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Nelson Branch Newsletter – No. 5, July, 2015




“Traditional Chinese Health and Healing”




John Black & Mark Soper


~ Next meeting: Friday 31 July ~



The full pdf of this newsletter is available at: NZCFSNelsonJuly2015.pdf


The value of traditional Chinese knowledge is increasingly being recognised, especially with all the stresses and strains of modern lifestyles. This will be your chance to learn more about these age-old methods from two skilled and knowledgeable Nelson practitioners.

AcupunctureChartJohn Black, of the Nelson Traditional Chinese Medical Clinic in Nile Street, has an impressive range of qualifications gained in New Zealand and China. After studying in China for nearly seven years, he returned to Nelson with his wife, Jifang, and has practiced TCM here since 1994. Fluent in Mandarin, John uses acupuncture, herbal medicines, and tuina massage for pain relief and for healing a wide range of conditions. He is active in publicising TCM locally and nationally. Although John is a long-time member of NZCFS, it is some time since he has shared his knowledge with us. 

herbsMark Soper joined NZCFS when he returned to Nelson three years ago, after several years learning and working in Japan, Korea and China. Mark taught medical English at the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. After the Sichuan earthquake, he organised a Sports Aid Volunteer Group, using sport for social recovery in devastated communities. Now he is developing a mind-body-spirit project in Nelson and launching a community tea house for the promotion of traditional food knowledge.


As usual, we will begin at 5.30 p.m. and then enjoy our buffet meal (cost $12), at 6 o’clock. Our speakers’ 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 31 July  ..  Hearing House  ..  5:30 pm


To book please ring:
Barbara Markland   ph. 544 4712   by Tuesday 28 July
text: 021 447 180 or e-mail: [email protected]


LAST MEETING: Members were welcomed to the June meeting with a slideshow of photos from the May National Conference. After a short business meeting, we showed the “You Banfa” film, created by Aukje Both and Ferry van Mansum. This was shown at the start of the National Conference to explain the origin of Rewi Alley’s rallying cry, used to encourage people to adopt a positive approach to everyday life. The film is currently the featured video on the bottom right corner of the NZCFS website and can also be viewed at:


After our meal, we were treated to presentations by Jane and Ian Lister, just returned from six weeks in China. Ian has been working with NMIT’s China Programme for ten years, and he and Jane have undertaken several trips there together and, last year, lived in China for several months. In May this year, Jane visited the Haungshi schools that are participating in our Art Exchange Project (see more below) and met some of the teachers and students involved.

Our thanks go to the Listers for Ian’s interesting and timely insights into a comparison between the two tertiary education systems, and for Jane’s delightful stories of her interactions with the other levels of teaching and learning.


SCHOOL VISIT: Guang Chang Lu Primary School is a Huangshi school that was attended by both Sucy and Sandie, our Appo Hocton scholars, and it is participating in the School Art Exchange.

At their suggestion, a letter has been sent inviting the Vice-Principal, 2 teachers, and 15 students, aged from 7-12. They are expected on Thursday 13 August and will leave for Queenstown on Monday the 17th. The school is paying all the expenses and the group will also include a representative of a Wuhan travel agency who will act as their guide and translator.

At present we are looking for home-stays for those four nights. Nelson Central, Hampden Street, Nayland, and Nelson Intermediate schools are all assisting with this, but we may need branch members help with home-stays for the adults. 

The group will attend school with their hosts on the Friday and will sightsee during the weekend. Hampden Street School has generously offered the use of a van at a very low cost. Marilyn and Colin Gibbs have again kindly agreed to a farm visit and it is hoped the weather will allow other outdoor activities.


NELSON-HUANGSHI SCHOOLS’ ART EXCHANGE – our contribution to Nelson’s China Week: In 2014, NZCFS Nelson was granted an award from the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund: https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/rewi-alley-friendship-and-exchange-rafe-fund/

The RAFE Fund was established from a generous donation made to the NZCFS by the Chinese Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CAFFC, or Youxie) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of New Zealand-China friendship and to honour the educational legacy of Rewi Alley. The award criteria revolves around promoting knowledge and understanding between the people of our two countries, with a special emphasis on youth and educational exchanges.

Our project involves exchanging artworks and letters between school children in the sister cities, Huangshi and Nelson. Photographs of paintings by Huangshi school students have been sent to Nelson, and will be printed here to exhibit alongside paintings by Nelson children. The RAFE funding will cover the cost of mounting the exhibition. Later, the paintings and letters by Nelson students will be e-mailed to Huangshi to be exhibited there and complete the ‘exchange’.

As part of Nelson’s “China Week” from 7-13 September, the Nelson City Council has made provision for our exhibition to be in the Refinery Art Space for a fortnight, opening on 1 September. The funding will enable us to have a launch party that day, and possibly another gallery event if the Mayor of Huangshi is able to be here for “China Week”. More information about this significant NZCFS Nelson occasion will be sent out closer to the time.

We are inviting members who have been to Huangshi to see if they have any scrolls or artworks which could be exhibited in the smaller space at the gallery. As well as “China Week” in Nelson, the week of 7-13 September will be “Chinese Language Week” throughout New Zealand, and we would like to celebrate this with a display of Huangshi calligraphy that members and institutions have collected over the years.


HUANGSHI DELEGATION VISIT: A delegation of six from Huangshi was in Nelson from 15-17 July, with the branch cooperating with Bill Findlater and the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency to prepare the programme and host events. 

The main purpose of the visit was to discuss Nelson’s “China Week” and the participation of artistes from Huangshi, and make arrangements for the re-signing of the sister-city agreement. The delegation included:

Mr Luo Guanghui:  Director, Publicity Dept, Huangshi CPC Committee,

Mr Guo Shuangxi: Director Huangshi Culture, Press & Publication, Radio and TV,

Mr Jia Fangjun: Chief Editor, Huangshi Daily Media group

Mr Zhang Dong: Vice Director, Huangshi Radio and Television

Mr Lyu Weisheng: Party Secretary, No. 3 Middle School, and our special friend,

Mr Xu Zugui: Section Chief, Huangshi Foreign & Overseas Chinese Affairs.

The Huangshi Delegation with NZCFS hosts at Wakatu Marae.

Two PRC Consulate staff from Christchurch joined the group for dinner on Thursday and for Friday’s activities. Branch members met the visitors at the airport and the branch hosted a dinner at the Nelson Oriental Restaurant on their first night here. 

The following day, several branch members joined the group for a very full programme which included a powhiri at the Whakatu Marae and a visit to Founders Park where there was an interview with Mainland Television and a discussion at FM radio, followed by a train ride. Principal Cathy Ewing hosted the group at Nelson College for Girls, sister-school to No 3 Middle School. At the Huangshi Chinese Garden, Zugui was pleased to see the tree planted in memory of Robin Brown, and Jeanette Jones delighted everyone by singing a Chinese song. Anna Gully gave an informative tour of Nelson Library and the visitors then spent some time shopping. Thursday evening’s dinner was hosted by the Nelson City Council and the EDA.

There was an official welcome at the NCC on Friday morning, followed by a discussion about “China Week”, which will be held from 1-13 September. This will be an opportunity for conversations relating to culture, community, and business, leading to the re-signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. Huangshi intends sending some performing artists, all famous in Huangshi in their fields: traditional Chinese dance, calligraphy, opera, Tai Chi, craft, calligraphy; and some table tennis players. The branch contribution will be an exhibition at The Refinery as the end-point of our Schools Art Exchange project. The Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency is working with NZ Trade and Enterprise to offer a training session for businesses interested in trade with China. 

The group then visited the Nelson Provincial Museum, had lunch at WOW, with a viewing of the exhibitions, before going on to the airport.

BeverleyZuguiJifangZuguiThis visit further demonstrated, and enhanced, the close friendship ties with Huangshi that have developed over the last 20 years.

Xu Zugui meets his good friend, Jifang Black, and his Nelson “mama”,

Beverley Brown, 8 years after he was last here for the garden opening.








Crafts1Families gathered keenly for the third NZCFS Chinese Culture holiday programme, held on 13th and 14th July at NMIT. Thirty-seven Nelson children came in from the cold to a warm welcome from Gina (Qianlan), her fellow Confucius Institute Mandarin Learning Assistants and Nelson branch volunteers. The children were inspired for two fascinating days, working in teams of Dragons, Horses and Tigers to enjoy classes and games in Mandarin, calligraphy, paper crafts, brush painting and tai chi.


There were cooking demonstrations of stir-fried rice and soup and the Crafts2children enjoyed Chinese teas throughout. Mark Soper gave a presentation on Chinese food philosophy and the children made dumplings to enjoy with their families at the end of the first day. Finally, the results of their work in calligraphy, brush-painting and paper crafts found their way on to their beautifully-made lanterns and Gail Collingwood presented a certificate to each child. The children enjoyed their time and gave the teachers very warm farewells. The programme successfully achieved its goal of increasing interest in Mandarin and Chinese culture in Nelson.

Our wonderful teachers, from left to right:  Alyssa (Juan Du), Gina, (Qianlan Zhou), Wendy (Jing Wen),  Jing (Jing Liu), Connie (Gaixiang Liu) and Yang (Yang Liu).
Our wonderful teachers, from left to right:
Alyssa (Juan Du), Gina, (Qianlan Zhou), Wendy (Jing Wen),
Jing (Jing Liu), Connie (Gaixiang Liu) and Yang (Yang Liu).