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'Trilingual children's book a hit for NZCLW 2020'

20 Sept 2020

The trilingual children’s book published for New Zealand Chinese Language Week is proving to be a big hit.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week is the week after Māori Language Week, and each year, to celebrate both weeks, the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust with David Ling Publishing produces a children’s book using three languages - Mandarin, Te Reo, and English.

This year, the book is Ruru’s Hangi.

The book has proven to be a big hit with schools and with libraries, which receive a free copy, New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust co-chair Jo Coughlan says.

"We have been told by people who have got the book that there aren’t that many resources available such as this book, and people are glad to receive it."

Requests for the book can be made to

Learning other languages broadens the mind, and provides huge opportunities for young people in their future careers and lives, she says.

"The NZCLW Trust supports the widespread adoption of Te Reo as one of the official languages of New Zealand, and we advocate for more languages to be taught in our schools. For us, we think Mandarin should be one of those languages, as it opens up global opportunities for our young people."

NZCLW celebrates multilingualism in New Zealand and recognises the advantages of learning Chinese in our increasingly globalised community.

Chinese is already the most widely introduced foreign language at our primary schools and the only foreign language, apart from Spanish, that is holding its own or growing in secondary schools.

Now in its sixth year, the Kiwi-led initiative is to be held across New Zealand between 20 - 26 September this year, and the theme is A Taste of New Zealand - celebrating the food and drink links between our Chinese and New Zealand cultures.

A key part of the week will be Dumpling Day, September 26, a chance to celebrate the delicious little food parcels and highlight some of the great producers of dumplings in New Zealand.

NZCLW has resources designed to make it easier to practice helpful phrases provided by the trust through its website

There are helpful phrase guides and posters available to download from the NZCLW website,, Jo says. People can take part in the #5Phrases5Days challenge and post on social media using #NZCLW or #NZCLWDumplingDay hashtags.

"We hope to help more Kiwis ‘give Chinese a go’ by taking part in an event, taking the #5Phrases5Days challenge, or eating some dumplings. It’s a great excuse to enjoy some good Chinese food made with great New Zealand products.

"While we aren’t able to travel between New Zealand and China at the moment, there is lots of shared history and culture - particularly food culture - to celebrate within New Zealand. We encourage the public and local business community to get involved, host an event, and help inspire New Zealanders to better understand and connect with our Chinese friends and partners."

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