Asia Aware
Why Asia Matters to New Zealand

A warm welcome to this Asia Aware publication, ‘Why Asia Matters to New Zealand’, which highlights the huge impact that the region will have in world affairs in the 21st century.

New Zealand already has links with Asia but we can build on these to open up a world of opportunities, especially for young New Zealanders. Education is the key to achieving this and its importance is refl ected in the New Zealand curriculum.

Asia New Zealand Foundation has commissioned a range of research on studies of Asia in primary and secondary schools. In August 2007 a survey was undertaken to provide information on the level of awareness, understanding and experience of Asia among New Zealand school principals. A key recommendation proposed that:

If an Asia focus can be incorporated as part of the existing curriculum and if the
relevancy of Asia studies is proven, and if the resources and professional development are provided, then principals, schools, parents and communities are likely to support and deliver an increased Asia focus in schools.

In response to this research, Asia New Zealand Foundation is committed to strengthening the understanding of the importance of Asia to New Zealand through a number of initiatives, many in collaboration with partners such as the Ministry of Education. This Asia Aware publication and the Principals’ Forums are examples of the current work that Asia New Zealand Foundation is committed to in order to support the development of Asia Aware schools.

This booklet provides you with knowledge and information about the importance of Asia that you can share with your staff, your Board of Trustees, parents and the local community which your school serves.

We look forward to an ongoing commitment from New Zealand schools and the wider
community to engage in the essential task of preparing young New Zealanders to be future-focused global citizens and to be ready to engage with Asian communities in New Zealand and with the peoples and countries of Asia.