Asia in the Making of New Zealand

Edited by Henry Johnson & Brian Moloughney

‘An essential read for anyone who needs to get to grips with Asia’s past and present role in New Zealand life – and these days that’s more or less all of us.’ – Sam Finnemore, Craccum


Asia in the Making of New Zealand is a thoughtful and illuminating discussion of the rapidly changing, creative and dynamic multicultural society in which we now live.

Five chapters consider historical links between New Zealand and various Asian countries; five look at Asian aspects of our contemporary Kiwi culture, from the Indonesian gamelan, Indian identity, Muslim traditions as exemplified in the ‘burqa’ case, to Chinese and Korean use of the media.

Asian issues are an increasingly important area of study for academics, local community groups and public policy makers alike, and by identifying the historical and contemporary impact of Asia on kiwi culture, this book celebrates cultural diversity and offers practical insight and understanding of the Asian diaspora in New Zealand.



Henry Mabley Johnson is an associate professor of ethnomusicology, Asian studies, and performing arts studies at the University of Otago. He is the author of The Koto: A Traditional Instrument in Contemporary Japan.

Brian Moloughney is a sinologist at the University of Otago. He is president of the New Zealand Asian Studies Association and is the coeditor of Disputed Histories: Imagining New Zealand’s Pasts.


January 2007, 217 x 140 mm, 304 pages, illustrations
Paperback, ISBN 9781869403843, $49.99