Spark business manager for energy, health and local government David Tse says interest in the Chinese New Year is growing in New Zealand but for his family it is a time to celebrate their heritage.

The second generation New Zealander said his parents taught him to hold on to Chinese traditions as well as embrace the western culture he grew up in - something he was now passing on to his children.

"We're not strict on some of the really staunch traditions, but we just try to have some nice family time, have a nice meal," Tse said.

"So we'll try and do that a few nights and eat moon cakes with the red bean and egg in the middle and maybe do a few more yum chas in February than we normally would - just so the kids are exposed more to other people celebrating and the decorations and what have you."


Tse's mother still upholds traditions such as the lucky red envelopes (hong bao), usually a monetary gift.

Tse said the Chinese New Year was a time to reflect on his heritage. He hoped his children would also spend some time in reflection.

"It's really just about teaching them to be proud of their heritage and to embrace the cultural difference.

"It's quite a special time to think about that because during the year you're too busy wrapped up in life and everything else so you don't get the chance to reflect on it, so it's a great time to do that and it also makes you appreciate your family and those around you."