Monday, December 31, 2012

Appointments to the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust

Ethnic Affairs Minister Hekia Parata has today announced three reappointments and five new appointments as Trustees of the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust. The Trust aims to create a heightened understanding of the Chinese community within New Zealand and to strengthen the unique identity of Chinese New Zealanders. The Minister has reappointed Maureen Leong (Hamilton), George Sue (Levin), and Tony Thackery (Palmerston North) for a second term on the Trust. Their terms commence on April 21, 2011 and expire on April 4, 2014. Peter Chin (Dunedin), Esther Fung (Wellington), Stanley King (Auckland), Justine Kohing (Wellington), and Susan Wong (Auckland) have been appointed for a term of three years, commencing on April 4, 2011 and expiring on April 3, 2014. All eight Trustees will bring involvement in the Chinese and poll tax communities, in addition to a mix of skills and experience in governance, community work, business, finance, directorship, language and market gardening to the work of the Trust. The Minister thanked the outgoing Trustees, Dr James Ng, Ron Hoy Fong, Debbie Sew Hoy, Kai Luey and David Wong Hop, for their significant contribution to the Trust. 28 March 2011 - Hon Hekia Parata

George Sue, Levin

Pair thrilled to be in hall of fame
Hall of fame: Business Kapiti Horowhenua 2012 Hall of Fame laureates George Sue, second left, and Bruce Mansell, with their wives Shirley Sue and Meg Mansell Levin's George Sue has been added to the Kapiti Horowhenua Business Hall of Fame. With a background in market gardening, combined with a strong community and charitable focus, Mr Sue was presented with his Hall of Fame Laureates award at the Electra Kapiti Horowhenua Business Awards in Levin on Friday night. Paraparaumu's Coastlands shopping centre founder Bruce Mansell, who grew up in Levin, was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. Mr Sue said he was "humbled" by the honour. "I've lived in Levin for nearly 70 years and have had good times here and have been only too happy to contribute back to the community, in return for what it has given me," he said. "You certainly don't expect anything for the things you do. It's just to help the area grow and move onwards. "To me, this area is home and the place where we've brought up our family." Born in Otaki in 1940, Mr Sue was schooled in Levin. He said he felt he was not a student who could achieve academically and was more interested in land and animals, which led him to study horticulture. He then had a long career in the market gardening industry, including starting his own vegetable growing business with his wife Shirley in 1967. Mr Sue's background in business and community organisations includes roles as president of the Horowhenua Growers Association for 15 years, a member of the Horowhenua Kapiti Business Development Board for 13 years including four as chairman, and chairman of the JPs' Association.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

1929. NEW ZEALAND. EMPLOYMENT OF MAORIS ON MARKET GARDENS (REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON). Laid on the Table of the House of Representatives by Leave. ORDER OF REFERENCE. Office of the Minister of Native Affairs, Parliament Buildings, Wellington, N.Z., 2nd September, 1929. To Dr. T. Hughes, Messrs. W. Slaughter and Tukere te Anga. You are appointed a Committee to inquire and report to the Minister of Native Affairs upon the following matters (1) In the City of Auckland and its environs and the surrounding district, to what extent are the Maori people employed either as servants or contractors of Chinese and other Asiatics or of Europeans in connection with market-gardening (2) Under what circumstances the Maoris are so employed—as to their payment, housing, and general health and sanitary conditions. (3) To ascertain as far as possible how many female Maoris are living with Chinese or Hindus, whether lawfully married or not. (4) Whether it is in the interests of public morality that the employment of Maori girls and women by Chinese arid Hindus should be permitted to take place. (5) Generally to report such matters affecting the Maori race in any family or other connection with the Chinese or Hindus of -which you think notice should be taken in the interest of the Maori or the public. (6) Tf you are of opinion that the existing conditions require emendation, what remedy would you suggest A. T. Ngata, Native Minister. EMPLOYMENT OF MAORIS ON MARKET GARDENS. Department of Health, District Health Office, Pukcmiro Chambers, 53 Anzac Avenue, Auckland, 11th October, 1929. The Hon. Sir Apirana Ngata, Minister of Native Affairs, Wellington. Sir, The Committee appointed by Cabinet on the 2nd September (consisting of Dr. T. J. Hughes, Medical Officer of Health, Auckland Mr. W. Slaughter, Officer in Charge, Labour Department, Auckland and Mr. Tukere te Anga, Native Department; assisted by Dr. E. P. Ellison, Director of Maori Hygiene, in an advisory capacity) has the honour to present you with its report and findings on the evidence adduced relating to the above question. Your Committee heard evidence and inspected a considerable number of market gardens in Auckland and its environs, Pukekohe, Otaki, Foxton, and Wangamii. A considerable number of Europeans, Asiatics, and Maoris tendered evidence. A copy of this evidence, together with notes on the accommodation provided by market-gardeners for their employees, is attached hereto*. Much valuable information has been obtained, and the Committee is now in a position to submit its findings and make proposals of a concrete nature for your consideration.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Anthony Hoy Fong has appeared on Oprah, judged Coolio's cooking and is going to feed President Barack Obama for a third time. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Kiwi swaps fruit shop for White House lunches

When Anthony Hoy Fong's family sold their fruit and vege business in Silverdale, he took a punt and moved to New York to attend culinary school. Five years later the Auckland Grammar old boy received United States President Barack Obama's thanks after preparing him lunch. "It was really nerve-wracking. It was an incredible experience," says Hoy Fong, who is back in New Zealand for a short break from the celebrity chef circuit in the States. "They do background checks on you before you go in ... the secret service picks you up from the hotel, drives you through the back door." The 35-year-old, who has cooked for Obama twice and will do so again in February, says at the time it wasn't clear he would be allowed to stay in the country. "It was crazy, I was in limbo with my visa, and yet here I was walking through the back door of the White House. "I thought, if I bump into Obama, what do I say? 'Hey, can you hook me up?"' Hoy Fong, who now lives in New York with his wife, was born and grew up in Epsom. Despite a long-held ambition to be a chef, he studied business and science at Auckland University. "You know - traditional Chinese family, Mum and Dad wanted me to go to uni and get my degrees and all of that," he explains. After working in programming for IBM in Wellington for two years, he moved back to Auckland to help set up and run the family business, Fruit World Silverdale. When a buyer came along after three years, Hoy Fong found himself with a bit of money and no commitments. After an intensive six-month course at the French Culinary Institute in New York he did some obligatory hard-yards, for free, in top restaurant Daniel and Peter Gordon's Public, in Soho, London. "It was a lot of hoping and working hard," Hoy Fong recalls, smiling. With little money and an expired working visa, his fortune changed when he met Food Network celebrity chef Tyler Florence, who has been described as the States' answer to Jamie Oliver. After working for Florence for free, Hoy Fong was hired as his sous chef, which enabled him to stay in the country. His role soon changed to culinary director - responsible for everything from helping develop Florence's recipes and helping him manage his restaurants, TV show and other appearances. That has taken him to the set of Oprah, and an appearance with Florence on the long-running cult show Iron Chef. Now, Hoy Fong has started his own business and is working on his brand. A year has been spent developing Top Chef University, an online culinary school based on the Top Chef show, the US version of Master Chef. He is also getting used to playing the critical role of judge on TV shows, and this year he praised the "big, bold flavours" of rapper Coolio's cooking. "Being a New Zealander, you don't really put yourself out there and say bad things. You just keep it to yourself, eh. It took a while to get used to," he says. "I think I'm in a place now where I have got a point of view to share with people, and tell them what my take on food is." By Nicholas Jones Email Nicholas Kiwi swaps fruit shop for White House lunches By Nicholas Jones 5:30 AM Saturday Dec 15, 2012

Friday, December 07, 2012

Culture event a bright light in city

here's something magical about seeing thousands of brightly-lit lanterns transform Albert Park into a dream-like setting for the annual Auckland Lantern Festival. Glen Eden resident Becky Ehlers has been involved with erecting the lanterns since the festival first began 14 years ago, and is still taken back by the surreal atmosphere of the glowing lights. "There is something about seeing the park lit up with the lanterns. I love the colour and light," she says. "Decorating and enhancing the park, which is so beautiful anyway, is very rewarding." Ms Ehlers, 39, is production manager of the festival's art department which sees her put up the lanterns and make sure the park reflects the atmosphere of an authentic Chinese New Year. In partnership between Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Asia New Zealand Foundation, the festival is expecting up to 60,000 people enjoying a range of activities in Albert Park and inner-city streets. The Auckland Lantern Festival is the largest annual Chinese event in the region and brings to a close the traditional fortnight of Chinese New Year celebrations. Each year, the festival focuses around an animal of the Chinese zodiac and 2013 is the year of the snake, which represents wisdom and intuition. Ms Ehlers says there will be an array of lanterns and scenes at the festival which will have a serpent-like feel to them. "This year we have a snake lantern coming from China. There's a traditional Chinese story that involves the snake and we are getting a big scene which portrays that," she says. There will also be scenes depicting a Buddha and swans, to name a few. "That's what I love doing; thinking about what we can do with the lanterns." "I work with Asia New Zealand to make sure the lanterns will add to the scenes and that are appropriate for the year." The lanterns are imported from Singapore and China. Ms Ehlers has seen the festival grow throughout the years she's been involved. "We started off with one 20ft container of lanterns. We now have five 20ft containers and seven 40ft containers." "It's always exciting getting the lanterns out of the containers; it's like Christmas morning, unwrapping them all," she says. Ms Ehlers' favourite part is seeing the lanterns glowing the night before the festival begins. "I love when we turn on the whole park and see we've done a really nice job. That is magical," she says. Ad Feedback Ms Ehlers also organises and erects the lanterns at the Christchurch festival which begins a week after Auckland. The acting general manager of ATEED, Jennah Wootten, says the festival - which received $250,000 from ATEED's major events fund - is a cultural highlight in Auckland. "The region's growing Chinese community has embraced the spirit of the event and introduced its unique culture to other Aucklanders. Albert Park illuminated by beautifully crafted lanterns is a memorable sight," she says. The festival runs from February 22 to 24. Go to for more information. - © Fairfax NZ News MONICA TISCHLER Last updated 08:12 07/12/2012

Lanterns to burn bright again

The Auckland Lantern festival may still be a few months away but promoters are getting in early and encouraging people to pencil the dates in on their calendars. The festival has become a an extremely popular event over the years and up to 60,000 people are expected to take part in range of activities centred on Albert Park and inner-city streets. "It sits alongside Pasifika and Diwali festivals as a cornerstone event which celebrates the region's vibrant ethnic diversity," ATEED spokeswoman Jennah Wootten says. "This is the kind of successful annual event which contributes to Auckland's ambition to be the world's most livable city." Auckland Library, Auckland Art Gallery, Lorne St and Khartoum Place will also be key festival sites and Chinese red lanterns will form part of the central city display on Queen Street. Headlining the event is an international line-up from China that includes award-winning folk/rock band Omnipotent Youth Society from Hebei, and Beauty and Melody, a classical music ensemble from Sichuan. Visitors will be able to buy authentic crafts and taste food from more than 100 vendors. Go to for more information. Last updated 08:48 28/11/2012
A research project that involved constructing tiny pairs of glasses for chickens has won a schoolgirl a $50,000 prize from John Key

Young researcher wins PM's prize

A research project that involved constructing tiny pairs of glasses for chickens has won a schoolgirl the Prime Minister's Future Scientist Prize worth $50,000. Hannah Ng received her award in Wellington last week. The St Cuthbert's College student received the award for her study into myopia, or shortsightedness, a condition that affects up to 40 per cent of Europeans and 90 per cent of some Asian populations. She began the study after being part of the Liggins Institute mentor programme four years ago. Hannah worked alongside researchers at Auckland University's Myopia Laboratory at age 14. "It was a bit bewildering at first, it was confusing and I felt like I didn't quite fit in, but they were very encouraging," she says. As part of her study Miss Ng built sets of multi-focal lenses, similar to mini goggles that were placed over the eyes of chicks. The goal was to investigate the effects on the birds' vision. "They were quite difficult to make, they were so tricky technically. I had to make a few pairs for myself to try them out first." Principal investigator John Phillips says the study is of the same complexity as those conducted by university students. Mr Phillips says Miss Ng is self-motivated and good at getting things done. "Her ability to see the bigger picture while also being able to focus on the important elements of the problem is an indication of her intellectual maturity." Miss Ng will continue her study at the university lab during the summer before starting a pre-med course next year. She would like to work in Cambodia. The $50,000 prize will go towards her university studies. - © Fairfax NZ News Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012