New Zealand China Friendship Society
National Conference and AGM Report
Wellington, May 2019
The Wellington Branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society (NZCFS) proudly hosted the National Conference and Annual General Meeting on Friday 24 May to Sunday 26 May 2019. The theme of the Conference was 敢问路在何方 (Gǎn wèn lù zài héfāng): Dare to ask where to from here!
The Branch gives special thanks to the keynote speakers, Her Excellency Ms Wu Xi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Xie Yuan, Vice-President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Mr Ray Wallace, Hutt City Council Mayor, Mr Mike Tana, Porirua City Mayor and Mr Dave Bromwich, NZCFS National President. The Branch also welcomed representatives from Sister Cities NZ, the Confucius Institute of Victoria University of Wellington and the Wellington Chinese Association, along with NZCFS delegates and friends from across New Zealand.
The conference began on Friday evening with two performances from the Oriental Dance Academy, followed by speeches from Dave Bromwich and Luke Qin, Wellington Chinese Association President. Both spoke on growing and maintaining the relationship between New Zealand and China, and the important role locally based organisations have in building the people to people connections. Following the welcoming, the Branch hosted a banquet dinner at Dragons Restaurant on Tory Street.
On Saturday the Wellington Branch welcomed over 50 NZCFS delegates and guests from across the country to hear keynote speakers and presentations on the theme: Dare to ask where to from here! Guests were greeted by performances from the Oriental Cultural and Performing Arts Group to begin the conference. Her Excellency Ms Wu Xi opened the conference and spoke on the importance of the relationship between New Zealand and China, and the role of the NZCFS has in building the connection. The link to the Ambassador’s speech can be found at the end of the article.
The Branch was fortunate to host a delegation from the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) in Beijing, led by Vice-President Mr Xie Yuan, who also gave a keynote address. In addition, the Branch welcomed Mr Ray Wallace, Hutt City Council Mayor and Mr Mike Tana, Porirua City Mayor, who echoed the importance of people-to-people relations, and building awareness and understanding of China and wider diversity within our communities. Each keynote address highlighted the importance of the goals and aims of the NZCFS.
Throughout the day, the audience heard a range of speakers, including Tony Browne, Chair of VUW Confucius Institute, followed by four Mandarin Language Assistants as well as Celia Wade-Brown, Hiromi Morris, President of Sister Cities New Zealand, and a range of presentations focused on New Zealand and China. The Wellington Branch thanks all the speakers and a list of all presentations can be found below. Following the presentations, the Conference Celebration Banquet was hosted at Grand Century on Tory Street, which was attended by over 50 delegates, members and friends.
On Sunday 26 May, the Annual General Meeting of the Society was held, which included the election of the National President and National Executive Officers for 2019-2020. Reports on the activities of the Society and Branches over the past year were tabled at the meeting.
A number of attendees have expressed appreciation of the high calibre of speakers and topics for the conference, and we thank all those who could attend. The Branch especially thanks all those on the Committee and within the Wellington Branch who gave a great deal of time and effort to make this conference a success, both on the day and building up to the event.
On behalf of the Wellington Branch, thank you to those who contributed to the Conference and the attendees. 敢问路在何方: Dare to ask where to from here!
Kirk McDowall, NZCFS Wellington Branch President
Remarks by Ambassador Wu Xi New Zealand China Friendship Society 2019 Conference: http://www.chinaembassy.org.nz/eng/zxgxs/t1666796.htm
Home Voice article on the Conference: https://issuu.com/homevoicenz/docs/homevoice_1030
Additional information on the Conference: https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/nzcfs-2019-national-conference-registration/
A selection of photos from the NZCFS Conference and Annual General Meeting Wellington, May 2019:
- HE Ms Wu Xi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China
- Mr Xie Yuan, Vice-President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries
- Mr Ray Wallace, Hutt City Council Mayor
- Mr Mike Tana, Porirua City Mayor
- Mr Dave Bromwich, NZCFS National President
- Tony Browne, Chinese Language Teaching in New Zealand
- Mandarin Language Assistants, Experiences in New Zealand
- Celia Wade-Brown, Experience on Teaching in China
- Hiromi Morris, The Role of Sisters Cities New Zealand
- Kerry Boyle, Study on Sister Cities
- Esther Fung, The Wellington Chinese Garden
- Nigel Murphy, New Zealand China Friendship Society: A History
- Steven Young, Chinese Migrants: 1860s to Present
- Toni Grace, NZ–China Local Government International Relations
- Kirsten Wong, The Ventnor Project