The Branch was founded in 1958 by Bill Youren, a local farmer, and re-formed in 1985 by Dr Don McKenzie, a HortResearch Fruit Scientist. Under his leadership, a horticultural exchange programme was established and has developed into a close working relationship.
The aims of the Branch are: to promote mutual understanding, good will, and friendship between the peoples of China and New Zealand by encouraging the exchange of visitors, ideas, information and trade; to support development projects particularly in Guangxi: and to foster interest in the study of China’s past and recent history, culture, and political and social structures.
Currently the Branch has a membership of approximately 100 many of whom have travelled to China or worked there and retain a genuine interest in the country and its future.
The Branch meets monthly at 7:30pm on the first Friday of each month at the Hastings District Council Chambers, Lyndon Road, Hastings. Meetings include talks and activities about aspects of Chinese culture, the showing of DVDs, and reports of travel in China and presentations from Chinese visitors, followed by supper. One major activity for the Branch is the organisation of the highly popular International Culture’s Day held the first Saturday of March at Cornwall Park, Hastings.
In 1981, Dr Don McKenzie convinced the then Hastings City Council to establish New Zealand’s first Sister-City relationship with China. Under the progressive leadership of the then Hastings Mayor, the late Jeremy Dwyer, this has become an active and highly respected relationship. You might like to visit the Guilin City website.
Hawke’s Bay now enjoys three Sister -City relationships; Hastings with Guilin in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; Napier with Lianyungang and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council with Xuzhou, both in Jiangsu Province.
To find out more about any Hawkes Bay Branch activities please contact:
President: Sally Russell
Phone/fax: 06 877 6027
Annual membership: $20 single, $30 family, $30 school, $50 corporate.