Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Star-struck teens win zero-gravity flight

Two star-struck Auckland teenagers are over the moon after a science project won them a zero-gravity flight.

Auckland Grammar students Patrick Zeng, 16, and Derek Chan, 17, beat thousands of entries to win the Asia Pacific category of the YouTube Space Lab competition.

A YouTube video of their experiment, looking at how to boil or freeze water in space, won them the competition.

The teenagers are among six students worldwide who will travel to Washington DC in the United States next month to take a zero-gravity flight and vie for the two supreme awards.

If that isn't a big enough buzz, one of the world's top scientist has also seen their experiment on YouTube.

"Since we're in the top six entries now, we know that Professor Stephen Hawking has watched our video, which is really amazing," Derek said.

Auckland Grammar School Principal John Morris was thrilled to hear of the boys' achievement.

"They deserve huge credit for their vision, hard work and energy," he said.

The Space Lab competition is run with help from a number of space agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, otherwise known as NASA.

Two global winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on March 22.

The overall winner will get their experiment performed on the International Space Station.

Patrick and Derek are up against students from Spain, the United States, India and Egypt.

- © Fairfax NZ News MARIKA HILL
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2012

FLYING HIGH: Auckland Grammar students Patrick Zeng, 16, and Derek Chan, 17, beat thousands of entries to win the Asia Pacific category of the YouTube Space Lab competition.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

$24m store to open on Saturday

Peter Gaston

Napier's about-to-be-opened $24 million Pak'n Save supermarket is the largest retail premises in Hawke's Bay.

The huge complex, built on the inner-city rail land, will be officially opened by Mayor Barbara Arnott on Friday evening and it will open for business at 10am Saturday.

With a covered area of 7000sq m it eclipses the Hastings Mitre 10 Mega store as the largest single retail premises under one roof.

The Mitre 10 store, which opened earlier in the year, covers 7500sq m but includes an open-air garden centre and a drive-through area.

Run by owner-operator Hanno Hasselman the supermarket is believed to be the second in size only to one in Albany.

It has taken almost a year to build and more than $2.5m to stock the shelves.

Not all the 300 people needed to staff the supermarket have been appointed though Mr Hasselman, who began his career in the food trade running a dairy about 400m away in Kennedy Road, said he had enough staff to run the store.

In 1979 Mr Hasselman bought two dairies in Bay View and converted one into a Four Square supermarket.

In 1985 he took over the Tamatea Supermarket and in 1995 doubled its size and converted it into the region's first Pak'n Save.

Six years later the size of its storage area was doubled and shortly after that the country's first Pak'n Save service station opened.

The opening of the Napier supermarket will also see the demise of one of the region's oldest.

The nearby Write Price Food Barn at Balmoral, initially opened in 1964, will close when the new store opens. It was built on what had been the site of an inner-city timber mill, was opened by Frank Baudinet and Henry Wong as part of the Balmoral shopping centre. However, it did not become a Write Price Store until Janice and Bing Young joined Mr Wong in 1985 when the store was doubled in size. It was further extended in 1991 to include a bakery.
Wednesday, December 1, 2004 12:22

It's all go as overbridge completed

Traffic began using the Hawke's Bay Expressway - Meeanee Road overbridge for the first time yesterday as Transit New Zealand started the countdown to its official opening next week.

Last week, it was not expected any traffic would use the bridge until the opening on November 1, but the bridge has been opened to northbound traffic.

Project manager Mike Wong says motorists travelling towards Napier on the SH50 Hawke's Bay Expressway should use the overbridge instead of travelling through the existing intersection at Meeanee Road.

Expressway traffic heading to Taradale or Meeanee should exit at the new southern off-ramp and turn left or right at the new roundabout at Meeanee Road.

The Meeanee Overbridge has been built as part of the Meeanee Road Interchange Upgrade, which is scheduled for completion in December following two years of construction. Mr Wong says the project will improve safety and reduce congestion by separating SH50 Hawke's Bay Expressway traffic from local traffic using Meeanee Road.

Traffic just south of the intersection was last year counted at 20,000 vehicles a day, an increase of about 30 per cent in five years.

The bridge will be fully opened to both northbound and southbound traffic in early November, though work will continue to complete the project on the underpass, intended to be without further disruption of traffic on the Expressway.

Mr Wong thanks motorists for their patience as they get used to the new road layout.

The overbridge will be formally opened in a ribbon-cutting by Minister of Transport Annette King at 10am on November 1. Thursday, October 25, 2007 14:56

IRONMAN: Dentist's turn to feel pain

Shane Hurndell

Napier dentist Chris Wong knows all about giving out advice to his patients and occasionally his patients also give him some.

After Saturday's New Zealand Ironman in Taupo he'll probably wish he never took the advice of patient and 2004 Ironman finisher Ingrid Edmondson and entered the gruelling race which involves a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and a 42km run.

"It all began when Ingrid was sitting in the chair telling me I should enter. Then I read an article about two old guys who had done all 20 and that inspired me," said Wong, who began training back in January.

"One of the old guys actually forgot to train one year. Originally I thought I wouldn't train but then Ingrid told me I had better do some," said the 42-year-old Napier Masters swimmer.

"These legs are made for swimming, not running and cycling," he said after completing some cycling training. "His first triathlon will be the toughest ... he will probably so some smaller ones afterwards, to wind down," Edmondson laughed.

Edmondson finished the Ironman last year in 14hrs 52min - well inside the 17 hours permitted. Wong just wants to finish within 17 hours.

"Because I was a late entry I had to pay an extra $100, so all-up my entry fee was $685 ... I definitely want to finish," he said.

His training programme has included a 50km cycle and 10km run five days a week. Wong has also swum 2km twice a week. Since January he has worked only two days a week, so his training schedules can be accommodated. He is rapt with the assistance from Edmondson, her husband, Graham Edmondson, and cycling partners Herb Maynard and Andrew Spence.

"Ingrid has told me how to pace myself, what to look out for and what food to take," said Wong ,who has lost five kilograms since he began training for the Ironman.

Unlike some of the Bay's regular entrants, he hasn't trained on any of the race legs in Taupo. He has opted to "take it as I see it".

Wong has cycled regularly over the Apley Road and Seapoint Road circuits. His introduction to cycle racing came when he entered Central Hawke's Bay's 100km Tour De Beautiful in January. He completed the race in four hours, while winner Dan Warren of the Ramblers Cycling Club recorded 2hrs 37min 28sec.

"I was happy just to finish and that's all I want on Saturday," Wong said.

He will be one of 16 Hawke's Bay starters on Saturday. Havelock North husband and wife Geoff and Maree Martin are among them.

Maree is a first-time entrant and Geoff has done it before. Fellow Hawke's Bay Multisport Club members, Napier nanny Simonne Morris, Napier teacher Brent Jones, Napier pharmacist James Dever, Havelock North builder Jim Taylor, Havelock North accountant James Bell and Hastings assistant brewer Jeremy Rimene are all first-timers.

Their clubmate, Napier engineer Owen Cleverton, is the oldest Hawke's Bay starter at 55. He has completed five ironmans in the past.

Havelock North policeman Glen Yule, Napier land agent Tony Lambdon and Hamilton-based Steve McSweeney are other club members with previous experience fronting up again.

Other Bay starters are first-timers Napier engineer and former student of Jones, Andy McKenzie, and Taradale analyst Carol Shellard. Haumoana teacher Alan Birnie and Napier policeman Glenn Restieaux are also returning for more punishment.
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 12:30

Teen seeks tasty end with fairytale fashion

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen was the inspiration for an edible Little Red Riding Hood outfit, designed by Flaxmere's Hemi Wong for this year's Edible Fashion Awards on Saturday.

"The theme is Magical Mystery so I have gone for a Red Riding Hood theme," Mr Wong said.

Mr Wong won the competition last year with his Elephant Saviour garment made from mushrooms, figs, dates, popcorn and rice.

This time the centrepiece of his design will be a red cape, with a simple net dress underneath.

"The idea of having a dress made out of net is so it will look as though the food is on her body."

This is the fourth year Mr Wong has entered the awards, and he's learnt much from past experience working with difficult mediums.

"The last outfit had about 100 mushrooms and I used my grandmother's dehydrator so they would last longer, but after the competition they deteriorated pretty much right away.

"This year I have gone for dried food, I have been to the Asian markets a lot and I have tried to stay away from lollies - for the first two years that is what I used and I found they are a lot harder to work with."

This year may be Mr Wong's last in the competition, as he is taking a gap year before hopefully heading to Otago University to study medicine.

"Doing this is a bit of time out for me, it's a way to relax I started out in soft tech class at school and here I am entering again."

While he has high hopes of making the finals, Mr Wong says part of the fun is seeing other people's designs.

The Pak'nSave Hastings Edible Fashion Awards 2011 will be held at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings on Saturday.

Junior and intermediate designers will be shown from 10am, with senior students and adult designers from 2pm.

Tickets for the daytime shows: Adults $5, children $2.50 at the door.

Evening Extravaganza, 7pm: Family pass $47, adults $20, $15 students and 65+ , $10 children under 12. Tickets available from TicketDirect, phone 0800 224 224. AMY SHANKS | Wednesday, April 6, 2011 9:59

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dr Jian Yang

Dr Jian Yang entered Parliament as a List MP for National at the 2011 election.

Jian’s entry into Parliament follows a distinguished academic career. He was previously a Senior Lecturer of International Relations at the University of Auckland and Associate Dean (Postgraduate) of the Faculty of Arts and Director of the China Studies Centre at the New Zealand Asia Institute.

He has also been Chair of the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA) since 2002 after serving as its deputy chair in 2001. The NZIIA is an independent, non-profit making organisation.

Jian completed his tertiary education in China before receiving his MA and PhD in International Relations at the Australian National University (ANU). He came to the University of Auckland in March 1999.

As a regular commentator on international and domestic affairs for local Chinese media, Jian is well known and respected amongst the Chinese community in New Zealand.

Like many Chinese New Zealanders, Jian shares the values of the National Party, particularly equal citizenship and equal opportunity, individual freedom and choice, personal responsibility, and reward for achievement. As a father of two children, he wants to provide a safe and prosperous environment for his kids to grow up.

Jian is looking forward to representing the Chinese community in Parliament.

Contact Details:

Email: jian.yang@parliament.govt.nz
Phone: 021 170 8358
Contact Details
Email: jian.yang@parliament.govt.nz
Phone: (04)8178387 (Parliament)
Phone: . (Electorate)

Jian Yang

Maiden Speech - Dr Jian Yang
Friday, 17 February 2012, 11:48 am
Speech: New Zealand National Party

Dr Jian Yang
National List MP
16 February 2012

(Check against delivery)

Maiden Speech
Kia Ora

Mr Speaker,

As a Chinese who immigrated to New Zealand only 13 years ago, I feel extremely honoured standing here before you all to give my Maiden Statement today.

Firstly,I would like to thank the Chinese community for their encouragement and support. 广大的华人华侨朋友们,我感谢你们的一贯支持和厚爱。这一刻也属于你们。(Dear fellow Chinese, I thank you for your consistent support. This moment belongs to you as well).

I am grateful to my colleagues at the University of Auckland, particularly the staff of the Department of Political Studies. Special thanks go to Professor Barry Gustafson and Professor Raymond Miller, from whom I learned a great deal about New Zealand politics, and who both encouraged me to step out of theoretical politics and into real politics.

I thank the Board directors of the National Party for their trust. In particular, I thank our President Peter Goodfellow. I cannot overstate Peter’s help in the past few months.

I also thank my Party colleagues for their warm welcome and support.

And I thank the Prime Minister for his trust and guidance.

Most of all, I thank my family; my parents in China who cannot be here today and my wife Jane and my daughters Suzie and Evelyn. I fully understand the sacrifices my family have to make, and it was not an easy decision to leave the Ivory Tower and jump into the turbulent sea of real politics. Thank you Jane, Suzie and Evelyn for your love and trust.

Mr Speaker, as the Prime Minister noted in his first speech to the new parliament, the National Party was the first party in New Zealand to have a Chinese MP. I would like to take this opportunity and acknowledge the achievement of Hon Pansy Wong.

My election into Parliament lays down yet another milestone in the history of Chinese immigrants in New Zealand. I am the first National MP who is an immigrant from mainland China.

The Chinese community in New Zealand has experienced rapid growth in the past two to three decades. We are attracted by, among other things, New Zealand’s second-to-none environment, democratic political system, equal economic opportunities and stable society.

Mr Speaker, as an immigrant who witnessed and experienced the many political upheavals in China, I do not take any of the benefits I’m enjoying now for granted. My grandfather was a general of the Nationalist Party, or KMT, which is today the ruling party in Taiwan. When the Communist Party came to power in China in 1949, my grandfather lost all his property, was imprisoned and lived in poverty for the rest of his life.

In the first thirty years of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese government launched one political movement after another, climaxing with the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution beginning in 1966. The Revolution left behind millions of political victims, including my parents, who were sent to the countryside to be re-educated by peasants.

In 1978, under the rule of Deng Xiaoping, China made the historic decision to reform and open up. Capitalism began to flourish Deng’s virtue of pragmatism is highlighted by his most famous quotation “I don’t care if it’s a white cat or a black cat. It’s a good cat as long as it catches mice.” In that same year of 1978, I passed the newly-restored higher education examination and became part of the small group of high-school graduates who went on to university.

The change in China since 1978 has been awe-inspiring. China today is a different world. But the journey has certainly not all been smooth. In April 1989, a great opportunity was opened up for me when I received a scholarship from the John Hopkins University in America. However, in the weeks following, student demonstrations swept China. The Chinese government’s policy change afterwards prevented me from leaving to study in the United States.

Fortunately for China, after a period of hesitation the government decided to continue its reformation. In 1994 I started my postgraduate study in Australia, and in 1999 I completed my PhD and began my work at the University of Auckland.

My experiences reiterate the inescapable influence of politics on our lives, and greatly contrast the deep value placed on political rights and freedom that we enjoy in New Zealand. For this reason, I appreciate the National Party’s commitment to democratic principles and individual freedom and choice.

Politics and economics are two areas difficult to differentiate. Between 1949 and 1978, China was a socialist country with a planned economy. The Chinese people were called upon to march towards a Communist utopia; where everyone should contribute to society to the best of his or her ability, and consume from society in proportion to his or her need, that is, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Socialist economic policies did not aid China. By the year of my birth in 1962, China had wiped out private ownership in an effort to build a socialist economy. A horrific famine had just passed with the death of millions of people. In those years, everyone was equal but everyone was poor. The most spectacular present that I received for my 10th birthday was two eggs for breakfast.

By 1978, the Chinese economy was on the verge of collapse. It was at that critical moment that the Chinese government started economic reforms, salvaging the economy just in time. Market economy was introduced. Entrepreneurship was encouraged. The irrational pursuit of income equality was abolished. A popular official slogan at the time was “shui xian fu, shui guang rong 谁先富,谁光荣” meaning “It is glorious to become rich before others.”

We are all aware of China’s enormous economic growth since that pivotal year of 1978. China has risen to become the second largest economy in the world. The Chinese government has successfully lifted millions of people out of poverty.

Reflecting on the way in which China has achieved its positive change and development gives me a firm belief that the policies of the National Party are in the best interests of New Zealand. We give priority to economic growth. And to achieve this growth, we emphasise the importance of personal responsibility, competitive enterprise and reward for achievement. These are all values shared by the Chinese community and many other New Zealanders.

The Chinese were the third racial group to settle in New Zealand, after the Maori and European. Most of them came as gold miners in the second half of the 19th century. Historian Michael King said “Once in New Zealand, the Chinese who persisted despite the poll tax and considerable prejudice proved themselves to be law-abiding and hard-working citizens.”

We should not undervalue the contributions of the Chinese community to New Zealand. Not only has the Chinese community contributed economically, they have also enriched the lives of all New Zealanders through the celebration of Chinese arts, cuisine and traditions. Every year about 200,000 people from different ethnic communities came to the Auckland Lantern Festival as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

To the Chinese, strong work ethics coupled with good education are the two key elements to success. Surveys show that Chinese immigrants are often well educated, and it is no secret that Chinese children generally do well at school. The New Zealand Herald noted in April last year that “If education is our future, Chinese minds will be prominent in shaping New Zealand's destiny.” This again reinforces the Chinese community’s vital role in the future development of our country.
The Chinese community’s value in education echoes that of the National Party. We are committed to offering the best education to all New Zealanders, and we believe education provides the ability for all to move forward.

Despite the successes of the Chinese in New Zealand, all new immigrants need time to adapt to a new country. Considering their Eastern cultural background, it may be more challenging for Chinese immigrants to adapt to our mainly Western society. It is in the best interests of all for us to give them more support in this respect.

On the other hand, all immigrants should themselves try to integrate. Chinese immigrants are no exception. Members of the Chinese community should not only learn the languages and cultures of mainstream society, but also be willing to sacrifice for the country.

It is pleasing to note the global trend among overseas Chinese is to move away from luoye guigen 落叶归根, “fallen leaves return to the roots”, but towards luodi shenggen 落地生根, “to grow roots where they land”. The mentality of sojournism is no longer dominant. Many Chinese, including my family, gave up their Chinese citizenship and proudly became New Zealand citizens. Mr Speaker, we are Kiwis, although made in China.

The Chinese immigrants do have a strong desire for recognition and integration, which is why they have been actively involved in philanthropy and politics. They have been generous in their donations to the victims of the Christchurch earthquake. There were also a record number of Chinese candidates in the most recent general election.

Mr Speaker, I feel truly honored to be a National Party representative of the Chinese community. I hope to see more Chinese in Parliament as the community is still under represented.

Mr Speaker, the rise of China has given New Zealand an ideal opportunity. China is now our second largest trading partner. Our trade with East Asia, especially China, played a crucial role in our effort to deal with the global financial crisis in recent years. In this respect, Chinese residents’ connection with China is a great asset to New Zealand. The connection has generated many economic opportunities and there is still a great potential.

As a Chinese immigrant, I will act as a bridge between the Chinese community and our mainstream society. I will also endeavour to contribute to the strengthening of New Zealand’s relations with China.

What is more, my background and experiences render me capable of making contributions in many other areas, be it education, foreign affairs, ethnic affairs, or health.

To conclude, the values held by me and many Chinese New Zealanders are parallel to those of the National Party and other New Zealanders. These include equal citizenship and equal opportunity, individual freedom and choice, personal responsibility, and reward for achievement. As a father of two, I see it as my responsibility to provide a safe and prosperous environment for my children to grow up in. With the National Party, I look forward to a brighter future. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Name: Jian Yang
Electorate: Didn't stand
Place on list: 36
Claim to fame: Senior lecturer in political studies, associate Dean of Arts Faculty, director of the China Studies Centre for the NZ Asia Institute at Auckland Uni. Also chair of the Auckland Branch of the NZ Institute of International Affairs.
Web: Inactive
Email: jian.yang@parliament.govt.nz

A magestic evening

REVIEW: Fireworks are believed to have originated in China in the seventh century, so it was perhaps ironic that we opted for Chinese food before the Guy Fawkes display on Saturday night.

Majestic Cuisine is located just down from The Embassy in Courtenay Place. The fully licensed and BYO restaurant has often caught my eye, and feeling like a lighter kind of meal, we thought we'd give it a go.

It was very busy when we arrived, with several large parties, but we were able to secure a small table, and when a family left 10 minutes later the waitress happily moved us to a bigger one.

The menu looked impressive, with large colour photographs of some of the dishes and pages of choices. It took us a while to decide because we were questioning whether to go outside our comfort zones with scorched large intestines, shark fin soup or chicken feet. We played it safe.

To begin, we ordered pan fried pork dumplings ($6), chive dumplings with shrimp ($6) and deep fried squid ($6).

The restaurant itself is quite spacious, filled with large round tables and separated by a wall down the middle.

A huge semicircular mirror on one wall gives the illusion of the restaurant that is expanding far beyond its parameters.

The entrees arrived as we finally decided on mains. The dumplings were good, but the deep fried squid was a little doughy. For mains we tried hot and spicy pork ribs ($20), steamed tofu with mince meat ($18.50) and the Majestic special roast chicken ($18 for half a chicken).

The meals were brought out quickly. The tofu was probably the pick of them, with nice presentation and the mince adding a good flavour to the tofu.

There was nothing fancy about the Majestic special. It was, quite literally, half a chicken, with what seemed to be a special type of breadcrumb - very tasty. The ribs were disappointing. I expected them to come in a hot and spicy sauce, but was instead presented with what appeared to be deep fried rib pieces, neither hot nor spicy.

It was a fun evening, with the waitresses very friendly, though very rushed as they raced between tables.

For three entrees, three mains, steamed rice and corkage for our bottle of wine, the meal came to $86.50.

- The Wellingtonian Food review: Magestic

Majestic Cuisine - Cantonese Magic

Majestic Cuisine, 11 Courtenay Place, Tel: (04) 381-0338

It’s just not the ease of access, being only a couple of minutes away from Regional Wines, but it’s also the excellent food, very friendly service and good value. These clichés extolling the virtues of a restaurant are bandied around easily, but in the case of the Majestic, they are very apt. Wine enthusiasts and winemakers have decent palates and an appreciation of what is good eating, and most are not inexperienced in dining out. Without exception, for all the times we have frequented the Majestic, we have been well-served in the goodness of the food and the congenial service. We feel as if we are family when we are there, one big family, especially when we descend upon the restaurant in a sizeable group.

The word ‘family’ is one of the keys to the magic at the Majestic. Owned by three siblings, Walter and Simon Yan and the ever-youthful Ida Chiu, who are first, third and sixth of the Yan family, their children are also involved with the operation. Jeremy Yan looks after the wine list and the effervescent Vicky Chiu oversees the service between university studies.

The food is classical Cantonese with a bit of a Szechuan twist. It’s what the family know best. It’s also the Chinese cuisine I know best, my family running a Chinese restaurant for over a decade, so I feel reasonably qualified to judge it! Our favourite main courses include crispy roast duck, king prawns and seasonal vegetables, pork ribs in OK sauce, beef in black bean sauce, a steamed whole fish, ‘Eight Treasure’ tofu, bok choy with garlic and combination fried rice. My mum couldn’t cook these dishes better. In addition to the comprehensive range of main courses, there is the traditional selection of entrees, soups, and desserts. As with any respectable Chinese restaurant, banquet set meals are offered, but often we put our trust in the kitchen for a selection of interesting, tasty and different dishes. The entrees range in price from $4.00 - $8.00, mains from $18.00 - $40.00, averaging in the mid $20.00s and desserts at $6.00.

The more subtle Cantonese flavours suit a surprising range of wine styles, but recently we have enjoyed Mt Edward Pinot Blanc 2009, Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett 2007, Schoffit Alsace Gewurztraminer ‘Harth’ 2007, Spade Oak Viognier 2007, (surprisingly) Te Mata ‘Elston’ Chardonnay 2008, Pond Paddock Pinot Noir 2008, Drouhin Beaune 1er ‘Greves’ 2007 and Yalumba ‘Hand-Picked’ Tempranillo/Grenache/Viognier 2006 with the food. If you don’t BYO, then there’s a sound wine list of New Zealand wines with favourites such as Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc, Redmetal Chardonnay, Wild Rock Pinot Noir and Instinct Syrah.

The Majestic serves Yum Char in addition to dinner daily. You can walk out from lunch, replete, for less than $20.00 per person. For dinner, you spend $25.00 - $35.00 per person, excluding wine. I call that incredible value. How can they manage it? It must be magic!

- Raymond Chan

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Pressured consumers hunt bargains

People are on the hunt for a bargain as everyday living costs continue to rise.

Whangarei Pak ‘n Save has seen about 1000 extra costumers come through its doors each week, compared to a few months ago.

"Everyone is looking for a bargain," says Rodney Chang, Whangarei Pak ‘n Save owner. "We are known as being cheaper then others, so that is bringing in more people."

Mr Chang says two weeks ago the store had a sale on cheese which was more popular then ever.

"We haven’t seen a rise in customer numbers like this in a long time."

He says in previous years, the store had a drop in customer numbers when other supermarkets opened up in Whangarei.

Mr Chang has not seen a change in the brands people have been buying, like stores in the South Island, but he has seen people stocking up for the month rather than going in each week.

North Haven Hospice store Allsortz on James St, which sells pre-loved clothing and furniture, has also seen a rise in customer numbers.

"More people are buying, we are very well supported by the community," says Kathy McMillan from Allsortz.

She says the shop is getting more new customers to the store than ever before who are looking for a bargain.

People are donating to the store just as much as ever but the number of people asking for the donated items to be picked up has also risen with the rise in fuel.

"We will be increasing the number of days we pick up from three to four soon," says Ms McMillan.

Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Jeff Smith says stores need to keep being proactive to draw customers in during this unstable financial period.

"There is a lot of news about a recession. We are telling people to keep marketing and keep trying to do something different than others," says Mr Smith. "It is going to get better in time."

He suggests if stores are struggling to keep marketing going while the times get tough, they should hire a business coach for advice on how to put their resources in the right place.

Mr Smith says Whangarei stores are generally smart sellers and he believes most will get through the rocky time.

- © Fairfax NZ News Last updated 13:21 14/07/2008

Time for change for Chang's dairy

COLIN SMITH/ The Nelson Mail
END OF AN ERA: Long time owners Grace and Trevor Chang have sold their Tahunanui dairy after running it for more than four decades.

Ask Trevor and Grace Chang what the best part of owning a small family business is and the answer is easy meeting people.

The family have owned NA Chang's Dairy on Tahunanui Drive for more than 50 years so have met their fair share of customers. However, next Tuesday, the shop which Trevor took over from his father will change hands.

"You could say it's the end of an era," Mr Chang said.

His father, Norman, started his first store on Trafalgar St in 1936 before moving out to Tahunanui in 1952 for a quieter life.

"There were only four shops in the area back then," Mr Chang recalled.

The area might have grown but the appeal of owning a convenience store has always remained.

"It's just meeting different people from other cultures and countries," Mrs Chang said. "When the summer season starts there are tourists from all over the world, we will miss it."

They are hoping to spend more time in Wellington with their two children who spent part of their formative years behind the shop counter learning the value of money.

"It meant I was always close to them," Mrs Chang said, "but also the children learned how to meet people and they were both very well behaved because they had to work after school."

The pair met and married in Hong Kong in 1967 when Mr Chang was on holiday. "And Grace has been a prisoner ever since," he said.

The first time they were in the Nelson Mail was early in 1968 when they returned to Nelson.

"There weren't too many Chinese in Nelson then," Mrs Chang said. "So I was a bit of a novelty I think."

The store started out as a fruit and vege shop which sold a few frozen goods. The boom times were when the shop used to supply all the ships coming into the Nelson port.

"In those days we used to work 22 hours a day in peak of season," Mr Chang said. "Sometimes there would be 10 or 12 boats coming in at the same time looking for everything we did it all."

When KFC bought the Kozy Korner Tea Rooms about 20 years ago the owners asked Mr Chang if they would like to take over all their stock the milk, the newspapers and bread, "and we thought why not".

Then last week the same thing happened. A Chinese family, who have been in New Zealand for about a year, came into the store and asked if Trevor wanted to sell. "We pretty much said `sure' and almost signed that day."

The new owners will be on their own next week when Trevor and Grace hand over the keys.

"It's been pretty special, we kept it going," he said. "It has been 72 years this business has been in the family."

Last updated 13:10 26/08/2009

Goodbye Uncle Chang's

t is a sad coincidence that just as the Chinese New Year starts, Wellington has lost my favourite Chinese Restaurant: Uncle Chang's is gone.

After watching Black Swan on Tuesday night, my friends and I emerged from the cinema disturbed and/or confused about what we had just seen. (Has anyone else not been so enamoured by that film? I'm personally cheering for The King's Speech, which I found funny, moving and inspiring - that was more my kind of movie.) I do love Natalie Portman but Black Swan had not put me in a good mood or state of mind, so we decided we all needed a drink and began walking along Courtenay Place.

I noticed that the lights in Uncle Chang's were turned off. A notice in the window said that after more than a decade of service, Uncle Chang's was closing on February 6. It said they might reopen somewhere else in the future, but that by no means sounded like it was a sure thing. Sniff.

Uncle Chang's has long been my favourite place to eat before a movie or big night out. I tended to order the same thing: a huge plate of Chicken Fried Rice for $12.50.

It sounds like the restaurant's closure may have to do with the tenancy ending and being too costly (as with the old Chocolate Fish in Scorching Bay).

I often have mixed success in handling changes like this. Sometimes I just roll with the punches and deal with it and other times I feel sad and mad about it - today I'm feeling both: I'm smad. On the night when I discovered it, I was feeling disturbed and confused already because of the movie, but then this news meant I was also depressed so I should've joined the girls in having some shots but I just went with the more tame option of a glass of wine. Has anyone else lost a favourite restaurant? Is there one you still miss going to?

Become a fan of Over the Rainbow on Facebook or follow Chaz on Twitter Last updated 11:17 10/02/2011

Natasha #1 11:34 am Feb 10 2011

Stamp n' go, it used to be on Marjoriebanks. I was gutted when it closed down.

Mel #2 11:43 am Feb 10 2011

Its gone??!? I used to work down that end of town and loved the place, now I work at the other end of town and am ashamed to discover I missed finding out about this. That place was an institution... On the plus side, I cant see the Oaks Noodle House going anywhere in a hurry!

HelenHeels #3 01:32 pm Feb 10 2011

Epic. I loved it, and I was hardcore loyal. I'm still gutted about it. And I have still not got a fave brekkie / brunch place. I dont know if I'll ever replace it.

Greasy Joes in St Kilda, Melbourne. It too was awesome, and i was also loyal. It closed down after I move back to NZ (hopefully not because I stopped going there 3 times a week) but I'm still gutted it wont be there when I go back

David #4 02:06 pm Feb 10 2011

It's been much more than a decade of service, that place was a regular hangout among my circle of friends back in my varsity days. Food was cheap, plentiful and good. We even had our reunion bash there a little while ago, and nothing had changed. So long folks, hope you do reopen somewhere.

liz #5 02:11 pm Feb 10 2011

I haven't see The Black Swan but have now heard reports from a number of people that it's a bit bizarre and that some of the weird bits are more funny than frightening. I doubt if I'll bother to go. The King's Speech is wonderful. So what if the Time Lines have been shuffled around a bit - the movie is an inspiration and emminently watchable.

Karlos #6 02:43 pm Feb 10 2011

I feel your pain - my favourite Chinese takeaway place in ChCh has been condemned and is scheduled for demolition after the earthquake. I think the Asian couple who ran the place used to live above it so I hope they've found somewhere to live and open another shop!

Steve #7 02:59 pm Feb 10 2011

I'm odd because although I also judge a restaurant on price, I won't go there unless it is sufficiently expensive. Rainbow Wellington once offered an event at Floriditas, but I turned my nose up at it because the prices were too low. How could it be good at those prices? After hearing how good it was from friends I went along on another evening. Yes the prices were still low but the food was superb! so I can recommend Floriditas to you as a delicious alternative to Uncle Changs.

Shiny #8 04:00 pm Feb 10 2011

Personally, I was one of that group that loved Black Swan, but I think True Grit was a better film (dare I say even better than The King's Speech?).

Farewell Uncle Changs. Very sad when great places like that close down. Mind you, chicken fried rice isn't a tricky dish so I'm sure you'll find another place you like. Maybe it won't be as great value as Uncle Changs always was though.

I second the Oaks recommendation for a cheap feed though!

me #9 04:05 pm Feb 10 2011

I miss Bandong on Cuba, where Hunters and Collectors is now. It was completely mad. There was a gift shop before you got into the restaurant towards the end of its life, with fake palm trees and all sorts of random junk. So bizarre. I also miss the Espressoholic of my youth (for the company and memories, not the awful coffee or dry cake) and the icecreams at the old Rialto, opposite St John's / Mac's Brewery.

@ Steve #7 - That has to be the most ridiculously pretentious thing I've ever heard, and I grew up in the KKK (Kelburn, Karori, Khandallah - the 'big 3' snobby Wellington suburbs). Silly troll is silly.

BG #10 04:58 pm Feb 10 2011

I second #3 on Epic. It was the best, even if you had to wait an hour, totally worth it!

The other cafe that I miss terribly Eva Dixons, when the Zoo one shut down I was close to tears. Then they opened a baby one on Thorndon Quay and it was average at best. Sooooooo disapointing.

Oh and the fish and chip shop that used to be across the road from Parliament. Best hand cut chips (only rivalled by Aro) and now the only Thorndon F and C shop is Starfish which is awful at best and overpriced. Lame.

lazy suzie #11 06:27 pm Feb 10 2011

Changs was my favourite haunt... many a date has seen me disgrace myself there after downing tasman bitter at home before devouring lemon chicken and getting naked. The staff there were extremely tolerant of my behaviour and the memories will stick in my mind forever. I was always seated at the same table, despite me often being in different compnay. On the big nites, I would take off my yellow Friday night shirt and spin on the lazy suzie with my mates. Business may well have taken a turn now that I am married and have kids! Oh the memories... MC

Kerflumpy #12 08:37 pm Feb 10 2011

When I used to live in Christchurch, all the pizza places I liked closed down just as I grew to depend on them. Giadelli's in the M&W Arcade (this is a while ago now - 15 years or more) and then New York Pizza on Manchester St. The latter was small and never really busy, but they had American magazines (what's that satirical one with all the cartoons? I forget) and American sports on TV, that a relative of the proprietor had taped and mailed over. Like I said, a long time ago now. But oh, the pizza was divine!

DW #13 09:55 pm Feb 10 2011

@ Steve #7 - So if somebody put a dog turd on a plate and charged you $200 for it, would you think it was the best meal you had ever been served up in your life?

CA #14 10:52 pm Feb 10 2011

That is very depressing news! I lived my whole life up until a couple of years ago in Wellington, and used to go to Uncle Chang's regularly - so delicious and so affordable!

I really miss the Treehouse Cafe in cuba mall, I spent most of my teenage years sitting up there with friends drinking coffee or banana smoothies - theirs were totally the best I've ever tasted - and playing games. They closed down so long ago, but I still think wistfully about those smoothies.

kasbar #15 03:43 am Feb 11 2011

You're making quite a few assumptions about why Uncle Chang's has closed - why get mad over something that might not even be true?

I don't really understand why the King's Speech is getting so much hype. The performances are very good, but that's nothing particularly striking about it as a film, it's quite pedestrian. Blue Valentine and Winter's Bone are far more worthy winners as far as Best Film goes. But they're just a little too indie for the Oscars!

M Hilton #16 08:38 am Feb 11 2011

Horn Kung also in Courtenay Place. First went there with my inlaws was almost a tradition to go together pre-christmas and then it too was gone so know how you feel. =(

Jess #17 08:39 am Feb 11 2011

@ Steve

What a snobby thing to say! Like #9 I grew up in Eastbourne - home of the snobs but I find that really expensive places are usually over rated and the best places are quite cheap!

I miss Il Casino.

Emm #18 09:08 am Feb 11 2011

Uncle Changs was one of the only places in Wgtn that tolerated so much drunken hooliganism. You just had to pay for any wine glasses that got broken. The food wasn't half bad either!

Leon #19 09:21 am Feb 11 2011

I miss "Mel's Diner" in Beramphore! They used to do a steak that I reckon you'd need a pack of wolves to get through, and they gave you so many roast spuds with it that you had to be careful not to completely fill up on the potatoes alone.

They also did some mean breakfasts. I remember they did epic pancakes that could keep you going the entire day.

Dangit, now I'm hungry!

The food stalls in the old Victoria Markets were pretty cool too ... I wonder if they all still exist in some form?

Gravey #20 09:56 am Feb 11 2011

Never really got into UC. We were always a regular at Shanghai, but now we only seem to go to Grand Century. Best damned yum cha ... well ... anywhere.

Ivor #21 10:07 am Feb 11 2011

Natasha #1

Stamp and Go's closure was one of Wellington's darkest moments. I used to love that place. Lest we forget.

Kate #22 10:13 am Feb 11 2011

@ Jess I grew up in Eastbourne too!! Completely agree that some of the best places are cheaper. Now in chch i like La Porchetta, which for its price is good but im sure there are better places. We go there because its cheap and close. The Bicycle thief is amazing, more expensive but so worth it in this case.

Cafe Chick #23 10:47 am Feb 11 2011

Although I haven't been to Uncle Chang's in years, there's a nostalgic part of me that is sad it's gone. It was one of the few affordable student-friendly haunts on Courtenay Place during the 90s, even if the food was at times questionable. Thanks for the memories, Uncle Chang's!

Evolution IX #24 11:09 am Feb 11 2011

The family who own Uncle Chang's also own the Lychee Cafe. Its on the corner of Cuba St and the motorway bypass.

I admit its a bit out of the way, but go there for a meal and you wont be disappointed. Chaz - you might even find your chicken fried rice there?

Steve #7 would you please pull your head out of your a** mate? That is the stupidest comments I've heard in a long time. The more expensive a meal, the better it is? Hardly!

There are many restaurants in Wellington that dont cost a fortune but serve excellent food. Oh and Floriditas is average at best.

Steve #25 01:23 pm Feb 11 2011

I think it's a matter of film taste Chaz. The subject matter of the King's speech didn't really inspire me after getting out of the cinema. However Black Swan had me awake most of the night, on edge and thinking about my own demons - I loved the experience. I was also a big fan of Aronofsky, and love Requiem for Dream, so I'm guessing it does just come down to your taste in film.

CaptPicard #26 01:46 pm Feb 11 2011

Black Swan is Fight Club for chicks!

Chaz Harris #27 03:35 pm Feb 11 2011

@Steve #25 - totally, it's just completely not my kind of film. I like a good thriller or horror, but I just didn't want to even be thinking about it. It was successful in provoking a reaction, but King's Speech filled me with joy and inspiration.

The true test is if I would watch a film again if it came on TV, I would buy King's Speech on DVD, I would change the channel and avoid Black Swan. All about personal taste.

Alex #28 01:28 pm Feb 15 2011

Chicken Fried Rice!? Be more adventurous

Emma #29 11:02 pm Feb 15 2011

I had a similar feeling when Meow took their chicken sandwich off the menu. That was a dark, dark day in my life. :(

J Cox #30 12:30 pm Feb 17 2011

I remember my days there in which I use to order the sizzling ginger beef. It was this combined with potent ranfurley which I drank in large consumers before driving my Holden down the wrong side of Ironside Road and heading into Changs. This receipe lead to disaster and often found me stumbling around Courtney Place with my jersey inside out and the tag at the front. It also led to me trying to pick fights with Mongrel Mob member few the Cue Room window. How I miss these days at Changs and it is with sad loss I say goodbye. PS I now drive on the right side of the road. J C

Dumplings for Chinese New Year

This weekend New Zealand's Chinese community will celebrate the New Year, with fireworks and parades planned around the country.

If that night appeared to pass unnoticed in some areas, it's because Chinese New Year is essentially a private family celebration, akin to our Christmas. As with Christmas, it's a time for family get-togethers, gift giving and special foods.

Wellington restaurateur Jessica Tang has her mother visiting from Hong Kong this year, and she recalls the Chinese New Year's Eve celebrations from her childhood in Hong Kong, when her grandparents and favourite aunties would turn up for dinner on New Year's Eve, all bearing red envelopes containing cash.

The amounts varied, but from her parents Jessica would always get a thousand-dollar note, Hong Kong's highest denomination, worth about $200 in New Zealand terms.

"But after you get married," chips in Jessica's partner Frank Wang, co-owner of Dragons Restaurant, "you stop getting the red envelopes, and start giving!"

Coming from the north of China, some of Frank's family dishes are quite different from Jessica's. An absolute must for Frank's family on New Year's Eve was boiled dumplings, while Jessica says that in Hong Kong and the south that is unknown.

Jessica's family used to eat pig trotters braised in stock, and boiled pig's tongue. In both cases, they would be served with a sauce of dried oysters and black moss, a delicate type of seaweed with auspicious linguistic associations for the Cantonese: their name for black moss is "fat choy" - exactly the same as "New Year".

Frank's family always had peanuts in the shell (another lucky symbol), Eight Treasures Rice Pudding and a big two-layered cake.

But all Chinese people share one New Year's Eve dish in common a whole fish.

Frank's grandfather, formerly a cook to the generals of the Chinese army, used to deep-fry the fish and serve it with a sweet-sour sauce.

As Mrs Wan Lu, proprietor of the Shanghai Restaurant, points out, a whole fish symbolises that you always get more than you wish for, because "fish" and "surplus" share the same pronunciation in Chinese.

And to ensure there will be a symbolic surplus for the coming year, when Wen Lai Ji of Mr Ji's Kitchen shares his fish with his daughter Yunji, they always leave both the head and tail. For all these local Chinese restauranteurs, the New Year period is the opposite of the traditional holiday.
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At both Dragons and Grand Century, further down Tory St, special menus are offered over New Year, with many of the dishes containing black moss.

Wan Lu reports the Shanghai Restaurant was as busy as ever on Chinese New Year's Eve this year, so she, her father, mother, husband and son had their celebratory dinner after the restaurant closed around 10.30pm. Being from the north, Yan Lu says dumplings are a must. "Our favourite dumpling is Chinese chives and pork mince."

It's a light dumpling, boiled not fried, which sounded so delicious I asked for the family recipe:

Yan Lu's Chive and Pork Dumplings

Ground pork

250g chopped Chinese chives

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons rice wine

A few dashes of white pepper powder

10 drops of sesame oil

For the skin: 4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup water

For dipping: Chinese black vinegar

Mix the flour with water and knead it for about 20-25 minutes or until the dough gets soft. Separate the dough into two equal portions and roll them into cylinders (about 2.5cm in diameter). Cover them with wet towel and set aside.

Prepare the chives by chopping off the root (white part) of the chives. Use only the green part. Mix the chives with ground pork and add all the seasonings. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

To prepare the skin, cut the dough into 0.5cm length and use a rolling pin to flatten it until it becomes a round skin about 7cm diameter. Put a small spoonful of filling into the centre of the skin and seal it up tightly with your fingers.

Heat up a pot of hot water until it boils. Drop the dumplings (25 dumplings firstly) into the boiling water and cover the pot. As soon as the dumplings start to float (meaning they are cooked) dish them out on a serving plate. Serve hot with black vinegar.

Makes 50 dumplings to serve 6 people.

Easy peasy? Unfortunately not. Here are some further tips for perfect dumplings from chef Frank Wang: Obtaining the correct texture in the dumpling dough is crucial to obtain a watertight seal around the dumpling filling. Frank says the dough needs to be a little bit sticky, but not too sticky. Add a little more flour or water as necessary. If the texture is correct, the dough will merge and the dumplings will more or less seal themselves; otherwise, press them together with egg white.

Ready-made dumpling wrappers (jaio zhi di) are available frozen from Asian stores, and while they are anathema to Chinese home cooks they may suffice, provided they have not lost too much moisture by having been frozen too long.

When it comes to cooking the dumplings, Frank says that in Chinese restaurants the practice is to bring the water to the boil, add the dumplings, and then pour in some cold water. Stir the dumplings gently to ensure they are not sticking to the bottom of the pot, then bring the pot back to a gentle boil.

Frank says depending on how many dumplings are being cooked at one time, they may need 30 minutes or longer to cook right through. To draw out this cooking process, professional Chinese chefs periodically add more cold water to the pot.

- © Fairfax NZ News DAVID BURTON
Last updated 10:23 08/02/2012

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Dumplings aren't the easiest thing to make, but the results are worth it.