Martin ThomsonMartin Thomson is a partner with DLA Piper in Auckland. He has over 30 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.
John CochraneJohn Cochrane has been active in China since 2002. What initially started out as occasional business trips to establish sales partnerships in and around Beijing became a deep immersion in 2005 when the company John was leading took the decision to set up 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 sales 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 each year between 2005 and 2011. In 2011 the company was successfully sold to General Electric and John joined NZTE as the Trade Commissioner posted in Guangzhou from December 2011 through January 2017. The Trade Commissioner role provided John the rare opportunity to work closely in an advisory capacity with over 100 New Zealand businesses who spanned the full spectrum of success. John’s team were responsible for assisting New Zealand companies achieve $145 million dollars of new sales revenue during his time in the south. Upon his return to New Zealand John joined ATEED in Auckland, the City Council’s economic development agency, where he continued to focus on China-related matters. John is currently the Head of Group Sales at Facteon Intelligent Technology Ltd, a role that requires daily interaction with China in the advanced manufacturing sector. The combination of insights gained from John’s mix of public sector service and hands-on commercial experiences are invaluable.
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.
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.
Alistair CrozierAlistair has been involved in the NZ-China relationship for over 20 years. Most recently he established and led the New Zealand Consulate-General in Chengdu from 2014-18, advancing NZ business and other engagement across Southwest China. Alistair also served as New Zealand's first education counsellor to China in 2003-05, and as second secretary at the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing in 2000-01. He also served as New Zealand Deputy Ambassador to Viet Nam (2009-14) and Deputy High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea (2007-09). In 2019 Alistair returned home to Christchurch, where he served for a year as director of the mayor's office. Alistair is currently South Island Establishment Manager for the Asia New Zealand Foundation. He is a member of the Christchurch-China sister city committee, and a member of the advisory board of Global China Connect at the University of Canterbury. Alistair holds a first class honours degree in law and a BA from the University of Canterbury. He is a fluent Chinese speaker.
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), focusing on Daigou resource integration and content management. i.e. helping clients to expand sales and brand awareness through Daigou Channel via mobile app Wechat.
Henry LiHenry Li graduated from University of Auckland in 2005 major in Accounting and Finance, after that returned back to China. Henry’s whole professional life is in the banking filed for trading and investment related activities. He started with Austrian Bank RBI as a commodity banker servicing international trading houses , and then joined ANZ in 2010 with strong focus on Food, Beverage and Agriculture industries and Chinese overseas investment into Australia, New Zealand and Pacific countries. Currently in ANZ, Henry is the virtual China Desk in Transaction Banking and Institutional Banking but also services New Zealand and multinational companies that have a strong Asian footprint. Henry’s aim is to contribute his knowledge to support New Zealand and Chinese companies who want to build relationship and do business with each other. Henry used to love travelling (has been to over 40 countries), but now enjoys more being a gardener.
Michelle MacWilliamMichelle MacWilliam is a versatile and capable woman. A specialist in the areas of developing business relationships, particularly in the local domestic market and between New Zealand and China, she is experienced in strategic planning, executing events, and project management and in building long-term relationships across cultures. Michelle has multiple business entities such as Michelle Mac-business strategist and Retail Selling Ltd that support businesses to develop and Omni-channel relationship with clients. She is the director of Duo Communication Ltd, a company committed to facilitating long-term business relationships between China/Asia and New Zealand as well as being part of the Hampton Venture Partners Asia engagement team. Michelle is respected both within New Zealand and Chinese business communities for her contributions in this area. Michelle aside from being on the executive committee of the New Zealand, China Trade Association, she is the appointed secretary for the Christchurch Business Club, vice chair for the Christchurch -China Sister Cities Committee and vice chair for Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society. She also sits on the board of governance for West Christchurch Woman’s Refuge. In 2014 she was an acknowledged finalist in the North Canterbury Business Awards Professional Service Award and a finalist in Women Of Influence Finalist 2014 in the local and regional category. Michelle is committed to raising the awareness of both the opportunities and challenges for small to medium-sized businesses in the advancement of the Sino - New Zealand relationship based in a broader understanding of the implications of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Angela Meng-YeeAngela Meng-Yee is a Mergers and Acquisitions Advisor. 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.
Luke QinLuke Qin is an experienced international trade banker, helping established exporters and importers with working capital funding and risk management. Before banking, he worked as a bilingual journalist and still contributes to Chinese and English news media on a regular basis. Luke currently serves as an Elected Board Member of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Executive Committee Member of the New Zealand China Council, National Executive of the New Zealand Chinese Association, Official Cultural Advisor for the Hurricanes Super Rugby team, and Chair of Hutt City Council Community Funding Panel. He is also an Elected Board Director of Transparency International New Zealand, chairing the Affiliations Committee and serving on the Audit & Risk Committee. Luke graduated with a Master of Applied Finance from Victoria University of Wellington and is currently studying Te Reo Māori. He is a member of the Institute of Directors, Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network, Rotary Club of Wellington, and has been serving as a Justice of the Peace since 2012. Luke was awarded a Community Service Award by Multicultural New Zealand in 2020, a Long Service Medal by Fire and Emergency New Zealand for his service as a Qualified Volunteer Firefighter and successfully completed the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge to raise funds for charity in 2018. Luke has been the NZCTA Newsletter Editor and Executive Committee Member with responsibility for Wellington since 2010.
Yue WangYue is an Investment Immigration law specialist. Prior to establishing her own consulting practice, Yue was the Director of a Big 4’s China Practice and Head of its Immigration Services in New Zealand. She specialises in providing immigration advice and connecting businesses internationally. She also helps to provide strategic advice and ongoing management to create a path for investors and their families to migrate and establish themselves in New Zealand, and grow their investment portfolio, businesses and property developments. Yue was recently invited to attend the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai. While in China, Yue also works closely with senior executives with New Zealand companies to assist them with their businesses’ needs to operate in China. Yue has significant experience in advising and representing clients such as: • High net worth individuals with immigration and investment interests in New Zealand; • Major financial services providers in New Zealand with regards to China Strategy; • New Zealand and multinational companies that requires global talent; • Major Chinese SOEs in the building and construction sector; and • New Zealand businesses and investors in primary industries and property development.
Jonathan WattJonathan is a Director of Globalink Consulting Ltd, a company that assists New Zealand companies do business in North Asia and Greater China in particular. More recently he has also become joint owner of Globalink Internships Ltd, a company connecting students and professionals with quality work-based experience in Asia. 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 is a former Deputy Chair of NZCTA and is currently on an International Languages Industry Advisory Board at AUT.
Amy XuAmy currently works as a Tax Director in an international accounting firm in Auckland. She has extensive experience in providing tax advisory and compliance services to a diverse range of domestic clients and multinational enterprises in the property/real estate, healthcare, consumer products, technology and financial services sectors. Amy was born and grew up in mainland China and came to New Zealand in 2001. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a LLB/BCom conjoint degree in 2007 and was admitted to the bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of High Court of Auckland in 2008. Amy has been a dedicated member in the Chinese business community in Auckland, actively involved in various business events and assisted a number of Chinese clients doing business and making investments in New Zealand.
Ex Officio - New Zealand China Council
Rachel MaidmentRachel Maidment is a former diplomat and entrepreneur who has forged a career building public and private sector connections between New Zealand and China. Maidment served as New Zealand Consul General in Guangzhou from 2016 to 2019, a period of rapid expansion in New Zealand’s relationship with Southern China. During this time she led NZ Inc and supporting agencies and businesses in-market, and oversaw public diplomacy initiatives to strengthen the bilateral relationship. Prior to this, Maidment served in policy and legal roles at the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei and was seconded to New York to represent New Zealand at the UN General Assembly. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Maidment also founded a consultancy which provided services and facilitated business opportunities for New Zealand companies, government agencies and Māori entities in Asia. Maidment holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Science from the University of Auckland and studied Mandarin at the Australian Defence Force School of Languages and Taiwan National University.
Ex Officio - ATEED
Yan ZhangYan Zhang is Investment Specialist at ATEED – Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development, an Auckland City Council Controlled Organization. She was Partner, New Zealand and Australia with Crowe Horwath, and Director with KPMG NZ, helping Asian businesses in their cross border investments. With over 20 years’ experience in international business, Yan worked with both New Zealand and Australian government agencies (NZTE and AUSTRADE) and the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. Through international bidding projects Yan has the project management and delivery experience in industries such as heavy machinery and hi-tech products, ship fabrication, complete plant and technology transfer. She has helped businesses across both Australia and New Zealand win success in doing business with overseas countries including China, and consumer products sector including food and beverage and apparel was also her focus of advisory services particularly in optimizing market structure and revenue/profit. Having been a member of the senior management team of a major Chinese multi - national company, Yan has the practical experience in cross border investment strategic planning and management, and international trading project management with South East Asian countries, South Africa, Nigeria, the USA, Chile, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. She was accredited by the Chinese government the prestigious life time senior professional title in international commerce as based on the practical and academic achievements. Yan was also one of the major negotiators in the discussion of a joint venture with a major German company.