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Nelson Branch Newsletter – No. 2, March, 2015



“Changing classrooms in China:

the Nelson influence”


with Christine Ward


Next meeting: Friday 27 March


The full pdf of this newsletter is available at: NZCFSNelsonMarch2015.pdf


CathedralPeopleOur picture shows a group of teachers from Beijing and Nanjing preparing to be photographed by “The Nelson Mail” when they were on a study tour in Nelson. Branch President Christine Ward will tell the story of how Nelson people have contributed to education reform in China. 

Groups of teachers from Beijing and Nanjing have been home-hosted and entertained by NZCFS members while studying new methods of teaching in Nelson. See them enjoying the beaches, wineries, farm visits with the Gibbs, dumpling making at the Blacks, and visiting the market, the marae, schools and scenic spots, as well as exploring a whole new system of classroom learning. 

The teachers and researchers who have been in Nelson for these courses have returned to China with a love for our city and its people, and made significant changes in their schools and classrooms as a result of their time here.


As usual, we will begin at 5.30 p.m. and then enjoy our buffet meal (cost $12), at 6 o’clock. Our speaker’s presentation will begin about 7 o’clock. Friends and visitors are most welcome but please notify Barbara when you contact her so that we have accurate numbers for the meal. 


Friday 27 March  ..  Hearing House  ..  5:30 pm

To book please ring:
Barbara Markland   ph. 544 4712   by Tuesday 24 March
text: 021 447 180 or e-mail: [email protected]


NELSON BRANCH AGM and CHINESE NEW YEAR BANQUET: More than fifty members and friends gathered at Eastern Cuisine restaurant for the Branch AGM and New Year Banquet on Sunday 22 February. There was a splendid array of banquet dishes as usual, and a multi-draw raffle provided extra excitement. Ten people went home with a Chinese artefact that appealed to them, when their ticket was drawn. One pottery tea mug is now in the Netherlands with Aukje’s sister-in-law. Thanks to Kathy for arranging it all and enriching the He Ming Qing fund by $203.

Secretary Barbara’s Sister City Report is published below and the President’s Annual Report is available on our website at: www.nzchinasociety.org.nz/19761/nelson-branch-presidents-report-february-2015/


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2015: All of the 2014 officers were happy to continue and some more were added. We are very pleased to have Ferry back in the team and grateful that Gail, Marilyn and Mark are prepared to help us through these busy times. The following were elected at the AGM:

President: Christine Ward

Vice President: Ferry van Mansum

Secretary: Barbara Markland

Treasurer: Royden Smith

Committee: Kathy Beatson, Lori Brudvik-Lindner, Gail Collingwood, Bill Findlater, Marilyn Gibbs, Jeanette Jones, Lillian Li, Mark Soper, Bruce Ward, Sally Warren and June Wild.


2015 SUBSCRIPTIONS: It was confirmed at the AGM that our subscriptions will remain unchanged and these are now due. Payment can be made either by cheque or cash at our next meeting, by a cheque in the mail, or via internet banking. Details are on the subscription form. Please make sure you let us know if any of your details have changed by completing the subscription form, so that we can keep our records up to date.

Single ~  $15           Couple ~  $25           School ~  $25           Corporate ~  $30


2015 BRANCH MEETINGS and EVENTS: As discussed last year, it has been agreed that we should try meeting monthly from March to November – on the last Friday of the month. The major exception this year will be in May when we have the National Conference around that time.

So please mark these dates on your calendar and keep them free for our branch meetings during 2015:

27 March             24 April                     26 June                31 July

28 August           25 September           30 October           27 November 

22 – 24 May (National Conference)


NATIONAL CONFERENCE, Tahunanui Primary School, Friday 22 May to Sunday 24 May.

Registrations are beginning to come through to Conference Treasurer June Wild, sponsorship promises are arriving from local organisations, and an impressive list of VIP visitors is growing, including a Youxie delegation from Beijing. See: https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/18050/2015-nzcfs-conference/

The focus of the Saturday programme will be presentations about initiatives being taken to pursue society goals in fresh ways, especially relating to youth work. Nelson has a lot to contribute here, and we look forward to also hearing about the work being done by other branches around the country.

“有办法 You Banfa, There is a Way!” 


NZCFS CONSTITUTION AMENDMENTS: To better reflect the Society’s purposes and modernise some of the wording, Immediate Past National President Eric Livingstone and National Secretary Heiko Lade have formulated some changes to the wording of our Constitution and your National Executive is recommending that these be ratified at the Society’s National AGM here in Nelson on Sunday 24 May.

If anyone would like to view the amended constitution, please contact Royden and he will be happy to send you a copy.


MEMBER NEWS: We welcome back Barbara Harford who will be travelling on the Mongolia and North-central China tour in July with Isabelle Jones, Sally Warren and Pam Frahm.

And a special welcome to some new members: 

Paul and Lynne Potaka – Lynne retired from Maitai School at the end of last year and Paul retires as Principal of Nelson Central School at the end of this term. They have family working in China.

Paul and Deborah Willis – Paul is a retired senior diplomat and has had some experience with New Zealand’s China policy over the years. Deborah has just retired from a senior position at Victoria University where she had oversight of their China programmes.


RACE UNITY DAY: For the fourth year, NZCFS Nelson had a stall at Race Unity Day in Victory Square on Sunday 1 March.

RaceUnityThe photo shows our tent decorated with suitable banners and flags to attract visitors to our tea tasting with choices of oolong, jasmine, green, white, black and chrysanthemum. 

All the teas had come from Chinese visitors to Nelson, or were brought back from China by members. There was lots of discussion about the different types and tastes of the teas, and donations were popped into the He Ming Qing tin. Those who donated were given a sheet about this scholarship for training nurses in rural China.

Once again, Mark Soper shared our space, offering iced tea, perfectly refreshing for the very hot day. This tea was prepared specially for the occasion and contained: gunpowder green tea, stevia, star anise, cinnamon and Brook Valley mint. It was carefully blended and packaged at Waimarama Community Gardens by Mark.

Many thanks to Sally, Royden, Jeanette and Christine and Bruce Ward who did sterling service on the day.



Sister Cities Coordinating Group Committee

President Christine and Sister City Liaison Barbara have continued to attend meetings of the Sister City Coordinating Group committee. After mention of a Nelson City Council Youth Council, nominations were sought for a Youth Ambassador on the Prominent Persons and Leaders Delegation. After a selection process, Kristina Eddy and Carla Lindley were chosen and, supported by the NCC, joined Barbara Markland, Jeanette Jones and June Wild on that trip. The group attended the International Friendship Forum in Guiyang and then the unveiling of a Rewi Alley statue in Shanghai.

Chairperson of the Sister City Coordinating Group, Gail Collingwood, attended the NZCFS annual conference in Hawke’s Bay.

The present NCC councillors have a great interest in Nelson’s sister cities. It has been decided that mayoral delegations must include a staff member and more attention is to be paid to gifts, which must be produced in Nelson.

Sister city terminology

There was some discussion about terminology as it had been noted that NCC documents used the term “Friendly City” for the relationship with Huangshi. This has since been changed so the status of the relationship is seen to be the same as that with Miyazu and Eureka.

Delegation visits

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne accompanied Bill Findlater, and other business people, to China on a visit that included Huangshi.

Nelson welcomed a delegation from Huangshi for two days in December, 2014. This visit was arranged by Bill Findlater and the Economic Development Agency with the branch sharing responsibility, and paying for the group’s accommodation and breakfasts through our funding from the NCC.

Several of the Nelson Executive welcomed the group at the airport and it was wonderful to again meet old friends Xu Yuanping, Deputy Director of the Huangshi Foreign Affairs Office and Elsa Guo from Hubei Polytechnic  University. The delegation was led by Mr Deng Xinhua, Secretary General Huangshi CPC Party Committee and included Mr Yan Baichang, Chairman Huangshi M & E Group Co Ltd, Ms Zhong Liping, Deputy Secretary Hubei Polytechnic University, Ms Xu Li, Mayor of Tieshan District, Mr Zheng Zaixing, General Manager Huangshi Dongbei Solar Energy Co, Mr He Zihong, General Manager Dongbei Dairy Co Ltd, and Mr Huang Jianyi, Sales Rep/Translator Huangshi Dongbei M & E Group.

The branch committee hosted the group for dinner at the Nelson Oriental Restaurant and were joined by our branch members who have been to Huangshi and Appo Hocton scholar, Sucy Sun.

The first event on the Monday was a Mayoral welcome at the NCC where the branch was represented by President Christine and Secretary Barbara. The delegation then visited NMIT and, after lunch, the Cawthron Institute. Most of the group then met with Richard Oswald to discuss solar energy and Christine and Barbara accompanied the others to the Cawthron facility at The Glen. The final visit was to Oakland Dairy Farm. That evening’s dinner was hosted by Mayor Reese at the Rutherford Hotel and attended by Christine and Barbara, and Gail Collingwood, in her role as Chair of the Sister City Coordinating Group committee.

The branch has received thanks from Xu Zugui, Huangshi Foreign Affairs Office. He said the brief visit was a success and strengthened sister city links. Xu Yuangping asked him to pass on her gratitude and best wishes to us all.

Appo Hocton Graduand

Xue Qing Sun (Sucy) has graduated from NMIT, the first Appo Hocton Scholar to do so. Sucy has spent 18 months at NMIT and graduated Bachelor of Commerce (Management).

Sucy was a worthy holder of the scholarship, gaining excellent passes for her degree as well as being a delightful ambassador for Huangshi. She is now back in Huangshi but hopes to return to Nelson at some time in the future.

The next sister city event is a Mayoral visit to Huangshi in April, 2015. This delegation will include representatives of the branch as the purpose is to confirm the sister city relationship and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original signing. 

– Barbara Markland, Huangshi Sister City Liaison


Working holiday craze grows bigger in China China Daily – March 10, 2015

Visa programs for New Zealand allow Chinese visitors to take part-time jobs

New Zealand is expecting strong demand for its 2015-16 Working Holiday plan for Chinese citizens, which opens for application on May 19, according to the country’s immigration office. Last year, the Immigration New Zealand website crashed due to the volume of traffic when working holiday visa applications for Chinese opened, and the quota of 1,000 visas was filled within nine hours.

The program was launched in 2008 as part of the free trade agreement signed by New Zealand and China. An annual quota of 1,000 working holiday visas is allocated to Chinese aged from 18 to 30, allowing them to travel in the country for up to 12 months and work part time.

“To grab a working holiday visa to New Zealand is like scrambling for a train ticket during the travel rush at Spring Festival,” said Wang Lan, chief director of the Australia and New Zealand department at New Oriental Vision Overseas Consulting.

“The craze for a working holiday in New Zealand will continue and become even bigger, as the concept of a gap year is gaining popularity in China. People eligible for the program are those born after 1985 who grew up in an opening-up period and have a sense of adventure,” Wang said.

Alan Barry, a counsellor at the New Zealand Immigration Office in Beijing, said that the recent introduction of the Australian Work and Holiday Arrangement to Chinese citizens is expected to complement his country’s working holiday program rather than be considered as competition.

But New Zealand made a change last year to strengthen the attraction of its program. Applicants approved from Dec 8, 2014, onward, can now work for the same employer for a period not exceeding six months, instead of the previous three months.

“This change was made to provide greater flexibility to New Zealand employers and to Working Holiday Scheme participants,” said Barry.

Sun Xiangfeng, who visited New Zealand from November 2011 to February 2013 with a working holiday visa that was extended by three months, welcomed the change.

“Participants can now apply for a greater variety of jobs. Three months are enough for farming jobs, but technical and office employers expect a longer period,” Sun said.

The 28-year-old quit his banking job for a gap year in New Zealand to “open his eyes to different values and ways of thinking about life”.

“The diversity of lifestyles in New Zealand was a shock for me. People live whatever kind of lives they want to. In contrast, buying houses and cars seems to be the unitary goal for many people in China,” Sun said.

from: http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0310/c205040-8860554.html