In May 2017, Minister Judith Collins appointed Melissa Wong (NZCA Canterbury member) to be a Trustee on the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust. She is the youngest board member and is only one of two trustees to be selected from the South Island.
The Minister has reappointed Kai-Shek Luey, Virginia Chong and Richard Leung for a second term. Malcolm Wong, Mark Ngan Kee, Paul Chin, Melissa Wong, and Elisabeth Mei-Xing Ngan have been appointed for their first terms. All terms commence on 15 May 2017 and expire on 14 May 2020.
The Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust: up till 1934, early Chinese settlers had to pay a poll tax to immigrate to NZ (no other ethnic groups were taxed). In 2005, the NZ government made a formal apology and gifted the NZ Chinese community and their descendants $5 million. These funds were placed into the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust. Administered through the Department of Internal Affairs, the Trust aims to create a heightened understanding of the Chinese community within New Zealand and to strengthen the unique identity of Chinese New Zealanders.
Melissa is honoured to be selected for this role and will fulfil these commitments alongside her existing community work.