Planning, organisation, recording and audio editing: Susan Zou
Interviewer, Project support: Lisa Yung
Interviewee: Martin Kwok and Tony Leong
The “Stories of Chinese New Zealanders” is a series of interviews with descendants of Chinese people living in Aotearoa New Zealand. The programme looks at the history of their hard work, their settlement and development, integration into New Zealand society, and dedication to contribute and actively promote Chinese culture. The programme also introduces first generation Chinese New Zealanders’ experiences in studying, working and living in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Martin Kwok and his cousin Tony Leong are fourth generation Chinese in New Zealand. As the youngest and oldest cousins of their generation, who are separated by a 31 year age gap, they have somewhat different experiences growing up within a large family who witnessed the progress and changes their parents made for their future generations. Their great-grandfather came to Otago from Jung Seng County, Guangdong, China during the late 1880’s.
Their grandfather William Kwok came to New Zealand in 1901 to join his father and then studied English in Dunedin. After returning to China for marriage, William Kwok came back to New Zealand in 1918 and ran fruit and goods shops. He was a well-respected leader in the New Zealand Chinese community. William had 9 daughters and a son who became a highly regarded ear, nose and throat surgeon; he is Martin’s father Frank Kwok.
Martin’s father waited 13 years to get his family’s approval to marry a nurse with Anglo-Scottish heritage; in the 1950s inter-racial marriages were uncommon and not readily accepted in both the western and Chinese community.
We are grateful to the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust and the Wellington City Council for their financial support and Wellington Access Radio for supporting and hosting the programme.
The programme “Stories of Chinese New Zealanders” will be on air from 8 September to 15 December 2019, every Sunday at 9-10pm, on Wellington Access Radio 106.1FM. Tune in to listen to the 15 interviewees’ unique stories.
You can also listen to the programme on the internet at http://www.accessradio.org.nz/stories-of-chinese-new-zealanders.html
If you have any comments about this programme, please send your feedback to the email address of the programme: Chinesestoriesnz@gmail.com