An online magazine of news and opinions from the Asia New Zealand Foundation

Asia Perspectives on New Zealand: July 10-16

What are English-language media in Asia saying about New Zealand? Here's a roundup of news and views from the region.

Thai golf prodigy breaks Lydia Ko’s record

Rising golfing star Atthaya Thitikul, 14, became the youngest known winner of a professional tour event on 9 July, when she won the Ladies European Thailand Championship in Pattaya. Thitikul’s achievement broke New Zealander Lydia Ko’s record as the youngest winner on a Ladies European tour.

World takes a leaf from te reo revival initiative

A Maori language revitalisation pre-school initiative is being emulated by speakers of other threatened languages. The Te Kohanga Reo immersion programme, which began in 1982, facilitates language learning in children based on a curriculum grounded in Maori cultural principles. Canada’s Mohawk community in Quebec, several Pacific Island communities, as well as the Finnish town of Inari are among groups which have created their own kohanga.

Chinese gold miners 'driven out' of NZ

At the height of the 19th century gold rush, New Zealand was home to some 8,000 Chinese miners – a group which contributed significantly to New Zealand's growth due to their success in the fields.

But few traces of their existence remains today, says a South China Morning Post feature that details how the "industrious, efficient" miners were driven out by discrimination.

"As the number of Chinese miners increased, and despite – or because of – their tenacity in finding gold where others had stopped looking, resentment grew among European settlers," wrote Mark Andrews.

The miners, mostly from Guangzhou province, faced increasing xenophobia which culminated in the 1896 poll tax levied on new China migrants. They were also excluded from the old-age pension scheme in 1898.

Indian rivers not living entities, after all

India’s Supreme Court has overturned a High Court ruling which gave two rivers the same legal rights as a human being. The Yamuna and Ganga rivers, considered sacred by millions in the country, was accorded the status of a living entity one week after New Zealand’s Whanganui river was determined to have the same rights as a person. However, the state appealed against the verdict, arguing it was “unsustainable in law”.

Yamuna river in India

Thai teen golfer Atthaya Thitikul

NZ flexes its brand muscle in the Philippines

New Zealand is banking on its reputation for food safety to increase the number of Kiwi brands appearing on Philippine supermarket shelves. Filipino businesses were treated to a showcase of quality produce and premium food products at a recent trade show in Manila, participated by firms such as Te Pa Family Wines, Kono New Zealand and Emerald Foods. “[New Zealand's] main advantage is the provision of clean, safe and sustainably produced products,” said trade commissioner Hernando Banal.

Kiwis, Aussies biggest Netflix fans in Asia-Pacific

Viewers from New Zealand and Australia form the bulk of Netflix subscribers in the Asia-Pacific, a study has found. The research, conducted by consultancy firm Media Partners Asia, found that of 4.8 million paid subscribers in the Asia-Pacific, less than a third (about 1.5 million viewers) came from Asian economies. Hulu Japan, Hotstar (India), Pooq (South Korea) and Viu (Hong Kong) are among the biggest online video streaming services in Asia, excluding China.

New Zealand eyes growth in India arrivals

New Zealand is set to welcome more tourists from India, as Tourism NZ casts its eye on the growing market. Some 55,000 Indian tourists visited Aotearoa in the past year, a number expected to achieve “double-digit growth in the year ending May 2018”, said Tourism NZ regional manager Steven Dixon.

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17 July 2017