Monday, 28 July 2014

NZCID led Austrade hosted delegation

I am writing this from Sydney where I am participating in a NZCID led Austrade hosted delegation in partnership with NZTE.

The purpose of the visit to both Sydney and Melbourne is to look at developments in Australia that may apply to the rebuild in Christchurch. It is all about learning more in the area of best practice in infrastructure and urban development. We are seeking to get closer to Australian representatives in these fields, so that we can learn more about applying scale to the Christchurch rebuild. Contrary to some views, there is no attempt to resist Australian participation in the rebuild. The reality is that it is hard to break into Christchurch from a cold start. In fact there are many Australian companies working collaboratively with Christchurch based companies to build the scale required for a timely recreation of our city. I hope my visit will assist that process as well as giving me good insight into the critical issues associated with an economic development programme the size of the one we are dealing with.

This is all part fostering healthy trans-Tasman relations, and building collegiality between public and private sector delegates and our Australian equivalents.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Global Connections 2014

Global connections features on Thursday 7 August, right here in Christchurch at the Airforce Museum.

This is a show case of  New Zealand's leading export practitioners and commentators, telling it the way it is, war stories and all. It is a one off opportunity to participate with a top line of presenters, who will give you real value if you are exporting, or thinking about it.

It promises to be a day of rich content, bookended by our Prime Minister, The Right Honorable John Key and CEO of BusinessNZ, Phil O'Reilly, Global Connections 2014 includes presentations from Fonterra, Hellers, Les Mills, Blunt Umbrellas, The Family of Twelve (wineries) and CerebralFix.

I encourage you to make the time, your afternoon, to be invigorated , refreshed and energised as together we work towards growing exports to 40% of New Zealand's GDP.

For information on the programme and registration please visit the website -

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Dinner with Senator Bam Aquino

On 3 July I had the privilege of attending a dinner with Senator Bam Aquino, the youngest Senator of the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. Senator Aquino is a remarkable young man, at 37 years old he has already established a reputation of being a world renowned social entrepreneur. He currently chairs the Philippines Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship and the Senate Committee on Youth. In 2003 Senator Aquino became the youngest head of a government agency, when at 25 years he was appointed as the Chairperson of the National Youth Commission, the primary national policy-making body for Filipino youth.

Senator Aquino has dedicated his entire career to empowering the youth and the poor, helping thousands of Filipinos to improve their lives through access to opportunities and crucial support systems. Because of his work he was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2006, one of Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in 2010, one of the Asian Social Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2011, and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 2012. He is certainly a remarkable man and the Aquino family have had an extraordinary strong influence in Filipino politics since the overthrow of Marcos in 1986.

Senator Aquino was extremely interested in the management of post-earthquake Christchurch. The Filipinos have had more than their fair share of natural disasters and there are lessons that we can all share. He also showed great compassion for the Filipino workforce that are here assisting with the rebuild in Christchurch. Earlier in the day, before the dinner, he had met with members of the Filipino workforce and was very interested in how they are being assimilated into our community. We now have thousands of Filipinos in Christchurch and Canterbury helping us to rebuild our city and providing valued and skilled input into construction support services, including nursing and the dairy industry. We talked about the importance of this workforce and all of the positive feedback that I receive from people who have employed Filipinos in our community (feedback about their high skill level, their attitude to work, and their friendly and inclusive social demeanour). 

Senator Aquino is likely to be a future President of the Republic of the Philippines and it was a real delight to share an evening with him listening to his view on the future of the Philippines, his interest in our country, and his determination that we continue to grow more closely together. 
Peter Wait (Hon Consul of the Philippines), Virginia Benavidez, Mrs Aquino, Senator Bam Aquino, Peter Townsend, Phillip Gibson (MFAT), Kate Swan (MFAT)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Canterbury buildnz | designex event

As we continue to ramp up the rebuild there are more and more opportunities to identify materials and resources to support the rebuild.

This one should have wide appeal.

The Canterbury buildnz | designex event will be held in Christchurch at the CBS Arena 31 July – 2 August 2014. This trade only event featuring over 145 exhibitors is targeted towards the Canterbury and South Island building and design professionals. Endorsed by leading industry associations including RMB, CBANZ, NZIA, ADNZ and Christchurch City Council the event will provide the opportunity for direct face to face interaction with key industry suppliers and to review the latest industry developments, not to mention the full 3 day educational and development seminar program. This unique, trade only event is a must for anyone serious about staying ahead of the pack. FREE TO ATTEND, Canterbury buildnz | designex will be the largest event of its kind the region has seen.

For more information and free registration visit