Tuesday, July 8, 2014

When Chinese shearers had to sleep separately ...

Image: William Jukes Steward, 1891. From Wikipedia.

A little known fact – in 1898, the New Zealand parliament passed the Shearers Accommodation Act, which contained apartheid-like clauses demanding separate accommodation for Chinese shearers apart from everyone else in the shearing sheds of the land.

The original Bill, without the paragraph, was brought to Parliament by William Jukes Steward (1841-1912), representing Waitaki, in 1896. It was intended to provide a standard of accommodation for workers, but ended up having bits attached to it from the race-related concerns at the time, during the colony’s Liberal government period. At the Bill’s second reading:

“Mr T. MACKENZIE … strongly objected to Chinamen being employed as shearers, and hoped the bill would contain a clause providing for separate sleeping accommodation for shearers apart from that provided for Chinamen.” (Otago Witness, 16 July 1896)

The Workers Union in Waimate approved the Bill, “especially with clauses 8 and 9, which deal with separate accommodation, for members of the Chinese race who may be employed on the stations…” (Oamaru Mail 29 July 1896), and it passed the Lower House. The Legislative Council initially threw the Bill out, but it passed its second reading with them in October 1897.

The Act was consolidated in 1908 as the Shearers' and Agricultural Labourers' Accommodation Act, which was amended in 1919 by the Shearers' Accommodation Act 1919 which repealed some sections (5 to 9) of the 1908 Act, but not Section 11: “Where agricultural labourers are of any Asiatic race, the employer shall provide for such Asiatic labourers separate and distinct sleeping-accommodation from that provided for other agricultural labourers …” This was finally repealed, along with the rest of the 1908 Act, under the Agricultural Workers Act 1936.

So, after 38 years, separate accommodation for Chinese workers in the shearing industry was abolished.

The Second Triennial Timespanner Auckland Local Boards Heritage Survey

Back in March 2011, I published a simple bit of a survey into how many times "heritage" was referred to in draft annual plans produced by the 21 Local Boards in the Auckland Council region. This included all references to heritage, including natural -- in many cases, the only reference found.

This year, I had a look at the 21 draft Local Plans issued by the boards. Again, using the .pdf versions available online, I used the keyword "heritage". Heritage does appear in all of the draft local plans, but the degrees of detail and the instances of actual action points regarding what each board intends to do or to support or facilitate in the way of cultural or built heritage varies.

If  I've missed any vital points out, drop me a line.

Italics are direct quotes from the draft plan documents.

  • With mana whenua, we will undertake a Māori cultural heritage study to identify sites of significance in Albert-Eden, including wāhi tapu, urupā and places of traditional importance.
  • We will continue our programme of historic and character heritage surveys to identify buildings for possible future protection, and will make this information public. The Balmoral survey was completed last term and we are now surveying Pt Chevalier, to be followed by Mt Eden. We will develop and expand the biennial Albert-Eden Bungalow Festival, which is aimed at residents of our bungalow suburbs and those with an interest in the distinctive character of local bungalows. The festival will help us develop a greater knowledge and appreciation of what we have.
  • We will advocate for our libraries to have better storage technology for oral history, so that it can be both secure and easy to access.
  • When we install or upgrade new signs in parks and along walkways we will, where appropriate, include heritage and archaeological information to tell the stories of the early people and landscapes of the area.
(4 points of action, but numerous other references to heritage. At the last survey, heritage was mentioned 3 times.)

Aotea-Great Barrier
  • The island’s heritage, be it pre-European or settler, cultural or natural, is an area that has been under-recognised to date.
  • Develop an island heritage plan
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no references to heritage were found.)

  • We will partner with mana whenua to explore the nature of that relationship by starting with local initiatives celebrating cultural heritage and Māori identity.
  • Telling our stories is extremely important to us and we will do this by developing a series of heritage trails across our area.
  • Restore the Fort Takapuna barracks in time for the centenary of World War One
    Initiate an annual civic heritage award
  • Produce brochures and web-based documents promoting local heritage
(5 points of action. At the last survey, 3 references to heritage were found)

  • We want to protect the look and feel of our towns and villages, many of which have special old buildings.
  • We will support events celebrating local heritage and the development of heritage trails that link and promote our natural and built heritage.
(2 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)

Basically, the Board has this time put all its heritage eggs in one basket – focussing on the Corban Estate Arts Centre.
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no references to heritage were found)

Hibiscus and Bays 
  • The Hibiscus and Bays Area Plan includes actions that will support our historic heritage places and culturally significant landscapes to be identified, protected and celebrated over the next 30 years.
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no references to heritage were found)

  • We will complete our Heritage Plan which will guide the identity, preservation and protection of geological and archaeological sites and important local heritage sites.
(1 point of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found)

  • We will develop Birkenhead, Northcote, Glenfield and Beach Haven while retaining their unique personalities and heritage character.
(1 point of action. At the last survey, 4 references to heritage were found.)

  • Build a heritage and visitor centre and promote Māngere-Ōtāhuhu as a destination (part of the Māngere Gateway Project) 
  • Completion of the heritage survey of historic buildings
 (2 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found. )

  • Looking to the future, we need to ensure we conserve important elements of our past for generations to come, so they can learn about and enjoy them. We will do this by working with mana whenua with interests in the area and local heritage people to identify buildings, structures and places of importance. We will then make plans to save and, if necessary, restore them. 
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found. )

  • Work with ATEED to identify and promote the cultural, natural, recreational and heritage assets that exist within the local board area 
  • Develop a public-private partnership to investigate a pilot project for seismic strengthening of a typical unreinforced building in Onehunga 
  • Scope the delivery of the actions and recommendations from the 2013 Onehunga Heritage Survey 
  • Support efforts to preserve the Loombs Hotel. 
(4 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)

  • As part of the action plan, we will also partner with Ngāti Whātua Orākei to improve and upgrade the Mission Bay steps area leading up to Bastion Point. This project aims to embed public art into the design of the upgrade to reflect the heritage of the area, draw in visitors, and create an iconic running route. 
  • … working with local residents, mana whenua, and heritage experts to explore ways to identify, reflect and showcase the cultural heritage and significance of our places. 
  • … we will advocate for funding to carry out heritage assessments for both pre-1944 and post-1944 buildings and character areas (e.g. Remuera and Ellerslie). 
(3 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found. )

  • We will work with mana whenua in naming new council-owned facilities, roads and parks to reflect our local cultural heritage.
  •  … we will promote the heritage of Old Papatoetoe through a new museum and arts facility and by creating new events. 
(2 points of action. At the last survey, 2 references to heritage were found.)

  • Protection of Māori cultural heritage 
  • Know our heritage buildings and areas to protect 
(2 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)

  • Ongoing implementation of Waikōwhai coast network plan including track development and heritage interpretative signage projects 
  • Continue Puketāpapa heritage survey with a focus on Manukau foreshore and key Mount Roskill civic and political identities 
  • Installation of heritage interpretative signage at key sites 
  • Develop Three Kings heritage trail with supporting infrastructure 
(4 points of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found.)

  • Support and assist property owners’ efforts to preserve the historic aspects of their buildings through grants 
  • Our rich cultural history and vibrant local communities make us all proud. We will work with mana whenua in the naming of new local roads, parks and council-owned facilities, as we did with the Wellsford War Memorial Library, Te Whare Pukapuka o Wakapirau He Tohu Whakamaharatanga Ki NgāPakanga. This will go some way to ensuring that our cultural heritage is reflected locally. We also support council assistance in identifying sites of significance to iwi throughout Rodney. 
(2 points of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found.)

Upper Harbour 
  • We have … bought two heritage buildings for the community to use in Hobsonville Point. Instead of building new facilities, we want to keep hold of our heritage and look after the two special buildings we already have. 
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found.)

  • Waiheke Island has a rich Māori and European history and there are a number of significant archaeological and heritage features, including pāand wāhi tapu sites, as well as Fort Stony Batter.
  • We will work with mana whenua to ensure their sites of cultural significance are protected and interpreted during the management and development of our open space network. We will develop interpretative signs, with heritage information and acknowledgment of mana whenua sites of cultural significance. 
(2 points of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found.)

Waitakere Ranges 
  • In the last term, the local board delivered the first monitoring report required under the Heritage Area Act … One of the specific projects that have been developed as a consequence is for the local board to work with Auckland Transport to develop a design guide for the heritage area. 
  • The protection of our heritage values is a primary focus for this local board. The Waitākere Ranges has a large and diverse range of Māori and European heritage sites, especially in the coastal areas which were favoured for occupation and industry on account of the natural resources available. While 30-40 years ago, a great deal of work was done to identify these places, the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Monitoring Report has identified that these sites need to be more precisely mapped and their present condition assessed and reported on. As a first step the local board is funding a desktop study in 2014 to identify the information available and next steps for assessment and protection. 
  • We will look to prioritise an area for a heritage survey, perhaps Titirangi, and carry it out. 
  • The centenary of World War One is an important milestone for New Zealand with a great deal of community interest. We will be working with our communities to commemorate this period and learn more about New Zealanders who served and how the war impacted on local communities and families. 
(3 points of action, At the last survey, 4 reference to heritage were found, all to do with the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Protection Act.)

  • We support the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan’s approach to protecting heritage. 
  • We support scheduling Karangahape [Road?] as a historic heritage area. 
  • We will work with others to find cost effective ways to earthquake-strengthen our heritage buildings … Develop a guidebook on how to strengthen an earthquake prone building to Building Code standards 
  • We will encourage the preservation of buildings such as Carlile House, Myers Park Caretaker’s Cottage, Highwic House, Ewelme Cottage and Albert Park House. We are particularly keen to see Auckland Council purchase the St James Theatre to help preserve the building. 
  • People will be encouraged to understand our past by meandering along our heritage walkways, participating in hīkoi, reading our brochures and joining in events such as the Heritage Festival. ... Develop mobile applications to promote our heritage 
  • Completing the Parnell Train Station, incorporating the restored Newmarket Station, will improve services to Auckland University, the Domain and Parnell. Together with the Mainline Steam building, this will create an interesting heritage destination. 
  • … we will plan to update Pt Erin pool, ensuring any redevelopment remains sensitive to its heritage character. 
  • We will also work with local mana whenua and mataawaka as they advance their aspirations to meet social and cultural needs and promote Māori culture and heritage within Waitematā. 
(8 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)

Their plan centres around “Design heritage” …
  • We will fund a coordinator role to support more locally organised activities that nurture, share and celebrate our creativity and build on our design heritage … We want to ensure that our ceramic and clothing design heritage is safe, displayed and is recognised as providing a launch pad for our flourishing creative community and businesses. We are supporting the Portage Ceramics Trust as it works to develop the sustainable storage and celebration of ceramics in the Whau. 
  • We will work with mana whenua, arts organisations and our heritage groups as we invest in more public art in our towns and parks in every community across the Whau to acknowledge our stories, our challenges and our aspirations. 
  • Heritage building assessments 
  • Additional street signs that tell the stories of our street names 
(4 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)