Wednesday, May 22, 2013

China honour for Wanganui High School

China honour for Wanganui High School By Lin Ferguson of the Wanganui Chronicle 12:00 PM Wednesday May 22, 2013 Meng Hu sees the world upside down. Photo / Stuart Munro Wanganui High School has been approved by the international Confucius Institute in Beijing to set up a Confucius Classroom - one of only four in New Zealand secondary schools and only 400 worldwide. Guests at a powhiri yesterday in the school hall included the ambassador from the People's Republic of China, Xu Jianguo, Director of the Confucius Institute Victoria University, Dr Luo Hui, Whanganui MP Chester Borrows and Mayor Annette Main. Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions aligned with China that aim to promote Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally, and organise student cultural exchanges. The institutes operate within established universities, colleges and secondary schools, providing funding, teachers and educational materials in a partnership with local schools or school districts. The new classroom opened after performances from High School's Maori culture group and the Chinese students, who performed a lion dance. But the spectacular performance of the day came from a 28-strong Shaolin Martial Arts Troupe in New Zealand on a Confucius Institute performance tour. Article continues below These Chinese performers thrilled the audience with spectacular acrobatics using swords and intricate martial arts movements. High School principal Garry Olver welcomed the guests, some of whom had travelled from China to be at the opening. He described it as an "illustrious" occasion. - WANGANUI CHRONICLE

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NZ officialdom finally lets me be who I actually am

Lincoln Tan: NZ officialdom finally lets me be who I actually am 31 co By Lincoln Tan 7:34 AM Tuesday May 14, 2013 Pin on Pinterest 0 My new identity came to haunt me last week. Photo / Richard Robinson Expand My new identity came to haunt me last week. Photo / Richard Robinson After 15 years in New Zealand, I was asked to change my identity to renew my driver's licence. I was born Tan Kim Huat, Lincoln and both my Singapore birth certificate and passport identify me as such. Applying for my New Zealand driver's licence in 1999, I was told by the licensing agent that I was "not entitled" to use Lincoln as my first name. The licensing agent said then that under the rules, if a foreign identification did not state which was the surname then that last name would be considered the family name. After a lengthy exchange, she agreed to let me keep Tan as my surname - but I had to use Kim as my first name. So, for the past 15 years I have become Kim Tan on my driver's licence, with Huat Lincoln as my middle names. My new identity came to haunt me last week, when the New Zealand Transport Agency said I could not renew my licence as I did not have any mail addressing me as Kim Tan or KHL Tan (in that order) as evidence of address. A bank statement and a bill that had my name as LKH Tan and Lincoln Tan were rejected. The agency said in order for it to recognise Lincoln as my first name, I would have to change my name by deed poll with the Department of Internal Affairs. However, changing my legal name in New Zealand to Lincoln Kim Huat Tan would pose a new problem. A name in a different order to my internationally accepted identity in my Singapore passport would also put me in a position where I cannot renew my licence. Following intervention by the Herald and the Human Rights Commission, the agency relaxed its advice last Friday. It said I can now keep Kim Huat as a single name on my licence, and I can use a variety of name formats - as evidence of address. The agency confirmed yesterday this flexibility will from now on be applied to all applicants.

Drivers' licences adapt to Chinese

Drivers' licences adapt to Chinese By Martin Johnston , Simon Collins 5:30 AM Tuesday May 14, 2013 Mr Loo had to change his name by deed poll to get a passport in the name he has lways used. Photo / Richard Robinson The way names are written on drivers' licences will be allowed to conform with common Chinese practice, following a complaint from a permanent New Zealand resident. Lincoln Tan, a Herald reporter, is one of many Chinese New Zealanders who has struggled with the conflict between his ethnic heritage and the bureaucratic demands of a mainly English-language country. Tan, whose Singapore passport names him as Tan Kim Huat Lincoln, had to split "Kim Huat", a double-barrelled name, and have Kim as his "first" name on his 1999 licence. With its renewal, due this month, he faced not being able to drive because of a mismatch between the order of names on his licence and on the Sky TV bill he used to prove his address. He was advised that if he wanted to renew his licence with Lincoln as his first name, he would have to change his name by deed poll to match the Sky bill. He appealed to the NZ Transport Agency. At first, it said its hands were tied by legislation, but has now relaxed its interpretation. Tony Marlow, the technical support manager for driver licensing, said the agency "will accept evidence of address where the name ... differs slightly from the name on the evidence of identity". Mail was now acceptable with "a variety of name formats, for example L. Tan, Lincoln Tan, K.H. Tan, Kim Huat Tan, K.H.L. Tan, Kim Huat Lincoln Tan". The agency would also allow Tan to keep "Kim Huat" together as his first given name on the driver's licence, reversing advice he was given in 1999 that he could use only "Kim" as his first name on the first line allocated for given names. In Chinese language, "Kim Huat" is one name but is split into two words in English because it comprises two characters in Chinese script. Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said of the agency's change, "That's a great outcome. It's good to see common sense prevail." Transport Agency spokesman Andrew Knackstedt said, when asked if the same logic would be applied to others in Tan's situation, "The short answer is yes, the same approach will be applied to all applicants with respect to the appearance of names on evidence-o-address documents." Others who have had trouble with their Chinese names in English-language settings include Auckland Chinese Community Centre chairman Arthur Loo. Mr Loo had to change his name by deed poll to get a passport in the name he has always used. His names were scrambled on his initial birth certificate, listing part of his father's given name as the surname, and the document carried an endorsement, "also known as Arthur Loo". When he went to renew his passport to accompany Prime Minister John Key on a trade mission to China last month, he was told the policy had changed and only one name was now allowed.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chinese cheats rort NZ universities with fakes

Chinese cheats rort NZ universities with fakes MARTIN VAN BEYNEN, FRANCESCA LEE AND ADAM DUDDING Last updated 05:00 12/05/2013 ESSAYS TO ORDER: Pengju Chen initially denied being in charge. The whistleblower's letter The essay Education Tech divide in schools feared $63m boost for kids' behaviour project Education programmes to take cut Novopay getting 'remarkably' better Novopay system will stay - Joyce Schoolteacher's return off to a sound start Desks redundant in modern classrooms Last-ditch bid to alter charter school rules School costs keep pressure on all year round Victoria University winning over SI students An investigation has uncovered a well-organised commercial cheating service for Chinese-speaking students in New Zealand. » Read the essay Fairfax bought » Read the whistleblower's letter The long-standing business uses a network of tutors, some outside New Zealand, to write original assignments ordered by Chinese-speaking students attending New Zealand universities, polytechnics and private institutions. The tutors are paid by assignment and have specialist subjects. The assignments seen by the Star-Times go up to masters level but the service claims to have tutors up to doctorate level. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce last night said the police and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) were launching an inquiry into the service following the Star-Times investigation. Joyce said the NZQA was anonymously tipped off three months ago and took action to inform universities and polytechs, but failed to tell him. He said it was now an "open question" whether NZQA's response had been adequate, and chief executive Karen Poutasi was conducting an internal investigation. The revelation of the cheating service has serious repercussions for the New Zealand international education sector, which earns about $750 million a year from about 93,000 students. China is New Zealand's biggest education market, last year accounting for 27 per cent of this country's international students. The Star-Times, using the name of a fictitious Chinese student, successfully ordered an essay for a first-year university course subject from the company, which markets itself under a Chinese-language website called Assignment4U and is run from a unit at 88 Cook St, Central Auckland. The signage in the office says Ateama Ltd in large, bold letters. The company also offers tutoring, counselling, help and academic "solutions" for overseas students. A ghost writer, who wrote assignments for Assignment4U in 2007, told the Star-Times about completing assignments for students who were enrolled at Auckland University, Massey University, Auckland University of Technology and AIS St Helens (a private tertiary education provider). He said he was coming forward now because he wanted to do "the right thing". Ad Feedback Pengju Chen, who is listed as a director of Ateama in Company Office records, initially denied being in charge of the operation when approached in the Assignment4U office on Friday. He then agreed he was the director of the company and said the business did not help Chinese-speaking students to cheat. The company provided only face-to-face tutoring and counselling. It supplied students with "examples" or "solutions" on academic assignment questions but made it clear the student could "not hand it in" because the company retained copyright. The examples helped with ideas and structure, he said. No such warning was provided to the fictitious student used by the Star-Times and the company provided its "solution" just three hours before the indicated deadline. About 24,500 students from China were enrolled in New Zealand institutions last year; about 10,500 at universities or polytechnics. Although it's impossible to say how many students have paid Assignment4U for academic assignments, the service has been available for at least five years and hundreds, if not thousands, of students may have used it. A large network of ghost writers both in New Zealand and overseas has also assisted in what could be one of the largest examples of cheating to hit the New Zealand international education system. Most education institutions have introduced systems to detect plagiarism but it is still very difficult to check if an assignment is the student's work. The ghost writer, who asked not to be named and now works overseas, believes universities and polytechnics must have turned a blind eye to the cheating. He said staff should have been alerted when students with poor English produced competent and grammatically correct essays. "It would take a colossal amount of looking the other way by the complete legion of tutors, lecturers, course facilitators and teaching assistants to let pass such well-constructed essays and such exquisitely prepared assessments submitted by those whose written and spoken English skills are far from polished." Safeguards such as plagiarism buster did not detect a well-prepared, well-researched, ghost-written, electronic-based assignment, he said. "New Zealand, of all the Western nations, is now widely known in the Chinese community as the easiest way to get a bachelor's or master's degree," he said. In February he sent a letter with his concerns and evidence to a number of New Zealand universities including Auckland University, Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Unitec, Massey University and the police but had heard nothing back. Last night, both Massey and Auckland universities said they were not aware of having received tip-offs. However, Joyce said NZQA had received some "information" anonymously three months ago, but had not informed him about it till last week. Joyce said NZQA had informed the umbrella group Universities New Zealand at the time, and the chair of a polytechnic advisory group, but "it is an open question as to whether they followed it up hard enough". The 1500-word essay commissioned by the Star-Times was for a first-year communications paper at Canterbury University and cost $270. It was delivered by email only hours before it was due. Just days before the deadline, Assignment4U asked for lecture notes and the student's login number at Canterbury University so it could check lecture notes. The fictitious student requested an essay of B or B- grade and when we had it marked by Canterbury University media and communications lecturer Donald Matheson, he gave it a B+. "This is a workmanlike essay which shows that the writer understands news values and can apply the ideas to an example," Matheson said. "Because of the mastery of essay-writing and the effort that's gone into using the academic readings, this would probably get a B+, which is a bit sobering. I'd not have picked this as cheating, other than a sense it was a bit weird that the student was so good at writing but didn't use those skills to really say anything." Chen appears to have been involved with the business since at least 2007 when a standard agreement for so-called tutors mentions his name as the office manager of Assignment4U. From 2003 to 2008, Assignment4U Consultant Ltd was a registered company directed and owned by Steven Quan Li, who works from the same apartment block as Chen. Chen and Li own, either personally or through companies, five apartments in the building. The shares in Ateama are owned by Xiaohu Ren who, according to company records, also lives at 88 Cook St. Joyce said the Government had amended the Education Act in 2011 to make it an offence to advertise or provide cheating services. The amendment hasn't yet led to a prosecution, but Joyce said police and NZQA would now "work together to ascertain the veracity of the issues and then work together with the appropriate agencies for a prosecution if that was required". Joyce said New Zealand took its reputation as a provider of tertiary training for international students "very seriously". THE REACTION Massey University Spokesman James Gardiner said he wasn't aware of any recent correspondence alerting the institution to Assignment4U's activities, but "we take this sort of thing very seriously and would like to hear from this person again". He said the university had rigorous procedures in place to identify cheats, and uncover some every year, including exam cheats and plagiarists. He said that assignments were just one of a range of assessment processes, including exams. "It's not possible to get a qualification from Massey simply by handing in other people's assignments. There are multiple outputs expected from students, including exams." Gardiner rejected the idea that the university might feel under pressure to enrol international students even if their language skills were not up to completing a degree taught in English. He said it was not in the university's interest to allow students to start a degree they couldn't complete, and "if anything, there is more rigour applied to international students". A spokesperson for Auckland University said yesterday was the first time the university had heard of the alleged cheating, and it would need to know more details so "we can look into it". - © Fairfax NZ News

Friday, May 10, 2013

Chans serving happiness on plate

Tony Chan is already waiting outside Mercury Plaza at 9.30 when the building's owner opens up for the day. In camo trousers and black T-shirt he's the first of the business owners to show up. When I leave an hour later, as roasting ducks spit in his oven and chickens bob gently in the simmering dixie, the rest of the place is still dark and echoing. The plaza, affectionately known as "Mercs" by its regulars, is a food court and Asian supermarket at the bottom of Mercury Lane off Karangahape Rd. I noticed Tony about three years ago when I showed up for the second time and he remembered what I had had the first time: "Wonton-soup-no-noodle," he hollered from the kitchen. How could I not nod and reach for my wallet? "It makes people feel good when I remember," he tells me (I have not tried to reproduce the staccato style and free-form grammar of his rapid-fire English). "I have about 60 to 100 customers a day and 85 per cent of them know what they want when they get here. They don't come here and choose. They decide what they want and they come here to get it." Tony (real name: Chan Chi Sing) and his wife Chan Fung Ming (everyone calls her Ming) came here from Hong Kong in 1990 and set up in Mercs when it opened in 1994, trading under the sign "Chinese Cuisine". He is proud to say that he is the only original. He's 58, he tells me, and when I say I'm too polite to ask how old Ming is, he smiles boyishly, leans forward and whispers conspiratorially "she older than me: same year, same month, different day." Together, they've raised six daughters. "There are seven women in my house," he smiles. Ming adds that Tony came from a family of six boys: "They could have saved one for me." But Tony says he's not disappointed not to have had a son. "In the old days, maybe yes, now no. I think girls are better than boys, because they look after you. The boys only worry about themselves and want to play." There's nothing flash about the Chans' place: the drabness of the impeccably clean kitchen is enlivened only by a tiny felt banner bearing Chinese characters that wish the business prosperity and the statue of a famous Chinese warrior who will protect its owners. The menu isn't broad: duck, chicken, pork (barbecue and roast), beef hotpot - and my wontons, of course. (You can't give fish the proper Hong Kong treatment in a food-hall setting, Tony says). But he and his busy young assistant, Fei, start early because there's plenty of preparation to be done. Wontons are handmade, brisket is softened, pork belly marinated in sugar, salt and five-spice. In a free-standing cylindrical gas oven, roasting ducks hang from hooks around which the necks snake so the eyes stare from the bald heads in puzzled affront. From late morning until 8.30pm or so, Tony cooks for a steady stream of customers, from celebrities to street people. Rugby stars - there are photos on the wall - are regulars after training. And people come back, he says, because he looks happy. Ming's happy, too, although she hides it behind a theatrical bark and extravagant facial expressions of disapproval which will suddenly crease into a sparkling smile. Pay for a $10 meal with a $20 note and she'll say "Ah, $10 tip. Bye bye". You have to stand your ground. "If people are happy, I'm happy," Tony explains. "If you talk a little bit friendly to people they come back. If you look sad, people don't come to see you." It sounds like a corporate mission statement but, I tell Tony, I suspect he's just a happy guy anyway. "You be happy, you won't get sick," he tells me solemnly. "When my kids were growing up, I played with them. "Most parents say, 'You just listen to me. If I say one, you must not say two'. But it's more fun to play with them." The couple's kids have all gained decent jobs: there's an IT specialist in Hong Kong, a planner with the Auckland Council, an optometrist. "They have an easier life than me," Tony says, with evident pride. "They don't have to use their hands for work. "But I still work. I like it. If I'm busy, it means I have a bonus income; if it's quiet, I have bonus time for rest. So I get a bonus anyway." By Peter Calder By Peter Calder 5:30 AM Wednesday May 8, 2013 Cheerful outlook of Merc's only original stall-holders keeps stream of loyal customers coming back. Jerry (St Johns) 09:41 AM Wednesday, 8 May 2013 Great Friendly takeaway, always comes with good food and smile. Emjay (New Zealand) 03:22 PM Wednesday, 8 May 2013 When I used to work in the city I often ate here. Chicken and vegetables with rice and chillies. Always good food and cheerfull service! Crystal Chan 03:22 PM Wednesday, 8 May 2013 The takeaway opened in April 1994 and it will be their 20 years celebration next April! Thank you to everyone who has been to the takeaway for food. Thank you Peter. 2 likes KyloKylo 11:13 AM Thursday, 9 May 2013 I LOVE THIS SHOP BECAUSE I AM HIS GRANDSON AND HIS FOOD IS YUMMY AND DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!^O^ KyloKylo 11:13 AM Thursday, 9 May 2013 Jerry Great Friendly takeaway, always comes with good food and smile. show more I AGREE THIS IS GREAT SHOP! KyloKylo 11:13 AM Thursday, 9 May 2013 Crystal Chan The takeaway opened in April 1994 and it will be their 20 years celebration next April! Thank you to everyone who has been to the takeaway for food. Thank you Peter. show more NICE ONE CRYSTAL!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Police Courts

Fines of 5/ each and costs for obstructing Grey-street with carts were imposed upon Quong Hing, Quong Vet. Ah Lay, Mong Long, Ah Wong. Yet Sen, and T. Stead. A Chinese named Cook Yen. similarly charged, pleaded that be had never been warned, and was discharged upon paying 7/ costs. Auckland Star, Volume XXXV, Issue 149, 23 June 1904, Page 2


The PART Of HEW ZEALAND. FROM OTAGO TO CANTON. The story of the work in the villages told by Mx. McNeur to the congregations at the Mount Eden yesterday morning, and at St. Davids Church last evening. The Moderator also spoke to a large gathering of Sunday school children at the latter church in the afternoon. In teh year 1868 the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand appointed one of their young ministers, the Rev. Alex Don, to go out as an evangelist amongst the Chinese who were seeking gold ia the trackless gullies of Central Otago. By visiting them in their shacks and their caves, he became their friend, and in the course of time won many of them for the Christian way of life. Rev Don realised that the Chinese were here to win gold and take it back to China. After visiting many of his old friends in the villages of Canton —it is from there that most Chinese immigrate come —he returned to New Zealand with a message that a wonderful door of opportunity was open for Ministry work. In 1901 Mr. McNeur went to Canton. For SO years missionaries from Great Britain and the United States had failed to secure entrance, but the introductions of Mr. Don and his Chinese friends broke down the boycott. A hospital was estabished under Dr. John Kirk and his wife, and this had since been replaced by a ssw building of three storeys, than which theirs was probably no better mission hospital in China to-day. "Medical work," eaid Mr McNeur, "soften hearts, and I know of no work that is Christ-like than that of the doctors aad nurses in China. Through the work the message of the Gospel has been spread abroad. During the trouble ia China, when anti-foreign propaganda bes been so prevalent, this hospital, so Ist as I know, was the only British institution that did not close down for a period of several months, which is an •bqaut testimony of the place it has woa ia the community." The weaker referred also to their •cboole for both boys and girls, and to tbtir 15 preaching stations. He said tbet theirs and other churches in South Chiia had dropped their "isms," and that they were seeking to found one mited Church of Christ in China under Chiflese leadership, which would take «*er the various hospitals and schools. Mr. MeXeur closed with a strong appeal foT the sympathy and prayers of church members for the Church of Jesus Christ, wlrich was firmly established in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of men. women and children in China. Auckland Star, Volume LVIII, Issue 173, 25 July 1927, Page 9