Things are Finer in China
The Chinese are fantastic people. For 20 years I’ve been beating the feet to the most populace place on the planet and it’s changed every visit. But the people remain the same. Stoic, resilient,pumping! Wanting to to do business.
From selling crayfish, paua, orange roughy, hoki in 1995 into Hongkong and Shenzen we are now selling into Shanghai and Guangzhou heaps more variety, but we have also found our products in Qingdao and Xi’an ( Terracotta warrior country) on this latest trip. Mind you any single customer could suck everything we can produce through a straw in one sip as the market here is so large. But first of all you must get to know the people! Wakatu Inc , PoutamaTrust, Ngai Tahu, Maori Tourism , Miraka and very few other Maori businesses have been up here consistently in that time.
We have hosted Chinese business delegations at Pakipaki for the Iwi several times a year and are about 1 every 2-3 weeks now and are now just getting to know each other. After 20 years! For instance we have consistently said here that we cannot sell our land or water or fish quota , which was always met with disbelief, but we have promoted coinvestment in anything above it and this message has slowly seeped through with 3 very exciting projects ahead of us for Ngati Kahungunu and Hawkes Bay.
These projects will be revealed at the Taniwha- Dragon Economic Summit next February in Clubs Hastings over 2 days as part of the Matatini Festival. The Summit will bring together Iwi companies, land incorporations, Maori businesses, Hawkes Bay businesses and other New Zealand businesses that are doing trade with China , who want to elevate to new levels. It has attracted many Chinese companies including Da Chong Hong from Hong Kong, Shanghai Fisheries, Hansen Group from Guanzhou, Hainan Haidao Wagyu Biotech, Heshun Foods and many others. It is being hosted by Ngati Kahungunu with co-hosts John Boston and Mr Apple, NZ Trade and Enterprise, The NZ China Council and Lei Gardens a Chinese restaurant chain that boasts 26 Michelin class Restaurants throughout Asia and which was singled out by Michelin this year as a star performer in its group. The Bank of China , China Construction Bank, Shanghai Cred Real Estate and Shanghai Fisheries are keen to play a co-hosts role as well. Also we’ve had great support from Ngai Tahu, Wakatu , Ngati Kahu and others.Sir Pita Sharples promoted the Taniwha- Dragon concept when he was minister so this Iwi is following through on its potential.
And the Chinese people just keep plowing on, booming even, despite the Trump victory, despite Brexit, despite the scorn poured on their economy by Western commentators, despite scepticism and suspicion and even hostility on our home front. Every dawn morning Mere and I walked amongst them in some of the cleanest streets I’ve ever seen swept by ancient men and women with their cane and brush brooms and barrows welcoming the new day and onslaught of pedestrians amongst the eye- popping skyscrapers and cloud-piercers that defy the imagination. And I’ve never felt unsafe here in 20 years even though people take your space at every opportunity. And there are people just every blinking where , to the right, to the left , above you below , new roads, subways, metros, highways,railways and airports being built as we travel through them. No wonder every country and every company with a vision is displaying at the Qingdao Seafood Expo and the Shanghai Food and Beverage Expo. The world has converged on China to get a share of this juggernaut economy fuelled by an upwardly mobile resilient and relentless people who show no sign of fear nor favour in the tumultuous politics of the west. Ngati Kahungunu will be promoting stronger people to people relationships at the Taniwha- – Dragon Economic Summit in Hastings next year and we will be at the next Qingdao Seafood Expo as well.
Ahakoa iti, He Pounamu! Altough our contribution is humble, it possesses the mana of the greenstone!