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

Asia Perspectives on New Zealand: July 18-24

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

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South Korean city to export mud to Rotorua

Tourists at mud festival in Boryeong, South Korea

Rotorua has signed a NZ$90,000 (75 million won) mud contract with a South Korean coastal city. Boryeong, known for its beaches and mud festival, will export 4.5 tonnes of mud powder as part of the deal. Rotorua will also gain expertise from Boryeong ahead of its plans to launch its own mud festival, “New Zealand Mudtopia”, this December.

Malaysian student numbers in NZ on the rise

The number of students arriving from Malaysia is set to grow. There are currently 2000 Malaysian students in the country, says Education NZ – up ten percent from the previous year. “These positive trends reflect the strong relationship between Malaysia and New Zealand, with thousands of Malaysian students now forging impressive careers in Malaysia and around the world,” says Education NZ. New Zealand hosts about 150,000 international students annually.

Chinese Premier meets Sir John Key

John Key and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. (Photo: John Key/Facebook)

Premier Li Keqiang met with former New Zealand prime minister Sir John Key on 20 July, in what was described as a “step forward in bilateral relations”. Li said China was keen to further develop ties and co-operation with New Zealand, and contribute to the stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region.

NZ’s national brand resonates in Asia

100% Pure New Zealand campaign. Photo: Tourism New Zealand

New Zealand's reputation as a clean and green nation has contributed to its steady growth in exports to Asian territories, according to consulting firm Baldwin Boyle Shand (BBS).

Through campaigns such as "100% Pure New Zealand", the nation has succeeded in promoting a compelling story about its environment and products, said BBS. NZTE figures show exports from New Zealand to Singapore grew from about NZ$349 million in 2004 to NZ$2.89 billion in 2014.

Earlier this year, research firm Mintel reported New Zealand and Australia have become top destinations for Chinese consumers seeking to buy food and baby products online.

Death of Kiwi teacher in Japan sparks protest

The death of a New Zealand teacher who was forcibly restrained to his bed in a psychiatric hospital has prompted a citizen group to call for reforms. Kelly Savage, an English-language teacher living in Kagoshima Prefecture, died on 17 May from a heart attack during his stay at Yamato Hospital. The Seishinka Iryo no Shintai Kosoku wo Kangaeru Kai (Alliance Against Restraint) group is calling for other victims to come forward with their stories to highlight the practice. Restraint has become more common in Japanese facilities in recent years, roughly doubling in the 10 years up until 2014.

India among top countries for asylum to NZ

Between 2012 and 2016, the number of asylum-seeker applications to New Zealand was highest from China, India, Fiji and Iraq, according to a recent report on international migration. Eleven percent of asylum-seekers to "far flung New Zealand" came from India.

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25 July 2017