To promote friendship, understanding and goodwill between the peoples of China and New Zealand by encouraging visits and exchanges of ideas, information, culture and trade between the two countries.
The Society was established in 1952 as part of the movement of international solidarity with China’s Communist revolution. In the early days, it was closely linked to Rewi Alley, a New Zealander who played a leading role in establishing the international ‘Gung Ho’ cooperative movement, which supported industrial cooperatives in Communist held areas during the war against Japan. Another of the founders, Kathleen Hall, worked as a nurse in Hebei in the 1930, and spent 4 years in Songjazhuang village, Quyang County, Baoding.
In recent years, the Society has renewed its relationship with long standing partners. A cooperative health clinic was established, with the Society’s support, in Songjiazhuang in 2001. NZCFS annually selects a young woman from a rural community to receive a 3-4 year “Kathleen Hall Scholarship” to undertake a nursing degree in commemoration of Kathleen Hall. The Shandan Bailie School is another product of cooperation. It was founded by Rewi Alley during the anti-Japanese War period in Feng county Baoji, Shaanxi and reopened in 1987 in Shandan County, which is one of the poorest areas in Gansu. The Bailie education system was based on the educational philosophy of American Joseph Bailie, using ‘hands and minds together’. Now the Bailie school system is returning to favour.
Since the early 2000s NZCFS has delivered through partners a number of rural development community projects in Guangxi, Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi.
The overall aim of NZCFS projects is to work effectively with a small number of in-China partners, with whom we establish good relationships of trust and mutual understanding. As a voluntary organization, our projects have a high degree of integrity, and are cost effective while delivering sustainable outcomes. Most projects are designed to build local capacity through establishing models to facilitate extension of positive outcomes to other poor communities.