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Nelson Branch Newsletter No. 4 – May, 2016


~ May meeting ~



~ Feng Shui – Chinese Harmony ~


Friday 27 May, 5:30 p.m.


Rose Renton, who has a Feng Shui consultancy in Christchurch, is our speaker on this traditional philosophical system.

Rose was born in Singapore to New Zealand parents and, although she left there when 2 1/2, she still has memories of her birth land. “Humidity feels like home and energy is something I have been gifted to read intuitively from a small child.” This knowledge rose_renton_1developed into her study of authentic Traditional Feng Shui with a Master of the subject, Joseph Yu from Canada, in 1996.

Feng Shui is the study of our living and working environments. Qi, or energy, is broken down into 5 elements in all Chinese Philosophies and is called Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire. Something that we see as beautiful often has a harmonious balance of all 5 elements, bringing us a sense of peace and serenity. Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder as the famous saying goes.

Traditional Feng Shui uses a compass to take the ‘facing’ of the building. From here an outside assessment is made by a practitioner of the influences surrounding the house. Pathways, trees, neighbouring property, along with fences and water/road locations, are all considered. Over 60 factors are assessed in a professional Feng Shui Analysis before advice is given.

Feng Shui is our ‘earth luck’. We also have ‘man luck’ (free will, education, upbringing) and ‘heaven luck’ (astrological forecast based on your birth data – Meng Destiny Astrology). So earth luck or Feng Shui improves life by a third. Understanding your Destiny Astrology is an entire subject on its own.

The meeting will be at Hearing House, 354 Trafalgar Square (next to Synagogue Lane). It will be preceded by a short business meeting and a shared meal costing $12. Visitors are welcome.

Last Meeting:

A smaller number than usual listened to Emma and Haley as they informed us of their work in classrooms and showed some of the resources they have available. The meeting was interactive and ended with all present singing – in Chinese. Perhaps we should have a karaoke evening!

Sister Cities Conference:

The conference was incredibly well organised by the Conference Coordinator, Lyndal McMeeken, and took place at the Rutherford Hotel with the motto: “Connecting People – Celebrating our Past, Creating our Future”. It was attended by Mayors and Councillors from around New Zealand as well as representatives from U.S.A., Tasmania, and Japan, including the ambassador. There was also a delegation from Youxie in China which included Wang Lidan (Linda), known to many of us.

Sister Cities NZ was established in 1981. It is made up of 32 local government members and 24 corporate, community and school members with approximately 150 sister cities in 18 countries around the world. SCNZ liaises with MFAT, embassies, Sister Cities Australia and CPAFFC (Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries – we know it as ‘Youxie’). Sister Cities International, which is the umbrella organisation, began in 1956; NZ China Friendship Society, with similar objectives, began in 1952.

A number of group discussions at the Conference were similar to the ones we have in our Society, and President Ferry intends to take ideas from these to our national conference in Tauranga (unfortunately at the same time as our branch meeting in Nelson!).

As part of the conference there was a trip to show the Miyazu Garden and the Huangshi Garden where Andrew Petheram and Peter Coubrough gave information about the background and elements used in these two beautiful Nelson assets. Some members had decorated the Huangshi garden and were present to host the visitors.

Sister Cities Award: 

Awarded“Let’s start with the highlight of the conference, the SCNZ Awards Dinner that was held at the Saxton Oval Lounge. NZCFS Nelson branch, together with the Nelson City Council, entered Christine Ward’s project: “The Nelson Huangshi Art Exchange”. Many of you visited and admired the colourful exhibition in the Refinery. Just before the prize giving I was asked: “Did you bring a camera?” which was a hint about what was to follow. Indeed, Christine was asked to come forward to receive the prize which was $1,500 worth of air travel sponsored by Air New Zealand. I am sure that everyone who saw the drawings and paintings from Huangshi and Nelson students agrees that this is well deserved.” – Ferry van Mansum

Christine would like the award money to be used in a way related to the aims of the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) Fund, because it was this fund that provided for the Art Exchange which was the subject of the award entry.

RAFE Fund:

In 2012 NZCFS received a large contribution from China for a fund to promote educational, cultural and arts exchanges between China and New Zealand for a period of 5 years. NZCFS set up the RAFE committee to administer this, and each year calls for applications from branches for funding of projects. The Fund mainly supports 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.

From Nelson Branch Executive, May:

  • Karen-1024x1024Ferry attended the Expo at Lower Moutere School.
  • Karen (Ye Zi of Youxie, currently studying at Waikato University) and her mother visited Nelson as part of a South Island tour and were hosted to dinner by members who have met Karen.
  • We have received notice of a Chinese film festival in Nelson in August.
  • Professor Hong Hu is returning to China and a message was sent wishing her well for her return to China and thanking her for the work she has done in providing Mandarin language instruction in Nelson through the Confucius Institute.
  • Paid membership stands at 62: 21 single, 14 couples, 9 schools, 2 corporates, 2 Life members.
  • NZCFS Conference: It was suggested Ferry ask about the progress made with youth involvement in the Society following the youth focus of the Hawkes Bay conference 2 years ago.

Youxie Group Visit:

The delegates from China to the Sister-Cities conference were not able to schedule their visit to coincide with all of the conference – they had to leave early after arriving two days before. As a result branch members entertained them on the days before conference.

Christine Ward organised a sightseeing tour which took in Upper Moutere, Riwaka Resurgence, Kaiteriteri, and Mapua. Jeanette Jones, Jifang Black, Royden Smith and Bruce Ward also went along. The weather was perfect and the visitors enjoyed seeing a kiwifruit orchard (they all wanted to be photographed among the vines), the extremely clear Riwaka River, walking on the beach and having lunch at Kaiteriteri, visiting the shore-birds sculpture at Tasman, and visiting the Mapua Wharf shops. That evening they were guests at a banquet at the Oriental Restaurant. 

Next day, before they registered for the conference, Ferry and Royden took them around Nelson and to the Brook Waimarama sanctuary where Sally Warren was able to host them.

Appo Hocton video:

Diana Clark, who is a great granddaughter of Appo Hocton, has been interviewed a number of times, most recently for a Neighbourhood programme on Motueka which was hosted by Nathan Fa’avae and shown in April. You can still watch the programme, where she talks about her great grandfather, through TVNZOnDemand.

NZCFS Educational Tours:

If you know of anyone who might be interested in these fine tours, mention these to them:

There is still time to register interest for the October tour of South-West China. There has been considerable interest and only a few places are now available.

We have received advance notice of an intended North-West China and Silk Road tour scheduled for October 2017. It is expected to be 21 days duration and about $8,500 per person. I can heartily recommend these tours – we were on a NZCFS Silk Road tour in 2012 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. More information can be found in the tour post.

Canterbury Museum Rewi Alley Collection:

A recent article in “The Press” gives some background to the launch of a web-site dedicated to its collection of ceramics, paintings, and artefacts which were donated over many years by Rewi Alley. It is regarded as one of the most comprehensive collections of Chinese artefacts in Australasia.

The Press article is Canterbury Museum’s Rewi Alley Collection goes online.

The web-site for the collection is rewialleyart.nz.


armstrong1-1024x1024 Visit to Huangshi:

John Armstrong, Principal of Henley School, has sent some photographs from his recent visit to China with Confucius Institute, which included Huangshi. “Here is a photo of senior education officials of the Hubei Province (some of them are from Huangshi City and some are from Huanggang City). They are all proudly wearing the Nelson badge!! The man I am shaking hands with is the Mr Cao Diefeng, Deputy Secretary General of Education for the region, and the lady on the far right is Professor Hong Hu from the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury.” John also engaged in some ping-pong diplomacy and met some of the visitors from the group which visited Nelson last year for China Week. 

From other branches: 

Christchurch branch report they farewelled Professor Hong Hu on her departure after a longer than usual time in the role of Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury.

Christchurch and Wuhan have recently celebrated 10 years of their Sister City relationship. There was an exhibition of art works by four renowned contemporary Chinese artists. 

A full pdf version of this newsletter is available at