Paul Morgan and Mitchell Pham honoured

Asia New Zealand Foundation Trustee Paul Morgan and Honorary Adviser Mitchell Pham have been recognised in the New Year 2023 Honours.

Foundation Deputy Chair Paul Te Poa Karoro Morgan (Ngāti Rārua, Te Mahurehure, Ngā Puhi) has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to Māori and business. He was previously appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order in 2010.

Foundation Honorary Adviser Khoa Dang (Mitchell) Pham has been appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in recognition of his services to the technology sector and New Zealand-Asia relations. 

Asia New Zealand Foundation executive director Simon Draper says both men have been real champions for building relationships with Asia and for helping New Zealanders understand why the region is important for their country's future.

"Paul joined the Asia New Zealand Foundation's board in October 2021, and has extended our networks and our understanding of Māori engagement with Asia. He's extremely knowledgeable about Asian markets and the opportunities for the Māori economy.

“Mitchell has been an active and passionate advocate for the Foundation over many years. He has facilitated many connections between New Zealand and Asia and has helped us keep up to date with the rapid developments and innovation in the region."  

Paul Morgan is a globally recognised Māori leader and entrepreneur whose career has been at the forefront of economic development and, political advocacy with extensive Crown relationships for the Māori community for 30 years. He has held many directorships and roles with Government across agribusiness, science and industry.

Paul Morgan speaking into a microphone at a meeting

Paul Morgan

He is chair of the board of Wakatū Incorporation and a former chief executive of the Federation of Māori Authorities (1996-2007), New Zealand’s largest Māori business network.

In 2010, Paul was awarded a QSO for his contribution to Māori business and significant developments within the Māori community. In 2019, he was recognised at the prestigious University of Auckland Aotearoa Māori Business Leaders Awards, receiving the 2019 Te Tohu mō te Kaiārahi Whakahaere Māori – Māori Governance Leader Award. In 2020 he was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.  

His New Year 2023 Honours citation describes his work helping iwi reclaim land of their forebears to develop commercial and social enterprises to restore the social and economic wellbeing of Māori. 

Mitchell Pham is a Vietnamese-Kiwi technology business and social entrepreneur who originally arrived in New Zealand as a refugee at the age of 13. He is a Director of CodeHQ (founded as Augen Software Group) in New Zealand and Vietnam, and a co-founder of the Kiwi Connection Tech Hub – a platform for technology businesses to accelerate presence and engagement in Southeast Asia. He chaired NZTech and cofounded and launched several industry networks and collaborations. 

Mitchell Pham speaking into a microphone at a meeting

Mitchell Pham

His citation notes his contributions to building New Zealand-Asia relations over two decades. Over that time, he has contributed to a wide range of the Asia New Zealand Foundation's programmes. 

Mitchell was involved in the very first events for the Foundation’s Leadership Network – then known as the Young Leaders Network – in the mid-2000s; and has played a key role in driving links between entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia and New Zealand through the Young Business Leaders Initiative.  He joined the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s board as a Trustee in 2015 and became a New Zealand Honorary Adviser in 2017.   

He sees Asia as important not only to New Zealand’s established leaders, but also to its future ones. “Our future with Asia needs to be built by our next generations of leaders, now. For those who can't yet travel, we have growing Asian communities, businesses and entrepreneurs in New Zealand who are strongly connected back to Asia.” 

He notes that the opportunities for New Zealand in the region are very diverse. "Asia isn’t just limited to China. Countries in East, Southeast and South Asia represent large customer bases, talent pools, investment capital, consumption demands, both opportunities and risk appetites for innovation, and diverse geopolitical profiles and dynamics.” 

Mitchell has represented the Foundation at a wide range of business events, facilitated connections across Asia and within New Zealand, and participated in its Track II and research programme – including featuring in the report Viet Nam and New Zealand: Let’s go 

Mitchell says it is more important than ever to grow New Zealand's connections to the region: "Beyond regional security and our much-needed economic recovery during these uncertain times, Asia also influences our social advancement and environmental sustainability, and presents opportunities for us to impact theirs.

"All of this starts from establishing human connections and building high-trust relationships. We can all do this at an individual level, both personally and professionally." 

The Asia New Zealand Foundation also congratulates Dr Hafsa Ahmed, who has been appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to ethnic communities and women. Hafsa produced the series Unquiet Women for the Asia Media Centre.