Tonight Auckland will be alive with Chinese culture and colour as the 12th Annual Asia:NZ Lantern Festival kicks off at Albert Park.
Following a speech by Labour Leader Phil Goff, Jenny McGregor, Group CEO of Australia’s Asialink will speak – following on in the good will and spirit of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard who spoke in Parliament on Wednesday.
Jenny and some of the board members from the Asia:NZ Foundation met today in Auckland. We had a wonderful discussion about the relationship and awareness of Asia to New Zealand and Australia.
In New Zealand the Asia:NZ Foundation is an integral part of developing relationships between New Zealand and Asia as well as increasing Kiwis knowledge and understanding of the Asian region.
As a trustee of the Asia:NZ foundation I’m proud of the contribution the organisation has made to strengthen the bonds between our two regions. The Foundation works by focussing on five main areas – business, culture, education, media and research. This gives kiwis the knowledge, experience and understanding to interact with the Asian region in many different areas.
We have seen the benefits of the Asia:NZ foundation flow on since it was established in 1994 (co-incidentally the same year I migrated to NZ). Business, trade, education and tourism links have flourished between our two regions. Kiwis are now more likely to travel, work, study and do business in Asia than ever before.
I believe we are on the right track with our relationship and understanding of the Asian region and was glad to hear from Jenny McGregor that Asialink is doing the same thing in Australia.
Essentially Asialink is the Australian counterpart of the AsiaNZ foundation. Asialink’s mission statement is to “promote public understanding of the countries in Asia and Australia’s role in the region”.
Thanks to these two wonderful organisations the ANZAC nations are thriving in their relationships with the Asian region.
Asia:NZ will host two major Lantern Festival events this weekend in Auckland and Christchurch. If you are in the area make sure you get down to be a part of the event. Details below:
AUCKLAND – 18, 19 and 20 February 2011 from 5.00pm to 10.30pm at Albert Park.
Christchurch – 26 and 27 February 2011 from 5.00pm to 10.00pm at Victoria Square.