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May the Friendship between New Zealand and China Continue Forever!


On Saturday 27th August, Auckland businessman and friend of China Steven Wong hosted a well-attended dinner to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China.

Steve Wong gave a welcome speech, ending with his expressed wish that the friendship between New Zealand and China will continue forever. The Society’s National President Chris Lipscombe was also invited to give a speech. Dinner attendees included the Society’s immediate past President Dave Bromwich and Auckland members Sylvia Yang and Trevor Johnston. Chris’ speech is reproduced below.

VIPs at Auckland dinner, with Steven Wong (wearing red tie) in centre of front row.
VIPs at Auckland dinner, with Steven Wong (wearing red tie) in centre of front row.


我姓 Lipscombe,叫 Chris。 中文名字叫黎开盛,是新中友协的主席。

E te whare e tu nei, e te whenua ki raro, e ngā tangata whenua, e ngā manuhiri rangatira, e koutou katoa kua tae mai nei, ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou.

Ko Chris Lipscombe tōku ingoa, e noho ana i Whanganui-a-Tara. Ko Bernice Waerena Papuni toku whaea whakaangi, Te Whakatōhea tōna iwi. Engari, i whanau mai ahau i Ōtāhuhu. Nō Tāmaki-makaurau ahau.

I’m delighted to be here tonight to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China.

As some of you may know, it was on the suggestion of Rewi Alley — whose 125th birthday we are also celebrating this year — that the New Zealand China Friendship Society was founded here in Auckland in 1952.

Right from its beginning, the Society saw ‘the necessity for a sane policy towards the newly established People’s Republic of China’. The Society’s initial — and most important goal — was diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China by New Zealand.

In 1956, at a reception given by the Auckland Chinese community, the Chair of the Society, well-known writer R. A. K. Mason, said, ‘Soon, we trust, through the door… will walk the accredited ambassador of New China.’

It was to take another 16 years but finally, in 1972, diplomatic relations were established between our two countries.

The work of the Society did not stop, however, with the achievement of this goal. One of the original aims of the Society was ‘To clear the mists of ignorance and provide accurate information leading to mutual understanding and mutual respect between our two peoples’. This kaupapa has remained at the heart of our work.

Despite our strong business, cultural and economic ties, we continue to see and hear anti-China stories in the media. The spreading of half-truths and rumours fuels suspicion and mistrust, as well as division and discord at home. Only through a clear-eyed understanding and respect for each other’s differences can we maintain a strong relationship with China, and a richer and more diverse New Zealand.

Our host this evening, Stephen Wong, has said, ‘May the friendship between New Zealand and China continue for ever.’  Let this be our goal, too.

Nō reira, e hoa mā i huihui nei, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.