Liu Guozhong has had a very strong association with the New Zealand China Friendship Society for over fifteen years and his extraordinary contribution to our work in China has been invaluable.
Liu Guozhong graduated from Gansu Agriculture University in 1989 and went to work at the Shandan Bailie School, which had been founded by New Zealander, Rewi Alley. He was a well-respected horticulture teacher there from 1989 to 1995.
In 1995, with the support of the New Zealand China Friendship Society, he made his first trip to New Zealand and studied forestry with Fletcher Challenge Forests, spending six months of that year in Nelson.
On his return to Gansu Province, he was the Manager of the Shandan Bailie School Farm until 1999, organizing projects such as training in organic gardening, agricultural skills, and the introduction of new varieties of experimental crops. From 2000-2001 he was an Assistant Principal, mainly developing and extending agricultural projects throughout the Shandan rural area.
In 2002, as a Rewi Alley Scholar, Liu Guozhong returned to New Zealand and studied Agriculture at Massey University. Back at Shandan Bailie School, he has had various responsibilities as a Deputy Principal through to the present. In 2006-7, he also served one year in Beijing as Acting Secretary General and Project Officer of the International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (commonly known as ICCIC or Gung Ho).
At the same time, Liu Guozhong has been an amazing support person and friend for the New Zealand teachers and visitors who have been to the Shandan Bailie School.
Since his time as the Rewi Alley Scholar, he has worked with Dave Bromwich and the New Zealand China Friendship Society to develop a programme of cooperative development projects centred in Shandan, and now extending to other areas. He has made an essential contribution to the design, implementation, management and expansion of these co-ops over several years. He was also a key member of the New Zealand China Friendship Society team that evaluated our Society’s response to the 2008 earthquake in both Shaanxi and Sichuan.
Dave Bromwich says that, “Liu Guozhong shares a long term vision with the NZCFS. His lateral thinking has considerably broadened our Society’s capacity to participate in the establishment of cooperatives and, without his practical ideas, thoughtful input and superb oversight, the successful outcomes to date would not have been achieved. He is highly respected by the various New Zealand Ambassadors and other Embassy personnel in Beijing.”
In 2009-11 Liu Guozhong was the recipient of a NZ government scholarship, which enabled him and his family to spend two years at Massey University to complete his Masters Degree in Agri-commerce, for which his thesis was based on the cooperatives in Shandan county.