ASIAN 140/140G : New Zealand and Asia


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores Asia and its interrelationship with New Zealand, including Asia's growing presence in New Zealand in all its manifestations, and the evolving political, social, economic, cultural, and strategic relations between this country and Asia. Topics will include historical and contemporary ties with Asia, Asian migration, literature, media and films. The course will focus especially on South-East and East Asia.

Course Overview

Japan was an ally in World War One, an enemy in World War Two, is now New Zealand’s fourth biggest trading partner, but its stance on whaling remains troubling. New Zealand was the first country to sign a free trade agreement with rising superpower China, now New Zealand’s number one trading partner, whose gold miners it had sought to exclude in the late nineteenth century.
But how should New Zealand position itself with regard to the dispute between the two over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands? Can New Zealand stand by its values of democracy and human rights while still maintaining a working relationship with China? New Zealand sent troops to fight in the Korean and Vietnam wars; how is this connected to the end of the British Empire, the signing of the ANZUS Treaty and New Zealand’s attitude towards the United Nations?
This course will enable you to put the pieces of the puzzle together – and, as well as making you Asia-savvy, it will also make you New Zealand-savvy, examining our multicultural present in terms of a colonial and settler past.
Today New Zealand defines itself as a country of the Asia-Pacific region and its future prosperity is envisaged in terms of its relationships with the countries of Asia. Soon New Zealanders of Asian descent will outnumber migrants of Asian descent. But spool back a hundred years or so and New Zealand’s whole existence was determined by its membership of the British Empire and its relationship with Britain, and people from Asia were feared as the 'yellow peril'.
This course explores how we got from there to here, and investigates the contemporary political, social, economic, cultural and strategic relations between New Zealand and countries of East and Southeast Asia. It also challenges the divide between 'New Zealand' and 'Asia' by exploring both the history of Asian migration to New Zealand and aspects of contemporary Asian New Zealand culture through film and literature.
The course is interdisciplinary and is taught by a team of academic staff from across the University.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Arts

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of Aotearoa-New Zealand's colonial history (as it relates to Maori, Pakeha and Tauiwi of colour) in order to understand the shifting definitions and attitudes towards people defined as 'Asian' in New Zealand. (Capability 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3)
  2. Understand and critically evaluate changing attitudes towards people recognised as Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean or 'Asian' throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, from diverse perspectives. (Capability 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3)
  3. Identify and create solutions to socio-economic issues related to New Zealand's security and trade relationships with countries in Asia. (Capability 3.1 and 3.2)
  4. Communicate effectively in regular student-student discussions, in writing an academic essay and in preparing a business report. (Capability 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3)
  5. Demonstrate an ability to think independently, manage one's time and write conscientiously on topics of contemporary relevance to Aotearoa-New Zealand's relationship to countries in Asia, and to people in New Zealand with links to Asia. (Capability 5.1 and 5.2)
  6. Demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge gained in the course to critically evaluate one's own identity in Aotearoa-New Zealand and in relation to specific countries in Asia. (Capability 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 100% Individual Coursework


Module A: Historical Engagements and Perceptions   (Weeks 1-4)
  • New Zealand Perceptions of Asia and the NZ Chinese  Community   
  • Being Chinese in New Zealand in the Context of Māori-Pākehā Relations 
  • Japanese Engagements with New Zealand and Perceptions since WWII    
  • New Zealand's Relationships with the two Koreas  and New Zealand's Indian Communities                                                                                     
Module B: International Relations, Security and Trade, New Zealand's Business strategies        (Weeks 5-8)      
  • International Relations, Trade and Security  with East Asia and South East Asia                               
  • New Zealand's Approaches to Doing Business in Asia
  • Strategies and Approaches  of  Businesses from Asia Operating in New Zealand        
  • Working Populations in New Zealand and Asia - Labour Diaspora and Migration
Module C: Media, Diversity, Globalisation  (Weeks 9-12)   
  • Asian Representations and Performances in the Media and the Arts 
  • Religious Diversity in New Zealand (Islam, Buddhism , Christianity)
  • Understanding New Zealand and Asia in terms of Global Disasters                                                                

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week on each 15 point course that they are enrolled in, including class time and personal study and assignment preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is available for students studying on Campus and remotely, for students requiring this option in 2023.

All timetabled lectures will be recorded and available via Canvas.

Attendance is required at scheduled tutorials / seminars / discussion classes to receive credit for some components of the course.

The course includes an on-line tutorial / seminar / discussion class stream.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

No set course book for this course. Readings available on CANVAS.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Moving forward, Tutorials will not be compulsory but are highly recommended. 

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Well-being always comes first
We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there - for more information, look at this Canvas page, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 01/11/2022 07:18 a.m.