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NZCFS Wellington Branch March 2015 Newsletter


Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, 18 March 2015, at 5.45pm

followed by

Pat English

speaking on

A view of China From a Recovering Resident

Pat EnglishPatrick English has been involved with China since 1989, and is currently the Executive Director for the New Zealand China Council: The New Zealand China Council was established in 2012 and forms part of the NZ Inc China Strategy, launched by the Prime Minister in February 2012. The NZ China Council is intended to support a key goal of the Strategy; to retain and build a strong and resilient relationship with China. Patrick worked for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for more than 17 years and over this time spent more than 12 years living and working in China.

Patrick is an experienced Trade Commissioner and diplomat having served in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as Malaysia. Patrick has a BA in International Relations and Chinese, and a Masters in International Management and Chinese from the University of Waikato. For 3 years prior to his posting to Guangzhou as Consul General and Trade Commissioner, he was part of the New Zealand China FTA negotiations team and led the market implementation programme for the New Zealand China FTA agreement. Patrick is also on the Advisory Boards of the Auckland Confucius Institute, New Zealand China Language Week and the University of Waikato School of Management and is an Honorary Associate of the University of Waikato.

map of Connolly Hall
Connolly Hall

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

(Car park up Guildford Tce beside Hall)

An optional Chinese buffet meal, supplied by the Fujiyama Café, will follow the meeting at 7 pm. 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.


Saturday afternoon          Mandarin Corner at 3.15pm – 4.30pm

Until 30 June                          RED Exhibition by Madeleine Slavick, Level 3, Main Library, Kelburn.

7 March                          Shaolin Monks NZ Tour, Michael Fowler Centre, 111 Wakefield Street, Wellington.

8 March                          Applications close for the NZCFS-AIESEC China Exchange

26 March                         The Lotus Lantern, Committee Room 1, Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street

NEW MEMBERS A warm welcome to Peter Anderson, Eleanor Laban, Mark Russell and Vera Xu.

MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS for 2015 are now due. Please renew using the attached form.


The Branch AGM will be held on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 at 5.45pm at Connolly Hall. Nominations are invited for President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and seven Committee members. Members are encouraged to stand for one of the elected positions. Nominations should be made on the nomination forms and sent to the Secretary.  Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the meeting. 

Current officers and committee members who are prepared to serve for another year are:

President: Michael Powles, Vice President: Christine Strickland, Treasurer: Luke Qin, Secretary: Graham Gibbs, Committee Members: Bing Fon (Life Member), Rosemary Jones, and Kirk McDowall.

Bernie Richmond, Ray Brownrigg, Annette Meates and Faye Zhang are stepping down. There are now four vacancies and we need your help. Please seriously consider putting your name forward.

The Agenda, President’s Report and Financial Statements will be emailed to members before the meeting.

CHINESE NEW YEAR BANQUET (from Kirk McDowall)Year of the sheep/goat

The New Zealand China Friendship Society Wellington Branch wishes all members a Happy Chinese New Year! In order to celebrate this occasion, the Branch hosted its annual Chinese New Year Banquet on 17 February 2015 at the Dragons Chinese Restaurant. The night started with an introduction from Branch President Michael Powles welcoming Patron Hon Philip Burdon, Ambassador Wang Lutong and his wife Mme Yang Pengbo, Councillor Jo Coughlan, National President Dave Bromwich, and members and guests to the banquet. Guests included members from Asia NZ Foundation, Confucius Institute, NZ Contemporary China Research Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Te Papa, Wellington Chinese Association, Wellington Xiamen Association and Wellington New Chinese Friendship Association.

Ambassador Wang LutongNext, Ambassador Wang spoke of his hopes for the New Year, and continuing to strengthen the relationship between China and New Zealand. He spoke of the success of President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand in 2014, and the additional benefits for both countries as a result of this visit. In 2015 he hopes to invite the previous Chinese Ambassadors to New Zealand back to this country, as their contribution to the China New Zealand friendship has been invaluable.

Hon Philip Burdon, a former Member of Parliament, also addressed the Society. He also spoke of the growing significance of China and the unique relationship we share. He also mentioned the importance of the ties formed between local people through work with communities and organisations, which can contribute greatly to the overall relationship and views between the two countries. Following Philip’s speech, Dave Bromwich spoke to the Society. Specifically he thanked Bernie and Elaine Richmond for their contribution to the NZCFS, and to the work of the Wellington Branch members. Again he highlighted the growing importance of Chinese-New Zealand organisations in strengthening the ties of the two countries. Michael Powles concluded the speeches by thanking everyone for attending.banquet geusts

During the banquet, the Branch also hosted the traditional annual Chinese Quiz. The quiz was based on questions about China and New Zealand, and included topics such as history, culture, geography and sports. The top three teams were awarded gifts donated by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. The winning team, which got nearly 80%, was from the Confucius Institute and the NZ Contemporary Banquet guestsChina Research Centre. Congratulations! In addition, we also held a raffle where a number of gifts from the Embassy and Society were given out. The Wellington Branch thanks all those who could attend the event, as well as the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the Dragons Chinese Restaurant. We hope you had an enjoyable time and Happy Chinese New Year!

More photos from the banquet appear at the end of this newsletter, thanks to Rosemary Jones.


The dates Connolly Hall has been booked for monthly meetings this year are April 15, May 20, June 17, July 19 (Sunday), August 19, September 16, October 21 and November 18. This year’s June meeting has been changed to a Wednesday because the hall is not available on Sunday.


The NZCFS Wellington Branch was fortunate enough to receive funding for the New Zealand China Exchange project through the Simon Deng Fund last year. This project focuses on funding suitable university students from New Zealand, to be involved in volunteering projects for six plus weeks in China. In order to achieve this goal, NZCFS has partnered with AIESEC New Zealand (www.aiesec.org.nz ) and recently launched the first marketing campaign. AIESEC is the world’s largest student run organisation that promotes paid and volunteer international internships for university students.

AIESEC are you readyThe project means that ten suitable students in New Zealand will receive funding to help cover their expenses in their exchange to China throughout the year. Anyone wishing to apply for an exchange and funding is asked to make a video or write a covering letter explaining why you want to be part of a volunteer project in China. Plus send this, plus your CV, to [email protected] . Please make sure to check if you are eligible for an AIESEC exchange by visiting http://www.aiesec.org.nz/global_citizen . Members of NZCFS, as well as the public, can apply for this fund. Applications for this fund will close 8 March 2015, so make sure to be in quick.

Once applications have closed, the successful candidates will be notified. Please note, a second campaign for this project will be launched later in the year. For more details, please visit http://www.aiesec.org.nz/china-competition/ , and if you have any questions, feel free to email Kirk McDowall (NZCFS Project Liaison) at [email protected]. Looking forward to seeing your applications!

CHINESE FILM 中国电影 – Thursday 26 March 2015, 7.15pmMovie Lotus Lantern

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

The Lotus Lantern [85 minutes]

Director: 常光希Guangxi Chang

This is a modern Colour Animation Film adapted from an ancient Chinese legend. The heavenly goddess Sanshengmu descended to earth with Lotus Lantern, married the scholar Liu Yanchang. Since their marriage was forbidden, Sanshengmu’s brother Erlang Shen, who was also a god, punishes them by killing Liu Yanchang. Sanshengmu escapes and gives birth to a boy Chenxiang. Chenxiang grows up without knowledge of his ancestry. Sanshengmu’s magical Lotus Lantern whose light can scare away evil. When Erlang Shen, a strict and powerful god, kidnaps Chenxiang, Sanshengmu fights to save him.


Mandarin Language AssistantsVictoria University’s engagement with schools in Wellington and the lower North Island has resulted in 38 Chinese graduates joining the Victoria University Confucius Institute’s Mandarin Language Assistant programme this year. 

The Mandarin Language Assistants completed an orientation programme at Victoria last month and were welcomed at Parliament by Education Minister Hekia Parata, who expressed her strong support of the initiative. The teaching assistants will spend the next ten months working in 84 schools in the region in support of Chinese language teaching. 

“The Confucius Institute’s Mandarin Language Assistant programme is popular and immensely successful with schools in our region,” says Confucius Institute Director, Wen Powles. “It has substantially boosted the number of Kiwi students learning Chinese in both primary and secondary schools, and bodes well for Chinese studies at tertiary level.”

MANDARIN CORNER 汉语角 Saturdays 3.15-4.30pmMandarin Corner, Wellington, NZ

Seminar Room, 20 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington.

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].

2015 SHAOLIN MONKS NZ TOUR Saturday, 7 March at 7pmShaolin Monks 2015 Tour

The Shaolin Monastery is the most famous temple in China, renowned for its kungfu fighting monks, who display amazing feats of strength, flexibility, and pain-endurance. The Shaolin monks have created a world-wide reputation as the ultimate Buddhist warriors, so this is a truly special opportunity for you to experience one of the best cultural performances in the world. The Monks performance is extraordinary! The Monks are from a quite ancient magical tradition, an ancient Buddhist Temple that is still active in China. You will be amazed! Where: Michael Fowler Centre, 111 Wakefield Street, Wellington.
Ticket information: Adult: $35. Buy tickets – 0800 842538/ 04 4998423.

RED EXHIBITION by Madeleine Slavick – The Red exhibition by Madeleine Slavick runs from 26 February to 30 June on Level 3 in the main library. A collaboration between the VUW Library and the Confucius Institute, this art space showcases contemporary works that respond creatively to Chinese culture, history and society.Red Exhibition

Red is the quintessential Chinese colour – double happiness, the national flag, Chinese New Year, Dream of the Red Chamber. But red is not just one colour – there are as many shades of red as there are ways of looking at them. Madeleine Slavick has lived on the outskirts of China for twenty-five years. She has on occasion ventured inland and brought back photographic memories, many tinged with reds: a shop window in Yunnan, a courtyard in Beijing, worn carpets at a hotel in Xinjiang. In this exhibition, a suite of eight photographs, entitled RED, is juxtaposed with one of Madeleine’s poems, also entitled ‘red’.


Planning is in progress by the Nelson branch which is hosting next year’s Conference the weekend of May 22-24. The theme chosen is “有办法 YO BANFA: There is a way!” based on the title of a book from Rewi Alley. Branches and Committees will be asked to make presentations, should they wish, on how they are finding ‘a way’ to convert NZCFS goals into action. The venue will be at the Muritai Centre at Tahunanui School. More details are in the Invitation and Draft Programme. Register early for just $100 using the Registration Form, and you can check the accommodation possibilities and map here

UPCOMING NZCFS TOURS:                                     

Chinese Gardens Tour, 25 April – 13 May 2015A Chinese Garden

This Tour will visit 3 main areas: Shanghai – Suzhou; Sichuan – Chengdu and environs; and Beijing. Led by Chinese Garden expert Di Madgin, and her husband Professor Bill Willmott who has personal experience and family history from his upbringing in Sichuan as the son of Canadian Missionaries. 

NZCFS Mongolia and North Central China Tour, July 9 – 30 2015:

NZCFS TourThis tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the Mongolian heritage in North China. It will aim to be there in time for the range of cultural festivals of the Mongolian people. The tour will also spend time visiting other sites in Shanxi and Hebei, including visits to areas where New Zealand missionary nurse Kathleen Hall was active in the 1940s.

Photographers Tour 2015, September 4-25:Panda, China

Visit destinations specially selected for amazing photographic opportunities in different environments ranging from Huanglong & Jiuzhaigou UNESCO parks with waterfalls, multi coloured lakes, and minority villages to modern cityscapes and peaceful landscapes to the bustle of daily life. Tour visits Sichuan landscapes and pandas, Tibetan culture and train trip, Scenic Dongchuan Red Land and Chengdu cityscape.

For more information on all tours see https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/news/tours-to-china/ or email [email protected].


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