Thank you to all of our speakers this year.
To learn more about the speakers click their cards below, we soon will be providing copies of their speeches at this year’s event. So check back soon!
National President Dave Bromwich
Dave joined NZCFS in 1991. After a three year stint as Hawke’s Bay Branch President, he joined the National Executive in 2000. He has served eight years as Vice President and as National President since 2014. In 2019 he was awarded the Chinese Government Friendship Award.
Dave has visited China in excess of 50 times, with an accumulated total of more than 10 years spent in China. His main activity has been in rural development consultancy, assisting with the development of cooperatives through private and NZCFS projects in association with Gung Ho. This work has had a close association with the legacy of Rewi Alley.He has also planned and led a number of tours and delegations to China, and developed and enhanced relationships with his Chinese counterparts.
China Ambassador H.E. Dr Wang Xiaolong
WANG Xiaolong, born in June 1965 in Hebei Province of China, holds a Ph.D in Economics.
1987-1989 Desk Officer, Department of Translation and Interpretation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MFA)
1989-1992 Desk Officer, Attache, Department of International Organizations and Conferences, MFA
1992-1995 Attache, Third Secretary, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations
1995-2004 Third Secretary, Deputy Division Director, Division Director, Director and Counsellor, Executive Counsellor, Department of International Organizations and Conferences, MFA
2004-2007 Deputy Director-General, Department of International Organizations and Conferences, MFA and APEC Senior Official for China
2007-2008 Vice Mayor of Cangzhou Municipality, Hebei Province, China
2008-2010 Minister Counsellor and DCM, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Singapore
2010-2015 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Mongolia
2015-2016 Special Envoy for G20 Affairs of MFA
2016-2018 Deputy Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, MFA, and Special Envoy on G20 Affairs and BRICS Affairs of MFA
2018-2021 Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, MFA, and Special Envoys for G20 Affairs and for BRICS Affairs of MFA
2021- Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Niue
Mr. WANG Xiaolong is married with a daughter.
NZCFS Patron Rt Hon Sir David Carter KNZM
Sir David Carter commenced a farming career in the early 1970’s and is actively farming today on 3 farm properties, two on Banks Peninsula and one in North Canterbury.
In 1974, he established New Zealand’s first commercial embryo transplant company, and was instrumental in introducing a number of new cattle breeds into Australia and New Zealand.
In 1994, he turned his interest to politics, and was elected to New Zealand’s Parliament where he completed a 26 year parliamentary career. During this time, he held a number of senior ministerial positions.
In January 2013, he was elected by Parliament to hold the esteemed position of Speaker, a position he held for 5 years.
As both a farmer, and as Minister of Agriculture, he has always had a keen interest in China, recognising its market potential for New Zealand’s primary products.
That interest has greatly broadened after his daughter Laura lived in China for two years. The family now has an greater interest in all aspects of China as a country, its people, its history, and its importance to the world.
In December 2020 David was awarded a knighthood for his distinguished public service to New Zealand.
Nasi Chen MP
Naisi Chen is a Labour List MP based in Botany. Naisi believes Aotearoa New Zealand has a compassionate and inclusive Government that is supporting our multicultural community. She’s proud of the work Labour is doing to deliver for migrants and rangatahi. Naisi’s other areas of interest include arts and culture, the tech economy, and the community sector. She is an advocate for economic digitization, infrastructure investment in projects like the Eastern Busway in Botany and the value that art brings to New Zealand.
Before entering Parliament, she worked as an employment law consultant and public servant. Naisi is also a former Board Member of Foundation North, the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and the Aotearoa Chinese Legal Support Foundation. She is also a former President of the New Zealand Chinese Students’ Association and has sat on the Youth Advisory Group of Philanthropy NZ.
As an MP, Naisi serves as the Deputy Chair of the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee as well as being a member of the Governance and Administration Select Committee. She is the second youngest MP in the 53rd Parliament. Outside of politics, Naisi is a choral conductor and proud dog-owner.
Melissa Lee MP
National List MP based in Auckland
Melissa entered Parliament as a National list MP following National’s victory in the 2008 election. Her election made her the first Korean women to hold office outside of Korea in a National Assembly, and New Zealand’s first Korean MP.
Born in Korea, and growing up in Malaysia, Melissa moved to New Zealand as a young adult in 1988. Melissa’s background has ensured her place as a strong advocate for New Zealand’s diverse ethnic communities within the National Government.
During her time in Parliament Melissa has served in a number of Parliamentary roles including as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, Chair of the Social Services and Commerce Select Committees and sitting on the Health and Education Committees.
Since the start of the 53rd Parliament Melissa Lee currently serves on the Economic Development, Innovation and Science Committee, is the National Spokesperson for Broadcasting & Media, the Digital Economy & Communications and Ethnic Communities. Her vision is for a country that is safe, secure, and prosperous.
John McKinnon was educated in New Zealand at Nelson College and at Victoria University of Wellington, and in the United Kingdom at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He joined the then Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New Zealand in May 1974. In 1975 he was sent to Hong Kong to undertake two years of Chinese language training, following which he was assigned to the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing as second secretary.
His subsequent overseas assignments with the New Zealand foreign service were in Washington, Canberra and New York (this last in the 1990s when New Zealand was serving a term on the United Nations Security Council). John McKinnon was the Director of the External Assessments Bureau in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1995 to 2000.John McKinnon served twice as New Zealand ambassador to China and Mongolia, the first time from 2001 to 2004; the second time from 2015 to 2018. In between these two postings he was successively a senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Secretary of Defence, and Executive Director of the Asia New Zealand Foundation. John McKinnon is now a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University and since December 2021 has been the Chair of the New Zealand China Council.
Sylvia Yang has a diverse professional background. She graduated from University of Auckland with a degree in Business but found her passion in film and storytelling.
Sylvia produced the first original Chinese musical La Musical (2004) and the first NZ web series in 2005 Sunshine Beyond the Rain (2005). She subsequently developed her business in international production, taking Chinese productions overseas. She has been involved in large-budget Chinese dramas like L.O.R.D (爵迹-临界天下) and The Great Master (大主宰) She has also worked on Disney’s Mulan.
Sylvia joined the New Zealand China Friendship Society in 2008 and co-produced several successful videos for the Society, including One Promise and Aotearoa Jasmine.
Sylvia has previously held Secretary and Vice President positions in the Auckland Branch of NZCFS. She is now the President of NZCFS Youth Club.
Sylvia has decided to run for Albany Ward councillor seat in the 2022 local election.
2022 Stand-in Moderator
Paul Cutler has worked in the news media for more than 50 years, across five continents.
He is currently an International Media Consultant, having established his own consultancy – Cutler Communications Ltd – in 2014. Since then he has completed assignments in Beijing, Shenzhen, Washington DC, Jakarta, London and Auckland.
Most of his work in recent years has been with CGTN, China’s global English-language 24-hour television news network. He played a leading role in planning CGTN’s expansion into Europe in 2019.
Prior to forming a consultancy, Paul was for eight years the Director of News & Current Affairs for SBS Television, Radio & Online, based in Sydney. Shortly before leaving the Network, he established the first fully-integrated TV, Radio and Online national digital newsroom in Australia.
He had previously been Managing Editor of CNN Asia Pacific in Hong Kong. During his time at CNN he played a leading role in the coverage of the 9/11 attack in 2001 – while based in Atlanta -and later, in Hong Kong, the 2004 Tsunami in Asia/Pacific.
Paul is a New Zealander who spent many years working for Television New Zealand where he was Managing Editor of News for more than five years. During his career Paul worked for Reuters in Fleet Street and at BBC Headquarters in London. He covered five Olympic Games, both as a print and television journalist/producer.
In 2012 he was a judge of the International Emmy Awards in New York.
Trevor has a long time association with Asian and Chinese communities in New Zealand and offshore. In the 80s and 90s he pioneered the manufacture of plant based protein foods and dairy substitutes within New Zealand along with manufacturing partners from the Chinese and Korean communities.
Since 2000 Trevor has been working with The Warehouse Group primarily overseeing its quality, labour and environmental assurance programmes within its Asian supply chain especially in China.
Trevor has travelled extensively within China, is familiar with its contemporary and ancient history, is a long time practitioner of Tai Chi and other Asian mind body systems. A close observer of New Zealand’s multifaceted relationship with the PRC.
Trevor lives in Gulf Harbour Auckland along with his wife Emily – a Chinese Citizen and New Zealand permanent resident.
George began his media career in London as a newspaper reporter and scriptwriter for cinema documentaries. He returned to Wellington to complete his Bachelor of Commerce degree before joining the first generation of producers, interviewers, and presenters on radio’s Checkpoint and televisions Gallery and other current affairs and documentary programmes. He was back in London for three years as a writer for BBC television news before returning to New Zealand for good to become a prolific producer of documentaries — specialising in New Zealand and Pacific history.
He is a three times winner of the best documentary award and his programmes have been selected for film festivals worldwide. In 2002 he was made a member of the New Zealand Order
of Merit for services to television.
He joined the NZCFS in 2004 and is a past president of Auckland branch and former National Vice President. In 2013 he led the first ever New Zealand media tour to Shanghai and Beijing.
Dani & Tee Hao-Aickin
Auckland-based duo Ersha Island is made up of two Chinese-Kiwi songwriters who are trying to make music that reflects their biracial upbringings. Siblings Dani and Tee create soul-pop compositions with their classical piano and violin backgrounds, with a history of performing at GRRRL FEST in Hamilton and a future of releasing music in both English and Mandarin to promote Asian works in Aotearoa.
David Mahon is the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Mahon China Investment Management Ltd, and has lived in China since 1984.
Mahon China is one of the longest-established foreign-owned investment and advisory firms on the Chinese Mainland. It has a history in private equity in a range of sectors, and is currently General Partner of its fifth private equity fund. Mahon China also has a long track record in investment advisory and mergers and acquisitions. Its main focus is in the agriculture, food & beverage, and specialised manufacturing sectors. The company has wide experience in market entry and fundraising, and undertakes specialised economic and commercial research on behalf of clients.
Mr Mahon writes and publishes China Watch, a quarterly review of China’s political, economic and social developments, and the China New Zealand Report. He is also a regular commentator in the Chinese and international news media.
Liam Dann is one of New Zealand’s most respected business journalists. He was Business Editor for eight years before moving to a more expansive role as Business Editor at Large in 2016.
He writes opinion and commentary covering markets, economics and politics.
He is also host of the podcast Money Talks and video show Market Watch.
Liam has been a journalist for 25 years, covering business for the last 20 of them.
He has worked in the Banking Sector in London and travelled extensively.
Liam has travelled to China five times on media programmes, including with the NZ China Friendship Society.
Chris Lipscombe is an experienced international marketer, business development manager, and project delivery specialist with a successful background in design, publishing, IT, and local government. Chris has worked for clients in New Zealand, Australia, United States, UK, Singapore, and Dubai, and has provided marketing support to many of New Zealand’s largest companies.
- For 20 years his company Ground Zero provided strategic planning and business support services to companies entering the Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean and South Korean markets.
- His government experience includes working as General Manager, Creative Business and Technology with the Wellington regional economic development agency, Manager Economic Development with Porirua City, and Product Owner with Te Tumu Paeroa Office of the Māori Trustee.
- Chris has formerly served as Co-chair of China and New Zealand Business Council (CANZBC), Director of NZ China Trade Association (NZCTA), and President of Wellington Xiamen Association (WXA).
- Chris is currently President of New Zealand China Cross-border Electronic Commerce Foundation (NZCCC) and Trustee of the NZ Chinese Language Week Trust (NZCLWT).
- Chris is also Wellington Branch President and Vice President (Central) of the NZ China Friendship Society (NZCFS).
Chris has a Bachelor of Arts (History) from University of Canterbury, a Diploma in Business (Marketing) from Auckland University Business School, and a Master of International Relations (with Distinction) from Victoria University of Wellington.
Business journalist Rod Oram contributes weekly to Newsroom and Newstalk ZB. He is a public speaker on deep sustainability, business, economics, and innovation. Rod is a member of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, which brings together people from here and abroad who seek to contribute to global change from Aotearoa.
Rod’s climate journalism has been recognised in the Global 2022 Covering Climate Now Awards. He received an Honourable Mention in the commentary category, with the judges saying: “With humour, crisp writing, and thorough analysis, Oram guides the reader through the many players and agendas behind the climate pledges by corporations.”
In Citigroup’s annual global journalism awards, Rod was the winner in 2019 in the General Business category in the Australia and NZ region for his columns in Newsroom on Fonterra; and he was the NZ Journalist of the year.
In the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association Business Journalism Awards, Rod won the Business Commentary category in 2018 and 2020 for his Newsroom columns.
Rod was a founding trustee and the second chairman of Ākina Foundation, which helps social enterprises develop their business models in areas of sustainability. He remains actively involved with the foundation and the ventures it supports.
In 2016, Bridget Williams Books published Rod’s most recent book, Three Cities: Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene, details at bwb.co.nz/books/three-cities
In 2020, Rod contributed a chapter to 100% Pure Future: New Zealand Tourism Renewed, https://www.bwb.co.nz/books/100-pure-future/ another BWB Text.In 2021, Rod contributed a chapter on land use, agriculture and food to Climate Aotearoa: What’s happening and what we can do about. This collection of essays was edited by Helen Clark, the former NZ Prime Minister and head of the United Nations Development Programme, and published by Allen & Unwin.
Hi! I’m Jake and I am the student president at Massey Albany, and a qualified primary teacher, with experience teaching locally and in Shanghai. This year, Sylvia and I are running for the Albany Ward councillor seats, and I am running for Hibiscus and Bays local board. I am really passionate about community development, languages and culture, and I can speak Chinese.
Jessica founded United Media Solution, a full service marketing agency, in 2011. Based primarily in Shanghai, Jessica leads a cross-culture team of experts, focusing on leading overseas brands and businesses to succeed in the challenging Chinese market.
Jessica’s experience working in Australia and New Zealand, and travelling extensively for business has developed her strong understanding of western brands and markets, as well as her in-depth knowledge of the Chinese market. This rare perspective enables Jessica to build stong partnerships with overseas brands and ensure clients are empowered to raise their profile in the highly competitive Chinese market. This year, Jessica won the ‘New Zealand Women in Leadership Award’ of Australia-New Zealand Community Awards 2022.
Recently, Jessica has found a new love for testing out her cooking skills, along with jogging and gym for balance.
United Media Solution operates from 6 offices: Auckland, Melbourne, Ningbo, Shenzhen and Sydney, and has provided its services to over 500 brands, including Air New Zealand, Austrade, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, DeBeers Group, Education New Zealand, Hellas Group, Populous, Swissmem, University of Nottingham and Vodafone.
Andy was born and raised in New Zealand and graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a triple major in Media Studies, Political Science and Chinese. Thanks to the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia, he completed his master’s in Chinese Language and Culture at Shanghai’s Fudan University.
During his master’s study, Andy worked as an intern at Shanghai Daily and was offered full-time employment upon graduation. He is now in his fifth year there, where he works as a weekly columnist and produces videos and short documentaries. His new series, Reports on China (外媒看中国), analyzes how Western media report on China. It is quickly gaining a following online, with China’s Foreign Ministry Spokespeople Hua Chunying (华春莹) and Zhao Lijian (赵立坚) promoting it on her official Twitter accounts.
Andy has won many awards for his film making in recent years, including a Best Director award for a short documentary on Rewi Alley (路易艾黎), a fellow New Zealander who came to China nearly 100 years ago and made a huge contribution to the building of the New China. He was also recognized this year by the Shanghai Government Media Awards for a short video he made comparing the COVID response strategies of New Zealand and China that went viral online.
Apart from his work with Shanghai Daily, Andy also contributes regularly to other media including CGTN, CCTV, China Radio International, China Daily, People’s Daily, and so on.
As a young person, I had never thought much about China until the opportunity to do a 6-month teaching placement came up, and I thought it could be a good gap year experience. I couldn’t speak a word of Chinese but I got on a plane, and didn’t come home for two years.
My experience in China changed my life, it gave me a better understanding and admiration for Chinese people, a deep love for Chinese history, and the most amazing friends, and experiences. I believe China is a misunderstood country, and from the experience I had, I want to be able to shed a light on what I see to be the real China. I believe everyone deserves to know more about a country that is so prominent in today’s world. To be able to love and understand a place is one thing, but to share this love and understanding with others is another.
Charlie Gao is the Director of the North Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence, a New Zealand Government-funded agency hosted at the University of Auckland. North Asia CAPE’s mission is to support New Zealanders to become more knowledgeable, capable, connected, and ultimately more successful in the region.
Charlie previously spent ten years in the private sector, where he led multicultural teams and advised businesses and organisations at a senior level on strategic and commercial matters.
Charlie was the managing partner of a New Zealand-owned, China-focused investment & advisory firm. He led advisory mandates for companies such as Zespri, Weta Workshop, Les Mills International, and Fonterra, and managed assets on behalf of the development finance banks of Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
Charlie has BSc, BA(Hons), and MA(Hons) degrees from the University of Auckland, and speaks English and Mandarin as first languages.