Kiwi businesses need to make big decisions as New Zealand builds ties with Asia (16 December)
New Zealand's travel and tourism statistics show a link between direct flights from Asia and tourism numbers. But of course it's about more than pure numbers.
Asia's long-term planning is paying off; New Zealand must learn from it (2 December 2019)
While New Zealand stutters along playing catch up on infrastructure projects, some countries in Asia are surging ahead with ambitious projects – breath-taking infrastructure builds, clean energy initiatives, urban planning. Many of these projects anticipate needs that are decades in the future.
Southeast Asian tourism entrepreneurs learning from Māori-owned businesses (18 November)
It was with a real sense of pride that I met a group of Southeast Asia entrepreneurs we were hosting at the New Zealand Tourism Awards last month as they capped off a week of learning in Auckland, Rotorua and Christchurch.
New Zealanders need to be willing to hear more Asian perspectives (4 November)
New Zealand, as an island nation, has certain characteristics. One is that we have the habit of looking inwards and talking to ourselves about business. Nothing gets us fired up like domestic angles on regulation, interest rates or infrastructure, and we talk until the cows come home (or are milked at least) about New Zealand's own economy.
The next generation is learning about Asia in different ways (21 October)
Today's young people are exposed to Asian influences several times a day, and while there's still a way to go on understanding Asian peoples and cultures at a deeper level, this exposure does give the next generation an advantage.
Getting strategic about New Zealand's sister cities (7 October)
Every now and again, spending on sister city relationships is splashed across the front page of local papers. There's something about politicians' overseas jaunts that gets under ratepayers' skin. But while putting a dollar value on the relationships can be helpful, and accountability for public money is vital, the criticism can often miss the point.
NZ's relationship with Japan is strong but there is opportunity to grow (23 September)
New Zealand businesses and agencies have clearly recognised that Japan's hosting of the Rugby World Cup provides opportunities to raise the New Zealand brand.
Why Singapore holds such appeal for New Zealanders (9 September)
From a New Zealander's perspective, Asia can be overwhelming.That's perhaps why Singapore holds so much appeal to us. It's an island nation smaller than Lake Taupō where most people speak English, that's good for shopping and easy to do business in.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka share similarities across sport and business (26 August)
Whatever you recall about Sri Lanka, it is a relationship New Zealand has good reason to invest effort in.
China interference in Hong Kong protest in New Zealand unhelpful (12 August)
As an ex-diplomat, a key tenant of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is the principle that you don't interfere in the domestic affairs of your host state.
Sport an insight into the national psyche (29 Jul)
If there were ever any doubt that sport and business are inextricably linked, it's surely been put to bed after this month's world cups
Kiwis' knowledge about our global neighbours better than ever before (15 July)
We've just released the findings in our tracking survey New Zealanders' Perceptions of Asia, our annual mood-check of how New Zealanders feel about Asia.
A China-US trade deal could be a threat to New Zealand's exports (1 July)
Almost a year ago today, I wrote in this column that New Zealand and Asia were living in the ominous shadow of a "trade war". In the months following, the United States-China trade war evolved into reality, amid successive tariff hikes by each country.
New Zealand's future leaders are going to look, think and behave differently (17 June)
The picture of what New Zealand leaders are is changing – and is only set to change more. At the Asia New Zealand Foundation, events we've held over the past couple of weeks have given us the opportunity to reflect on how New Zealand's leadership might look profoundly different in the future.
Asia's battle for democracy is a lesson for New Zealand (3 June)
Over the centuries, millions of people have fought and died for the right to even hold elections. Yet here in New Zealand, it is hard to get people to spare 15 minutes every three years to tick a couple of boxes. And it is easy to take for granted that this is all that is needed for a functioning democracy.
The tech sector won't wait for us to catch up (20 May)
I continue to be awed by the scale of enterprise and the innovation that's coming out of the technology sector in Asia. While I'm still waiting for the Jetson car and teleporter promised in my childhood, there's some fascinating developments in technology that Asia is at the centre of.
Kiwi leaders blind to power and reach of Asian social media in New Zealand (4 May)
For a growing number of Kiwis, keeping in touch with friends and family, talking to business partners and keeping up with the news doesn't just involve Facebook or Twitter, but also the likes of WeChat, WhatsApp, Line and KakaoTalk.
Let's export New Zealand fashion to Asia (22 April)
In years gone by when Asia was mentioned in the context of clothing and fashion, our minds immediately leapt to sweatshops in China, or polluted rivers outside factories, or Indian farmers poisoned by the pesticides used to make cotton.
Messages of condolence from Asia in the wake of the Christchurch attacks went unreported (25 March)
Friday 15 March started off much like any other at the Asia New Zealand Foundation. I met with colleagues to talk about upcoming events: an incoming delegation from Vietnam visiting for a dialogue, the possibility of new initiatives with Timor Leste.
Māori at an advantage in engagement with Asia trade (11 March)
I'm going to be unabashed in my promotion of a piece of good news this week. We now have the data to show that Māori can succeed in their engagement with Asia and Asian peoples – and already do
Asia turned out to be bigger than we all anticipated - NZ needs to get on board (25 February)
It's fair to say New Zealand's relationship with China feels a bit angsty at the moment. I'm not going to talk about that too much in this column – if there's anything good to come out of the last fortnight, it's that we've seen a wide range of voices discuss the issues from multiple perspectives.
There's reason to be optimistic about trade in 2019 (11 February)
New Zealand export businesses have had a period of relative certainty in recent years. We knew China would keep growing; that there were some clear, if imperfect, rules to rely on; and that if New Zealand came up with good products there would likely be willing buyers paying a good price.
Challenges and opportunity await in Asia for business people willing to learn (28 January)
While most of us have been enjoying long summer days and perhaps a slower pace to the working day, a group of hand-picked young New Zealanders have been settling into their internships at businesses across Asia. Each year the Asia New Zealand Foundation sends about 18 interns to get three months' work experience with some of Asia's leading companies.