Gendered Factors of Chinese Multi-locality Migration: The New Zealand Case

Manying Ip, Liangni Liu


Chinese female migration always stands apart from New Zealand mainstream migration. Historically, Chinese women were restricted by openly discriminatory legislation and selective manipulation of immigration policies until the introduction of new immigration policy in 1987. Contemporarily, the multi-locality strategy (popularly labelled as 'astronauting') that Chinese women and their families pursue has attracted much media attention. This paper will explore the gendered factors of Chinese migration within the New Zealand context and examine the grounds on which some of these popular perceptions have developed. The researchers found that in recent years Chinese women greatly outnumbered their male counterparts not just because they were 'wives left behind in New Zealand', but also because more Chinese young women migrated to New Zealand on their own initiatives. By critically analysing two sets of data sources (the New Zealand Census and New Zealand Immigration Services), we found that the number of female principal applicants in the General Skilled Category is higher than that of male. The crucial indicator is that Chinese women are actively involved in the migration decision-making process and may even be the driving force of this mobility. Further empirical evidence also shows that women have played lead roles in the return migration processes, giving impetus to transnational movements and multi-locality migration.

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