Phil Goff and his delegation and guests sang a traditional Maori song during the banquet titled Auckland Showcase in Guangzhou. [Filmed by Newsgd.com]
The first Chinese migrants to New Zealand came from Guangdong 170 years ago. Phil Goff said nearly half of his delegation were of Chinese origin or even Cantonese origin. These delegates provided great assistance to other members, explaining how things work here and helping to develop connections.
Furthermore, Phil Goff praised Guangdong and Guangzhou for the entrepreneurship and outward-looking mindset. And he singled out two enterprises, Huawei and China Southern Airlines, saying that they have made the biggest investment in New Zealand.
“I’ve seen China Southern grow from a small airline to the fourth largest airline in the world,” said Goff, “I flew here on China Southern and I’m flying back late tonight by the same airline. They are bringing people all the way from Japan, India and Europe.”
Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines now has two routes connecting Guangzhou with Auckland and Christchurch. According to Phil Goff, the number of tourists from China has reached 450 thousand this year, 25 percent of which flew over on China Southern.
“Guangzhou and Auckland have been sister cities for 38 years. And our sister relationship with Guangzhou is the deepest and most important of our relationships with any city in China,” said Goff.