Minister of Foreign Affairs. Remarks at the Chinese New Year parliamentary event
Sun Nin Fai Lok
Xīn Nián Kuài Lè
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
• Let me acknowledge
o Her Excellency, Ms Wu Xi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China;
o Mr Richard Leung, National President of the New Zealand Chinese Association;
o members of the diplomatic corps;
o Members of Parliament; and
o distinguished guests.
Chinese New Year
It is a pleasure to be here with you all today, celebrating the occasion of Chinese New Year.
As we welcome the Year of the Pig, we should acknowledge the proud history of Chinese New Zealanders in this country.
Across every aspect of our society, Chinese New Zealanders play their part – working hard for the prosperity of your families and communities.
Cultural identity and wellbeing
One of this Government’s key priorities is to improve the wellbeing of all New Zealanders, and one of our key indicators of wellbeing is cultural identity.
Cultural identity is central to the wellbeing of this country and its people, because the freedom to express our culture is the freedom to live true to ourselves.
Seeing so many New Zealanders celebrating Chinese New Year together shows that we are moving in the right direction.
But there is always more that we can do – and we will continue to do it together.
China-New Zealand relations
China matters to New Zealand. We have important political, economic, and cultural links, built on a foundation of historical and contemporary connections between our two peoples.
China is an increasingly important regional and global actor, and our largest trading partner – with more possible through the upgrade of our Free Trade Agreement.
The significant flow of tourists and students builds mutual understanding day by day.
And this understanding is vital, given that our two countries are different in many ways: historically, culturally, politically, and vastly different in size. At times we disagree on issues that are important to both countries.
But we still enjoy a very important and excellent relationship with China, in which we acknowledge differences, but view complementarities as opportunities. We work together constructively to pursue common goals, including on some of the most pressing global challenges of our times, such as climate change and strengthening rules-based global trade.
And this is the spirit in which we will look to build cooperation in the Year of the Pig.
Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái
Gong Hay Fat Choy
Nau mai, haere mai.
Feb 24, 2019