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Simon Draper’s November update, 2017

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Source: Asia New Zealand Foundation – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Simon Draper’s November update, 2017

It’s been a busy past couple of weeks for us at the Foundation.

Starting Strong: Asian under-fives report launch

Last week we released our latest research ‘Starting Strong: Nurturing the potential of our Asian under-fives’ which looks at the changing demographics of our under-five population. In particular, the report examines the experiences of the growing number of Asian under-fives, their home environment, and how early childhood centres are adapting to this change. The research reveals the biggest challenge is maintaining the heritage culture and language skills of these young New Zealanders.

We launched the report with a panel discussion featuring stakeholders in the early learning sector including Nancy Bell, director of early learning of the Ministry of Education, Peter Reynolds, chief executive of the Early Childhood Council, Auckland University associate professor Elsie Ho, one of the authors of the report, Dai Phonevilay, a parent of an Asian under-five child, our very own education director Jeff Johnstone, with Radio NZ education correspondent John Gerritsen as moderator.

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Panelists discuss the reports findings

We hope the report prompts further conversation among relevant stakeholders. The Foundation believes we need a deliberate and coordinated approach to ensure these kids do not lose their cultural knowledge and language skills which will serve them and New Zealand well in the future.

See more info on the Starting Strong: Asian under-fives report launch

Asia After Five events – Covering Asia

We had two Asia After Five events focussed on the coverage of Asia by NZ media — one in Auckland and one in Wellington. The Auckland one featured former Education Minister Steve Maharey, Prof Natasha Hamilton-Hart, Leadership Network member Jessica Rowe, and TVNZ correspondent Jehan Casinader as panelists.

The Wellington event featured Radio NZ Insight executive producer Philippa Tolley who shared her experience from her 2017 Spring Jefferson Fellowship. Our very own Rebecca Inoue-Palmer also spoke about the newly launched Asia Media Centre which aims to help NZ media have access to Asia expertise.

Leadership Network Refugee Hui

Around 60 members of our fantastic Leadership Network (LN) gathered over the weekend for a Refugee Hui. This hui gave them the chance to understand some of the key issues New Zealand faces with regards to refugees particularly with regards to Asia. Fifty percent of the country’s 1,000 refugee quota is allocated to Asia-Pacific. 

The hui included a visit to the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre where LN members were briefed on New Zealand’s refugee resettlement programme. They also had an interactive session with some of the leading lights in the refugee space, including NZ Red Cross and Amnesty International NZ. Participants learned about the opportunities that are available to them if they want to get involved in the refugee space.

Track II visit to ASEAN-Australia-NZ Trilateral

On Wednesday I left for Singapore where the Foundation is holding its first overseas Asia After Five event –  

Following Singapore, it’s on to Malaysia where I’m leading a Track II delegation of experts to Kuala Lumpur for the 10th ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Dialogue – convened by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, and co-funded (with AsiaLink) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Our dialogue will take place shortly after regional leaders meet at APEC and the East Asia Summit. The Trilateral is a great opportunity to take stock of these meetings and exchange perspectives with our neighbours around the Asia-Pacific.

Our discussions normally revolve around shared strategic, security and trade/economic interests. A timely issue to which our Director Strategic Communications and Media Mark Russell will speak to is the convergence of technology, social media and foreign policy. The input and responses from our counterparts on this and other discussions will be most illuminating – especially how our partners might view us in New Zealand, and what that means for our wider engagement with Asia. 

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