What is New Zealand Chinese Language Week?

New Zealand Chinese Language Week (NZCLW) is a Kiwi-driven initiative that aims to increase Chinese language learning in New Zealand. The initiative is the first of its kind in any Western country and emerged in the context of a rapidly strengthening relationship between New Zealand and China.

NZCLW seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic knowledge gap between China and New Zealand by delivering fun and practical initiatives that assist Kiwis to learn Chinese, ranging from programmes and resources in schools and libraries to business and government organisations.  

NZCLW was officially launched by Raymond Huo as a sitting Member of Parliament and Jo Coughlan on 24 May 2014 at the National Conference of the New Zealand China Friendship Society.

Why do we need it?

China is now our largest trading partner, as well as being a vital source of tourism and international students. NZCLW is an initiative that builds on the Government’s objective of strengthening our relationship with Asia to actively participate in the growth and prosperity of the Asian region. This involves New Zealanders becoming more “Asia literate” and fostering political, economic and social relationships, and China is a key area of focus for this.

Supporting NZCLW will encourage the ongoing development of cross-cultural connections within our Kiwi Chinese ethnic community, as well as leveraging New Zealand’s ability to connect to China. NZCLW is a way of making New Zealanders more familiar with China and its people, enhancing cultural understanding and linguistic communication to boost interaction with China both in trade and cultural exchange.

Who and what does the week involve?

New Zealand Chinese Language Week is a registered Charitable Trust chaired by Jo Coughlan. NZCLW has the support of the Chinese Ambassador Her Excellency Ms. Wu Xi and Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.


The event is endorsed by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, New Zealand China Friendship Society, New Zealand China Council, New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Immigration NZ, Tourism NZ, Education New Zealand, our major universities, Confucius Institutes and local body councils.


NZCLW will be celebrated during

 the week of the  20 - 26 September 2020.

A number of initiatives will be running throughout the year on an ongoing basis, such as Chinese cultural performances, art exhibitions, language lessons on public broadcasters, language seminars, library corners, essay competitions and training courses for professionals.

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