Simon Draper's March 2022 Update

Since my last update, we've welcomed nine new New Zealand Honorary Advisers to the team and said goodbye to a departing cohort.

Our New Zealand Honorary Advisers (HAs) are eminent New Zealanders with knowledge and connections that help us facilitate the work we do. The mana they hold in their respective areas opens doors and is vital for the Foundation to achieve our mandate of ‘equipping New Zealanders to thrive in Asia’.

The nine new Honorary Advisers are:

  • Warrick Cleine — Chairman and CEO, KPMG in Vietnam
  • Hon Lianne Dalziel — Mayor of Christchurch
  • Sameer Handa, MNZM — Company director, executive member of the India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC)
  • Kyle Murdoch — Company director, media specialist and producer
  • Simon Murdoch, CNZM —Former Secretary Foreign Affairs and Trade, former Trustee Asia New Zealand Foundation
  • Nicola Ngarewa — Principal of Spotswood College and Chairperson of Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Sachie Nomura — Chef, food writer and owner of Sachie’s Kitchen
  • Paula Tesoriero, MNZM — Paralympic athlete
  • Josh Wharehinga — Deputy Mayor, Gisborne District Council

As you can see, the new HAs work across a range of sectors, and I’m sure you’ll find a number of familiar names on the list. I feel it’s testimony to the work the Foundation does that such well-regarded New Zealanders have committed to supporting us. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the new advisers in the past and look forward to getting to know them all better over coming months. I know they will bring fresh eyes and fresh perspective to the work we do.  

With their addition, we also have to say goodbye to departing Honorary Advisers: 

  • Dr Alan Bollard, CNZM
  • Trish Carter
  • Peter Chin, CNZM
  • Ian Kennedy
  • Richard Long ONZM
  • Peter Miskimmin QSO
  • Hon Simon Power QSO
  • Dr Farib Sos, MNZM.

I want to use this platform to formally recognise their commitment over the past five years and their invaluable contributions to the Foundation. With their help, the Foundation has solidified our place as New Zealand’s preeminent expert on Asia, and over the last two years they have helped us weather some choppy waters as Covid forced us to rethink how we deliver our work. Their guidance and support over this period have been greatly appreciated by me and the wider team.

We’ve also taken the opportunity of the Honorary Advisers update to highlight the pivotal role two former advisers played in the establishment of the Foundation, way back in in 1994 when this organisation was known as Asia 2000. To acknowledge the contributions Rt Hon Sir Don McKinnon and Hon Phillip Burdon played in the early days of the Foundation, we have officially recognised them as Foundation Founders.

Philip Burdon and Sir Don McKinnon cutting the cake to mark the Foundation's 25th anniversary

Foundation Founders Philip Burdon and Sir Don McKinnon cutting the cake to mark the Foundation's 25th anniversary

Staff movements

While we’re on the topic of farewells and welcomes, I’ll announce the departure from the Foundation of our South Island manager and director of business, Alistair Crozier. Alistair has accepted the role of executive director at the New Zealand China Council - and will be wrapping up his time at the Foundation at the end of this month.

With his energy, expertise and great sense of humour, Alistair has been an incredible addition to the Foundation after joining us in 2020 and we wish him the best in his new role.

To ensure the mahi Alistair has done over the last couple of years continues as seamlessly as possible, the Foundation’s Adam McConnochie will be taking on the role of director business, and our senior adviser business, Ethan Jones, will be taking on Alistair’s South Island engagement role until a permanent replacement is found.

Offshore contractors keeping the Foundation in touch with Asia

The Foundation has recently appointed three Temporary Offshore Contractors, what we’re calling TOCs, to act as our eyes and ears on the ground in Asia while travel remains problematic.

The three TOCs – Achiraya Thamparipattra, Thailand; Kaleb Uri-ke, Japan; and Rochelle Angus, Singapore – will represent the Foundation at events, liaise with our existing networks in their respective regions and contribute towards telling the stories that champion New Zealand’s connections to Asia. So, keep an eye on the Foundation website and the Asia Media Centre for contributions from them.

Farewell to a kaumātua

Finally, I’d like to note the passing of Hokimoana Te Rika-Hekerangi, of Ruatāhana within Ngāi Tūhoe, who gifted the Foundation it’s Māori name. Adopting a Māori expression for the Foundation was part of our ongoing commitment to further embed Māori engagement into our work, with a vision of weaving it into our everyday practice.

Hokimoana talks about gifting the Foundation its Maori name, Te Whītau Tūhono.

With help from our Māori adviser, Tania Te Whenua, Hokimoana managed to distil the essence of what the Foundation is about and gifted us the expression Te Whītau Tūhono. The expression brings together tūhono (bond, connectedness, unity) with the strength of the fibrous part of flax, whītau.

Me te aroha nui atu o mātou katoa

Ngā mihi

 Simon Draper