Support Each Other 💪
Welcome back to another year of NZCTA YA Newsletters! We wish we could start our YA Newsletters off this year with some positive news, however, you're probably aware from all the media coverage of the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, and New Zealand has not been excluded.
New Zealand is now on alert level 4 in full lockdown mode for a minimum of 4 weeks. Essential businesses, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, are still available but many other businesses have had to shut up shop or start operating differently with physical distancing in mind. This lockdown period is expected to have an unprecedented impact on New Zealand's economy. To stay up to date with the most current information of the COVID-19 situation in NZ and how the government may be able to support you during this difficult time, head to covid19.govt.nz.
With this month's newsletter we want to use our reach to share what the YA team is doing to unite against COVID-19, as well as highlight local voices and businesses, especially from the Asian community, that were some of the first in NZ to be majorly impacted by this pandemic. Many of our local businesses have already suffered from the earlier border and travel restrictions, bans on mass gatherings, as well as from peoples' inability to go outside due to fear or self-isolation. And times are going to be even harder for them now with nationwide lock-down (find out how you may still be able to help them below). Also, in this newsletter we want to share with you an exciting opportunity for your voice to be heard by our community (scroll to the end to find out)!
Finally, we really encourage our readers and YA FAM to look out for each other personally and support our local businesses (within the bounds of public health measures and government advice) as we wade through this health crisis and tough economic times together. 💪💪💪
#1. Our Update: 2020 Events Postponed
In view of recent developments in the outbreak of COVID-19 and the related measures issued by NZ’s government to combat this, the YA has postponed all events for 2020 indefinitely. We are uniting against COVID-19, helping to #stopthespread and flatten the curve by not holding any events or physical meetings in the coming months.
Thank you for your understanding. During this time, the YA team will be working hard behind the scenes remotely and individually to ensure that when we are able to come back with our events, they’ll be better than ever.
We will be keeping you updated on YA related news and our future events through our Newsletter and socials, so subscribe to our Newsletter mailing list here if you haven't already, or follow us on our socials (links at the bottom of this newsletter). 📝💛
During these uncertain times, we hope that you keep safe, stay strong, be kind and make the most of looking after yourself during self isolation and others by staying virtually connected. The YA can’t wait to see YOU all again later in the year! 🌱
#2. YA Recruitment 2020: Application Deadline Extended!
If you’d like to join the YA community more directly and help us in the work we do, the application period to join our Executive Committee is STILL OPEN, closing at midnight on Monday 13 April. We decided to extend the application period from our original deadline by 3 weeks to give more time to anyone who couldn't apply amidst the past tense few weeks. We also want to give you (we know you love us 😉) something to look forward to over the coming month.
From being our Event Manager to Creative Lead, come and join our team! Find out more and how here. ✨💫
To note, interviews with successful applicants will be conducted over Skype or other online video calling platforms. If you've already applied (thank you!), we look forward to interviewing you and moving forward very soon.
#3. Business Desk: Support Your Locals
We all know that this unprecedented shutdown of New Zealand's borders, business, and generally EVERYTHING is going to have an impact to the economy on a scale that we can't predict right now. It's really tough for everyone but the tourism and hospitality sectors have felt it first, and hardest. While New Zealand is currently in lockdown, the good news is that China is recovering and getting back to business! See more on that here.
The YA want to keep the focus on the human stories in this month's business desk. Business and the economy aren't just about movements on the Kiwi dollar or share price. It's about people and their livelihoods.
In this article, some of Auckland's local grocers in the days up to lockdown share the important message "if we are not united, then we have nowhere to go". Internationally, a disappointing reaction to the coronavirus was a racial backlash against Asian communities. During these times, when a virus isn’t discriminating based on race, neither should we. Read more here.
Some businesses have been forced to close and realistically speaking, more are to follow. These are trying times, and while the government is helping, as consumers we can help as well. So how can you support local businesses that are shut during this time? Shopping online and buying gift cards knowing that you won’t be able to receive them until after lockdown is one way to help cashflow. Another way to help is through this initiative we recently discovered called Gifticon, which has 60+ local businesses and restaurants on an app. You can support them by buying a voucher to save for later/gift to a mate. Have a look at their Instagram here for more info. [Update: Check out another similar initiative, SOS Cafe, too! Support your favourite local cafes buy buying a coffee for later!]
#4. Culture Desk: Why We Love "Gross" Looking Food
One of the times I feel most Chinese is when I go to Yum Cha with non-Chinese friends and order chicken feet. Often, they tell me that they don't eat chicken feet because "it's gross", followed by an admission that they've never actually tried it.
But chicken feet aren't gross, they're delicious. The meat is super soft. It falls off the bone and after being braised in the sweet and spicy sauce, is so flavourful.
I'm yet to hear an explanation of their "grossness" that isn't rooted in arbitrary cultural judgments. What makes chicken feet "gross", yet something like blue cheese a delicacy?
Chinese cuisine doesn't waste any part of the animal (who, we must remember, has died for our consumption). Instead, it has found ways to make all parts delicious.
This article from Re: celebrates these supposedly "gross" foods. In the wake of the horrible coronavirus, Chinese restaurants have been hit hard. Our favs might not exist the time we're out the other side, and many will be affected by the unfair stigma afterwards. Articles like this are an important corrective to the mainstream narrative.
Read it here.
#5. Your Voice: New Segment Alert!
Finally, we want to try SOMETHING NEW with our Newsletters this year by giving YOU, our readers, an opportunity for your voices to be heard by our YA community. We want to feature one of your opinion pieces or stories in this segment of our Newsletter starting next month!
For April's Newsletter, if you have any positive stories that have arisen from the COVID-19 situation or during the lockdown period (we're seriously lacking some positivity here), please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight Sunday 19th April (word limit < 300 words) and you may be featured in our Newsletter next month! YA FAM, it's time to polish your writing skills during this time of self isolation! 😁✨✍
Have an idea or opportunity you would like us to offer? Would you like to be part of the Young Associates? Have general questions/comments? Let us know below!
Editors: Kathy Liu, Antoine Ellis, Han Li and Sonja Rose
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this newsletter are the sole opinion of the NZCTA Young Associates and do not represent the opinions of the wider New Zealand China Trade Association (NZCTA) or any of its executive committee.