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Nelson Branch Newsletter – November 2011


The full pdf is available at: NZCFSNelsonNovember2011.pdf


~ Next meeting: 18 November ~



for the official opening of the


our Branch Meeting and a tour of the city


BRIDGE OPENING at 2pm: His Excellency, Ambassador Xu Jianguo, and Nelson Mayor, Aldo Miccio, will officially open the bridge in Queen’s Gardens at 2pm, and local iwi representatives will provide a blessing. The ceremony will signify the uniting friendship of the peoples of Sister Cities, Huangshi and Nelson.

Nelson Huangshi Chinese Garden Bridge

This is a public occasion, and you are encouraged to invite interested friends, especially Chinese residents of Nelson, to accompany the Ambassador on his short walk to the bridge. The ceremony is expected to take less than half an hour and will be followed by a Mayoral afternoon tea at the Suter Cafe. More details of the ceremony are on the next page.

BRANCH MEETING at 5:30pm: The Ambassador’s party, and other guests, will be welcomed to our Branch meeting with a drink and nibbles at 5.30pm in the Nelson City Council Chambers, Trafalgar Street. After the meal, brought in by the Golden Bell Restaurant as usual, the Ambassador will speak to us, with a focus on trade relationships. Members are encouraged to invite your own business contacts, who are interested in trade with China, to be present at this important event.

Please note the change of venue for this special occasion – you can enter the Council building through the after hours door (directly opposite the “JK Kids Gear” shop) and take the lift or stairs to Level 2A.

SATURDAY CITY TOUR: Your committee are arranging some visits for the Ambassador’s party (total of four people) on Saturday 19th, as this is his first visit to Nelson. He is interested in antiques and business relationships and in seeing the sights. Members are encouraged to make suggestions about suitable visits.

MEETING ARRANGEMENTS: As usual, please register for your attendance at the meal ($12) and meeting, including definite numbers for any guests you might invite on this occasion.


Friday 18 November .. Nelson City Council Chambers .. 5:30 pm

To arrange catering please ring:

Barbara Markland Ph. 544 4712 by Tuesday 15 November

or e-mail: [email protected]


ARRANGEMENTS FOR BRIDGE OPENING – Friday November 18 at 2pm:

1:50 pm     The Ambassador’s party, NZCFS members and visitors will assemble at the Bridge Street entrance to Queen’s Garden. The Mayor’s party, including Nelson City Council staff, will be at the bridge site with the Maori group.

2:00 pm     A putatara (conch shell trumpet) will sound to signify the start of proceedings. The Kai Karanga (female caller) from the Mayor’s party will call to the Kai Karanga of the visiting party, including the Ambassador, waiting on Bridge Street. The visiting party will walk slowly down to the bridge, following the Maori protocol. Some seating will be provided at the bridge site.

There will be a karakia (prayer) from Kaumatua Andy Joseph.

The Mayor will welcome the Chinese dignitaries, and invite the Ambassador to speak and cut the ribbon.

Kaumatua Andy will lead a karakia and waiata and will cross the bridge while blessing it. The Ambassador and the Mayor will follow across the bridge – both parties will cross the bridge ‘two by two’ and walk through the Chinese Garden to rejoin the path to The Suter.

2:30 pm      The combined groups adjourn to the Suter Cafe for a ‘cuppa’ and informal interactions.

3:00 pm      At the conclusion, Debbie Daniell-Smith will introduce NCC’s Chinese Garden Walk map and audio, which has been translated into Chinese by NZCFS Nelson. It is expected that the Ambassador’s party, and others interested, will return to the Chinese Garden with Debbie to use the documents (English and Chinese), to explore significant aspects of the garden architecture and plantings.


CHINESE LANGUAGE GOAL: Nelson branch is adopting several of the national goals of the NZCFS including : to encourage the use of Chinese language in our region.

To this end, we have funded the translation of the Chinese Garden walk in written and aural forms. Our thanks go to Rebecca Wu for her valued contributions to these translations.

Another language promotion is a banner in Chinese characters to hang on the bridge for the opening ceremony. Technical advice on the banner-making process has come from flag-maker and NZCFS member, Mike Rodwell; painting has been done by President Christine Ward, and the characters themselves were organised by committee member, Kevin Symns. The banner is on suitable red material with the characters in gold, as shown here.

The words have been selected as suitable for an opening ceremony in China and loosely mean:

“Warmly celebrating the opening of the new bridge of the Nelson Chinese Garden!”


AMBASSADOR XU JIANGUO: His Excellency, Ambassador Xu Jianguo, is the Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand, Cook Islands and Niue. Ambassador Xu was born in October, 1955, and is a native of Zhejiang Province. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and Law and was an Associate Professor.

– 1972-1978, worked in Cixi Machine Tool Plant, Zhejiang Province

– 1978-1993, studied and worked at Zhejiang University, becoming Deputy Director of the Publicity Department of the Party Committee, Member of the Party Committee, and Secretary of Chinese Youth League Committee

– became a visiting scholar at Syracuse University in America

– 1993-2000, worked as Vice Mayor of Deqing County, Zhejiang Province, then Director of Financial Division, General Office of the People’s Government of Zhejiang Province, and then Deputy Director, Ningbo Economic and Technological Development Zone Management Committee of Zhejiang Province

– 2000-2010, Mr Xu has been with Foreign Affairs and worked as:

Counsellor, Chinese Embassy in the Republic of South Africa

Chinese Ambassador to Georgia

Deputy Director-General of the Department of External Security Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

and Chinese Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.



Anne Todd-Lambie, our nomination for this year’s Prominent Persons and Leaders Tour, will soon return from being hosted in Beijing, travelling to Jinan, Mt Tai (Taishan), Tai’an City and Qingdao in Shandong Province, and then travelling on to Fuzhou and Xiamen in Fujian Province (opposite Taiwan). We look forward to hearing about her experiences early next year.

It is great to see Ferry van Mansum and Aukje Both back in Nelson after some time teaching in the Netherlands.

Lillian Li’s parents are currently visiting from Xi’an and staying with Lillian, husband Ivan and daughter Aviva for the Summer. We look forward to welcoming them along to our meetings.

Philippa Reynolds, niece of Rewi Alley, has just returned from the NZCFS Projects and Tibetan Communities Tour and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, especially the chance to travel to Tibet. She also celebrates her 80th birthday on 9 November. Happy Birthday, Philippa!

She tells us: “Recently I was privileged to be part of a 16 member group who travelled to China and Tibet as part of an NZCFS Tour. We flew from Guangzhou to Lanzhou in Gansu Province. There I was thrilled to see a dance-exercise group in the Rewi Alley Square. From there we travelled to Xiahe and then flew to Lhasa in Tibet. My preconceived ideas about poverty in Tibet had to be erased as I saw that the people were well-dressed, well-fed and prosperous-looking! There were no signs of poverty anywhere and the high altitude did not worry us.

We were a very congenial group, ably led by Dave Bromwich. We had a very competent interpreter in Linda (not Linda from Youxie – Ed.). There were many highlights, but riding on the cable car in the Western Hills (Xishan) was one. This was a never to be forgotten trip and I loved every moment.”


LAST MEETING – THANKS TO OUR SEPTEMBER MEETING FAMILIES: At our September meeting we were treated to wonderful presentations from two families with close associations with China. Our thanks go to Brendan and Johnna Alborn and Lori and Richard Brudvik Lindner for the way they shared their very different stories, giving us great insights into life for a kiwi family in Shanghai in one case, and the intricacies of searching for Chinese adoptive origins in the other.

Both stories were so huge and aroused so much interest that it was a pity we had not had a whole evening to devote to each. We look forward to hearing more, and realise there is a whole ‘doing business in Shanghai’ story yet to come from Brendan. We especially appreciated the contributions of the children and the photographs which both families had selected to background their unique stories.

We are grateful that these two families have settled in the Nelson/Tasman district and appreciate enormously the way they are continuing to endorse the friendship ties between the people of China and New Zealand. That both families are maintaining language connections will provide good examples to other young New Zealanders.


NEXT BRANCH MEETING: Chinese New Year is quite early next year – 23 January, 2012. Your committee will be discussing how this timing will affect our usual AGM and New Year Banquet and will let you know what is planned as soon as possible.


REMINDER OF OUR 60th ANNIVERSARY IN 2012: It will be the Society’s 60th anniversary in 2012 and 40 years since New Zealand’s official recognition of the PRC. Planning is well under way for several events to mark these significant occasions including our NZCFS Conference in Auckland, where it all began, from 18-20 May and a 60th Anniversary Tour that will combine visits to areas of historical interest to the Society with the Silk Road. Start saving now and be prepared to book early as this tour is already attracting a lot of interest from members throughout the country!


NZCFS PHOTOGRAPHERS TOUR, April 2012 – a photographic feast of iconic scenery and cultures:

The specially selected destinations offer amazing photographic opportunities in a range of different environments, from terraced hillsides and minority villages to modern cityscapes; from peaceful scenic landscapes to the bustle of daily life; a broad offering of old and new. The spectacular itinerary includes Guilin landscapes and minority peoples, “old” Phoenix town – Fenghuang, scenic Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) and the Zhangjiajie National Forest, and the new cityscape of Shanghai.

Fully escorted by keen photographer and Past President of the Christchurch Branch, Judy Livingstone, this tour will be superbly hosted by our friends at Youxie and is suitable for all amateur and professional photographers.

At least two members of Nelson Branch are booked to go – please spread the word far and wide or come along yourself!

For further information, contact: Ann White (ph 03 614 8944 or [email protected]).



SPEAK OUT NELSON TASMAN: “Speak Out Nelson Tasman” is New Zealand’s first regional reporting system for racist incidents. The system was designed to follow the recommendations contained in the research report “Towards a Reporting System for Racist Incidents: Diverse Communities Speak” which was done by a volunteer, Irish lawyer Debbie Kohner, while she was visiting the region.

Establishing the system has been a collaborative process involving local government, Ministry of Social Development, agencies such as Community Law, English Language Partners, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and the NZ Police, with the Nelson Multicultural Council (NMC) contracted to manage the project. Volunteers have dedicated many hours to putting it all together and to delivering presentations in all the Nelson high schools.

It is the project that challenges racism, and promotes harmony in our society and the acceptance of other ethnicities in our region by actively rising awareness of racism issues. It provides a voice and a way of direct action for those suffering racial harassment or discrimination, as well as community support for those experiencing racism. SONT received a Trustpower Community Awards in August.

Branch member, Lillian Li, applied for the SONT coordinator position while living with her parents in Xi’an. She says, “I am really excited about taking on this position since I feel my experiences and my background could be really useful in this role, plus I am such a people person so I enjoy working for people so much. So far, I have been working on SONT for almost three months. I have been holding working party meetings, attending functions that raise awareness of SONT, and visiting various ethnic groups to present SONT.

As one of the victims who has suffered from racist abuse, I am glad that I can work alongside so many warmhearted people, promote SONT to support others suffering the same kinds of incidents, and make our society a better place for everyone to enjoy together.

As a member of NZCFS Nelson Branch since 2004, I am all the time feeling so grateful by knowing here in Nelson so many people are in love with my home country and my culture. NZCFS and SONT have a similar goal: increasing understanding and building friendships between people from different cultures.”

More information at: www.speakout.org.nz.