Next Branch Meeting
Wednesday, 13 May 2015, at 5.45pm
The Confucius Institute’s Mandarin Language Assistants from China
Will speak on
Their roles and impressions of New Zealand schools, students and society
The New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement allows Mandarin Language Assistants (MLAs) to temporarily work in New Zealand. The initiative aims to promote the learning of Mandarin and raise the quality of Mandarin language provision in New Zealand schools. The role of a MLA is to assist the teaching of Mandarin more effectively, provide information and insight into Chinese culture and language, model accurate pronunciation and intonation and assist the classroom teacher. During the next Wellington Branch meeting, He Yue, Wang Lu, Cheng Xinghua and Miao Yanbei, four MLAs currently working in primary and secondary schools in Wellington, will attend and speak on their experiences in New Zealand so far.
Guildford Terrace, off Hill Street, Thorndon, Wellington (see map)
(Car park up Guildford Tce beside Hall)
An optional Chinese buffet meal, supplied by the Fujiyama Café, will follow the meeting at 7 pm. Orders for the $12 meal (please pay at the door) will be taken up till 6pm. If you think you may be arriving late, please let the Secretary know in advance.
ALSO COMING UP THIS MONTH
9 May Mandarin Corner at 3.15pm-5.00pm on Saturdays.
22-24 May NZCFS Conference – Nelson.
28 May Red Cliff 赤壁 (Chinese film), Committee Room One, WCC, 101 Wakefield Street.
31 May 2015 RAFE Project Funding Concept Plans due
May-June RED Exhibition by Madeleine Slavick. L3, Main Library, Kelburn.
MEETING DATES FOR 2015
The dates Connolly Hall has been booked for monthly meetings this year are June 17, July 19 (Sunday), August 19, September 16, October 21 and November 18. This year’s June meeting has been changed to a Wednesday because the hall is not available on Sunday.
The New Zealand China Friendship Society meeting on 15 April began with Michael Powles, President of the Wellington Branch, welcoming all those in attendance. After informing the audience of general matters with the Society, and also reminding that member subscriptions were due, Michael began his speech. In February, Michael organised a conference, China and the Pacific: The View from Oceania, which attracted over 150 participants, including many academics, politicians, and officials from the Pacific, China, New Zealand and elsewhere. The Conference was sponsored by Victoria University, National University of Samoa and Sun Yat-sen University of Guangzhou and was held on the campus of the National University of Samoa.
Before detailing what occurred at the conference, Michael gave some background context surrounding the event. In 2002 an academic article was written called ‘Dragon in Paradise’, which incorporated an alarmist view on the growing Chinese influence in the Pacific Islands. It mainly focused on the tension between China and the US to spread to the region, and the risks this may create. Following on from this article, a conference was held in Australia in 2006 that revolved around the potential risks of Chinese influence in the Pacific Islands, with a pessimistic view of economic and social growth in region as a result.
Despite this background, the latest conference had the opposite attitude, with recognition that China was a major power in the region, but the Pacific Island representatives had confidence in the future, and gave their perspectives of the discussed issues. Although there was some criticism of China’s involvement in the Pacific, it was raised constructively and most speakers were positive. The Chinese Ambassador in Apia saw the conference as a success.
A focus of the conference was on the aid programmes developed by China. It was highlighted that the programmes were all planned in Beijing without taking into account Pacific views, and that infrastructure and labour was imported from China, rather than using local material and labour. It was suggested that these aid projects may be more successful if locals were more involved, and that grants were used instead of loans for Pacific Islands, to prevent the debt burden.
In relation to political and economic ideologies, it was argued by one speaker that Australia and New Zealand. However, when analysing China’s aid programmes, in becomes evident that China is not pushing a ‘Chinese alternative’. In the Pacific, China does fill a demand gap for aid in the region, but does so by not promoting any Chinese ideologies, and they are careful not to upset the relationship with Australia and New Zealand. This occurred when China continued to supply Fiji with aid after the coups, but only supplied non-lethal aid, such as uniforms and supplies.
Regardless of the perception of China’s involvement in the Pacific, their presence does give the island nations more freedom and choice for their development going forward – they do not have to solely rely on Australia or New Zealand. During the conference it was said that the Pacific Island nations were ‘feeding the dragon’, in relation to the resources of the region. However, it was suggested that they were not feeding the dragon, but ‘training and riding the Dragon’. This was taken one step further as the Pacific now has more choices than before – they are using the ‘Dragon to tame the Kiwi, Kangaroo and the Eagle, in addition to respecting and liking the Dragon’.
Questions on the conference focused on the diversity present in the region, and those countries in attendance. In relation to Taiwan, there has been more cooperation and less competition between Beijing and Taipei in recent years. The future challenges for China in the Pacific were also raised. As a result of the growing confidence of the Pacific Islands, they are becoming more direct with those countries that supply aid, including China. As a result, future development will be more on the terms of the recipient. In addition, there will continue to be an increase in the number of Chinese tourists in the region – there has been an 83 percent increase in Chinese visitors in Tahiti over the past two years. In relation, there is a large Chinese diaspora in French Polynesia and Samoa, with a significant population in Fiji.
SUBSCRIPTION RENEWAL REMINDER
Please remember that 2015 membership subscriptions renewals are now due. We will endeavour to contact any members who have not yet renewed.
Planning is in progress by the Nelson branch which is hosting this year’s Conference. The venue will be at the Muritai Centre at Tahunanui School. More details are on the website http://nzchinasociety.org.nz/news/nzcfs-national-conferences/ If you are interested in attending please contact the Branch Secretary. Wellington Branch will make a subsidy of $60 towards the registration fee of its first 10 financial members who register.
On Thursday 30 April the NZCFS Wellington Branch and the Victoria University of Wellington Chinese Club hosted a Chinese-New Zealand themed quiz night at Hotel Bristol on Cuba Street. The quiz focused on questions about New Zealand and China, and approximately 40 participants turned up. There were a number of prizes for groups and, and the grand prize was donated from the Victoria University Confucius Institute, so we thank them for their contribution. The final scores were all close, but the winning team comprised of Shirley, Robert, Richard, Ashley and Weinee. Congratulations to them! We would like to thank both the VUW Chinese Club and the NZCFS for organising and funding the event – especially the NZCFS National Youth fund – for making this event possible. Finally thank you for all that attended, and we hope to organise another event in the near future.
NZCFS AND AISESEC EXCHANGE PROJECT UPDATE
In April the NZCFS Wellington Branch and AIESEC, the world’s largest student run organisation that sends university students on internships and exchanges around the world, called for applicants who wanted to go on a 6+ week AIESEC exchange to China. Funding to support the exchange for successful applicants was to be provided through the Simon Deng Fund. We would like to congratulate Georgia Bromiley, Sofia Kaur and Tess Pilkington as the winners of this competition! We will now assist the successful applicants with their exchange to China in the coming months. We look forward to hearing about their experiences. For those that missed out or would like to do an exchange later in the year, there will be another round of funding available in June 2015. If you are interested, please contact Kirk McDowall at email@example.com.
NZCFS Youth Website
Remember to check the NZCFS Youth Website, which is available at www.nzcfsyouth.org. The site contains articles from members of the NZCFS, showing their experiences from New Zealand and China, as well as information and events. This site will be running in conjunction with the main NZCFS website. If you would like to add an article to the website, feel free to contact Kirk McDowall (firstname.lastname@example.org). Make sure to check out the Facebook page as well, www.facebook.com/NZCFSWellington, to learn more about this group.
Seminar Room, 20 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington.
Mandarin Corner (Wellington), established in 1995 by NZCFS, is a weekly event where students learning Chinese meet with native speakers of Chinese for conversation and cultural activities in a friendly, relaxed setting. Mandarin Corner is currently run by a core team of Mandarin Language Assistants. If you wish to improve your Chinese language skill, share your China experiences or talk to someone who has been or lived there, this is a great place to go. Snacks and drinks are provided.
For more information contact Flora Hao at Lihua.Hao@vuw.ac.nz.
Venue: Committee Room One, Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street.
Gold coin donation. With support from Confucius Institute, Victoria University of Wellington.
Please note that you need to press the buzz to the left of the Wakefield St entrance, asking the security to let you in if no one is at the entrance. Txt 021 0306853 if you cannot get in.
Red Cliff 赤壁 [2008 movie, 140 minutes]
Director: John Woo 吴宇森. Cast: Tony Leung 梁朝伟, Takeshi Kaneshiro金城武, Zhang Fengyi张丰毅, Chiling Lin林志玲, Zhao Wei赵薇
Red Cliff is a Chinese epic war film based on the Battle of Red Cliffs (208–209 AD) and the events at the end of Han Dynasty immediately prior to the Three Kingdoms period in ancient China.
2015 RAFE PROJECT FUNDING APPLICATIONS
In 2012 the China Oceania Friendship Association (COFA) entered into an agreement with the New Zealand China Friendship Society whereby to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the society. COFA would provide funding to our society over a period of five years to be used for projects. The RAFE Fund will mainly support the following types of projects:
- Projects commemorating the legacy of Rewi Alley;
- Friendly exchange projects agreed by both parties;
- Other projects in terms of cultural and art exchange, educational exchange and youth exchange which aim to promote China-New Zealand friendship.
The society set up the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) committee to handle this process, and since 2012 has committed to an annual programme of calling for applications by branches for funding of projects, which comply with the terms of the fund, as specified above. Concept plans for the 2015 funding round are due 31 May 2015. Please contact the Wellington Branch Committee if you wish to submit a concept plan.
RED EXHIBITION BY MADELEINE SLAVICK – The Red exhibition by Madeleine Slavick runs from 26 February to 30 June on Level 3 in the main library. A collaboration between the VUW Library and the Confucius Institute, this art space showcases contemporary works that respond creatively to Chinese culture, history and society.
Red is the quintessential Chinese colour – double happiness, the national flag, Chinese New Year, Dream of the Red Chamber. But red is not just one colour – there are as many shades of red as there are ways of looking at them. Madeleine Slavick has lived on the outskirts of China for twenty-five years. She has on occasion ventured inland and brought back photographic memories, many tinged with reds: a shop window in Yunnan, a courtyard in Beijing, worn carpets at a hotel in Xinjiang. In this exhibition, a suite of eight photographs, entitled RED, is juxtaposed with one of Madeleine’s poems, also entitled ‘red’.
ENGLISH TEACHER FOR SHANDAN BAILIE SCHOOL
NZCFS seeks suitably qualified people to fill this position each year. Currently the position has been filled until July 2015, and a new teacher is sought to start late August 2015.
Shandan Bailie School has a unique nature through its legacy with Rewi Alley, and the educational approach of ‘hands and mind together’ – combining academic and vocational training. NZCFS has had a long term relationship with this school, and teachers living and working here can enjoy the benefits this brings. NZCFS has also assisted with developing and funding of small rural development projects based at the school.
For further information about this position, contact Dave Bromwich, at email@example.com. Please note that teachers are regularly required to teach at SBS. If you are interested in this position, but the timing of this vacancy does not suit you, please indicate your interest in future vacancies to Dave. This position is filled by New Zealand applicants whenever possible.