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New Zealand China Council
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Launching the Southern Link!

November 24, 2021

The Southern Link places New Zealand in the middle of a global value chain connecting Asia and South America, generating growth in trade, tourism and export opportunities.

Transiting via New Zealand offers the shortest air route between many major cities on the two continents, along with time zone advantages and efficient hubbing and servicing.

The NZCC commissioned a report on the Southern Link to quantify the Link’s economic benefits, and identify New Zealand’s advantages and the challenges we will need to overcome to harness this opportunity.

In this podcast, we discuss the findings with report author Chris Nixon – NZIER Principal Economist, Lionel Berte – Head of Asia Pacific for Asendia (an international mail joint venture between French La Poste and Swiss Post),  Steve Jones – NZTE’s Regional Director for Latin America, and Justin Watson – Christchurch Airport’s Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer.


01:17 The Report’s key findings.
03:44 What motivated Asendia to trial the Southern Link route for e-commerce pre-Covid?
05:07 Why Asendia chose New Zealand as its Oceania transit point.
05:59 Challenges post the onset of Covid and cessation of regular passenger flights between NZ and South America.
07:30 Opportunities presented by the Southern Link from Christchurch Airport’s perspective.
08:57 How the Southern Link could assist to mitigate re-connection concerns.
10:42 Importance of freight connectivity for SMEs.
13:08 What do we need to do to activate the Southern Link?
14:22 Additional benefits gained by positioning NZ as a hub.
15:50 Why e-commerce has exploded in South America and the opportunity this represents.
17:27 Why we will need to respond even faster as we emerge from Covid.
19:24 The opportunity for specialised freight start-ups as we move forward.
20:44 NZ’s competitive advantage over our closest neighbour.
24:09 Broader benefits and opportunities for NZ.
28:15 What needs to happen for NZ to maximise the link?
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