Wellington’s Historic Chinese Community

Chinese Language Week 2023

From vegetable shops to supermarkets, from import merchants to restaurants, and from miners to associations, Wellington’s Chinese history provides a unique perspective of the capital’s past.

Chinese Green Grocers

The Chinese Greengrocery of Wong Gar Sui, 1922. ATL Ref: 1/2-037502-G

The first Chinese arrived in New Zealand during the 1860s to work on the gold fields. From late 1800s these migrants moved to other occupations such as market gardeners, labourers, launderers and shopkeepers.  They became renowned as horticulturists because of their gardening skills which they combined with an expert knowledge of the lunar calendar. The first Chinese market garden was established in 1866 with vegetables being auctioned off to retailers or sold through roadside stalls.

NZ Chinese Growers, 1959.  Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections

By 1940, Chinese growers produced over 70% percent of the country’s commercially grown vegetables and were major suppliers of fresh produce to troops during the Second World War. Ongoing success led to the Dominion Federation of New Zealand Chinese Commercial Growers being established in Wellington in 1941 and soon after Dan Chan established The NZ Chinese Growers journal for the Federation. Originally a hand-calligraphed newsletter, in 1949 he switched to using a fully-fledged hand-set lead type set of over 7500 characters. The now-heritage Chinese typeface collection was later gifted by his family to the Wai-te-ata Press based at Victoria University who also established a Chinese Scholars Studio to house the type and created a residency in his name. 


Continue reading “Wellington’s Historic Chinese Community”

Celebrate Chinese Language Week – 17-23 September

Chinese Language Week 2023

Chinese Language Week 2023Nihao/Neihou, Chinese Language Week is 17-23 September this year, celebrating Mandarin, Cantonese and other Chinese dialects! There are many ways to be involved in this exciting week – attend an event, read a book or an eBook, and learn a Chinese phrase! (网页中文简体版)(网页中文繁体版)

Resource: Chinese Corner books for learning Chinese

Read books from the Chinese Corner to help you learn Chinese. You are welcome to reserve and borrow both simplified and traditional text Chinese books.

Resource: Chinese books

You can find Chinese books in simplified and traditional scripts from any Wellington City Libraries branches or reserve a book for free to pick up from your nearest branches. Waitohi Johnsonville, Te Awe and Arapaki libraries also have Chinese books on display with beautiful Chinese themed decorations.

Continue reading “Celebrate Chinese Language Week – 17-23 September”

Celebrate Chinese language Week (in Traditional Chinese)

Chinese Language Week 2023

您好,今年的9月17號至23是新西蘭中文周, 為慶祝廣東話,漢語和其他的中文方言,今年您可以有多種方式參加中文周的活動,包括參加活動, 閱讀中文書籍或者電子書籍,或者學習講华语。


歡迎您閱讀漢語角的中文書籍, 歡迎您預留並借閱。


惠靈頓市圖書館館藏有簡體繁體中文的書籍,並且可以預留和在任何惠靈頓市圖書館的分館借出。或者您可以親臨 Waitohi強生威爾遜圖書館,阿拉帕齊圖書館, 提亞威圖書館,也會展出中國圖書和中國傳統裝飾。

Continue reading “Celebrate Chinese language Week (in Traditional Chinese)”

Celebrate Chinese Language Week 2023 (in Simplified Chinese)

Chinese Language Week 2023

您好,今年的9月17号至23是新西兰中文周, 为庆祝中文汉语,广东话,和其他的中文方言,今年您可以有多种方式参加中文周的活动,包括参加活动, 阅读中文书籍或者电子书籍,或者学习讲中文。




惠灵顿市图书馆馆藏有简体繁体中文的书籍,并且可以预留和在任何惠灵顿市图书馆的分馆借出。或者您可以亲临 Waitohi强生威尔逊图书馆,阿拉帕齐图书馆, 提亚威图书馆,也会展出中国图书和中国传统装饰。

Continue reading “Celebrate Chinese Language Week 2023 (in Simplified Chinese)”

Stylish Paper Craft

Craft with paper and brighten up your living, such as making stylish pillows and gorgeous leaf pattern napkins, beautiful origami mini furniture, and aromatic embossed handmade paper. Read on!

The handprinted home : 35 stylish projects using stencils, lino cuts, and more / McCabe, Jenny
“Learn how to make stylish home accessories you have printed yourself with beautiful patterns, from foliage motifs to striking chevrons. Choose from 35 gorgeous projects, ranging from stylish pillows to curtains and bedsheets, to tea towels and other practical designs. Try making a simple set of napkins, with a gorgeous leaf pattern, or a cheerful table runner in a dotted design created using potato circles. “(Adapted from the Catalogue)

Creative handmade paper : how to make paper from recycled and natural materials / Watson, David
“David Watson develops the recycling paper theme in this delightful book. He shows how to make paper from both wastepaper and natural materials, plus he gives advice on dyeing, scenting, and embossing.  David Watson is an artist who specializes in experimental papermaking techniques. He has exhibited his work throughout Britain and the U.S. and is a member of the artists’ group, Red Herring.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The origami home : beautiful miniature furniture projects / Bolitho, Mark
“For the first time, a collection of 40 high-design origami projects has been brought into one beautiful package. Accompanied by step-by-step instructions, these visually striking projects offer a wide range of furniture, styles, and accessories. Everything from Shaker to Scandinavian style, with projects such as kitsch 1950s lamps to cool contemporary Sony TVs. You can personalize the style with the wide variety of patterns and styles.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Stylish papercraft : 25 contemporary projects for your home. / Youngs, Clare
“An innovative collection of 25 papercraft projects, offering fresh modern ideas for a traditional craft” (Catalogue)





Those Long-forgotten Dreams

For those young at heart – to be reminded of the long-forgotten dreams of castles, ninjas, fantasy and the wild. This selection of books, with their well-designed book covers and thoroughly illustrated book pages, is not to be missed.

Over the hills and far away : the life of Beatrix Potter / Dennison, Matthew
“Matthew Dennison takes a selection of quotations from Potter’s twenty-three stories, with photos of Potter’s life and Potter’s own illustrations, to explore her creativity, personality and her remarkable and unexpected Victorian life. This dramatic narrative charts encompass her past with a love of animals and fairy tales into a bestselling author and canny businesswoman. This biography will delight anyone who has been touched by Beatrix Potter’s work.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Ninja : the (unofficial) secret manual / Turnbull, Stephen R
“Ninjas are Japan’s famous black-clad spies, saboteurs, and undercover fighters, equipped with superb martial arts skills and an uncanny aptitude for sneakiness, are the stuff of myth, legend and movie and comic pop culture. Ninja takes the reader to Japan in 1789, conveying the excitement, danger, and subterfuge of the period. Illustrated throughout with contemporary artifacts, documents, and prints taken from the historical original manuals, this lighthearted but informative guide demonstrate real ninja in Japan.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Tiny castles / Wills, Dixe
“Dixe Wills unleash his trademark style on the very first compendium of Britain’s most interesting diminutive castles. Praised by BBC Countryfile Magazine for writing “intelligently and amusingly, with evident excitement and imagination.” Beautifully presented, the book uncovers the country’s most compelling and now-standing castles. From Henry VIII’s beautifully preserved St Mawes Castle in Cornwall to Scalloway Castle in Shetland, many of these tiny fortresses occupy a unique place in history.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm
“This beautiful hardback anthology is based on the Grimm’s popular 1857 edition and features 27 of their best-loved stories. The tales are accompanied by exquisite vintage illustrations from the past 200 years, including masterpieces from the legendary Kay Nielsen, British artists Walter Crane and Arthur Rackham, and giants of 19th-century German illustration Gustav Süs, Heinrich Leutemann, and Viktor Paul Mohn. Additional historic and contemporary silhouettes dance across the pages.” (Amazon.com)

Everything I need to know I learned from Peanuts / Schulz, Charles M.
“Collects Peanuts comic strips that present significant and amusing bits of advice on life, including how to make friends, the importance of perseverance, and how to appear intelligent.” (Catalogue)