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Put modesty aside….NZ needs your stories

- Message from ExportNZ manager, Catherine Lye

Celebrating success in New Zealand: do we do it? Really?

At first glance you would probably say that yes we do. Just look at how we celebrate our sportspeoples’ success: people like Richie McCaw, Lydia Ko, Valerie Adams, Lisa Carrington. There’s nothing, it seems, like a celebration of sporting success to unite the nation.

However, if we look more deeply, maybe we don’t. As a culture, I think we are often quite suspicious of successful people. There are significant differences between the ways we regard pursuit of excellence on the sports field and outstanding achievement in the business arena.

By and large, from my experience, New Zealanders are traditionally understated, quiet achievers, reluctant heroes flying under the radar appearing too shy or humble to stick their heads up. We'd prefer not to stand out from the crowd.  Whereas the Americans celebrate success; we play things down.  

This makes it very difficult for other countries to understand what our competitive advantage is when there is a reluctance to put ourselves out there and tell the story.

Some New Zealand firms have set a stunning pace for innovation and export but it’s not the groundswell needed to drive sustained economic growth and achieve the Government’s 2025 goal of lifting exports as a percentage of GDP from 30 per cent ($65 billion) to 40 per cent ($100bn).
So what can you do in your business to overcome this reluctance to ‘boast’ and encourage people to take pride in their exporting prowess?

  1. Create a culture of praise – celebrating success is one tool for cultivating a success mind-set.

  2. Shout about your success – spread the word about your achievements, both internally and externally.  Speak at one of our events, or let us know about your recent achievement.

  3. Get on the awards trail – putting together an entry in the Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Awards does take time (some have completed it in a day) but your effort will be more than rewarded if you win.  And often, just the exercise of putting the entry together can create a feel-good factor in your business.

  4. Aim to inspire – ExportNZ makes it easy for members to talk to others about their successes and the journey they’ve taken to get there. ExportNZ also has mentors coaching others in the skills that have helped propel them to success, through our Export Excelerator programme. 

  5. Reward appropriately – if budgets are tight, find more creative ways to acknowledge people’s efforts and celebrate success. You might not be able to put extra money in people’s pay packets, but attending the awards gala dinner to say “thanks for a job well done” will show people you have recognised and appreciated their efforts.

  6. Build team spirit – outstanding success often comes about as the result of team effort, a lot of hard work, long hours and giving up other things in life. ExportNZ provides a variety of forums to build and strengthen relationships with each other, essentially an extension of your internal team.   Everyone has low points and times when things seem helpless, and a well-timed word of encouragement, a friendly face or some help can be the turning point that shapes or creates success!  As the Japanese proverb says, “Fall seven times, stand up eight!” So in our pursuit of success, we mustn’t forget to encourage those who keep falling down until they can stand up!

Read on to see an exciting and busy programme of activity for 2016! I look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible over the next year.


- Catherine

Contact us:

Big guns of NZ export united in helping aspirational exporters

ExportNZ is delighted to announce the appointment of seven new members of the ExportNZ Auckland executive committee. The 30-strong committee is a unique and dynamic collaboration between exporters, support organisations and government.

We are delighted to welcome:

  • Lance Sheppar (pictured), Director International Business Development – Power Technology ASEAN  (ExportNZ Auckland Chair)
  • Mike Riley, CEO – Compac (ExportNZ Auckland Deputy Chair)
  • Christine Cash, GM Sales & Marketing - Tegel Foods
  • Michael Masterton, Head of Commercial - EveredgeIP
  • Jon Clausen, Regional Manager Asia - Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
  • Sarah Perry, CEO - SnapComms
  • Graham Painter, Director - Trade Consultants
  • Blair Gourdie, Regional Manager for NZ and the Pacific Islands - Air New Zealand Cargo
  • Brent Carter, GM Sales, Marketing & Customer Service - NZ & Fiji - TNT

To see the full 2015-16 committee, go to

These individuals are passionate about giving back to the export community, volunteering their time to help New Zealand achieve the goal of increasing the ratio of exports to imports from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025 - as committed to by the Government in the Building Export Markets chapter of its Business Growth Agenda.

Hitting the $100 billion GDP export target is a pretty lofty goal, hence the importance of ensuring we have the right people and organisations supporting exporters’ entry into suitable and sustainable markets.

Our people are our strength, and these appointments to our committee deepen our networks, connections, experience and knowledge, to help our emerging exporters lift and achieve their export aspirations.


Pictured: Supreme winner of the Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Auckland Awards 2015, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare  represented by Marcus Driller, with PM John Key.

Entries open for export awards - Waikato members join + Fairfax Media on board

Please start jotting down notes about your success in one or more overseas markets – in preparation for filling in an entry form for the Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Awards 2016 – Auckland/Waikato.

This year we are pleased to up the level of competition even higher in the awards by opening up entry to Waikato businesses – at the request of our members in that region.

From February 16 you can contact us at ExportNZ Auckland or ExportNZ Waikato to get your formal entry form, either online or by phone or email.

Media Partner

ExportNZ has pleased to have secured Fairfax Media as media partner for the awards.

Fairfax will initially help us promote the export awards and tell some of the great stories of exporters doing great things. And in this way they will help us as an organisation drive one of our key policy and advocacy goals - export growth.

In New Zealand, Fairfax Media publishes the news site,, and many magazines and newspapers.

How to enter the awards

It is free and simple to enter.

Key benefits to entering the export awards include:

  • Public recognition of your company for impressing customers and investors
  • It's a way to reward, retain and attract the best talent
  • Exposure to our world-class line-up of judges
  • Entering also gives you the opportunity to take part in two outstanding events:
  • Announcement of finalists - Wednesday, April 20; and
  • Gala Awards Dinner at The Langham Auckland hotel on Thursday, June 23.

Entering the Awards is easy! Just select which of the seven categories you want to enter.

Make sure you also visit our Export Excelerator website to find:

  • Why you should enter, and what previous winners have to say;
  • Critical entry and event dates;
  • Award categories;
  • Judges' profiles; and
  • Finalists and winners from the Awards programmes of 2009 till 2015.

Want to know more? Not sure of which category to enter? Just let ExportNZ know when you register that you'd like us to contact you, and we'll be in touch to discuss which categories you're best suited to.

Entries close at 5pm, Friday, March 18, 2016.
The 2016 Awards will be presented at a black-tie gala dinner on Thursday, June 23rd at The Langham, Auckland hotel.

For more information contact Catherine Lye (at the details above) or visit


Join our Trade Mission to Malaysia and Thailand

What do you think about exploring markets in Malaysia and adjacent Thailand, in person, in August?
We are seeking expressions of interest from exporters who want to know more about, or who want to join, our trade mission to those two countries.

A trade mission enables you to meet important people and do in-depth research in comfort: the Mission goes with an itinerary prearranged according to Mission participants’ needs; all the organising is done for you, including air travel and accommodation.

Each year ExportNZ takes members on a journey of discovery to markets that we believe hold great opportunities for our exporters. We usually do this in collaboration with other trade associations that have close ties to those markets, such as the ASEAN New Zealand Business Council.

Provisional dates: August 2016 (actual departure and return dates to be confirmed)

The trade mission will have an exciting programme packed with one-on-one visits with key decision makers, customers and partners, to help you generate business and learn about the markets.

Proposed focus areas          

  • Gain a better understanding of the market and insights into consumer preferences and market intelligence,
  • Develop a strategy/plan for the market through advice from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise business development managers and beachheads advisors,
  • Start building connections to partners and/or buyers through a dedicated business-to-business matching programme.

Key benefits

  • Experience first-hand the scale and magnitude of business opportunities with visits to companies like Fisher & Paykel, and e-commerce providers.
  • Network with like-minded professionals at the NZ-Thai Chamber of Commerce, and at a dinner hosted by the NZ Ambassador.
  • Engage with high-level government officials at the Board of Investment (BOI) to understand the attractive benefits for foreign investors to Thailand.
  • Learn about incentives for International trading companies and international headquarters.
  • Tap into a strong framework of vastly growing consumers in a mature digital ecosystem.

Sector focus - unlimited
Participation in the trade mission is open to all exporters, from all industry sectors, who are interested in the respective destination countries.

Target delegation size:  25-27 people.

Please submit your expression of interest to ExportNZ manager at EMA, Catherine Lye, at email

Go Global – May 26 – save the date

It may only be February but we are already gearing up for GoGlobal at the Langham Hotel, Auckland on May 26! This is the one-day, annual exporters’ conference organised by ExportNZ.

We are preparing an outstanding line up of world-leading export stars to share their tips with you. It's a unique opportunity to hear from fellow Kiwis who have sustained business success abroad, and who have cultural knowledge of, and connections in, overseas markets.

Watch this space as we reveal more. In the meantime, book May 26 in your calendar so you don't miss out.
Here's a sound-bite of what people had to say at GoGlobal 2015: watch video.

Get on the fast track to export success with Export Excelerator

ExportNZ collaborated with 10 of New Zealand’s top exporters and key people from the business support eco-system in developing the Export Excelerator Programme. The aim is to get New Zealand’s exporters on the fast track to export success.  

What is Export Excelerator?
The goal of the two-step programme is simple: 

  • Completing the online survey helps identify gaps in your export capability.
  • The survey results will:
    • allow ExportNZ to guide exporters to educational programs, organisations, qualified advisors or providers with expertise in the area where you may require assistance;
    • assist ExportNZ identify exporters with strong export capability who will be invited to engage in the ExportNZ focused mentoring programme; and
    • benchmark your business against 10 of New Zealand’s top exporters.  

What is the value to your business?
This programme will ensure you embark on your export drive with your eyes wide open and avoid making costly mistakes many exporters before you have already made. 
The overriding aim of the mentor phase of the programme is to encourage and support your business in achieving your designated goals, as well as providing a distinct pathway to a successful and sustainable export outcome for your business.
The mentors will identify and challenge your thinking on:

  • Where your business is at;
  • Where the export opportunities are;
  • How you bring your export vision to a reality;
  • Logical steps for export success and how to avoid the pitfalls and traps (and there are plenty of those…);
  • How you fund, cope and plan financially to fund export growth.

In the words of Helen Thompson-Carter, formerly General Manager of Kagi Ltd that engaged in the programme:
"It is all about the ‘value add’ … Export Excelerator is outstanding!    It is about the opportunity to spend time in a ‘think tank’ with some of the most highly regarded executives in their field who are experienced in export and willingly invest time and energy into your business.   The program facilitates discussions, asks the hard questions and sets you on a path bound for success.   The advice and direction you get from the Export Excelerator program will be the most valuable you will ever get.    If you are serious about export and are given the opportunity to be part of the program – take it!   It will be the best ‘export’ decision you ever make.”
Committed to export success?  Then go to  and take the all-important first step!

  • ExportNZ thanks Air New Zealand Cargo for joining us as a strategic partner in helping drive accelerated and sustainable export growth for your business and New Zealand.
Learn about TPP’s trade and investment opportunities with Viet Nam, Feb 3 (TOMORROW)

The Vietnam Industry and Trade Minister, Mr Vu Huy Hoang, comes to New Zealand with a trade delegation of six large corporations, for the formal signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) that takes place on February 4. 

You are invited to the Viet Nam Business Forum that Minister Hoang will chair while here.

The Viet Nam Embassy in Wellington hosts this event in collaboration with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, ExportNZ and the ASEAN New Zealand Business Council.

Viet Nam Business Forum details:
Where: The Stamford Plaza Hotel, 22-26 Albert Street, Auckland
When: Wednesday, February 3, 9.30am-12pm
Price: No charge
Please contact ExportNZ for registrations: email

Hear MP Steven Joyce’s reflections on Korea visit, Feb 11

You are invited to an address by the Hon Steven Joyce (pictured), Minister for Science and Technology, about his visit to Korea last October.

His focus will be in the context of his science and technology portfolio, and the potential he sees for enhanced cooperation and commerce between Korea and New Zealand.

Following the presentation there will be time for Q and A, and then drinks and refreshments will be served, allowing attendees to meet with the speaker and network generally.

Where: Boardroom of Baldwins Intellectual Property, Level 15, HSBC House,1 Queen Street, Auckland
When: 5.30pm, Thursday, February 11
Price: $25 (gst incl) for members of EMA/ExportNZ and the ASEAN NZ Business Council; $35 (gst incl) for non-members.
Please contact ExportNZ for registrations: email 

NZ-Korea FTA set to benefit NZ exporters

The New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement has come into force, eliminating tariffs on $793 million, or 48 per cent, of New Zealand exports.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says the wine industry sees the full elimination of the 30 per cent tariff on their exports to Korea.  Cherry exports also now benefit from duty-free access (down from 24 per cent), right in the middle of their growing season; kiwifruit exports enjoy a 7.5 per cent reduction in tariffs (on the former 45 per cent duty) and go duty-free  in 2020.

Many other products, including hides and skins, some forestry products, some aluminium and many industrial goods, also enjoy duty-free access to the Korean market now.

The FTA will also mean greater services opportunities for New Zealand, eg, adult education services, legal services and tour operator services. And investments enjoy greater legal protections.

The FTA also guarantees access for skilled service suppliers, intra-corporate transferees and business visitors to enter and stay temporarily in Korea to conduct their business.

Come to our Khybar Series: Spotlight on ASEAN, Feb 18

Come to our Khybar after-5 series to celebrate and be inspired to expand your business horizons internationally by way of this “Khybar” support network. The name is a play on the words “Khyber” (for Khyber Pass Rd where the event is usually held), and “bar” for the refreshment and networking focus.

This month, you will hear an exporter share their success story trading with ASEAN.  Hear how their business has evolved and grown over time - their challenges, and lessons learned.

This event will be run in conjunction with the ASEAN NZ Business Council.

Special thanks to our event sponsors:  QBE Insurance, Invivo wines and DB Breweries

Where: EMA, 159 Khyber Pass Road, Grafton
When: Thursday, February 18, 5.30pm
Price: $25 (gst incl) for members of EMA/ExportNZ and the ASEAN NZ Business Council; $85 (gst incl) for non-members
Please contact ExportNZ at email  to register. 

Diary now! Coming up in March

We have three events lined up for you next month – with more detail to come. So far we suggest you diary these dates and times:

March 9: Better Exporting Workshop, 7.15am
March 10: Khybar Series – Spotlight on Latin America, 5.30pm
March 22: Better Exporting Workshop, 7.15am

Apply for Indonesia visit for F&B leaders

The Asia New Zealand Foundation offers five young New Zealand food and beverage entrepreneurs the chance to visit Indonesia.

Their week-long programme will give participants a better understanding of the food and beverage sector in Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world. 

Applications close February 26.

You can read all about the opportunity, here

TPP signing in Auckland this month – Feb 4

TPP Ministers meet in Auckland on February 4 to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

Trade Minister Todd McClay says,“Following signature, all 12 countries will be able to begin their respective domestic ratification processes and will have up to two years to complete that before the agreement enters into force.

“For New Zealand, following signature the Government will submit the final text of TPP and the National Interest Analysis to Parliament. The legislative changes to implement TPP will then go through normal policy and Parliamentary procedures.”

During this period before TPP enters into force, the Government will be running a series of roadshows throughout the country – and ExportNZ members will be invited.

He says, “Once TPP is fully phased in, tariffs will be eliminated on 93 per cent of New Zealand’s trade with our new FTA partners: the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Peru.

“TPP will ultimately give New Zealand around $260 million of tariff savings a year.”

Message from Catherine Beard, ExportNZ executive director

Read Catherine’s Trade Update about TPP, the EU, India, Gulf Cooperation Council, China and Korea. More...

Also, check out the latest results about the preferences for biological products of consumers in overseas markets, in a report from on Maximising Export Returns for New Zealand’s Biological Industriesfrom Lincoln University.

 These cutting-edge results show NZ exporters how to capture premium value for their products in the markets that matter.

The latest results show:

  • how consumers in Japan, UK, India, China and Indonesia understand and value the qualities of the food and beverages they buy;
  • the potential value of producer investment in improving the attributes of food products; and
  • methods to gain access to, communicate and sell in these markets. More...
Call for submissions on NZ-EU FTA

Public submissions are open on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between New Zealand and the European Union (EU).

Trade Minister Todd McClay says a modern, high-quality FTA is the missing link in our important relationship.

“Early [this] year, we expect to begin discussions to define the scope and overall approach to the negotiations.

“We are keen to hear from all New Zealanders with an interest in an FTA negotiation with the EU, including businesses, NGOs, and members of the public.”

The most likely date for the start of negotiations would be early 2017.

For more information and to make a submission by February 29, please go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

High Commissioner to Singapore

Diplomat Dr Jonathan Austin is New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Singapore, also accredited to the Maldives.

Dr Austin is currently the Director of Intelligence and Assessment in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.  His most recent diplomatic posting was as High Commissioner to Tonga.  He has previously served in Solomon Islands, South Africa, East Timor and Tonga. 

NZ calls for international action on fishing subsidies

New Zealand has led an international call for action to eliminate harmful fishing subsidies.

Trade Minister Todd McClay, and colleagues from around the world, released a statement at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.

He said, “Fish products are one of the world’s most highly traded commodities, and subsidies distort this trade. Fishing industries from many of the world’s smaller states cannot afford to compete with large heavily subsidised fleets.  

“Unfortunately, fish stocks continue to decline while fisheries subsidies continue to increase.”
Countries joining in the statement, including Australia, Argentina, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Fiji, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Solomon Islands, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Senegal, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
These supporting countries recognise that action at the national level should not be delayed, and commit to not providing such subsidies.

AirNZ flies direct to Argentina

Air New Zealand has begun flying between Auckland and Buenos Aires in Argentina three times a week.

Horticulture export act to be updated

A bill has been introduced in Parliament to provide a more flexible and cost effective export framework to enable growers and exporters of horticultural products like avocados, summerfruit and buttercup squash to better target their marketing strategies to meet the specific needs of different markets, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy

The New Zealand Horticultural Export Authority Amendment Bill updates the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Act 1987.

Mr Guy says, “The bill also clarifies the requirements for product groups to enter or exit from this framework, to provide greater certainty and reduce costs. It has been drafted following consultation with both the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority and the nine product groups which use the current export framework.

The bill would be referred to the Primary Production Committee, which would then call for public submissions.

NZ food and beverage sector adding value to volume

The 2015 edition of the Investor’s Guide to the New Zealand Food and Beverage Industry shows increasing levels of investment in product diversification and branded high value consumer products.

A key focus of the report is on the 23 emerging, high value categories, which now produce a total of $3 billion of exports per annum and have grown at 12 per cent a year over the past decade.

Goods with annual export figures of $100-$200 million include chocolate, UHT milk, biscuits, avocadoes, soft drink and beef jerky; valued at $200-$300m include pet food, honey, mussels ($312m)  and infant formula ($455m).

The Investor’s Guide to the New Zealand Food and Beverage Industry is part of the Food and Beverage Information Project and is available HERE

NZ agrees closer partnership with ASEAN

New Zealand’s formal relationship with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been upgraded from a Comprehensive Partnership to a Strategic Partnership.

This is expected to boost trade and investment links and announced New Zealand will invest more than $200 million into the region.

PM John Key says, “We are also working closely together on shared political and security challenges. Our new agreement means we will work more closely together on these issues…and we will increase our efforts to help improve the ability of ASEAN member states to respond to natural disasters.”

NZ-German artificial limb project wins recognition

A pioneering Kiwi-German artificial limb project has been recognised by Europe’s largest applied research institution. The Bionic Joint project, developed by the University of Auckland’s Bio-engineering Institute and the Fraunhofer IPA, has been awarded ICON status by Germany’s Fraunhofer Society, which will provide additional support and funding.

The project aims to develop a bionic elbow joint for use in human exoskeletons intended to reduce workplace injuries and aid recovery of upper arm function in stroke survivors.

The project is a three-year, $3 million collaboration co-funded by the Fraunhofer Society, the IPA, the New Zealand Government’s Catalyst fund, and the University of Auckland.

New vet exchange programme with China

A new veterinary exchange programme with China will help build closer relations in the equine industries, says Primary Industries and Racing Minister Nathan Guy.

The Equine Veterinary Professional Development pilot is a partnership between Rider Horse China, the New Zealand equine industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries

The nine-week programme provides training on areas such as basic equine anatomy and physiology, diagnostic approaches to musculoskeletal ailments affecting performance racehorses, treatment of common equine reproductive conditions and equine artificial insemination.

Three Chinese veterinarians from the China Rider Horse Group are currently in New Zealand as part of the programme.

New Zealand to gain from training aircraft engineers

A new civil aviation rule enables New Zealand aircraft maintenance training organisations to more easily train overseas aircraft engineers.

Target markets include China, Indonesia, India, Viet Nam and Malaysia.

Civil Aviation Rule Part 147 (Maintenance Training Organisations) relates to aspects such as employing appropriately qualified staff, providing appropriate facilities, keeping accurate records and ensuring training courses and examinations are appropriately conducted.

WTO members remove tariffs on IT products, subsidies on agricultures

The recent expansion of the World Trade Organisation Information Technology Agreement (ITA) removes tariffs from 201 products, including new-generation semi-conductors, GPS navigation systems, MRI machines, telecommunications satellites and touch screens. 

Trade Minister Todd McClay says, “This is a real milestone, and I am proud that New Zealand has played its part in getting these difficult negotiations across the line.  The WTO estimates that the value of global trade covered in the expanded ITA is NZ$1.9 trillion annually.   

“The value of New Zealand’s exports of the products covered is some NZ$1 billion annually.   These products account for approximately 10 per cent of global trade.  Phasing out tariffs on these IT products will be a real boost to the global economy.”

It is also the first major tariff-elimination deal at the WTO in the past 19 years.  

This announcement shows that the WTO can deliver relevant, real, and commercially meaningful results,” says Mr McClay.

In addition, the WTO Nairobi package reached at the 10th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Kenya eliminates export subsidies by WTO members.