  • applications from, and benefiting individuals, will only be funded with the endorsement of a reputable group
  • applications for servicing debt, travel, or loans, have no guarantee of funding
  • events, activities or projects have no guarantee of ongoing funding
  • a branch may apply independently of its national body
The Trust will not fund:
  • applications that are of a party political nature.

Applications Seeking More Than $5,000

If the application seeks more than $5,000 then the application will need to show:
  • evidence of the financial and technical viability of the proposal
  • that funding sought, is not more properly the responsibility of Central and/or Local Government
  • that the proposal does not seek funding for things that already funded by the State through other mechanisms
  • evidence of other fundraising activities – including support from other sources for larger projects

Eligibility for Consideration

Proposals seeking funding must have:
  • goals and deliverables that are clearly linked to the objectives of the Trust
  • endorsement from a reputable organisation
  • evidence that in general, proposals (and applicant organisations) are not for profit
  • referees who can attest to community benefits
  • fully declared and accounted for previous funding grants.


The Trust may, from time to time, support events that have clear links to the objectives of the Trust. Applicants seeking funding for an event will, in addition to meeting all other criteria set out above, have to demonstrate:
  • Evidence that the event has obtained necessary Resource consents (if required)
  • Evidence that the event complies with all relevant legislation and statute (e.g. OSH, Public Health, Fire Regulations, Council Bylaws etc.)


The Trust may also sponsor activities or events from time to time. Applications for sponsorship of activities or events will need to meet the same requirements as any other application to the Trust, set out in the relevant sections above.

Key Dates for Funding Rounds

First Funding Round Second Funding Round
Applications open19 June 20051 December 2005
Closing Date 26 August 2005 26 February 2006
Trust Meeting Date14 October 200513 April 2006

How to Apply

Download or print out the application form and below:

Application guidelines are available in English or Chinese language versions: Please Note: The English language version of this form has been updated with the following information: "a branch may apply independently of its national body". The Chinese language version is still awaiting the addition of this updated information (26/10/2005).
*These documents are in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site. If you require a hard copy of any of these forms please contacting the Trust Avisor (contact details below).

All applications should be sent to:

Postal Address:

Trust Advisor
Chinese Heritage Poll Tax Trust
PO Box 805

Phone: 0800 824 824


Courier address:

Department of Internal Affairs
State Insurance Building
46 Waring Taylor Street

Trust Membership
Current members of the Trust are:

Dr James Ng (Chair)
Esther Fung
Debbie Sew-Hoy
Peter Chin
Harvey Wu
Kai Luey
David Wong
Ron Hoy-Fung

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Last updated: 12/05/2006