Auckland, February 17, 2019
The country’s largest commercial bank ushered in the Lunar New Year with a large gathering of diverse communities last week.
More than 400 people attended ANZ Bank’s celebrations held at Pullman Hotel in Auckland on Friday, February 15, 2019 with Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa as the Chief Guest. Among the other dignitaries were diplomats, Labour MPs Michael Wood and Raymond Huo, National MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Melissa Lee, Dr Parmjit Parmar and Dr Jian Yang, officials of the government and public and private sector enterprises and ANZ officials.
Fastest growing community
Paying tributes to the Chinese, Ms Salesa said that they represent the fastest growing community in New Zealand.
“The population of people of Chinese origin in New Zealand today is more than 260,000, accounting for a sharp increase from 174,000 recorded by the 2013 Census. Among them are many businesses that have achieved success through their vision and hard work. ANZ has been marking the Lunar Year every year with its customers and others. This is a celebration of our diversity,” she said.
Sir John Key greets
Earlier, ANZ Bank Chairman (and former New Zealand Prime Minister) Sir John Key greeted the Bank’s customers on the Lunar New Year through a Video clip.
“At ANZ, we value our customers and we wish the Chinese Community a very Happy and Prosperous New Year,” he said.
Five entrepreneurs of Chinese origin based in Auckland were recognised for their business success during the past year.
Among them were Simon Cheung of VIP Hire Car Rentals Limited (ANZ Migrant Entrepreneur Award 2019); Brian Kim of Gateao House (ANZ Small Business Awards 2019), Kok Keong (Kenny) Ko of Y Not Tiling Group Limited (ANZ Migrant Support Award 2019); Asian Events Trust and The Cookie Project (ANZ Community Support Awards 2019).
Year of the Pig
ANZ Auckland and Northland Banking General Manager Ben Kelleher said that the new Lunar Year has heralded the ‘Year of the Pig.’
“But this should not be treated as just another year. The Pig symbolises trust, general prosperity and increased savings. We will therefore consider it the ‘Golden Year of the Pig,’ and look forward to be of greater services to our Chinese community,” he said.
However, according to Chinese belief, ‘Year of the Golden Pig,’ occurs once in 600 years and that the honour belonged to Year 2007.
The Chinese Legend
While a Pig is the twelfth of all Zodiac animals, according to a myth, the Jade Emperor (one of the Representations of the ‘First God’) said that the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his Party. The Pig was late because he overslept.
The Pig is also associated with the Earthly Branch and the hours of 9-11 in the night. In terms of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’ (inseparable, seemingly contradictory opposites), the Pig is Yin. In Chinese culture, Pig is a symbol of wealth and its chubby face and big ears are signs of fortune.