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NZCFS Wellington Branch July 2015 Newsletter


Next Branch MeetingMadeleine Slavic photographer

Sunday, 19 July 2015 at 2.30pm

Madeleine Slavick will speak on

Photography, poetry, writing and teaching: Twenty Years of China

Madeleine Slavick has published several books of photography, poetry, and non-fiction. She lived in Hong Kong from 1988 – 2012, working as a teacher, fundraiser, campaigner, photo-journalist and editor. In her 17 years with Oxfam Hong Kong, she traveled into the Mainland to document various anti-poverty projects, launched the exhibition and book My Favourite Thing (2005) and edited China Voices (2010). Her afternoon with NZCFS-Wellington will merge her personal artistic work with her professional communications work with Oxfam. Madeline has had two recent exhibitions in Wellington and Auckland: RED (photographic images of China) and Hong Kong Song (a retrospective of 25 years of living in Hong Kong).

map of Connolly Hall
Connolly Hall

Connolly Hall

Guildford Terrace, off Hill Street, Thorndon, Wellington (see map)

(Car park up Guildford Tce beside Hall)

The meeting will be followed by an afternoon tea, gold coin donation appreciated


4 July             Mandarin Corner at 3.15-5.00pm on Saturdays

7 July             Table Tennis on Tuesdays, 7pm, 26 Barker Street, Te Aro.

16 July           Shared dinner and Chinese film, 6-8.30pm, Victoria University.

23 July           Red Cliff 赤壁 (Chinese film), Committee Room One, WCC, 101 Wakefield Street.

24 Jul– 2 Aug  New Zealand International Film Festival, Wellington.

25 July           The Nutcracker, 4pm, Wellington Opera House.

31 July           International Friendship Day market, 11-4pm, Student Union Building, Victoria University.


Please remember that 2015 membership subscriptions renewals are now due. We will endeavour to contact any members who have not yet renewed.


The dates Connolly Hall has been booked for monthly meetings this year are August 19, September 16, October 21 and November 18.


The focus of this meeting was the NZCFS National Conference which was hosted by the Nelson Branch in May. The theme chosen was “有办法 YO BANFA: There is a way!” based on the title of a book from Rewi Alley, and there was a strong focus on the initiatives in progress to pursue the society goals in new ways, especially in relation to youth work. Seven Wellington Branch members attended the conference, and Christine Strickland, Branch Vice-President, and Kirk McDowall, Local Committee Member, gave a PowerPoint presentation of the conference during the monthly meeting.

Kapa Haka NZCFS ConferenceChristine began the presentation by welcoming all those in attendance and gave an overview of the Conference. Approximately 80 people attended the Conference. It began on Friday night at Tahunanui School, with a performance from their Kapa Haka group. Both Nelson Deputy Mayor Paul Matheson and Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne gave welcoming speeches. Youxie leader Hu Jianhuai also spoke. These presenters spoke on the importance of the relationship between New Zealand and China, as well as how the individual and community organisations are playing an important role in strengthening the links to each country.

During the presentation, a short video of the Yo Banfa Story was shown to the audience. This was created by the Nelson Branch about Rewi Alley, and included interviews of Rewi Alley and parts of documentaries on his work in China.  

The Conference was opened on Saturday by National President Dave Bromwich. This was followed by an address from Consul-General Jin Zhijian, who spoke on ‘You Banfa and Bilateral Relations’, and the importance and links between both. Following this, Christchurch Confucius Institute Deputy Director Prof Hong Hu spoke on the meaning of You Banfa for Mandarin Language Assistants, and how this idea relates to the work the assistants are doing across New Zealand. The National Youth Committee was then introduced to the audience. The group is made up of representatives from across the country, and are responsible for organising youth activities and representing the youth members in their branches. This is headed by mentor Miao Fan from Hamilton, and members include Ken Liu from Auckland, Kirk McDowall from Wellington and Tony Tian from Christchurch. The rest of Saturday involved presentations from various branches on their youth initiatives and activities for the previous year.

Dunedin President Paul Fawcett spoke on his branch project: “Singing our way to Shanghai”. This involved sending students from the Otago Boys’ and Otago Girls’ High School choir to China to participate in the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival in April. Next, Tauranga students Lucy Kata and Lauren Annig spoke about their experience living in Nanchang. Their visit was part of the NZCFS Tauranga Youth Scholarships Programme and reciprocal exchange. This involved selecting students from Nanchang to partner with Tauranga students and they corresponded with one another for several months before the visit to China. They then each lived with the family of the partnered Chinese student for a month. In July, there will be a return visit to Tauranga from the same Nanchang students.

Kirk McDowall then spoke on his project, the NZCFS – AIESEC New Zealand China Exchange, which involves sending university students to China for a six week exchange program, with funding from the Deng Fund. This involves volunteering or working on environmental, cultural, education or health projects in China. Three students have been selected and they are currently being matched with projects. If you are interested in learning more or wish to apply for the next exchange program, please contact Kirk at [email protected].Taoist Tai Chi

During the conference, there were a number of Chinese cultural performances, including Taoist Tai Chi, a magic show, a martial arts demonstration and a guzheng performance. Professor Xinmeng Zhao from Auckland also gave a calligraphy demonstration while Nelson artists Zhifang Black and Rosalina McCarthy exhibited their artwork. Again we would like to thank Christine Ward and the Nelson Branch for their hard work organising the conference, and we learnt a lot from the other branches. On Sunday the Annual General Meeting was held. Congratulations to Wellington Treasurer Luke Qin for his election as National Vice President (Central). We look forward to hearing about the National Committee from him.

The presentation concluded with a discussion of the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) Fund and the Simon Deng Li Arts & Culture Exchange Fund. Both of these provide funding for various Branches in New Zealand to organise projects that focus on building the relationship between New Zealand and China. If you have any ideas for projects or would like to know more, please talk to someone on the Committee or email [email protected].

MANDARIN CORNER 汉语角 Saturdays 3.15-5pm

Seminar Room, 20 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington.Mandarin Corner, Wellington, NZ

Mandarin Corner (Wellington), established in 1995 by NZCFS, is a weekly event where students learning Chinese meet with native speakers of Chinese for conversation and cultural activities in a friendly, relaxed setting. Mandarin Corner is currently run by a core team of Mandarin Language Assistants. If you wish to improve your Chinese language skill, share your China experiences or talk to someone who has been or lived there, this is a great place to go. Snacks and drinks are provided.

For more information contact Flora Hao at [email protected].


NZ International Film FestivalThe New Zealand International Film Festival is coming back to Wellington, with screenings from 24 July to 12 August. It is a national event extending the cinematic options of audiences and filmmakers throughout New Zealand and a programme of between 150-170 features are presented around the country each year. This year there are a number of films with a focus on Asia, including films from Mainland China. To find out more information, please visit: http://www.nziff.co.nz/2015/wellington/.

The Wellington Branch will also look to organise an outing to some films, more details will be available on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NZCFSWellington.


On Thursday 16 July, the NZCFS and VUW Chinese Club will be organising a shared dinner and Chinese film night at Victoria University. It will be hosted from 6-8.30pm, and involve attendees bringing a plate of food (either snack or Chinese) to share. Following the dinner we will watch a Chinese film. For more details, please check the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NZCFSWellington.


中国电影 – Thursday 23 July 2015, 7.15pmRed Cliff

Venue: Committee Room One, Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street. Gold coin donation. With support from Confucius Institute, Victoria University of Wellington.

Please note that you need to press the buzz to the left of the Wakefield Street entrance, asking the security to let you in if no one is at the entrance. Txt 0210306853 if you cannot get in.

Red Cliff 赤壁 [2008 movie, 140 minutes]

Director: John Woo吴宇森. Cast: Tony Leung 梁朝伟, Takeshi Kaneshiro金城武, Zhang Fengyi张丰毅, Chiling Lin林志玲, Zhao Wei赵薇

Red Cliff is a Chinese epic war film based on the Battle of Red Cliffs (208–209 AD) and the events at the end of Han Dynasty immediately prior to the Three Kingdoms period in ancient China.


The VUWSA International Students’ Association at Victoria University is organising an ‘International Friendship Day market day’ on Thursday 30 July from 11-4pm. A number of cultural clubs at Victoria University, including the VUW Chinese Club, will have stalls and be selling items (food, drinks, crafts, etc.) relating to their cultures, as well as performances from their heritage. It will be held at the Student Union Building, at Victoria University. For more details, please check the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NZCFSWellington.


Do you have plans of travelling to China in the near future? Want to know the best places to visit from people who lived, worked, or been there before? Lingo X, a company that is based in Beijing, have created an App for your smartphone that connects you with a community of travellers and locals that are keen on exchanging and experiencing what life can offer when you decide to explore, all for free! You can learn about places to visit, create your own activities and talk to the people that have travelled to places you are planning to go to. The LingoX app is available for free via www.lingox.cn, or find on Google Play and Apple Store. Check out the Facebook page for feature stories of people travelling and living in China at: https://www.facebook.com/LingoXAPP?fref=ts

China’s Mangrove Forests – A study on their conservation by one of our Young AmbassadorsNZCFS Youth Firendship Ambassador

Deborah Robertson, a graduate of marine conservation at Victoria University of Wellington, was one of the NZCFS Youth Friendship Ambassadors selected in 2014. She recently spent 6 weeks in two areas of mangrove forest in and near Xiamen, Fujian Province, studying the conservation of mangrove forests.

Since the 1950s, 45% of China’s mangrove forest cover has been lost, which has caused a decline in regional biodiversity – including benthic (sea-bottom-living) animals, birds and fishes. Mangroves still face many threats, including wastewater discharge, oil pollution, biological invasion and insect outbreak. However, efforts to reduce these threats are being undertaken and in the last few decades rapid progress has been made. Up to 2009, 34 mangrove nature reserves have been established and these cover 80% of the total area of mangroves in China.Longhai Mangrove Nature Reserve

In June, Deborah set out to study and understand the people’s attitude to mangrove forests in Fu Gong Village, adjacent to Fujiang Jiulongjiangkou Provincial Reserve, and at Yundang Lake within Xiamen City, where new mangroves have been planted. She found there was general awareness of the threats to mangroves; with 96% of people surveyed believing all mangrove forests should be protected. She was also able to visit local mangrove conservation projects and meet with NGO workers and university and scientific staff. Her study was funded from the Simon Deng Li Fund. To read more, please visit: https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/20757/chinas-mangrove-forests-a-study-on-their-conservation-by-one-of-our-young-ambassadors/.


It has been approximately 150 years since the first ‘Nutcracker’ Christmas party. Telling the story of Clara and her strange present, this is a favourite ballet all over the world. Set to the music of Tchaikovsky, as it was 150 years ago, and performed by young dancers for everyone who needs midwinter magic – this is a treat to share with all those in your life who are young and young at heart. Opening the performance will be a special event made for Chinese New Year 2015 – Sharing is a collaborative dance work made by young New Zealand and Chinese dancers, drawing on their ideas and experiences growing up in their respective countries. Doors open at 3.30pm for a 4pm performance. Admission: Free. For more information, go to: http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2015/the-nutcracker-open-house-capital-150/wellington.


If you’re interested in playing table tennis, the Korean Community Hall hosts casual table tennis matches each Tuesday from 7pm at 26 Barker Street, Te Aro. All equipment is provided and all levels are welcome. Free entry but donations are welcomed. To RSVP and find more information on these events, please visit http://www.meetup.com/Playing-Table-tennis/.


Wellington Martial ArtsFor those interested in attending Tai Chi & Guang Xuan Qi Gong, Shaolin Kung Fu: Traditional & Wushu, and Gloves Boxing, classes are available most days in Mount Cook, Thorndon, Johnsonville or Khandallah. To register your interest or to find more information, visit http://www.wutaichi.org.nz/ or contact   [email protected].


Remember to check out the NZCFS Youth Website www.nzcfsyouth.org and Wellington Branch Facebook page www.facebook.com/NZCFSWellington for more information on the Society. It contains articles, upcoming events and information. If you would like to learn more or contribute, feel free to contact Kirk McDowall at [email protected].