To promote friendship, understanding and goodwill between the peoples of China and New Zealand by encouraging visits and exchanges of ideas, information, culture and trade between the two countries.
The Society was established in 1952 as part of the movement of international solidarity with China’s Communist revolution. In the early days, it was closely linked to Rewi Alley, a New Zealander who played a leading role in establishing the international ‘Gung Ho’ cooperative movement, which supported industrial cooperatives in Communist held areas during the war against Japan. Another of the founders, Kathleen Hall, worked as a nurse in Hebei in the 1930, and spent 4 years in Songjazhuang village, Quyang County, Baoding.
In recent years, the Society has renewed its relationship with long standing partners. A cooperative health clinic was established, with the Society’s support, in Songjiazhuang in 2001. NZCFS annually selects a young woman from a rural community to receive a 3-4 year “Kathleen Hall Scholarship” to undertake a nursing degree in commemoration of Kathleen Hall. The Shandan Bailie School is another product of cooperation. It was founded by Rewi Alley during the anti-Japanese War period in Feng county Baoji, Shaanxi and reopened in 1987 in Shandan County, which is one of the poorest areas in Gansu. The Bailie education system was based on the educational philosophy of American Joseph Bailie, using ‘hands and minds together’. Now the Bailie school system is returning to favour.
Since the early 2000s NZCFS has delivered through partners a number of rural development community projects in Guangxi, Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi.
2011-present, continued support for cooperative development through training programme.
2006-2011, several projects in Gansu and Shaanxi to establish model cooperatives that meet International Cooperative Identity Standards. Now in Shandan County there are 29 cooperatives, 12 in other counties of Zhangye district that have been assisted by NZCFS projects and currently a further 8 are being assisted in Baoji and Hanzhong districts. A credible cooperative training centre has been established at Shandan Bailie School, with trainees from other projects coming from a number of provinces in China.
2008-9, four community rehabilitation projects in Sichuan and Shaanxi following the May 2012 earthquake disaster.
2010-11, a rural woman’s health awareness project in Shaanxi with Shaanxi Women’s Federation.
The overall aim of NZCFS projects is to work effectively with a small number of in-China partners, with whom we establish good relationships of trust and mutual understanding. As a voluntary organization, our projects have a high degree of integrity, and are cost effective while delivering sustainable outcomes. Most projects are designed to build local capacity through establishing models to facilitate extension of positive outcomes to other poor communities.
Dave Bromwich, National President and Projects Committee Chair
New Zealand China Friendship Society, PO Box: 7169 Napier, 4112, New Zealand