White Ghosts, Yellow Peril: China and New Zealand, 1790-1950

This is the first book ever to explore all sides of the relationship between China and New Zealand, and the peoples of China and New Zealand, during the whole of the seven or so generations after they initially came into contact. The Qing Empire and its successor states from 1790 to 1950 were vast, complex and torn by conflict. New Zealand, meanwhile, grew into a small, prosperous, orderly province of Europe. Not until now has anyone told the story of the links and tensions between the two countries during those years so broadly and so thoroughly.

The reader will find in this book a highly readable portrait of the lives, thoughts and feelings of Chinese who came to New Zealand and New Zealanders who went to China, along with a scholarly but stimulating discussion of race relations, government, diplomacy, war, literature and the arts.


Denis Harold (Landfall): ‘White Ghosts, Yellow Peril is a brilliantly researched and presented history. Full of the accumulated energy of the past, it is a generous resource for the future.’

Paul Diamond (Radio New Zealand): ‘Lovely writing.’

Jiang Ding (Shanghai Book News): ‘A work of wonderful scope, sharp insight and deep humanity.’

Helen Wong (New Zealand Chinese Association): ‘This books covers superbly the early political history of New Zealand-Chinese relationships.’



Otago University Press, Dunedin 2014

ISBN 978-1-877578-65-6