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NZCFS Wellington Branch March 2017 Newsletter


Next Branch Meeting

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 at 5:45pm

Annual General Meeting

followed by Sand Painting with Sheryl Ma (马亚琼Ma Yaqiong)

We are in for a special treat at the March branch meeting. Sand painting is the art of pouring sand on the surface to create the fantastic effect of light and shadow. It is a form of performance art that tells a story through drawing a series of images with sand.

Sheryl was born in 1990, in Hunan, China. After studying art for seven years, she was awarded a Bachelor Degree. She is also a graduate of Massey University, where she studied Spatial Design.

Sheryl has been giving performances in sand painting since 2015. She has performed at parties, business events, Massey University and Wellington Library and on Beijing TV.

If you are interested in an unique aspect of Chinese culture given by a fantastic performer, and would like the opportunity to try it yourself, make sure you are at the March branch meeting.

map of Connolly HallAn 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. 

Connolly Hall
Guildford Terrace, off Hill Street, Thorndon, Wellington
(car park up Guildford Terrace beside Connolly Hall)

(A full PDF of this newsletter is here)


On 15 January 2017, the New Zealand China Friendship Society Wellington Branch hosted its annual Chinese New Year Banquetat the Grand Century Chinese Restaurant. Over 100 people attended the event. The Branch welcomed the Chinese Embassy’s Political Counselor, Qu Guangzhou; NZCFS Patron Hon Philip Burdon; National President Dave Bromwich, National Vice President Luke Qin JP; Branch President Michael Powles; Victoria University Confucius Institute Chairman Tony Browne; Dr Jian Yang MP; officials from New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; members of the Wellington Branch and local Chinese and Kiwi communities.

The night started with an introduction from branch president Michael Powles, welcoming all the guests and wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year for the coming Year of the Rooster!  Counselor Qu Guangzhou, on behalf of Ambassador Wang Lutong and the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, expressed his gratitude towards the NZCFS for organising the banquet and the society’s efforts in the promotion of exchanges and co-operation between the two peoples. During the banquet, Mr Burdon and Mr Bromwich spoke highly of the friendship between the two peoples and the development of bilateral relations.

Always the favourite of the banquet program, the Branch 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. Winning teams were awarded gifts donated by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. In addition, we also held a raffle where a number of gifts from the Embassy and the Society were given out.

The Wellington Branch thanks all those who attended the event, as well as the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the Grand Century Chinese Restaurant. We hope you had an enjoyable time and Happy Chinese New Year!                             Text Vera Xu, images from http://www.chinaembassy.org.nz/eng/zxgx/whjw/t1432738.htm 


The NZCFS Wellington Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 at 5.45pm at Connolly Hall. The AGM agenda will be emailed to members closer to the time. Members are encouraged to stand for one of the elected positions. All members should have now received copies of the nomination forms by email, along with the minutes of last year’s AGM (if not, please contact the secretary). Nominations should be made on the nomination forms and sent to the Secretary prior to the meeting, but they will also be accepted from the floor at the meeting.


Connolly Hall has been booked for the following meetings in 2017: Wednesday 15 March (AGM), Wednesday 19 April, Wednesday 17 May, Wednesday 21 June, Wednesday 19 July, Wednesday 16 August, Wednesday 20 September, Wednesday 18 October and Wednesday 15 November (last meeting of 2017).


NZCFS extends a warm welcome to Liu Luechang, Lynette Shum, Terry Jianhui Zhang and Shawn Manders and Haiying Wang. We hope to see you all at our future meetings.


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


Congratulations to Luke Qin on his selection as one of the six delegates to visit China, hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.  The visit will coincide with the Rewi Alley celebrations in Beijing. The delegation will travel to Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai.  The other delegates are from Christchurch, Hamilton and Nelson.


Past and Modern Wonders: NZCFS Engineering Delegation to China June/July 2017
Image of the Three Gorges Dam: The world’s largest hydroelectric power station

This is an exciting opportunity to take part in a ten day study tour in China in June/July 2017 focusing on forging better understanding and relationship between the New Zealand and Chinese engineering sectors. The group will visit Beijing, Hubei/Hunan and Shanghai, meet with peer professionals and high level industry representatives, and draw parallels to the engineering history and development of New Zealand. 

In addition to the China based study trip, the programme will include pre-trip workshops, briefing, and post-trip fellowships (identifying projects that can be brought back to New Zealand to further investigate/implement). 

Delegates are expected to contribute towards the study trip’s programme development, with support from NZCFS Wellington Branch which has been granted funding from the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) Fund, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. 

We have received more than 70 applications from around New Zealand since advertising this opportunity on the NZCFS National website in January and via various networks and partners. 

Successful applicants will be announced soon.


Six young New Zealanders will be selected to spend 12 days in China in July 2017 to promote awareness of Rewi Alley, through opportunity to visit sites of ongoing importance in his living legacy in China, and engage with Chinese peers to explore their thoughts and ambitions. 

Criteria for selection includes:

  • Age under 30 (flexible).
  • Competency in participating in a cultural performance(s), either as an individual, or as part of a group (in your engagements, informal performances are well received).
  • Present a good reason to participate, and display some understanding of Rewi Alley past and present.
  • On return, contribution to compiling a report of impressions of the delegates, and presentations in New Zealand by the delegates.

For enquiry, and to submit applications, please contact Branch Secretary Graham Gibbs by March 25, email:  [email protected]


This year, our conference will be held in Christchurch, May 19 to 21. The theme is “Rewi Alley: the Spirit Continues”.  Please mark your diary if you would like to attend.  More information will be supplied soon.


Mandarin corner in WellingtonMandarin Corner was established in 1995 by NZCFS as a weekly event where students learning Chinese can meet with native speakers for conversation and cultural activities in a friendly, relaxed setting. It is now run in partnership with the Confucius Institute at VUW with the help of the Mandarin Language Assistants.

Open to all levels, beginner to advanced, and attendance is free. Saturdays 3.15-5pm (except during school holidays), Room 103, 24 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington. For more information contact Xueqing Cheng at [email protected]

NEW Mandarin Language Assistants Arrive

On February 1st, the Confucius Institute at Victoria University celebrated the arrival of the 2017 group of Mandarin Language Assistants (MLAs). As covered in the NZCFS October newsletter, the MLA’s are an important part of the institute’s goals, supporting the teaching of Mandarin and promoting other aspects of Chinese culture in NZ schools.

The new group of 57 was warmly welcomed onto the university’s Te Herenga Waka Marae, then after orientation and training, travelled to the schools they had been assigned to. All arrived in time to enjoy Waitangi Day before starting their Chinese teaching support duties, and the Wellington based MLA’s also took part in the Confucius Institute’s Chinese New Year festivities on the Wellington waterfront on Sunday 12 February. The Confucius Institute’s theme this year was Chinese music, particularly the three famous stringed instruments – the guzheng (古箏), erhu (二胡) and pipa (琵琶).

NZCFS would like to extend a warm welcome to the new MLA’s and hopes that their time in New Zealand is both happy and memorable.

For more text and images on the MLA arrival from the Confucius Institute web-site, click here

And Finally…

As you may be aware, Kirk McDowall left last month to study Mandarin in Xiamen, China and is now (hopefully) happily ensconced in the Middle Kingdom. Kirk has not only been a member of the NZCFS for some years, he has also served as a committee member in multiple roles, including Newsletter Editor, Treasurer and Leader of Youth projects. We wish him well in his future, and hope to see him again at the NZCFS when he returns to New Zealand.

    Picture: Farewelling Kirk (second from r) at Little Penang