Manawatu Branch New Zealand China Friendship Society
August Newsletter 2015
Combined Meeting (With Friends of the Library) Thursday August 27th
At 10.30am in the Oroua Room at the Palmerston North City Library, George St.
“Books for Bazhong”: Coffee and Talk Speaker:- Rosy Look Palmerston North
How can a retired English Teacher make a difference to school kids in China? Rosy will describe how dusty old books from NZ combined with NZ teaching methods have helped to encourage children in Bazhong to learn English.
Next Meeting Friday September 4th
At 7.30 pm in the new ETC Premises, 140 the Square, Palmerston Nth (old BNZ Building)
“Way out West” Experiences in Western China Speaker:- Natalie Bowie Massey University
Natalie Bowie comes from a farming background in Northern Wairarapa. A couple of years ago she decided to take a leap of faith and head to the ‘Middle Kingdom’ to attempt find out first-hand what China was all about. Six months of teaching in Shandan lead to another year in Shanghai learning Chinese language. She has recently returned from her adventures to a role as Business manager with Agri One Ltd based at Massey University in Palmerston North.
At Our Last Meeting:
“Food Safety in China and New Zealand”
Maurice Alley discussed food safety and pointed out that although it has improved greatly in both China and NZ there is currently much concern about food safety in both countries due to the international expansion of trade in food products and an increase in public awareness of these issues. This expansion has been driven by increased wealth in China, free trade agreements and the globalisation of food companies.
The various types of viral, bacterial and toxic diseases that are of concern in to both our countries were discussed. The sources of infectious diseases are often symptom-less human or wildlife carriers which may require sophisticated and expensive diagnostic procedures to identify.
Fraudulent and toxic additives have been of particular concern in China and the failure to prevent the recent food safety scandals was thought to be due to a proliferation of both national and local agencies which had complex, overlapping and ambiguous duties.
As a result a revised national food safety law was announced in China in June 2014 and the state became the main body monitoring food safety. Increased training, inspections and fines have now been implemented.
In contrast, our recent botulism scare, which so badly damaged NZs food safety reputation in China was due to technical failures at a treatment plant followed by errors in diagnosis, lack of a risk management plan and poor communication on the part of both Fonterra and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Sister City Links to be Updated
The Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith will join with the mayors of Wellington, Celia Wade-Brown and Whanganui, Annette Main, to form a joint mayoral delegation to visit four cities in China in September. They will attend a NZChina mayoral forum to be held in Xianmen City , based around the theme of innovation and development. The visit has the support of Local Government NZ who have signed an agreement with the Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. This top level joint approach has been seen by some as a more effective way of promoting friendship than the more traditional sister city approach.
While in China Grant Smith will be championing education and food development and Annette Main will promote agribusiness including a renewed emphasis on manuka honey production and tourism. Smith will be looking forward to visiting Guiyang to build on Palmerston North’s 22 year old sister city relationship.
Proposed Visit of NW Chinese Women’s Handicraft Delegation
Funding from the RAFE (Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund) has been approved to assist with the planned visit of up to eight Women from rural areas of northwest China who are members of handicraft cooperatives that have been assisted by the NZCFS cooperative promotion program. See:- http://nzchinasociety.org.nz/19981/successful-west-china-womens-handicraft-co-ops-seminar/
The delegation will visit 5 cities which may include Christchurch, Nelson, Palmerston North, Rotorua, and Auckland during a period of 10 days possibly in November of this year.
While in New Zealand, the delegation will have the opportunity to introduce their handicraft work, and its implicit culture and traditions to local communities. As well, it will give delegates a chance to view different perspectives of culture, handicrafts, and the handicraft market in New Zealand. The visit will offer NZers a chance to meet the people at the grassroots of the project work that NZCFS has been supporting, as a friendly exchange and a cultural learning experience.
Chinese Language Week 7-12th September is coming up soon
Maurice Alley 21st August 2015