Kōrero: Tongans

Factory workers, 1973

Factory workers, 1973

In the 1960s and 1970s Tongans came to New Zealand on temporary work permits. Many found jobs in factories where they became, as one manager in Auckland said, ‘a pretty vital factor’. This photo shows three Tongans working as spray painters in the Todd Motors factory in the Hutt Valley, Wellington. They were from a group of 89 brought to New Zealand for six months by the local chamber of commerce to help meet a labour shortage. The group was led by Samiu Taufa ( in the centre with his head covered), who described himself as ‘a good Christian boy’, able to speak fluent English.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1973/0282/5A

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Melenaite Taumoefolau, 'Tongans - Migrations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/photograph/1255/factory-workers-1973 (accessed 17 October 2019)

Story by Melenaite Taumoefolau, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 25 Mar 2015