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February 3, 2010

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Kiwi national day of family fun

KIWIS in Shanghai will celebrate their national day on Saturday with family activities, including barbecue, kids' games, live music and raffle prizes of New Zealand meat and oysters.

Today is the last day to RSVP for the Waitangi Day celebrations in which more than 100 New Zealanders in Shanghai are expected to gather in New Zealand Central for the afternoon.

Waitangi Day marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, 170 years ago by 43 Maori chiefs and representatives of the British Crown. The event is jointly hosted by Kea New Zealand, an NGO linking Kiwi talents all over the world, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and the New Zealand Consulate.

"In New Zealand it's a national holiday where family and friends get together and celebrate being New Zealanders, especially as we're a very young country," says Alexandra Middleton, Asia regional manager of Kea New Zealand. "Also Waitangi is a time to reflect and celebrate our multiculturalism with our Maori population and also an increasing Asian population."

"Being expats in Shanghai highlights the need to connect with the feeling of still being back at home, it's a chance to get together again," says Elizabeth Te Amo, director of projects North Asia for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

They hope to attract New Zealanders from all walks of life including business people, old China hands and families who will be joined by members of the consulate, trade and tourism organizations.

They especially hope to attract the increasing number of New Zealand Chinese and Chinese students who have studied in New Zealand.

As well as the famous New Zealand barbecue, there will be a New Zealand band, traditional kids' games such as "duck duck goose" and raffle prizes of New Zealand meat and oyster packs.

As the celebrations are so close to the Chinese Lunar New Year, there will also be Chinese paper cutting and other activities to blend the two cultures.

The Waitangi Day celebrations in Shanghai have become more popular in recent years, with a family-friendly format and location in New Zealand Central. The center, which opened last February, hosts business and social events for the Kiwi community.

Kea New Zealand is also looking forward to a busy 2010, supporting official visits for the six-month World Expo 2010 Shanghai opening on May 1 and hosting business forums for small- and medium-sized New Zealand businesses, starting in March.

The group aims to get in touch with more Chinese alumni of New Zealand universities who represent a large talent pool, with their language proficiency and understanding of both cultures.

Waitangi Day celebrations

Date: February 6, 4-7pm

Venue: New Zealand Central, 3/F, Jinlin Tiandi, 190 Madang Rd

Kea New Zealand Tel: 1580-1879-314



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