New Zealand Committee
Ian Kennedy - Chair
Ian Kennedy, a former career diplomat, was posted three times to Japan, most recently as Ambassador from 2007 to July 2012. A Japanese speaker, he is also the author of a book on Japan-New Zealand relations entitled “Japan and New Zealand: Adding Value" published by Victoria University, Institute of Policy Studies in 1992. His other overseas postings were to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu from 1992 to 1994, Turkey, Israel and Jordan (Ambassador) from 1996 to 1999, and Australia (Deputy High Commissioner) from 2004 to 2007. Ian Kennedy and his wife Setsuko are Partners in I.S.K. Associates, a consultancy business specialising in Japan. In this capacity he has been contracted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Special Representative, Japan, to promote linkages between New Zealand and Japan at a corporate and personal level including through the NZ Open Championship golf tournament. He is also a Board member of the Asia NZ Foundation, and Honorary Chairman of the "Support-our-Kids" (New Zealand home stay programme) established in 2011 to support children following the Tohoku earthquake, tsunami & Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Mia Evans - Vice Chair
Mia Evans started with Bancorp in August 2007, and has come from a banking background with Private Bank positions at HSBC and Bank of New Zealand, and has also worked with Westpac Bank. Bancorp is an innovative and dynamic investment and merchant banking organisation. Bancorp’s core services include Private Banking and Wealth Management, Corporate Finance, Specialist Property Finance and Services, Private Equity Investments, Treasury Advisory and Compliance management services.
Mia is one of the Directors of NZEDU, an independent education marketing company that provides educational arrangements in New Zealand that cover traditional schooling but also extend to sporting, music and industry specialisations. She is also an honorary member of “Support our Kids” and works alongside this NPO to help children who have been orphaned or displaced in the March 11, 2011 Disaster in Japan. Mia looks after the New Zealand programme alongside Ian Kennedy and facilitates the Schools, homestay families, activities, sponsorship and media
Mia is the Sector Leader for Sister Cities on the JNZBC, and also supports the Investment Sector Leader.
Curtis Mercer- Vice Chair
Curtis is Head of Institutional Relationships at the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) with overall responsibility for the delivery of world class relationship banking to BNZ’s largest corporate clients. Prior to this role Curtis was the Head of Primary within the Institutional Banking unit where he was instrumental in developing and executing on BNZ’s Primary Post-Gate Sector strategy, positioning BNZ as the market leader in this sector. Before his now 20 year banking career, he spent 2 years as a solicitor with Bell Gully. Curtis has law and commerce degrees from the University of Canterbury and a post graduate diploma in Applied Finance & Investment from the Australian Securities Institute.
Annette Azuma - Vice Chair and Treasurer
Annette Azuma is a chartered accountant and a Director with Staples Rodway Ltd , New Zealand's leading independent full service accountancy firm. Annette specialises in Japanese business and deals with a number of Japanese companies and high net wealth individuals assisting with all aspects of taxation, compliance, M & A and immigration.
Annette has attended a number of Trade Missions to Japan. She speaks excellent Japanese and has lived in Japan for two and a half years including working for Staples Rodway's affiliate, Baker Tilly Japan and attending Kyoto Commercial University. Annette holds a Commerce degree from Otago University and an Arts degree majoring in Japanese from Massey University. Her association with Japan spans more than 30 years and continues in her business life and also family life with her Japanese husband Kenji and their 2 sons. Annette is the Sector Leader for Finance and Public Relations on the JNZBC.
Tony Boot - Vice Chair
Tony Boot established BTM - Japanese translation and marketing specialists in 1994. BTM provides assistance to a range of public sector and private sector organisations in New Zealand, Japan, USA, Fiji, and beyond. Tony is a graduate of the University of Waikato Business Management Studies department's International Management programme, specialising in Japanese & Marketing. Tony is a shareholder and director of New Zealand's largest farmstay company, Rural Tours Ltd, and holds other directorships as well. He is fluent in Japanese, and is actively involved with the development of New Zealand/Japan business relations. Tony was the JNZBC Executive Director from 2007 - 2013.
Clovis Peryer - Vice Chair
Since July 2016 Clovis has been based in Tokyo as the Head of Japan for Air New Zealand where his mission is to build connections between Japan and New Zealand through inspiring Japanese people to visit and experience New Zealand and New Zealand people to visit and experience Japan (preferably travelling on Air New Zealand). A law graduate from Otago University, Clovis practised in New Zealand before finding himself in Tokyo in 1998 working for a New York law firm as part of the English law team representing Japanese clients on cross border commercial deals, before landing back in New Zealand at Air New Zealand where he was responsible for buying, selling, leasing and financing the company’s fleet.
Paul Gestro - Vice Chair
Paul is the founder and director of William Partnerships Limited, a cross border and cross culture trade and investment agency that builds global partnerships to transfer business knowledge. The majority of Paul’s career has been built around identifying and developing global strategic partnerships in the public and private sector, mastering the complexities of strategic partnership management and multi stakeholder engagement to deliver business value. With a lengthy career in financial services that began in London working for multinationals on cross border investment projects up until recently as the Head of Asia Business at the Bank of New Zealand, Paul has a global perspective and extensive international network. This is complimented by ten years of diplomatic service with the New Zealand Government covering Asia, North America and the Middle East. Diplomatic postings include eight years in Singapore and New York as the New Zealand Consul General. Paul has a business degree from Massey University, a postgraduate diploma in international strategy and leadership from the University of Auckland and attended Harvard Business School. Paul sits on a number of advisory, education and international business council boards.
Sarah McLauchlan - Executive Director
Sarah brings much valuable experience to the position through her involvement in the New Zealand Committee over a number of years, including providing secretariat services during her time at the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, and more recently as an Ex-Officio member of the Executive Committee while she was working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE). Sarah has also spent a number of years living and working in Japan, including two postings with Tourism New Zealand, and thus has a sound understanding of both the business and cultural aspects of New Zealand/Japan relations.
Tony Spelman - Executive Committee Member Tony is Corporate Development Manager for Swire Shipping in New Zealand, the deep sea shipping arm of Swire group. His role primarily encompasses export business development with a focus on Asia markets and works a large number of New Zealand’s leading commodity exporters and importers. He is also involved with strategic trade development projects across the company’s other divisions activities in New Zealand. Tony previously worked as General Manager Sales & Marketing for a DHL, New Zealand Post joint venture and has particular experience and expertise across supply chain and logistics functions.
Brian Martin - Executive Committee Member
Brian first visited Japan in 1962. He was strongly influenced as a young man, by Kaichiro Omiya, Managing director of Toya Menka Kaisha, now Tomen, who were amongst the pioneers of the log trade between Japan and New Zealand.Brian returned to live in Japan in 1972, as President of Levi's Japan, and later as their Chief Executive of Asia.Having lived in Asia and Japan for many years, he has remained active in his relationship with Japanese businesses. He has been a member of the JNZBC for 25 years – being one of its longest serving members, and former Chairman.The Japanese Foreign Minister awarded a commendation to the Japan New Zealand business Council, during his period as Chairman. Brian was the first non- Japanese to be awarded by the Japan New Zealand Society the JSA award. He is currently Executive Advisor for the Japan Society’s “Japan Day” which attracted 50,000 during this year’s event.He is a published author, and has been married to his Japanese wife Keiko for 40 years.
Doug Ducker - Executive Committee Member
Doug Ducker has been Managing Director of Pan Pac Forest Products since 2004 - this appointment followed almost 30 years service with the company in roles including process engineering, technical R & D, project management and production management associated with the pulping side of the business. An executive committee member of the Japan New Zealand Business Council over the last 4 years and currently Chairman of the Wood Council of New Zealand, Director of Wood Processors Assn and vice President of the Hawkes Bay Chamber of Commerce. Doug is the Sector Leader for Forestry and Government Affairs on the JNZBC.
Derek Hopkins - Executive Committee Member
Derek Hopkins is Managing Director of Franklin Group, which began life in 1982 as Franklin Rural Management Ltd, an agricultural consulting company. This is now the main operating company of the Group and its focus is entirely on investment project work in the rural sector. Derek completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (B.Agr.Sc) degree at Massey University in 1968. Since graduating his professional career has been in the rural sector with a range of experience in consultancy, practical farming and investment promotion and management. As well as having experience in many of the farming regions in New Zealand he has worked in Australia, the South Pacific, United Kingdom and Asia. Derek has been a member of the JNZBC since 1998 and on the Executive committee since 2001.
Yoshi Kawamura - Executive Committee Member
Yoshihiro Kawamura is Managing Director of TJK NZ Ltd. Yoshihiro has been engaged in asset management of The George Hotel Christchurch, and Clarendon Tower in Christchurch. Yoshihiro graduated from Gakushuin University Tokyo, having majored in Economics and specialized in Business Strategy. After graduating, he entered Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting Company and worked as a consultant until 2003.
Mark Crawford - Executive Committee Member
Mark is a Partner with KPMG based in Auckland. Mark has worked in various businesses in New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom and Japan over the past 20 years. His experience includes three years working in a Senior Finance role for a US public company based in Washington DC. Prior to returning to New Zealand in 2009, he spent eight years as a Partner working in Tokyo with KPMG, specialising in Audit and Advisory Services. In this capacity Mark worked with many multinational companies including General Electric, Fonterra and SAP and was a member of the Tokyo American Club.
Since returning to New Zealand Mark now heads up the Japanese Practice for KPMG. His clients include Konica Minolta, Shiseido, Makita and Mazda.
Wellington City Council (represented by Aiko Collins) - Executive Committee Member
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. Wellington City Council's international relations team is responsible for the development of the Council's international relations policy, organising and coordinating international relationships and exchanges. The team works with business, education and community groups to promote and develop the city's international relations.
Anna Francis (Westpac New Zealand) - Executive Committee Member
Anna Francis is responsible for the Asian strategy in Westpac Private Wealth Management, and manages the High Net Worth team of financial advisors. She has 17 years of experience in the financial industry across Japan, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and has worked for some of the largest financial institutions in the world such as Deutsche Bank, Daiwa Securities and Lehman Brothers.
She is a qualified Authorised Financial Adviser and also a NZX Associate Adviser. From 2001-2009 she was a Securities Representative of Securities and Futures Authority in the United Kingdom. She studied Japanese and Business Studies at university in the United Kingdom, lived in Japan for 4 years and hosted fund managers in Japan three times a year for 5 years.
She has established many investment portfolios to satisfy NZ immigration investment criteria.
Richard Wells (Plan B) - Executive Committee Member
Richard is a business development manager at Plan B, a provider of ICT services and infrastructure solutions that protect customer data and ensure their ability to operate is protected against unexpected events. This role also sees him working closely with Panasonic in New Zealand and Japan on joint business initiatives in cloud storage. A fluent Japanese speaker, Richard spent six years in Japan between 1992 and 1999, and has maintained close personal and business links with the country ever since.
Elizabeth Gollan - Executive Committee Member
Elizabeth is International Business Manager in Auckland Council’s ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development). She specialises in business leveraging of major events being held in Auckland, and works with Immigration New Zealand on their Investor Migrant Programme, attracting high net worth individuals to consider Auckland as their new Asia Pacific hub and/or their new home. Elizabeth has spent more than 30 years promoting New Zealand exports globally and foreign investment into NZ on behalf of the New Zealand government, with offshore assignments and various roles in Fiji, Japan (5 years), France, Brazil, Hong Kong and Singapore. She was one of the first graduates in Japanese from a NZ university (Massey) and also spent a year at the US State Department Language School in Yokohama. Elizabeth enjoys international travel, innovation, matching business needs with NZ solutions, and helping grow the Auckland economy.
Nic Keating- Executive Committee Member; yJNZBC Chair
Nic studied International Business, Management, Japanese and Tourism Management at Victoria and Osaka
Universities. His first time in Japan was as a Rotary Scholar to Minoo City and he later returned to Minoo to study at Osaka University. In 2011, he was an Asia:NZ foundation intern at the Japan Rail Kyushu where he studied JR’s operations management. He now works for PwC Consulting in the Process and Operations team and at the Hutt City Council where he manages the Dowse Art Museum in the weekends. After hours he runs a small web-strategy consultancy company, advising small-medium sized business how to get the most about their online portfolio, and mobile device strategies.
Nic is Chair of the yJNZBC.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (represented by Shee-Jeong Park) - Executive Committee Member
Shee-Jeong Park is Lead Adviser in the North Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). She has had diplomatic postings at the New Zealand Embassies in Seoul and Madrid, and was most recently MFAT’s Deputy Chief of Protocol. Prior to joining MFAT she worked as a commercial litigation in Auckland. She has a PhD in Political Studies from the University of Auckland.
New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (represented by Anne Collins) - Executive Committee Member
As a New Zealand based representative for East Asia, Anne’s role involves assisting New Zealand companies who are interested in doing business in the Japanese markets. Anne is also is responsible for raising the profile of this region with New Zealand companies, developing NZTE’s strategic approach to the region and representing NZTE on the Japan New Zealand Business Council and Korean New Zealand Business Council. Prior to NZTE Anne worked in the wine industry with importers, distributors and wineries with the main focus on exporting to Europe, Australia and USA.