47 Mandarin Language Assistants are fresh off the boat and arrived at Auckland in the past weekend. For 38 of them, it is their first New Zealand visit, and the other 9 are MLA returnees who are going to work at the NZ schools for a second year.

The Confucius Institute in Auckland is offering a full orientation programme this week, with presentations on New Zealand education system and classroom management by senior CI staff and previous MLAs, Maori culture and NZ history by a respected Kaumātua, safety education by a police officer, and school visits, also a city orienteering for the team building.

On Friday 1 February, a welcome function will be held for the MLAs with guests from local government, Chinese Consulate-General, schools and hosting families. After that, they are heading for the schools to start their responsibilities as the Mandarin Language Assistants in helping Kiwi students to learn Chinese language and culture.