Choie Sew Hoy: Otago Pioneer
by Trevor Agnew and Jenny Sew Hoy Agnew
Choie Sew Hoy came to New Zealand from China in 1869, after working in the goldfields of California and Australia. He became a successful merchant and entrepreneur in Otago and was prominent in public life. He was also a well-known leader and benefactor for the Otago Chinese community. In 2019, 250 of his descendants came together in Dunedin for a family reunion to celebrate 150 years since their forebear arrived in New Zealand. Choie Sew Hoy is one of many early immigrants who made an important contribution to New Zealand society. Sew Hoy’s story explores the idea that people from a variety of countries came to make Aotearoa home and whether their experiences were positive or negative depended on how the migrants were treated.