In 2017, 48 MLAs are going to 137 NZ schools for the year to support Chinese programmes in the Auckland and wider Auckland regions. When the programme was first initiated in 2010, New Zealand only received six Mandarin Language Assistants from China. After eight years, CI in Auckland, alongside CI at the University of Vicotria in Wellington and CI at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch are proud to host a total of 144 MLAs this year.
At the welcome ceremony organized by Confucius Institute in Auckland on 10th Feb 2017, the MLAs were referred to as "Ambassadors" between China and New Zealand. They bring along their expertise in Chinese language and culture to New Zealand and help to raise awareness and knowledge of China among Kiwi kids. After their year teaching in New Zealand they will return to China and will be "Ambassadors" for New Zealand.
The MLAs arrived in Auckland on Waitangi Day, followed by a week's orientation organised by Confucius Institute to become familiar with NZ and its education system including teaching in classes. They were welcomed by Professor Jenny Dixon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Engagement) of UoA and Chair of CI Advisory Board, Dr Jian Yang, Member of Parliament, Mr Dongbo Fang, Education Consul from Chinese Consulate General in Auckland and CI board members, Mr Patrick English and Mr Danny Chan, and Isabel Evans, Director of Education, Ministry of Education, Auckland. Also present were principals, teachers and homestays from the MLAs host schools,