Miniature by might
A 25-hectare replica New Zealand city, dubbed “Little New Zealand” is being constructed in the northern Chinese city of Qufu. The $4 million New Zealand Gardens initiative will come with its own Maori village and education complex. Anthony Wilson from Awataha Marae, who is a partner in the project, says the development is part of Qufu city’s overall expansion plan. Wilson says the “Little New Zealand” project will create hundreds of jobs for Maori people. “As part of the deal we will be providing all of the cultural performers, we will be also providing labour staff and also providing all the carvings,” he says. The project’s most ambitious goal is for Chinese to enjoy the New Zealand Gardens experience so much, that they want to come and visit the real thing. Spokesman for New Zealand’s Ministry of Tourism Bruce Bassett says while the government has no formal links to the project, the initiative could potentially boost long-haul tourism. “The China market is New Zealand’s fourth largest market in terms of in visitor arrivals so it’s pretty important and a fast growing market,” Bassett says.