Topic: Jubilee Dairy Factory Site - 1887

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244 Bridge Street West, Eltham

Jubilee Dairy Factory Sign

Chew Chong's Jubilee Factory Site  

Chew Chong Sign.  


On the bank of the Waingongoro River near here the Chinese merchant , Chew Chong, opened his Jubilee butter factory in 1887.

Although not the first dairy factory in Taranaki, the Jubilee was the first to purchase milk for cash instead of goods. Farmers were thus given much-needed finance to develop their holdings.

The Jubilee factory manager and butter-maker was Sydney Morris, assisted by his brother Arthur. Chew Chong later built several creameries around Eltham and also bought the nearby Mangatoki dairy factory. In 1889 Chong won a silver trophy for the best ½ ton of export butter at the Dunedin Exhibition.

The subsequent growth of the co-operative factory system forced the closure of the Jubilee in 1901.



Born near Guangzhou (Canton), China about 1828, Chau Tseung (Chew Chong) arrived in Dunedin in 1867 after spending 20 years in Singapore and Australia.

He moved to Taranaki in 1870 and established a general-goods store in New Plymouth and later set up branches in Inglewood, Okato and Eltham.

Chong established an export trade for the edible cloud ear or jelly fungus (Auricularia polytricha) which grew in abundance on the felled and decaying mahoe and other trees in Taranaki. At the time local farmers, struggling to create pastures, welcomed the additional income from fungus gathering.

Chew Chong’s general stores and factories, established during the 1870s and 80s, helped to consolidate the developing dairy industry in the province.

After he retired to New Plymouth he became a director of the Taranaki Freezing Works Company and served on the Chamber of Commerce executive.

Chew Chong was highly respected by his fellow Taranaki citizens – in great contrast to the attitude shown to Chinese in the rest of New Zealand at the time. In 1911 the Taranaki business community presented him with an illuminated address which recorded their appreciation of his services to the district.

He was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame in 1996.(See Document below)

See detailed biographies in Web links below and The Merchant of Taranaki, Chris Samsara, NZ Geographic #102, 2010

A Heritage Taranaki Project 

Heritage Taranaki Logo.  

The site was first marked by a sign produced by the Taranaki Branch Committee of the N Z Historic Places Trust unveiled on 20 August 1988. (See Documents below). The new sign was installed in May 2016.


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Jubilee Dairy Factory Site - 1887

Jubilee Dairy Factory Site - 1887 by Ron L is Copyright Act 1994