NZers embrace Chinese language and culture

Press Release – NZ Chinese Language Week

New Zealanders embrace Chinese language and culture during New Zealand Chinese Language Week

Even Tomeke the German Shepherd got in on the act, learning a few commands in Chinese from his handler.

New Zealanders embraced Chinese language and culture during New Zealand Chinese Language Week(23 to 29 September 2018), with more than 100 events taking place across the country and a reach of 200,000 across Facebook and Instagram.

The Week is a Kiwi-led initiative that aims to promote the benefits and opportunities of learning more about Chinese language and culture.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust Co-Chair Jo Coughlan said: “We’re delighted by the success of the 2018 New Zealand Chinese Language Week. Kiwis have really got behind the Week this year and many have ‘given Chinese a go’ and found it not to be as hard as they thought. Learning just a few phrases can make a big difference when welcoming visitors to New Zealand, or travelling in China. The Trust would like to thank all those who made an effort and got involved, and hope they enjoyed it.”

With 2019 being the China NZ Year of Tourism, it is more important than ever that Kiwis embrace the Chinese language. To reflect the importance of this, NZCLW produced a trilingual (English, Maori and Mandarin) brochure of useful phrases for tourism operators to help them engage with Chinese visitors.
Key highlights

• First ever Parliamentary Prayer read in Mandarin by MP and New Zealand Chinese Language Week Co-Chair Raymond Huo
• Over 100 events, including over 60 schools participating; Lion Dance workshop in Christchurch; Minzu University performance to hundreds of students across the country; Massey Language Summit; Discover China day in Kawerau (running alongside their Woodfest programme); Weiqo tournament in Auckland; storytimes in various libraries (Tauranga, Rotorua, Shirley, Hornby, Nelson, Auckland libraries); Aoraki Dragon boat competition; TV programme What Now running a NZ Chinese Language Week themed shop;
• Messages of support including the Prime Minister, Opposition leader Simon Bridges, Minister for Tourism Davis, and key airports (Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wanaka)
• A competition to win an all expenses paid trip to Guangzhou (competition closed at midnight on Saturday 29th September)
• A new picture book for children in English and Mandarin, William’s Waitangi Day
• A new trilingual (English, Te Reo, Maori) downloadable brochure for tourism operators

Social media

NZ Police dog Tomeke learnt a few commands in Chinese, while many took our Five Days Five Phrases Challenge, including:

• Palmerston North City Council
• NZ Film Commission
• Radio NZ
• Maori Tourism Board
• Christchurch Mayor
• Wellington Mayor
• Aoraki Dragons (Dragon boating team in Christchurch)

Our Mandarin superstars, from students to business leaders, inspired thousands with their videos explaining how learning Chinese has benefitted them

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