Yesterday’s history post included a reference to anti-Chinese hysteria in Dunedin in 1888:
A meeting in Dunedin presided over by the mayor unanimously called for a ban on further Chinese migrants. . .
As work on the goldfields became harder to find, anti-Chinese prejudice resurfaced. Some spoke of a conspiracy to overrun the colony with ‘Coolie-slaves’ who were ‘ignorant, slavish, and treacherous’. Canada and Australia had imposed entry taxes on Chinese immigrants and New Zealand followed suit via the Chinese Immigrants Act of 1881. A poll tax of £10 (equivalent to $1650 today) was introduced and ships arriving in New Zealand were restricted to one Chinese passenger per 10 tons of cargo. . .
Fast forward 109 years. Immigrants in general and Chinese in particular are once more being used as political scapegoats by vote-hungry desperates.