Friday, August 5 2022
Auckland: The annual event, one of New Zealand’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations, was joined by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Opposition Leader Judith Collins and many distinguished guests, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

In his opening speech, Ardern said that the Chinese New Year 2021 represents an opportunity to recognize the past year and look to 2021 with optimism and hope.

“People born in the Year of the Ox are known to be honest, consistent, hardworking and generous. These traits of the Chinese community, who came to New Zealand and contributed to it for over 170 years with all these many traits, ”says Ardern.

Ardern also mentioned the economic ties between New Zealand and China, in particular the upgrade of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement which was signed this week.

“Alongside the renewed commitment to our people-to-people bonds comes our continued commitment to our economic and trade ties, which are equally long, deep and important to us,” said Ardern.

“This is a really important step for both countries and shows the strength of our relationship,” said Ardern.

Ruan Ping, Chinese consul general in Auckland, said in his opening remarks that New Zealand is now well positioned for a post-pandemic recovery.

“For 12 years, the China-New Zealand FTA has brought enormous benefits to countries and peoples. The upgrade protocol involves multiple areas such as trade, investment and rules, making the free -China-New Zealand exchange more effective. I am confident that by working together, China and New Zealand will achieve more tangible results in pragmatic cooperation and friendly relations, “said Ruan.

Traditional Chinese performances including lion and dragon dances, Wushu performances, face changing shows, magic shows, song and dance were performed during the celebration.

Free face masks and hand sanitizers were provided to the general public during the event for additional protection of human health, although face masks are not required by government regulations. People have also been encouraged to scan the NZ Covid Tracer app for contact tracing.

New Zealand is currently on Covid-19 alert level one with no restrictions on public gatherings.

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