Ethnic Peoplein CommerceEPIC NZ
ABOUT THE OFFICE OF ETHNIC AFFAIRS          The OEA is focused on people whose culture and traditions distinguish them fro...
WelcomeThe Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA) actively promotes information on thebenefits of diversity to the New Zealand pub...
All of these goals have led to the delivery of the Ethnic People in    Commerce, New Zealand (EPIC NZ) project (formerly c...
Project backgroundIn 2010, the Office of Ethnic Affairs held business forums to connectNew Zealand-based businesses with m...
It’s all about creating international connections through our existing    local diversity.    The target audience for this...
Initiatives withinthe projectThis project is made up of a rangeof components and will be madeavailable to as many New Zeal...
Connecting people    EPIC NZ CONFERENCE    The first EPIC NZ Business Conference was held on 18 May, 2012 in    Auckland w...
Feedback from participants include:“The topics were relevant and timely. The chance to network and shareinsights with insp...
Connecting the regions    NEW ZEALAND AND ETHNIC INVESTOR MEETINGS    This initiative is aimed at forging strong economic ...
The first visit was to Nelson in 2011 where investors exploredopportunities in the aquaculture and agriculture sectors. Du...
Online     EPIC NZ WEBSITE     Migrants to New Zealand have a wealth of skills and experience gained     from working in t...
Everyday how-toKNOWLEDGE WORKSHOPSSkilled and entrepreneurial migrants often have little knowledge aboutundertaking busine...
12
Getting it right                   13
Warren Yee     QUICK CIRCUIT     Quick Circuit specialises in the design and manufacturing of electronics     for a range ...
morning teas for the Diwali festival, the staff at Quick Circuit don’t justexpress their cultural identity but share it wi...
Quick Circuit is also doing business internationally, and finding new     and effective ways of becoming a part of a diver...
Moses AriamaPRIDE LANDSPride Lands is a childcare organisation with a difference. Based inBerhampore, Wellington, it is th...
“Berhampore School’s principal approached me and asked me to set     up a programme there. The principal sited the low dec...
In 2010 Moses created the Pride Awards, recognising young peoplefor their achievements in areas like overcoming adversity,...
Kenneth Leong     EUROASIA     Kenneth Leong started his career as a consultant in the finance industry,     but his passi...
Kenneth and his team are able to be flexible and meet the uniqueneeds of most New Zealand businesses thanks to their diver...
“Whilst it is true that immigrants and people who are new to New     Zealand should learn to understand Kiwis better. Ther...
Mitchell PhamAUGENASIAIf Mitchell Pham has one piece of advice for businessowners in New Zealand it is to be relevant.“The...
“Our office is as diverse as you could probably imagine. We probably     have close to 20 different cultures in our office...
Taz MukorombindoTHE CANTERBURY BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONWhen Taz Mukorombindo emigrated from Zimbabwe to New Zealandin December...
Its growth has been organic, flexible, and has followed the needs of     people in the community to help facilitate a chan...
While earthquake recovery is an ongoing process and will be a part ofthe future plans of all Christchurch businesses for s...
Key facts and additional     research information     The Asia: NZ Perceptions of Asia 2008 survey had some key findings o...
“Immigration boosts trade and tourism withmigrants’ home countries, and policymakersshould recognise the value of thatconn...
www.ethnicaffairs.govt.nzPublished in 2012 by the Office of Ethnic Affairs46 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington, New Zealand...
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The Ethnic People in Commerce in New Zealand project, started in 2010, focuses on creating international business connections through our existing local diversity. This booklet (1.91mb PDF) provides small-medium businesses with a snap shot of the tools available from Office of Ethnic Affairs to help them, and some examples of businesses that are making the most of cultural diversity to help their business grow.

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  1. 1. Ethnic Peoplein CommerceEPIC NZ
  2. 2. ABOUT THE OFFICE OF ETHNIC AFFAIRS The OEA is focused on people whose culture and traditions distinguish them from the majority in New Zealand. Our purpose is to contribute to a strong, self-directed ethnic sector and to promote the advantages of ethnic diversity in New Zealand. Since one of these advantages includes the economic growth potential of our multicultural population, OEA is committed to creating opportunities in which such benefits can be unlocked. Since 2004, OEA has worked on a number of projects around trade and the economy. To find out more, visit our website: www.ethnicaffairs.govt.nz CONTENTS Welcome 1 Project background 3 Initiatives within the project 5 Connecting people – EPIC NZ Conference 6 Connecting the regions – New Zealand and ethnic investor meetings 8 Online – EPIC NZ website 10 Everyday how-to – Knowledge workshops 11 Getting it right 13 Warren Yee – Quick Circuit 14 Moses Ariama – Pride Lands 17 Kenneth Leong – Euroasia 20 Mitchell Pham – AugenASIA 23 Taz Mukorombindo – The Canterbury Business Association 25 Key facts and additional research information 28WL13823
  3. 3. WelcomeThe Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA) actively promotes information on thebenefits of diversity to the New Zealand public in order to promoteacceptance and respect for diversity. When New Zealanders see howethnic diversity adds value to our country, it becomes much easier tocreate an environment of inclusion for all people, irrespective of nationalorigin, colour, or creed.One of the ways OEA promotes this is to create developmentopportunities in intercultural competence. Greater understanding andskills in this area allow for more effective and meaningful communicationacross cultural boundaries, and can lift organisational performancethrough increased productivity and innovation. Furthermore, this levelof effective workplace integration leads to stronger connections forindividuals within their community as a whole.When employers recognise these benefits and have the tools to workeffectively within a diverse workforce, they will be more likely to employpeople from diverse backgrounds. This will lead to a wider range ofemployment opportunities for a range of ethnic communities inNew Zealand.OEA also aims to help maximise and strengthen ethnic people’s networksand skills for domestic economic gain. It involves working with manyorganisations to build connections between business communities,economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, andmainstream business services and support networks. This empowersethnic communities through increased government responsiveness, andmaintains New Zealand’s reputation as a harmonious country. 1
  4. 4. All of these goals have led to the delivery of the Ethnic People in Commerce, New Zealand (EPIC NZ) project (formerly called Building Capacity for Migrant Entrepreneurs) whose audience comprises of ethnic small-medium enterprise, and ethnic entrepreneurs and start-ups. Initiatives delivered through this project include an online database to connect migrant and mainstream businesses for mutual support and mentoring, and a series of public workshops. These workshops provide ethnic and mainstream business communities a point of contact with various economic related government agencies that can assist them in increasing the effectiveness of their business. Apart from capability building, the workshops also provide a networking opportunity between ethnic and mainstream businesses. This publication is part of the initiative also – providing small-medium businesses with a snap shot of the tools available to help them, and some examples of businesses that are getting it right.2
  5. 5. Project backgroundIn 2010, the Office of Ethnic Affairs held business forums to connectNew Zealand-based businesses with migrant/ethnic business, and tomaximise the trade relationships New Zealand has with China, ASEANand India.Some key themes began to emerge that we wanted to share with allNew Zealand business owners.• Many New Zealand businesses struggled to successfully do business with Asian businesses – largely due to a lack of understanding of business cultures and systems.• A stronger understanding between Asian businesses and investors and New Zealand businesses who require advice or guidance on working in Asian markets could help to overcome this challenge.• The relationships that New Zealand has with many countries are strengthened through building on existing business relationships.From here, this project was started – its vision being to connect andstrengthen relationships between New Zealand and internationalbusinesses through understanding, sharing, and guidance. Mainstream Ethnic local businesses + Maori, Pacific, and Pakeha = International connections 3
  6. 6. It’s all about creating international connections through our existing local diversity. The target audience for this project comprises of: • ethnic and mainstream businesses • students (including international students) • academics and relevant economic development government agencies. We’re working closely alongside ethnic and mainstream business leaders, regional chambers of commerce, CEOs of business associations and councils, economic development agencies, and regional universities (young business leaders and young entrepreneurs).  4
  7. 7. Initiatives withinthe projectThis project is made up of a rangeof components and will be madeavailable to as many New Zealandbusiness owners as possible. 5
  8. 8. Connecting people EPIC NZ CONFERENCE The first EPIC NZ Business Conference was held on 18 May, 2012 in Auckland with over 300 business leaders from various ethnicities, backgrounds, and industries in attendance. The conference was a forum for New Zealand-based ethnic and mainstream business leaders, academics, and government agencies to discuss how best to support and tap into the potential within the ethnic SME sector. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss how ethnic and non-ethnic businesses can work together to grow New Zealand’s trade and investment in high-growth markets in the Asia-Pacific region. This conference is a multi-agency collaboration project involving the Office of Ethnic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Ministry of Economic Development/ Inland Revenue, EDANZ, and the Business Associations. All presentations from the 2012 conference are available on the EPIC NZ website, and the OEA intends to continue staging conferences like this as often as possible.6
  9. 9. Feedback from participants include:“The topics were relevant and timely. The chance to network and shareinsights with inspirational speakers was invaluable.”“A very good start in an area that needs a lot more concentration.”“I made good connections and would have loved to have the presence ofKiwi businesses and employers to enhance that collaboration and bridgethe gap between migrants andNew Zealanders.”“I was able to glean so much insight about the issues, challenges, andalso opportunities presented by the speakers and the contributions fromparticipants throughout the event. The outcome was greater than what Iexpected because of the synergy and passion.” 7
  10. 10. Connecting the regions NEW ZEALAND AND ETHNIC INVESTOR MEETINGS This initiative is aimed at forging strong economic working relationships and partnerships with regional and local councils, regional economic development agencies, and New Zealand mainstream business communities, together with respective ethnic business councils and entrepreneurs. We do this by arranging visits and meetings between New Zealand businesses and ethnic investors for them to explore business opportunities in specific sectors. So far this initiative has already led to a range of joint venture projects including the production of a television series for Chinese Television. The Office delivers this initiative in collaboration with the Economic Development Agencies of New Zealand (EDANZ).8
  11. 11. The first visit was to Nelson in 2011 where investors exploredopportunities in the aquaculture and agriculture sectors. During this visitall of the Asian delegates found new business interests which they wouldnever have known existed otherwise. During their visit to the region,Asian entrepreneurs visited local businesses with an aquaculture andhorticulture focus.“It just goes to show we needed to hook into the right channel to getthe right content. We are all very excited. There are businesses from thevisit that we are going to have more conversations with, and we’ve madeplans to contact similar businesses in the area through our newly foundfriends.”– DelegateFollowing on from the Nelson visit, a second visit took place in mid-April2012 to the Bay of Plenty, namely Rotorua, Kawerau and Taupo. 9
  12. 12. Online EPIC NZ WEBSITE Migrants to New Zealand have a wealth of skills and experience gained from working in their countries of origin (for example, knowledge of local customs, language, and business contacts). They just need a place to share the information! OEA have developed a business matching database that sits within the www.epicnz.co.nz website to facilitate a matching of ethnic business contacts with local business looking for particular skills, experience, or networks in specific countries/regions. It will also provide ethnic SMEs with essential information about doing business in New Zealand and connect them to relevant government agencies. The database concept is a market-driven one. The Office received feedback from both ethnic and mainstream businesses about the need for such a dataset during a series of Asian-themed business forums hosted by the Office in 2010. This website has room for growth to incorporate many practical features including language translation capabilities and an interactive business forum. To date, over 200 businesses have registered on this database.10
  13. 13. Everyday how-toKNOWLEDGE WORKSHOPSSkilled and entrepreneurial migrants often have little knowledge aboutundertaking business in New Zealand. This includes setting up a business,trading and exporting products, developing business infrastructure (ITsystems, innovation, and research and development), and connectingwith non-migrant business communities.To build their knowledge, migrants running business rely on their internalnetworks for advice and support, rather than on external networks togain a foothold in the economy.Knowledge workshops seek to enable the migrant and ethnic businesscommunity to:• learn more about the various services that relevant government agencies can provide to assist in increasing the effectiveness of their business• establish and develop a point of contact with various economic focused government agencies• communicate directly with various economic government agencies about their challenges in operating in New Zealand (for example, what their business networks are like and how they work, who they should get advice from, what will help them to succeed and so on).Eight workshops have been held in Auckland, Wellington andChristchurch to date, with a total of 155 participants attending theworkshops. We intend to continue developing these opportunities as thisproject grows. 11
  14. 14. 12
  15. 15. Getting it right 13
  16. 16. Warren Yee QUICK CIRCUIT Quick Circuit specialises in the design and manufacturing of electronics for a range of New Zealand and overseas businesses. With a key focus on quality and customisation, and making it easy for their customers, Quick Circuit has carved out a strong market hold in New Zealand’s electronics industry. But there’s more to the business than just fantastic products. Quick Circuit’s ethnically diverse workforce are one of the key factors driving their success in New Zealand today. Warren Yee, the current Managing Director of Quick Circuit came on board in 2004. Since taking this role he has gained some valuable insights, and believes that the global and diverse workforce, community, and industry have contributed to the company’s success. The staff who work in the office and on the assembly line at the factory come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. Most of the staff are from Asia, particularly China, India, Japan, and Korea – though many more ethnicities are represented in the business. As to why this is, Warren has found that when it comes time to hire, generally Asian applicants have more experience in the industry, a strong work ethic, and the right attitude for the business. “Generally, New Zealanders don’t have a strong desire or the skills required to do the grunt work required to put our product together. For people born in New Zealand there are no courses related to electronics manufacturing, and their training has to come from on-the-job work experience.” The work environment is one where all staff are encouraged to celebrate their diversity. On the factory floor the national flags of all employees are hung around the ceiling. When someone from a new country comes on board, their flag goes up. From Chinese New Year celebrations to14
  17. 17. morning teas for the Diwali festival, the staff at Quick Circuit don’t justexpress their cultural identity but share it with others.“Hanging the flags keeps our diversity present and front of mind, andprovides another way for our staff to feel a connection with where theyhave come from. Our staff initiate their own cultural celebrations too.”Managing a diverse workforce presents both challenges andopportunities. For Warren, a key factor for success has been to create anenvironment where people feel confident and motivated to speak up andshare their ideas.“It’s all about taking the time to ask specific questions and seek feedback.Our staff have brilliant ideas, but speaking up to share them isn’t alwaysfirst nature for them, because of their cultural beliefs. We want toencourage and give our staff confidence to share those ideas.”In response to feedback from staff, Quick Circuit also have a policy ofspeaking English on the factory floor.“We try to break down language barriers as much as possible. Part ofthis is a health and safety issue, and part of this is to help and encouragestaff to share a solution they might be discussing in a way everyone canunderstand.It helps the whole culture of the company, because people don’t feel likethey’re missing out, aren’t being included, or aren’t able to understandvital information for them to do their job.” 15
  18. 18. Quick Circuit is also doing business internationally, and finding new and effective ways of becoming a part of a diverse global community. Whether it is liaising with a supplier, or selling to an off-shore customer, successful relationships with off-shore businesses underpin much of what Quick Circuit is able to achieve. For Warren, working within a culturally diverse workforce is one of the keys to their success in this area. “It’s a no-brainer. Through our diversity we’re able to support our customers and knock down barriers. The possibilities are limitless.” When international businesses come and visit, Quick Circuit staff can act as interpreters, spend time face-to-face with customers easily, and carry out business as usual. Diversity in New Zealand means that Warren and his team already have what it takes to work internationally with customers and suppliers. “We communicate frequently with Asian and European suppliers, predominantly dealing with sales reps. We have an office in China with five staff. Three of them are fluent in English and we talk to them nearly every day. We travel back and forth up to five times a year.” For Quick Circuit, the office in China, helps staff to liaise with suppliers and more easily procure international business. Ultimately Quick Circuit are responsive to the needs of their customers – no matter where they are from. “We’re flexible, so our customers don’t need to be. We work with our customers to get them what they want.” Quick Circuit is able to do that by using its ethnically diverse workforce’s skills and work ethic both on the factory floor and to strengthen international business relationships.  16
  19. 19. Moses AriamaPRIDE LANDSPride Lands is a childcare organisation with a difference. Based inBerhampore, Wellington, it is the brainchild of African-born MosesAriama, an immigrant who is passionate about making a difference inthe lives of young people. Pride Lands offers care for children aged 5–15,at a price parents can afford. Its ever-expanding list of services includesbefore- and after-school care, exciting holiday programmes, andin-home care.“I say to the children – you have legs, you have arms, you have books.Learn, make something, run.”Moses was heading down a different career path, completing hisinternship at Wellington hospital with the goal of becoming apaediatrician. One day in 2006, he realised medicine wasn’t for him.“The cycle was too repetitive and constrained, and there was no roomto spread your wings. I wanted to make a real difference in the lives ofyoung people.”Before embarking on his medical studies, he had worked as an instructorand group leader with children in Africa, the UK and Australia. But in 2006he decided it was finally time to make a proper difference.Pride Lands started small, with Moses running an after school careprogramme at Cardinal McKeefry School in Wellington. The programmewas a great success, with the role doubling within the first year and greatfeedback from parents and the school. The programme has expandedinto other schools in the area as parents and schools have heard goodthings about Moses and his business. 17
  20. 20. “Berhampore School’s principal approached me and asked me to set up a programme there. The principal sited the low decile community with many refugees. I said I wasn’t interested in money, but in providing a service at a level parents could afford. I want to help people and by thinking outside the box I have found ways to support them.” Although the Pride Lands team is putting children before results, the business is performing, and its profitability has been growing steadily each year. So what is the secret to its success? Moses feels that both having a clear vision for the future that balances growing as a business but retaining the quality of their services and focus on diversity are key. Their growth as a business has been built on investment in and support of the community many of whom have low incomes, are immigrants, and are refugees. Pride Lands is also supported by a strong and diverse team – including staff from Africa, America, Jordan, Lebanon, India, Sri Lanka, Canada, Colombia, and New Zealand, and they embrace diversity at all levels. Their cubs (the children who attend their programme) are also from culturally rich and diverse backgrounds. “People recognised what Pride Lands is about. It’s all about people, it caters for everyone. Even my staff are from different cultural backgrounds. The children like that – different faces. When people talk about Pride Lands, the first thing most people think about is the different faces – the African, Asian, American faces… it’s a mix. Other organisations don’t have that mix. It has made a great impact and is even reflected in the colours in the office. It’s vibrant and engaging, filled with children’s art work, lion toys and costumes.”18
  21. 21. In 2010 Moses created the Pride Awards, recognising young peoplefor their achievements in areas like overcoming adversity, and caringfor others. The Oscar-like event brings communities together and issomething Moses is justifiably proud of.Pride Awards is now a charitable trust, and Moses has developed a soundgovernance structure and clear lines of separation from his business PrideLands.“Young people are fighting a big battle here. They’re struggling, and allwe’re concerned about is the economy. But the strange thing is, they arethe economy! If we do great things for them, inspire them to becomebetter people, they will add things to the economy.Inspiration is the key. It’s as simple as letting them know they can do it.” 19
  22. 22. Kenneth Leong EUROASIA Kenneth Leong started his career as a consultant in the finance industry, but his passion has always been connecting people across cultures. When Kenneth got the chance to make this his career he jumped at the chance. That was nine years ago. Today, Euroasia is one of the largest language schools in New Zealand. In the last five years, over 3,000 kiwis have completed one of Euroasia’s language courses. But growing the language skills of New Zealanders isn’t all Euroasia has to offer. It’s their unique range of cross-cultural consultation services which sets them apart from the rest of the market. “We’re in the business of connecting people across cultures. We provide a bridge for people.” For some businesses, Euroasia help by providing pre-trip cultural briefings for executives conducting business offshore. For others, the translation of their website into another language helps them to broaden their presence in the market place and connect with a more culturally diverse audience. If it’s about cultural connection, Euroasia are able to help. “In an increasingly diverse New Zealand it is imperative that we understand how to connect across cultures. It’s about being pragmatic. It’s about taking advantage of the opportunities that a changing New Zealand has to offer.” As New Zealand businesses move and grow offshore, there is a growing need for employers to ensure they are recruiting staff with strong cultural competence skills. Euroasia have helped a number of businesses in this area by providing testing and advice through their recruitment process.20
  23. 23. Kenneth and his team are able to be flexible and meet the uniqueneeds of most New Zealand businesses thanks to their diverse team ofteachers and consultants. When building the Euroasia team, Kennethlooks for people like him – people with a passion to connect with thosewho are different. He sees their role as more than just teachers; they’reambassadors for their country.“They’re bridge builders and connectors, not just employees. We utilisediversity. Every single person within the company speaks at least twolanguages, if not three or four.”While Kenneth perceives strong cultural competence is a must-have forany business, one of their challenges is to reach people who don’t sharethis viewpoint. This is a common challenge not just for Euroasia, but forall business. Kenneth believes that those who don’t believe that culturalcompetence is important are at risk of closing their businesses off to arange of business opportunities. 21
  24. 24. “Whilst it is true that immigrants and people who are new to New Zealand should learn to understand Kiwis better. There is also a responsibility for New Zealanders to take advantage of the diversity and all that it has to offer. It’s about being smart.” Kenneth believes that the most effective, happy, and successful migrants in New Zealand are those who have not given up their own cultures to ‘be Kiwi’. They have instead taken up the best of both worlds. The same is true of successful businesses in New Zealand – often embracing diversity is a trademark of their success. Euroasia is founded on this belief. “Without diversity we have no business. We are a global business – a multicultural business – simply because that’s the essence of who we are. Without diversity we are nothing.” When it comes to practical advice for businesses, and how they can increase their own cultural competence, Kenneth believes it comes full circle back to learning another language. “Learning a language is one of the best ways to understand other cultural perspectives, be more culturally aware, and connect with others. By putting yourself in a position where you feel a bit lost, you start to understand the challenges felt by people who are new to New Zealand. This is something anyone can do.”22
  25. 25. Mitchell PhamAUGENASIAIf Mitchell Pham has one piece of advice for businessowners in New Zealand it is to be relevant.“The formula for success in New Zealand ispresence + engagement = relevance. You haveto be relevant. As soon as you’re not relevant youlose your foothold.”AugenASIA had humble beginnings – started by a group of five universityfriends, including Mitchell. Their first three years of operation were allabout finding what would make their business relevant in the NewZealand market, and working hard to find a product or project that wouldget them a foot in the door.At the end of their third year each of the founders were able to paythemselves the sum of $12.50 each – their company was profitable. Sincethen AugenASIA has grown in leaps and bounds, partnering with manyNew Zealand businesses to help them deliver technology solutions thatmake waves in the New Zealand and global marketplace.“To be successful you need not just innovative ideas, but the capacity tomake them happen. You also need the ability to scale your products upand down to meet customer demands. Cultural diversity has enabled usto use the resources of other countries to build New Zealand’s innovationand our product offering. We can then boost our New Zealand economyby selling those products back offshore.”Building strong relationships and partnering with other New Zealandbusinesses was fundamental to AugenASIA’s business growth. And forMitchell, ethnic diversity was integral for the expansion of the business inNew Zealand and offshore. 23
  26. 26. “Our office is as diverse as you could probably imagine. We probably have close to 20 different cultures in our offices. They all have different religions, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. With our customers too, their staff are also more and more diverse. It helps our staff to form personal connections.” 2004 marked the first year that AugenASIA started operating internationally. The move to partner with overseas businesses was born of a shortage of the required skills to meet AugenASIA’s needs in New Zealand’s own labour force. This, together with Mitchell’s connection with his family, made Vietnam a fantastic place for AugenASIA to expand to. Currently AugenASIA is going through an explosive growth period. Over the next 18 months Mitchell will be working on ensuring the business infrastructure is strong enough to sustain that growth for the future. “We see being organic as being an important part of our business, After 19 years of being in business we find we need to reinvent ourselves and reconnect with the world around us. We believe that in order to grow the New Zealand economy and our society, we need the rest of the world. There is no limit to innovation.” Ultimately, AugenASIA are growing their business by helping others to grow. And in order to achieve this, they’re harnessing the diversity around them – in the marketplace in which they operate, within their own team, and within the offices of their customers and partners. “If you, as an organisation operating in Auckland are not diverse, you miss out.”24
  27. 27. Taz MukorombindoTHE CANTERBURY BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONWhen Taz Mukorombindo emigrated from Zimbabwe to New Zealandin December 2002, his arrival and initial experiences were like manyother new immigrants to the country. A highly skilled and experiencedindividual, with a Bachelor of Commerce, Taz struggled to get a job in hisfield, and ultimately ended up working as a labourer and in various retailpositions.Taz decided to go back to study, and while completing his Masters atMassey in New Zealand, was asked to base research around a practicalproblem. His research led him to investigate the very challenge he wasfacing – what gaps existed between the needs of ethnic entrepreneursand the current offering of business support services for immigrants inNew Zealand.“I got a real insight, not just about my own personal employmentchallenge, but to understand what has worked, what could work, andhave a closer look locally and abroad in the area of ethnic entrepreneurs.All countries face these similar challenges.”Through his research, Taz found that the most successful programmeshad been mentoring programmes, and networking opportunities.Having identified a lack of any such programme in the Christchurcharea, Taz decided to be the one to start the change. In 2007 theCanterbury Business Association (CBA) was born. Its main goal is tofacilitate the economic wellbeing of refugees, migrants, and minoritiesin New Zealand.“It was always charitable, and was always going to need to be supportedby participants and through other initiatives.” 25
  28. 28. Its growth has been organic, flexible, and has followed the needs of people in the community to help facilitate a change in whatever way will work. In 2008, CBA offered regular networking meetings, public seminars, and mentoring opportunities to entrepreneurs who were new to New Zealand’s business landscape. “The biggest gaps for ethnic entrepreneurs are information gaps – finding out how to connect and how to get things done. And there are barriers to accessing this information like being new to an area, not knowing the language, and not knowing the right people.” In 2010 the mentoring programme was partnered with Christchurch Polytech. CBA was growing in a range of different areas, and continued to identify common problems, industries, and some individuals where they could make a difference. But in February 2011 everything changed when a major earthquake hit Christchurch. The CBA went into action and started running public forums and meetings to raise awareness around the support that was available for local businesses. “The earthquake really changed the landscape for us. A lot of my friends had their businesses destroyed or affected. We started running public forums, but it wasn’t enough. People still left those meetings with their problems.” Wanting to make a real difference, the CBA set up the Ethnic Business Recovery Project. At its heart, the project is a mentoring and coaching programme to help businesses with one-on-one support for recovery. To make sure their message is reaching the right people, they’ve employed a range of business advisors from different cultures to help consult and support members of their own cultural communities in Christchurch. “As the needs have grown, so have we.”26
  29. 29. While earthquake recovery is an ongoing process and will be a part ofthe future plans of all Christchurch businesses for some time, Taz is alsocontinuing to develop the business-as-usual support needed for newimmigrants in Christchurch.“Ethnic people are overrepresented in retail, dairy and are less present inresearch, development, and technology industries. We’d like to get theMinistry to help showcase how the skills new immigrants have could beutilised by research and development, and export and import industrieshere to assist New Zealanders.” 27
  30. 30. Key facts and additional research information The Asia: NZ Perceptions of Asia 2008 survey had some key findings of interest, showing New Zealand’s attitudes to diversity are generally very positive. 22.9% of the New Zealand population were born overseas (37% in the Auckland region) and over 200 ethnic groups represented nationally, New Zealand boasts a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience in our multicultural workforce. 75% of respondents see the Asia region as “important” to New Zealand’s future, up from 71% in 2007. 91% saw Asia as an important export market having a positive impact in New Zealand’s future in the next 10–20 years. 80% thought Asia’s economic growth would have a positive impact on New Zealand. 73% thought free-trade agreements between New Zealand and Asian countries would have positive future impacts for New Zealand. 89% saw future benefits from Asian tourism to New Zealand. 50% of the China-born interviewees travel internationally to support their business and 90% of these participants travel to China. Maintaining overseas Chinese contacts was an important facet of business practice. 40% of the businesses owned by New Zealand-born respondents operate internationally compared with 27% of businesses owned by those born in the Asia Pacific region.28
  31. 31. “Immigration boosts trade and tourism withmigrants’ home countries, and policymakersshould recognise the value of thatconnective tissue.” BRIAN FALLOW, NZ HERALD
  32. 32. www.ethnicaffairs.govt.nzPublished in 2012 by the Office of Ethnic Affairs46 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington, New ZealandAll rights reserved. For all enquiries contactthe publishers.© Crown copyright 2012 The Department ofInternal Affairs, Te Tari TaiwhenuaISBN 978-0-478-35568-0

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