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Chinese New Year celebrations to honour Beijing 08

Hon Chris Carter
Minister for Ethnic Affairs

19 February, 2008 Media Statement
Chinese New Year celebrations to honour Beijing ‘08

The model of a sculpture that will be gifted by New Zealand’s Chinese community to the New Zealand Beijing Olympic Team will be unveiled at Chinese New Year celebrations being held at Parliament this evening, Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter says.

President of the New Zealand Chinese Association, Kai Luey, will announce plans to begin fundraising efforts for commissioning the sculpture. The design and workmanship will be completed jointly by Guy Ngan and Ron Sang. The piece will be a two metre high dragon made of stainless steel on a granite base. The dragon’s eyes will be made from pounamu as a tribute to the long and proud history of Chinese in New Zealand.

“I am delighted that the New Zealand Chinese Association has taken the initiative to commission a piece in honour of New Zealand’s enduring relationship with China ahead of the Beijing Olympics,” Chris Carter said.

This year Prime Minister Helen Clark will open Chinese New Year at Parliament where it has been held annually since 2001. Celebrations are also held annually in most major centres to commemorate the celebrations.

“Parliament’s celebration of Chinese New Year recognises that New Zealand is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society. It is an opportunity for Members of Parliament, students, diplomats and community members to come together to recognise the growing importance of this festival to the cultural life of our country,” Chris Carter said.


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