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Gift Celebrates New Zealand/Chinese Landmark

Gift Celebrates New Zealand/Chinese Landmark

A unique Kiwi-Panda Ball that symbolises the friendship between New Zealand and China was presented to Chinese President, Xi Jinping, by New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, on April 7, 2013.

The gift of the Kiwi-Panda Ball is New Zealand’s official gift to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China.

The Kiwi-Panda Ball was painstakingly crafted to recognise the living symbols that identify both nations and, on April 7, brought them together. The kiwi symbolises New Zealand while the panda is a distinctive and much loved creature so symbolic of China.

The design is laminated mainly with ancient Swamp Kauri, a wood that is treasured in New Zealand. Other native timbers have been used to symbolise the harmony of different cultures.

The Kiwi is represented on one side of the ball and the panda on the other. Both are integrated in the same sphere to recognise the unity between both countries.

The Kiwi-Panda Ball has been created by Master New Zealand Woodturner, Alby Hall. Alby, who has been successfully working swamp Kauri since 1995, is acknowledged in the world for his technique and commitment to inlaying his work with fish, birds, seascapes, land images and sunrays.

Through his art work he expresses his concern about the human destruction of our planet.

Alby Hall’s work appears in the prestigious Bohlen Collection of woodturning in the United States, a collection hand-picked from throughout the world.

The gift of the Kiwi-Panda Ball has been inspired by New Zealand Forests Ltd, a pioneering company which works closely with local iwi to promote New Zealand culture to the world.

New Zealand Forests Ltd saw the impressive Kiwi-Panda Ball as contributing to the strengthening of bonds between the two nations and increasing New Zealand’s profile in China.

It notes that the ancient Kauri used to craft the Kiwi-Panda Ball has been carbon dated as nearly 50,000 years old and is therefore very appropriate to be presented to one of the world’s oldest civilisations with a recorded history of 5,000 years.

“This gift is the combination of New Zealand and Chinese culture. The panda and kiwi are endangered species that must be nourished and preserved. We see the diplomatic and cultural relations between the two countries as equally important ties that must flourish and grow in the years to come,” said John Zhou, Managing Director, New Zealand Forests Ltd.

Click here to view: KiwiPanda_Ball_details_and_images.pdf

ENDS

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