Home Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) Fund

Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) Fund

Rewi Alley

One of China’s most senior politicians announced in May, 2012, a one million RMB (NZ$200,000) contribution from China to promote educational, cultural and arts exchanges between China and New Zealand. This is to be made available over a five year period.

Mr Liao Hui, President of the China-Oceania Friendship Association, told the 60th Anniversary Conference of the New Zealand China Friendship Society in Auckland that the contribution would be initial capital for the Fund, which would be set up jointly by the New Zealand China Friendship Society and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC, aka Youxie).

The fund is known as the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund [RAFE fund].

Mr Liao Hui, who is also Vice Chairman of the influential Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC),  said that New Zealand writer and activitist Rewi Alley who lived in China from 1927 to his death in 1987, had not only devoted himself to China’s reforms but had also contributed much to friendship between China and New Zealand. The fund “will inherit and develop the spirit of Mr Alley and continue the great cause he started”.

NZCFS  then-President Eric Livingstone said the $200,000 contribution was “the best 60th birthday present” the Society could have hoped for.

In September 2012 at a banquet in Beijing hosted by the China People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, a Memorandum of Understanding between NZCFS, China Oceania Friendship Association and China Foundation for Peace and Development was formally signed by Dave Bromwich for NZCFS, Zhang Heqiang for CPAFFC, and a representative of China Foundation for Peace and Development.  Madame Li Xiaolin and Li Jianping spoke for CPAFFC, and Dave Bromwich replied on behalf of NZCFS.

Eligibility for the RAFE fund

Applications were invited from executive members and/or branches of NZCFS for funding by the RAFE Fund.

The following give either the status of ongoing projects  or completed projects that have been supported:


Projects receiving RAFE funding in 2016

Status of ongoing RAFE funded projects, 2016


Projects funded by the RAFE Fund in 2015

Young Ambassadors from Western Heights High School, Rotorua, report on their project visit to Nanchang


Nelson’s very successful Art Exchange Project

‘Barock’ School Choir takes part in Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, May 2015


The 200,000 RMB received for 2013 projects converted into $NZ38,400. Four projects were approved and funded.  

  • Cooperation for Co-operative Development: Case studies and lessons learned from international support for Chinese cooperative development
    This project supported the research, writing and publication of a book describing how activities supported by the NZCFS and other New Zealand and international sources have contributed to the development of cooperatives in China, and how this support has impacted on rural social and economic development through the cooperatives. The book explores best practise and uses case studies of cooperatives in the Zhangye area of Gansu and the Baoji area of Shaanxi where the Gungho movement began and NZCFS and other international supporters have worked.
    New Book on NZCFS-assisted Co-ops in China – Intro and Part 1
    Part 2 (Case Studies)
    Part3 (Conclusions & Appendices)
  • Rewi Alley Scholarship Exchange, Lanzhou City University
    This project involved an exchange of a student or a teacher from each of Lanzhou City University and Canterbury University, or the Christchurch Polytechnic, for at least a semester to enhance their language studies, further study Rewi Alley’s legacy in each city and create a stronger link between NZCFS and Lanzhou City University. 
    Chinese exchange student completes English Cert and Rewi Alley study in Christchurch.


The 200,000 RMB received for 2012 projects converted into approximately $NZ38,000.
The four 2012 projects were all funded by mid-November 2012 and, as of April 2014, are in various stages of completion:

  • New Zealand China Youth Exchange
    This project funded a youth intern Charles Rowe to do research for a paper titled “The Case of Maori Business Projects and Shanghai Pengxin: a potential turn around for New Zealanders’ perceptions of Chinese investment and iwi-based land ownership?”  This paper is awaiting publication.  Money approved: $5000.
    As a consequence of this project, Charles Rowe is undertaking a Masters degree at Beijing University in International relations, and has become very proactive in promoting youth relationships between NZ and China through the NZ Liaison Centre at Beijing University. A further three NZ youth interns have had their individual projects selected and funded through the complementary Simon Deng Li fund.
  • Training Young People in Cooperatives at Shandan Bailie School Co-operative Training Centre
    This project has delivered practical training in relevant skills and knowledge for 20 young people from rural cooperatives in Zhangye district of Gansu, enabling them to contribute to the development of their cooperatives and their communities.  The budget approved for this project ($21,500, which includes $17,000 from RAFE fund, and $4500 contribution from NZCFS Projects Account) included a contribution of $4,500 from NZCFS.  It is now anticipated that the project concept will be further extended in other areas with funding assistance from a Shaanxi benefactor.
  • Publication of Rewi Alley papers.
    Dov Bing, Professor in the Department of Political Science & Public Policy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato, has papers written about Rewi Alley in 1973 by Professor James Bertram, H. Courtney Archer, Lewis Smythe, Ida Pruit, Professor Ralph Lapwood, Helen Foster Snow, Professor Brian Harland, Barbara Spencer, Professor Joseph Needham and Professor Dov Bing.  Rewi Alley did not want these papers to be published until 2012.
    This project assists Prof. Dov Bing in the publication of these papers. Professor Bing returned in February 2014, after spending 4 months four months as Visiting Professor at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan. The manuscripts have been typed and a Waikato University Research Assistant (as of April, 2014) is editing the papers, and a forward is being prepared for publication.  Money approved: $3970.