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Urgent need to turn Asia advice into reality

MEDIA RELEASE


Monday, 11 September 2006
Urgent need to turn Asia advice into reality

The lack of Asian journalists in New Zealand newsrooms is just one of the challenges facing the country if it is to prepare for a future with the Asian region, says Asia:NZ Chairman Sir Dryden Spring.

He was responding to an NZJTO survey that found only about 1 percent of the journalists employed in New Zealand were of Asian descent, despite Asians making up nearly ten percent of the population.

This and the general lack of knowledge about Asia across our society are two of the issues that make the Preparing for a Future With Asia Summit in Wellington on September 14 such a crucial and timely event, Sir Dryden said.

He said the catalyst behind the event was the urgent need for New Zealand to adapt to the booming economies of Asia or get left behind, as set out in the Preparing for a Future with Asia report released in July by the Asia Knowledge Working Group (AKWG).

“The over arching objective is the vision of a more Asia literate New Zealand society,” he said. “The summit will be attended by many leading New Zealanders from different sectors including education, business, media and culture. It is an important opportunity to agree on immediate actions to improve the country’s capacity to engage with the new Asian economic reality that’s unfolding before us.”

Sir Dryden emphasised the importance to New Zealand of having the recommendations in the AKWG report adopted and carried out by all sections of New Zealand.

“Prime Minister Helen Clark will make an appearance at the summit to underline her continuing commitment to this vital process. We anticipate the event will result in a number of key steps so that New Zealand can increase its progress,” Sir Dryden said.

The Preparing for a Future with Asia Summit is on Thursday, September 14, at Te Papa, Wellington.

ENDS

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