Waikato Asia Engagement Strategy

Prepared by Eastern Bridge Limited
for Waikato Local Authority clients.






















Simon Appleton

Chief Executive

Eastern Bridge LimitedNZ



Executive Summary


The Waikato is one of New Zealand�s most populous and
prosperous regions. The area has enjoyed strong growth over the past decade.
Asia and Asian migrants, students and tourists have played an important
contribution in the Waikato�s prosperity.


There is an opportunity for the region to work
collaboratively to increase its engagement with Asia, as well as support its
Asian communities to become a welcoming region � welcoming for people to live,
work, visit and do business. The opportunity further extends to locals, who can
also benefit from being better informed and linked with Asia.


In terms of Economic Development there are four key


  • investment
    and business attraction;
  • international
    students attraction [export education];
  • export
    facilitation; and,
  • tourism


Not all benefits are restricted to economic growth, there are
also substantial community/social benefits:


  • language
  • increased
    community integration;
  • improved
    flows of information;
  • exchanges;
  • cultural


As outlined in the strategy there are several enablers to
allow the participating councils to reach this goal. These include:


A Waikato Information Portal – a multilingual (English, Chinese, Korean,
Japanese, Vietnamese and Russian) news and information resource, e-store,
student recruitment system and business directory designed for the Waikato
region and participating local authorities.
The portal already been adopted
by multiple Waikato councils and is recognized as a key piece of �soft
infrastructure� by Local Government New Zealand to enable regions to prosper;


Sister Region (Province) Relationship
– taking a collaborative approach and developing a Waikato regional
relationship with province. The proposed province is Guangdong, one of China�s
most affluent areas. Guangdong Provincial Government as well as several cities
have confirmed their desire to participate. The relationship would also include
district � city connections but will be proactively driven at the regional
level. As seen with the Bay of Plenty � Jiangxi Relationship, this
collaborative approach has far greater success at supporting economic and
exchange initiatives.


Regional Promotion Centre � As with
the Bay of Plenty Center in Nanchang City, this facility would be a physical
space for the Region�s businesses, schools, councils and community
organisations to access the Chinese market. The centre will become an important
conduit between the Waikato and Guangdong facilitating trade, visitor and
student attraction and encouraging inward investment. Cultural and education
programmes will be based around the centre further raising the profile of the
Waikato Region.



Resourcing capability building across the Waikato is also
critical to the success of a regional approach to international relations, this
would include:


� Ensuring council staff, elected officials, key stakeholders and businesses
have a satisfactory knowledge of the opportunities offered through the region�s
international relationships. Providing practical and common-sense guidance for
businesses on how to do business in Asia and point them in the right direction
to get started;


Intelligence & Risk Management � To conduct regular analysis of the
opportunities presented through a collaborative international approach; conduct
due-diligence on businesses from Asia coming into the Waikato; run regular
surveys to ensure participating councils understand how Asian migrants,
visitors and students integrate within their districts.


International Communications �
Creating a structure and schedule around international communications will help
to keep the relationship active. Taking a regional communication approach (adhering
to a �Waikato narrative�) will add greater weight to the relationship while
also sharing the time burden.


Delegation Management � Collective
management of both the outward and inward delegations will reduce the cost on
individual councils and enable an emphasis on tangible outcomes. The Mayoral
led delegations can also play an important role supporting businesses and
schools when they are included.





The Waikato International Relations programme will be managed
by the Eastern Bridge International Relations Manager.The manager will be responsible for the
delivery of the strategy and the actions identified by the Waikato local
authority participants.

The International Relations Manager is supported by the Eastern Bridge IR team.
The team brings together a wide range of skills and knowledge including in
areas of translation and communication, IT and software development, education,
investment, tourism, trade and marketing.


Time input from the individual councils will be minimal. Each
council would provide a contact person who will forward any relevant
information or documentation to the appropriate council staff or elected
official. Mayors, elected officials will be called upon for feedback on the
strategy, and on occasion attend official events or participate in a




Each participating local authority will share the cost of the
management and delivery of the strategy.
For more information relating to cost, please contact the International
Relations Manager.



Next steps:


Initial discussions on the establishment of a Waikato
Regional approach to International Relations, and the development of a sister
province relationship were started in mid-2019. While there is strong interest
from Guangdong Province to develop such a relationship � this interest will
fade should there not be any progress made in the coming months.


Individual Waikato councils interested in participating
should inform the International Relations manager at Eastern Bridge in writing






confirm with the Eastern Bridge International Relations Manager if they will
participate in the IR strategy and Hongi information portal.




identify a key person of contact within their organisation.



provide a formal letter authorising the International Relations Manager to
promote their international engagement


International Relations Manager � produce

Council � to sign letter


identify the key priority areas of focus for the Region arising from the
Council�s existing and future international relationships.


International Relations Manager


provide feedback on this strategy or accept the document as it is



To present
a full work plan for progressing this Strategy and the Waikato Region�s
International relationships.

  • International Relations


To formally agree to the work plan

  • Council




How do Councils benefit from their investment?


The Strategy

The council will be included in the work done as part of
the International Relations strategy;

International Relations Manager

The council�s contribution will fund the International
Relations Manager and support staff who will undertake the activities
outlined in the strategy.


Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean, Japanese,
Vietnamese, Thai, Russian


Regional training will be provided as part of the strategy
however individual councils can also request training for their staff,
officials or community.

Due-diligence and market intelligence

Due-diligence and market intelligence � including the annual
migrant perceptions survey will be conducted under the strategy, however,
individual councils can request due diligence or research on request.

Hongi Portal

A multilingual news and information
resource, e-store, student recruitment system and business directory designed
for the Waikato region and participating local authorities.

Hongi News

Promoting positive news stories about New Zealand and the

Hongi for Councils

A site which sits within the Hongi Portal for the client
Council covering �visit�, �live�, �work / do business� and �civic�
categories. The site includes e-store showcasing local products, business
directories, community directory, local news and weather, community
discussion forum, galleries and in-depth information about the district.

Hongi Business

Businesses within the client�s district can have a free
listing in their relevant council business directory; Alternatively, they can
have a professional four-page multi-lingual site within the portal for the
preferential price of $250 per business (no commission, no booking fees, or
admin or hosting costs)

Hongi Education

An automated system for local schools to enroll and manage
international students.

Hongi Marketing

Social media marketing and influences in Asia to drive
viewers to the Hongi portal. Target audience are mostly 22-45 years old,
middle / upper middle-class professionals and have some level of








3.1 Why be domestically engaged. 5

3.2 Asian impressions of the Waikato Region.. 6




5.1.1 Sister-Region Relationship. 9

5.1.2 Regional Promotion Centre. 11

5.1.3 Information Portal. 12


5.2.1 Language Promotion. 15

5.2.2 EXCHANGES. 17

5.2.3 Cultural Preservation. 19


5.3.1 Tourism. 21

5.3.2 Export Education. 23

5.3.3 Trade. 25

5.3.4 Investment. 27



6.1.1 Training. 31

6.1.2 Market Intelligence. 32

6.1.3 Communications: International Partner Engagement. 34

6.1.4 Communications: Local Engagement. 34

6.2 DELIVERY. 35

6.2.1 Outward Delegations. 35

6.2.2 Inward Delegations. 37


6.3.2 Budgets. 42




10. APPENDIX 1 -Guangdong Province. 46



1.���������� ABOUT


This strategy, developed by Eastern Bridge
Limited, an International Relations Management company specialising in
assisting New Zealand local governments, presents a framework for the Waikato
Councils to successfully engage with Asia and the Asian community based in New


This document provides a
high-level overview of opportunities for the Waikato , as well as actions for
this to be achieved. More in-depth information, reports and a range of
supporting resources are available to Eastern Bridge�s local government clients
via the website:




2.�������� OBJECTIVES


The key objectives of this
strategy are:


To provide a high-level overview of the steps
needed to enhance the Mighty Waikato�s internationala
spirations for developing mutually beneficial relationships
with Asia and Asian communities – both internationally and domestically. As
well as
to identify key stakeholders, a budget and management structure;


To identify opportunities for the Region by
maximising the advantages already offered by existing domestic and
international links and expanding them;


To examine the current state of the Waikato�s
connectedness with Asia;

To highlight the benefits which will accrue to the
Region�s local authorities when they cooperate to engage with partner cities
and regions in Asia;


To provide a framework for measuring success
through identifying performance indicators.










Few local authorities in New Zealand are proactive in the field of
international relationships, with only four maintaining their own internal
foreign affairs department. There has been a great deal of debate within local
government about its role in international relations. This is not the case
internationally, where increasingly district, city and regional governments are
engaging in foreign diplomacy with the objective of increasing trade and
cultural links. In some cases, governments have established overseas offices.
For many New Zealand local authorities, the cost of maintaining an
international office can be prohibitive. There are, however, a number of cost
efficient ways for district councils to develop meaningful international
linkages without a large investment. The question is do the costs outweigh the


While New Zealand Central Government and its internationally-focused
organisations, such as Tourism New Zealand, Education New Zealand, New Zealand
Trade and Enterprise, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, promote
New Zealand Inc, it isn�t their role to micromanage aspects of individual
councils (this may happen coincidently on occasion). Within New Zealand, it is
local authorities that are tasked with knowing their own communities, their
strengths and opportunities, in a way which Central Government is unable to.


In most Asian countries local governments are
influential in a range of aspects including commerce, education, environment
and international relations. H
aving a Mayor involved with or endorsing a
business, event, or promotion will add enormous credibility to the venture. The
office of a New Zealand Mayor can initiate approaches for local businesses to
explore new markets by maintaining a close working relationship with their
local government counterparts in Asia. New Zealand councils can help to build a
platform from which new ventures may be launched.


This strategy will cover in detail many of the opportunities which
engagement with Asia has to offer.These
may be categorised in two ways: economic development and non-economic, or
social benefits. Both are key components of a meaningful and sustainable

The economic development opportunities include:


  • export education
  • tourism
  • investment
  • business attraction
  • attracting skilled
  • and facilitating


Non-economic, or social benefits include:

  • demonstrating that
    the local community is welcoming to new ideas and to migrants
  • facilitate links for
    young people to explore global opportunities
  • grow opportunities
    for students to learn about new cultures and languages
  • support community
    organisations to develop international links
  • and support schools
    to grow international links


Councils can pull together the many organisations and businesses within
its area which have already developed international links, to assist them to
act cooperatively and strategically adding weight of numbers to their efforts.





3.1 Why be
domestically engaged



Asian migrants in New Zealand play an important role both
economically and socially. The average Asian resident is higher qualified, less
likely to be unemployed or receiving government benefits, less likely to commit
crime and less likely to be reliant on on-going medical assistant than
non-migrants. This same migrant group is more likely to be either in full time
employment or own a business. [1]
The bottom line is, while there is significant fearmongering in the New Zealand
media around Asian immigration, the data would show that on average they
provide a positive contribution to our communities.


According to data collected at the 2018 census, and by the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tourism New Zealand and Education New Zealand
there is an average of 240,000 Chinese language speakers in New Zealand at any
given time. There are also sizeable Korean and Japanese populations.



Language (not country)[2]

Resident (2018)

Visitor (2018)

Student (2018)























By engaging with the resident and transient Asian communities
in New Zealand councils will be able to influence their decisions when
considering travel destinations, looking for employment or considering where to
open a business. The migrant communities, visitors and international students
also play an important role as a conduit back to their home countries which in
turn can lead to further tourism, international students or investment.

3.2 Asian impressions of the Waikato Region.



According to the annual Eastern Bridge: Asia Perceptions
Survey, the Waikato Region is a fairly welcoming region for Asian migrants,
students and visitors. The number one concern by respondents was their
inability to access reliable information about the region or its communities in
their own language. The lack of Asian language support is an inhibitor to
visitors, international students, businesspeople or skilled migrants engaging
with the region.



Welcoming Community
This is the overall score the region gained in the survey

Welcoming travel destination
This score indicates how survey respondents felt about the district as a
tourism destination.

This score indicates how survey respondents feel about the district as a
place to live � for example access to amenities, shops, affordable housing.

Ease of accessing healthcare
This score indicates how survey respondents feel about the quality of the
districts healthcare system and how easily they can access health services.

Education satisfaction
This score indicates how the survey respondents feel about the local school
quality, communication with the staff and the inclusiveness of the students.

Ease of finding employment
This score indicates how the survey respondents feel about the area�s
employment offerings, including the ease of finding a job, remuneration
compared to local living expenses and work-life balance.




About the Eastern Bridge Migrant Perceptions Survey:


The Annual Migrant Perceptions survey has been held every
year since 2017. The survey reviews 20 regions and subregions around New
Zealand. The survey takes a random sample of 2,000 respondents with no less
than 100 from each region / subregion. The survey is taken in Chinese, Korean
and Japanese language.


4.���������� WHY WORK


a meaningful international relationship can be a burden on district council
particularly for those councils with small rating bases. New Zealand
councils are far smaller, both geographically and in population than their
counterparts in Asia. With these two major points in mind, it makes sense for
local government to work collaboratively as a region, when engaging in
international relationships. Their shared resources will allow for more active
engagement and their increased scale makes them a far more attractive partner
for Asian cities.


New Zealand, in Asia, Regional (or Provincial) governments are responsible for
several administrative functions. They undertake many of the activities for which
our Central Government is responsible. When New Zealand local government
collaborates at a regional (or sub-regional) level, there is a more realistic
opportunity to engage with provincial governments in Asia. The provincial
government can enable and support far more activities than those of city
governments, meaning more opportunities for cooperation.





Regional Cooperation



  • To
    establish an active and mutually beneficial sister-region relationship;
  • To
    promote economic development initiatives through an international
  • To
    have welcoming communities with an understanding of Asia.



  • Existing
    relationships in East Asia
  • A
    desire within the Region for councils to collaborate;
  • An
    increase in scale arising from councils working together;
  • Councillors
    familiar with the process of sharing resources through existing shared
  • A
    preference in Asia for relationships at a regional level.



  • A
    larger scale by working together and more political credibility;
  • Saving
    money through shared use of resources;
  • Greater
    scope for economic, education and cultural exchange;
  • The
    Mayors of each local authority within the Region could take turns
    leading delegations into Asia and sharing the cost and time
  • Community
    groups and businesses from each participating council within the region
    can benefit from the regional approach;
  • Greater
    credibility through operating at a regional level;
  • To
    develop a sister � region relationship



  • Parochialism;
  • Councils
    have different aspirations for international relations
  • Difference
    in ability to fund activities



  • Individual
    councils do not want to cooperate or contribute
  • Individual
    councils do not share their contacts, or are not open about their
    international activities;
  • Individuals
    hijack relationships with the international partners;
  • That
    communities do not wish to be involved in what has previously been
    regarded as another district�s relationship

5.���������� OPPORTUNITIES


Whilst it is common to think in terms of Central Government�s role in
international relations, local government also has an important role to play
through harnessing international connections to promote community and economic
development outcomes at the local level. While many councils already maintain
sister-city relationships, these are often managed in a silo, for example
focusing only on economics while not considering the civic, cultural or
language opportunities. It is important to look at international relations in a
holistic manner , promoting education and understanding at a community level
while also reaching out to international partners to encourage economic
exchange and promote cultural and educational outcomes. Ignoring certain
aspects of an international relationship will inevitably compromise its


This strategy identifies ten opportunities that are available to the
Region, which have been segmented into three loosely defined categories:


Enablers, tools with
which to grow connectivity and leverage outcomes from having an international


Community Development,
providing education and understanding of our international partners; providing
opportunities for our community to become more internationalised, while also
sharing our culture with our partners; and

Economic Development,
encouraging sustainable business links with international partners to create
meaningful employment and growing local prosperity. All the opportunities are interlinked.









Region Relationship



Promotion Centre

















5.1������������ ENABLERS


5.1.1��������� Sister-Region


Within the
Region: Hamilton, Taupo, Hauraki and Waitomo have established sister-cities
with Asian partners. In all cases these relationships are either inactive or
confined to basic education and cultural exchange. Hamilton, Taupo and Hauraki
councils have semi-regular (at least once every two year) meetings with their
partners, however these engagements usually revolve around political
pleasantries, at the Mayoral level.


Waikato councils struggle to maintain an active engagement with their
international partners for a number of reasons. These include the cost of
resourcing regular contact, particularly the availability of elected officials
and council staff to travel to those partner cities; access to appropriately
skilled and knowledgeable personnel who can manage these relationships while
also liaising with local stakeholders; and the disparity in scale between New
Zealand cities and their international counterparts. In the case of China, it
isn�t uncommon to have a 100-fold difference in population or economic output.


For the
reasons outlined above it is sensible for Councils to collaborate, sharing the
resourcing burden while also maximising their scale.A practical way of achieving this is through
the development of Sister-Region (or Sister-Province) relationships.


For such a
regional approach to be successful it is important for the Councils to work
together, sharing a unified strategy for engagement with their sister province.
It is also important that they act as a unified group and not undermining each
other�s efforts.


A working model of a New Zealand
sister province relationship is between the Eastern Bay of Plenty districts of
Whakatane, Opotiki and Kawerau and Jiangxi province. The relationship was
formalised in 2019 and is actively managed by Eastern Bridge Limited.

Outcomes from the relationship


  • a
    scholarship fund and cultural grant being established
  • a
    Jiangxi produced television documentary about the Bay of Plenty
  • and
    the launching of a Bay of Plenty promotion centre in Jiangxi with a
    planned reciprocal campus for the Eastern Bay of Plenty.


While current economic projects are
on hold due to the Covid19 pandemic, discussions have been held between schools
to support more fee-paying international student recruitment, two significant
investment projects and a joint television production to promote tourism.







Sister Regions



  • Establish
    an overarching sister province relationship between the Waikato and a provincial
    government in Asia;
  • Establish
    / maintain sister city relationships between the districts as well as
    the cities within the partner province;
  • Utilise
    the sister province relationship to enable economic, cultural, and
    educational outcomes outlined in this document;
  • Maintain
    an efficient and affordable management structure through the shared use
    of resources and personnel



  • Supportive
    Local Governments with an understanding of the importance of economic
  • Established
    relationships with China and Japan within the region;
  • Strength
    and increased capacity through collaboration;
  • Clearly
    defined relational boundaries;
  • A
    greater number of potential exporters, educational establishment and
    business opportunities when working as a Region;
  • Minimal
    additional cost over maintaining an existing sister-city relationship.



  • Develop
    an overarching sister province relationship, while also maintaining
    sister city partner within that region;
  • A
    demand from Asia for increased local government diplomacy;
  • Provinces
    in Asia, especially China, are comparable in population and economic
    output to most European countries;
  • More
    opportunities for businesses thanks to a larger market;
  • A
    greater variety of local services and products for Asian consumers to
    choose from;
  • A
    reduced burden on individual councils and elected officials to resource
    and provide their time to the relationship;
  • Access
    to Provincial level government in Asia which: opens up funding
    opportunities; offers potential for privileged access to overseas
    markets for the Region�s businesses; and raises the statue of the
    international relationship



  • A
    history of parochialism which could derail the unified regional
  • A
    financial commitment by all Councils involved;
  • Lack
    of Asia Savvy people who are au fait with conducting international
  • A
    low level of, but significant, prejudice toward Asia and Asians;
  • Lack
    of understanding of what Asian regional governments are looking for.



  • Unwillingness
    for individual councils to collaborate or to resource the initiative;
  • Changes
    in the political environment and consequent loss of interest in the
  • Economic
    returns are slow and Councils lose interest;
  • That
    the private sector doesn�t support the initiative;
  • That
    Councils rush into a relationship without appropriate research and
    planning covering the tangible ways in which the partnership can work.


5.1.2��������� Regional
Promotion Centre


There are
a small number of cities internationally, which have established city or
regional, promotional offices in their Asian sister cities. London, New York,
Nottingham and the Eastern Bay of Plenty are four such examples. They chose to
establish offices in China to promote their cities, while providing their
business communities with a landing pad as they enter the Chinese market.


While ambitious, a Regional Promotional
Centre would provide a significant enabler for the promotion of the Region�s
economic, cultural and language ambitions in China.





Regional Promotion Centre



To establish a regional Centre which will be used to
promote the Regional Relationship as well as encourage greater economic,
cultural and education exchange.




  • (In
    certain circumstance) no financial cost to the participant councils;
  • The
    Centre would be a promotional tool to support the Council�s aspirations
    identified in this strategy;
  • The
    Centre would be a show of commitment to the Sister Region Relationship;
  • A
    landing pad for delegations and businesses heading to the sister region;
  • Proven
    model as demonstrated by the Bay of Plenty experience



  • To
    launch a Waikato Regional Centre in a partner province;
  • To
    use the centre to promote the Waikato as a destination for export
    education and tourism;
  • To
    use the centre as a landing-pad for New Zealand delegations when dealing
    in the region;
  • To
    use the office as a base to engage with importers and distributors to
    sell New Zealand products;
  • To
    use the office to hold investment attraction events;
  • To
    use the office to organise cultural activities;
  • To
    support New Zealand students who choose to study or live within the
  • To
    identify scholarship and work experience opportunities



  • May
    need to be run with a commercial partner (who will take any financial
    risk and cover the running costs)
  • Will
    rely on the good will of the partner provincial government;
  • Will
    require trust between the participating local governments in Asia and
    New Zealand as well as with (if any) the commercial partner



  • That
    the councils are unwilling to financially contribute and a reliable
    commercial partner isn�t forthcoming;
  • A
    commercial operator hijacks the relationship between the Waikato Region
    and Asian partner for their own use;
  • That
    New Zealand businesses, the local councils or community organisations do
    not utilise the facility sufficiently for it to be viable.



5.1.3 Information Portal



Communication is critical in raising
awareness of the Region. It is important that participating organisations work
collaboratively to develop a �Waikato� narrative when promoting the Region.
Few organisations in the
Waikato have embraced a multi-lingual approach, even promotional organisations
tasked with marketing to international audiences only have partial translations
� insufficient to fulfil the needs of the user.


A common argument made by
council staff is that migrant communities in New Zealand speak English. While
highly inaccurate, for those who do speak English, accessing information in
their native language is more comfortable and decreases the risk of
misunderstanding. Language is a major barrier for Asian migrants to integrate
into New Zealand communities. Those who are not native speakers often feel
isolated or excluded from the community. The Covid19 lock-down in March � May
2020 highlighted how vulnerable this community is as many were unaware of the
rules or their rights.


The portal is available in
English, as well as Chinese (simplifies), Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and


As an international
marketing tool, a language portal can raise New Zealand�s profile.
Participating regions and communities can showcase their unique attributes. The
reality is few people in Asia know much about New Zealand. In a survey
conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade the main attributes
associated with New Zealand are: natural environment, free-country, rugby,
milk, honey and kiwi(fruit); while not negative connotations, there is more to
New Zealand which we should be promoting.


Non-local government stakeholders in
the relationship should also be able to participate in building the Waikato
narrative. Stakeholders why may wish to contribute could be Iwi, Regional
Tourism Organisations, Economic Development Agencies, schools, or individual


Such an information portal
can enable a range of opportunities for the participant councils: showcasing
towns and regions, providing positive news stories, selling local products
(both domestically and internationally), attracting international students and
tourists; and providing the information needed for business people to make
decisions about relocating or investing. The portal can also support community
cohesiveness by providing a platform for incoming migrants and locals to engage
and communicate, a platform the councils to communicate important messages or
promote community events.


A Waikato Information
portal is already under development with uptake from several local
authorities.For the portal to be a
success it will need continued support from the region.







Local stakeholder

Highlighting New Zealand�s comparative advantage to other countries

Introducing the Waikato Region and what sets it apart from other parts
of the country.

Introducing the individual district or city.

A healthcare
directory where GP offices, medical centres and other important healthcare
provides can be displayed.

Introducing national level rules and regulations which could affect
travellers, international students or Asian residents

Introducing the region�s tourism offering

Introducing the local tourism offering.

A tourism and
accommodation provider directory

National level news which would be relevant to Asian viewers (keeping
a balance of positive news stories to avoid giving a negative impression of
the country)

Introducing the region�s export education offering

Introducing the local export education offering, education providers
and resources about studying in New Zealand.

A school and education provider directory.


Introducing the region�s work, business and investment offering

Introducing the local work, business and investment offering.
Providing information on relevant by-laws, permits and licences.

A business directory where local businesses can be displayed.


Showcasing the region�s products

Showcasing the local products including a buy local e-store.


Providing regional news and current events

Providing local weather, news, current events and public notices




Providing a discussion form where interested parties can ask questions




Detailing council services and how residents can access them.





Information Portal




  • To
    create a single source for migrants to access information about the
  • To
    grow the region�s economic through increases trade, international
    education, tourism and inward investment
  • To
    support the Waikato to become New Zealand�s most welcoming region for
    Asian migrants and visitors



  • A
    pre-built plaform (Hongi)
  • No
    similar platform in New Zealand
  • Some
    other websites have translation � but no New Zealand site is as in depth
    as Hongi
  • Website
    and app
  • Approved
    to be viewed in China
  • Approved
    to receive WeChat Pay and Alipay payments from China
  • Partnerships
    with international influencers (totalling 7 million direct, and 700
    million indirect followers)
  • A
    supportive Local Government with an understanding of the importance of
    economic and community development;
  • Established
    relationships with China and Japan within the Region;




  • Promote
    a positive impression of the Waikato through positive news and engaging
  • Support
    local businesses to increase their domestic sales and exports through
    the e-store;
  • To
    assist international studnets already in the region by providing high
    quality information about the communities where they live;
  • To
    attract new international students into local schools, technical
    institutes and the region�s university;
  • Provide
    local businesses with a low cost means to increase their online presence
    in multiple languages;
  • Encourage
    more visitors to the region, both domestic (including Asian residents)
    and international;
  • To
    assist non-English speaking residents to access information about
    community events and public services;
  • Attract
    new business and investment by showcasing the areas business
    opportunities and economic advantages;
  • Develop
    high quality original content showcasing the region and individual



  • That
    there is a high establishment cost;
  • There
    are high ongoing operational costs (content creation and translation)



  • That
    councils do not wish to participate in the portal;
  • That
    the portal becomes blocked by China;
  • That
    the portal is not adequately marketed domestically or internationally;
  • That
    the portal cannot attract commercial operators to get a presence on the
  • That
    the portal does not attract users to the site






5.2�������� COMMUNITY


5.2.1��������� Language


Eight in
ten New Zealanders can only speak English and the number of students in New
Zealand studying a second language has been declining for over 20 years.
According to an Asia NZ report the number of senior secondary students studying
an Asian language has declined by 34 percent between 2012 and 2016. This figure
is concerning in view of the importance that Asia has for New Zealand. Already,
New Zealand companies are struggling to employ New Zealanders with the language
and cultural skills to engage with China, Japan and Korea.


New Zealanders have huge advantages when working abroad, particularly in Asia
where they are obviously �foreign�. In Asia, a �foreigner� who speaks their
language can usually command a far higher salary than a foreigner who only
speaks English and there are a wider range of employment opportunities in Asian


For New
Zealanders to perceive Asians as potential partners rather competitors and a
threat it is important that cultural and linguistic awareness is improved and
the benefits of cooperation between New Zealand and Asia are understood.


Zealand has a strong demand for Asian language speaking New Zealanders in a
range of sectors including tourism, education, trade, finance, banking and
entertainment. Currently most roles requiring Asian speakers are taken by
migrants of Asian descent.


Communities are led by their councils, with the Waikato local
authorities taking an active interest in being Asia ready their residents will
follow. Through the likes of the regional relationship, there will be increased
opportunities for residents to travel into Asia and experience the language and
culture first-hand. There will be greater connectivity between Waikato schools
and their counterparts in Asia providing more exposure of Asian languages to
the students. Business operators will see the importance of having staff with a
degree of foreign language ability and will encourage training.


Councils can further assist by promoting community language
classes or encouraging schools to start Asian language programmes.








Language Promotion



  • To
    provide opportunities for youth to experience a foreign culture and
  • To
    have a culturally aware and tolerant community;
  • To
    provide local youth with opportunities for study and future employment;
  • To
    have an ethnically and culturally diverse community.





  • A
    supportive local government with an understanding of the importance of
    language education;
  • Within
    the Region established relationships with China and Japan
  • Multicultural
    organisations already operating in the Region;
  • Small
    but increasing migrant community with a willingness to share their
    language and cultural knowledge;
  • Funds
    available through embassies and NZ government to promote language and
    cultural interchange.



  • Encourage
    the teaching of Asian languages in schools;
  • Promote
    career opportunities in schools and polytechnics through awareness of
    potential employment for those students who are �Asia ready�;
  • Provide
    information about scholarships available for students to study in Asia;
  • Engage
    with local media to promote the benefits of learning an Asian language;
  • Promote
    sister-schools relationships to allow student exchanges;
  • Establish
    a Council-funded scholarship for local students to go on exchange



  • The
    required effort to promote language learning and manage language
  • A
    low base of Asian language proficiency
  • A
    low level of but significant prejudice towards Asia



  • Schools
    unwilling to promote Asian language education despite the employment
    opportunities which are opening up;
  • Backlash
    from the community who are concerned that Te-Reo will be overlooked;
  • Funding
    for language teachers will not be provided;
  • Funding
    for exchanges will not be provided;
  • Community
    concern over the increasing influence of China;
  • That
    schools focus on a token Asian language to the detriment of other
    important Asian languages;
  • Lack
    of qualified teachers available;
  • A
    too narrow focus on economic activities can led to neglect of wider
    cultural and educational outcomes.






5.2.2��������� EXCHANGES


are a great way to build people-to-people connections between countries through
sister and friendship cities. There are many forms that exchanges can take. The
most common exchanges are usually run for students. Sister school relationships
are popular and allow for students to connect online and to become modern day
�pen pals�, as well providing opportunities for students to travel to each
other�s schools.


exchanges are a good way to foster interest in other cultures and languages
amongst New Zealand students. Exchanges also open students� minds making them
receptive to new ideas and building aspirations. Greater understanding of
different cultures leads to diminished anxiety of the �other�. Incoming
students on short-term exchanges will experience New Zealand life and
educational environment. Some students choose to return as fee paying
international students.


There are
also exchanges for professional personnel, for example teachers, researchers,
engineers and in sectors where cross-pollination of ideas or a closer working
relationship can be of benefit to both countries.


Exchanges are not usually run on a
commercial basis, however there are often minor costs involved, for example for
airfares, visas, insurance and in some cases management fees for the


















Case Study:


There are schools in most
of the Waikato districts which provide some type of exchange programme.
Usually these exchanges will involve a small group of students going to Japan
or China for a week with a reciprocal group returning to New Zealand. In 2019
under the Eastern Bay of Plenty Sister Province relationship with Jiangxi a
scholarship and exchange fund was launched. The exchange programme included
two components: high school exchange � where students travel to Jiangxi for
two weeks, one of which involves intensive Chinese language and culture
training and a second week experiencing a Chinese high school environment.
The second, an internship programme for community leaders where they travel
to Jiangxi for one month undertaking two weeks of study at a university, then
placed in a work environment for two weeks. The work environment should
relate to their role in New Zealand, for example a local government employee
will be hosted in a local government in Jiangxi.












  • To
    promote opportunities for youth to experience a foreign culture and
  • To
    have a culturally aware and tolerant community;
  • To
    provide local youth with opportunities for study and future employment;
  • To
    have an ethnically and culturally diverse community.



  • A
    supportive local government with an understanding of the importance of
    cultural exchange;
  • Within
    the Region established relationships with China and Japan;
  • Multicultural
    organisations already operating in the Region;
  • A
    desire from Asian cultures to encourage exchange programmes.



  • Provide
    information about scholarships for student to study abroad;
  • Promote
    sister-school relationships to facilitate student exchanges;
  • Establish
    a Council funded scholarship for local students to participate in
  • Facilitate
    opportunities for cultural, music and sports exchanges with
    international counterparts.



  • Required
    effort and expertise in managing the programme;
  • Requires
    a long-term commitment with little tangible short term gain
  • There
    is a cost with no financial return



  • Students
    from economically challenged backgrounds may be excluded from
    participating unless they receive financial assistance;
  • That
    students are not motivated to go on such exchanges;
  • That
    New Zealand schools are unwilling to accept non-fee paying exchange
  • That
    NZ parents are unwilling to reciprocate by accommodating non-fee paying
    exchange students;
  • A
    too narrow focus on economic activities can lead to neglect of wider
    cultural and educational outcomes.








5.2.3��������� Cultural


A large part of what makes New
Zealand special is our unique cultural perspective and diversity. Many New
Zealanders do not understand the importance of our culture and this can be to
the detriment of NZ Inc. By sharing our local culture, we not only raise
awareness of New Zealand internationally, we also build our sense of identity
and pride in our communities.


China, which understands the
importance of cultural influence for its people and economy, has been engaged
in raising cultural awareness overseas for the past two decades. South Korea
and Japan also invest heavily in cultural promotion with Japanese pop-culture
gaining a massive following globally in the 1990s and South Korea K-Culture
currently dominating Asia and making strong waves into Europe and the


Whilst the Region cannot hope to
compete with the scale of cultural investment from the three Asian countries
above, there are opportunities for it to grow its influence with its sister and
friendship cities and regions. Many of these opportunities will be based on
Maori culture since this is New Zealand�s �point of difference�.




























Case Study:


An example of how New
Zealand local councils promote culture internationally is Whakatane District
under the Eastern Bay of Plenty provincial relationship with Jiangxi. Two
joint TV productions were approved: A short documentary about the Bay of
Plenty was filmed by Jiangxi TV in January 2020 and broadcast in June; a much
larger production is underway to develop a television series centring around
a group of Bay of Plenty people living in Jiangxi province.





Cultural Preservation



  • To
    increase international recognition of New Zealand and its local
  • To
    have pride within our communities for our indigenous culture;
  • To
    be aware of other cultures within our communities;
  • To
    have a tolerate and welcoming community for migrants and international
  • To
    have an Asia Ready business community.



  • A
    strong arts and cultural community within the Region;
  • Established
    sister-city relationships with partners who are willing to cooperate in
    development cultural programmes;
  • A
    supportive local government with an understanding of the importance of
    cultural diversity;
  • Multicultural
    organisations already operating in the Region including a strong Iwi
    component willing to share Maori culture;
  • Central
    Government funding available in certain circumstances.



  • Run
    reciprocal local arts or photo exhibitions with our friendship /
  • Facilitate
    local culture performance / Kapa Haka groups to perform internationally,
    while encouraging and promoting inward cultural performances;
  • Encourage
    commercial operators to develop inward and outward tour products to
    leverage off the sister / friendship city relationships;
  • Organise
    training events for local businesses focussing on �Asia Readiness�;
  • To
    encourage employers to be open to hiring Asians who are resident in our



  • Limited
    funding available;
  • Requires
    effort and expertise in managing cultural programmes;
  • Requires
    a long term commitment with little tangible short term gain;
  • In
    New Zealand there is a distaste for commercialising cultural activities
    which are perceived as a benefit to the community.



  • Commercial
    operators or individuals hijack the relationship through monopolising
  • A
    too narrow focus on economic activities can lead to neglect of wider
    cultural and educational outcomes;
  • Groups
    struggle to raise funds;
  • Cultural
    performances by visiting groups may not receive enthusiastic patronage
    which could cause embarrassment and loss of face.


5.3�������� ECONOMIC


5.3.1������ Tourism


to Tourism New Zealand data, international tourism is a $10 billion industry
for New Zealand, with the strongest growth in numbers and expenditure driven by
Asian countries, in particular Japan (up 23 percent) and Korea (up 90 percent)
in 2017. While the Covid19 pandemic has halted almost all international tourism
for 2020, there will be a slow recovery through 2021, with the industry
rebounding in 2022 � 2023. The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
predicts Asian will become the leading source of international travellers led
by China. There is also strong growth predicted from South Korea and Japan.





South Korea

Tourism Visitors




Tourism Economic Value

$1.46 billion

$271 million

$230 million

Largest Tourism Market





Note �
Table Information Is Derived From 2016 Data


majority of Asian visitors currently choose to visit only a few destinations:
Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Rotorua and Wellington. Hobbiton and
Waitomo Caves are popular attractions with Asian travellers, however the
visitor numbers are driven largely through organised tours where the visitor is
based in Rotorua. There is a slow increase in Free and Independent Travellers
(FITs) who choose to explore beyond the main tourism route. There are, however,
a number of hurdles, primarily access to information in their languages, as
well as the unpreparedness of local operators for Asian travellers.



Apart from
international visitors there are approximately 336,500 Chinese, Japanese and
Koreans residing in New Zealand either as resident or on long term visas. Most
of these migrants live in Auckland but with sizeable populations in
Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton. These groups provide an affluent market
for regional tourism operators. They generally have a higher level of language,
access to their own transport and are more confident about experiencing the
�real� New Zealand. They also come with the added benefit of providing a base
for their friends and family members from back home who, in their turn, can
become tourists to the regions.��



Waikato Region has several key hurdles to overcome when attracting more FIT
Asian travellers. According to the 2019 Migrant Perceptions Survey the Waikato
would benefit greatly by having more information about the region available in
Asian languages. While there are three Regional Tourism Organisations operating
in the Waikato: Waikato Tourism, Tourism Coromandel and Taupo Tourism, only
Taupo Tourism has expressed an interest to priorities becoming �Asia Ready�.
The second hurdle to attracting more Asian tourism to the Waikato is the lack
of high-quality tourism product � including accommodation and activities. While
the region has several key attractions such as: Zealong Tea Estate, Hobbiton,
Waitomo Caves, Wairakei Terraces � the region would benefit from more premium
tourism offerings.













  • To
    increase tourism;
  • To
    capture a higher visitor spend while providing value for money;
  • To
    attract investment into high quality tourism facilities geared to the
    Asian market.




  • A
    supportive Local Government with an understanding of the importance of
    economic and tourism development;
  • Established
    relationships with China and Japan within the Region;
  • An
    existing tourism industry;
  • Established
    annual events;
  • Can
    provide an authentic New Zealand experience including Maori culture;
  • A
    stable and temperate climate suitable for year-round tourism;
  • Advantages
    in niche tourism areas that are popular with Asian tourists, such as
    golf, cycling, fishing and hunting;
  • Venues
    suitable for events such as weddings etc.



  • Invest
    in development language and culturally appropriate marketing material;
  • Provide
    training to businesses to become �Asia Ready�.
  • Support
    businesses to improve their image with the Asian public;
  • Invite
    influencers to visit and blog about their experiences within the Region;
  • Attract
    Asia based media organisations to introduce the Region to their readers;
  • Engage
    with Asian based travel agencies to develop tourism products which
    include the Region;
  • To
    attract investment into Asian orientated tourism and hospitality



  • High
    cost of travel to the region;
  • Shortage
    of accommodation welcoming Asian visitors;
  • A
    shortage of tourism activities which generate revenue for the operator;
  • Businesses
    unprepared for Asian guests;
  • A
    low level of, but perceivable prejudice toward Asians (probably stemming
    from unfamiliarity);
  • Poor
    knowledge of the Region amongst Asian travel agencies and booking sites;
  • A
    lack of marketing information available in Asian languages.



  • External
    factors (for example political or pandemic) inhibit growth in Asian
  • Unprepared
    operators hurt the reputation of Asian tourism in the Waikato;
  • Asian
    tourists do not come to the Region.


5.3.2��������� Export


Education is New Zealand�s 4th largest export with a value of over $5.1 billion
and has created approximately 50,000 jobs. International students bring
substantial economic benefit to their host communities, paying fees to their
host school, paying for homestay or rented accommodation as well as spending
money. International students also contribute to New Zealand�s domestic tourism
market. Aside from their short-term economic contribution, international
students bring in new ideas and so assist with the diversification of our
communities. Many students who study in New Zealand return to their home
countries, becoming ambassadors for the New Zealand brand and contributing to
an international pool of talent from which New Zealand Inc can draw.


India, Korea and Japan make up our top four international student markets, with
Saudi and Korean students being the highest spenders per student in 2018.





Number of Students

Economic Value

Growth (by spend)




$1,920 Million





$300 Million

– 4%




$340 Million

+ 18%




$120 Million





$90 Million





The Export
Education industry involves language schools, private training enterprises,
polytechnics, universities, primary, intermediate and high schools as well as
individual operators. 80% of the export education market is centred in
Auckland. The Waikato region takes 6% ($280 million) of the export education
market, largely thanks to the University of Waikato.


Waikato region could become a major player in export education by promoting
study options in the region�s primary and high schools and promoting education
pathways through to tertiary study. Key inhibitors to growing the market
include a lack of information about the region�s schools and community services
and poor public transport connecting the district internally and to Hamilton.
The rail link between Hamilton and Auckland would play an important role in
enticing more international students from Auckland to the Waikato.





Case study


In 2019 a cluster
of Hawke’s Bay schools agreed to work collaboratively with Eastern Bridge. An
international student recruitment, enrollment and management system was
developed to assist the schools in attracting and enrolling international
students. In mid-2019 the system was trialled with a group of 40
international students from China. The system managed to process of the
student – allocating them a school, handling their application and enrollment
documentation and preparing required documentation for visas. The system was
used in late 2019 and early 2020 to successfully recruit 400 students. This
system has since been integrated with the Hongi Information Portal and is
available to Waikato schools.




Export Education



  • To
    increase International Student numbers;
  • To
    increase ethnic diversity in local schools;
  • To
    increase employment opportunities in the export education market;
  • To
    address the Region�s skill shortages.



  • A
    supportive Local Government with an understanding of the importance of
    Economic Development;
  • Established
    relationships with China and Japan within the Region;
  • Primary,
    Intermediate and High Schools approved to enrol International Students;
  • Established
    Tertiary Education Providers within the Region;
  • Skill
    shortages within the Region which could be filled by providing students
    with pathways into employment;
  • A
    comparatively low cost of living, when compared with the neighbouring
    Auckland region.



  • To
    promote the region as a destination for study by developing more
    Regional marketing material, as well as utilization of social media;
  • To
    identify and work with capable and supportive overseas student
    recruitment agencies who have a thorough knowledge of the Region;
  • To
    attend appropriate offshore international student recruitment fairs as a
  • To
    encourage education providers to develop short term study tours for
  • For
    schools to promote Asian language and culture within their schools;
  • To
    attract investment into services and hospitality businesses such as
    supermarkets and dormitory accommodation suitable for Asian students;
  • To
    support graduating students to pathway into skilled employment (they
    bring new skills and contacts with them).



  • Shortage
    of student accommodation of an appropriate standard;
  • A
    shortage of entertainment options (for example KTV);
  • Businesses
    unprepared for Asian guests;
  • A
    low level of, but significant, prejudice towards Asians;
  • The
    region isn�t well known in Asia;
  • International
    student recruitment agencies focus on Auckland.



  • That
    education providers at best do not collaborate, or at worse undermine
    each other;
  • That
    the region gains a reputation for being boring due to the lack of
    appropriate entertainment;
  • That
    there is more student demand than the Region can handle;
  • That
    students experience racism or crime during their visit;
  • Too
    of students can overwhelm the local community�
  • Commercial
    education providers undermine the Regional offering by providing
    sub-standard study programmes;
  • That
    students gain pathways into employment in the Region.








5.3.3������ Trade


The New
Zealand economy relies heavily on trade. According to Statistics New Zealand
data in 2017, two-way trade was worth over $110 billion, of which $53.7 billion
was exports. East Asia is an important trading market for New Zealand with
China being New Zealand�s largest trading partner.





South Korea

NZ�s largest Export Market




Export value

$12 billion

$3.14 billion



Zealand exports are dominated by primary produce which includes dairy, meat and
logs.There are also higher value, or
value added, commodities exported but their relative worth is small when
compared with the primary products.


Zealand has a strong reputation in Asia for producing high quality food and
beverage products, of these the most highly sought after are: milk powder, manuka
honey and wine. There is an opportunity for more small food and beverage
companies to increase their capability and begin exporting to East Asia.


In the
fresh fruit and vegetable sector New Zealand has a strong advantage due to our
seasonal difference with the northern hemisphere. New Zealand has been
especially successful in South Korea with Kiwifruit where it holds a 70% market
share and butter-squash (a 90% market share).


Waikato Region�s chief exports to Asia are: Dairy products, meat, logs, fruit
and seafood. There is strong potential growth for the region to become a leader
in agri-tech, which will be in high demand in our key Asian markets. Recent
investment into transport and logistics infrastructure including the inland
port in the Waikato district, will allow the freer flow of products around the
region, making the Waikato a very competitive exporter.


The Region does have some challenges:
boutique and niche food and beverage manufactures which could have strong
demand from Asian consumer, but struggle to get a market presence; While there
are numerous capacity building workshops for exporters offered in the region,
few go beyond identifying a general opportunity or provide meaningful advise
Finally, there needs to be a shift in business owners mentality when
considering exporting � many are reluctant to spend money on building offshore
markets , choosing to work with unverified agents and lose control of their brand












  • To
    increase business with the capability to export;
  • To
    increase value-added processing within the Region;
  • To
    increase employment opportunities in the processing and exporting



  • A
    supportive local government with an understanding of the importance of
    Economic Development;
  • Established
    relationships with China and Japan within the Region;
  • There
    are a number of small boutique businesses already established in the
  • New
    Zealand has a strong reputation in Asia for its food and beverage
  • Growth
    in e-commerce and cross border payment solutions over the past five
    years (and the �Daikou� phenomenon).



  • Increased
    awareness of export opportunities;
  • To
    provide training for businesses to be �Asia Ready, Export Ready� and
    understanding of what Asian consumers want;
  • To
    encourage local businesses to collaborate over entry into an overseas
  • To
    develop a catalogue of products which are export ready;
  • To
    promote the Region�s products overseas and to work with sister-province
  • To
    facilitate a regional presence in appropriate international trade fairs;
  • To
    connect with overseas importers, distributors or retailers on behalf of
    local producers;
  • To
    attract new businesses and investment into value-added processing and
    manufacturing with export potential.



  • A
    lack of knowledge about Asian export markets or Asian consumers;
  • The
    Region�s big businesses are already exporting to Asia. Most small
    businesses lack capacity;
  • Few
    Regional businesses willing to invest in growth;
  • Most
    exports are of primary produce with few value-added products;
  • Cost
    of getting small shipments to market;
  • Little
    knowledge of the Waikato region in Asia.



  • Exporter
    cannot meet demand;
  • Businesses
    are unwilling to invest and grow their capacity;
  • Exporters
    fail to distinguish themselves from other products within the market;
  • Exporters
    do not market their products appropriately for the Asian consumer or use
    appropriate marketing and sales channels;
  • Products
    get held up in customs, lost or damaged en route to their export market;
  • Geopolitical
    instability or New Zealand being dragged into a trade war;
  • Policy
    changes in New Zealand or the target East Asian markets;
  • Exporters
    rely on only one market;
  • Businesses
    are cheated by traders or locked into marketing exclusive deals.



NOTE: Daikou is a popular
selling method in China which relied on personal networks and direct
relationships to sell products. Daikou is now heavily regulated at the border,
but is common for domestic sales. New Zealand producers can still leverage off
this sales model by using e-commerce trade zones.


5.3.4������ Investment


has become a controversial topic, regarding Asian investment. As of 2016
Australia, the United States and Canada are by far the largest sources of
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) intoNew
Zealand, however China is becoming increasingly important. (Currently of all
FDI classed �sensitive� only 10% originates from Asia).Japan is also a substantial and established
investor in New Zealand and has a track record of working with a number of Iwi
groups. Korea is a minor investor in New Zealand.


investment is focused in primary food production (26%); property development,
hotels and land development (25%); forestry, horticulture (24%); services and
utilities (11%); food and beverage manufacturing (excluding meat and dairy)
(6%); and general manufacturing (non-food, the remaining 8%).


to an Asia New Zealand report, in 2018 Auckland and Waikato region comprised
22% of the New Zealand Foreign Direct Investment from Asia. When looking at FDI
from Mainland China and Hong Kong the Waikato has also done well, receiving 13%
of FDI.


to a survey conducted by Eastern Bridge, New Zealand is considered a safe
destination for investment. Including immigration to New Zealand through the
investment visa category, New Zealand presents an attractive investment option.
However, there are also several concerns raised: the number one hurdle to
attracting investment into the regions is a lack of preparedness from the New
Zealand side.

Asian investors often struggle to identify realistic investment opportunities:

  • they struggle to obtain accurate information
    relating to the size of an investment
  • the indicative costs of running the business
  • and the
    estimated return on investments.

Zealand also has a reputation of moving slowly when it comes to permits and
consents while being unforgiving when a business operates outside its consent.
The Eastern Bridge survey also identified concerns with the processing speeds
of visas, particularly with applications from China. Further to this many
potential Chinese investors struggle to move their funds out of China as the
Chinese government is tightening up regulations regarding movement of its









Investment Attraction



  • To
    develop and maintain a database of investment-ready opportunities within
    the Region;
  • To
    attract investment into value added processing;
  • To
    attract investment into tourism facilities;
  • To
    attract investment into infrastructure.



  • A
    supportive local government with an understanding of the importance of
    Economic Development;
  • Established
    relationships with China and Japan within the Region;
  • Immigration
    New Zealand provides incentive for migrants to invest and live e in the regions;
  • Growing
    interest in the regions amongst Chinese, Japanese and Korean migrant
  • Historically,
    regional investment has been low compared with centres such as Auckland,
    leaving many investment opportunities to be explored;
  • Close
    proximity to Auckland (and Auckland International Airport);
  • Improved
    transport and logistics infrastructure.



  • To
    attract migrant focused businesses to the Region which will, in turn,
    support a greater number of migrants (for example Asian supermarkets,
    restaurants and entertainment venues);
  • To
    identify areas for investment within the Region;
  • To
    develop investment cases which can be promoted to potential investors;
  • Utilise
    Immigration New Zealand�s Investor categories to attract investors into
    small and medium sized businesses.



  • Lack
    of available data to support the development of investment cases;
  • Lack
    of investment-ready products;
  • Lack
    of international knowledge of the Region;
  • Weak
    support services for Chinese, Korean and Japanese speakers within the
  • High
    cost of doing businesses in New Zealand compared with Asia;
  • Lack
    of Asia savvy people who also have businesses and investment knowledge
    who are able to support incoming investors;
  • A
    low level of but significant prejudice towards Asia and Asians;
  • A
    lack of understanding of what Asian investors are looking for and how to
    engage with them.



  • Potential
    backlash from New Zealanders against foreign investment;
  • Government
    policy changes regarding inward foreign direct investment;
  • Foreign
    government policy changes regarding outward investment flows;
  • Time
    wasters distract from the genuine enquiries;
  • Poor
    quality investments damage the reputation of the Region as an investment
  • That
    Asian investors� knowledge of New Zealand is taken for granted and they
    are not provided with the necessary assistance and support;
  • New
    Zealanders� unwillingness to fund business and investment cases or
    feasibility studies.







6.���������� RESOURCING


For the
Councils to have success with their international partnerships it is important
for them to be resourced. As with any relationship the council and community
need to invest in and commit time to the long-term development of the
relationship. This section outlines the main areas which need to be fostered
and the indicative cost to enable a meaningful international relationship to








Strategy Management

Market Intelligence



International Communication



Local Communication








Y1 Q1

Y1 Q2

Y1 Q3

Y1 Q4

Y2 Q1

Y2 Q2

Y2 Q3

Y2 Q4

Y3 Q1

Y3 Q2

Y3 Q3

Y3 Q4


Council Strategy













Business Workshop













School Workshop













Preparation Training














Identify information













information (primary)


























(Japanese, Korean)



























Website Content (for
Council website)













WeChat content (for
EB Official Account)













General Introduction
Design and Print (Chinese)













General Introduction
Design and Print (Japanese)













General Introduction
Design and Print (Korean)













TV / Online Video
























































6.1������ CAPABILITY


6.1.1������ Training


and exposure to information relating to Asia is an essential part of this
Strategy. The Strategy�s training component focuses on three areas: Civic /
Council training for those staff and elected officials who need to engage
directly with foreign diplomacy, as well as staff who work with new migrants or
existing migrant communities; Business people wishing to know more about
foreign markets and doing business in Asia safely; Schools and community
organisation by providing opportunities for students and other community
members to learn more about Asia and ways to experience it first-hand.



Civic / Council

Business Community

Schools / Community

Workshops for Mayors
and Elected Officials who are unfamiliar with formal and informal protocols
when dealing with Asian government officials, as well as cultural etiquette
and communication training.


Provide market
introductions for businesses looking to export or attract Asian customers.
Provide training in Export Readiness.

Encouraging and
where possible, facilitating the inclusion of Asian language classes in

Workshops for
economic development staff to identify the opportunities available through
being internationally engaged; to learn about formal and informal protocols
dealing with Asian government officials and business leaders, as well as
identifying time wasters; to provide cultural etiquette and communication


Provide cultural
training courses for businesses in various sectors including: trade, tourism
and export education.

Provide information
on scholarships, overseas study or overseas work experience for students or
members of the wider community who have an interest in Asia.

communications training for front of house staff, as well as the Council
compliance staff, who regularly deal with non-native English speakers.

familiarisation tours, to allow for interested businesses to travel to an
overseas market and learn about opportunities within their sector.��

Assist in
facilitating inward Asian centric activities such as cultural performances,
public discussions or other activities which will raise awareness of Asia
within the community.

Workshops for
Council staff and elected officials who will be taking part in both inward
and outward delegations.


Assist in
facilitating community overseas community group tours (such as choirs,
orchestras or sports groups).







6.1.2������ Market Intelligence


It is
important to understand how Asian residents as well as Asian populations
outside of New Zealand feel about New Zealand and the Waikato Region. Having a
knowledge of Asian sentiment towards our communities will help direct the
Councils and relevant organisations to develop strategies to better manage the
relationship. Understanding where migrants struggle will also allow the region
and councils to provide targeted support.


From a
business perspective, having a strong knowledge of what, local and international
Asian partners want will allow them to adjust their marketing strategies; or,
if deemed worthwhile their product or service. The tourism sector will benefit
from gaining a better understanding of visitor trends � it is important to note
that Asian visitor trends can change; many Regional Tourism Organisation�s fail
to keep their members up to date with the ever evolving visitor landscape.


schools, teachers and administrators will benefit from an increased
understanding of the culture of Asian education � allowing them to better
support international students. The will also benefit from insights on what
perspective international students, and their parents are looking for.


Strategy outlines three key areas for gaining information about Asia as well as
disseminating it to the Councils and key partners.




Collecting insights



Continuing to run the Migrant Perceptions Survey. Work
with Eastern Bridge to analyse the results.

Review foreign language media for references to the Waikato
region. These may include offshore media organisations or domestic migrant

Whenever possible partner with
organisations which are conducting research on Asia � for example the Asia New
Zealand Foundation










  • Understand
    the challenges Asian residents in the region cope with;
  • Identify
    impediments to attracting Asian visitors and international students;
  • Recognise
    information gaps;
  • Have
    a mechanism in place to distribute the market intelligence efficiently
    amongst members.




  • A
    supportive Local Government with an understanding of the importance of
    economic and community development;
  • Established
    relationships with China and Japan within the Region;
  • Monitoring
    and surveys already being undertaken for the Region.




  • Review
    and adjust the surveys for improving the quality of data
  • develop
    a system for presenting and sharing data amongst participating
  • To
    use the data to make meaningful changes on how the councils engage with
    migrants or welcomes newcomers from Asia
  • Present
    the data to showcase a welcoming region



  • Surveys
    are restricted to recipients based in the Region;
  • There
    isn�t a strong mechanism in place to report the data to participating
  • Reviewing
    foreign language media and blogs are labour intensive.





  • Councils
    ignore the data
  • Migrants
    stop responding to ongoing surveys.




6.1.3������ Communications: International Partner Engagement


While the
Hongi information portal will provide mass communications and marketing
participants will also havea
requirement to engage with international partners. Ongoing communication is
critical to ensure the longevity of the relationship. Communication can be
conducted both in written form (letters and emails) as well as through
scheduled video conferencing.



Bridge�s International Relations Manager will prepare the meetings including
confirming agendas, speaking points and proposed actions.



2020 the Eastern Bay of Plenty councils have been using Zoom to connect with
their Jiangxi counterparts. This method of communication, when well-planned
is a highly efficient and affordable alternative to offshore delegations.




6.1.4������ Communications:



communications will ensure that all participating organisations and key
stakeholders remain focused on their international engagements. Each
participating organisation and key stakeholder should identify an individual
contact who is responsible for passing on relevant information and providing
feedback to the Eastern Bridge International Relations Manager. Historically,
the points of contact in councils have usually been economic development
managers or councillors with an interest in economic development.��


The public
should be made aware of any international relationship. Ideally, such
relationships will be inclusive and community organisations will be welcome to
leverage off them. Including the community in these relationships allows for
greater exchange which in-turn strengthens them. Inclusion of the community
also helps to ensure the longevity of the relationship, as there is less
likelihood of complaints about unnecessary council funding if the community
sees the relationship as a community good.


with the community can be done through key stakeholders, as well as engagement
with local media organisations. The councils can also use their own websites
and social media platforms to issue press releases.





6.2������ DELIVERY


6.2.1������ Outward


delegations should serve to deepen international relationships and expand links
between the people of the Waikato and the sister province . They do not need to
be confined to the council. They are most successful when councils lead
inclusive delegations since these facilitate opportunities for the Region�s
businesses, schools and other community organisations.


members require training as there are always several formal events. Process and
protocol are particularly important across Asia and a breach of the rules isn�t
usually forgiven easily. In many cases the offending party may not know that
they have lost favour, however they may be treated coldly, or distance may be
placed between them and the offended entity. Demonstrating a basic
understanding of local customs and language will endear the delegation to their
hosts. Planning ahead will save all involved from feeling uncomfortable or
embarrassed. Ensure that group participants all have business cards and that
enough gifts are prepared.


There is
no set rule for the frequency of delegations, however one every couple of years
would foster the relationship. A reciprocal visit may be expected during the
in-between years. Delegations could be arranged during special events, such as
a city anniversary, trade show or festival. The aims of the visit should be
agreed between the region and the province beforehand. Promotional events for
the home region�s school, tourism or export businesses could be run and sport,
music or kapa-haka group performances could be showcased.If a local business is planning to sign a
deal with a company in the sister region, having the council attend would add
credibility to the event. It would also mean their local government would
become involved which would give �face� to the Asian partner business.


The status
of a delegation is raised if it is led by the Mayor. For significant events,
participating organisation may wish to invite their local Member of Parliament
to attend as this will raise the status of the event even further and ensure
attendance by a provincial government (or even a central government)
representative. The attendance of these officials adds to the credibility of
the relationship and will encourage more engagement and exchange in the future.



It is also
important that successful delegations are celebrated, as success breeds
success. If businesses learn of opportunities through participating in overseas
delegations more will want to attend, further enhancing their value.





Outward Delegations



  • To
    enhance the value of Mayoral led delegations
  • To
    have active business involvement in offshore delegations
  • To
    have advice community and school involvement in offshore delegations



  • A
    supportive Local Government with an understanding of the importance of
    economic and community development;
  • Multiple
    councils being involved meaning there is a shared cost and benefit;
  • Established
    relationships with China and Japan within the Region;
  • A
    business community wanting to grow their export links;
  • A
    school network wanting to attract more international students;
  • Significant
    experience in running offshore delegations ;
  • In
    market support staff who can prepare for the delegations arrival and
    assist when delegates are on the ground;
  • A
    proposed Waikato regional partner who can invite participating
    organisations and assist with arranging meetings




  • Host Mayoral led business delegations;
  • Leverage
    the office of the Mayor to secure deals for local businesses;
  • Use
    the delegations to enhance the image of the Waikato as an attractive
    place to invest and do business;
  • Include
    community leaders to grow their understanding and interest in the
    Region�s international partnerships;
  • Include
    students from Waikato schools to foster friendship and understanding
    between the regions at all ages levels;
  • When
    possible participate in media events to promote the region
  • Encourage
    school connectivity between the Waikato and sister province, visit
    schools to support the relationship




  • There
    are additional costs associated with travel, insurance, visas and
    offshore accommodation;
  • Delegations
    require strong buy-in from participating organisations.
  • Offshore
    delegations can be time consuming for delegates





  • Covid19
    will make it impossible to run delegations in 2020
  • Growing
    political tensions between countries in the Asia Pacific region;
  • Changing
    political directions at a local level may see councils lose interest in
    offshore delegations;
  • Businesses
    and schools do not see value in participating in offshore delegations.




6.2.2������ Inward


delegations can progress exchanges between the Regions significantly,so when hosting a delegation, it must be
clear who is coming and the purpose of the visit.


While it
is expected that regional partners will request letters of invitation to visit
the region, there will be additional ongoing requests from non-partner
organisations or businesses operating on behalf of overseas councils. These
approaches need to be considered carefully and a unified response made.


delegations which are accepted, the organisers need to be encouraged to spend a
reasonable amount of time within the host region. As with outward delegations
there must be planning to ensure that the visit assists in progressing the
overall goals of the region. To ensure that suitable members are included in
the delegation there needs to be good communication with the foreign affairs
offices of the partner government.


The cost
of hosting an inward delegation is substantially less than a delegation
offshore, however there will naturally be some expense. The host local
government should hold a formal meeting with the delegation, some entertainment
may be arranged, for example a visit to a place of cultural significance, a
school or regional business. The local council should also host a banquet,
either lunch or dinner.








Inward Delegations



  • To
    host Mayoral led delegations
  • To
    have active business involvement in offshore delegations
  • To
    have advice community and school involvement in offshore delegations



  • A
    supportive Local Government with an understanding of the importance of
    economic and community development;
  • Multiple
    councils being involved meaning there is a shared cost and benefit;
  • Established
    relationships with China and Japan within the Region;
  • A
    business community wanting to grow their export links;
  • A
    school network wanting to attract more international students;
  • Significant
    experience in running onshore delegations ;
  • Some
    world-class venues within the Region where delegations can be hosted
  • A
    proposed Waikato regional partner who can invite participating
    organisations and assist with arranging meetings




  • A
    venue to build trust and friendship between the leaders of the Waikato
  • Liaise
    with the international partners to encourage the inclusion of businesses
    interested in investing in New Zealand or procuring Waikato products;
  • Run
    business matching events as well as company visits.
  • Film
    the event and encourage the delegation to showcase the region alongside
    the news of the delegation in their home country.





  • Costs
    regarding hosting the delegations
  • Costs
    for gifts
  • Council
    staff and the Mayor will need to spend time with the delegated





  • That
    Councils refuse to host the delegation
  • That
    businesses do not wish to be involved
  • That
    the incoming delegate organisers are unwilling to include businesses or
    other non-government participants

6.3������ MANAGEMENT


6.3.1������ Strategy Management


The International Relations
Manager will be responsible for the overall work outlined in this strategy. The
International Relations manager is supported by a team of translators, editors,
developers and staff based in New Zealand and across two offices in China.



Council responsibility:


Each council will identify someone
within their organisation who will be the liaison point between the
International Relations Manager and the relevant council officials and staff.
This role will be minimal and centre around forwarding information (to and from
the International Relations Manager) and arranging bookings when required.


In regard to the language portal,
there may be a one-off requirement for the council to provide the International
Relations Manager with content for inclusion. There will also be an ongoing
requirement to provide council updates, public updates and local news; this
council be sent directly from the council�s communications team.




full breakdown of roles and activities required to maintain and implement the
Strategy can be viewed on the following page.


IR Manager


Regional stakholders (Iwi, Business , schools, etc)


updates to council




Develop a database of Waikato stakeholders




Provide a quarterly update to the Waikato (non-council)





Prepare draft email, letters for international partners




Provide feedback and sign-off on external communications




Translation or interpretation of external communications
(inward and outward)




Manage the Hongi information portal




Respond to correspondence from the migrant communities




Produce content for the Hongi information portal




Work with international influencers to promote the Hongi
information portal and Waikato Region.




Use social media such as WeChat, Kakao and Line to engage
with migrant communities and international audiences





Prepare and deliver training to support the region�s Asia




Participate in training





Regularly review foreign
language media to maintain an understanding of the impressions of the Waikato




Tofacilitate Migrant Perceptions
surveys to get feedback on how well migrants integrate into the Waikato




To conduct research, due diligence checks and produce
briefing reports when required.




Region Relationship

Identify and recommend a
suitable sister-region/ province partner




negotiations with the partner on the terms of the relationship




Sign off and formally approve the relationship




Formalise the relationship (either in New Zealand or




Agree on a work plan based on identified opportunities




Manage the relationship, liaise with offshore partners,
progress the workplan




Support businesses, schools and other stakeholders to
engage with the sister region.




confirmed) manage the Regional Promotions Centre





and manage offshore delegations




Work with international partners to confirm schedules




Arrange bookings and travel planning




Arrange visas (if required)




Arrange translation and other in market support staff




Arrange and produce any required marketing materials
(including business card)




Provide pre-departure training




On-ground troubleshooting




Participating in the delegation





Work with international partners
to develop an inward delegation plan




Sign off from councils for inward delegation � confirm a




Work with business community and key partners to prepare
for the delegation




Provide training to participants




Provide translation and interpretation




Follow up with key partners to action and outcomes





6.3.2������ Budgets


an international relationship does not need to cost a great deal. If Councils
work collaboratively, the costs for a range of activities can be shared. The
delivery of this strategy would require a minimum of five participating


costs per participating council are shown below. The prices below are inclusive
of the management fee, delegate travel, accommodation and other associated
offshore costs, printing and marketing. The cost estimates are based on four
years experience of manging council international relationships.



Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Relations Management Fee





Delegation (based on2 participants,
for ten days).









Total estimated contributionper council