Chan receives visit from New Zealand High Commissioner


KUCHING: Kuching City South mayor Datuk James Chan yesterday received a courtesy call from New Zealand High Commissioner David Pine and his entourage.

Pine’s entourage included Malaysia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce advisor Alex Ting and committee members Stephen Hii, Chan Choon Ann and Chong Lee Choo.

Among the matters they discussed were New Zealand’s ‘Lima Mata Ikan’ expo to be held here next March, affordable education in New Zealand, cultural exchange programmes towards more regional cooperation and developments in Sarawak.

According to Pine, Sarawakians make up a high number of students benefiting from New Zealand’s education compared to other states in Malaysia.

“We have high number of Sarawakians pursuing their education in New Zealand. This is the reason why we choose to hold our expo in Sarawak next March,” he said.

Pine also said he loved Sarawak very much and he had been here many times.

He pointed out during each visit he saw changes and developments.

“I am very impressed with the development that has taken place here. Each time during my visit here, I see changes and developments taking place, but at the same time it is not disoriented.

“This is something wonderful about Sarawak,” he said.

The High Commission also held a woodworking workshop and talk featuring Maori master carver James Rickard at the Kuching Waterfront during the past two days.

Pine said they found out there were some similarities in the motifs and designs of Sarawakian woodwork with theirs.

As such, he said they expected to find out more at their next year’s expo here.

Chan, on the other hand, said New Zealand is one of the countries providing very affordable education fees, and he believed that was the reason why it had become one of the top destinations for Sarawakians to pursue their studies.

“I myself went there to pursue my education and now my children are also studying there. Furthermore the cost of living there is also very affordable,” said Chan.

He also said he felt honoured to receive the courtesy call from Pine, and he hoped the two countries could hold cultural exchange programmes for the benefit of both sides.