Sunday, January 29, 2006
The New Zealand Chinese Association (Inc) (NZCA) was established as an incorporated society in 1935. Over the years there have been many changes to its organisation and structure and in 1996 a new Constitution and Rules were adopted to bring the organisation into line with current requirements.
The Association was established with specific intention of being a national Chinese organisation that represented and worked for the well-being of the Chinese people in New Zealand. It main objectives include:
To provide NZ Chinese the means of mutual help, social interchange and recreation
To promote the intellectual, moral and physical well-being of Chinese in NZ.
To unite and co-operate for cultural and educational purposes.
To deal with matters concerning the welfare of Chinese in NZ
To be and remain non-political and non-religious
The very first Chinese Association in New Zealand was established in March 1909 by Consul Huang Roliang to help the Chinese community organise its affairs and to run training courses in Chinese and English. This Association was led and run by the Chinese Consul of the day.It ceased to function after two consecutive Consuls appointed at that time tried to involve this Association in China's politics; i.e. to support Yuan Shi Kai to be Emperor of China and certain warlords.
In September 1934 in response to Consul Qinxun’s request that the many Chinese organisations (Chee Kung Tong, the Tung Meng Hui, Tung Jung Association, Poon Fah Society and Seyip Society) existing at that time come together and form one association in an effort to reduce friction, avoid clashes and to improve unity and harmony within the New Zealand Chinese community. This Association was named the New Zealand Chinese Association to differentiate it from the original Chinese Association.
The Sino-Japanese war broke out soon after the establishment of the Association and the Association chose to help China in its war effort.The Association expanded quickly into an organisation with representation of Chinese from 15 regions. It formed a central committee which collected donations from the Chinese community for direct remittance to the Chinese Government to help the war effort.
The Association operated with a central committee based in Wellington until 1996 when a new constitution was adopted to provide branches with more involvement in the decision-making process of the Association. The Association has been operating under this new constitution until the present day.
The Association is structured so that its branches are its members. It does not have individual memberships. Individuals participate by obtaining membership in a branch. Each branch has representation on the Executive Committee of the Association,
The Association is now managed by an Executive Committee comprising the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chinese Secretary, the Immediate Past President and a representative from each Branch. The President is the official spokesperson for the Association.
The Association currently has 12 branches located throughout New Zealand. The branches are.
Hawkes Bay Branch
South Canterbury Branch
North Otago Branch
Invergargill Sub Branch
The Association has premises in Wellington located at 23-25 Marion St, Wellington which are used for administration purposes. These premises are also used by the Wellington Branch.
Programmes and Activities
The activities of the Association include:
Providing annual grants to its branches to assist Chinese language schools within their region.
Providing awards and scholarships for its branch members for the achievement of academic excellence .
Providing special scholarships or grants to assist young Chinese high achievers.
Organising an combined annual winter camp in Guangdong and China tour for young Chinese.
Organising an Annual Sports Tournament and Cultural Concert during Easter
Working with the NZ Government, Chinese Embassy, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office and other organisations on issues affecting Chinese in New Zealand and national projects on the maintenance of Chinese culture and language.
An example of the activities of the NZCA is the outcomes of the Poll Tax initative. The NZCA commissioned the research and the publication of the book "The Poll Tax in New Zealand". It initiated the dialogue and made submissions to the NZ Government on the discriminatory nature of the Poll Tax levied on early Chinese settlers who migrated to New Zealand. This tax was only levied on the Chinese. The outcome was a apology from the Government and the establishment of a Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust. The main objectives is the maintenance of Chinese identity history and culture so far as it relates to Chinese New Zealanders.
The Branches of the Association are involved in representing Chinese at the local level and in organising and promoting many local Chinese community activities. They also have programmes to help the local Chinese community to celebrate Chinese festivals and programmes that support the maintenance of Chinese language and culture.
In the south-east Auckland suburb of Howick, that vision is rapidly taking shape. The Somerville Business Park is New Zealand's first multicultural business centre. It has over 90 shops, including professional offices, retail shops selling Asian products, an Asian-operated medical clinic and ethnic restaurants. Kit sees Somerville not just as a business, but also as a way of helping new migrants settle in.
"You have to go through a learning curve to learn the New Zealand way of doing business. It's very different from Hong Kong. Somerville provides the sort of support migrants need. It's not only a social and economic centre, it's a cultural centre."
Kit and his wife, Teresa, admit that it's not easy to start a business here and that the social transition can be difficult. But having made the transition they love their life here. "We chose New Zealand because of the lifestyle - its green environment, pure water and clean air."
In 2003 she has been a guest writer at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival and the Wordstruck! Festival in Dunedin, as well as a speaker for the Stout Research Centre Chinese New Zealand Seminar Series.
In 2001, together with Lindsay Forbes, she received a Porirua City Council Civic Honour Award for co-founding and running Poetry Cafe. (thanks Alison and Lindsay)
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan in the early 1980's at a small tea stand.
Elementary school children would look forward to buying a cup of refreshing tea after a long, hard day of work and play. Tea stands were set up in front of the schools and would compete for business with the best selling tea. One concession owner became popular with her tea when she started adding different fruit flavoring to her tea. Because of the sweet and cool taste, children loved the taste. Soon, other concessions heard about the "unique" and popular tea, so they started to add flavoring to their teas. When adding flavor, the tea and flavoring needed to be shaken well for a good all around taste. This formed bubbles in the drink, which came to be known as "Bubble Tea."
In 1983 Liu Han-Chieh introduced Taiwan to tapioca pearls. The new fad was to add tapioca pearls into a favorite drink. Most of the time tapioca pearls were served in cold infused tea. After the tea and flavor were shaken well, it topped tapioca pearls that were sitting on the bottom of a clear cup. The tapioca pearls also looked like bubbles, thus also became to known as "Bubble Tea." Bubbles floated on the top your drink and bottom of your drink.
A La Carte Menu
Baked Crayfish in Superior Soup with Yee Mein
Ming Court "Yue Sang" Platter
Med $38.00 Lrg $48.00
BBQ Combination Platter - BBQ Pork, Roast Duck, Roast Pork
Braised Whole Tender Abalone in Oyster Sauce
Med $68.00 Lrg $88.00
Steamed Whole Seasonal Fish
Shark Fin Soup with Crabmeat and Dried Scallop
Fatt Choy with Dried Oysters
Abalone Casserole with Seafood
Braised Asparagus with Crabmeat Sauce
Jin Hua Ham with Steamed Chicken & Vegetables
Steamed Fatt Choy with Dried Scallops Stuffed in Cucumber
Red Bean or Sesame or Almond with Tong Yuen
Note: This menu is subject to change
GISBORNE Mayor Meng Foon’s ability to speak
te reo Maori has influenced many of the district’s
people to take up the challenge of learning New
Zealand’s official language.
“I have heard a lot of comment where some Maori
people think I have inspired them to learn their
“I believe it is important to know your language in
terms of where you come from and who you are. It
is vital for the growth of the nationhood,”he said.
Mr Foon, who is proud to be the district’s
“Chinese/Maori speaking Mayor”, was in 2001 the
country’s first person to be sworn into the mayoral
position on a marae.
“Mum and Dad travelled from Hong Kong for
the event and they along with friends and whanau
members who had not experienced Maori culture
truly loved the celebration,”he said.
“ e Chinese culture is similar to Maori in terms
of celebrations with many, many people — friends
e Mayor is often seen presenting whaikorero at
marae and other powhiri.
Mr Foon’s first languages are Siyip, his father’s
dialect, and Cantonese, his mother’s. He didn’t
speak Maori or English until he was about nine
“I started speaking English and Maori about the
same time. ere were many fluent te reo Maori
speaking people in my world throughout my
childhood . . . Ngati Porou and Turanganui a Kiwa
employees who worked for my father’s business
growing kai and customers too.
“Our Maori customers would come in and say
“pirangi tena - pirau tena”(I want that — that is
rotten) when doing business, while others would
teach my brother and I naughty phrases.”
Mr Foon said he was fortunate to have attended
Makaraka School during the 1960s with the
principal of that time Pax Kennedy making regular
invitations for local Maori people to come and
teach the school children how to make piupiu,
kapa haka and share local knowledge.
is, however, was not the case at Gisborne
“ e school was totally oblivious to things Maori.
ere was not one single sentence uttered at
Gisborne Intermediate in the 1970s. It was like a
vacuum. Engari, kei te pai ... my brother and I had
our daily te reo Maori lessons back in the shop
“I would often ask my Maori friends to teach
me te reo Maori, but they told me they weren’t
allowed to. However, I soon realised they didn’t
know themselves. In fact most of the Maori boys
and girls didn’t know anything about their reo or
During his years at Gisborne Boys’High School Mr Foon was taught te reo Maori by his teacher
Henare Swann and was top of his class in Maori during his third, fourth and fifth form.
“ Then Eddie Green came from Te Aute and he cleaned us all up,”he said.
Mr Foon has many fond memories of te reo Maori and kapa haka lessons with Maori language
masters, Heni Tau Anau, Ngoi Pewhairangi and Maaka Jones during his high school years.
“My advice to anyone learning te reo Maori is . . . have a desire to learn and don’t feel threatened by
the process.Try and learn a new word everyday — your nouns and adverbs. Memorise one sentence
structure a week. Use this method and you are likely to gain hundreds if not thousands of words,
sentence structures and phrases. It is important to have people positively supporting you. Kia kaha — be strong.”by Thelma Karaitiana
Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa, Special Projects Manager
Rt. Hon Helen Clark
NZ Security Intelligence Service
INSIDE THE NEW CHINA: UPDATING CHALLENGES FOR NEW ZEALAND
Thank you for the invitation to attend this summit today looking at the challenges and opportunities for New Zealand in its relationship with China.
Let us be clear – this is no brand new relationship. When Chinese President Hu Jintao and I launched the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and China last November, we were signing on to a new phase - a new high point if you like - of a thriving and maturing trade and economic partnership.
The relationship goes right back to earlier centuries, when traders shipped seal skins from the South Island to Guangzhou, and when Chinese migrants came for the gold rush. There are people in this room who have traded with China for around fifty years – twenty years before diplomatic relations with China were established.
When Norman Kirk decided to establish diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China more than thirty years ago, he was convinced that China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region was bound to grow and that our countries needed formal linkages.
Norman Kirk was equally convinced that New Zealand’s identity was shifting to embrace not only our European links but also our location in the Asia-Pacific region. That vision has become reality.
The China of 1972 was vastly different from the China of today. Then the West and China had spent many years at arms length. Today China is engaged across a vast range of regional and international forums, including APEC, the ASEAN Regional Forum, its summit partner relationship with ASEAN, and, since 2001, its membership of the WTO.
China has an increasing role in assisting developing nations, including those in our own region. It has recently made a major and generous contribution to relief and reconstruction following the disastrous tsunami, which includes US$83 million in financial assistance, writing off Sri Lanka’s debt to China, and hosting a post-tsunami reconstruction conference.
The China of today is much more outward looking in its foreign relations, and it is increasingly constructive and pragmatic in its dealings with overseas counterparts. It is a stronger and more dynamic regional and international player.
Today we are focusing on the role that China will play in our economic future. In general, New Zealand’s future prosperity will depend on the quality of its international linkages – we need to be fully involved in the international trade in goods and services, and in attracting investment, people, new ideas and technology. China is going to be central to developments in the world economy. That is why we have put great emphasis on our links with China, including an FTA.
Why do we want an FTA with China?
China’s current growth rates would put it on course to become the world’s second largest economy by the year 2020. Even now, there are around 100 million Chinese who can be classified as middle class. That is a considerable market for New Zealand to tap, and it will be much larger by 2020 if China achieves its aim of doubling its per capita GDP by then.
The number of Chinese tourists worldwide is also booming, and New Zealand is seeing increasing numbers come each year. Since New Zealand was granted Approved Destination Status by the Chinese government in July 1997, visitor arrivals from China have increased five-fold, from 16,000 in 1998 to 84,000 in 2004, at an average growth rate of 31 per cent per annum.
If we can maintain high quality standards in education, we can also expect New Zealand to continue to host healthy numbers of Chinese students at all levels – secondary, undergraduate and post-graduate.
And China’s growing middle class will also stimulate a greater demand for other goods and services which New Zealand can be part of supplying; for example, in the financial and professional areas, and in better housing and infrastructure.
Trading with China has always presented challenges. Early New Zealand investment ventures showed the difficulties of working in its highly competitive market, and it is likely to become even more competitive in the next ten to twenty years. We will need to work harder and smarter to maintain and grow trade and investment levels.
The growth in our trading relationship with China has been rapid in recent years. In four years, our exports to China have risen by on average $100 million a year, from $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion. Now it is our fourth largest market with two way trade at over $5 billion.
Since 1999 our exports of forestry products to China have quadrupled. It is now our fourth largest market for forestry exports.
Last year China was our third largest market for dairy exports, predominantly for whole milk and skim milk powder.
China is becoming an increasingly important market for our meat products, taking nine per cent of lamb exports on a volume basis. China has long been and remains our largest export market for wool.
China is, of course, also a major source of imports into New Zealand. Chinese products are widely available and New Zealand consumers have benefited from their competitive pricing. Indeed with the appreciation of the New Zealand dollar over the past two years, the price of Chinese goods in our market is estimated to have dropped by forty per cent.
China FTA in the context of the Seriously Asia Strategy
An FTA with China would build on an already important relationship for us. For China, an FTA with New Zealand’s open, developed, market economy, would also be important in consolidating international perceptions of China’s own status as a market economy. Concluding an FTA with New Zealand would allow China to say to the world that it can deal with open market economies.
In the narrow sense, an FTA with China presents an economic opportunity to be seized. We are in the first rank of FTA partners, but others are close behind.
But we also see an FTA with China as part of a broader process of engagement with China and the wider region. There is a process of regionalisation occurring throughout the Asia-Pacific, and New Zealand is looking at where and how it can be included in what is happening.
When the government began the work which led to the Seriously Asia strategy two years ago, we were conscious that New Zealand Incorporated needed to take new initiatives to become more effective in its dealings with the nations of Asia.
For me, Seriously Asia is about focusing New Zealand attention on the importance of strategic trends in Asia and the opportunities in the region for New Zealand.
Since launching Seriously Asia, much has happened. We have launched the FTA talks with China, the FTA with Thailand has been concluded, negotiations with ASEAN have been launched, and an FTA study has been done with Malaysia, and will be released shortly. The first prime ministerial visit from New Zealand to India in nineteen years has occurred, with an enthusiastic ICT delegation taking part. Many projects are underway within government and the Asia New Zealand Foundation to revitalise relationships with Asia. We look forward to a successful presence at the Aichi Expo in Japan this year. Our attendance at the ASEAN-New Zealand-Australia Summit in Vientiane last November was also a milestone in our relationship with the region.
Our commitment through the Seriously Asia process has given a context and a purpose to the initiatives we are taking to build our Asian relationships, and I believe that is widely appreciated by our Asian neighbours.
With respect to China, we are working hard to widen the linkages between our two countries. Our official links are prolific and diverse. There are now four or five Ministerial-level visits each way per year. We have regular annual consultations on foreign policy and defence issues, and many other ad hoc official contacts.
We have enjoyed 25 years of joint trade and economic consultations and a thirty-year old science and technology co-operation relationship that is now being freshened up.
Under our new cultural diplomacy programme, this very weekend three New Zealand writers - playwright Linda Chanwai-Earle, children and young people’s writer Margaret Mahy, and novelist Chad Taylor - are participating in the inaugural Shanghai Literary Festival. The programme is aiming to broaden the profile of New Zealand through arts, culture, and heritage in our major markets. For the first three years, its main focus is on North Asia.
With respect to China, we continue to have differences of perspective – on human rights, in particular - but our discussions in this sphere are open and frank. At a practical level, we are exchanging visits of police, judicial, and other officials to improve our dialogue in this area.
Building broader links and dialogue between New Zealand and China can only be positive as we work on building the economic relationship between our two countries.
Opportunities and risks
So what would an FTA with China mean for New Zealand?
The joint feasibility study completed last year confirmed that an FTA with China, which has relatively high levels of protection, would be a good thing for New Zealand.
It would also be good for China, where the major benefits would flow from efficiency gains in its domestic economy.
The study shows that many barriers currently constrain our bilateral trade, and that removal of them would lead to expanded trade in goods and services and increased investment flows.
It is estimated that New Zealand’s exports to China would grow by between $260 and $400 million a year more than the level which would be achieved without the removal of trade barriers.
China would also see some increase in its exports to New Zealand, but on a smaller scale because we have already unilaterally eliminated import-licensing quotas and reduced tariffs to relatively low levels.
The study recognises that while on balance the FTA is of benefit to us, there may be a downside for some. There will be concerns in some sectors in New Zealand and in China about the potential adjustment impacts of opening up.
The study concludes that these impacts would not be substantial overall and should be manageable, but it emphasises the need to take these concerns into account during the negotiations, just as we have in other FTA negotiations.
Removal of tariffs on our exports to China would provide significant benefits. China’s average tariff rate last year was 9.5 per cent and we pay average duties of more than 15 per cent on agricultural exports, including a 10 per cent tariff on milk powder, a 15 per cent tariff on sheep meat and a 20 per cent tariff on kiwifruit.
But China’s non-tariff barriers probably have an even more significant effect on our trade. Import licensing, customs evaluation, pre-shipment inspection, technical regulations, and sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures all cause problems for our exporters in accessing the Chinese market.
For example, we have had feedback from some exporters that on arrival in China, foreign flagged ships appear to face higher handling charges than Chinese flagged vessels, thus increasing costs. It has been suggested that sometimes our goods face compulsory inspection or retesting, when there is no obvious need for it. It appears that some exports require Chinese language labelling on products before the goods arrive in China, when it could be much cheaper to have the labels added on arrival by the Chinese importer. Issues like these all add to the cost of doing business in China.
In the services and investment field, China has opened up considerably since its WTO accession, but there, too, New Zealand service providers and investors face a range of bans, restrictions and minimum capital requirements, which investors or services exporters to New Zealand would not experience.
The FTA study looks in particular at tourism, at education (where China is our largest export market), and at professional services, and a wide range of other service sectors where liberalisation from China would be welcome.
New Zealand companies, whether goods producers, service providers, or investors, have also identified problems in the intellectual property area.
The study has been a useful start to the FTA process. By setting out clearly the challenges confronting us in the negotiation, it helped form the negotiating agenda. The FTA should address both tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and level the playing field.
The second round of our negotiations with China took place earlier this month in Beijing. We look forward to the next round here in New Zealand in May.
While good progress is being made, one can’t predict how long the negotiations will take. I do believe, however, that at the highest political levels China both wants an outcome and knows that New Zealand requires that outcome to be comprehensive, forward looking, and of a high standard.
FTA Implementation – the challenges and opportunities ahead
An FTA will not by itself dismantle all barriers or open all doors. That is a longer term exercise. We will have to work on developing further our relationships across the commercial, financial, and government spectrum in China.
We need to build relationships between leaders, ministers, businesses, officials, and academics, and people to people links. Our regulators need to know and talk to each other. Strengthening our links with China through sharing ideas, knowledge, and technology will be of mutual benefit to our economies.
This is what President Hu and I had in mind when we asked officials to develop a Trade and Economic Cooperation Framework during his visit here in October 2003.
This framework, agreed in May last year, sets out a co-operative agenda across many sectors, including agriculture, forestry, education, tourism, professional services, and science and technology, including biotechnology.
It’s up to us now – the government and the business community - to embrace this framework and the opportunity of the FTA negotiation to expand the economic and trade relationship with China.
We have already opened China’s mind to our vision for New Zealand. When President Hu visited we showed him the New Zealand of the future.
He saw, for example, some of the most advanced aspects of NZ agricultural research and practice in the Waikato, and we believe was impressed. China already knows we are world-class dairy, beef, and sheep meat producers. We also want it to know us as a dynamic and technologically sophisticated economy across the board.
It is critical now to prepare ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities the FTA could bring us.
Government and the private sector need to work on a shared vision of New Zealand’s place in the China market over the next five to ten years and beyond. Are there particular sectors we should target? Do we want to concentrate on specific provinces or specific products? Where would a whole of government effort yield the best returns? What mechanisms should we put in place to make progress on issues which might not be able to be dealt with in the FTA?
Government needs continual feedback from the business community - not only on specific issues to do with the FTA negotiations, but on the wider strategic issues too. That helps us develop policy settings which are helpful to business making the most of future opportunities in China.
Our trade promotion activities need to be closely aligned to government/private sector partnership objectives for China. We want to direct our efforts to get the most mileage, whether it is well-targeted trade missions to and promotions in China or export seminars in New Zealand.
China is a major economic partner for us, across a wide range of goods, services and investment sectors. The FTA negotiation will be challenging, and it will certainly be complex. But it will be the launch pad for a closer bilateral trade and economic relationship in the long-term. That’s something we have to prepare for now.
Business engagement now is crucial for ensuring that New Zealand can make the most of these opportunities. The government is opening the doors through negotiations. This paves the way for business and our wider economy and society to benefit.
Ah Lum's store in the Chinese settlement at Arrowtown. Photo: Chris Jacomb
Our modern lifestyles make it hard for us to comprehend the gruelling work under extreme conditions miners had to endure to prospect for gold in Otago.
The 10 Chinese gold rush-era sites the Historic Places Trust proposes to add to the Register will reflect some of the conditions of that time. They will also make up for a significant shortcoming in the number of publicly recognised Chinese places.
Only four Chinese sites are on the Register for Otago - two buildings in the historic reserve in Arrowtown (Ah Wak's lavatory [CatII] and Ah Lum's Store [Cat I]), the Sew Hoy and Sons building in Dunedin and "Chinatown" at the Chinese settlement in Arrowtown.
Historian Heather Bauchop was responsible for reducing the original list of 18 possible sites and providing background research to support those she selected for inclusion on the register.
A Chinese goldminer's cottage at Arrowtown. Photo: Melanie Lovell-Smith
"We chose sites for which it was possible to get sufficient historical information. Some sites are very remote, and historical material for them is difficult to bring out. We also tried to pick places people can get to without much difficulty and see things they can relate to when they get there," Bauchop says.
"We asked what each site would illustrate. Did it represent a particular aspect of the Chinese experience? These could be mining technology, residences and orcharding, for example. We picked sites that told a range of stories."
Among the sites slated for the register is the Chinese camp outside Lawrence. In its day, it housed 60 to 70 residents in a complex settlement with five stores, an immigrants‚ hostel and a "Joss House" (or club house for benevolent societies). The only buildings remaining from the Lawrence camp are the former Chinese Empire Hotel, now a private residence, and an outbuilding. The remnants of the others are under a sheep paddock. Archaeologist Peter Petchey, who has surveyed the site, believes it has never been ploughed, which makes it extremely valuable from an archaeological point of view.
A stone hut and a group of Chinese mine workings at Conroy's Gully, Alexandra, remain from one mining site. True to its historic interest, the site served as the set where the movie Illustrious Energy about Chinese goldminers was filmed. Other mining sites are Choie Sew Hoy's dredging operation on the Shotover River near Queenstown and his hydraulic sluicing operation at Nokomai, including major water races, one 42 km long and another 34 km.
Other sites demonstrate life after gold mining and were selected for registration because they were part of the enterprises through which Chinese worked their way into local economies. These include Lye Bow's orchard near Alexandra (an early commercial orchard) and Wong Gong's terrace near Skippers.
Some of Lye Bow's original apricot trees are still present at the site of the orchard along with a stone wall and the remains of his stone store. Wong Gong's terrace was a market garden and store complex and the structures that remain there include a dam and reservoir he used to store water as well as a water race.
Bauchop says all the sites selected for registration underline the point that, although they were to an extent ostracised, the Chinese were also integrated into the European economy. Chinese and European miners made use of some water races and dams while Chinese businessmen such as Lye Bow and Wong Gong sold goods to Europeans as well as Chinese.
Heritage researcher with the Historic Places Trust's southern region Melanie Lovell-Smith is co-ordinating the registration process for the 10 sites. She says their applications are at different stages of completion. The historical research on all of them has been completed and archaeologist Petchey is now completing surveys of some to determine their extent.
Lovell-Smith says that, except for the Lawrence Chinese camp, all the sites will be submitted for registration at the same time, hopefully at the end of this year. The proposal for the Lawrence Chinese Camp site was publicly notified in July. The proposal was notified earlier than the others because the property is currently for sale. Given the current pressure of development in CentralOtago, concerns were raised about the site's future.
Paul Titus is the principal in Titus Writes , a network of freelance writers, photographers and graphic artists
An increasing number of schools will post financial deficits this year, partly because of the continuing decline in foreign fee-paying students, says Secondary Principals Association president Graham Young. He said concerns about the downturn in numbers of foreign students were raised about 18 months ago and continued to be a worry for schools. The cash from foreign students had become significant for some large schools. In some cases nearly half of some schools' income was derived from sources other than government funding and for many up to a third of their income was self-raised, he said. Mr Young said problems in attracting fee-paying students included the high dollar, the shrinking of the Chinese student market, and fall-out from publicity surrounding the failure of some language schools. Schools which had taken smaller numbers of international students might now be wondering if it was worth carrying on as enrolments dropped. "You have to have a significant number in a school to make it viable." At his school, Tauranga Boys High, about 50 foreign fee-paying students were there two years ago compared with about 30 now. Mr Young said the whole country had to be concerned about the problem because the international education industry was the fourth biggest export industry. Avondale College principal Brent Lewis said his school was managing to hold numbers but he was aware other schools were having problems. "I've heard some principals are extremely worried about it." Mr Lewis said Avondale College took about 130 foreign students each year and had a policy of seeking them from a wide range of countries including Europe and South America. He said a lot of schools had become quite dependent on the extra income because of what they saw as inadequate government funding. "The money generated has significantly enhanced the quality of education here in the last decade." Education New Zealand, which represents international education across all sectors, has highlighted a sharp drop last year in the number of international students in English language and secondary schools, but said numbers were steady in the tertiary sector. Spokesman Stuart Boag said that while it was difficult to forecast what would happen this year, an increase was not expected. Mr Boag said the Chinese market had fallen away considerably. In 2003 the placements of Chinese students had peaked at 53,000, compared with 30,000 last year. Mr Boag said the high numbers of Chinese had been something of a phenomenon partly because they once had little choice about where they could go. However other countries such as Australia were now competing hard for that market. Mr Boag said institutions that were diversifying their student sources were coping better with the downturn. A Ministry of Education spokeswoman, Christine Field, said the numbers had returned to about the same level as in 2001. However, our good education system and high average student achievement continued to make the country an attractive destination for foreign students. Changes in the exchange rate were among a number of factors that had influenced whether students came here to study. Foreign fee-paying students at NZ schools2004 14,4772005 11,299Amount paid in fees to NZ schools by foreign students2004 $155m2003 $167m
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The oft-heard contention that "markets know best" makes me laugh when, as a financial journalist, I am privy to the ingenious methods investment bankers use to manipulate the sharemarkets. With their vast liquidity, armies of analysts, journalists and expert regulators, sharemarkets should represent the quintessence of a market, yet they are so malleable. A Chinese journalist asked me on Sunday what I thought about the reform of Chinese banks, in particular the US$9 billion listing before Christmas of China Construction Bank. I answered that if you didn't believe in China's reform process over the last 20 years, you would not feel you have to buy shares in the banks - but if you did, you couldn't avoid them. I have seen enough of China's changes in the past 10 years to believe that the changes are pretty much irreversible, so I happen to think the banks are a good buy. But that was not initially the case with fund managers when it came to buying China Construction Bank, and the investment bankers in charge reverted to tried-and-trusted means for whipping up the necessary investor sentiment. These techniques are what make me sceptical about the efficiency of the "markets" in pricing the banks correctly. I can see the process that worked so well with CCB swinging into action with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). Goldman Sachs Private Equity, the Allianz Group and American Express said at the weekend that they would spend US$3.8 billion on acquiring a 10 per cent stake in one of China's biggest lenders. To the investment bankers in charge of the IPO, getting a "strategic investor" on board is a big step in reassuring fund managers and retail investors that the banks will come to the sharemarket with a partner who will help them restructure. In practice, a private consortium like the one headed by Goldman is never there for the long term - they are interested in quick money. Still, fund managers and retail investors will take comfort, and that's the main thing. Hong Kong has an interesting dynamic because the retail element is strong. That's a godsend for investment bankers, who can use the retail element to force institutional investors (such as fund managers) to pay more. A few careful leaks to the press can easily trigger a stampede to buy a certain stock in a city as gambling-oriented as Hong Kong. I'm not saying Hong Kong retail investors are stupid. It has always been a place where you bet big to make money on real estate, the horses and the sharemarket. Retail investors play a big role in Hong Kong because (as in many undemocratic countries) they get special perks from the Government. It's infuriating to professional fund managers that if a deal is sufficiently popular, the original 10 per cent retail allocation is bumped up to 50 per cent. A similar trick the bankers use is leveraging super-rich Japanese retail investors to push up demand for the stock. Fund managers will look uneasily at the sizeable Japanese and Hong Kong retail portion and resign themselves to offering a higher price for the shares. But given the allocation on an especially hot deal of 50 per cent of the stock to Hong Kong retail, fund managers are sure to get less than they asked for. That means they will be buying up shares in the post-IPO, or secondary, market. Naturally, that will be at a higher price. That's good for the I-bankers and the listing company, because it represents a vote of confidence in them by the market. But if the share price goes up too much, the issuer may feel he has sold his shares too cheaply. Shares in CCB have put on 40 per cent in just a few months. Chinese sentiment is predictably upset. They are, in any case, excluded from buying shares in their own banks because the listings are abroad. They see foreigners getting what appears to be a bargain. Valuing a Chinese bank might just as well be made by a baboon on an abacus. Nobody has a clue what the banks are worth because they comprise tens of thousands of tough-as-nails bureaucrats who will do anything to keep their jobs. Distorting information to fit the necessary investment criteria is routinely employed. And their sheer size makes property due diligence impossible. The criteria taken so seriously by foreign investors are also pretty random. One of the most important is the Bank of International Settlement's capital-adequacy ratio. One argument that foreign investors will be making to the Chinese is that their capital-adequacy ratio is much lower than the BIS likes (8 per cent), and this should be reflected in a lower price. But the BIS ratio was "invented" by the US banks in the 1970s because they resented the way Japanese and European banks were out-competing them. By forcing them to raise their capital ratio, they reduced the number of loans such banks could make and, hence, their profitability. By all means buy Chinese banks - but just admit you are taking a gamble. * Dan Slater is a journalist based in Beijing.
More by Eye on China
Migrants from Asia are among the healthiest people in the country as they begin their new lives in New Zealand - but after several years their health starts declining, says a researcher. Dr Samson Tse says the fact that most migrants must clear health tests means New Zealand receives those in the best of health. He calls this "the selection effect". They arrive "healthy and wealthy", with a lower prevalence of chronic disease than the general New Zealand population, says Dr Tse, a member of the University of Auckland's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. However, his research is indicating that the longer migrants live in New Zealand, the poorer their health becomes: "The diminishing health is statistically significant." For example, Indians as a group develop obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular problems at rates greater than the general population. South Asians - people from countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka - have an increased prevalence of diabetes compared with Kiwis, he says. The reasons behind the post-arrival health slump are unclear, says Dr Tse, and research is needed. "Some possible reasons would be a change in diet or that people have limited knowledge of the facilities available in New Zealand." Some clues have come from research last year by Robert Scragg and Alokananda Maitra, who investigated data from the 2002-03 New Zealand Health Survey. It showed that people with chronic illness were not seeking treatment. Asian women were not having mammography or cervical screening tests to the same degree as other groups, for reasons which also remain unclear. One remedy, says Dr Tse, would be good health practice campaigns targeting individual Asian communities: "I always say, today's investment is tomorrow's saving." According to the 2001 Census, more than 32 per cent of Asian people in New Zealand had immigrated within the past five years. Just 5 per cent had been in the country for 20 years or more. Of New Zealand's ethnic communities, Chinese make up the largest group (44 per cent), followed by South Asian (29 per cent), Southeast Asian (13 per cent), Korean (8 per cent) and others (6 per cent).
More by Julie Middleton
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Chinese people with mental illness can have greater difficulty recovering due to cultural beliefs that their ill-health is shameful and a punishment from the supernatural for wrong-doing. To combat that stigma, and the discrimination that stems from it, the Mental Health Foundation and a mental health consultancy group, Mind and Body Consultants, are hoping to get funding for a pilot project targeting the community though the Chinese-language media. They hope to begin in the middle of this year. Entrenched beliefs can be "a huge barrier to recovery," says Sandy Hall, a worker on the Mental Health Foundation's Like Minds Like Mine programme. "We want to combat stigma in these communities, promote good mental health, and encourage access to mental health services." Although previous anti-discrimination campaigns such as Like Minds Like Mine have had a positive influence on the general population, she says they have had limited reach among the Chinese. Australian and New Zealand research has concluded that migrants do not have increased rates of mental ill-health compared with the general population. However, sub-groups such as older migrants are at higher risk, and it is known that post-migration rejection by locals, and poor English, can also increase risk. Last year's Phoenix Research study says that Chinese and Koreans can view mental illness as a failure or weakness, which brings with it enormous shame. Research has also found that Chinese people can see a diagnosis of mental ill-health as lifelong, and sometimes as supernatural punishment for wrong-doing. Some will conceal their condition, and some will find their families reacting by trying to hide them away. Studies have also established that Asians tend to opt for family members' advice and traditional health care when suffering stress, with psychiatric expertise a last resort. Ivan Yeo, a peer support worker for Mind and Body Consultants, told his friends he suffered from depression. Instead of getting support the 33-year-old Malaysian Chinese found that they backed off, unsure of how to respond. "When I talk to relatives, they still have the notion that if you have mental illness, you are crazy or violent," says Mr Yeo, of Manurewa.
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25.01.06By William Dart
Opera provides two of the choicest offerings in this year's International Festival of the Arts and Tan Dun's Tea: A Mirror of the Soul is a genre-stretching and thought-provoking piece of musical theatre. The bonus is that the composer himself will be conducting the performances. Tan Dun is no stranger to New Zealand. The NZSO brought him out for the 2004 Arts Festival and, on his first visit, back in 1988, we struck him as "a very diverse land". "In just a couple of months in Wellington," he says, "I was studying Western music, giving lectures on Eastern music, visiting marae and studying the Indonesian gamelan." Tan's music deals out a rich mix, too, "swinging and swimming freely among different cultures" as he once put it. To me he describes his blend of East and West as "a little like the mosaic technique of a visual artist". Surviving Mao's Cultural Revolution, he is still struck that "30 years ago I was planting rice in the fields and now I conduct the Boston Symphony. It's very, very dramatic, almost unbelievable". The influence of his homeland is ever present. "Early on I was inspired by the beautiful sounds and music of people washing everything from rice to their bodies in the local river. These natural features will always return to your memory and impact [on] your writing." In Tea you will hear how Tan's search for the organic water sounds creates sliding glissando effects in the strings. Wellington will see the opera in its second Opera de Lyon production, whereas the Deutsche Grammphon DVD has the original Japanese staging. Tan resists being drawn out on the difference between the two; ours is a "production that is very French and Chinese" and the all-Chinese cast is "very, very outstanding". The NZSO will not be lost in a pit, but up front and visible. "I wanted the orchestra to be very much a part of the drama. You can see it, and the players join the cast in shouting and vocalising." The instrumentalists will also create soundscapes of water, paper and stone, including rustling the pages of their scores and exploring the sonorities of water bowls. For Tan, opera is "the art of melody, the art of the aria" and there are some magnificent specimens in Tea. While one duet for hero and heroine is very much in the shadow of Puccini, elsewhere there are touches of Monteverdi. "Monteverdi is my hero," he sighs. "I was very influenced by the haunting, yearning quality of his endless, floating song." Another "M" in Tan Dun's vocabulary is Minimalism, the pulsating style behind the music of composers such as Philip Glass and John Adams. "But Mozart is minimalist," Tan exclaims, giving a vocal approximation of a chugging left-hand pattern from a piano sonata. "And Eastern music, from the Indian sitar to Chinese monks singing is often just endless minimalist patterns. It's so very natural, it's like your heart is beating with the music." Be prepared for the most delicate of cultural and philosophical allegories in Tea. There are many ironies to savour and don't be surprised when you are delivered a fire-and-brimstone Baroque aria, Tan Dun style. Tan Dun is a major international composer. He regularly returns to China, conducting orchestras, eternally amazed that "a country which is very much a mixture of feudalism and communism can have a young generation so open to the most advanced of technologies and the most extreme avant-garde styles". But home is Manhattan. He is a gallery aficionado, an admirer of contemporary digital sculpture in general, and American artist Bill Viola in particular. Significantly, Viola's video works share the same East/West blend as Tan's music. When this composer is not on the art trail, he is a keen swimmer. And it is not just a matter of keeping fit. Back in the 1960s, as a child, he swam in his local river; now it's a New York pool - "but I still get to listen to all the water sounds". * Tea: A Mirror of Soul at the International Festival of the Arts, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, Sat Feb 25, Mon Feb 27, Wed March 1 * On disc: Tea: A Mirror of Soul (Deutsche Grammophon 00440 073 0999)
More by William Dart
An Auckland professor has joined up with a Chinese university to provide what is thought to be New Zealand's first study course of its kind. Paul Henriques, associate professor of applied science at Auckland University of Technology, says the programme opens up the curriculum here to students in China. He co-manages the new programme with China, travelling to the Shanghai Institute of Technology once or twice a year to do quality management, but does not teach. "I'm responsible for managing the whole process of ensuring lecturers are prepared." He says each lecturer goes once a year for three-and-a-half weeks and teaches a full semester's work in that time. After completing the degree, students receive a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Shanghai Institute of Technology, as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science from AUT. Henriques said they study chemistry and freshwater ecology. "They wanted to broaden students' programmes, so they asked us to teach freshwater ecology." He said students might spend 2-3 years in China then come to New Zealand for their final year, but this is the first programme in New Zealand where lecturers travel to the overseas institution. "This means more Chinese students have access to our curriculum, as only a very small percentage can afford to come here," he said. Originally from Boston, Henriques completed his BA in California before working as a marine biologist for a year at California Institute of Technology. "Then I sailed off to New Zealand, arriving in 1971," said Henriques. "I built a boat, a 29ft (9m) sloop." He still has a boat and a keen interest in the sea, living on the water at Island Bay. "There's a boat ramp just a stone's throw away." He said Canadian, Australian and American universities have run similar schemes, but no other New Zealand university has done it before. The Chinese Government has recently introduced Western teaching methods, paying the visiting AUT staff. Students must study English, as well, so they can follow the classes. Next year, another new scholarship programme for lecturers will start with the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, so they can study food technology at AUT. The first scholarship recipient will spend 2006 doing a graduate diploma in food science and then complete a two-year masters degree in food science. They then return to Phnom Penh and teach other staff and students. "This scholarship will enable the Royal University of Phnom Penh to offer food technology as a major, and means staff will return knowing what equipment and laboratory refurbishment is needed to do so," says Henriques. He said further programmes will be held in other countries, with the next overseas initiative set up in China. - AUCKLANDER
Friday, January 27, 2006
There is no admission charge and everyone is welcome..
“The Auckland Chinese Community Centre Inc is holding its Chinese New Year Festival
to welcome in the Year of the Dog on Saturday, 21 January 2006 between 10.00 am and
3.30 pm at the Auckland Showgrounds, 217 Greenlane West, Auckland.”
This traditional annual celebration that has become a highlight of the Auckland summer events calendar and features the following activities:-
· Grand Opening by PM at 10.00am with spectacular Dragon Dance
· Over 200 specialist stalls selling traditional & exotic Chinese hot delicacies,
Chinese New Year foodstuffs, Chinese traditional arts & crafts, & other exotic items
· Extensive entertainment programme of Chinese cultural songs, dances & martial arts
· Giveaways & games with prizes
· Free games and rides for children
It gives the opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a typical Chinese New Year celebration here in Auckland.
Susan Sun: New Year nostalgia time again
As Chinese New Year (January 29) is approaching, I rang up Uncle Bin's family in China the other day. No one seemed to have time for me.The spring cleaning, festival decorations, new dresses and hair-dos, outrageous bargains at the flower market, fireworks, red money envelopes, delicious dishes, festival snacks and so on all demand handling with seriousness, precision, style and fun.They are to be done for days, weeks, or even months leading up to Chinese New Year, and continue for weeks. Who would blame my relatives for wanting to hang up the phone quickly at this time of the year?Yet, year after year, I've never failed to ring them at their busiest time.I hassle them to tell me all that has been happening with the festival. They report in a matter-of-fact manner, but I do not let them stop till this end of the phone is filled with nostalgia for my good old days in China.I just keep on doing these little "clings" every year during Chinese New Year. I don't know when I shall give it up."Don't you celebrate Chinese New Year in New Zealand?" relatives ask.Indeed we do.Well, actually, we start the celebrations off on the way home from work on New Year's Eve, I explain, and end it a few hours later, right after the family reunion dinner.Some lucky ones may have a Chinese yumchar lunch with a bunch of colleagues on the following day, officially concluding the festival."Celebrate the festival in a day?"Yes, in practice, we telescope a festival into a day. I believe the Hindus do it too with their Diwali, the Muslims with the end of Ramadan, and the Thais with their Songkran.There is no satisfaction celebrating a festival in such a truncated, perfunctory manner. What is absent is all that excitement, art, creativity, extravagance, partying, craziness, drunkenness, laziness, and endless visits to and from friends and relatives - all of which are so universally ingrained in festivals.According to the last census, nearly 700,000 New Zealanders were born overseas, and more than half of them live in Auckland. These people and their New Zealand offspring form the ever-growing diasporas of Chinese, Koreans, Indians, South Africans, and so on in New Zealand.The chances are these geographically and culturally displaced people may also kill their festivals in just a day or an evening if it happens to fall on a weekday.In the company of my fellow culturally displaced souls, my misery is suddenly not as overwhelming as I thought. Maybe I should stop blaming the communists who drove me away from my homeland in the first place. Come to think of it, if it weren't the communists, it would have been other forces.Haven't war, famine, political oppression, ethnic cleansing, government corruption, economic ills, lack of opportunities and personal fulfillment, better lifestyle, or simply boredom already successfully "displaced" many people from their homelands to this part of the globe?Global migration began long before we knew it, let alone approved it. Humans never seem to cease to venture out and search for betterment.When people disperse in droves, it seems that the original rituals and trappings of their festivals are left behind where they belong.You mourn it for all your life; you awkwardly try to merge, halfway through, into festivities of your adopted homeland; you come to accept that there will be no more festivals you can celebrate with substance and style.Anxiously, you dearly wish that your children, who were given two sets of festivals from day one, could enjoy them to the fullest, like you did in childhood. But would they?In the meantime, I am preparing red money envelopes to give to my children in the Chinese New Year in the customary way. They will at least convey my wishes for the children to be healthy, well-behaved, and successful in their studies in 2006.* Susan Sun is a senior lecturer in Chinese at the School of Languages, Auckland University of Technology.
posted by Premium Content at 5:18 AM
Local actors, musicians and television celebrities will join actress Charlize Theron today at New Zealand's second red carpet film premiere within a week. Theron is in Auckland for the local premiere of North Country, the first feature for New Zealand director Niki Caro since her internationally successful hit Whale Rider. She flew into Auckland with Caro yesterday afternoon for a fleeting promotional visit. Caro will also attend the premiere of the United States-made film, which has received glowing praise overseas and garnered several award nominations for its actors. Prime Minister Helen Clark, fresh from attending Tuesday's premiere of River Queen in Wanganui, is among the most prominent New Zealand names attending tonight's event at Auckland's Aotea Square. Local celebrities attending the premiere include rapper Scribe, writer Oscar Kightley, former sportsmen Matthew Ridge and Murray Mexted, and television personalities including Petra Bagust, Robyn Malcolm, Lana Koc-Croft and Kate Hawkesby. Several people connected with Whale Rider will also attend, including writer Witi Ihimaera and actors Cliff Curtis and Keisha Castle-Hughes. In addition, three New Zealanders who had key roles in making North Country will be there: editor David Coulson, first assistant director Liz Tan and makeup designer Denise Kum. Theron, a South African who won a Best Actress Oscar in 2004 for her portrayal of a serial killer in Monster, was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in North Country. She plays Josey Aimes, a single mother working in a US iron mine who leads a sexual harassment lawsuit against male co-workers angry that women are taking on jobs traditionally held by men. The film also earned a supporting actress Golden Globe nomination for Frances McDormand, an Oscar winner for her role in Fargo. Theron and McDormand are considered contenders to earn Oscar nominations for their work in North Country. Roadshow Film Distributors New Zealand general manager Lisa Hubbard said the red carpet event in Aotea Square will begin about 6pm, with Theron and Caro expected to arrive about 6.30pm. "Wellingtonians have often had the opportunity to attend such premieres through the fabulous work of Peter Jackson. Now it's time for Auckland to show the world some of the very best in Kiwi hospitality and welcome our guests at the end of their international tour," Hubbard said. North Country will open in New Zealand theatres on Thursday.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
NZ$ 16.99 each
Author: Eva Wong Ng
A look at one of New Zealand's many culturesIn Auckland, in 1942 there was an area of the city known as Little Chinatown. Here the descendants of the Chinese miners and market gardeners gathered together to maintain their culture and provide a sense of community. New Zealand is at war when Silvey starts her diary, but for Silvey this is just a backdrop to the main issues of her world – the closure of her school and the arrival of Chinese-American soldiers
Acclaimed dissident writer Ma Jian fled Beijing with the police on his tail. Interviewed on the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, he remains obsessed with the politics of oppression.THE NOODLE MAKER, by Ma Jian (Chatto & Windus, $34.95).In May 1989, dissident writer Ma Jian joined a million people at Tiananmen, the Gate of Heavenly Peace, in the greatest political uprising of his generation. My family in Auckland were pulled daily to the six o'clock news to watch our homeland and history swing wide open in an unbearably suspended moment – and slam shut again. Exactly 15 years later, Ma Jian is on the phone from London, speaking to me in a soft, pellucid flow of Mandarin. After lying low for a little while, following the massacre on June 4, he says, "I ventured back to Beijing, wanting to give voice to the history of this event. But when I arrived, I discovered that the people of Beijing had been incredibly numbed by what happened."
The Chinese have since the 1860s been the largest non-European and non-Polynesian ethnic group in New Zealand. A visible minority, they did not fit into the colonial image of a 'better Britain' and were harshly excluded from political discourse, socially marginalised and often victimised. Unfolding History, Evolving Identity provides a comprehensive overview of the history and experience of the Chinese in New Zealand up to the present day. The contributors offer different perspectives according to their expertise or according to their background. Topics range from the Chinese on the goldfields to a study of Wellington's 'Chinatown' to studies of settler families; later chapters study aspects of recent Chinese immigration such as transnationalism and the underemployment of skilled people; a final section discusses political strategies adopted by the Chinese, including an analysis of the search for an apology for the wrongs inflicted by the historical poll tax.
Fascinating reading, this very topical book also provides much fruit for reflection in a society proud of its devotion to egalitarianism.
Unfolding History, Evolving Identity was launched by the Rt Hon Helen Clark, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, on 28 March 2003.
aka Dreams Of Home (1987)
Chinese prospectors in the Central Otago goldfields in the 1860's.Director Leon Narbey
Original music - Jan Preston Percussion and voices - Don McGlashan
"The score, with its Chinese instruments and music, acts as a strong aural bridge between Eastern and Western cultures." (New Zealand Film 1912-1996)
1988 New Zealand Listener Film and Television Awards (amongst others): Best Music, Best Soundtrack.
Chinese protesters in town
|By LAUREL STOWELL |
A GROUP of New Zealand Chinese want to tell Kiwis about the hidden activities of the all-powerful Chinese Communist Party.
About 20 travelled to Wanganui on Saturday afternoon to spread the message. They were Chinese from Auckland, Wellington and Palmerston North, and they brought banners, photographs and newsletters and marched in Victoria Ave.
Shirley Shao and John Yu live in Auckland and were among those who came. Ms Shao is a reporter for the Chinese version of the international Epoch Times newspaper, and both are also practitioners of Falun Gong.
Ms Shao said people had been resigning from the Chinese Communist Party at the rate of 20,000 to 30,000 a day since November last year, when her paper published its Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
|Mr Yu said the party had been responsible for the deaths of 80 million Chinese over the past 56 years. Between 1959 and 1961 40 million died of starvation. They were prevented from leaving their provinces to look for food elsewhere. |
Death and torture were still happening, the protesters said, and they hoped defections from the party would eventually cause its collapse and a new democratic era in China.
Nearly seven million people had resigned so far, leaving about 60 million party members.
They had made their statements using false names, in order to avoid persecution. But they had provided genuine contact details to the paper.
There was an “unwritten law” against resigning from the party, and people’s lives were endangered if their withdrawal became known.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had banned Falun Gong in July 1999, Ms Shao said.
Falun Gong was not a religion, more a practice of exercise and meditation. But it did promote truth, compassion and forbearance.
It was completely free, with no donations asked for. It had nothing equivalent to a place of worship and didn’t worship any being.
The demonstration in Wanganui showed photographs of Christians and Falun Gong practitioners being tortured. Members of Falun Gong numbered 100 million. They had been taken to detention centres, had their bank accounts closed, been fined, lost their jobs, lost their entitlement to education and worse.
Ms Shao said her practice of Falun Gong endangered her relatives still in China.
She had mailed one piece of paper about the practice to her parents, who were retired university professors. “They didn’t receive it.
Then one day they were asked to go to the police station, and told their daughter in New Zealand was practicing Falun Gong. They were asked to renounce the practice, and told they would immediately be taken to a detention centre for 15 days if they refused.”
Their telephone was tapped, and they were afraid to tell their daughter what had happened, but her son was able to pass on the message when he returned to New Zealand after visiting them.
Mr Yu said he had personally been tortured for his Falun Gong practice while on a visit home to China in late 1999. He was hit with a plastic bar and kicked by police in his northern home town of Harbin – with the police wearing their hard winter boots.
Two of the other practitioners he travelled with were subjected to electric shocks.
In China the CCP had absolute power, the two said. It controlled the media, there were no elections and it didn’t allow other parties to grow their membership.
Paper presented at the ‘Crouching TigerHidden Banana Conference,
AUT, Auckland 4 June,2005
There is a saying “Wherever ocean waves touch; there are Overseas Chinese”. So it was in 19th Century New Zealand. Within thirty years of European settlement the Chinese arrived to become the earliest non-Polynesian, non-European arrivals.
These early Chinese came in 1866 as sojourners not settlers. They were men of peasant background from the Kwangtung Province in southern China. They headed for the goldfields of Otago where they hoped to strike it rich then return to China. However by 1866 most of the easily worked alluvial gold had been worked out by the European miners who had moved on to other goldfields. The lure of gold was irresistible and the flow of Chinese to New Zealand became a torrent. In 1881 they numbered more than 5000.
From 1879 there was more than a decade of economic depression. The sudden influx of so many Chinese into New Zealand, stirred up resentment from the European population who feared that if more Chinese came, there would be no jobs for anyone else. Anti-Chinese feeling ran high and scarcity of work was blamed on the Chinese.
In the following years anti-Chinese attitudes worsened. Legislation was introduced to restrict the number of Chinese coming into the country; a poll tax was imposed and other discriminatory measures were legalised. Throughout the world, anti-Chinese feeling in host countries results in the establishment of Chinatowns. In New Zealand cities, the so-called Chinatowns were small compared to their counterparts in USA and Australia.
Faced with hostility, little prospect of gold and economic recession, the Chinese who stayed on in New Zealand moved to urban areas and to main cities in the North Isalnd. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 155 Chinese in the Auckland area; by 1919, the number had more than doubled; in 1945 Auckland’s Chinese population was around 1200.
In the Auckland area the Chinese turned to what they had known in China, market gardening. Others became fruit and vegetable hawkers, cooks or workers in domestic service..
Early market gardens in Auckland began in the 1870s. These were near Carlaw Park area and the KhyberPass,Carlton Gore Road area.
Another of the earliest Chinese market gardens in the Auckland started in 1901, on the corner of what is now Pilkington and Point England Roads. Soon there were others; in Mt Eden,Glen, Onehunga, Avondale, Mt.Wellington, Western Springs, in the area which became known as Chinaman’s Hill and Mangere.
In 1901 NZ, 660 Chinese were involved in market gardening, 131 in fruit and vegetable shopkeeping or hawking. I don’t have a figure for laundrymen but the 1906 figure is 243.
Chinese market gardening in New Zealand reached a maximum in the 1920’s. Since then the number has declined as urban Auckland expanded and the early market garden land is being used for housing. For example in the 1920’s there were 32 Chinese and 6 European market gardens in the Mangere district. Today there are less than a dozen gardens.
Chinese greengrocery shops show a similar pattern. In 1934 there were 44 Chinese fruit and vegetable businesses in urban Auckland, by 1944 there were 78. The Chinese fruitshop’s heyday was the 1940’s and 50’s. My father was a greengrocer in Broadway, Newmarket for more than 40 years, until he closed down around 1968. He maintained it was the advent of frozen peas that did him in, but it was changing market forces that hastened the fruitshop’s demise. Supermarkets were becoming established and younger generations of better educated Chinese were turning their backs on the traditional Chinese occupations.
The once ubiquitous Chinese laundry too has disappeared. Laundering was an occupation which required little capital and minimal knowledge of English. Often a laundry would be set up by two or three kinsmen or friends who shared the work and took it in turns to return to China for short spells. Chinese laundries increased in number from the 1890s, to peak in the 1920s and 30s. In the 1934 Auckland area there were 34 Chinese laundries listed, by 1947 there were 18. .Drycleaning was introduced in the 1930s and home washing machines were becoming affordable. These factors as well as the advent of synthetic materials which did not require starching, (Chinese laundrymen were expert at starching) meant that the Chinese laundry had become an anachronism. By the 1970s they had all but disappeared. On a visit to New York
several years ago I was intrigued to see Chinese laundries amongst apartment blocks on Manhattan Island.
From early in the 20th century Greys Avenue or Grey Street as it was then called, became a focus for the Auckland Chinese. Grey Street was formed in 1864 west of Queen Street. Opposite the intersection where Grey joins Cook and Queen streets was an area known as Market Square,
where the first City Markets were built.
During the 1870s houses were being built further up the slope of Grey Street where panoramic views of the harbour made the climb worthwhile.
The plane trees which have always been a feature of Greys Avenue were planted in 1873. There were 60 planted but I am not sure whether the trees there today are the originals
By the 1880s the lower Grey Street buildings were vacated in favour of the more desirable dwellings further up the hill. The empty buildings gradually became rundown and decrepit.
A common sight in those days was the horses and carts of market gardeners hitched along both sides of Grey Street. With so many gardeners coming into that area it was not long before a store selling Chinese goods opened up
Exactly when Auckland’s ‘Chinatown’ began has not been recorded. For practical reasons lower Grey Street was an ideal location.. Rentals were cheap and it was close to the city markets.
The first Chinese entry I found in the Auckland Directory was in the 1895 edition. A Thomas Humlog was listed as having a ‘China Laundry’ at the intersection of Grey Street and Shoe Lane. In 1899 the corner of Grey and Queen Streets was chosen as the site for the Town Hall, on the site of Thomas Humlog`s laundry. Building began in 1909 and was completed in 1911.
Wah Lee’s store was one of the earliest Chinese operated shops in Grey Street. About 1904, it began selling Chinese food stuffs in premises next to the Market Hotel. As well as retailing, Wah Lee`s acted as a bank for the Chinese, a depot for letters arriving from China and was an important social centre where gossip was shared and news from home exchanged.
New arrivals in Auckland would stay in rooms above Wah Lee`s until they found other lodgings and work. About 1914, the Chinese Masonic Lodge, the ‘Chee Kung Tong’, was established in the rooms above the shop next to Wah Lee`s. Soon, other Chinese rented buildings and before long Grey Street had Chinese boarding houses, opium dens, fan tan, pakapoo and gambling houses.
The civic authorities became concerned about the bad image Grey Street was acquiring. Hoping to add some respectability to the area, in 1927 Grey Street was renamed Greys Avenue on account of its trees.
In 1938 the Japanese invaded the Kwangtung Province, the home counties of the Chinese in New Zealand. On humanitarian grounds, the Labour government of the day allowed those Chinese men who had been long time residents in New Zealand to send for their wives and dependent children. This was on condition that they pay a deposit of 200 pounds, stayed for only two years, then returned to China with any children born in New Zealand. Over the next few years, 249 wives and 244 children came to New Zealand. Many settled in the Auckland area, several joined their husbands in Greys Avenue and lived in accommodation above or behind the shops.
Auckland’s Chinatown population expanded. There were now three or four stores, restaurants, boarding houses- some of which were used as gambling or opium dens. There was a long-established Chinese laundry at the Pitt Street end of Greys Avenue, two hotels- the Market and further up in the next block, the Carpenter’s Arms. Greys Avenue became a busy area. In 1928, the Salvation Army built its Citadel near Myers Park entrance, and further up Ross & Glendinning had premises. A Mission House and other businesses were established.
The gambling and opium dens were often raided by police. Again, Greys Avenue earned a reputation as an unsavoury area. The old buildings had deteriorated further, and according to Europeans who remember Greys Avenue in those days, it was a scary, dark, and mysterious place and one to be avoided.
However, those who grew up there tell a different story. As children they had wonderful childhoods. Sure, there were dangers to be considered, for this was the time of the six o’clock pub closing and after 1942 there were many American and New Zealand servicemen around. But with the
company of other Chinese children and Myers Park nearby, they made their own fun.
During WW2, New Zealand and China became allies. China was fighting Japan, the common enemy. The worst of the racist discrimination had been removed from the statutes but there was limited immigration, and prejudice against the Chinese lingered. The war lasted longer than the two years of the refugee allowance and when the Chinese communists came to power in 1949, the New Zealand Chinese Association and Reverend George McNeur, a Presbyterian Church leader, lobbied Prime Minister Peter Fraser to allow the families and others to stay in New Zealand. The request was granted and a total of 1323 Chinese consequently gained permanent residence.
In 1947, houses further up Greys Avenue were demolished and replaced with multi-story State flats. In 1959, news came that all the “Chinatown” buildings in lower Greys Avenue were to be demolished for a twenty storey Civic Administration block and the Aotea Centre and Square.
By then, the Chinese children had grown to adulthood. Many families had already moved to the suburbs and the Chinese shopkeepers and restaurant owners were ready to move to other areas. Wah Lee’s moved to Hobson Street where it still operates. In 1964 the last Chinese occupied buildings in Greys Avenue were demolished.
Auckland’s first and only Chinatown disappeared and has never been replaced. This surely is testimony to the acceptance New Zealand Chinese people have today in what can be called a culturally diverse society.
Eva Wong Ng
4 June, 2005.
Established in 1867, the Lawrence Chinese Camp had 123 residents at its peak. A Trust has been established and it has purchased the historic site with the aim of restoring, preserving and promoting the site as a world-class accurate and unique `living experience’. This donation will assist with the first archaeological dig and to make the site secure.Contact: Dr J Ng Ph 464-0042
One Man's Poll
by Simon Collins
It was the year 2000. The number of ethnic Asians in New Zealand had just exceeded the number of Pacific Islanders.
At James Cook High School in Manurewa, a group of Indian students asked the school for financial support to take part in that year's Auckland Secondary Schools Maori and Pacific Islands Cultural Festival, which had become the world's biggest Polynesian event. "The Maori cultural groups were funded," said one of those Indian students, Vikash Naidu. "We asked the school to support us. It didn't."
Last month - two years later - that decision still burned in Naidu's memory when he was interviewed near the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), where he is studying business and computing. He is not alone. Many of the 78 Asians, Africans and Pacific Islanders among the 600 New Zealanders interviewed for this series feel they are still not being treated on a par with other Kiwis. Most of them are glad to be here. Much higher proportions of Asians and Africans (76%) and Pacific Islanders (56%) rated the state of the country as "good" or better than did Europeans (49%) or Maori (33%). That was not just because of our relatively unspoilt environment and our democratic freedoms, although these remain our most powerful beacons to people fleeing Fiji, China and other overcrowded autocracies. A surprising number of immigrants also rated New Zealanders as more welcoming and less racist than people in other places they have lived in, such as Australia and even Canada.
But there are serious tensions, especially in Auckland, which is home to 2/3 of the country's immigrants. In this respect two quite different countries emerge from this survey: Auckland and the rest.
The Maori and Pacific Islands Festival is a microcosm of the conflicting pressures as the new Asian migrants look for a place in a predominantly European society still struggling to come to terms with its growing Polynesian element. The teacher in charge of the Indian cultural group at James Cook High School, Rosalind Daniel, said at least 30 Indian groups from various schools took part in this year's festival at the Manukau Sports Bowl in March. James Cook paid its students' fees, but the Indian performers were consigned to the Niuean/Cook Islands stage on the Thursday, the day before the main event. "We are not given our own stage, so while it's still under construction getting ready for the festival on Friday, we are allowed to use it - while the carpenters and all the other people are still tinkering with it," she said. "To be honest with you, we are not integrated into the festival. We have to push ourselves to get any registration or any time to perform."
Daniel, who came to New Zealand from India 25 years ago, said the Asian groups met two weeks ago and discussed the possibility of a separate Asian cultural festival. But it would be a divisive plan and they don't want to do it. "I can understand that the name is the Polynesian Festival," she said. "So maybe we should have a multicultural festival rather than just a Polynesian Festival, because Asian students are coming into this country and we are not recognising their presence at all. I wish they would recognise that we are part of New Zealand too."
Highly qualified adult immigrants find the same kind of resistance among Kiwi employers.
A Singaporean who travelled the world 9 times as international marketing manager in his home country could not find anyone interested in his contacts and skills here and has ended up buying a Lotto outlet in a suburban mall. "I have a doctor friend, a cancer specialist who graduated from a British university. He is not recognised as a doctor here," he said. "The country is short of cancer specialists. Immigrants go and apply for a job. Sometimes employers look at the names and they don't even get a reply. Or they say, 'Do you have Kiwi experience?"'
A 45-year-old Iraqi engineer with years of experience overseas said he had gone back to university to do a local master's degree after trying for three years to get a job.
Georgia Molia, a Solomon Islands hairdresser who came here via Australia two years ago, said Australia made sure its immigrants found jobs. "Last night, I saw a doctor - an immigrant - working in a supermarket. Why don't you make use of people like that?" she asked.
Elizabeth Tuanai, 31, a senior secretary in Samoa, has been unable to get a job since she arrived in Auckland six months ago. Her friend Anita Auai, 32, a clerical worker at the Starship hospital for 10 years, has been looking for a new job for a year. "I think there is discrimination by employers. They discriminate by what race you are."
Another Pacific Islander who is studying at the Auckland College of Education feels it is also harder for immigrants to get public funding for projects. "If an association of Pakeha apply for money, they get it," she said. "If an association of Pacific Islanders apply for it, they don't. I am so angry with the way the Government treats us."
Many migrants resent - in terms which most Pakeha would shrink from expressing - the scholarships, preferential entry quotas and Treaty of Waitangi settlements which they see Maori people getting. "The Maoris don't work," said 20-year-old communications student Cici Zhang, a recent arrival from China. They don't have ... very good qualifications but they get money from the Government. I think it's unfair. They just sit there and the Government will give them money. The Maoris often do some very bad things," she said. "I don't like it. Maybe sometimes I hate them. Sometimes they are very rude."
Even Pacific Islanders such as Cara Santos, another AUT student, are trying to understand Maori treaty claims with virtually no knowledge of New Zealand history. "The people who tried to sign the treaty really have no claim on it because they chose to sign. It's not the Government's fault, it's their fault," she said.
Many have no wish to learn more. "The Maori thing is not going to apply for me, I'm a Muslim," said Adil Balizi, a Moroccan working for Air New Zealand at Auckland Airport.
A Chinese real estate agent in Howick said: "I'm not voting. I can't be bothered. I don't know how many years we'll be here."
Yet despite all this, there is room for hope. For one thing, the immigrants appreciate even the kind of democracy that we are experiencing this month. "We feel if we live here the Government will listen to us," said Howick College student Gevin Yang, from China.
The Singaporean executive who ended up in a Lotto shop said: "You've got a democracy which is a real democracy." He later emailed asking the Herald not to use his name with his comments about Singapore because "I have family living on that island and they may be persecuted because of my open comments".
Georgia Molia said: "There is racism here in New Zealand, but it's not as bad as in Australia. I can walk down the street in Australia and people can throw words at me just because I'm black."
A Fiji Indian student echoed her: "I have lived in Australia as well. There is more equal opportunity here. The economy isn't that great but it is improving. There is more opportunity here in work and lifestyle."
Alvin Woon and Mary-Ann Hong, both young Malaysians who have grown up on the North Shore, said: "The economy is pretty good compared with a few years ago and we haven't got many complaints about anything else."
Tamea Vaisima, an Otara mother who came from Tonga in 1974, said things had improved. "New Zealand has got better since 1974. They got used to the Island people being here and other nationalities. "It's got better for all of us."
In last year's census, 29% of Aucklanders claimed Pacific Island, Asian or other ethnicity apart from European and Maori. For comparison, only 11.6% were Maori. (Some claimed more than one ethnicity, so the figures have some overlap.) Ethnic groups other than Europeans and Maori made up only 8.1% of the people in the rest of the North Island, and only 5.2% in the South Island. Maori easily outnumbered them everywhere except Auckland. This geographical split has created a potential for misunderstanding. Many migrants believe, as a Samoan/Chinese student in Manukau put it, that "there are just as many Samoans as there are Maori". Or Chinese, or Indians. In Auckland, that is almost true - last year's census showed it had 154,680 Pacific Islanders and 127,629 Maori. There were also 165,264 Asians and other non-Europeans with 754,749 Europeans, giving Auckland increasingly the flavour of a true international city - and a completely different feel from, say, Hastings or Wanganui.
Many Pacific Island families have been in NZ for a generation, yet 67% of their people are still concentrated in Auckland. By comparison, the city has 64% of New Zealand's Asians. So it is primarily Auckland which is going to have to find a more secure place for the newcomers in its schools, workplaces and communities if the new groups are to contribute their full potential. The rest of NZ can do its bit with those who find their way there. But for the most part, immigration is a challenge for Auckland.
Source: www.nzherald.co.nz 10 July 2002