Treasure chests blessed and off to China
The gifts being sent far and wide across China for The Amazing China-Hastings Year of Tourism 2019 have been blessed by
kaumatua Jerry Hapuku.
The first of the treasure chests should arrive at their destinations in China towards the end of next week. That will
see the provinces and cities in China start to send their reciprocal treasure chests to Hastings. “It’s getting to the
exciting part now,” says Hastings district councillor and project director Kevin Watkins. “We had to halt the project
for a bit during the election process but we are now fully back into it.”
The Hastings project is part of the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, designed to increase cultural understanding and
relationships between the two countries, leading to expanded tourism and trade opportunities. Hastings and all of the
participating regions in China are exchanging chests, with the China gifts becoming the focus of a competition for
Hastings secondary school students. They will need to match the gifts to their home regions in China, with the first
three to complete the task winning trips to China.
The gifts inside the chests have been carefully selected by Mr Watkins. Each chest includes a hand-crafted wooden bowl
set on a kauri plinth, made and donated by Hawke’s Bay Woodturners’ Guild members, a polished paua shell, a fabric map
of New Zealand showing where Hastings is, and publicity materials showing the district’s beautiful sights.
“We can’t wait to see what comes back, but that will have to remain a secret until we start the competition. Then, of
course, we will see three of our high school students taking trips to different parts of China, as their prize for
winning the competition,” says Mr Watkins.
For more on The Amazing China-Hastings Year of Tourism see: www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/hastings/about-hastings/achyot