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Tauranga Branch Presidents Report March 2014

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New Zealand China Friendship Society : Tauranga Branch President’s Report to The Annual General Meeting on 26March2014. In the year that has gone since our last General Meeting the branch has had a range of activities including the irregular meetings that generally involved an evening meal or a Sunday lunch with our members and friends at one of our local Chinese restaurants. The most outstanding “meeting” for the year would probably be the film evening organized by Committee Member Anita Chan – Flower of War in July – a most memorable event. In my last year’s Presidents report I mentioned the money given to our National Executive by the Auckland businessman , Mr Simon Deng – Tauranga Branch successfully applied for funding that willresult in six local secondary school students travelling to China as part of the Arts Scholarship programme and the IRIS research project. This is a reciprocal arrangement with schools in Jiangxi. In April 2013 I visited China with a group of teachers, looking at the teaching of English there and helping consolidate the relationships that Tauranga has made in the past especially with educational institutions in Nanchang: in China government agencies and the education institutions were strongly supporting this visit. Each year we send nominations of people from our community on the Prominent Persons Delegation, this is a Chinese Government fully funded visit in China for people who have a positive attitude to China who we believe would bring benefits back to the Tauranga community. We are currently considering nominations for this year’s delegation to China in September. As a National Executive member I represent Tauranga in many activities including the sending of teachers to China, the promotion of Mandarin and most excitedly the work of the Simon Deng Committee in financially supporting selected projects involving youth and supporting arts and culture. In the future we hope to have representation at meetings with the Tauranga Multicultural Council and expect and look forward to establishing a much closer and productive relationship with them. A significant part of my time has been involved with Jiangxi Province where I lived and worked from 2003, the following is a report I presented to The National Executive: ___________________________________________________________ Developing positive relations between Jiangxi and The Bay of Plenty. 好事多磨hǎo shì duō mó In their letter of thanks, 6 June 2012, Jiangxi Provincial Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office wrote, “We hope that New Zealand China Friendship Society and Jiangxi Provincial Friendship Association can bring a closer contact and strengthen our cooperation in the future, so as to make contributions to friendship and cooperation between New Zealand and China.” Jiangxi have been targeting the Bay of Plenty in recent years for any friendly relationships, in 2014 we in The Bay of Plenty intend to continue to work to strengthen ties in three specific areas: 1. Education 2. Water conservation and mountain protection. 3. Tourism and Hospitality 1. EDUCATION There are a number of developments happening including: • Arts scholarships are offered to senior secondary school students in the greater Tauranga area ie Katikati to Te Puke inclusive for them to visit Nanchang for one month between, approximately, 2April and 2May 2014; students who have shown excellence in any field of the arts from these schools will be invited to apply. This initiative has been partially funded by The Deng Fund. • Providing a voluntary English teaching job in Nanchang for a young person wanting also develop her Mandarin. This will happen for about three months from the beginning of April this year working as a volunteer at Nanchang’s Number 28 Middle School. • Bringing students from middle schools in Nanchang for an “English Camp” to the Bay of Plenty English Language School in Tauranga July/August this year. • Bringing teachers/lecturers from Bluesky University in Nanchang for professional development at an “English camp” at the Bay of Plenty English Language School in Tauranga July/August this year. • Independent research internships for secondary students ( IRIS ), they will to visit Nanchang for approximately six weeks, this will happen in about January/February 2015. Pairs of students from schools in the greater Tauranga area ie Katikati to Te Puke inclusive: in October students who have developed a research project of their choosing will present their project for appraisal and may be chosen to go to Nanchang. This has been partially funded by The Deng Fund. • We have been working increasingly closely with TEMA ( The International education consultants who are keen to work with us in Jiangxi.) They have connections which parallel our connections in Jiangxi and are working on various projects benefitting Bay of Plenty and Jiangxi Province. • Toby Curtis of Te Arawa is working with us in the development of exchanges between schools in Rotorua and • Laytee George of Rotorua is in discussion with us in the development of exchanges between schools in Rotorua and Nanchang. • Dr Margreit Theron of SPEECH NZ is keen to work with NZCFS to develop a professional speaking course in Nanchang – see separate proposal. • Yu Xin Junior Middle School in Nanchang are particularly keen to establish a relationship with a Tauranga school, this most especially through the efforts of LIU YuJie. In November Dave Bromwich took part in a meeting at YuXin with school leaders and Mr Tu and Miss Luo Shi Guo from the Jiangxi FAO, the enthusiasm to link with a school Tauranga was confirmed. • At the end of his visit to China last year as part of our Prominent Persons Delegation Andrew King stayed on in Nanchang for several extra days talking with teachers and he was able to visit YuXin School, he came back enriched and enthused to further develop cultural studies throughout Oropi School, he will take a group of primary students to China later this year. 2.WATER AND MOUNTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Dr Andy Bruere of Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been a guest of Jiangxi FAO, he visited Poyang Lake and met with various other scientist and has been working on closer environmental ties between Jiangxi and The Bay of Plenty. Dave Bromwich in his recent meetings with Jiangxi FAO established connection with Samuel Shuai, Director of International Office, JiuJiang University, Mr Shuai is keen to develop closer relationships with The Bay of Plenty and Jiangxi in areas of conservation, including mountain ecology and recreation. Dave is planning to follow up on this with discussions in Jiujiang in March 2014. 3.HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM Discussions are at a very early stage but we are working to develop closer ties in tourism with Rhys Arrowsmith of TOURISM BAY OF PLENTY in Tauranga. Rhys met with the delegation from Jiangxi FAO during their visit in 2012. Richard van der Jagt as part of the TEMA is in discussion with various local training providers in hospitality who are interested to establish links with similar providers in Nanchang. Jiangxi have been targeting the Bay of Plenty in recent years, they are keen to establish closer ties and with these three “stakes in the ground” we believe we have a good coverage within our general community to develop relationship with Jiangxi authorities. With the current uncertainty amongst local authorities, with the government restructuring of city councils, district councils and regional councils there is hesitancy to commit to any relationship regardless of how informal this may be. Work will continue from the Bay of Plenty working in Education, Environment and Tourism and Hospitality to “bring a closer contact and strengthen our cooperation in the future, so as to make contributions to friendship and cooperation between New Zealand and China” as Jiangxi Provincial Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office requested in 2012. ___________________________________________________________ I wish to thank our committee for the work that they have done this year and the support that they have given me in the past and look forward to working with our new committee in the future in achieving the goals of our society in this as my final year as President of Tauranga Branch. John Hodgson Tauranga Branch President New Zealand China Friendship Society 26March2014