My husband and I were in New Zealand for a month and the only unpleasant part was the chinese. Living in San Francisco, the same is true here. Why do they choose to live in countries yet not choose to develop manners? We don’t spit, we don’t flick cigarettes, we don’t chop down trees - the chinese have no respect for nature and are arrogant. Why? Do they want to be disliked? Do they want to be called dirty chinks? Why aren’t they being taught to integrate and taught manners?
I don’t like feeling this way but everytime I am around a group of them, especially when I go back to BC, I cringe and my dislike escalates.
caroline kim jonsson
“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how” Nietzsche
I am not responsible for the Chinese in New Zealand or in BC so I don’t know why you are complaining to me.
I don’t think you saw any Chinese cutting down trees in New Zealand and flicking cigarettes is a characteristic of thoughtless smokers everywhere. So perhaps you are generalising.
I am sorry you haven’t met a better class of Chinese in your life.
Some of them are quite nice, considerate, thoughtful, creative, hardworking and positive people. Sorry they can’t also be white like you.
Ihave friends or Chinese origin but are 100% American (don’t even speak mandarin or cantonese) they explain that older generations hate Americans and aretaught to respect nature and the country they are living in. The many stores we went into in Christchurch, the chinese didn’t even make an effort to speak English. THAT is not okay.
PS - you made an assumption that I am white… interesting and very incorrect. Don’tASS U ME
Again, why are you complaining to me? Really I’m not responsible for the unpleasant people you encounter.
So you think Chinese are OK if they are completely American and don’t speak any Chinese.
In some parts of the world we call such Chinese “bananas” because they are yellow on the outside but white on the inside. As for not speaking Chinese at all:
As someone famously said, “If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!”
You, Caroline, are “white” whatever your skin colour. Because you have internalised white prejudices.What were you before you started hating the colour you were born with, and all the characteristics of your ancestors?
Biculturalism is now integrated in the political structures of New Zealand, but how well is it accepted by the non-pakeha and non-Maori sectors in New Zealand? If the Treaty has become a quasi-constitutional document, how can the ethnic sector access it?
What are the aspirations of the “multi-cultural” sector for future political participation in New Zealand – especially those whose families have settled here for generations, and whose forebears hail from countries destined to be the engines of economic progress in the 21st century particularly in the Asia Pacific region?
In recent times, Local Government, that is City Councils and District Councils, taking the lead from central government, have integrated biculturalism into their operations. Because the staff of most local government organisations number in the hundreds rather than the thousands, and possibly because they lack the huge budgets of central government departments and other organisations, they have been rather more constrained and more practical in their implementation. Also because a local authority is typically under the control of a single CEO reporting directly to a Council whose members live in the community, local authorities have the potential to respond more quickly to the practical effects of changing demographics in New Zealand.
It is fairly obvious even to a casual observer, that in metropolitan areas, and even in smaller centres, New Zealand is becoming increasingly “multi-cultural.”Aucklanders can hardly fail to notice the number of “Asians,” that is, Mainland Chinese, Taiwanese, Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese in the streets; Wellingtonians will have noticed the sudden influx of Indian students and others in the last couple of years.
If Wellington is typical, then Local Government generally will have implemented a number of practices in an attempt to cater to the “ethnic” sector, that is the non-European and non-Maori citizens and ratepayers – of which there are many.Typically Councils will have implemented some multi-lingual and translation services to assist those with language difficulties and organised some regular “Ethnic Forums” to elicit the feelings and to give somevoice to the ethnic sector.
Having attended some of these ethnic forums, my impression is that they cater well to new settlers who have yet to find their feet in New Zealand.However, the relationship whether unwitting or not, often has the flavour ofauthority-and-supplicants:“You can ask, we might be able to give.” In reality it is very difficult to hold a meeting with 200 people who might include Somalis refugees, Zimbabwe poets, Fiji-Indian shopkeepers and Chinese seismologists and to write up a coherentoutcome which can reasonably inform Council services, let alone Council policy. Well-established Wellingtonians from the so-called ethnic sector who may attend out of duty may well find such ethnic forums not entirely productive for them – even if they are too polite to say so.
Such people who may be active in their communities may well be invited to participate in the more mainstream Long Term Council Community Plan.This involves attending a number of meetings which seem to be dominated by play activities such as changing tables every 10 minutes bringing along refreshments,lining up in a row holding a piece of paper indicating ones preferences on a scale of 1 to 10 for a good sewerage system and then being group-photographed.One might then see every possible idea in the room being pinned on the wall and then magically written up in an email the next day to be argued over. The outcomes and recommendations are often remarkably in line with Council plans.
I would suggest that such processes have been captured by the connoisseurs and cognoscenti of consultation, heirs to the play-way, everyone-is-right, my-opinion-is-as-good-as-yours crowd.
I think that this approach is somewhat foreign to the majority of people but especially the long-term, long-established ethnic sector who have overcome the vicissitudes of being new settlers, found a place in New Zealand society, but bring and keep with them the practical experience of surviving racism, building or re-building a family on a foundation of hard work, education and self-discipline,keep in touch with another culture which has a different history, acomprehensive set of moral and ethical values and various forms of artistic expression and incorporate a different perspective of life and wider world view.Welcome to the multi-cultural sector.
However, why should local authorities invest time and effort and perhaps political capital to cater for this sector?Because it is coming to a city near you! In the last 30 years, since the passing of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 and its amendment in 1985, the political and cultural landscape of New Zealand has been transformed by recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi and the political Maori Renaissance which it sparked.
This biculturalism is manifested in many ways to create a set of political arrangements, government practices and cultural expressions which now uniquely identify New Zealand.It is the result of many influences which are too numerous to discuss exhaustively here, but include the recognition and the local interpretation and implementation ofhuman rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, demographic and electoral pressures and the increasing energy and activism of Maori.
It would not be going too far to say that the Treaty of Waitangi has nearly the status of a constitutional document – a document which defines the arrangement for the governance of New Zealand – in a country which has no written constitution.Increasingly the Treaty is being referenced in governance at every level including at local government level.
However the Treaty essentially defines the relationship between the Crown and Maori.If asked where the ethnic sector might fit in this arrangement, officials will reply that they are represented by the Crown.However, just as Maori insist on expressing themselves through the Treaty, so the ethnic sector might wish for some input in constitutional arrangements beyond reliance on the officials representing the Crown in Treaty negotiations.Otherwise they are being governed under a document to which they have no access.
Ironically the only toe-hold for the multi-cultural sector in New Zealand is in Article Three of the Maori version of the Treaty, which says in a recent translation:
For this agreed arrangement therefore concerning the government of the Queen, the Queen of England will protect all the ordinary people of New Zealand and will give them the same rights and duties of citizenship as the people of England.
The English versions has even less room:
Article the third
In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.’
Neither offers a very firm place for the multi-cultural sector to stand.
The reality of recent developments offers some clues to the next step.At the same time as the passing of the Treaty of Waitangi Act, a parallel movement has occurred in thein the multi-cultural sector.The impetus for this arises from New Zealand situation – physically at the edge of the Asia Pacific region and economically at the edge of nowhere.
Whereas New Zealand has been home to Chinese and Indians (dating back to the 1860s) the numbers have been small. (in the case of Chinese less than 15,000 up until 1986. Since then the number has increased to about 110,000,about 75% in Auckland.) It is likely that with the increasing importance of China and lately India as engines of the world economy,we will see a two-way flow of people to service trade and other exchanges. These include increased educational, technical and cultural links.This will lead to migration and the permanently settlement of people from those countriesto join those already here.
Already the so-called Asian population totals nearly 9.2% of New Zealand’s population compared with Maori who comprise about 12%.
Unlike the last century when the migrants were economic, political or social refugees from backward countries, the new wave of migrants will instead come from advanced societies with high educational levels,substantial economic clout and geo-political heft.In this new world, New Zealand will need to adapt – just it has had to adapt to the reality of resurgence of Maori.
Just as we have adapted to biculturalism, New Zealand needs to adapt to a post-biculturalism. I need to choose my words carefully:
A post-colonialist discourse (in literature for example)seeks not to reject colonialism but to understand the effect of colonialism in a country and to build upon it.
Compare this with post-modernism which rejects the modernist movement (for example in architecture) and seeks to revert to traditional forms, and even use these in an ironical or exaggerated way.
New Zealand has come too far with biculturalism to reject it and revert to traditional forms of inter-community relationships. We need to understand it better and to build upon it. How that is to be done is something for the future, but not the far future. Already there is a movement afoot to havethe reality ofmulti-culturalism New Zealand official recognised.
The New Zealand Chinese Association has (in May this year)made submissions through the Minister of Ethnic Affairs for the Government to officially recognise multi-culturalism. The New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils is at this moment pushing for a Multicultural Act.
These are long term projects requiring consultations within the multi-cultural communities as well as between the multi-cultural communities and the Maori community and the wide community.Like with the use of Revlon shampoo – improvements will not happen tomorrow, but they will happen!
How might an official multi-culturalism affect Local Government? That is a question for the future. Just as it was difficult to predict the practical effect of the Treaty of Waitangi Act in 1975 and its amendment in 1985, so it is difficult to predict the long-term outcome of the official recognition of multiculturalism.However, changes are likely to reflect the new reality of New Zealand’s location at the periphery of two powerful “neighbours” who seemed destined to be provide not only economic leadership, but also technological and cultural leadership.
At present, Councils’ response to multi-culturalism is essentially to provide migrant andnew settler support. However in time, these people will overcome their difficulties and integrate their aspirations into the overall system.
“Multicultural” councillors might become permanent fixtures in the make-up of the various Councils. Already underway, the percentage of Council officers with a “multi-cultural” background would increase.Within the population, the multi-cultural sector will increase and their own priorities may mandate a re-ordering of prioritiesCouncils and a re-allocation of resources.
Increasingly migrant and new settler support offered by Councils will evolve into a kind of post-biculturalism where awareness of bicultural practices will extend to other cultures – which may not only be in ceremonial forms and cultural acknowledgements, but attitudes to problem solving, conflict resolutions, productivity and efficiencies.
First I would like to thank Lesley Stead, for inviting me to speak and for sending me a copy of the book “hot off the press.” so that I could read it before the launch and, hopefully, have something useful to say.
Secondly I would like to congratulate Joan Rosier-Jones for her hard work in pulling together the story from scattered sources.
In particular I would to congratulate her for including background information about the early Chinese in New Zealand in the book, especially about
Their lives and circumstances in China.
Their lives in New Zealand at the beginning of the 20th century which is the period before Chow Yat and his employer came to Wanganui.
Their lives in provincial New Zealand between the world wars – being the setting of this story.
It is heartening that in the early 21st century Joan and her publishers believe that there is a market and therefore an audience for stories about the Chinese in early New Zealand.
There was a time when New Zealanders could not have cared less about the death of lone Chinese man tending a cabbage patch.
Indeed inJoan’s book there is a suggestion that the people of Wanganui in 1922 weren’t too concerned that the case against Toldy the Hungarian, the man initially charged with Chow Yat’s murder, collapsed.
There was no great public clamour to locate the real murderer,although I must note that subsequently the Commissioner of Police in Wellington gave the local constabulary a fail mark and got them to do their homework again - after the Prime Minister got a letter from the Chinese Consul.
While Joan has been channelling Lilly Rush (Cold Case) while trying to put together acase against a reputedly hair-triggered Ted Stewart, the outcome, as she admits in her book, is still “not proven.”
Be that as it may, Joan’s efforts in writing this book should be seen in the context of an increasing interest in incorporating New Zealand Chinese history as New Zealand mainstream history.
The seminal works of James Ng, Manying Ip and Nigel Murphy are already well known.
But in recent times, individuals and groups, including the New Zealand Chinese Association have (almost physically) reclaimed large parts of the Chinese community’s history and incorporated it into the history of New Zealand.
The activism which resulted in the Government’s apology for the Poll Tax and the subsequent establishment of the funded Poll Tax Heritage Trust is well known.
Other, more guerrilla, operations have provided interesting results:
Joe Kum Yung is no longer the nameless, hapless Chinaman shot at random by arch-racist Lionel Terry in Haining Street, Wellington in 1902 but is remembered by a brass plaque paid for by the Wellington City Council to mark his centenary.
Kim Lee is no longer the nameless, hapless Chinaman who was diagnosed with leprosy and incarcerated on Somes Island in Wellington Harbourin 1905 and who, not surprisingly, died after been kicked outby the other “lepers” to live in a wet cave in Mokopuna Island – essentially a large rock in the surf.His centenary was marked by boatloads of people going out to SomesIsland- filmed by two TV Channels.
The story of the MV Ventnor which sank off the New Zealand coast carrying the 499 coffins of Chinese goldminers- some of which were retrieved by local Maori – is another story about to be told in film.
Will Joan be playing Miss Marplesin The Murder ofChowYat in the rustic village of Whanganui? Idle speculation perhaps?
So, Joan, on behalf of the Chinese community I thank you for your research efforts and for putting togetherthe story of the murder of Chow Yat and the community in which he lived.
And to Stead & Daughters, I would like to thank you for your faith in the project, and taking the considerable gamble that the storey of Chow Yat will find resonance in the Chinese and wider community.
And to the family and descendants of Kwang Chong For who looked after Chow Yat in life and accorded him respect and decent burial in death, may your family forever prosper.
Joan Rosier-Jones resuscitates an otherwise soon-to-be-lost story of the murder oflone Chinese market gardener Chow Yat in Wanganui in 1922, dissects the rather botched Police investigation and gathers evidence pointing to another suspect now dead. Of Chow Yat himself, we learn little, possibly because there was little to know other than that he was from PanyuCounty, in GuangdongProvince in China, a kindly bachelor of 62, who was attacked in his whare (Maori style hut) one evening, shot four times in the face and robbed. We do learn about the life of Kwong Chong For, the local Chinese patriarch and Chow Yat’s employer and benefactor. After some superficial investigation, suspicion falls on another foreigner,Toldy a Hungarian, who is arrested and charged, but the case is thrown out because of lack of evidence. Rosier-Jones finds some circumstantial evidence pointing to a shell-shocked First World War veteran who may have suspected Chow Yat of interfering with his three daughters.
Rosier-Jones has tried to fill out a sketchy portrait of Chow Yat by reference to background material about the Chinese of that era drawing from standard sources: turmoil in China, a second wave of Chinese migrants/sojourners following the first wave of gold-seekers eventually drifting into provincial centres seeking employment, and attaining a stable and bearable but restricted life on the periphery of European society. In this period more enterprising Chinese such as Kwong Chong For enlarge their families and prosper –with Rosier-Jones reporting that many of the next generation following the classic Overseas Chinese trajectory of entering the professions.
This is Version SY 2.0 based on a draft by Shen Nalin.
Date:26 September 2009
Time:10.00am to 5.00pm
Venue:Te Papa – the NationalMuseum of New Zealand
The ancient Mid-autumn Festival has been celebrated in China on the 15thday of the 8thmonth of the Lunar Calendar for thousands of years.It is also a very important spiritual and cultural event throughout Asia and originated as a celebration ofharvest in a region even now heavily dependent on agriculture.
Wellington Chinese Culture Day 09 is a whole-day celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Wellington – showcasing traditional Chinese activities associated with the harvest.By doing so, the organisers hope to promote Chinese arts and culture in a contemporary fashion relevant to all the people of New Zealand.
·Cultural performances by community groups.
·Live modelling of traditional costumes.
·Calligraphy and painting demonstrations.
·Tea and moon cake making and tasting demonstrations.
·Professional Chinese musicians in concert performing original works.
·A photographic display toshowcase modern Chinese history, highlighting the significant developments over the past 60 years - from the first Chinese National Day on the 1stOctober 1949. and the dramatic changes as a result of economic reform and the mixing of western culture into contemporary Chinese society.
The organisers consist of various Chinese communities in Wellington who, through this exciting event, hope to connect a mainstream audience to the rich art and cultural heritage of modern China.
We invite everyone to attend our version of the Moon Festival,enjoy the Celebration Concert and also participate in the festivities celebrating China’s 60th National Day.
Part I: The Moon Festival 2009
Background Display: A multi-media presentation of the historical background, rich culture and traditional customs associated with the Mid-autumn Festival.
The fun-filled day events also includes: live demonstrations of Chinese painting/calligraphy, traditional dress, tea making and tasting cultures suited for all age groups. Moon cakes tasting and art performance will provide entertainment for the whole family.
Time:10:30am – 2:30pm
Venue: the Wellington Foyer, Level 2, Te Papa
·Pictures / Multimedia Display
·Chinese painting/calligraphy demonstration by artists.
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm
Venue: the Wellington Foyer, Level 2, Te Papa
·Chinese traditional dress fashion show.
·Chinese traditional music (Guzheng, Erhu and Bamboo flute)
Time:1:15pm – 2:15pm
Venue: Meeting Room off Te Marae, Level 4, Te Papa
·Photo/Painting display of related to the Moon Festival
·Moon Festival related stories.
·Moon cake and tea tasting.
Time:1:15pm – 2:30pm
Venue: Te Marae, Level 4, Te Papa
·Chinese Culture Day show with performances from Chinese communities.
Part II: 09 Wellington Chinese Culture Day Opening
A short opening show will hold at Te Papa Forecourt. This out door performance includes Chinese traditional Lion Dance, folk drums dancing and Chinese kungfu performance.
Time: 12:00pm – 12:30pm
Venue: The Papa Forecourt
·Chinese traditional Lion Dance
·Folk Drum Dance
·Chinese kungfu performance
·Chinese traditional Dragon Dance
Time:1:00pm – 1:15pm
Venue: the Te Marae, Level 4, Te Papa
·Maori welcome (xx proper name)
·Formal launch ceremony.
Part III: The Celebration Concert
Time:3pm – 5:30pm
Venue: The Soundings Theatre, Level 2, Te Papa
To celebrate the 60th National Day of China,a concert featuring internationally renowned musicians as well as top performers from the local community. The programme includes song, dance and instrumental performance in atruly unforgettable finale to Chinese Culture Day Wellington 09.
Gao Ping (Composer & Pianist),
Tingzheng Wang (Sheng soloist),
Xingxing Wang (Soprano),
James Meng (Tenor),
Wei Wensheng (Chinese painter),
Xu Jingwen and Qi Huan (ballet dancer).
Chinese Students and Scholars Association of Wellington
Wellington New Chinese Friendship Association
Chinese Students’ Association of VictoriaUniversity of Wellington
New Zealand Chinese Association Inc
Biographies of Musicians and Artists
Gao Ping Composer & Pianist
“Gao Ping is one of a new generation that is breathing new life into the classical tradition. An evening with Gao Ping’s music is a true adventure” (Frederic Rzewski)
A representative figure of the “sixth generation composers” in China, composer/pianist
Gao Ping was born in the city of Chengdu in the Sichuan Province of China.
Gao Ping’s music has met success in Europe, Asia, Russia, across the Americas, New Zealand, and Australia.In demand as a composer and pianist, he has received commissions and performances from the Zurich-based Ensemble Pyramide, pianist Frederic Rzewski, Ursula Oppens, Frederic Chiu, James Tocco, violinist Arnold Steinhardt, the New Zealand String Quartet, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and the Taiwan National Chinese Orchestra.
His compositions have appeared on venues such as the Aspen Music Festival, the Gaudeamus International Music Week in Amsterdam, Ravinia Music Festival, Kita-Kyushu Chamber Music Festival in Japan, Asia/Pacific Music Festival in Wellington (2007), the Amati Music Festival in New York, the Cincinnati MusicX Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit, and the Beijing-Modern International Music Festival.
Gao Ping’s chamber music on Naxos label was critically acclaimed and was described by a German critic as “music which wants to be heard with ears of a child, full of wonder and amazement…. deep and vulnerable.” It was selected as the Top Ten Best Classical Records by “the Listener” in 2006.
His piano piece “Night Alley” was commissioned and performed as the compulsory work for the 4th China International Piano Competition in 2007.
In May, 2008, he premiered his Piano Concerto with NZ Symphony Orchestra. “The Listener” called “a major concerto.”
Dr. Gao is a composition lecturer in the School of Music at the CanterburyUniversity in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has worked with musicians such as Joel Hoffman, Frederic Rzewski, James Tocco, Zhou Guang-Ren, and his father Gao Weijie.
Shen Nalin Composer
Born in southwest of Sichuan, in 1983, Shen Na Lin studied composition at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music with Prof. Gao Wei Jie and Yao Yi Rang. During the late ‘80s he was active in radio, film and television, including working as a broadcaster of classical music program in the Music Radio of Guangdong. In 1994 he moved to New Zealand and worked at Auckland AM 1476 and AM 990 Chinese Radio for five years before enrolling at the School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington, where he studied with Jack Body, and graduated in 2000 with Master of Music with Distinction. In 2001 and 2002 he was granted a Postgraduate Scholarship for PhD study and a Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship. For his PhD studies he is composing an opera based on the dramatic life and writings of Chinese poet.
He has composed chamber and orchestral music for piano, strings, orchestra, voices and compositions usingChineseinstruments including The Mortal World for sheng, zheng, suona and percussion, and The Cold Dream for zheng, sheng, strings and percussion He completed his First Symphony in 1988. His more recent work has been influenced by traditional Chinese music, the string quartet: Zha Xi De Lei influenced by Tibetan folk songs and the chamber works Sheng Sheng Man and Hymn to the Virtue of Win. Shen Nalin has received awards from the Autumn Musical Festival of Chengdu, the 21st Annual Composition Contest 1990 Composers Guild USA, the fifth Guangzhou Musical Festival, and the Composer’s Competition of Victoria University of Wellington. His compositions had been performed at The 2002 Melbourne Festival Australia, the Asia Pacific Festival in Wellington in February 2007 and the ISCM-ACL World Music Days
Xingxing Wang Soprano
Wang Xingxing originates from Chongqing, China. She came to New Zealand in 2003 to study, and completed her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the New Zealand School of Music under JennyWollerman in 2007.
Xingxing appeared as the leading role Kim in the Napier Operatic Society’s productionMiss Saigon in 2009. Her operatic role included Yuner in the world premiere of the opera Fatal Desire by Shen Nalin, conducted by Gao Ping in the 2007 Asia Pacific Festival held in Wellington. In competitions, she was the Rockfire Cup winner in Wellington Aria competition 2007. In 2008 she was the recital class winner of the Napier Performing Arts Competitions, and was awarded 2nd place in the Napier Computer System Aria competition, and the most outstanding competitor in the Senior Vocal competition. Xingxing has been invited to sing the New Zealand National Anthem in Parliament in both 2007 and 2008. She has appeared in various concerts as a soprano, recitalist, Guzheng player, and has been a member of the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus for NBR New Zealand Opera since 2007.
Xingxing runs a private music studio in which she teaches singing, piano and Guzheng. She is on a project of translating Western vocal pedagogy books into Chinese.
Ling (Sonia) Green Piano teacher
Originally from China, moved to New Zealand in 2001 to continue her studies in music. In 2004 she completed her Masters in piano performance at VictoriaUniversity.As a student she has won many competition awards. Since her graduation she has played tours with the Vector Wellington Orchestra and also a CD recording with the NZ
Yesterday I attended a function at the Villa Maria Estate, Auckland, organised by the New Zealand Olympic Committee to announce the team uniforms. At the end of that function I represented the President of the New Zealand Chinese Association, Kai Luey, to present the Dragon Sculpture to the NZ Olympic Committee.
The function was attended by the Chinese Ambassador HE Zhang Yuanyuan, members and officials of the NZ Olympic Committee, past and present Olympic sportsmen and women and a large contingent of Chinese New Zealanders drawn from both the old and new migrant communities.The presentation was fully covered by the news media.
With the designer of the sculpture, Guy Ngan at his side,Ron Sang, architect,described the fundraising, organisation and processes involved in bringing this project to fruition in a short time. I then made the presentation. My speech is attached.
The sculpture in real life is more dynamic than the model, and particularly under spotlights, the angles, curves, planes and levels of the various parts of the dragon generate an interesting interplay of light with its stainless steel background and granite base.The actual sculpture (on a lightweight temporary base) will go on public display at various airports in New Zealand in the next two months before being shipped to Beijing.
I am here today to represent Kai Luey, the President of the New Zealand Chinese Association to present this Dragon Sculpture to the NZ Olympics Team.
The sculpture will be shipped to Beijing and located outside the Team’s quarters during the Games. After the Games, the NZ Olympic Committee will present the sculpture to the Beijing Olympic Organisation and it will go on permanent display at its new building.
I should emphasise that although the fundraising was organised by the New Zealand Chinese Association, the funds came from a wide cross-section of the Chinese in New Zealand, drawn from both the old migrant community and the new migrant community.The names of the major donors to this project are inscribed on the stainless steel sculpture and all donors are recorded in a book.
Apart from Kai Luey, Guy Ngan and Ron Sang have had major roles in the project.
Guy Ngan is New Zealand’s most senior Chinese artist who work in various contemporary media is underpinned by Chinese philosophy.Guy has been responsible for many public art works including sculptures outside the Wellington City Council, the Reserve Bank, the Government Printing Office and the entrance to StokesValley.Guy was responsible for the design of the dragon.
Ron Sang, who besides being an eminent architect in Auckland, is a long-time collector of art. His home houses one of the greatest private collections of modern New Zealand art. He has recently branched into fine art publication.Ron has been instrumental in the implementation and delivery of the design.
As you can see, the sculpture is a dragon in abstract form, fabricated in stainless steel with a pounamu pearl on its tongue.
The dragon is a symbol representing the Chinese people.Unlike the dragons of the western tradition, the Chinese dragon has many positive connotations such as moral rectitude and justice.
The fact that this dragon is executed in a contemporary idiom shows that the Chinese people are not stuck in the past, but adapt themselves continuously to the modern world.
In the case of this dragon, the indigenous Maori culture is recognised by the inclusion of a pounamu pearl on its tongue. How appropriate!
The Chinese community is presenting this sculpture to the NZ Olympics Team in a year that the Games are being held in Beijing.
This shows that the New Zealand Chinese community is proud to be kiwi, supporting our national team.At the same time the community proudly remembers its links with its former home country.
In a world which is increasingly globalised, relocations and the formation of new communities have become common and necessary.But at the same time, recognition of ones history and heritage are increasingly important to ones sense of identity.
By choosing one of its own artists to create a contemporary representation of a central deity from its ancient mythology and presenting it to the New Zealand Olympics Team the Chinese community in New Zealand affirms that its future is firmly grounded in the New Zealand and its western culture. By doing so on the occasion of China’s first Olympics, the communityre-affirms its pride in its heritage, its confidence in the future of China and its hope and wish for an ongoing, dynamic and deepening relationship between the community’s new home and its historical home.
So on behalf of the Chinese community in New Zealand, and the particularly the major sponsors, I would like to transfer this sculpture to the care the NZ Olympics Team. As you see it each day, may it remind you of the link between the country you are visiting for the Games and that community of New Zealanders who originally hailed from those shores.May the Dragon bring you good luck, good health and success in your endeavours.
The Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Chinese Association organised a dinner at the Grand Century Restaurant to raise funds towards the Dragon Sculpture to be donated to the NZ Olympic Team and after the Games, to be left on permanent display in Beijing.
The dinner was attended by 170 people including Wellington Branch Committee, Members and their friends; representative from the Tung Jung, Seyip and Poon Fah Associations, the NZ China Friendship Society, the China & New Zealand Business Council,Asian Magazine,Robyn Wong and two tables of sports friends, and the staff of the Embassy.
Distinguished guests included the Deputy-Mayor Ian McKinnon, the Ambassador HE Zhang Yuanyuan, the NZ Olympics chef de mission Dave Currie. Also present unofficially were the Secretary of Defence and former NZ Ambassador to China John McKinnon, historian Dr Malcolm McKinnon and the sculptor for the Dragon Guy Ngan.
The restaurant was decorated with Olympic banners, and film clips showing the Olympic venues and preparations in Beijing and the preparation of the NZ athletes were projected.
The event included raffles and auctions for which the Embassy donated many items of Olympic merchandise and memorabilia, the China & New Zealand Business Council art and souvenir items,Guy Ngan a large number of designer tee-shirts, Ron Sang an art book and the NZ Olympic Committee vouchers for two Olympic jackets to be signed by New Zealand’s medallists. The event raised over $8500.
The event ended on a up-beat note and apart from the funds raised, the event likely enhanced the relationships between the Wellington Branch and other Chinese organisations in Wellington, the Wellington City Council, government officials, the Chinese Embassy and of course the NZ Olympic Committee and its sportsmen and women.
The World Premiere of Chinese in Molesworth Street – 90 years trading in the Government Centre was held on Saturday 23 February 2008 at the NZ Film Archives located at the corner of Taranaki Street and Ghuznee Street. True to the traditions of E! canapés from Scopa were served, liquor flowed freely, the 70 documentary film junkies and invited guests rubbed shoulders with the stars, theDirector pitched her opus, acknowledged the sponsors and thanked the crew, while the Producer appeared in auteurial black and mumbled modestly. Then it was into the projection room to see seven of our “world famous in Wellington” intrepid heroes, filmed on location outside their former premises, all sitting on genuine apple boxes as in the days of yore, telling their sometimes wry stories of commercial and personal triumphs.
Mrs YH Lowe told of the nearly 40 years that she and her husband (and before them, her father-in-law and his brother) operated the Peter & Son fruit shop/Chinese grocery store opposite the Wellington Railway Station; and how 11-year-old Tommy delivered orders and later met Lee Kwan Yew when he came to the shop make a purchase, (possibly chewing gum?)
Ken Chan, outside what is now the Court of Appeal, recalled how, as an 18-year-old Wellington College senior he inveigled the then Chief Justice, Sir Humphrey O’Leary, a customer of the Hop Lee Laundry starched collar service, to witness his application for New Zealand citizenship in the hope of joining the Air Force near the end of the Second World War; and his 18-year-old would-be-aviator’s keen observation of American servicemen leading kiwi girls down to air-raid shelters under the grounds of Parliament on Sundays, presumably for their own protection.
Laywood Chan, his wife, his father Dan and his grandmother apparently all got front row seats when the young Queen Elisabeth II arrived through the main gates of Parliament during her 1951 Coronation Tour; and later (probably another day) sent Mrs Holyoake home with fish ‘n’ chips for Sir Keith’s supper.
In the same location, Sonny Tom, to the astonishment of well-informed Japanese tourists, was able to personally indulge the post-cabinet-meeting munchies of Prime Minister Norman Kirk and Internal Affairs Minister Lance Adam-Schneider with oysters and chips on a regular basis.
Willie Wong, operating a providor business for 20 years that supplied fruit, vegetables and all manner of goods and services for visiting ships, had to get up a 2.00am several days a week, which he insists helped his social life. He was helped in the business, now the site of the State Services Commission, by his wife Loretta and after school by his children who later escaped to London to work in the City.
Richard Young, a sometime IT specialist, took over the providor business in recent years and developed a produce import/export business alongside. Strangely, his children also appear unwilling to take over the business.
Allan Tso, was the third generation to operate a fruit shop on a site adjoining the old Shamrock Hotel (now relocated) and presently the offices of the Accident Compensation Commission.As such he had to contend with the daily disorder associated with excessive drinking during the “6 o’clock swill.”
Nigel Murphy took a rare break out to the sunlight of the National Library forecourt to provide an on-site historical perspective to help explain the circumstances which led to the establishment and successful operation over many years of Chinese businesses in Molesworth Street.
The filming for this documentary took place in 4 hours of one day from 10.00am until 2.00pm using a small borrowed video camera and borrowed camera operator. The introduction for each interview was done in two or three takes with the barest of script outlines. The interviewees’ responses were certainly improvised on the spot.The raw footage yielded 37 minutes in the final cut. A conscious decision was made during editing to allow interviewees the opportunity to tell their stories fairly fully.The interviews are however, not intended to be oral histories where the emphasis is on completeness and historical accuracy. A hypothetical broadcast version would probably need to be cut to 22-24 minutes. Editing was not done on an editing suite but in a bedroom on a dual-core PC using Final Cut software – by post-graduate students of film.
Originally intended as a contribution from the Chinese community to a City Council- initiated urban design/community art interaction project involving a one-off lunch-time street-level discussion in a freight container setting, all curated by Siv Fjaerestad from Enjoy Art Gallery, I decided that our community could not give an adequate representation of itself under these conditions.I therefore naively suggested that we film the interviews with a view to projecting them in the freight container in the same week.It soon became obvious that in terms of pre-production planning, research, scripting, logistics, principal photography and the most elementary editing that it would take far longer than the time available for the film to be used for its original purpose. The approaching end of the academic year meant that our volunteer film editors had to take time off to finish their course projects and for prior commitments at Christmas.In the New Year, with second unit (background) photography, sound re-recording and historical image research and acquisition, subtitling of the Chinese language interview and copyright and archival deposit agreements, event planning, catering etc, the final, final cut was completed mere hours before the world premiere.
The Wellington City Council contracted EnjoyArtGallery to curate the In-site container project, and this enabled Enjoy to work with us on this project; however the outcome is effectively a zero-budget film. Wellington Chinese Association has only funded the venue hire and the reception cost of official guests at the World Premiere; most people paid a small entry charge for the reception and film. Of course, we have had the unpaid use of equipment and the labour of several volunteers in the making of the documentary – notably the editing, arranged by EnjoyArtGallery.We have also had the access to the creative input and expertise within Enjoy and for these reasons copyright of the film is shared with them. The deposit agreement with NZ Film Archive is such that the public may view but not copy the film. Other uses would be controlled by the Chinese Association.
A professionally produced DVD is available at a cost of $15, and a very small part of that price will go towards defraying the cost of consumables and the wear and tear on equipment.
With the advent of Youtube and movie-making capacity built into even $300 digital cameras, moving images are the new baseline for effective communications and producing, directing, editing and presentation will become key skills. The experience gained in producing this film will be extremely valuable in future projects – such as the recently-announced film-based “action research” on Chinese youth leadership and identity by Assoc. Prof. James Liu– part of a larger project to be undertaken by the Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research at Victoria University on Chinese, Muslim and Pasifika youth with a $200,000 grant from theFoundation for Research Science and Technology.More on that exciting project later.Those who cannot wait can contact me.
The hypocrisy of the NZ First leader wooing politicians in Asia as our Foreign Minister while his deputy Peter Brown demonises Asians in New Zealand will not be lost in regional capitals.
While we understand that Mr Brown (a recent class-impacted Brit wharfie migrant!) is making inflammatory remarks about Asian migrants only to shore up support for his party in the upcoming elections, we need to remind him that he is also undermining race relations in New Zealand.His stirring of latent white racism in people who cannot accept the implications of a multicultural New Zealand anchored in the Asia-Pacific region, will do far more harm than some recent immigrants maintaining their cultural practices while learning to integrate into New Zealand’s mainstream society.
Mr Brown can take heart from our experience which is that such integration will happen within half a generation. Most of our own members, some fourth and fifth generation Chinese New Zealanders, no longer run takeaways in ghettos, but instead have careers in the professions, business or the arts, are all-too-well integrated, speak English too good and now need special programmes to maintain even a modicum of Chinese language and culture.