About the Leadership Network

The Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network is a global professional network focussed on developing and maintaining strong links between Asia and New Zealand.

A group of about 20 Leadership Network members sitting on steps

The Leadership Network helps New Zealand’s best and brightest build their Asia competency by providing professional development and leadership opportunities to support them in taking an active role in strengthening New Zealand’s ties with Asia.

We help foster relationships that enable network members to work together to influence change in New Zealand and develop the all-important Asia connections needed for New Zealand’s future prosperity.

* Due to COVID-19, the way the Foundation delivers some programmes will change to reflect restrictions on gatherings and travel.

What we do

Leadership Network members have access to a curated programme of activities and initiatives in New Zealand and Asia that are designed to:

  • Deepen connections
    Network members are offered the chance to meet representatives from leading organisations in New Zealand and Asia, and to network with influential decision makers, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

  • Grow knowledge and awareness
    We want our network members to be recognised as the emerging and established leaders on issues relating to Asia and New Zealand. We offer members opportunities to increase their knowledge of the countries and peoples of Asia, and regional issues.

  • Build confidence
    We provide members with opportunities to engage in leadership development activities and demonstrate leadership in New Zealand and offshore. We want our network to be dynamic and diverse, with members initiating participation and engagement with others working in this space.

Read the Leadership Network's strategy

Leadership Network members riding yellow bikes


What we offer our members

Being a member of the Leadership Network allows you to:

  • Attend hui events
    These are short, targeted events focused on a specific industry, country/region, or issue. Hui have been held in New Zealand and Asia and all network members can register to attend, although numbers are limited and are either offered on a first-in-first-served basis, or through a competitive application process.
  • Access special events
    One of the Foundation's strengths is our ability to access special events. We are often offered opportunities by other agencies and organisations nationally and internationally, which we are able to pass onto network members.
  • Make use of our Travel Fund
    Leadership Network members also have access to a Travel Fund that provides financial support for  travel to attend opportunities that will help with their studies, leadership, professional development or building Asian expertise and networks.


About our members

The network, which began in 2007, now has some 475 members. About a third reside offshore. 

The network is diverse. Members work across a range of sectors and industries including education, engineering, business, new media and journalism, banking, government and public sector, law, management and the arts.

The network is also geographically diverse.  Although most members live in New Zealand, more than a third live offshore, with around 20 percent living in the Asia-Pacific region.

We regularly profile members, asking them about work and passions, their links with Asia and their plans for the future.

How to be an active member

Your thoughts and ideas help to shape the direction of the Leadership Network, but to get the most from the network, you need to stay connected.

Leadership Network members smiling as they listen to a speaker who is out of the shot

Get involved with Leadership Network activities

By being involved in network activities you’ll meet great people doing interesting things, get the scoop on professional development opportunities and build personal, intellectual and business connections that you’ll revisit frequently in the years to come.

So, how do you stay involved?

  • Keep the network up to date with your activities
    Join the LinkedIn group for Leadership Network members and make sure to keep your LinkedIn profile current.  It’s quick and easy to do, and it means that the plug-in with the Browser Application stays up-to-date.
  • Share the love
    Post any articles, research, job opportunities or internships that you think might interest other network members on the LinkedIn group. 
  • Meet other members!
    Try to regularly attend Foundation events, and consider organising your own get-togethers. Invite other members to join you at Asia-related events such as festivals, conferences and talks, or meet up with your cluster group.
  • Keep the Foundation up to date...
    If you change jobs, move or head offshore, we want to know.  If we know what you’re doing we can connect you with others in the network who might be in your area, and invite you to any events or activities that are happening.  And tell us about your successes – we can help publicise what you’re doing, whether it’s a new business project, published research or involvement in a community project or initiative. 
  • . . . and keep up to date with the Foundation
    Regularly check the Asia New Zealand Foundation website, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter and follow our social media channels.  This will tell you what other members are doing, and let you know about upcoming professional development opportunities across the Foundation.
  • Donate!
    The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a non-profit charity, and any contributions towards our programmes are welcome. You can even specify how you’d like your donation to be used. Find out about donating to the Foundation.

If you’re in New Zealand you can also:

  • Volunteer – share your time, skills and abilities with others. You could be a speaker at a network event, present to interest groups, or help out at an Asia New Zealand Foundation event.
  • Talk to your employers about the network – perhaps there are opportunities for other network members, or for your employer to link up with Foundation programmes.

If you’re overseas, you can also:

  • Help out with visiting Kiwis in your neighbourhood. The Foundation sends artists, journalists and business interns offshore regularly. Your local knowledge can help smooth the way for these visitors – many who will be visiting Asian countries for the first time, and they’ll really value your input.
  • Join KEA New Zealand or a regional chamber of commerce to connect with Kiwi expats.
  • Register with the New Zealand Embassy or High Commission in your country. They often hold events which offer networking opportunities.

Big or small, everyone’s contribution adds to our mission of strengthening New Zealand’s relationships with Asia.

If you have a particular skill or just want to become more involved please email [email protected] and let us know what you can do!

Joining the Leadership Network

Due to disruptions to our programme caused by Covid-19, in 2020 we will not be calling for applications to join the Leadership Network. For more information, please email project officer leadership Summer Qu: [email protected]

Leadership Network Mentorship Programme

The Foundation's Leadership Network Mentorship Programme aims to forge connections between our members, providing opportunities to share and gain knowledge and grow their confidence and skills as leaders.

Leadership Network Travel Fund

The Leadership Network Travel Fund supports members with travel to attend opportunities that will help with their studies, leadership, professional development, or building of Asian expertise and networks.

Advisory Board

The Leadership Network is supported by an Advisory Board  who help steer the network’s direction and check how it is performing against its strategic objectives.  They help run activities and keep members up to date with what’s happening in their regions and the broader network.  The Advisory Board is also a valuable source of information for new members who may have questions about the Network and the opportunities it provides.

Current members of the Advisory Board are:

  • Wei-wei Ng (Board Chair)
  • Jay Waters
  • Hannah Duder
  • Ben Mathews
  • Xavier Breed
  • Michelle McCarthy
  • Ajay Ravindran.

What's happening in 2021

Leadership Network Frequently Asked Questions

Have a query you need an answer to? Check here for answers