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New Zealand Chinese Language Week - 新西兰中文周

China General Interest

By Raymond Huo, Labour List MP

I am writing to you to report on the progress of the establishment of a Chinese Language Week in New Zealand. We floated the idea in 2010, and after wide consultation and positive feedback, I believe the time is right to move forward with this proposal.

I have so far received support from Chinese Ambassador HEXuJianguo, Consul General Niu Qingbao and Consul General Tan Xiutiantogether with a large number of other stakeholders across New Zealand.I have also written to my Parliamentary colleagues inviting them to join me inpromoting this initiative.

We are in the process of forming the New Zealand Chinese Language Committee which will administer the organisation, resources and promotion of such an initiative, which I hope will be officially inaugurated later this year. As you may appreciate the establishment of such an event is not by legislation but by consensus.

A Chinese Language Week in New Zealand would align with the foci of the Asia New Zealand Foundation by striving to enable the development of more effective relationships in the region. As the Labour Government’s 2007 White Paper Our Future With Asia pointed out, China is a key area of growth to focus on. In that regard, the language week would not only prepare our future generation for the increasingly important market that China represents, but would support the development of a more globalised and inclusive New Zealand that celebrates cultural diversity.

As a part of the Prime Minister’s delegation to China in April this year, I was encouraged by the Rt Hon John Key’s successful state visit, which demonstrated that many healthy Government and business friendships exist between the two nations. Exports, tourism and international students from China are recognised as vital to our economy and increasing New Zealanders’ knowledge of Chinese culture and language will better equip us to maximise our relations with China in the years ahead.

New Zealand currently has an estimated 225,000 Kiwi Chinese people living here, and a range of colourful cultural events already fill the calendar each year. A Chinese Language Week would be a way in which our community can be celebrated and shared with all of New Zealand.

I would welcome your support and participation in promoting Chinese Language Week, and hope to involve you with further discussions as this initiative advances.

谨以此信向您通报关于在新西兰设立“新西兰中文周”的进展情况。我们在2010年开始推展中文周,在广泛征求意见并得到积极正面的回应之后,我相信把这个计划往前推进的时机现在已经成熟。

迄今为止我已经得到中国驻新西兰徐建国大使、牛清报总领事、谭秀甜总领事和来自新西兰全国各界的大量支持。我亦已写信给我的国会同事,邀请他们和我一起来积极推动中文周的实现。

我们目前正在筹建一个“新西兰中文周委员会”,由其负责这个中文周(我希望它能在今年底正式启动)的管理、组织运作、资源调配及宣传工作。因为您或许已经知道,此类活动不是靠立法程序去实现,而是通过社会各方达致共识来促成的。

在新西兰推动一个中国语言周活动与新西兰亚洲基金会的工作重点一致,旨在建立新西兰人对亚洲各国的民情、文化、语言等方面的理解,从而有效发展我们与亚洲地区国家与人民的关系。正如2007年工党政府发布的白皮书《我们与亚洲的未来》中所指出的:中国是我们必须关注的经济成长的关键区域。就此而言,中文周将不仅有助于下一代新西兰人为应对中国所代表的日益重要的市场而做好准备,也将有利于促进一个更加全球化、更具包容性的多元文化的新西兰的发展。

今年4月间,我作为总理代表团的成员之一访问了中国。约翰基总理此次成功的国事访问表明新中两国在政府和商界各层面已有很多交往并奠定了友谊,这令我深受鼓舞。出口业、旅游业以及来自中国的国际留学生是亟关我国经济命脉的三大项,而增进新西兰人对中国文化及语言的了解将更好协助我国与中国之间的关系在未来实现利益最大化。

据估计,目前在新西兰生活的华裔约22万5千人,每年我们的日历亦纷呈一系列与华社相关的多姿多彩的文化活动。中文周将成为我们的社区族群与所有新西兰人共同庆祝和分享的一个好方式。

感谢并期待贵团体的支持和参与。希望保持联络,共同协商,一起推动新西兰中文周。

感谢您的支持,期盼与您合作!

Kind regards and best wishes,

Raymond Huo霍建强

Labour List MP工党国会议员

Spokesperson for Building & Construction; Export Education; Statistics and Associate Ethnic Affairs工党建筑与建设发言人、出口教育、统计发言人及民族事务副发言人

Raymond Huo MP is also:霍建强议员同时担任:

Trustee, Asia New Zealand Foundation亚洲:新西兰基金会董事局托管人

Honorary Advisor, New Zealand China Council新西兰-中国关系促进委员会荣誉顾问

Honorary Professor of Law, China University of Political Science and Law中国政法大学荣誉教授

Honorary Senior Associate, Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law维多利亚大学法学院荣誉高级顾问