“My greatest regret in business is I don’t have the skills to speak the Chinese language, due to the significant amount of time and impact the Chinese creative industries have had on my career. We are intimately linked to China and a good understanding of each other’s language can only further advance this already rich relationship.”

Sir Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop

“[Chinese Language Week] sounds like a worthy initiative that builds on successful bilateral relations between New Zealand and China, and acknowledges the important role of Chinese language in this growing relationship. On behalf of Wellington City Council I would like to express my support for the New Zealand Chinese Language Week initiative”

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown

“Chinese Language Week is an excellent initiative that we would be happy to endorse as we strongly believe that improving the depth and breadth of engagement and understanding is critically important to the long term relationships between China and New Zealand.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers

“This is an idea coming at the right time, and the Council and Mayor Len Brown are very supportive of such an initiative coming to life nationally.”

Auckland City Council

“We would welcome the establishment of a Chinese Language Week in New Zealand.”

New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO

“Thank you for your letter with respect to NZ Chinese Language Week and Weta Workshop would be interested in supporting this initiative.”

Weta Workshop

“Immigration New Zealand is supportive of the establishment of this initiative, and we would be happy to assist with its promotion through our wide networks”

Immigration NZ

“Our Society has a long term goal to promote Mandarin throughout New Zealand and we are very interested to work with your people in this regard.”

New Zealand China Friendship Society

“The Foundation would be pleased to support and promote this event.”

asia:nz – The Asia New Zealand Foundation

“We’d be supportive of a language week, to encourage a shared understanding and promote the benefits of a growing closer relationship between New Zealand and China.” 

Christchurch International Airport

“We are very keen to support the idea. [The Albany-based Asia Dialogues group] would welcome an opportunity to host a meeting with you and the others involved in this initiative.”

Massey University

“The University of Canterbury, its College of Arts (where degree level Chinese courses are offered) and the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury applaud your proposal and would like to provide our full support.”

University of Canterbury

“Victoria University of Wellington, in particular the Confucius Institute and the Contemporary China Research Centre, are very keen to support this in whatever way we can.”

Victoria University

“The relationship between New Zealand and China should never be under estimated and while we tend to focus on the economic and trade aspects, we need to invest more heavily into culture and language. The New Zealand Chinese Language Week will make a difference to how we engage and work with China in the years and generations to come.”

Sir Don McKinnon, Chair New Zealand China Council
 

 

What is New Zealand Chinese Language Week?

New Zealand Chinese Language Week (NZCLW) is a Kiwi-driven initiative that aims to increase Chinese language learning in New Zealand. The initiative is the first of its kind in any Western country and emerged in the context of a rapidly strengthening relationship between New Zealand and China.

NZCLW seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic knowledge gap between China and New Zealand by delivering fun and practical initiatives that assist Kiwis to learn Chinese, ranging from programmes and resources in schools and libraries to business and government organisations.  

NZCLW was officially launched by Raymond Huo as a sitting Member of Parliament on 24 May 2014 at the National Conference of the New Zealand China Friendship Society.

Why do we need it?

China is now our largest trading partner, as well as being a vital source of tourism and international students. NZCLW is an initiative that builds on the Government’s objective of strengthening our relationship with Asia to actively participate in the growth and prosperity of the Asian region. This involves New Zealanders becoming more “Asia literate” and fostering political, economical and social relationships, and China is a key area of focus for this.

Supporting NZCLW will encourage ongoing development of cross-cultural connections within our Kiwi Chinese ethnic community, as well as leveraging New Zealand’s ability to connect to China. NZCLW is a way of making New Zealanders more familiar with China and its people, enhancing cultural understanding and linguistic communication to boost interaction with China both in trade and cultural exchange.

Who is involved?

NZCLW is a registered Charitable Trust co-chaired by former MP Raymond Huo and Wellington City Councillor Jo Coughlan. Other trustees include, Sarah Thomson founder of the Waikato Mandarin Corner group which encourages youth to study Chinese; Professor Neil Quigley, Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University; Patrick English, Executive Director for the New Zealand China Council; and Dave Bromwich, National President of the New Zealand China Friendship Society. Ms Thomson is also the Trust’s first Youth Ambassador.

NZCLW has the support of the Chinese Ambassador Wang Lutong and Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. The event is endorsed by The Asia New Zealand Foundation, New Zealand China Friendship Society, New Zealand China Council, New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Immigration NZ, Tourism NZ, Education New Zealand, our major universities and Confucius Institutes and the mayors of Wellington and Auckland.

What will the Week involve?

NZCLW will be celebrated during the second week of September each year to coincide with the Chinese Moon Festival. However a number of initiatives will be running throughout the year on an ongoing basis, such as Chinese cultural performances, art exhibitions, language lessons on public broadcasters, language seminars, library corners, essay competitions and training courses for professionals.

 

Our Supporters

New Zealand Chinese Language Week is grateful to our sponsors

 

New Zealand China Council