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APPO HOCTON~ THE FIRST CHINESE NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRANT
Wong Ah Poo Hoc Ting, also known by his english name Appo Hocton, was born on 18 August 1819/1823 and became the first chinese immigrant to New Zealand. At age 9, Hocton left his home country Canton, Guangzhou to work as a cabin-boy/steward on many different English vessels before boarding the Thomas Harrison with other crew members in May 26, 1842.
The ship sailed into Nelson on the 25th of October, in the same year. However, Appo Hocton was not aboard the Thomas Harrison after it departed 16 days later, because he decided to settle in Nelson.
Unfortunately, he was taken into custody after his arrival, and was sentenced to ‘the house of correction’ on Church Hill for 30 days.
Dr Thomas Renwick, a surgeon who was on board the same ship as Hocton, was able to pay his fine and also employ young Appo as a housekeeper.
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