Simon Deng Li
Born to prominent army leaders in the mid 1950s, Simon graduated from China Central Radio and TV University. He then saw the opportunities in the opening business environment in China.
He began his business administration career in a renowned state owned enterprise, where he learned more about Rewi Alley and his contribution to China. He moved to Shenzhen in 1983 when Shenzhen was one of the initial Special Economic Zones. There, he became the director of one of the five businesses in China charged with importing necessary technology for China’s catch up phase of entering the global economy. Simon gained a high level of experience in international business and has since been the Vice President of the Shenzhen General Chamber of Commerce.
Simon became a New Zealand resident in 2000. In recent years he has devoted to arts and cultural exchange between New Zealand and China. Simon is the founder and chairman of Rainbow China Culture and Media Group (NZ) Limited. He has helped bring many leading Chinese cultural groups and arts exhibitions to New Zealand. Rainbow China Culture and Media Group (NZ) Limited is a strategic partner of the China Literature and Art Foundation. In future, the Group will organize many more arts and cultural exchange activities for the people of both countries to enjoy.
In 2012, Mr Deng Li and NZCFS entered into a joint Memorandum of Understanding to establish The Simon Deng Li Fund. Over 5 years, a sum of 1 million RMB will be available to the NZCFS, with 200,000 RMB being available on October 1st of each year.
All funds will be used to assist the NZCFS consolidate and deepen friendship between the peoples of China and New Zealand, especially in the fields of art and culture.
As of early 2014, eight projects have been supported by the Simon Deng Li Fund. For more details click here.
Hon Philip Burdon
Mr Burdon – Patron of the New Zealand China Friendship Society Incorporated – has had a distinguished career across the fields of law, business and politics. A Canterbury University law graduate, he moved into the private sector in 1970 establishing a successful food-processing company and is a leading member of the New Zealand business community, holding positions on the boards of several New Zealand and Australian corporates.
His political career began as the centre-right National Party member for his local electorate in 1981. Appointed to the New Zealand Cabinet in 1990, he held a number of portfolios including Minister of Commerce, Minister for State-Owned Enterprises and Minister for Trade Negotiations, until retiring from politics in 1996. Highlights of his ministerial service include leading New Zealand’s successful negotiations through the various stages of the GATT Uruguay Round and helping build New Zealand’s relationships with Asian trade partners. He represented New Zealand as Trade Minister at important milestones in the development of APEC: the first meeting of APEC economic Leaders on Blake Island in 1993; the Bogor Declaration of 1994; the Osaka Action Agenda of 1995; and the Manila Action Plan for APEC adopted in 1996.
Mr Burdon has pursued his interest in New Zealand’s relationship with the Asia-Pacific region as Chairman of the Asia 2000 Foundation of New Zealand (now Asia New Zealand Foundation – Asia:NZ) (1996-01), Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council (1999) and member of the International Advisory Board for Hong Kong Policy Research Institute, prior to returning as Chairman of Asia:NZ.