Kapa Haka and lion dance
Kapa Haka and lion dance

Kiwi Week, initiated by NZTE, was built off the success of the annual Kiwi Brunch which has been held at the Westin Bund Centre Hotel in Shanghai for the past six years. This year, Kiwi Week was bigger and better than ever. It had all kinds of New Zealand elements, including the very first Hangi brunch in China, a wine tasting event, a master chef dinner, an industry workshop, and last but not least, the New Zealand Ball.

Consul-General, Guergana Guermanoff said at the Kiwi Week media launch, “New Zealand is well-known for the beauty of its landscapes, its pristine food and the friendliness and integrity of its people.  New Zealand has a sophisticated and broad-based relationship with China. We hope more and more Chinese people get to know about New Zealand and have a taste of Kiwi style, Kiwi culture and Kiwi food through Week.” The week culminated in the New Zealand Ball on which was held at the Shangri La Hotel on November. The Ball was a premium showcase of NZ food, culture and tradition. About 700 people  both the Chinese and New Zealand attended the Ball which made it one of the largest expat balls in Shanghai.

Ambassador John McKinnon delivered a short speech before the ball formally started. He noting, “The New Zealand Ball celebrates the connections that the New Zealand and Chinese communities have here in Shanghai.” He thanked all those who attended for their support to the New Zealand Ball, and its importance to the on-going  growth of New Zealand-China connections.   The menu of the Ball was designed by New Zealand Master Chefs Karena & Kasey and included premium New Zealand dairy products, beef and lamb, seafood, ice-cream, red and white wine, beer and mineral water, all from New Zealand.

In order to create a “360 degree New Zealand experience”, Mark Hadlow, from The Hobbit was invited to the Ball as the MC. The Ball featured Kapa Haka performance group from Raukura and the amazing World of Wearable Arts performance group not to mention an exciting Chinese lion dance. In addition, the skin care products provided in washrooms were also from New Zealand.