Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thurs, Feb 14, 2013
www.times.co.nz Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thursday, February 14, 2013 --- 3 121598-V2 5 YEAR GUARANTEE -- PRICES START FROM QUEEN $325 (SPECIAL) ONWARDS 5-ZONED POCKET SPRING MATTRESS FOR A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP -- $848 PROMO PRICE RRP $1898 (FREE GIFT WITH THIS MATTRESS) 10-30% OFF ALL FLOOR STOCK (LOUNGE & BEDROOM FURNITURE) (WHILE STOCKS LAST) FINANCE AVAILABLE. 12 MONTHS INTEREST FREE AVAILABLE ON $1000 OR MORE. CONDITIONS APPLY. LAYBY OPTIONS AVAILABLE. VISIT US AT 10/2 BISHOP DUNN PLACE HOMEBASE BOTANY (NEAR PET DOCTORS) PHONE 271 3773 www.furniturepoint.co.nz At least a third of our lives we spend on a mattress. Buy NZ made quality beds from Furniture Point. 111380-V10 122105 121539-v3 Early Learning Centre ality ed tional programmes dren are v Call now to arrange a visit 533 0218 122 Aviemore Dr email@example.com By REBECCA GARDINER LIFE isn’t fair, there’s no such thing as work-life balance and success doesn’t happen by accident. A tough message, you might think – particularly for an audience of young people – but Mai Chen has never been known to mince her words. The high-fying lawyer was among the guest speakers giving advice to young adults at an annual leadership and development convention run by the Auckland branch of the New Zea- land Chinese Association. The purpose of the six-day confer- ence, held early this month at Willow Park Convention Centre in Eastern Beach, was to inspire and challenge young people about the pathway to success and to consider what it means to be Chinese. Ms Chen talked for about an hour about her rise to prominence on the law scene and the diffculties she faced as a young Asian woman trying to break into “the old boys’ club”. “You always have to fake it until you make it,” she says. “You must behave like leaders, train as leaders and act as leaders.” The wife and mum-of-one, who immigrated to New Zealand from Taiwan as a child, co-founded law frm Chen Palmer in 1994 and is regarded as an authority on public and constitutional law. With a steely gaze and a long list of credentials, including a Harvard University master’s degree in law, she’s clearly not a woman to be tri- fed with. Yet one of the key points of her talk was the need to rise above discrimi- nation and “preserve the dignity of leadership”, however successful you become. “A lot in my life people have not treated me in the way that I should because of what I am, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t behave in the way I should,” says Ms Chen. “When I was younger, it [prejudice] made me really angry all the time, but I discovered that nobody cares really. What was the point? The power of it is it makes me extra determined.” She says that embracing who you are is half the battle, but the road to self-acceptance can be rocky. “Some people have a real chip on their shoulder about being Asian,” says Ms Chen, who was named Next magazine’s businesswoman of the year in 2011. “But I’m positively hyped now that I’m a chick and Chinese. I’m not ashamed of it.” The lawyer-turned-author, who wrote the critically acclaimed Public Law Tool Box, which was published last year, advises ambitious young Chinese to speak well, specialise in a feld and “dominate” it. “It is important to speak very good English. For me, I can look like this, but you generally can’t tell what I look like from the phone.” She says talent is just part of the equation – hard work and depth of character are what are most impor- tant along the journey to success. “The most important thing is to be the very best in your feld that you can be. Success is ultimately perse- verance. It’s not permanent. It’s not static. “Life is full of surprises. It will knock you down, but the question is – will you get up?” Going into her 19th year at the frm she set up with former Prime Min- ister Geoffrey Palmer and with her role as adjunct professor at the Uni- versity of Auckland Business School, Ms Chen’s work schedule is busier than ever. However, she says she’s happy to give up her time to speak to young Chinese, as she sees it as her legacy for the next generation. “They are the future. It is wonder- ful people are bringing these young Asians together.” Constitutional review MAI Chen is an expert in constitu- tional law and issues covering the Treaty of Waitangi. Following her talk to young peo- ple at the leadership conference, the Times spoke to Ms Chen about New Zealand’s constitutional review, which is part of a post-election agreement between the National and Maori Parties. “Constitutional issues are impor- tant,” says Ms Chen. “They’re about power – that’s why it matters.” Issues to be considered by the independent constitutional review panel include the size of Parliament, length of the electoral term, role of the Treaty of Waitangi and whether New Zealand should have a written constitution. “I think we need to change our term of government,” says Ms Chen. “It [the three-year term] limits the Government to 18 months of real work. “It’s six months to get them [set- tled] in, they work for 18 months and in the last year they tend to be cam- paigning. “I think the size of Parliament is important... and Treaty issues will always be important.” The constitutional advisory panel, which includes former Silver Fern and teacher Bernice Mene, former Mayor of Dunedin Peter Chin, and former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Michael Cullen, may also discuss more contentious subjects, such as whether New Zealand should become a republic. Its purpose is to collect public feedback and opinions around con- stitutional issues, record and con- sider them. While Ms Chen is hoping for the best from the review, she’s unsure of what it will achieve in reality. “The matters and issues are com- plicated... we have heard very little about it. I don’t know whether it will go anywhere.” Public consultation material ■ around the constitutional review will be launched at the end of this month. People can submit their opinions online, by email or post until July 1. The panel is due to report back to the Government by December and recommendations will be based on submissions received from the gen- eral public. For more information on the advi- sory panel or the review, visit www. cap.govt.nz. Top lawyer inspires young FUTURE-FOCUSED: Mai Chen, right, with Alice Wang, of the New Zealand Chinese Association. GOAL-ORIENTED: Top lawyer Mai Chen talked about the road to success at a leadership conference in Eastern Beach, organised by the New Zealand Chinese Association's Auckland branch. Photos supplied "You must behave like leaders, train as leaders and act as leaders."
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