Martin ThomsonMartin Thomson is a partner with DLA Piper in Auckland. He has over 25 years' experience advising clients on corporate and commercial law in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Martin is a specialist in mergers & acquisitions, Overseas Investment Act & Regulations, securities law, company law, joint ventures, and commercial law & contracts. While Martin has experience advising on transactions across a broad range of sectors, he has a particular focus on advising overseas organisations including from China investing in the primary sector. This has included investments in the forestry, agriculture, dairy and meat processing and wine sectors. Martin heads DLA Piper's China practice, which focuses on providing advice to organisations undertaking investments between China and New Zealand. The firm's Chinese clients have undertaken investments in the agriculture, dairy and meat processing, property development, tourism and health product sectors. Martin is the Chairman of the New Zealand China Trade Association, New Zealand’s longest-serving and largest China-related business association. NZCTA works closely with businesses and both Governments to promote trade and investment between China and New Zealand, having done so for over 33 years. Martin has also been actively involved in establishing DLA Piper New Zealand's exclusive relationship with global law firm DLA Piper, which has offices in all major countries including in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Jonathan WattJonathan is a Director of Globalink Consulting Ltd, a company established in 2010 to assist New Zealand companies do business in North Asia and Greater China in particular. Jonathan has spent more than 25 years advising NZ companies on doing business in North Asia including time working in China, South Korea and Hong Kong while with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. Jonathan has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Canterbury and is currently on an International Languages Industry Advisory Board at AUT. Jonathan is presently Deputy Chairman of NZCTA.
Honorary Executive Life Members
Stuart Ferguson has since 1991 been elected to 4 terms of 2 years each to date as Chairman of the association and during that time has hosted a number of Chinese Leading Politicians, including Zhu Rong Ji, Wu Yi and Bo Xi Lai.
He has visited China on more than 70 occasions and been the Leader of numerous trade delegations sponsored by NZCTA.
Formerly General Manager / Director of Cosco, the Chinese National ocean carrier for many years, he is now a Director of several companies.
Rob Jeffrey has been involved in trade in South Asia since the late 60's and first went to China in 1988. His Company Jeffco International Ltd. has had a formal presence in China since 1994 with key interests in the Agri-business sectors. He has accompanied a number of official Trade and Business development missions to China over the last 20 years.
Nick AubreyNick Aubrey is the founder of The New Zealand Luxury Group. The company is responsible for sales and marketing of the New Zealand Collection of luxury leathers. The Collection is created through partnerships with tanneries in Italy, France, Turkey, Brazil and New Zealand. The New Zealand origin leathers are destined to be crafted into the shoes, bags, and garments of the world’s luxury fashion houses - including Prada, Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior. Prior to this Nick held the role of General Manager- Luxury Leathers, at New Zealand Light Leathers (NZLL). NZLL is the world's only farmed deer leather specialist - delivering exclusive luxury through partnerships with the most prestigious international fashion houses across Europe, North America and Asia. Nick spent time seconded in China to focus on shifting traditional manufacturer based relationships to luxury branded partnerships. Nick has also held the position of Business Development Manager at The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) developing international supply chains, markets and brand partnerships for New Zealand's fine wool. China held an important role both in hosting an international supply chain, as well as a luxury market in its own right. Nick established NZM's Primary Growth Partnership programme in collaboration with the Ministry for Primary Industries. In addition to his role at NZM, Nick also worked alongside New Zealand's leading agribusiness CEO's in the development of the New Zealand Primary Sector Bootcamp initiative, subsequently acting as Manager of the New Zealand Primary Sector Bootcamp over the first two years since inception. Nick holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Science, Graduate Diploma in Finance, Postgraduate Diploma in Management, and a Masters Degree in International Business, focusing on the interplay between New Zealand and Chinese Business. Nick is also a graduate of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business Executive Leadership Development programme.
Johnathan ChenJohnathan is Head of the Asia Division at James & Wells - a team dedicated to providing specialist intellectual property advice to New Zealanders wanting to do business in Asia. With a working knowledge of conducting business in China, and numerous business contacts across a range of industries in China, Johnathan is well placed to act as a business / investment liaison between clients and the Chinese market. Being literate and fluent in Mandarin, he assists with the development of dual language contracts and agreements alongside our Commercial Law team. Johnathan runs our Chinese brand creation and registration services, which ensures clients have useable Chinese brands and/or English brands which are accurately translated in Mandarin. As an Intellectual Property Specialist, Johnathan works with the James & Wells trade mark and patents teams to develop IP strategies that ensure our clients can make the most of their ideas worldwide. Johnathan specialises in searching, prosecuting and drafting patent applications, and providing infringement and 'freedom to operate' opinions in the field of engineering. Johnathan holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours). He is also a member of the New Zealand Asian Leaders, the Asian Patent Attorneys Association, the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ), and the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys (NZIPA). He was also a former committee member and youth leader of the Waikato Chinese Association.
Carol ChengCarol Cheng, the founder of Hong Consulting Limited, is an experienced independent business consultant who specialises in advising companies to do business and invest in China and Chinese companies to invest in overseas. Carol has over 15 years of accounting, auditing and advisory experience in New Zealand, Hong Kong and China. She has focused on cross border advisory services and her work includes strategy, China market entry, China business compliance, due diligence services and project management for mergers and acquisitions. Prior to founding Hong Consulting in May 2015, Carol held leadership roles in China and New Zealand including the partner at Grant Thornton China who was responsible for international transaction services in Beijing office and the Executive Director of the China Market Practice of PwC New Zealand. Carol had worked with more than 100 foreign companies in China. She led teams to complete financial due diligence and advisory projects in China and New Zealand. One of her large cross border transactions included winning the due diligence and financial advisor role to advise a Chinese buyer for a US deal valued at USD1.8 billion. Carol has professional experience in a wide range of industries such as retailing, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, trading and services, real estate, freight forwarding and technology etc. Carol has accumulated significant experience in advising clients on how to mitigate the risks of cross border transactions. She helps to bridge the business and culture gaps of doing international business. She is passionate about sharing her professional experience to help foreign businesses to grow in China and Chinese businesses to invest in overseas. Carol speaks fluent English and Mandarin. Carol is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. She is an Executive Board Member of New Zealand China Trade Association. She is also an Established Member of NZ Asian Leaders.
John CochraneJohn Cochrane has been personally and commercially active in China since 2002. What initially started out as occasional business trips to establish distribution partnerships in and around Beijing became a deep immersion in 2005 when the company John was leading took the decision to establish their own direct presence in China. John was responsible for the establishment of a successful branch office employing 14 staff in diverse roles. John led the local team to negotiate supply agreements with several large Chinese SOEs in a number of heavy industries, including power generation, mining and steel production. John was resident in Beijing for several months of each year between 2005 and 2011. In 2011 the company was successfully sold to General Electric and join joined NZTE as the Trade Commissioner posted in Guangzhou from December 2011 through January 2017. John and his team were responsible for assisting several New Zealand companies achieve $145 million dollars of new sales revenue during his time in the south. The Trade Commissioner role provided John the rare opportunity to work closely with over 100 New Zealand businesses who spanned the full spectrum of success and failure. The unique combination of insights gained from the Trade Commissioner role and his own hands-on entrepreneurial experiences are invaluable. John is currently the Head of Business Attraction with ATEED, and he maintains an active interest in and connections with China, as evidenced by his project role with the November 2011 Mayoral-led delegation to the Guangzhou 2017 Tripartite Summit.
Richard Fyers is a partner of the law firm, Fyers Joyce, having previously been with Buddle Findlay and worked in Beijing with the Chinese law firm, King & Wood. He has advised on a large number of projects in China and been involved in the sale and purchase by private equity of a number of businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
Don GrahamDon is a Director and Business Development Manager for William Aitken & Co, a company that has been importing consumables and non-food Grocery products into New Zealand for over 74 years. Over the past 14 years, Dons company has shown considerable growth, particarly with containers of products imported from China. Don is an energetic, self-motivated person who strongly believes in building strong long term business relationships and developing growth strategies with suppliers. Don has been in the Grocery industry since 1977 and has been to China on business over 35 times over the past 18 years witnessing the dramatic growth in quality and innovation with many Chinese Suppliers. In 2013, Don was recognised by the Food and Grocery Council with a Life Time Achiever award, presented by the Prime Minister. Don is also a NZ Justice of the Peace and a founding Trustee of the Grocery Charity Ball, that over the past 15 years has raised in excess of 3.4 million for deserving New Zealand charities.
Vallen HanVallen Han is an experienced and passionate marketer with China focus. Vallen came to New Zealand in 1999. She has obtained a BA in International Economic Cooperation from Northeast University of Finance and Economics in China(1995), a first class Honours Degree in Marketing(2000) and a Master degree with distinction in Information Systems (2001) from Victoria University of Wellington. She worked on various marketing roles for the Nielsen Company, Axa New Zealand and New Zealand Post before she established her own business New Zealand Information and Communication Technology Ltd (NZICT). NZICT is a company focusing on helping NZ business grow Daigou Channel via Wechat, and ecommerce. Her clients include large iconic NZ pharmaceutical business, uprising skincare brands. NZICT is also a local partner of Alibaba Global and a service integrator of Alipay. Vallen has been on the board of NZCTA since 2013 and has been since in charge of organising NZCTA events in Wellington. Since she started, she has organised quite a few events, such as Ecommerce Pathway to China, Social media marketing Strategies and IP Protection. She has a good network with those businesses who wish to grow in China and those who could help.
Stephen JacobiStephen is Managing Director of Jacobi Consulting Ltd which specialises in international trade, government relations and economic development. Stephen is currently the Acting Executive Director for the New Zealand China Council. The New Zealand China Council forms part of the NZ Inc China Strategy, launched by the Prime Minister in February 2012. The NZ China Council is intended to support a key goal of the Strategy - to retain and build a strong and resilient relationship with China. Stephen also serves as Executive Director of the NZ International Business Forum and as an Alternate Member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). Previously, Stephen served as Chief Executive of the New Zealand Forest Industries Council, a national pan-industry body representing the forestry and wood processing sectors, the country’s third largest exporter. Earlier, he established and led the New Zealand Trade Liberalisation Network – a business organisation aimed at building broad public understanding and support for trade. Stephen also ran the NZ US Council as Executive Director 2005-2014. In all these roles he has been a frequent media commentator on industry and trade issues. Stephen had extensive diplomatic, trade and government experience including posts as Deputy High Commissioner in Ottawa, Assistant Trade Commissioner in Paris and adviser on trade and diplomatic issues with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Michelle MacWilliamMichelle MacWilliam is a versatile and capable woman. With multiple business entities such as Michelle Mac, Business Strategist Mentor where she works alongside small to medium businesses involved in the rebuild of Canterbury, with an understanding that the juggle of a work/life balance has many varied and complex issues. Director of Duo Communication Ltd, an organisation committed to facilitating long term business relationships between China and New Zealand in the region. Michelle is respected both within New Zealand and Chinese business communities in this area. She is the joint director of Women In The Rebuild Ltd, which is supportive of women in Canterbury from an entrepreneurial and business perspective, acknowledging women who are either in a rebuild phase of their lives or wish to have a proactive part in the Canterbury rebuild. Michelle besides being on the executive committee of the New Zealand, China Trade Association, she is a vice chair for the Christchurch -China Sister Cities Committee. She is a business mentor with Business Mentors New Zealand and also sits on the board of governance for West Christchurch Woman’s Refuge. Michelle is committed to raising the awareness of issues facing women and small to medium sized businesses in post-quake Christchurch and the advancement of the Sino - New Zealand relationship in Canterbury. In 2014 she was an acknowledged finalist in the North Canterbury Business Awards Professional Service Award and a finalist in Women Of Influnce Finalist 2014 in the local and regional category.
Angela Meng-YeeAngela Meng-Yee is a Mergers and Acquisitions Advisor in the Baker Tilly Transaction Services team. She has advised, and helped many small, medium, and large companies maximise new business and investment opportunities across a host of industries. One highlight was leading an initiative to build out long-term cross-border investment deals with an international real estate company. Angela also provides deal origination support and counsel in Asia Pacific, for a New York-based investment and advisory firm. This experience, including stints in London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand, has enabled her to build a wide network of investor contacts (HNWIs and Institutional). Combining entrepreneurial flair and a passion for business, Angela has a proven track record of delivering positive results for clients, within budget and time deadlines. Another major interest area is the promotion of increased trade and investment ties between New Zealand and Asia (in particular, China). Angela is a current executive board member of the New Zealand China Trade Association. She believes “the skies the limit” when it comes to new Sino-Kiwi business opportunities, and was chairperson, and a member of the awards team, for the NZCTA 2011 Trade Awards. In 2012, she helped secure a major new sponsor for the NZCTA, and played a key role in establishing closer ties with the Shanghai Entrepreneur Association in 2013. This relationship quickly grew from strength to strength and led to the signing of a historic MOU between the two associations in 2014. Angela also helped develop and launch the NZCTA Young Associates in late 2013. The goal of the NZCTA Young Associates group is to build closer business, academic and cultural ties between young people in both countries.
Jim PoppelwellJim is a consultant based in Hawke's Bay, where he works with clients across diverse categories advising on communications, market entry, sales, branding and marketing. He is also the Project Director for the Great Things Grow Here China Connection Programme, a collaborative marketing and education programme supported by local government. Prior to moving back to New Zealand he spent three years studying and working in Taipei, before moving to Shanghai where he began a career in market research and branding, working with international brands such as Mars, Kraft, Nestle, Conagra and BP. Jim speaks and reads Mandarin Chinese and has presented on Chinese consumer culture and branding in Asia and New Zealand.
Luke QinLuke Qin is an international trade banker with one of New Zealand's leading trade banks. Luke is originally from Sichuan, the “Province of Abundance”, home of world famous spicy cuisine and pandas. He first arrived in Christchurch as an international student and played 1st XV rugby for Linwood College in his first year in New Zealand despite not knowing the rules of the game previously. Aside from occasionally taking players out without the ball and pretending he did not speak English while playing rugby, he was a school prefect and received many academic and contribution awards. After graduating from Canterbury University, he worked as a reporter and editor for a bilingual community newspaper, and in B2B sales in Christchurch before relocating to Wellington to work in banking, and gaining a Master of Applied Finance from Victoria University. Luke currently services as National Vice President, Chair of Finance Committee and Wellington Branch President at the New Zealand China Friendship Society, and a Board member of Transparency International New Zealand, with delegated authority in Affiliations & Financial Integrity Systems Assessment. He is also a member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network, British High Commission Successor Generation Initiative, Hutt City Council Eastern Ward Community Panel, Friends of Waiwhetu Stream, and New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand at the age of 27 by the Governor-General, and serves as Treasurer of the Hutt Multicultural Council and a volunteer firefighter in his down time in Lower Hutt. Luke has been involved in running NZCTA Comms & Wellington events since 2010, and is now getting used to running after his boy Jayden.
Dr David RobbDavid is Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management in the Graduate School of Management at the University of Auckland Business School and Visiting Professor and Research Fellow at Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management. He has MBA and PhD degrees in Operations Management from The University of Calgary. He directs the China Studies Centre at the University of Auckland, co-directs the Consortium for Operational Excellence in Retailing – Greater China, and is a Beachheads Advisor for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. His research interests include operations and supply chain management in China, with some of that work funded by Foxconn Technology Group. He has been extensively involved with Tsinghua’s International MBA (a collaboration with MIT Sloan) and the Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA (ranked 1st globally by The Financial Times), and has taught short courses for firms including Fletcher Building, Sanofi Aventis, Sinopec, and Whitcoulls. David is keen to see more and deeper engagement and understanding between New Zealand and China. He is husband to Val, and father to four daughters and two sons.
Ex Officio - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Charles BoultonCharles Boulton is Lead Adviser in the North Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, working on the trade and economic relationship between New Zealand and China. Charles’ previous roles in the Ministry include as private secretary to the Minister of Trade, trade negotiations, and at the New Zealand Embassy in South Korea.
Ex Officio - New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
Mike ArandAfter over three years based in Shanghai as Trade Commissioner and leading the Greater China Food & Beverage sector team for New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) Mike returned to Auckland late 2014 to head up the Greater China team for NZTE in New Zealand. Prior to joining NZTE, Mike has held senior positions in New Zealand companies developing & implementing global strategies; introducing new business models; and leading the entry into new markets around the world. Mike has travelled and worked extensively around the world and has spent considerable time in Asia. He first travelled to China in 1989 and since then he has been a regular visitor so has been able to observe first-hand the dramatic growth and development of the Greater China region while gaining a diverse first-hand experience covering various sales and distribution channels, supply chain & logistics, product sourcing, and Government in China, Hong Kong, Macau, & Taiwan. Mike also sits ex officio on the Executive Committee of the New Zealand Hong Kong Business association and on the Advisory Board of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre.