Queenstown Lakes district councillor Lex Perkins and
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden discuss further
opportunities for co-operation between Queenstown and China
with vice-consul-general Li Xin (second from right) and
consul Hu Aimin, both of the Consulate-General of the
People's Republic of China in Christchurch, at the council
headquarters yesterday. Photo by James Beech.
Chinese drivers will be advised of New Zealand's driving
code and conditions when collecting rental vehicles from
airports in a bid to curb crashes on South Island roads, a
senior Chinese official says.
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden and Cr Lex Perkins,
of Arrowtown, welcomed vice-consul-general Li Xin and consul
Hu Aimin, of the Consulate-General of the People's Republic
of China in Christchurch, at the council's headquarters
Mr Xin also met Senior Sergeant John Fookes, of Queenstown,
and Queenstown Airport Corp chief executive Scott Paterson as
part of his familiarisation with the resort this week.
Mr Xin told the Otago Daily Times after his meeting
yesterday he was aware the number of Chinese tourists
visiting New Zealand was ''increasing very rapidly'' and
''Queenstown is a must'' for the 60% to 70% who visit the
The two parties were talking about how to make those visitors
feel more comfortable. While the percentage of Chinese
drivers involved in crashes was ''relatively low'', more
Chinese visitors meant more Chinese drivers and ''we know
it's a concern of local residents here'', he said.
''We have already put information on the consulate website to
let them know about the driving code.
''We want to put pamphlets about the driving code in every
car rental area, starting now.
''We have traffic lights at every intersection, but most here
do not, so that's a problem [for visiting Chinese drivers in
New Zealand],'' Mr Xin said. Chinese tourists were attracted
to New Zealand's natural beauty, as it was difficult to find
similar sights in their own country, as well as cuisine, wine
and ''local stories'', he said.
Mr Xin dispelled the belief sites, such as the historic
Chinese settlement in Arrowtown, were distressing for some
Chinese visitors because of the harsh life the Chinese
pioneers lived far from home.
The Arrowtown settlement was a major attraction for Chinese
tourists and needed to be preserved, he said.
A team of four Chinese scholars was researching Chinese
heritage sites around the South Island and Arrowtown was on
its itinerary, he said.
''History is history. The only thing to do is to tell people
what history is,'' he said.