CNSST Foundation Timeline

CNSST Foundation from 1997 ~ 2021


Yearly Highlights

  • Jenny Wang, on her own initiative, implemented a survey among MIT students to assess new migrant needs in the Chinese community.  Based on the results she began on pre-establishment work for the future organisation she was to found including a feasibility study, community consultation and networking, and started to assemble her team.
  • 18 August the first board meeting was hold at Jenny’s home garage with the founding board members approving the constitution documents for the organisation they were about to register and electing 3 official bearers of the board. They were: Chairperson: Jenny Wang, Treasurer: Aiguang Zhou, Secretary: John Chen. 4 Trustees: Fuxi Xue, Wang LI, Jinglan Chang, Mark Tang, and also collected donations totaling $120 for open a bank account at ASB Bank.
  • On 21 August Jenny visited the offices of the Mayor of Manukau City, Sir Barry Curtis who expressed support for the aims of the organisation and proposed Manukau Chinese New Settlers Services Trust’ as its name. .
  • On 21 September 1998, the new organisation was legally registered as “Manukau Chinese New Settlers Services Trust” (MCNSSST)
  • In October the establishment meeting was held at Papatoetoe Town Hall with over 220 people attending  from Chinese communities in the Auckland region.
  • On 5 December, the first Cultural Learning Centre (CLC)) opened at the Papatoetoe Town Hall and the first classes in Chinese, Art, and music were held for 16 Chinese migrant children, and an English class for 15 Chinese migrant seniors.
  • 1999 was the International Year of Older People. With funding support from the Minister of Seniors, we successfully organized a series of events “Promoting the Wellbeing of Chinese Senior Citizens” running from March to October  This attracted over ten thousand local elderly migrants to participate in activities that included a day trip to Auckland, Chinese Chess and Mahjong, Taichi competitions, Chinese traditional cultural arts and family food exhibitions.  Coverage of the activities was broadcast on the TVNZ1 One ‘Asian Dynamic’ programme and reported in local print media.  This helped further promote MCNSST to the Chinese migrant community.
  • On 6 February 1999, our 2nd CLC opened at Howick Recreation centre where it has remained until today as a significant learning centre for local children and youth for over two decades now.
  • On 24 January, with the support from Ms Vicki Sykes, CEO of Friendship House, CNSST moved out of Jenny’s home garage and opened its first office, 8m2 in size, at Friendship House sharing office facilities with the landlord, and recruited its first part time social worker (we currently have 30 paid employees).
  • The board approved the organisation logo designed by Mr Gui Hua Zhang, a former art tutor for children’s weekend programme.  According to the designer, the design concepts are:
    • The blue hands and young plants pattern represent CNSST’s multi-services
    • The Yellow circle pattern represents Chinese New Zealanders
    • The Blue and Red colour represent both New Zealand and Chinese cultures
    • The CNSST’s slogan ‘A brighter Future for you’ under the logo
  • On 12 August, our 3rd CLC opened at Onepoto Awhina Community House, Northcote (and now located at Westlake Boy’s High School).
  • Our organisation’s legal name was changed from ‘Manukau Chinese New Settlers Services Trust’ to ‘Chinese New Settlers Services Trust’ on 5th February, in order to reflect the expansion of our service area from Manukau to the greater Auckland region.
  • The first government contract was signed with Work & income NZ on 5th November to provide a “Chinese Employment English Course” to assist new migrants in the Howick area to upgrade their employment skills or go for further study; CNSST’s employment services have run from then until now.
  • On 4th August, the 4th CLC opened at Mt Roskill Community House Three Kings, moving to Onehunga Community Centre in 2005 and closing in 2013, due to financial difficulties and the organization’s shift in strategy.
  • On 29 April CNSST Foundation  gained its official government approval as a qualified community service provider. This is a significant milestone in the CNSST development journey. With this approval, CNSST was accredited as a high trust provider across government sectors, delivering community-needs-based government funded services to the community. Since November 2002, numerous government contracts have been signed on an annual basis with CYF, MSD and INZ to provide family and community social work and counselling services, employment support and settlement service to newcomers.
  • On 13 November the CNSST Annual Planning Day was held in the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens where three key strategies were determined, which were
    • To position CNSST Foundation on its professional strengths and cultural expertise to:
      • Deliver critical social work and counselling services as a professional social services provider
      • Promote Chinese cultural heritage through education for children and youth as well as traditional festival celebrations as a cultural educator
    • To have sufficient facilities in place and to own our own properties
    • To improve economic self-sustainability to assure future development
  • On 1st March CNSST established our fifth CLC at Henderson Big Top Recreation Centre in Western Auckland, which has since relocated to New Lynn Community Centre.
  • In July  CNSST’s achievements were recognised by the local community; CNSST was awarded the Mayoral Award 2003, and the ‘Community Award of Excellence’ for its contribution to migrants on the North Shore.
  • On 25 October, with support from Auckland Transport, our “Yi Lu Ping An” bilingual road safety project launched with the aim of reducing car accidents in the migrant Chinese community by increasing driver awareness. By the end of the project, over 10,000 participants had benefited from the knowledge gained.
  • On 25 September, the Ministry of Social development and the Department of Labour were both added to out list of funders.
  • CNSST hosted the Auckland Chinese Employment Expo 2004 with over 800 participants attending. 645 job seekers were registered over the year and 109 employers registered in the Chinese Employment Network system.  In conjunction with the Department of Labour, CNSST delivered the Employment Practice Education Project to assist Auckland Chinese businesses to thrive via good workplace practices.
  • On 9 October, our 6th CLC opened at Wesley Community Centre Sandringham, which, however, later closed due to its remoteness from other community facilities.
  • CNSST moved its main office on 23rd of May from South Auckland to Central Auckland at 128 Khyber Pass Road. This more spacious office and central location afforded Chinese new settlers from over Greater Auckland more convenient access to our services.
  • The “Wang Zi Chen Long” Little Kiwi Dragons educational programme (also known as SKIP parenting programme) was launched in May 2005. Feedback from young parents on the programme was extremely appreciative, as it exposed participant children to Chinese culture via its parent support group with various activities and classes.
  • On 10th June, CNSST opened its 7th CLC in Newmarket to run weekend cultural programmes (now shifted to the Parnell Community Centre).
  • On the same day, CNSST launched the Road Safety User Guide and a series of initiatives promoting road safety and raising awareness of road safety issues among new Chinese speaking migrants by teaching them local driving rules and driving culture.
  • In July CNSST has began delivery of 2 new additional programmes: Child Witness to Family Violence Programme funded by CYF (now Oranga Tamariki)  to help  reduce the negative emotional impact from family violence on children, and Parenting through Separation, funded by MOJ, to help prevent and reduce the trauma of separation for children.
  • The first roots seeking trip to China was organized for 20 children/young people of Chinese descent in July.
  • With Jenny Wang taking a long break from her role, a new management model was established with the support of Coin Dale QSM, the Former CEO of Manukau City Council.  Lela Leong took on the role of Acting Executive Director until April 2008, and in turn handed the role over to Jan Wu.  Jan held the role until Jenny finally took over again in February 2009.
  • CNSST won the Community Safety Mayoral Award 2007 for its TV and newspaper “ Yi Lu Ping An” Road Safety Campaign.
  • The “ Welcome Home First Steps Course” was highly successful, benefitting 428 participants with skills for planning their first home buy.
  • Jenny WANG, CNSST’s founder and Executive Director was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal by the New Zealand government, which was not simply a personal distinction, but reflected the high regard in which the organisation and the significance of its contribution was held.
  • CNSST responded immediately to the massive earthquake which occurred in Sichuan, China May 2008.  In conjunction with other community groups CNSST raised and organized donations totaling more than $140,000 which were passed on to Red Cross China via New Zealand Red Cross.
  • July the Board set its development strategy in three key directions:
    • Expanding services to the whole Asian community
    • Developing social enterprises with the aim of ensuring the organisation’s sustainability
    • Collaborating & networking with other groups in the Asian community
  • On 28 September the first Korean staff member, Young Hee Han, was employed to provide social services to the local Korean community.  This was a milestone in shifting our client base from local Chinese to the wider Asian community.
  • On 18 January CNSST purchased its first property, a 498m2 building, located in Clifton Court, Panmure.  Our head office was moved into these new premises in March.  The site would also provide the ground for the future social housing apartment block, CNSST Kotuku House.
  • In February our 8th CLC opened at the Botany Town Centre, with the 9th CLC opening at Panumure head office in July.
  • On 8th October CNSST was certified as an Approved Training Organization by NZICA, providing a platform for training, placement and practical experience in accounting to tertiary students and volunteers.
  • In February  CNSST’s Accounting Training Center was established and the first MYOB course delivered.  Participants ranging from undergraduate students, accounting professionals to small business owners have since benefitted from our MYOB, and later, Xero courses.  Nearly 90% of  participants have found  full-time accounting and administration jobs after course completion.
  • On 11 February the 10th CLC was at Mt Cook Church, Wellington; the centre would be closed in 2013 due to lack of resources to cover its operational costs.
  • In March CNSST launched its “we are family” Christchurch Earthquake Relief Service, providing social and community support to 66 Asian evacuees and families who were affected by the Christchurch earthquake.  Services included language support, information updates and resources, counselling services and assistance with applications for emergency financial support.
  • Asian Community Services Trust services were extended to more Asian migrant groups including the local Cambodian and Japanese communities
  • On 10 March the 11th CLC branch was opened in Albany, which would later merge in 2016 with the Glenfield centre.
  • On 24 November the board approved a proposal for restructure of CNSST management. The new structure consisted of three core organisational components:  Social Services, Social Enterprise,  Finance & Administration, with  Gloria Gao, Bill Guan, and Connie Li appointed as their respective senior managers.
  • A special year with CNSST celebrating its 15th Anniversary.
  • A major milestone was achieved with MBIE’s approval of the organisation as a Social Housing provider on 30 July and approval in October of 5.23 million dollars in funding for CNSST Kotuku House social housing project.
  • Subsequent to NZQA approval as a ‘Private Training Establishment’ (PTE) CNSST Education Institute (CNSSTEI) was officially opened on 30 April.  Since then, CNSSTEI has afforded its parent organisation developmental opportunities in social enterprise initiatives including language, cultural and vocational training courses.
  • On 8 September 2014, under the auspices of MSD, the Training for Work programme was launched.  This was another significant turning point for the organisation as it involved a shift in key client group from the local Asian community to wider society as the programme served clients of all ethnicities.
  • The CNSST cultural learning centre was awarded the title of an ‘Overseas Model School of Chinese Teaching’ by the Chinese government
  • Building consent for “CNSST Kotuku House” was granted by Auckland Council.
  • Our financial reporting standard was adjusted from NZ GAAP to Tier 2 PBE International Public Sector Accounting Standards, the standard applied to Tier 2 NGOs; this is a more comprehensive accounting standard that provides for greater public transparency.
  • On 3rd October CNSST accepted the responsibility of running New Zealand’s only Overseas Chinese Service Centre (OCSC).  As part of the global OCSC network, whose members serve on agreement with the Chinese government, its purpose is to support Chinese migrants, Chinese students and short-term visitors encountering difficulties in New Zealand.
  • CNSST Kotuku House Sod-Turning Ceremony was held at dawn on 12 February with Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff, and former Mayor, Len Brown and local MPs attending celebrations.
  • CNSST International Services were established with the launch of immigration consulting services in September.  As a licensed professional Immigration Advisor, Senior Manager Rachel Huang provides personalized assistance to temporary and permanent visa applicants both local and overseas.
  • CNSST won an Electoral Commission Award for our contribution to the 2017 general election. Through our participation in the 2017 General Election Community Engagement project we reached approximately 60,000 Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ethnic community members providing them culturally and linguistically appropriate enrolment and voting information from July to September of that year.
  • CNSST created the Kiwi-Dragon Scholarship programme. With fundraising from our Chinese Western Culinary Art Fundraising Gala Dinner in August, we supported 10 young kiwi students on a 13-day visit to China in December, providing them with a meaningful Chinese cultural experience with the support of the Confucius Institute and Fudan University China.
  • CNSST underwent a change of name:  Having served the local migrant community for 20 years under the name of ‘Chinese New Settlers Services Trust’, from the 28th March of 2018 the  organisation’s legal name was officially changed to CNSST Foundation, with its short form remaining as ‘CNSST’.  Its original Chinese name“华人社区服务中心” was changed to ‘华社服基金会’, with its short form remaining as ‘华社服’.  This rebranding was the result of consultation with our key stakeholders resulting in a more inclusive naming better reflecting the organisation’s clientele and services, its vision and long term strategic goals.
  • On 28 March 2018, our first social housing project culminated with the opening ceremony for ‘CNSST Kotuku House’, and unveiling of its plaque by Hon. Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland. By 19th December, the first of its future 52 Asian senior residents began moving into the 36 available units.
  • CNSST received the following local awards: Community Volunteer Award from the local board,  Community Flu Fighter Award from CMDHB and Zero Waste Award from the local council.
  • With the establishment of our International Services team, our first New Zealand study tour was organized and took place in July for 20 young people from Guangdong province in China; such tours serve to attract overseas students to enroll local schools.
  • On 28 March. CNSST launched its own “Unite Against Covid-19”  service response system while all CNSST services and programmes were transferred online and all staff worked from home for over 10 weeks because of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nez Zealand.
  • CNSST received a Community Heroes Award from the Covid-19 Group, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Delivery of CNSST’s NZQA approved Food Safety Training course began, aimed at anyone intending to work in hospitality and requiring knowledge of safe food handling.
  • CNSST has supported in ongoing delivery of MSD’s Community Connection Services including bulk purchase and packaging of foodstuffs into food parcels for delivery to vulnerable families by our volunteer team; services are expected to continue through the Christmas/New Year period.
  • CNSST has assisted in delivery of Covid-19 related welfare support for ethnic families in mandatory isolation, as well as vaccination support to the local Asian community, seniors in particular
  • With the outbreak of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in New Zealand, the CNSST “Unite Against Covid-19” service response system was reactivated with all of our services and programmes since August being once again moved online .  Online delivery will continue through until December 2021.