Addington a haven for Asian workers

OUTNUMBERED: Filipino Nicolas Abandia is a resident of an Addington street which census data shows to be one of Christchurch’s most densely populated areas for Asians.
OUTNUMBERED: Filipino Nicolas Abandia is a resident of an Addington street which census data shows to be one of Christchurch’s most densely populated areas for Asians.

Hidden from view behind a row of shops on a busy Addington road, one of the city's biggest Asian communities is a haven for working-class men.

In an area flanked by atypical townhouses, it is only by venturing off the roadside into the cluster of two-storey flats and speaking with its residents that the hub gives away its Asian make-up.

Nicolas Abandia is one of many Filipino workers housed in an apartment block between Lincoln Rd and Poulson St in Addington.

He moved to Christchurch in August 2007, and found work at bronze manufacturer A W Fraser Ltd.

He still sends a portion of his earnings home to his parents and siblings, and so his extended family can get an education.

Asians outnumber Europeans in Abandia's community, with the block - bordered by Parlane and Dickens streets - boasting 57 per cent of people from Asian descent.

The remainder of Christchurch's Asian population is largely spread around the western suburbs, with high density in the Avonhead and Riccarton areas. Abandia said Filipino was spoken largely throughout his area, and incoming migrants could receive support from some of the more seasoned locals.

"If you see someone that is Filipino . . . you just talk straight away. If there is someone new, and they ask how to go to the supermarket, we can help them."

His three-bedroom apartment accommodates four other male Filipino workers. He shares a room with one other to reduce costs.

"Sometimes we make Filipino food, sometimes we have a barbecue. We adopt the culture of Kiwis," he said.

 

The Press