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National Notebook December 2011



Greetings to all of you as we head towards the Christmas and holiday season. Apart from the tragic time during the earthquakes in Canterbury especially that of February earlier this year, as a Society we have had an extremely active and rewarding year.

As I reflect on the multitude of dedicated people we have in our Society volunteering their time and expertise in all areas from hosting Chinese visitors, to supporting our Chinese projects, running branch events, organizing the web site and the National Notebook, representing us at numerous public functions, speaking to groups, teaching Chinese and going to China, I remain humbled by your dedication and application to on-going lasting friendship and support to all our Chinese friends.

2012 sees us celebrate our first sixty years as a Friendship Society and what a year it will be. You will be delighted by what Auckland will set up for us at our main celebrations at our annual conference in Auckland next May. Do make this one conference a ‘must do’ activity for 2012. Can I also suggest two other ideas for 2012 – the first is to encourage your branch to update its history so we can present it at that conference and the second is to have another look at our brilliant updated website – just outstanding, and see that your branch activities are up to date.

Do have a safe and relaxing holiday time and make 2012 a great year for you, your loved ones as well as for the Society

God bless, Eric Livingstone, National President


Recent News

Our best wishes and congratulations to Madame Li Xiaolin on her recent appointment to the position of President of Youxie.    After a long period as Vice President of Youxie responsible for its day to day operations, Madame Li Xiaolin has now stepped up to the prestigious position of President, resulting in changed roles for many of our contacts in Youxie assuming more responsibility. We are looking forward to an official announcement in the near future 

President Eric’s recent Branch travels

Eric and past Christchurch President Judy Livingstone, visited Manawatu Branch in late October, for a delightful Chinese meal in Palmerston North when some 20 people enjoyed a good time together. Then along with Manawatu President Maurice Alley and his wife Dorothy they visited Whanganui Branch for an enjoyable street café gathering with a cluster of local members arranged by Secretary Rod Trott.  Then onto New Plymouth for a most pleasant dumpling meal with President Chris Avery and wife Mengjie and a discussion on local branch activities. At each branch gathering  Eric updated members on current Society activities at a National level and in particular about our China projects, delegations and tours.

Maori China Friendship Association

During November the Maori China Friendship Association hosted a sizable delegation from Youxie and in Christchurch our Society hosted them to a meal at Eric and Judy Livingstone’s home. The newly appointed Consul General in Christchurch, Madame Tan, was very pleased to meet her friends, Mr Zhang Heqian and Ms Wang Hong, who were the leaders of the delegation, and were able to join the pleasant evening where 30 people enjoyed food, company, and songs from Chinese, Maori and Pakeha.

Trial Group Teaching English

In October, National Executive Member and Hamilton President Jenevere Foreman along with John Meyer and Murray Hoare were the keen participants in Youxie President Madame Li Xiaolin’s trial of Kiwi volunteers spending time in a rural village to give children an experience of meeting English speakers from New Zealand. Jenevere reports that they were very privileged to be part of this very successful  pilot which involved them in visiting a number of middle schools and talking to many children and were overwhelmed by the hospitality and experiences.

April Photographers Tour of Beautiful China

This tour has attracted a spread of photographers and non-photographers  from Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch. If you would like to join this group, contact Ann White(tangible@farmside.co.nz) or have a look at our tours page for more details.

National Treasurer needed

Please make contact with current Treasurer Royden, or with President Eric, if you have some accounting experience and would like to use your skills to assist the Society in this important role.


Christine Strickland has done a lot of work to assist many more branches get their news onto the website. Congratulations to all those who are now working well as web-editors.  If you haven’t had a look recently the website changes regularly.

 Ambassador Xu Visits Rotorua Schools

Ambassador Xu prepares to cut the ribbon opening the Chinese Book Corner at Otonga School in Rotorua on November 30th. Cathy Gong, the Ambassador’s PA, hurries to take a photo, School Principal Linda Woon is all smiles, and Education Secretary Peter Wang steps up to his supporting role.

2011 Prominent Person’s and Leaders’ Delegation

 The group was made up of prominent people, Anne Todd-Lambie, Family Court Mediator and lawyer, Nelson; Andrew Turnbull, business man and Port of Timaru Director, Timaru; John Brunsden, with two language schools, Palmerston North; and Ruth Henderson, journalist, Hibiscus Coast. The NZCFS people were Vivienne Holmes and Colin Child, Dunedin, Tony Tian, Christchurch, Bruce and Joy Asher, Wellington, Sally Russell, Hawke’s Bay who led the group, and Heiko Lade, who was nominated for both categories, Hawke’s Bay.

Zhang Yang (Jessie) accompanied us for the whole trip, along with Wang Lidan (Linda) in Beijing and Xu Fenghua in Shandong and Fujian. This was Jessie’s first time with a group out of Beijing and she is another enthusiastic Youxie staff member.

Youxie had organised an excellent programme for us with visits to organisations for discussions mixed in with sightseeing.  There were two days in Beijing, then on to Shandong and Fujian Provinces.

Highlights: The group was interested in China, and were open and questioning.

  • I can visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall again and again as there is always something new to discover.
  • Dinner in Beijing with Mr. Zhang Heqiang, Deputy Director General, American & Oceania Affairs, CPAFFC and Pam Dunn, Deputy Head of Mission and Andrew Robinson, Second Secretary,  NZ Embassy
  • Shandong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine.
  • Taishan, one of China’s five sacred mountains, was very foggy the day we visited.   
  • The Fuzhou Provincial Women’s Federation discussion which was free-ranging with many of their staff and volunteers contributing.
  • Xiamen Port where we went out in one of the pilot launches to see the 18th largest container port in the world.
  • Delicious food and banquets.   

Sally Russell,   10 November 2011


Hamlets are small with 5-15 families living in one area.


Rabbits for Sanzhiyang Farmers

In the Year of the Rabbit  we have supported the second group of 20 families in Sanzhiyang, Guangxi, to begin rabbit farming. The farmers receive four female and one male rabbits as well as the training and on-going support to start this new initiative. The rabbits are very popular in the local markets and the farmers can increase their incomes. Many have chosen to increase their number of rabbits so that they will have more to sell at Spring Festival.




NZCFS 60th Birthday Tour, September 2012

Early planning is underway for a unique tour to celebrate NZCFS’ 60th birthday. It will combine a classic silk road tour with a our highly recommended projects tour. We will look at how we are expressing our legacy in Rewi Alley, Kathleen Hall and the cooperative movement in NZCFS projects today, and meet a number of the people involved in our work past and present.

 Highlights will include:

The silk road for this trip starts in Kashgar, then goes east and visits  Urumuqi, Turpan, Dunhuang and Jiayouguan, and on to Shandan.

In Shandan we will celebrate 60 years of NZCFS and 70 years of Shandan Bailie School (including its early years in Shuangshipu), and visit cooperatives. In Lanzhou, we meet our Kathleen Hall scholar; in Baoji and Fengxian, Shaanxi we visit NZCFS/Women’s Federation health and cooperative projects and Rewi Alley’s old cave dwelling; in Xi’an the terracotta warriors; in Baoding, Hebei we visit Kathleen Hall’s village and the Norman Bethune museum and Wolf Tooth Mountain on the way back to Beijing.

The 2009 Project’s Tour visited a Shnadan Co-operative growing onions

In Beijing we will also celebrate our 60th birthday with friends old and new, as well as visit the Great Wall, and other classic tourist attractions.

The proposed dates are August 29 to September 23 with 24 days in China (to be confirmed).  An early estimate of cost is between $7500-8000 all inclusive.

More detail will be presented as the plans develop, but for an early indication of interest reserve your space on this tour now with Dave Bromwich dbromwich@xtra.co.nz