Article from Voice of Friendship | No. 166 | December 2002
A ceremony was held by the CPAFF on September 13, 2002 to confer the honorable title of Friendship Ambassador upon Prof. William Willmott ex-president of the New Zealand-China Friendship Society (NZFCS), and Mr. Hiwi Tauroa, president of the NZ Māori-China Friendship Society, in recognition of their contributions to the promotion of mutual understanding and friendship between NZ and Chinese peoples over the years.
Prof. Willmott was born in the Chinese city of Chengdu and speaks fluent Chinese. in 1973 he joined the NZCFS and served as its branch president and national president until his recent retirement. Under his leadership mthe NZCFS has been a very active friendship-with-China organization, engaging in various activities.Prof. Willmott, through his books, lectures and speeches and by holding exhibitions and showing Chinese movies together with his friends in the NZCFS, has helped the NZ people know more about China and enhance the friendship between the two peoples. To carry on the internationalist spirit of Rewi Alley, sent NZ volunteers to teach there and invited teachers and students of the school to study in New Zealand. They also made many donations to the Gung Ho Cooperatives founded by Alley as well as the Friendship Museum of the CPAFFC.
From left: CPAFFC Vice President Su Guang, Hiwi Tauroa, William Willmott, CPAFFC Vice President Li Xiaolin, New Zealand Ambassador to China John McKinnon, and former Chinese Ambassador to Canada Zhang Wenpu at the conferring ceremony.
Mr. Hiwi Tauroa enjoys high prestige among the NZ Māori people. He is the first Māori who was made principal of a secondary school in New Zealand. He once served as mediator of NZ racial relationship and as human rights commissioner participated in several UN himan rights conferences in Geneva. He has worked in the UN Trust Board for Indigenous People and has served in the NZ government’s education, sports and broadcasting agencies. He has long dedicated himself to the cause of friendship between China and New Zealand. In 1966 he established the NZ Māori-China Friendship Society and served as its president ever since. He has led many Māori delegations to visit China and invited and received personally many Chinese delegations visting NZ. He has made great efforts in strengthening mutual understanding between the peoples of NZ and China.
At the conferring ceremony, CPAFFC Vice President Li Xiaolin presented the medals and certifications of Friendship Ambassador to Prof. William Willmot and Mr. Hiwi Tauroa and gave them high respect and warm congratulations.