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NZCFS Wellington Branch September 2014 Newsletter


Next Branch Meeting

Wednesday, 17 September 2014, at 5.45pm

Cr Jo CoughlanCr Jo Coughlan will speak on A perspective on building relationships with China

Jo Coughlan has a long and successful career in government and public relations and strategic communications. For the last five years she has been a Director of Silvereye Communications and has worked with an extensive range of public and private sector clients and industry organisations both in New Zealand and globally.

Jo is in her third term as a Wellington City Councillor, having been originally elected in October 2007. She is Chair of the Economic Growth and Arts Committee and served for six years on the board of Positively Wellington Tourism. Jo chairs the Wellington City Life Education Trust and is Deputy Chairperson of Life Education Trust New Zealand.

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

map of Connolly Hall
Connolly Hall

(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 $12.00 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.


The final dates for the monthly meetings at Connolly Hall are 15 October and 19 November.


Mandarin Corner                 3.15pm – 4.30pm on Saturdays during school terms  

15 August-31 October          Art exhibitions by the Confucius Institute of Art Collection, Level 3, Main Library, Kelburn Campus, Victoria University of Wellington

12-30 September                  Wisdom of Confucius Exhibition, St James Gallery

25 September, 7.15pm       Chinese Film: Snowfall in Taipei, Committee Room 1, WCC, 101 Wakefield Street.

26-27 September, 7pm       Flower Drum Opera Spectacular, Wellington Opera House

28 September, 6.30pm        China National Day Dinner, Grand Century Restaurant, 84 Tory St1 October                       Asia NZ Foundation Short Story Competition deadline

NEW MEMBERS – The NZCFS Wellington Branch welcomes Hanneke van Oeveren and Tony Fiddis as new members to the organisation.

REPORT FROM LAST MEETING (from Kirk McDowall)Nathan Li, Educa

On the 20th August 2014, the Wellington branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society (NZCFS) welcomed Nathan Li, the CEO and Founder of Educa www.educa.co.nz, to give a presentation. Educa is a web-based portfolio of a child’s growth and development at an early childhood centre. It allows parents and early childhood teachers to share a child’s journey and gain valuable feedback. The system can be used by parents, grandparents, teachers and the students themselves, and involves sharing the school related activities, reports, videos and images to each other, even to those living overseas. Educa is based in Wellington and currently has over 400 sites in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and China.

Nathan Li began his presentation by talking about his life experiences, which influenced his decision to start his own business. He was born in Harbin in Northeast China and when he was five years old he moved to the countryside to live with his grandparents. This is a common trend in China culture, and created a strong connect with his extended family. However, moving to pursue a tertiary education came with a newly experienced independence and freedom. As a result, Nathan decided to move to New Zealand to continue his study, and graduated from a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 2003. During his time at university he saw learning English a key goal, because of the barrier and communication issues that can be created between natives and foreigners in a country. Following his degree, he spent time working in the IT industry and started a family in New Zealand. However, over time he felt like he wanted to have a go at doing something more with his life.

As a result of his strong connection with his extended family and his experience living away from them, in addition to his daughter starting pre-school, Nathan decided to start a business doing something he saw as important to himself, being closer to his family. Since Educa’s inception, it has grown across New Zealand and internationally, and has the potential to continue to expand globally.

As a result of his experiences and work on Educa, Nathan highlighted three key themes that played an important role in setting up any business: Success, struggle and secret. In order to be successful, you do need to work hard. Having the ability to continue to work and challenge yourself, especially in the beginning, can lead to greater success in the long term, and a person’s persistence does pay off. In addition, by focusing on an area that you are passionate about, that uses your strengths, knowledge and even personality, can give you greater motivation and make your work more worthwhile.

A key struggle Nathan revealed was a realisation that he couldn’t do everything by himself; he didn’t know everything and did need some help. Only by recognising your own or your business’s limitations, and ways to fix this, can you continue to grow. In addition, by finding help, the company is able to become more diverse and employ more specialist skills, which further fuels growth. And finally the secret. We often hear about the success stories of small businesses, but we don’t learn about how that success occurred. In reality it was due to an incredible amount of hard work and persistence, and often this is overseen. Rather than this being discouraging, it means that hard work does pay off and success does happen. By talking about your ideas and suggestions long enough with enough people, it can lead to greater opportunities and assistance to help create something you are passionate about, into reality.

If you would like to learn more about Nathan Li and Educa, please find their website at: www.educa.co.nz


The NZCFS Wellington Branch would like to officially welcome Luke Qin as the Wellington Branch Treasurer and thank him for filling this role


Please be reminded that 2014 membership subscription renewals are well past due. Please renew if you have not already done so.


NZCFS Wellington branch is once again combining with other Wellington Chinese organisations in arranging the

China National Day dinner. This will be held at the Grand Century Restaurant, 84 Tory St. Cost is $32 per person including wine and juice. Payment is by cash on the night.

Seats are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. If you are interested in attending please email [email protected] by Tuesday, 16 September.

NZCFS Song and Poem NightNZCFS Song and Poem night

On Friday 29 August the NZCFS Youth Group hosted a Song and Poem Night. This involved a number of participants giving performances and speeches related to English or Chinese music. Approximately fifteen people attended and over half gave a performance. We thank those who could attend and hope to organise another event in September.

NZCFS Youth Website

Remember to check the NZCFS Youth Website, which is available at www.nzcfsyouth.org. The site contains articles from members of the NZCFS, showing their experiences from New Zealand and China, as well as information and events. This site will be running in conjunction with the main NZCFS website. If you would like to add an article to the website, feel free to contact Faye or Kirk ([email protected]). Make sure to check out the Facebook page as well, www.facebook.com/NZCFSWellington, to learn more about this group.

CHINESE FILM 中国电影– Thursday 25 September 2014, 7.15pmSnowfall in Taipeh chinese movie

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

台北飘雪 Snowfall in Taipei

Director: 霍建起 Huo Jianqi Cast: 陈柏霖Bolin Chen,童瑶 Yao Tong

May, a top singer from mainland China, suddenly lost her voice and had conflicts with her producer and secret lover. In anger she came to the old town of Jington where she met Xiao Mo, a warmhearted man. Xiao Mo helped May to find a dwelling place, and introduced her to work. May found happiness and consolation from Xiao Mo and the old streets of the small town. Along with the sudden appearance of Jack, a muckraking journalist, the situation began to develop towards the uncontrolled direction…

MANDARIN CORNER 汉语角 3.15-4.30pm on Saturdays during school terms  

Seminar Room, 20 Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington.Mandarin Corner_speech bubbles_v3

The Confucius Institute has available a team of Mandarin Language Assistants and other resources which will greatly benefit Mandarin Corner. NZCFS Wellington and NZ Chinese Language Association Wellington are partners. 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. To find out more, please do not hesitate to contact Cici(孔璟瑗[email protected]欢迎大家!Bonus: Snacks and drinks are provided.Please note the school holidays are from Friday 26 September until Monday 13 October 2014.

WISDOM OF CONFUCIUS EXHIBITION, 12-30 September at St James Gallery

Wisdom of Confucius exhibitionIn association with the Ministry of Culture, P.R.C Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Charitable Trust, St James Gallery and Cultural Department of Shandong Province present the Wisdom of Confucius exhibition.

Confucius, China’s greatest philosopher, educator and thinker, was born some 2,500 years ago in the city of Qufu, Shandong. The thinking of Confucius (551-479 BC), or Confucianism, became the cornerstone of traditional Chinese society and endures today. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) it was the official state ideology.

Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correct social relationships and forms, justice and sincerity. Virtuous actions and personal cultivation were essential. Confucius was practical, not spiritual. His teachings, which emphasized human education and improvement, contrasted with the legalist tradition of many rulers.

At the Wisdom of Confucius Exhibition, his important and fascinating story and teachings are displayed through photographs and texts. Understand why this Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure is reserved in history, through unique actual experiences, at the exhibition.

SPRING POETRY EVENING – Wednesday, 1 October, 6-7.30pmNZCFS Spring Poetry evening

Celebrate spring with an evening of seasonally inspired poetry read in both Chinese and English. Come and listen to poets Madeleine Slavick and Rhondda Greig reading and sharing their thoughts of spring; Diana Bridge’s fine selection of translations of classical Chinese poetry and her own work; Luo Hui rounding out with bilingual readings and a few prose pieces. The much-loved modern classics of Xu Zhimo and Gu Cheng will be juxtaposed with spring scenes from Tang dynasty Chang’an to the Wairarapa.

This Chinese themed poetry reading is jointly organised by the Wellington City Library and the Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington.

Open-mic available upon request.

Flower Drum Opera SpectacularFLOWER DRUM OPERA SPECTACULAR: Friday 26 and Saturday 27 September

Welcome to the new-minted “FLOWER DRUM OPERA SPECTACULAR”, a runaway hit in Wellington that will soon feature in the Opera House. It is a truly dazzling spectacle, a new kind of musical theatre revisionism combining unbelievable feats of kung fu artistry with flower drum dance and acrobatics set to an electrifying musical score —and, perhaps, a harbinger of things to come.

As part of New Zealand Chinese Language Week (NZCLW) to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the National Day of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese Heritage Protections Centre of Hunan Flower Drum Opera has energy scouring the past for potential retread hits. It will guarantee to take the audience on an exciting journey through the incredible world of ancient martial art and culture in a whole new fashion.

Tickets on sale now at Ticketek

DMV Media Ltd offer 10% discount if booked through their office, L3, 276 Lambton Quay (adult tickets only). Contact Naomi Li: email [email protected]


The Confucius Institute and Victoria University of Wellington proudly present a new art space held on Level 3 of the Main Library in the Kelburn Campus at Victoria University. It is dedicated to showcasing visual art by contemporary artists in and outside China who respond creatively to Chinese culture, history and society. The current series of exhibitions features two mixed-media artists who create photo-based works that pay homage to traditional ink-wash painting.Dynasty exhibition by Han Xu

Han Xu captures the motifs and icons of power in the ancient Chinese capital, Beijing, where he grew up. He photographed the city over a period of five years (1995-2000), when he felt the rapid rise of economic power in China was beginning to overshadow its land and history.Zoo exhibition from Wong Hung-fei

Wong Hung-fei‘s Zoo is based on a series of snap shots taken in a zoo in Qingdao, China. After applying some brushstrokes with toners on their surfaces, these ordinary scenes become brimming with life – the surreal landscapes that the Hong Kong-based artist shows great expertise in creating.


Asia NZ logoThe Asia New Zealand Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion, they’re joining up with Air New Zealand to invite you to test your writing skills in their short story competition. You’ll be in to win return flights and accommodation for two to an Air New Zealand destination of your choice in Asia – Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo or Bali.

All you have to do is write a short story of up to 800 words that focuses on a connection between New Zealand and Asia. The nature of that connection is up to you. It could be personal, business, imaginary, cultural, historical – the sky is the limit. Entry deadline: 1 October.

More details can be found at: asianz.org.nz/about-us/20th-anniversary/short-story-competition


  • Garden and Missionary Tour 2015 late April-May: Shanghai/Suzhou, Sichuan, Beijing, with a range of different garden styles from the three locations, including classic gardens, public parks, and pandas.
  • Explore China – The North Central Region 2015 late July–August: This tour will focus on Inner Mongolia, and central North China to the south of this vast province. It will aim to be there in time for the range of cultural festivals of the Mongolian people.
  • Photographers Tour 2015 September 5-27: it will visit the west, in Sichuan, Tibet and Yunnan provinces, and travel at a photographers pace with plenty of time to capture the diverse landscapes, people and exotic cultures.

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