Simon Draper's May 2021 Update

To understand yourself and your own journey, it can be enlightening to look at the history of those who came before you. By learning their stories, you also pay respect to them and acknowledge the often-hard lives they lived.

Watch a slideshow of images from the hui taken by Leadership Network member Allan Xia and the Foundation's James To

It was with this in mind that 16 members of our Leadership Network travelled to Dunedin and Central Otago this month as part of the network’s Otago History Hui, visiting places where some of the first Chinese to live in this land eked out an existence.

Many people came together to make this hui a success, but I would like to pay particular thanks to historian, and former Foundation board member, Dr James Ng, and Asia New Zealand Foundation Honorary Advisers Prof Manying Ip (CNZM) and Peter Chin (CNZM).

These three, along with the Foundation’s James To, provided historical and personal context to the places the group visited and the lives of the people who lived there, sometimes generations before.

Network members who attended the hui spoke of the value of this intergenerational passing down of knowledge and voiced a commitment to value and share it. Such knowledge is, after all, taonga and to be treasured.

A man wearing an Asia New Zealand Foundation top with Leadership Network members standing in the background

The group visited the homes of some of the first Chinese to live in New Zealand, including the restored shacks of gold miners in Arrowtown

Hui reflects on a year of mentorship

On the topic of the Leadership Network and knowledge sharing, the network held its Mentorship Hui recently. The hui brought together last year’s participants in the Mentorship Programme to reflect on their experiences and share their thoughts and learnings with the incoming cohort.

The Mentorship Programme is a way for more established members to give back to the network by connecting with younger members to provide advice and guidance.

This passing down of knowledge from one generation to the next, or tuakana-teina, is a cornerstone of the programme, and the network as a whole.

The concept of tuakana-teina also advocates two-way learning and reports from the hui suggest the mentors gained as much from the programme as the mentees. I know when I spend time with network members it is always a rewarding experience, and I often leave with the feeling I have gained more wisdom than I have imparted.

Bringing Asia to NZ business events

The Foundation sponsored the executive director of Australia’s Asia Society Richard Maude to speak at the recent China Business Summit in Auckland.

Mr Maude contributed Australian perspectives to the summit, at which current and past political leaders, business leaders and other experts also spoke.

China is a critical relationship for New Zealand, but an increasingly challenging one to manage. The Foundation was involved in the summit because we believe New Zealand business and New Zealanders more widely need to hear as many different perspectives on China as possible, to inform their views and decisions.

Leadership Network members attending the Institute of Directors Conference in Auckland

Leadership Network members attending the Institute of Directors Conference in Auckland

Still on the topic of business events, our director business Alistair Crozier and three Leadership Network members attended the E-Tipu agribusiness summit in Christchurch this week.

The Foundation supported Dr Sandhya Sriran, CEO and co-founder of cell-based (lab-grown) seafood company Shiok Meats, to speak.

And earlier this month, one of the Foundation's Honorary Advisers, Mitchell Pham, gave a "fast-facts session" about the latest tech developments in Asia at the Institute of Directors Conference, which a number of Leadership Network members also attended. 

The Foundation supports such events to ensure Asia is forefront in the minds of New Zealand business people and the region’s innovation, opportunities and importance to this country is properly recognised.

Keep an eye on the Foundation’s website for articles about these two events.

Coming up…

Finally, I thought I'd mention a few events we're holding or supporting over the next few weeks, which we'd love to see you at:

  • An Asia After Five on 20 May at our Wellington office featuring two former business interns who will speak about their internship experiences and how they have contributed to the careers they now have.
  • The Auckland Writers Festival, at which the Foundation is supporting three speakers this Saturday: Nobel Laurette Kazuo Ishiguro, Dominion Post editor and former Washington Post bureau chief Anna Fifield, and the launch of A Clear Dawn - the first-ever anthology of Asian New Zealand creative writing.
  • In the media space, our Media Centre is holding a workshop for academics to hone their skills fronting to media as well as sponsoring the Junior Reporter of the Year award at the Voyager Media Awards on 28 May.

I won’t list all our upcoming events as there’s a lot on, but you can find out about these events and more on our Events page.

Ngā mihi,

Simon Draper