chapter  8
22 Pages

Chinese media in New Zealand: Transnational outpost or unchecked floodtide?


The historical development of the Chinese-language media in New Zealand has been directly influenced by two factors, which, at first glance, seem rather unfavourable. First, the ethnic Chinese community remained numerically small – it numbered below 15,000 up to the late 1980s – so the circulation volume of Chinese-language newspapers remained weak. Second, the great distance separating New Zealand from China ensured that imported materials took a long time to arrive. However, the smallness of the community meant that it was very close-knit, and the geographical remoteness ensured that the influence of any ‘home-grown’ media would remain uncontested, exclusive and highly influential. These two factors created the context for the first Chinese-language newspapers to flourish, in the early 1920s and then 1940s. These factors remained relevant until modern technology revolutionized the delivery of news with teletext, the Internet and television in the last two decades.