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Asia:NZ Media Newsletter - September 2008

Media e-newsletter

Kia ora and welcome to the September edition of the Asia New Zealand Foundation media newsletter. Find out more about the right strategies to adopt for doing business in India and learn about next month’s Diwali festivals. There’s also news of the inaugural diversity reporting awards and new Asian programming on TV3 and Radio Live.

In this issue:

• AUT hosts India Business Forum

• New report on Asians in Christchurch

• Diwali time in Auckland and Wellington

• In other news

• Star reporter wins top diversity reporting prize

• 'Right story’ critical for journalism accuracy

• Asia:NZ media update

• Japanese artist’s icing sugar wonders

• Asian radio show on Radio Live

• No apology for Kiwi Asian comedy


AUT hosts India Business Forum
India is experiencing spectacular economic growth, says AUT Business School dean, Professor Des Graydon, and it’s time New Zealanders ask, where do we fit in this picture?

“With a population of more than 1 billion people, a robust economy and a rapidly growing middle income class, India offers significant opportunities for businesses across a wide range of industries,” said Prof Graydon.

“It will soon overtake China to become the world’s most populous nation, has more billionaires than Japan and is the world’s largest democracy.”
The Asia New Zealand Foundation is one of the sponsors of the one-day India Business Forum on 1 October, which is being hosted by the AUT Business School.

Prof Graydon says New Zealand businesses are taking advantage of India’s exponential growth. “Many companies are beginning to enter its market, and there’s a lot to learn from their triumphs and mistakes. The India Business Forum is designed for business people who are serious about gaining market share in India’s vast, burgeoning marketplace.”

The forum will look at the big picture as well as provide delegates with practical solutions for dealing with the day-to-day challenges of doing business in India.

Trade Minister Phil Goff will address delegates on ‘Building New Zealand’s relationship with India: the case for a Free Trade Agreement and the implications for your business’.

Leading New Zealand businesses, including the Gallagher Group, Vista Entertainment, Solid Energy and SMX, will also share their experiences of what to do and what not to do in business in India. The day includes panel discussions, an expo space and networking opportunities.

The AUT Business School presents the India Business Forum: 8am – 6pm, Wednesday, 1 October, at the Regency Hyatt, Auckland. More information is available at www.indiabusinessforum.co.nz and http://www.asianz.org.nz/node/1670.


New report on Asians in Christchurch
Following last year’s Diverse Auckland report, a soon-to-be-released Asia New Zealand Foundation report takes a look at the Asian population of Christchurch.

Asians in Christchurch: The most ‘British’ city diversifies, written by University of Auckland geographer Dr Wardlow Friesen, will be released on October 9th.

The report is the third in a four-part series by the Asia New Zealand Foundation on the country’s Asian population.

The new research notes that although the Asian population of Canterbury was relatively small through much of the 20th century, its origins stretch back to the 19th century.

While Christchurch has always had a large share of migrants born in the UK, the most notable change in migrant numbers is for the population born in Asia which increased from fewer than 3,000 people in 1986 to about 22,000 in 2006.

Of most Asian groups in Christchurch, a relatively large proportion arrived between 2001 and 2006, with about 16 percent being born in New Zealand.

Dr Friesen says the impact and changes brought by the various Asian populations will continue to evolve.

He says the degree to which these changes will be positive for both host society and migrant populations depends on how these new communities are accepted. Despite some problems, the indications so far are that diversity can be embraced while basic values and institutions remain.

Other reports in this series include Diverse Auckland, by Dr Wardlow Friesen, Asians in New Zealand, by Professor Richard Bedford and Dr Elsie Ho, and a report on Asians in Dunedin, to be released next year, also written by Wardlow Friesen: for copies of these, visit http://www.asianz.org.nz/research/outlook. Other social research by Asia:NZ is available at http://www.asianz.org.nz/research/socialresearch

For an advance copy of the report, email Asia:NZ research director Dr Andrew Butcher at abutcher[at]asianz.org.nz.


Diwali time in Auckland and Wellington
The seventh Diwali Festival of Lights celebrates the sights, sounds, fashion and food of India in Wellington and Auckland in October.

The Auckland event will be at the Auckland Viaduct Harbour over two days - October 18-19 - and the Wellington event will be held at the TSB Bank Arena on October 26.

Diwali or Deepavali (literally 'a row of lamps') is among the most ancient and important festivals in Indian culture. It is informally known as “the Festival of Lights" – the time when families light candles and small oil lamps (known as diyas) around the home, and set off firecrackers and fireworks.

Artists from India will join top local performers for a number of spectacular shows, including the ever popular Radio Tarana Bollywood Dance Competition; Wellingtonians will also be treated to exhibitions and movie screenings. A parallel schools programme will feature free workshops with the international artists.

For more information, visit http://www.asianz.org.nz/diwali.


In other news
The Asian Council on Reducing Crime is organising the Asian Community Safety Expo 2008 at Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple in East Tamaki, Auckland, on Saturday 27 September.

The Expo will run from 10pm to 3pm and is a joint venture between New Zealand Police, Asian Council for Reducing Crime and the Manukau City Council to heighten the awareness of personal safety and enhance the ability to keep communities safe.

Police Commissioner Mr. Howard Broad will open the event and there will be cultural performances including Korean drumming, bhangra dancing and martial arts. For more information, email acrcnz[at]gmail.com.

New Zealand Chinese Association (Auckland Branch) says planning has begun for a further conference event entitled Rising Dragon, Soaring Bananas.

This conference is being organised in conjunction with the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO) and will again be held at the new University of Auckland Business School on July 18-19 next year. Updates will be provided on the website www.goingbananas.org.nz as they come to hand.

The Manukau Indian Association in collaboration with Manukau City Council is holding a Diwali celebration on October 12 at the Telstra Pacific Centre. Ethnic groups are invited to participate by performing and putting on displays. For more information, email anilchanna[at]yahoo.com.au.

For a list of upcoming events in October, visit Asia:NZ’s event calendar at http://www.asianz.org.nz/events-calendar?m=10&y=2008.


Star reporter wins top diversity reporting prize
Dunedin Star reporter Catherine Wellington has taken out the top prize in the inaugural New Zealand Excellence in Reporting Diversity Award.

Her award-winning work included an article about racism titled "Shame on You, Dunedin" and work on a special edition about ethnicity.

Arlene Morgan, associate dean of New York’s Columbia Graduate Journalism School and chair of the awards’ judging panel said work by the Star team in covering racial tension, ethnic disparities and hate crime was courageous.

Ms Wellington won a $5000 Asia New Zealand Foundation grant to travel to and report in Asia. The runners-up, Melissa Davies from TV3 and Justin Latif of Auckland’s Western Leader, were each given a similar opportunity to work in the Pacific with a grant from the Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

Three media organisations were singled out for special commendation – the Dunedin Star, the Western Leader and Asia Downunder.

The awards were organised by Whitireia Journalism School,and supported by the NZ Journalism Training Organisation, AUT’s Pacific Media Centre, Canterbury University Journalism Programme, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, Pacific Cooperation Foundation and the Human Rights Commission.

'Right story’ critical for journalism accuracy
By Keira Stephenson of the Pacific Media Centre
Media inclusion of all nationalities living in Auckland and “doing the right story” is critical to accurate journalism, says associate dean Arlene Morgan of the Columbia School of Journalism.

“You have to take all people in your community into consideration and engage them in a dialogue which involves everyone.”

Ms Morgan, whose “Let’s do it better” diversity workshops are internationally acclaimed, was speaking at AUT marae hui hosted by AUT’s Pacific Media Centre in August as part of a three-day media diversity event organised by the Human Rights Commission.

Co-author of The Authentic Voice, Ms Morgan is passionate about diversity and urges New Zealand to undertake similar journalism diversity teaching programmes as her own. Her trip to New Zealand was supported by the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the NZ Journalism Training Organisation.

Ms Morgan blamed police reporting for being responsible for much of the stereotyping, in which certain ethnicities only received coverage when they were breaking the law. The rest of their lives - their families, communities, jobs as teachers, judges and lawyers - were ignored.

Whether in her native Philadelphia or here in New Zealand, Ms Morgan said it was the responsibility of the journalist to go beyond stereotypes and develop a deeper understanding of immigrants who move for the “New Zealand or the American dream”.

Her advice to journalists is to find people to get you into a community and cultivate your sources to build a level of trust. “Begin by looking for peoples’ life stories and use your power as a journalist to bring justice.”

The full story can be found at the Pacific Media Centre website along with other stories of Arlene Morgan’s recent visit: http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/niusbeat.shtml


Asia:NZ media update
The inaugural New Zealand Excellence in Reporting Diversity awards were held at Whitireia Journalism School in Wellington on 1 September.

Visiting Columbia University journalism lecturer Arlene Morgan was one of the judges. During her visit to New Zealand, Ms Morgan gave a number of presentations to journalism students.

Accounts of her presentations and a copy of her speech can also be read online. Her visit was supported by the Asia New Zealand Foundation.



Massey University journalism graduate Will Hine is currently working at the Phnom Penh Post with two others Massey grads, Priyanka Bhnosule and Stephanie McKay.

Mr Hine who is usually based in Queenstown for the Southland Times wrote this travel piece about Angkor Wat: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4693361a34.html.

He reports that work is going well in Cambodia. “The topics I write about are far removed from life in Queenstown... today it’s AIDS, corruption and an NGO soccer programme.”

His Fairfax colleague Priyanka Bhonsule has sent in this account of her experiences in Cambodia: http://www.asianz.org.nz/media/coveringasia/fieldnotes/priyanka

The Asia New Zealand Foundation media programme is helping support another Fairfax initiative with Dominion Post journalist Rebecca Palmer on a three-month work placement at the Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo.

She is blogging about her experiences under Nippon Notebook on the Stuff website: http://wwwstuff.co.nz/dominionpost/blogs/nippon


Japanese artist’s icing sugar wonders
Icing sugar is not what you most commonly would associate with an art medium, yet Japanese artist Ai Sasaki uses just that – she creates wall paintings from something more likely to be found in a bakery than an art gallery.

Ai Sasaki is the third Wellington Asia Residency Exchange (WARE) artist and will be staying at Wellington's Bolton Street Cottage from 8 September to 4 December.

Using icing sugar mixed with water, Ms Sasaki makes intricate and elegant artworks made all the more astonishing to the viewer when the medium of their construction is revealed.

Ai Sasaki will exhibit the result of her work in Wellington in a solo exhibition at Toi Poneke Arts Centre in November. She will also take workshops at Crofton Downs School in which a group of children will be given the opportunity to make their own creations, some of which will be showcased as part of her exhibition at Toi Poneke.

WARE is a new initiative that has been forging important creative and cultural links between Wellington and the Asian region. The WARE programme Bolton Street artist residency is organised by Wellington City Council in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

To see images of Ai Sasaki’s icing sugar sculptures, go to


Asian radio show on Radio Live
The makers of The Asian Radio Show are hoping to bring a different perspective with their programme which began on Radio Live last month.

The programme aims to inform, entertain and engage audiences about life in New Zealand through Asian eyes and sometimes about Asian lives through non-Asian eyes.

They say being Asian in New Zealand is complicated and they intend to explore that through storytelling, reports, interviews and panel discussions that bring a touch of irreverence.

Fronted by stand-up comedian and actor Tarun Mohanbhai and co-produced by thedownlowconcept and Holy Cow Media, The Asian Radio Show will cover the spectrum from the frivolous to the important from fashion to sexuality, health, politics, Asian poster children and even cosmetic dentistry in Cambodia.

The Asian Radio Show is funded by NZ On Air and broadcast on Radio Live 100.6FM at 7.30pm on Saturdays.


No apology for Kiwi Asian comedy
An Indian, a Chinaman, a Korean, an Indonesian, a Sri Lankan, a Malaysian and an expatriate Filipino all walk into a bar. The barman takes one look at them and says, “Is this some kind of joke?”

Not one joke, but at least 143 individual ones. A Thousand Apologies, a locally made comedy series currently screening on TV3, features a cast of new Kiwi Asian talent and hopes to make you laugh.

The series is the brainchild of Shuchi Kothari and Sarina Pearson, springing from the A Thousand Apologies Collective formed by Ms Kothari in early 2002. Its members were students of Auckland University’s Postgraduate production programme.

But the collective shared something else in common; they were of various Asian extractions and all felt the need to make a TV show that represented their experiences as Asian New Zealanders.

In 2005, Ms Kothari and Ms Pearson, both senior lecturers at the University of Auckland, applied for the Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Development Fund to make a half-hour pilot programme.

The university grant enabled them to bring the collective to work on a ten-day shoot and edit a 22-minute pilot episode that led to TV3 commissioning a six-part series.

Six of the eight-member collective wrote over a period of ten weeks. By the end of October 2006, 143 sketches were completed and approved by TV3.

The series, made with NZ On Air funding, was shot in March and April this year in six weeks using 288 characters, 60 locations and four directors. The ensemble of actors included Tarun Mohanbhai, Raj Varma, Katlyn Wong, Jamie Bowen, and Morgana O’Reilly.

A Thousand Apologies screens on TV3 on Fridays at 9.30pm. The New Zealand Herald review of the television series can be found here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/television/news/article.cfm?c_id=339&objectid=10531509.

The next Asia:NZ media newsletter will be available in October. The views expressed by various contributors to the newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asia New Zealand Foundation. If you are interested in contributing to the newsletter, contact Asia New Zealand Foundation media adviser Charles Mabbett at cmabbett[at]asianz.org.nz.

To retrieve and change your subscription details, go to http://www.asianz.org.nz/newsletter-signup.

Articles may be reprinted with acknowledgement of Asia New Zealand Foundation

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Telephone: +64 4 471 2320, Email: asianz[at]asianz.org.nz

To find out more about Asia New Zealand Foundation please visit our website: www.asianz.org.nz

Asia New Zealand Foundation is grateful to its key sponsors - Fonterra, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - for their commitment to the Foundation's activities.


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