The yellow dragon, the black box and the golden coin: new Chinese immigrants and their contributions to New Zealand's knowledge society
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study explores whether and how skilled Chinese immigrants can contribute to New Zealand's knowledge society and economy with their knowledge and skills. As New Zealand is moving towards a knowledge society and economy, the attraction of skilled migrants is one of the critical strategies in maintaining its competitive advantages. However, the results of the socioeconomic integration of new skilled migrants always lead to debates on the real role of skilled migrants in New Zealand's society and economy. This study uses multiple research strategies combining analyses of historical and statistical materials, and a case study with fourteen interviews conducted with new Chinese immigrants, who came from Mainland China after 1990 and are living and working in Christchurch, to explore the relationships between these 'descendents of the dragon' and New Zealand's knowledge society and economy. Through these strategies, the study shows the role of knowledge in the emergence of New Zealand's knowledge society and economy, the value placed on knowledge and skills in New Zealand immigration policies and the change in the Chinese community with the growing demand for skilled migrants. It argues that tacit knowledge is not separated from but interactive with explicit knowledge through cultural values, social networks and structures, and interpersonal relationships. Therefore, in the process surrounding the entry of new skilled Chinese immigrants into New Zealand society, the knowledge economy is not exclusively economic but socially and culturally conditioned; and the knowledge society is not universal but diversified and interdependent.