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New Zealand China Council
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Connecting the private and public sectors to engage on China

January 18, 2021

The NZ China Council held its final meeting and AGM December 2020. We were fortunate to have Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand’s Ambassador to China Clare Fearnley join our meeting, which provided an opportunity for the public and private sectors to engage on China.

In the margins of the meeting, several members shared insight from their sectors, which we have compiled into three short videos. In Part One, NZTE’s CEO Peter Chrisp outlines his organisation’s focus as the pandemic unfolded, and the support provided to exporters. Tourism New Zealand’s former CEO Stephen England-Hall provides an overview of Tourism New Zealand’s focus throughout 2020, and details how Chinese consumer perceptions of New Zealand have shifted over this period – with consumer preference remaining high, but appeal dropping.

In Part Two, Council members discuss how they tracked over a challenging 2020. Challenges presented include the impact of border closures on the tourism and education sectors, as well as logistics issues and rising costs. More positively, the primary sector held up well overall, due to the hard work of staff on and offshore. Investment deal-flow slowed, particularly over the lock-down period, but is predicted to recover.

In Part Three, members discuss how they have adapted to change over a challenging period. Key lessons from Ngai Tahu’s Arihia Bennett include the importance of maintaining relationships, and using the time to reflect on their offering. In Ngai Tahu’s case, they have been investigating how to better incorporate indigeneity into their tourism offerings, and improve digital channels. DentonsKensingtonSwan Partner Heida Donegan shares how she has remained connected with clients and potential investors, while Paul Morgan provides insight into spreading risk during challenging times. UP Education’s Danny Chan notes how education providers have adapted to border closures by innovating, and Zespri’s Chair Bruce Cameron describes how Zespri has adapted to supply chain challenges, and its continued focus on maintaining product quality and new product development.

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