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NZ China Council member appointments

December 11, 2023

The New Zealand China Council is pleased to welcome three new members of the New Zealand China Council.

 Richard Pollock has been nominated by Te Puni Kōkiri to replace its previous nominee Arihia Bennett (Ngāi Tahu), who stepped down earlier in 2023.

Richard has served as Chief Policy Adviser at New Zealand Māori Tourism since September 2022.  He has held numerous other policy roles in the New Zealand public sector, with a focus on Māori policy development and promoting Māori economic development and facilitating Māori business participation and engagement in key export markets.  He has participated in Māori business and trade missions to China, and from 2017 to 2021 lived in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.

Council Chair John McKinnon has welcomed Richard’s deep experience of engagement with both Te Ao Māori and China and the wider Asia region.

“Māori make strong, intuitive and valuable contributions to the New Zealand – China relationship, through business and trade, tourism, education, cultural and personal connections.”

“Reflecting Te Ao Māori perspectives and supporting Māori to participate fully in the bilateral relationship is one of our Council’s core purposes, and I am confident that Richard’s substantial experience and expertise will assist us to do that.  His recent first-hand experiences living in China will be a particular asset”, John said.

Richard’s bio can be found here

John McKinnon also welcomed John Cochrane to take up an ex officio position on the Council as incoming Chair of the New Zealand China Trade Association (NZCTA), replacing NZCTA Chair Martin Thomson who is stepping down.

John Cochrane is Managing Director of Facteon Group.  His professional involvement with China dates back to 2002, initially working to set up the Bejing office of a foreign company pursuing new business in the Chinese market and then serving as New Zealand Trade Commissioner and Deputy Consul-General in Guangzhou from December 2011 until 2017.  His current employer is a subsidiary of Chinese company Hai’er.

Confirming the appointment, John McKinnon welcomed the China knowledge and background that John will bring to the Council.  “John has had a particular career focus on tech and automated manufacturing, areas in which China continues to advance at ‘China speed’.  We also look forward to continuing our close partnership with NZCTA, with our Executive Director also sitting on the association’s executive committee.

“I also acknowledge the significant contributions Martin Thomson has made to the New Zealand-China business and investment relationship on our Council, during his tenure as NZCTA Chair, and as a partner at DLA Piper.  Martin’s knowledge of the bilateral investment environment and wider trade connections have been much appreciated by other members”, John said.

John Cochrane’s bio is here

Lastly the Council welcomes Alexandra Badley as a ‘NextGen’ member under its next generation leadership development programme.

The Council reserves two seats for emerging leaders and young professionals with a proven interest in the New Zealand-China relationship.  Next Gen members sit on the Council for a fixed three-year term.

Alexandra is a security governance, risk and architecture specialist at Spark New Zealand, and has previously held other IT and leadership roles across telecommunications companies within New Zealand.  Alexandra holds a Bachelor’s Degree in information sciences from Massey University, majoring in information technology with a minor in Chinese language.  She received two Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia awards in 2018 and 2019 to study Chinese at Peking University in Beijing.

John says Alexandra’s perceptive understanding of the multiple challenges and opportunities for New Zealand in its relationship with China commended her for a role on the Council.

“Alexandra also brings specialist knowledge in a sector not currently represented on the Council.  I expect she will make a unique contribution to both our internal discussions and external engagement.”

Alexandra Badley’s bio is here

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