Home Wellington Branch Newsletters NZCFS Welling...

NZCFS Wellington Branch June 2016 Newsletter


Next Branch Meeting

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 at 5.45pm

Kirk McDowall

Will speak on

NZCFS National Conference: Thoughts, Lessons and Ways Going Forward

NZCFS National Conference Attendees

Last month, a number of Wellington branch members attended the NZCFS National Conference held in Tauranga. At the National Annual General Meeting, Kirk M was appointed to be on the National Executive to represent the Wellington Branch as well as Youth. The focus of the meeting will be the sessions and activities of the conference, and an update from the National Executive Committee. The theme of the conference was “Good things take time!” (好事多磨 – Hǎo shì duō mó), and involved a series of sessions focused on building, sustaining and valuing the relationship with China, along with the experiences, opportunities and challenges for youth.

During the conference, the audience were involved in a workshop to discuss the opportunities and challenges the Society face, and possible ideas and projects for the branches. The next branch meeting will focus on these ideas, involving members of the branch to give their thoughts on how we operate, can improve and ways forward. We appreciate your involvement and commitment to the NZCFS, and want to hear your views on some of the challenges we face and ways to continue to improve our branch and Society, now and in the future. We look forward to your attendance.                                                                                                          

An optional Chinese buffet meal, supplied by the Fujiyama Café, will follow the meeting at 7pm. Orders for the $12 meal (please pay at the door) will be taken up till 6pm.  If you think you may be arriving late, please let the Secretary know in advance.

map of Connolly HallConnolly Hall
Guildford Terrace, off Hill Street, Thorndon, Wellington (see map)
   (Car park up Guildford Tce beside Hall)

(A full PDF of this newsletter is available at NZCFS Wellington Newsletter June 2016)


4   June          Mandarin Corner, Seminar Room, 20 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington.
23 June          Eighteen Springs (Chinese film), Committee Room One, WCC, 101 Wakefield Street.
Until 10 Jul   Liu Jianhua Art Exhibition, Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt.
Until 7 Oct     Feng Bin & Lee Ka-sing Exhibition, Level 3 Library, Victoria University of Wellington


The dates Connolly Hall has been booked for monthly meetings this year are 20 July, 31 August, 21 September, 19 October and 16 November.


The NZCFS would like to warmly welcome Emma Hill. We look forward to your attendance at our events and meetings.


From 1930 to 1945, New Zealander Agnes Moncrieff, known as Nessie, wrote letters back to her family describing her life, that of the Chinese people around her and the work of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of China as the International Secretary. Her work also detailed the events in 1938, as the Japanese were advancing on Wuhan during the war.

Barbara Francis Talk at NZCFS Wellington.1At the last branch meeting, Barbara Francis spoke on Nessie’s time and travels in China with the YWCA. Initially Agnes was based in Peking; then, on her return from furlough in 1936, in Shanghai. The Japanese occupation of Shanghai in 1937 saw her moving to Hankow, until that too was about to be occupied and she was recalled to Shanghai until her 1940 furlough. Her final term 1941–1945 was spent in Chengdu. Although this part of the interior was not occupied by the Japanese, life there was very difficult.

The correspondence describes not only what life was like for a New Zealand woman in her thirties and forties living and working in China, but also her observations of the Chinese and Japanese military strategies, and her horror at some of them. Part of her work involved travelling to visit YWCA associations in other cities and to attend conferences. Initially she travelled either by steamer on the Yangtze River, or by train which was often interrupted by air raids. As well as descriptions of the bombing raids on Wuhan, there are those of her train travel with frequent references to the dangers of what the full moon brings, hence the title. Her reports show amazing Chinese women, assisted by overseas secretaries, who saw that their YWCA programme catered to the wide variety of needs of the women of China at that time.

Barbara Francis Talk at NZCFS Wellington.2With war in Europe well under way, the New Zealand YWCA were reluctant to allow Nessie to return for a third term. However the YWCA of China pleaded for her return commenting to the NZ YWCA that “… we miss her strengthening hand…” and “she is a living link binding our two movements together”. In a letter to Nessie, the Chairman commented “… your part in living through this difficult period with us has not only saved us from many troubles but also strengthened our morale. We have known that we could count upon your objective point of view and wise counsel”.

Due to the deteriorating situation in Shanghai, the YWCA of China had moved its headquarters to Chengdu in the interior, so it was to there Nessie travelled for her third and final term. The only overland route available to her was to travel with three returning missionaries – a six-week journey by truck from Rangoon up the Burma Road, into China and on to Chengdu, which she reached just two weeks before Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbour. Life in Chengdu was difficult for everyone as communication was sporadic and basic commodities very limited.

On Nessie’s return to New Zealand in 1946, she was an early member of the New Zealand China Friendship Society briefing members about to visit China, and it is through the work of Barbara Francis that Nessie’s story can be shared.


NZCFS Conference 2016.1From 27 to 29 May 2016, the NZCFS held its National Conference and Annual General Meeting in Tauranga. Both were held at the Historical Village within the heart of the city. The theme of the Conference was “Good things take time!” (好事多磨 – Hǎo shì duō mó), following on from the successes of Rewi Alley, Kathleen Hall and James Munro Bertram. Tauranga Major Stuart Crosby and NZCFS President Dave Bromwich welcomed guests and there were musical performances by Chen Xiyao and Carol Storey. 

NZCFS Conference 2016.3The conference focused on three main sessions. Firstly, on ‘Building relationships with China – What are they worth’, in which we heard presentations from Tony Browne, Executive Chair of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre and Chair of the Victoria University of Wellington Confucius Institute, Mandarin Language Assistants who were working in Tauranga, Karen Ye from Beijing Youxie, Simon Appleton, General Manager of Eastern Bridge, and George Andrews, President of the NZCFS Auckland Branch. These presentations focused on the importance of building and maintaining relationships with China locally and nationally.

NZCFS Conference 2016.2The second session focused on sustaining relationships between New Zealand and China and the value of cultural understanding. This involved presentations and a panel with Gwenda Merriman, Deputy Major of Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Adrian Toft from Interconnect Ltd and Nick Kirton from Zespri in Tauranga. During the day, the Rewi Alley Photography Exhibition was launched. This exhibition comes from China and will travel around New Zealand over the coming year. The final sessions focused on youth, with presentations from four students from Bethlehem College who travelled to China at the beginning of the year to learn about international business and trade, and visited the cities of Nanchang and Dongguan. Alena Woo, who was an NZCFS Youth Ambassador in 2015, spoke of her experiences in designing a resource for meeting and dining etiquette in China. The day ended with a workshop session led by NZCFS Youth on challenges and project ideas for the Society going forward, and the audience’s thoughts and views of these.

The Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday. The National Executive of the NZCFS is as follows:

President: Dave Bromwich (Hawkes Bay). Vice Presidents: George Andrews (Auckland), Luke Qin (Wellington) and Dave Adamson (Christchurch). Treasurer: Chris Goodwin (Christchurch). Secretary: Simon Appleton. Members: Heiko Lade (Hawkes Bay), Miao Fan (Hamilton), Deborah Rhode (Christchurch), John Hodgson (Tauranga), Ken Liu (Auckland), Kirk McDowall (Wellington and Anna Wu (Christchurch). All branch presidents are also part of the National Executive. The Patron of the NZCFS is Philip Burton and the Honorary Patron is Simon Deng Li.


Please remember that 2016 membership subscriptions renewals are now due. Please renew if you have not already done so – download form here.

MANDARIN CORNER 汉语角 Saturdays 3.15-5pm
Seminar Room, 20 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington.

Mandarin corner.1Mandarin 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 and is open to all level. Come along if you are interested, and attendance is free. Mandarin corner does not run during school holidays. For more information contact Yinghui Li at [email protected].

中国电影  – Thursday 23 June 2016, 7.15pm
Venue: Committee Room One, Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street. Gold coin donation. With support from Confucius Institute, VUW.
(Please note that you need to press the buzz to the left of the Wakefield Street entrance, and ask security to let you. Txt 0210306853 if you cannot get in.)

Eighteen SpringsTitle: 半生缘 (Ban Sheng Yuan) “Eighteen Springs” [1997, 126 minutes]
Director: 许鞍华 Ann Hui. Screenplay: 陈健忠 Kin Chung Chan, 张爱玲Eileen Chang (novel). Cast:  黎明Leon Lai, 吴倩莲Chien-Lien Wu, 梅艳芳Anita Mui, 黄磊 Huang Lei, 葛优Ge You, 吴辰君Annie Wu, 王志文Wang Zhiwen.

Based on an Eileen Chang novel, this is a story of romance and fate set in the Shanghai of the 1930s. Manjing (Wu Chien-lien), a young woman from a once-well-off family, works in a Shanghai factory, where she meets Shujun (Leon Lai), the son of wealthy Nanjing merchants. Despite Shujun’s reservations about Manjing’s family (her sister, Manlu (Anita Mui) works as a nightclub “hostess”), they manage, in stages, to fall in love. The expected progress through engagement to marriage is interrupted, first by Manjing’s ambivalence about taking this step, then by Shujun’s rejection of her family, and finally by that family’s baroquely conceived abuse and enslavement of Shujun. After a long period of separation, Shujun and Manjing meet, but realize that their happiness remains only in memory, in a nostalgic re-imagining of opportunities missed, understandings never arrived at.

ONE NIGHT IN SHANGHAI AT THE Wellington Night Market

Each year, the Wellington Night Market holds the Winter Love One Night in ShanghaiFestival to bring people a romantic and exciting date night in this cold season. This year, the Wellington Night Market Winter Love Festival presents “One Night in Shanghai”. It will be held on Cuba Street on 1-2 July 2016.

Qipao ShowThe Wellington Night Market is also looking for female volunteers to be part of their Qipao Show Team. As you all know, as part of the Chinese culture, Qipao represents the elegance of Chinese ladies. A lady in Qipao is not only elegant, but also full of grace and beauty.

As a participant of our Qipao Show events, you will have opportunities to meet more people both from Asia and New Zealand, which will expand your network and enhance your learning experiences during your stay in Wellington. If you would like to be involved in the fun, we would love you to join us! Please contact Sarah at: [email protected].


Hutong-websiteThis exhibition juxtaposes two suites of photographic works: Feng Bin’s Hutong at Night (2005), large brooding nightscapes of the vanishing old neighbourhoods of Beijing, and Lee Ka-sing’s Z FICTION (2008), intricate mindscapes based on the fictions and legends of the past, yet each with a narrative arc towards the future.

Feng Bin studied photography at Beijing Film Academy and has exhibited work in China, Germany, Poland, New Zealand and the USA. He lives and works in Shenzhen, China. Lee Ka-sing is one of the foremost photo-based artists in the Hong Kong art scene during the 1990s. He moved to Toronto in 1997 and set up Lee Ka-sing Gallery in 2000 and INDEXG in 2006.  Landscape | mindscape runs from 12 May to 7 October, 2016 on Level 3 in Kelburn Library. For more information about this exhibition contact the Confucius Institute at Victoria University at [email protected].


From the Venice Biennale to the Dowse Art Museum comes worLia-Jianhua-workingks by one of China’s best known contemporary artists, Liu Jianhua. Liu Jianhua is presenting two full-gallery installations: a signature work of over 1,500 everyday objects cast in white porcelain, and a new work of glistening pools of gold-coated porcelain. The exhibitions are available to view at the Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Road in Lower Hutt until 10 July 2016. Attendance is free. For enquiries, please contact [email protected].


2. Yangshuo concert group smallerThe New Zealand China Friendship Society / Hawkes Bay Orchestral Society’s Cultural exchange to China for ten days in April was a great success. The 26 school children and 16 adults enjoyed a huge range of experiences, largely organized by the Guilin Foreign Affairs Office. The first event was a reception for Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule which included representatives of the NZ China Friendship Society and the orchestra. This was followed by a grand banquet with speeches and items from Chinese performing artists as well as from a small group of the Hawkes Bay musicians. This set the tone for the tour: a warm welcome at every event, and wonderful meals served up for lunches and dinner.

Yangshuo concert group.1In Hastings’ sister-city, Guilin, the orchestra played at four different schools, where the local school children also played or danced, many in costume. By way of a River Cruise on the Li River, the group visited the neighbouring city of Yangshuo. The school exchange there was with the Zhang Yimou Lijiang Performing Arts School and that night everyone enjoyed their amazing night-time outdoor performance: Impressions of Liu Sanjie. Another school visited in the Guilin area was a Vocational School where many of the group had beauty make-overs, drank tea, tried calligraphy and other activities. Besides the river cruise through the remarkable landscape, other tourism outings included the prince’s palace, a large cave complex, and market shopping.

NZCFSFour days in Shanghai completed the trip, with one more school visit where, after the performance, each student was paired with a Chinese student for a session of clay hand-work and interaction. As well, a night cruise viewing the downtown Shanghai lights, acrobats show (a favourite), Buddhist temple visit, markets and downtown shopping, and yet more amazing meals. As a result of his tour, it is highly likely that a visit from a Performing Arts group will take place next year, and more school exchanges will follow.


The Society offers a further educational tour in the “Explore China” series. The tour will visit the two SW provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan for an in-depth experience of this area.  A reasonable level of fitness is needed to accommodate the travel, going over 4000 masl on occasions. There has been considerable interest in this tour and only a few places are now available. If interested please contact Ann White: ph 03 6148944, [email protected] as soon as possible. See https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/22403/nzcfs-explore-china-the-south-west-tour for full details.