A cultural festival will run alongside Kawerau WoodFest this year to celebrate Chinese Language Week.

The community is invited to the September 28 and 29 event to enjoy competitions and cultural workshops such as making dumplings, paper-cutting, Chinese calligraphy and much more.

The event reflects the strong relationship between New Zealand – and specifically Kawerau – and China.

WoodFest director Amy Hayes said it was fantastic to have the cultural festival running alongside WoodFest this year.


"Kawerau and China have strong ties and, with plenty of visitors expected over WoodFest weekend, this festival gives the community an opportunity to celebrate that."

Jason Chen, the event's organiser and a Mandarin teacher at Victoria University's Confucius Institute, said the festival would showcase the Kawerau community's interest in the Mandarin language and highlight local Chinese learning achievements.

"All Kawerau schools offer Mandarin classes. Earlier this year students from Tarawera High School visited Beijing, Xiamen, Nanning and Hong Kong.

"Furthermore, a Chinese company – The Fenglin Group from Nanning - will build a particle board plant in Kawerau. This will help the Kawerau community develop a better understanding of Chinese people and culture," Chen said.

Activities would include calligraphy and painting, kung fu and tai chi.

"Come along and design your own opera mask or porcelain, learn the art of paper-cutting and participate in traditional Chinese costumes and sports workshops," Hayes said.

"There'll also be square dancing demonstrations and a Chinese food workshop.

Chinese Language Week runs from September 23-29. For more information visit https://www.nzclw.com/