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Christchurch Branch Newsletter – February 2013


Next Meeting – Annual General Meeting 28 February 2013

The first meeting of the year always includes the branch’s Annual General Meeting. This is an opportunity to become more involved by joining the committee or taking on a key role. We are all committed to the NZCFS and together we can continue to work to achieve the aims of our organisation which are:

  • To promote friendship, understanding and goodwill between the peoples of China and New Zealand by encouraging visits and exchanges of ideas, information, culture and trade between the two countries. 
  • To foster interest in and promote the study of China, its history, culture, political and social structures-past and present.
  • To support specific aid projects in China.
  • To promote the study of the Chinese language by New Zealanders and English studies in this country by Chinese.
  • To foster on-going development of all sister-city links between the New Zealand and China.
  • To assist both visiting students and new migrants from China.

Committee roles are President, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Secretary and committee members.

The committee has a monthly meeting of about 1 ½ hours. 

The main tasks are –

  1. Monthly meetings – speakers etc
  2. Annual China Day and other banquets
  3. December Prizegiving ceremony, CPIT
  4. Culture Galore, March
  5. Catering to the needs of visiting delegations
  6. Any other projects that may come up

The Annual General Meeting will be followed by a very interesting talk; details below.

Phil Rolston will speak on “Food and Food Security in China”

Dr Phil Rolston, a senior grassland scientist with AgResearch at Lincoln has made more than 55 visits to China since 1983.

During that time he has been involved in projects in 21 provinces covering the four corners of China. These projects, undertaken with a range of aid agencies, have focused on rural development in poorer rural communities, often with ethnic minorities.

In recent times the focus has moved to training agriculture technicians and University students and staff and livestock raising agri-business companies.

From the starvation and famine years of the 1960’s China has built a largely self sufficient food production base. But this is under pressure as population increases, protein consumption increases, cities and infra-structure expand and land is lost to environmental degradation. Phi’s talk will examine the role of food in the social life of China and issues of future food security.


We are always looking for interesting and lively speakers for our monthly meetings. If you know someone who has a great story to tell of their experiences in or about dealings with China, please contact a member of the committee (details on front page).

Member News

A warm welcome to new branch member Luke Bulger.

Newsletter Distribution

At a recent meeting, the committee decided that to help control costs the newsletter would no longer be posted to branch members who have computers, which till now has happened in some cases. We trust members will understand.

The Year of the Snake (2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917)

Those born in the year of the Snake have a charming personality. They are graceful and soft-spoken, love good books, food, music, theatre and all the finer things of life.

Scientists and theologians, they are deep thinkers but contemptuous of anyone they consider less intelligent than themselves.

They love mystery and have a disconcerting sense of humour. Fiercely possessive, they treasure their privacy and have no qualms about eliminating anyone standing in their way.

65th New Zealand Chinese Association Annual Easter Sports and Cultural Tournament in Christchurch

On behalf of the Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Chinese Association (NZCA), I would like to thank Dave Adamson, President of the Christchurch Branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society (NZCFS) for supporting our application to the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust for a grant to host the 65th New Zealand Chinese Association Annual Easter Sports and Cultural Tournament in Christchurch. The Tournament will be held this year from 29th March to 1st April. The support is very much appreciated and the application was successful.

The Tournament was first held in Wellington in 1948. Since then it has been held in rotation in the four main centres (Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin). The Christchurch Tournament will include a variety of popular sports and social activities over the four days of Easter. Unfortunately, due to large numbers, participants are restricted to members of the NZCA from its 13 branches around the country.

The Event will begin with an Opening Ceremony and Cultural Concert on Good Friday, March 29th 2013 at the Aurora Centre (Burnside High School). This two-hour extravaganza, entitled, ‘A Journal through the Decades’ will include the talents of local performers.

Sporting events will include Golf, Mini-ball, Touch Rugby, Badminton, Table Tennis, Indoor Soccer, Indoor/Outdoor Netball, Lawn Bowls and Athletics. The Tournament will conclude with the NZCA Tournament Presentation Ball on the evening of Easter Monday.

Kuan M Goh

President Canterbury Branch,

New Zealand Chinese Association


2012 Gansu International Fellowship Program

Background: Christchurch has a sister city relationship with Gansu Province. Each year Gansu brings a young representative from each of its sister cities to Gansu for a two month cultural immersion programme, which includes the study of Mandarin, visits to cultural sites etc etc. In recognition of the importance it puts on its relationship with Christchurch, we are invited to send two trainees. This is the story of one of them, Chase McDonald.

I would like to begin by thanking the Christchurch China Sister Cities Committee and the Gansu government for giving me this opportunity to live and learn in Lanzhou, Gansu for two months. I cannot express how much I enjoyed my time there and how thankful I am for being chosen with Richard Merrilees as the Christchurch delegate. I was able to experience life in a new country, learn more about their language and culture, and in the process make new friends from so many different countries around the world; I am going to cherish the memories I had of my time in Gansu.

Highlights of the program would have to be attending the Rewi Alley 70th Anniversary Ceremony. It was very overwhelming and Richard and I were honored to be in attendance. We also managed to travel to Xi’an in the National Holiday. We found out this is not a good time to travel in China but it was well worth it, managing to see the Terracotta Army as well as feeding a Panda by hand.

We also had an internship at the end of the program. Mine consisted of going to Lanzhou Fu Zhong School. This involved teaching at the middle school attached to Lanzhou University, and observing some teaching methods in a Chinese class. Although I would have liked to spend more time in the classroom, I really did feel like the internship was beneficial to me and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Thanks to this Fellowship I am now in discussions with a few people in Lanzhou who have offered me jobs which would not be possible without the help from the Christchurch China Sister Cities Committee. Special mention has to go to committee chair Bernard Duncan and council officer Ruth Fischer-Smith for their help and preparation; it would have not been possible without them.

I look forward to future travels to China and building strong relations between China and New Zealand.


Chase McDonald

2012 Gansu International Fellowship Program Delegate from Christchurch