New ways of engaging with Asia needed - Auckland hui

Māori-led engagement, education connections, community and local government initiatives, and an approach that puts people rather than trade at the heart of relationships were just a few of the discussion points tackled at the Foundation’s first Seriously Asia Revisited hui held in late July in Auckland.

Watch this video to get a taste of the conversations that were had at the Seriously Asia Revisited Society and Culture hui

The Foundation’s 2022 Seriously Asia Revisited project is generating new ideas for how New Zealand can connect with Asia over the coming decades, building of a conference first held in 2003.

The Auckland hui took a deep dive into New Zealand-Asia relations from a society and culture perspective, drawing on new research findings presented by Emeritus Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Dr Andrew Butcher.

The Foundation’s director Research and Engagement Suzannah Jessep says the Auckland hui at times covered complex and sensitive issues, with participants offering frank insights into their experiences in New Zealand and Asia.

“The conversation dug into our core people-to-people connections with Asia, which have taken a lot of time and care to develop but where there is plenty of room to grow, and it overlapped with insights on the social experiences, identities, and histories of New Zealanders of Asia heritage experience in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

A sh preview screen showing a woman speaking into a microphoneot of a camera's

The Foundation gathered insights from a cross-section of New Zealanders with knowledge and expertise on New Zealand's relationships with Asia

However, she says such conversations are important and the potential, if New Zealand gets things right, is huge.

“Importantly, we must acknowledge that it is people and society who drive our relations across every sector, and at every level of government and community, and that we are stronger and more impactful working together.

“If New Zealand is going to be positioned for success, and if New Zealanders are going to thrive in partnership with Asia, then it’s critical that New Zealanders have the right skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed.

“At the core of the Auckland hui was an acknowledgement that people are at the heart of New Zealand’s relations with Asia.

Suzannah Jessep and Simon Draper talking to a man with his back to the camera


Further Seriously Asia Revisited hui are to be held in Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown over the coming months, exploring New Zealand’s connections with Asia from the perspective of politics and security; trade tourism and investment; and innovation and sustainable development.