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NZCFS Wellington Branch June 2017 Newsletter

Next Branch Meeting

  Wednesday, 21 June 2017 at 5:45pm

Heiko Lade and Helen Gao

 will speak on


Heiko LadeHeiko Lade has been a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine for over 30 years having done a master’s degree in Sydney. He also lived and worked in Hangzhou, China in 1984. When in Australia he worked for many years in Sydney’s Chinatown before moving to New Zealand in 1999. Since moving to  New Zealand, he has taught acupuncture and Chinese herbs at colleges in ChriHelen Gaostchurch and Auckland and now resides in Hawkes Bay where he has a regular weekly radio show “Acupuncture on Air” on 104.7FM.

His talk in Wellington will be an introduction to acupuncture and accompanying him will be another registered acupuncturist Helen Gao. She has recently moved from Chengdu and now practises acupuncture in Wellington, Dixon St. Helen will be doing demonstrations of acupuncture and there will be ample time for questions and answers.

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

An optional Chinese buffet meal, supplied by the Fujiyama Restaurant, will follow the meeting at 7pm. Orders for the $13 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.

Lecture Theatre 2, Rutherford House, Victoria University, Thursday 15 June, 5:30-7:00 pm

Alistair CrozierNew Zealand established its Consulate-General in Chengdu, Sichuan Province in 2014.  Alistair Crozier has served as our first Consul-General since establishment, and has seen New Zealand’s relationship with Southwest China take off over the last three years.  Alistair will share his views on ‘the story so far’ for New Zealand in this fascinating region of China, the market opportunities and challenges we face, and the unique attractions of life in the Southwest – now more accessible to New Zealanders with a new direct flight from Auckland to Chengdu starting on 13 June.

This event is being co-hosted by NZCFS Wellington Branch and the New Zealand China Trade Association, in association with the New Zealand China Contemporary Research Centre and the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (Wellington Branch).  

Please register via Eventbrite.  Note that this event is run under Chatham House Rule.

Wednesdays 19 July, 16 August, 20 September, 18 October and 15 November (last meeting of 2017).

NZCFS extends a warm welcome to Dr Ben Gray.

At the Special General Meeting held at the May branch meeting  it was agreed that the NZCFS Wellington Branch Rule 8.2(g) be amended to read: Such additional Committee members, if any, as the Committee may co-opt, not exceeding five in number. The motion was moved by Christine Strickland, and seconded by Catherine Ward, with no dissenting voices.

Prof Ole DöringOur May talk was given by Professor Ole Döring from the Institute of Sinology/China Studies, Free University of Berlin, Germany.

Professor Döring is an internationally-known Bioethicist and Sinologist  His key areas of expertise include Bioethics, Confucianism, China Studies (Culture and Philosophy) and Kantian Ethics. In 2009, he was granted an award for his outstanding contribution to bioethics and medical humanities in China by the primer Chinese journal of Medicine and Philosophy on behalf of Chinese Association of Science and Technology.

His began his talk by covering the main precepts of Confucianism, explaining it as a means of social cohesion based on human reason, without reference to politics or religion. One of the major differences between Confucianism and Western systems of ethics is the formers emphasis on there being a correct pattern of good practice that should be followed in all circumstances, and that adhering to this pattern is the main thread that holds society together. At the same time, the way any particular situation is dealt with should not be by referring to a static set of rules, but should be carried out based on the application of the Confucian precepts (Order, Integrity, Coherence, Science, Justice and Humaneness, and Strategy). Other differences he touched on were that Confucianism tries to take a holistic view of any situation, and that is non-hierarchical.

He then focused on the application of Confucian ideals to medicine, and the differences between this approach and Western systems. One of the main differences between the two is that Confucianism gives more emphasis to social factors rather than considering medicine as mainly based on biology. Another difference is that Confucianism considers it more important for medical practitioners to do the right thing as regards to their patients (Justice and Humaneness) rather than rely on an external set of rules to guide them. He concluded that in certain respects, the Confucian system of medicine could be regarded as superior to the western one.

Professor Döring finished his talk with an overview of the current Chinese medical system, and how close it comes to adhering to the tenets of Confucianism. In certain respects he felt this was the case, in particular, he cited the way in which the systems in different regions of China tried to adapt to the local conditions to provide their services. However, for the most part, he felt that the current systems did not adhere to Confucianism at all, in particular, their wholesale adoption of Western methods and the inequalities in the availability of care. He felt this last was due to the adoption of the profit motive, in contrast to the Confucian precept that organisations should always put justice before prosperity.

At the end of his talk, Professor Döring took some questions from the floor.

The first asked if he felt that the Confucian attitudes to Science had slowed China’s technological progress with respect to the West. His answer was no, the reasons for China’s relative decline were nothing to do with Confucianism. Instead, they were due to the kind of society that China had at the time, and the situations it had to deal with. He also made the point that during the period in question, Confucianism had very little influence on the way China was being governed.

The second asked about how much of a connection there was between Chinese Traditional Medicine and Confucianism. Professor Döring began his answer by explaining what most Westerners refer to as “Chinese Traditional Medicine” is in fact a very recent invention, and the Chinese themselves do not use the term. He further elaborated that during the 1950’s, the Chinese Communist Party made a concerted effort to try and gather knowledge of traditional remedies, and used this to produce a system of medical treatment. This was in part an attempt to create a medical system that was not reliant on more technological solutions that were unavailable in most of China at the time. Given its origin, the professor concluded that the connection between Confucianism and “Chinese Traditional Medicine” was not particularly high.

Finally, the professor was asked how responsible Confucianism was for the discrimination against women in previous Chinese society. His answer was that he did not believe that it could be blamed for this, firstly, because a true adherent of Confucianism would not indulge in discrimination against anyone, and second (returning to the point he made in answer to the first question), the influence Confucianism had on the way previous Chinese societies were actually run could be classed as small to non-existent. He concluded that the “patriarchal” attitudes present in previous Chinese society were due to other factors, not Confucianism.

The professor’s attempts to explain a complex and wide-ranging subject were greatly appreciated by the audience, and were greeted with a round of applause at the end.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Text by Gerard Coyle


Front row: Luke Qin and Zhou Hong. Back row l-r: Hiromi Morris, Vera Xu, Nathalie Harrington, Michael O’Neill and Peng Shaoyun

On 15 May 2017 NZCFS and Yunnan Provincial People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries of the People’s Republic of China (Yunnan Youxie) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The purpose of the MoU is to promote mutual understanding and friendship and establish friendly exchanges.

NZCFS National Vice President, Wellington Branch President Luke Qin JP signed the MoU on behalf of NZCFS with Ms Zhou Hong, President of Yunnan Youxie. Youxie’s delegation included Ms Zhou, Mr Peng Shaoyun from Yunnan Foreign Affairs Office, and Mr Mu Liduo, Director of Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, Nujiang Prefecture.

At the meeting, both parties agreed to start friendly exchanges and cooperation in various forms in the fields of agriculture, technology, commerce, indigenous culture, youth development, education, tourism and sister-cities.

Hiromi Morris, President of Sister Cities New Zealand was also present at the MoU signing. Kunming city mayor was invited to attend the second New Zealand-China Mayoral Forum to further the relationship between Kunming and New Plymouth. Wellington Branch Vice President Nathalie Harrington, and committee members Michael O’Neill and Vera Xu also attended the signing.                                                                                                                                                                  Text by Vera Xu, Pictures by Mu Liduo


The International Leadership Program offered by Victoria University (VILP) is geared towards furthering global awareness, understanding, and leadership skills among university students. The program achieves its objectives through offering a series of seminars illustrating the foundations of international cooperation and global competency; and by calling upon the wider community to offer experiential and speaker events primarily aimed to foster interest in current cultural and political affairs. Where experiential opportunities require active participation in relevant cultural or diplomatic spheres; speaker events give students the freedom to participate in public lectures and debate regarding topics of interest.

The role of the NZCFS in this falls into the latter categories of experiential and speaker opportunities. The society currently offers 30 ‘Experiential Points’ to students who can prove membership and have attended 60% of monthly branch meetings. Further, the Society’s monthly branch meetings and other associated events typically also fall under the definition of speaker opportunities given the high calibre nature of presenters, and the significance of their content.

Prime examples of such are the recent appearance of Professor Ole Döring (Institute of Sinology, Free Berlin University) and the upcoming presentation by Alistair Crozier (Consul-General, Sichuan) on June 15, 2017.

As such, the NZCFS and VILP enjoy mutual benefits from their interaction; participating students not only reap tangible rewards for active participation, but also have the opportunity to develop their understanding of Chinese culture and identity within a recognised community. Conversely, VILP participants typically bring a predisposition for international affairs and are genuinely interested in the work of the Society within the wider community. At a more basic level, it is integral for the NZCFS to attract new members, who often bring new and innovative ideas to the table. Hence, VILP provides a valuable membership tool to provide the Society with easier access to students, whilst simultaneously incentivising those globally-minded to get involved and expand their cultural horizons.
                                                                                                                                         Text by Sam Macintosh     

FUTURE SOCIETY TOURS TO CHINA The tours committee has recently completed its five year tours plan:

April 2018, Handicraft Tour: South Island VP Dave Adamson intends leading a craft group tour to China which will involve meeting with many ethnic communities, taking part in craft activities as well as sightseeing too of course.

Explore China series Draft programme
2018 September/October: The Centre – This allows us to visit areas of China that have been missed out of the last 5 years of the Explore China series. May include Nanjing, Henan (Kaifeng, Luoyang, Shaolin monastery); Anhui (Huangshan or similar mountain reserve); Chongqing-Hubei: three gorges; Hunan (Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang); Guizhou.
2019: The South East – (Fujian, Jiangxi, Zhejiang), possible inclusion of Taiwan, to be determined.
           Greater Tibet – a chance to get beyond the normal tourist route – could include Qinghai, and SE of Gansu on the Yellow River, or Sichuan, Chongqing and Yangtze River cruise.
2020: The North East, based on the 2014 tour.
2021: The South West, scope here to explore new areas, but include 2016 tour highlights.
2022: The North West or repeat the NW/Silk Road Tour earlier than 2022.     

For more details please contact [email protected].


Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Consul General Jin Zhijian, Political Counselor Qu Guangzhou, MP Poto Williams, NZCFS Patron Philip Burdon, National President Dave Bromwich and more than one hundred members and guests attended the conference.

NZCFS 2017 Conference Consul GeneralConsul General Jin spoke highly of the essential role of NZCFS in promoting the development of China-New Zealand friendly relations since the society was established 65 years ago. He also expressed the highest respect to those from all walks of life who have been engaging in pushing forward exchanges and cooperation between China and New Zealand. He noted that this year marks the 120th annivesary of the birth of Rewi Alley, the 90th anniversary of his arrival in China and the 30th anniversary of his passing. In this regard, the theme of the conference “Rewi Alley,  the spirit continues” will help people, especially the younger generations, to remember the outstanding contributions made by founders of the China-New Zealand friendship like Rewi Alley, inherit and carry forward their great spirits in the new era, and pass on the torch of friendship from generation to generation. He pointed out that China and New Zealand should work together to further deepen friendship and create a better future for the development of bilateral relations together.

NZCFS 2017 Conference Mayor Lianne DalzielMayor Dalziel in her opening address praised highly the efforts and contributions made by the pioneers of the bilateral friendship including Rewi Alley, and spoke positively of the remarkable outcomes achieved in the development of New Zealand-China relations. She said Christchurch was ready to further deepen exchanges and cooperation with China in various fields and strengthen understanding and friendship between the two peoples. She said Cantebury was deeply connected with Rewi Alley as the place where he was born and spent his early years. Christchurch will also hold a series of events with China to jointly commemorate Rewi Alley this year.

The following were elected to the National Executive:
President: Dave Bromwich
Vice President North Island Northern: George Andrews
Vice President Central: Luke Qin
Vice President South Island: Dave Adamson
Secretary: Simon Appleton
Treasurer: Chris Goodwin
Executive: Miao Fan (Hamilton), John Hodgson (Tauranga), Heiko Lade (Hawke’s Bay), Ken Liu (Auckland) and Deborah Rhode (Christchurch).                                                        

                                                       Based on report by Chinese Consulate General in Christchurch, photos by Luke Qin


Rewi Alley Tiki Tour
Nathalie standing fourth from right

On Sunday 21 May, following an engaging conference and AGM, delegates from the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (“CPAFFC”) and NZCFS members were treated to a tour of Canterbury to visit the places of Rewi Alley’s early childhood.  Luckily the past week’s stormy weather had passed and the sun was back out in full force.  The tour began with a drive towards the majestic (and now rather snowy) Alps which took us to Springfield.  Rewi Alley was born here and, even though he only spent the first six weeks of his life in the town, it boasts an impressive memorial site with information about Rewi Alley, his life, and legacy.  Springfield’s mayor met us at the memorial and spoke with Felix Hao of the CPAFFC about the creation of a Chinese path linking the memorial site to a local campground.  

The tour continued with a stop in Amberley where members of the District Council met with us at Amberley School’s Rewi Alley Hall.  Rewi’s father was Headmaster here from 1888 to 1905, though the school has since moved from its original location.  

The tour ended with a short drive around Amberley to the site of the Alley family house.  We saw the commemorative plaque in nearby Chamberlain Park which was laid by the Rewi Alley Centennial Committee in December 1997 and explored Amberley’s Heritage Walk.  This trail comprises about 20 stations over 200 metres and introduces visitors to the town’s interesting history, including, of course, to Rewi Alley. 

We are grateful to those from Christchurch who gave up their time to organise what was an informative and thoroughly enjoyable day – a great way to round out a weekend spent learning about Rewi Alley and his ongoing influence.


L-R: Professor Xiaoming Huang, Associate Professor Yang Liqiang (speaker) and Dr Jason Young

Thursday, the 18th of May, saw the fourth and final seminar of the Contemporary China Research Centre’s ‘Global China’ series. Victoria University hosted associate professor Yang Liqiang, from the Institute of International Economy (IIE) at the University of International Business and Economics in China. A visiting fellow of China’s FTA Strategies Institute, he is presently researching the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

The presentation Yang delivered explored the place of the agreement in the international community following U.S. withdrawal, and whether China might decide to embrace it instead.

Yang outlined three key roles which the TPP was intended to perform. The first was as a platform for rule-making. It updated old trade regulations to ones more effectively addressing present-day United States concerns, such as intellectual property. It also secured a continued institutional role for the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region more generally. Secondly, it served as a means to tap into foreign markets, redistributing trade priorities and transitioning China towards more of a consuming role. Finally, TPP was to restructure regional production, enticing multinational corporations to migrate to TPP-signatory regions and further diversify hubs for manufacturing.

The above illustrated a U.S.-centric trade community designed to give it greater purchase in the Asia-Pacific. However, with China fast-moving to distinguish itself within that same region, Yang next offered his take on the factors likely to affect whether China might choose to become involved with the TPP. To his eye, some rules would help China and its firms in the pursuit of going global. However, others would be more difficult to accept due to differences in the behaviour and values of certain sectors, such as telecoms and the service industry. A rising China certainly has an interest in involving itself in establishing rules and norms. This is especially true in the presence of a U.S.-sized institutional vacancy. Given China’s record of joining other IGOs to institutionalize its power, this could be a logical next step.

In any case, Yang’s answer to a question on parallels with China’s involvement in Africa recognised both scenarios as symbolising the emergence of a different, Chinese style of globalisation, contrasting that of the United States. With little change appearing to have been made to the agreement so far in the course of trying to salvage it, New Zealand remains in a position of having to wait and see.                                                                                                                                                              Text by James Hurley, Picture by Jason Young


Please remember that 2017 membership subscriptions renewals are now due. Please renew if you have not already done so – download form here


Mandarin Corner, Wellington, NZMandarin Corner takes place every Saturday (except during school holidays) from 3.15 to 5pm at 24 Kelburn Parade. It is run by the Confucius Institute VUW in partnership with NZCFS  to provide a friendly, relaxed setting where students learning Chinese can meet with native speakers for conversation and cultural activities. Open to all levels, beginner to advanced, and attendance is free. For more information contact Xueqing Cheng at [email protected]. 


Whitireia 3rd year Contemporary Jewellery Design student, Beijing girl Amy Wang invites you to her first solo show. The artworks are based on drawings by children from Eagle Art Studio. All works will be sold by way of Koha (simply make a donation of what you think the artwork is worth) and all proceeds will be donated to SAVE THE CHILDREN. Free entry. Potocki Paterson Art Gallery, Level 1, upstairs 41/47 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington.


 “The Mooncake and the Kumara” is a play written by Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen. It was produced at the Auckland Arts Festival in 2015, and then went on to tour the country.  It’s now coming to the Hannah Playhouse Wellington.

The play re-imagines the relationship between the playwright’s Maori grandmother and Chinese grandfather, and a romance they had on a market garden in Manawatu. It’s set in 1929, and focuses on a period of NZ/Chinese history that has not often been represented on stage. It’s told in a mixture of Cantonese, Maori and English and is layered with fable and storytelling from Maori and Chinese cultures.

For further information on the play, you can visit the Facebook page here, or to purchase tickets for the Hannah Playhouse performances, click here.  


The Hutt City Salvation Army is holding a Chinese Banquet and Fashion show to raise funds for their Chinese activities (social activities and an English class). Dress code tidy, age 13 years and over. Tickets are available for purchase until 30th June at Hutt City Corps office, on the corner of Cornwall Street & Kings Crescent, Lower Hutt. You can also call 04-570 0273 for tickets or more information. Please note, tickets need to be purchased before the event, no tickets will be available for sale on the night.


From 29 July to 26 August 2017, AFS Intercultural Programmes are welcoming twenty teachers from China.  One of these will be hosted at Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Thorndon, and the Principal Bernadette Murfitt is looking for a host family. They can offer a family $100 per week as a contribution. For more information, see these videos Welcoming a Teacher to your School and Welcome to the Family or contact either Prue Elwood at  [email protected] or Joanna Holm [email protected] (Bernadette is quite happy for the family to select which of the twenty teachers they would like to host).

The full PDF version of this newsletter is available at Wellington Branch June 2017 Newsletter.

NZCFS Wellington Branch – celebrating 60 years of promoting friendship,
understanding and goodwill between the peoples of New Zealand and China