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Growing numbers of Chinese migrants heading to Canterbury

Growing numbers of Chinese tourists, students and migrants heading to Canterbury

August 20, 2014

As Canterbury recovers and rebuilds, more and more Chinese are heading to the region as tourists, students, and migrants, a University of Canterbury PhD postgraduate student says.

James To says the movements have been expedited with improved direct air links through Christchurch International Airport.

``China Airlines now has flights to Taiwan and China Southern Airlines is considering regular air services to Guangzhou after a successful charter flight earlier this year.

``In general, Christchurch boasts a peaceful living space full of public amenities and easy access to popular attractions without the hustle and bustle of a large city. But most importantly, New Zealand is viewed by most Chinese as a safe and secure place to live, work and study. For many one-child families, these attributes rank highly in making the University of Canterbury the destination of choice for their son or daughter.

``The University of Canterbury offers a world-class education in an English speaking environment. Graduates gain internationally recognised qualifications that can take them anywhere they choose.

``While there may be many economic opportunities back in China, a large number of students from the People’s Republic of China choose to look for work in New Zealand after they graduate, with the long term intention of staying on.

``Graduates may apply for a one year open visa allowing them to find suitable employment in a wide range of industries. This is a great way to retain valuable multi-cultural human resources within New Zealand, and therefore a win-win for everybody.

``The Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury is the direct link to the Chinese Ministry of Education-approved and supported Mandarin language programme. Students interested in Chinese history and culture are also able to access a wider range of resources and teaching materials.’’

To says as China seeks access to resources and technologies to fuel its growing economy, New Zealand presents many exciting possibilities for investment and exchange. New Zealand’s world leading expertise can facilitate value-added agri-commerce products and services tailored specially for the Chinese market.

The quickly emerging Chinese middle-class offers massive scope for the tourism, service and hospitality industries. Carefully managed, New Zealand may be well poised to take advantage of these opportunities, he says.

To, supervised by Professor Anne-Marie Brady, completed his PhD at the University of Canterbury and his thesis has been published by international scholarly publisher Brill and featured in the Wall Street Journal. He is currently a lecturer at the International Pacific College in Palmerston North where he teaches international relations and foreign policy.


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