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New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

New Zealand Chamber of
Commerce in Hong Kong
meets for networking drinks
every third Tuesday
of the month at the
Mirage Bar (Lobby)
Renaissance Harbour View
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
6:30 to 8:30pm
No reservations
Just turn up & enjoy

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This website is owned by the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Copyright (c) 2007-2022 This page updated May 2022

Kiwis in Hong Kong

Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I am from Edgecumbe in the Bay of Plenty and have been in Hong Kong for 14 years.

 

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

I am a Sustainability Strategist with my own consulting company called Coordinate4u. I work with companies to discover areas where they can improve their use of natural resources. My work recently has been within the transport sector looking at waste management, recycling, and water opportunities.

Tell us about your work plus a memorable project


I often partner with consultants at The Purpose Business to work with some of Hong Kong’s iconic brands. For projects with conglomerates such as Swire Pacific and Jardine Matheson, my regular role is to host discussions and workshops with senior management and front line staff, to confirm their overall strategic direction and action plans. These discussions take into account different environmental considerations with one memorable project being with Cathay Pacific where we looked at reducing plastic waste without increasing CO2 emissions.  An exciting project was to help HK Rugby Union to reduce plastic waste by introducing reusable cups at the HK Sevens in 2019.

 

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?


Louise Taylor and I came to Hong Kong as two Kiwi’s with no family in Hong Kong. We love heading to the beach or walking mountain trails in Hong Kong.  Often we do that with dogs that we look after for friends.

 

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?


The variety of life here in Hong Kong is what I like most about living here. You can be in a work meeting on the 88th floor of a building then 20 minutes later you can have travelled by efficient public transport to a country park or beach and be in beautiful natural surroundings.


Kia Ora : I’m Merrin Pearse

Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I am a Dunedin boy but started drifting North by living in Nelson for 10 years, then three years in each of Wellington and Auckland before moving to Hong Kong 20 years ago.

 

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?


I am one of the many antipodeans who are in financial services - I moved up here with ING Bank. Five years ago I set up a technology company in Hong Kong and a licensed network of financial advisory businesses around Asia 


Tell us about your work plus a memorable project

Whilst independent financial adviser networks (who support small advisory firms with licences and practical tools to help them provide better service to their clients) are common in New Zealand, there were no networks in Asia - including those who give ongoing advice to expats - including Kiwis. I saw the opportunity to build a business to fill this gap in the market.  

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

My wife and I brought up our four children then aged 12, 10, 8 and 5. We are very lucky three out of the four still live in Hong Kong. My personal life in Hong Kong is made up of competitive squash (Hong Kong Cricket Club), hiking (when it's a bit cooler!) and sailing.

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

The vibrancy of Hong Kong and the stimulation that comes from having a network of interesting (and successful) people from all walks of life. Living in Happy Valley adds to this with its convenience to everything. Life is never boring in Hong Kong.


Kia Ora : I’m Phil Neilson

Getting to know Kiwis in Hong Kong! A selection of New Zealanders living and working in Hong Kong. If you want to contact any of the Kiwis listed below, please send an e-mail to exec.officer@nzcchk.com in the first instance. We’ll pass your message on.

Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I am from Dunedin, born and bred in the outskirts town of Mosgiel and raised in the country township of Outram. My family heritage stems from the gold rush days since 1869 when my great great grandfather Choie Sew Hoy arrived in Dunedin and set up his merchant and gold dredging business.


Our family roots stem from the upper Panyu district of Guangzhou, and as part of my overseas experience (OE) I’ve have traced both sides of my family roots in China, since landing in Hong Kong over 27 years ago. After completing my Otago university study, I worked three years in Dunedin obtaining my professional accounting qualifications, ensured Mum and Dad were happily settled in retirement and decided on Hong Kong for my OE as many kiwis did  back then, although UK/London was not my "cup of tea" so to speak. Since arriving Hong Kong is home, but New Zealand is still where my heart is. 

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

 

I've been involved in the Hong Kong financial services sector for over 20 years and was the CFO for 13 years for a publicly listed Hong Kong investment bank which was taken over by a mainland conglomerate in 2016. Thereafter I helped establish its debt capital markets operation before departing in 2018. I now manage my private investments and do volunteering and mentoring young accountants.


Tell us about your work and a memorable project

 

Being part of an investment bank, we were always inundated with many opportunities and clients, and during the past two decades with the opening of China, led to meeting, learning and developing many interesting people and forming many social and business relationships and seeing these businesses develop over time. The tracing of yesteryear history of my own family and heritage was a great path of enlightenment, as my forefathers having travelled to California, Victoria and finally ending up in Otago gave me inspiration to pursue my roots and establish a presence in the region where my family originated, somewhat of an ironic role reversal after 150 years. My early days of business travels into the mainland were exciting and intriguing, not having the communication skills equipped to express my sentiment fully. A challenge on one hand, but an exciting opportunity otherwise. Those experiences are only developed and couldn't be learned, something which I imagined my forefathers endured similarly 150 years ago.

 

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time

 

I met my wife in Hong Kong, who like me is born and bred Kiwi from Auckland. Her roots stem from Zengcheng county in Guangzhou after her grandfather arrived in New Zealand in the early 1900's. Being both NZBCs (New Zealand born Chinese) we both wanted our children to embrace both sides of the culture and to ensure they knew their heritage and also New Zealand, where we made numerous trips to visit whanau. Our two boys were born and raised in Hong Kong and are now completing university in Melbourne. I enjoy following New Zealand rugby and dabbled in social rugby in my early days in Hong Kong, but after the battering have resorted to much less impact and enjoy trail running and hiking. Love exploring the obscure parts of Hong Kong which has a treasure trove of wonderful landscapes, adventure  and history.


What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

 

Convenience and accessibility is the essence of Hong Kong, in both the city and as an international base for us to travel and experience many cultures. Within Hong Kong, the food, the mountains, the harbours and seas and the villages are so accessible, hence my passion for trail running and hiking and generally keeping fit and healthy. The access to the Greater Bay Area by Macau bridge, and the high speed train has allowed me more opportunity to explore my roots now having more time on my hands.





Kia Ora : I’m Kevin Sew Hoy

Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

Born and raised in the mighty Naki (Taranaki), but moved across the ditch to Australia for a few years after University, before making the move to Hong Kong in January, 2020 (good timing with COVID)!


What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

I was lucky enough to move over here as part of a little Kiwi company known as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. F&P designs and manufactures products for use primarily in respiratory care, both in the hospital and at home.

Tell us about your work plus a memorable project


I look after the F&P team here in Hong Kong and Macau and together we aim to further educate doctors and nurses in HK/Macau about the benefits of respiratory humidification and hopefully to elicit changes in clinical practice to allow for better patient outcomes. In terms of a memorable project - with COVID-19, there was a large demand for ventilators globally. Our team in Hong Kong was able to garner a partnership with a ventilator company to bundle our respiratory humidifiers with all of their ventilators as part of a contract with the Hong Kong Hospital Authority.


Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?


I made the journey over by myself, but was fortunate to makes friends quickly, even during a pandemic! In terms of my personal time I like to dabble in some competitive squash at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, in addition to satiating my adventurous side by exploring the various country parks Hong Kong has to offer, as well as playing a bit of guitar (heavy metal)!

 

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?


What’s not to like? The food, the people, the weather. The fact that you can be in a bustling metropolis one minute, to being in a beautiful country park within 20 minutes of walking is unreal. Hong Kong is one of the most unique cities that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing and I look forward to what more it has in store moving forward.


Kia Ora : I’m Yeshan (Yay) Ekanayake

Kia Ora

Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I was born in Timaru, attended primary school in Christchurch and secondary school at Auckland Grammar School. My training as a Registered Land Surveyor was completed by 1961 and in 1962 I left New Zealand for Australia and the United Kingdom on what was known then as a working holiday. After three years in the UK, I left in 1966 to work in Hong Kong. I have been here for 55 years.


Kia Ora : I’m Gordon Andreassend

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

The position I held in the Hong Kong PWD as a Land Surveyor was on a three year contract, and it was intended to be a stepping-stone back to NZ. I never took the second step. Following two contacts I was offered a permanent career in Her Majesty’s Overseas Civil Service. I accepted.

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project

My work was interesting and demanding from day one, with never a dull moment. 1967 proved to be the most difficult year with about four months of riots and bombs in the streets. The British troops and the Hong Kong Police saved the day, although many deaths were recorded.  Normal activities resumed by year's end.

My work continued to be interesting and over the years I was able to gain experience in many fields that I would never have seen in New Zealand.

For example, aerial surveying and photogrammetry, precise measurements using electronic distance measuring equipment - we used this from 1971 to protect the proposed MTR route, long before it was given the official go-ahead. Other examples are a two year stint as cartographer, introducing coloured maps to be published in Hong Kong, the establishment of the computerized land data system, and assisting in the setting up of the Hong Kong Hydrographic Office.

I benefitted of course from the normal promotion system, and progressed through various posts until I entered a new post of Principal Govt. Land Surveyor, a Deputy Director post, and the head of the Survey Office. Our Director was an obliging man, and accepted that our office should be called the Survey  & Mapping Office (SMO). I retired from the SMO in 1995, when it was in the Lands Dept, and spent some time as a consultant before moving into full time retirement as a Hong Kong resident.

Ah retirement - nothing to do, and all day to do it in !

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

I married my locally born wife, Wai, in the 1980s - we have no children - and I continue to be very well looked after by this capable young lady.

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

I’ve always enjoyed the dynamic pace of life in Hong Kong, and now that I have slowed down a bit, I continue to enjoy my time in the hills and tracks of our Country Parks. Time spent with old friends I have made in Hong Kong is the icing on the cake.


Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?


I grew up in a small town called Hawera, in Taranaki. I studied in Wellington for five years and worked in Auckland for five years before heading to Asia in January 2011. I’ve been based in Hong Kong for the past six years. 



Kia Ora : I’m Sarah Foo

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?


I’m an accountant and have worked in the areas of tax and technology for 15+ years. On Monday this week I commenced a new role for Xero (the Kiwi online accounting software company) as the Territory Manager for Hong Kong.


Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project.


In my new role I am leading a team and helping small businesses and accounting firms in Hong Kong to embrace automation and technology. I’ve returned to Xero after a break and am sure there will a number of memorable projects going forward.

 

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?


My Husband Darren and I have six year old twin boys who were born in Singapore and moved to Hong Kong with me when they were only 10 weeks old. Our spare time is full of sport - hockey, rugby, basketball and swimming and meeting up with friends. I enjoy getting out on the water in a dragon boat and hope to join the 2022 season as I’ve taken a break this year. 

 

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?


There’s a lot to love about living in Hong Kong! You are surrounded by nature and great beaches, wonderful dining and attractions (like the new Water World) and the ability to jump on a plane and be in another city in an hour. I’ve met some wonderful people in Hong Kong and have a supportive network of friends who are like family.


Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

Born in Wellington. I managed to spend early years in Whangarei, Foxton and Palmerston North, before returning to Wellington, prior to coming to Hong Kong in October, 2000.


Kia Ora : I’m Oliver Love

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

Helping people to generate awareness about how they can be even more successful in their roles at work. I am a facilitator through CFT Asia and also run a business certifying people in the use of DISC profiles around the Asia and Pacific region.

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project

I’ve been fortunate to be involved in people development through out my career in Hong Kong, first in sports management and coaching and then through corporate facilitation and coaching. My role is to help people identify how they can successfully manage themselves to have a positive influence on the interactions they have at work. This often involves developing team work, individual capabilities and approaches to leading others. I’ve been lucky enough to work with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. This is always particularly rewarding as it involves working with NZTE to become even more effective at assisting New Zealand businesses to create opportunities for bringing New Zealand offerings to Asia. As a Kiwi, it feels good to be able to contribute to this.

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

My family are now back in New Zealand, enjoying the experiences unique to Kiwi life style. I travel back and forth and while I’m here in Hong Kong I spend weekends making the most of Hong Kong trails and playing hockey for the Valley Rugby Football Club. Being able to make the most of the outdoor experiences that Hong Kong offers is a welcome change from the corporate environment I’m in during the week.

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

The buzz, intensity and opportunities that Hong Kong offer both at work and play are unique and a big contrast to New Zealand. I enjoy leaving Hong Kong, being able to dial down and then returning, dialling up and enjoying all that this great city has to offer.


Tena Koutou Katoa: Ko Rangipoua toku Maunga; Ko Haparapara toku Awa, Ko Te Arawa, Horouta, Tainui, Takitimu, Mataatua, Tauira-mai-tawhiti oku Waka; Ko Te Whanaui-a-Apanui toku Iwi; Ko Te Whanau-a-Nuku, Te Whanau-a-Haraawaka oku Hapu; Ko Omaio, Haraawaka oku Marae; Ko Arapeta Ngamoki raua ko Rokahurihia Cameron oku Matua;  Ko Carl Rangituatata Ngamoki-Cameron ahau; No Reira, Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou, Tena Ra Tatou Katoa.


Kia Ora : I’m Carl Ngamoki-Cameron

Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

Home for me is rich tapestry of experiences and ties to the people and land, including my traditional links to Te Whanau-a-Apanui on the East Coast of the Bay of Plenty, being born in Kawerau, attending Matata and Thornton Primary Schools; my Te Au Whanau links to Ngai Tahu at the bottom of the South Island, my matua whangai ‘Cameron’ Scottish links to Dunedin, family stints in Ferndale, Mataura and Gore, and the fact my family settled north of Dunedin, in a place called Waitati, where they established Te Whare Wanaga o Te Whanau Arohanui (a place of learning and development for the whole community); attending Otago Boys High School, the University of Otago (Bachelor of Sport & Exercise Sciences) and the University of Auckland (Bachelor of Laws), before emigrating to Fiji in 2004, where I established a corporate legal practice over the last 20 years.  I’ve been living and conducting business in Hong Kong since late 2018.


What do you do for business in Hong Kong?


In addition to my legal experience, I have gained extensive private and public sector governance experience, as a non-executive director, president, chair or deputy chair, in tourism development and construction, real estate investment, regional and international trade, national and international sports federations, private equity investment, air terminal services, public trustee services and mezzanine finance.  Whilst I continue to act as General Counsel in the Pacific for several New Zealand, Australian and Chinese clients, my main work in Hong Kong relates to private client investment and setting up business and structures in the Pacific (particularly Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu), including citizenship or residency services, legal and business advice, and the private sale of luxury or commercial real estate in Hong Kong and the Pacific.


Tell us about your work role/work, plus a memorable project


I am the Director Pacific for local company, NCL Limited. My company delivers inter-disciplinary legal and professional services locally for trade, investment and business clients within the Asia Pacific Region, utilizing formal professional networks and relationships in relevant countries.  My role is broad and leverages my deep networks and understanding of doing business in the Pacific, and ability to collaborate with and coordinate people and professionals from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to deliver timely results.  At the end of 2019 and early 2020, I assisted a young group of IT investors and entrepreneurs from Asia to evaluate their business residency options within the Pacific, to migrate, set up business, negotiate and purchase real estate. These clients successfully emigrated before the current covid measures were rolled out globally. During the current pandemic, work has ranged from due diligence advice to a major iron ore concern evaluating investment in the Pacific, to assisting clients acquire foreign citizenship or residency, and the sale or marketing of luxury and commercial real estate in Hong Kong.


Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?


I have many friends and business associates in Hong Kong.  I’ve always been active in sports and outdoor activities, including road cycling and triathlon events, not to mention Rugby at all levels.  Like a duck to water, I’ve taken to trail running and joined a local running group, which also likes to down a few ales.  I joined one of the many societies in Hong Kong which is involved in charitable activities.  I’m keen on boating and sailing and am out on the Ocean whenever I can.  Placing first and runner-up in the last two years ‘4 Bays Race’ has been a highlight of my Hong Kong experience so far.  I’m starting to get involved in Hong Kong Rugby.

 

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?


I love the vitality of the people and place in general, the country parks, ocean and food.  I remember arriving and reading that Hong Kong has the highest density of restaurants in the World, and thinking I love the place already!



Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I grew up on a cattle farm near Matakana, north of Auckland, studied economics & finance at the University of Auckland before heading to China as a student on a NZ-China Exchange Program scholarship in 1992. After two years at Nanjing University, most of which I spent travelling to the far flung parts of China, I took up my first job with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise in Shanghai.  

Kia Ora : I’m Erwin Sanft

Those were fun times, as the enormity of China's economic miracle started to become apparent. Hong Kong wasn't really part of my plans but I'd always hankered to do stock market research and the opportunity came with Credit Lyonnais (CLSA) here in 1996.

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong wasn't my favourite place for the first five years I was here, partly because I didn't have any money when I arrived and partly because I felt I was missing out on all that was going on in mainland China. Once I realised that Hong Kong was one of the very few East-meets-West places on the planet, and got my finances in order, I've really enjoyed being a Hongkonger and haven't looked back. Until 2017, I worked as the head of China research at several international banks.

Tell us about your work role/work, plus a memorable project

A stint as a fund manager followed and now I'm a partner at private equity firm Pasaca Capital. Our headquarters is in the United States and we mainly invest in healthcare and medical technologies. Most of my career has been in jobs relating to China and Hong Kong is a great place to do that. The city can be a tough place if you're not involved with China activities, but if you are, then the city really has no equal.

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

My wife, Vera, & I met when I was in Shanghai and our children were born and raised in Hong Kong. They are teenagers now and our thoughts are turning to whether Hong Kong is a suitable place for retirement. We haven't reached a conclusion but as long as there is a business reason to remain in Hong Kong then it is hard to beat. We've had friends say their farewells and return to Australia and New Zealand, only to show up back here for more action. If you leave, it's important to pick the right moment to do so, I guess.

 What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong during the pandemic has felt like a reverse Hotel California - you can leave, but it's not easy to check back in. Being "trapped" here throws into sharp relief what the city offers. Hiking the hills has always been my main escape, and once recharged, you get to step back into a city with first-class services, deep business networks and the finest dining from around the globe.


Ko Rangitāne me Ngāti Rarua ngā iwi

Ko Tapuae o Uenuku te maunga

Ko Wairau te awa

Ko Raukawa te moana


Kia ora : I’m Heidi-Anna Gordon

Where in NZ are you from and how long have you been based in HK?

I was born in Auckland, my grandparents (Dad’s mum and dad) lived near and when my brother and I would walk home from school, there was a fork in the road, go home or go to Nana and Grandad’s.  When I was six years old Mum got a job as the school nurse at the boarding school Church College of New Zealand in Hamilton.  We lived above the school hospital for 20 years and my brother and sisters all went to high school there, along with many of my cousins.  I studied at The University of Waikato for a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Business Studies.  After university I moved back to Auckland where I worked in various roles before work brought me to Hong Kong.

Mum is from a little place called Wairau Pā which is one of the oldest and most significant archaeological sites in Aotearoa.  Growing up, we’d always travel home to the Pā for holidays, reunions, weddings and tangi, it’s my most favourite place in the world.  When I return back to Aotearoa, there is a mandatory trip back to the top of the South Island to spend time swimming in the rivers and ocean, hanging with my whānau and eating delicious seafood down the Sounds.  This is what sustains me while I’m in Hong Kong.      

Countdown is on to getting my PR, I’ve been here for 6 ½ years.  I think when I look back at my life, the time I spend in Hong Kong will be one of those best phases of my life.  

What do you do for business in HK?

I’m Vice President of Corporate Accounts and sell aircraft furniture to airlines.  I look after Asia Pacific and Africa regions.  Needless to say that the last two years has been an interesting time working in the aviation industry.  We’ve gone through huge redundancies and it still feels like a few more years before the industry recovers.   

Our company use to be owned by Air New Zealand before being sold to a UK company called AIM Altitude.  I’m the only employee in Hong Kong and work from home, so the commute is excellent.      

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project.

Our company specialises in business class seats, bars and custom furniture in the aircraft, think James Bond sipping on a martini at a bar while flying or the couple from Crazy Rich Asians having a drink at the horseshoe bar on the way to Singapore.  Pre-covid, my role meant I was travelling every often to visit with airlines or going to meetings at Airbus in Europe or Boeing in the US.  There are so many things that I’ve always loved about my job, the places it’s taken me to and the people I’ve met.  I miss meeting with customers in person.  

A key highlight was being able to take Mum and Dad on a trip to the Boeing factory in Everett, USA.  On another occasion, I remember hopping on a plane that had our furniture on when you first boarded the aircraft.  I was following a man with his young son and heard the son say to his father, “Dad, this plane is cool” and I had a little smile on my face knowing we’d contributed somehow to that experience.         

What do you do in your personal time?

My passion is travel, I also love learning new things.  As travel has been complicated for the past couple of years, the learning new things aspect has filled the void.  I’ve started pottery and water colour painting.  A few years ago I did my Yoga Teacher Training in Bali.  This year I’ve added to that by becoming certified in Yin Yoga as well as Breathwork and Meditation.  I’m currently studying for exams and doing my teaching hours to become certified as a Pilates Mat and Reformer Teacher.  Hopefully travel resumes soon so that I can read more novels instead of textbooks.  Other than that, I love being active outdoors, swimming is my solace and my guilty pleasure is watching Nordic Noir tv shows.  Being involved in Te Hokioi kapa haka roopu and the Kiwi Events Hong Kong team also keeps me busy and grounded.   

What do you like about living in HK?

I love living in Hong Kong, in fact I think I should be on some kind of bonus scheme for the Hong Kong Tourism Board as a walking billboard.  The quality of people you meet in Hong Kong is amazing.  Everyone is doing something interesting and taking full advantage of life’s opportunities.  Then there’s the food!  From my local dim sum place to weekend brunches, it’s all delicious.  Hong Kong is a juxtaposition of old and new, east and west, a vibrant paradox.  


Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I was born in Hastings, but family moved to Miramar, Wellington shortly after where I lived for the first ten years. When I was 11, my family moved to Hong Kong with my dad’s job and spent three formative years here before his company was sold and we moved back to New Zealand, choosing to settle in Auckland.


Kia Ora : I’m Lawrence Tuck

After finishing high school, I went to Auckland University and shortly after graduating moved back to Hong Kong. Perhaps it was the three years as a kid, but I always wanted to come back to Asia and I’ve been here for the last 10 ½ years. After six years of doing the inner city apartment living, I moved out to Shek O – where kids run around barefoot, the beach is on my doorstep, food is cheap and tasty, I know my neighbours and life feels like a Cantonese version of small town Coromandel.

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?


I’ve had quite a variety of roles over my short time here, initially I worked for a charity called ICM. I was in charge of planning, and attending short term poverty exposure trips in slum communities in The Philippines. Then a brief stint in Chinese manufacturing was followed by six years in recruitment. Hitting a quarter life crisis, I decided to change trajectories and made a switch into Banking. I now work for HSBC Expat as a Business Development Manager. HSBC Expat is headquartered in Jersey (Channel Islands), with a representative office in Hong Kong. We provide offshore banking, wealth & mortgage products for individuals around the world with international financial needs. Alongside this, I also lead the Hong Kong subsidiary of a New Zealand Hospo-Tech company called Aria Experience. We build, manage and sell a full suite of digital ordering, operations, payments and supply integration solutions for hospitality outlets.


Tell us about your work role/work, plus a memorable project


Despite our name, the HSBC ‘Expat’ proposition serves people who look far different to your conventional western expat. We serve any individual with a need for international / offshore personal banking services; and in fact a large proportion of our clients are Hong Kong residents. We help people who are looking to diversify where their wealth is stored, growing, or perhaps want to invest into UK Property and Share market.


I really enjoy the variety of customers, business partners, and colleagues I get to interact with on a daily basis. At the core, my role is educating, advising, and helping people understand whether the products and services we offer are in line with their personal financial needs. It’s fulfilling working in the intersection of customers unmet needs and a genuine ignorance of what options are available to them.


Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?


All my family are back in New Zealand, and whenever I go home I spread my time between the immediate family in Auckland and extended who are spread across Tauranga, Rotovegas, Welly, Christchurch and the West Coast. Makes for some epic road trips.


In my personal time I ride motorbikes, bodyboard, hike (currently trying to knock off Hong Kong’s 50 tallest peaks), go Coasteering or SUP, or spend time exploring new neighbourhoods and discovering little nuances around the city. I used to enjoy travelling but…well we all know how that story goes.

 

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?


Proximity to the rest of Asia but within Hong Kong I love the access to outdoors at my doorstep, the proximity to a vibrant dining, entertainment scene filled with friendly and open people. Overall, the sense of security and personal safety is a big plus.


Kia Ora : I’m Donna Buckland

 What do you do for business in HK?       

I am a Chartered Accountant and one of the finance directors at Prudential’s Asia Head Office, focussing on strategic change and governance. Outside work, I have been fortunate enough to support international NGOs such as Rotary and UNESCO.

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project 

I work with  colleagues in all markets Prudential operates, delivering strategic transformation. It’s a broad role mixing finance and business and I find it fulfilling when I can help colleagues in the region delivering strategic business initiatives.

In my seven years in a regional role, it spans from regional governance, to innovation and strategic change. Personally though, one of the most memorable projects was Prudential’s community investment arm project.  We got to help out victims of natural disaster in Philippines building new houses by partnering with Habit for Humanity.

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

I have a wonderful son and a husband who are my lifelong teachers.

I try to be a sports mummy in the weekends and volunteer my time for NGO. I served as a president of Rotary Club of Hong Kong and currently serve as a strategy chair for UNESCO HKA’s education initiative. I also mentor students through Chinese University and help out Manchester Business School’s Global MBA programme as an alumni ambassador when and where I can.

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?       

The variety!

In everything from people, culture, food, and nature. Hong Kong has it all.  Counter intuitively, I never hiked or camped when I was in New Zealand, go figure!

Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I am from Auckland, and have just celebrated seven years in Hong Kong.

Click here to find me below!

Merrin Pearse

Phil Neilson

Yeshan Ekanayake

Kevin Sew Hoy

Gordon Andreassend

Sarah Foo

Oliver Love

Carl Ngamoki-Cameron

Erwin Sanft

Heidi-Anna Gordon

Lawrence Tuck

Donna Buckland

Darren Foo

James Bishop

Hamish McCardle

Michael Nock

Kate MacFarlane

Frank Doogan

Katie Townsend

Graham Barkus

Ben So

Sean Purdie

Damien Laracy

Chrissy Etchells-Bailey

Krystina Te Kanawa

Rebekah Bradley

Jamie Le Brun

Gayble Tsang

Paul Buckland

Titus Rahiri

Kia Ora : I’m Darren Foo

Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in HK?

I am from Wellington, having grown up in Karori with my grandparents, Mum, Dad, and younger brother – three generations under one roof. Born in Singapore, my parents took us on what we thought was a family holiday to Aotearoa over 30 years ago. ”


Weeks went by and I, being clueless as a kid, never suspected it was a permanent move until we had to pack our bags for Karori West Normal School. Even then, I remember asking my folks the night before the first day of school, “Why are we going to school if this is a holiday?

Post-primary, I attended Wellington College, then completed a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Biomedical Science with Honours at Victoria University of Wellington (where I met Mrs Foo) so my heart is certainly still in the capital city. In fact, my grandmother, my parents, my brother and his wife with their two children still live in Karori – now four generations under one roof!   


I arrived in Hong Kong in May 2014, after a few years working in Auckland at the law firm, Russell McVeagh, in Shanghai with another law firm, Linklaters, and a couple of in-house stints at Diageo and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. Having been in Hong Kong for over 7 years, I received my PR earlier this year and look forward to spending more years in this fragrant harbour.


What do you do for business in Hong Kong?


I am VP, Assistant General Counsel at FIS, a Fortune 300 company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida and a leading provider of technology solutions for merchants, banks and capital markets firms globally. My team and I support our Merchant Solutions business, otherwise known as Worldpay from FIS, which provides payment processing solutions for merchants. Our market-leading gateway is trusted by millions of businesses worldwide, from start-ups to the world’s best known ecommerce brands.


Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project


FIS acquired Worldpay in 2019, and I only recently moved across to work with this line of business in July this year, so there has been a steep learning curve upskilling my knowledge in the payments space, particularly from a regulatory and technical perspective.  I am very grateful to have the opportunity to build and manage my team of talented and dedicated lawyers across Asia Pacific.  Our bread-and-butter is helping to negotiate and close commercial contracts, but we are also involved with the broader spectrum of legal work in a business, including advising on employment matters, handling disputes, reviewing regulatory changes and so forth.  


In 2018, when travel was a little more accessible, I was needed in the Philippines to close contract negotiations with a major bank.  During that week in September, there were reports that a super typhoon, Typhoon Mangkhut, was due to hit the region, so I had to push for a different flight to ensure that I arrived in time for the meetings.  When I got to Hong Kong Airport, there were delays due to the heavy rain and we were not able to depart until midnight. It was not a pleasant flight to say the least, with a lot of turbulence as the plane went over or through the typhoon, and the landing in Manila certainly reminded me of attempting to land in Wellington on a particularly gusty day, with random sideways, upwards and downwards motions (and sweaty hands clenching chair arms!).  My efforts to get to the Philippines in the typhoon certainly impressed the commercial team, as well as the client, and we managed to close the USD35mill deal.


Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?


My wife, Sarah Foo, and I are raising our twin boys here in Hong Kong. One of the reasons why we chose to live in Happy Valley was the easy access to the sports grounds and facilities, for our boys and for us. I have always been active in sports, having represented New Zealand in underwater hockey and handball, so my personal time (away from the kids) revolves around sport. I have played rugby with Valley RFC, touch rugby with T8 and helped to set up the Hong Kong Underwater Hockey Association. I am also a judicial officer with the Hong Kong Rugby Union, so spend time reviewing and ruling on disciplinary cases. Recently, I have also picked up field hockey as a sport and play goalkeeper for one of the Hong Kong Football Club teams.  Being involved with the NZ Chamber, Kiwi Events Hong Kong and Te Hokioi kapa haka keeps us and our family connected with the New Zealand community.


What do you like about living in Hong Kong?


There is a lot to like about living in Hong Kong and our young family has called this city home for several years now.  Personally, I have always been drawn to the city’s dynamism and energy, and the accessibility of everything around us, be it in the city itself (with its top-notch public transport allowing access to beaches, country parks and islands) and being able to travel around Asia (here’s hoping for quarantine-free travel to open up soon!).


Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in HK?

I’m originally from Southland, but spent most of my youth in Timaru, before heading down to Fiordland where I worked for Department of Conservation (DoC). Though I’ve lived in many countries, we’ve called Hong Kong home for the past 20 years.

Kia Ora : I’m James Bishop

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

My wife and I run a Learning Experience Design company, creating corporate learning journeys, events and workshops for leadership and intact teams. Though corporates make up 70% of our work, we also work with Universities and a number of charities and NGO’s, in Asia, Europe and North America.

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project

Our work is quite diverse, and makes use of business simulations and game-based learning programs. But the unique program we’re asked about the most, is the United Nations-inspired 2030 SDGs Game, designed to help people experience the sustainable development goals as an immersive group game.

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

We have a couple teenagers, both born here, and they keep us on our toes racing between football games, music events and camping. But given the role game-based learning plays in our work, boardgames and computer gaming are a big part of home life too. Yes, I will play Fortnite and Minecraft with my kids.

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

If you’re open to the opportunities, you can reinvent yourself in Hong Kong. And there’s an unmistakable pace that’s hard to match, where the speed of possibility would make most people’s heads spin … but we love it.

And now that 65% of our work is virtual, we can work from ‘anywhen’, so Hong Kong’s blisteringly fast internet definitely suits our current business model.

Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

New Zealand is my adopted home.

I am actually an Aussie, although my mother just published a book covering my family history and it seems there were some important family members who were Kiwi’s.


Kia Ora : I’m Michael Nock

I fell in love with central Otago and purchased a home in Queenstown six years ago. I try to spend as much time as I can there although travel has been a challenge since covid. I also have vineyards and other business interests in the South Island. I first moved to Hong Kong in 1980 and have seen a lot of change over 42 years.


What do you do for business in Hong Kong?


My background has primarily been in finance, first with a UK group called the Man Group then with my own hedge fund. Today I try to spend more time on my art and wine business.


I am a painter myself and have a studio on the south side of the island in Wong Chuk Hang. I also have an art leasing business and a wine business. Many years ago, I established an art foundation which provides scholarships to art students and runs a residency program here in Hong Kong and in Queenstown where I maintain an artist residency.

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project.


I have many memorable projects but the one I am most excited about at the moment is what we are trying to achieve with both the wine and the art.  


In particular I am seeking to find ways of integrating one with the other. For example, many of the artists who have participated in our residency programs have their art works on the labels of my wine. The wine business goes by the name Nockies Palette which is a play on the idea of an artist palette and what you taste with your palate. 


I currently have interests in or own seven vineyards including two in Waitaki, two in Central Otago and three in Hawkes Bay. We also have a cellar door near Lake Hayes, and I am hoping to put some of my art collection on display to the public in conjunction with the cellar door.


Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?


My daughters are now in their late 20’s and have careers of their own. One lives in London and the other in Melbourne. Both have an interest in art and wine.


What do you like about living in Hong Kong? 


Hong Kong is changing but what I have loved about Hong Kong for more than four decades is its vibrancy and “can do” attitude. Its openness and freedom of movement.


I have loved its entrepreneurship and global perspective in combination with a society based on the rule of law and minimal corruption. Hong Kong does face some challenges going forward, however.


Kia Ora : I’m Hamish McCardle

Where in New Zealand are you from and what brings you to Hong Kong?
 
I’m originally from the Pauatahanui inlet just north of Porirua, I grew up on a sheep farm there.



I joined New Zealand Police in 1985 and, after a career in criminal investigations, I have served in several overseas locations for New Zealand Police; opening our police liaison office in Jakarta after the Bali bombing of 2002, then my wife and I spent eight years in Beijing from 2010, and now to Hong Kong which is a new opening for New Zealand Police, commencing just before the pandemic started in 2020.

What do you do in Hong Kong?
 

New Zealand Police has 14 police staff based in key cities around the globe, each position is joined to a MFAT diplomatic mission. Police’s posts usually cover a wide regional area to develop the law enforcement contacts needed to get our work done; for me that is from Macao in the West through to Japan in the North East. While the objective of each police post is dependent on the crime risks relevant to the location, generally our purpose is to ensure the smooth transfer of criminal information, evidence and related law enforcement cooperation needed to mitigate crime coming to or from New Zealand. For this region the things that keep me busiest are money laundering by organised crime in New Zealand, drugs and other illegal chemicals being sent from this region to New Zealand’s gangs for sale in our communities, and cyber-enabled fraud and deception crimes. These different crime types mean I need to maintain close working relationships with the multiple working departments in each jurisdiction.

An example of what I do is the regular contact I have with the Hong Kong Police Anti-Deception Coordination Centre (ADCC), along with the different police officers in New Zealand who are working with New Zealand based scam victims. As you may have read in the SCMP, Hong Kong has become a popular spot for scammers to lure victims to send their money to because of the large number of reputable banks based in Hong Kong, and the logical connection victims often make with sending their money to a bank in Hong Kong. This is a callous trick by the scammers, deliberately leveraging Hong Kong’s good financial services reputation. Of course, the scammer’s seemingly trustworthy bank account in Hong Kong is merely a front; and as soon as the victim’s money arrives, it is broken down into smaller automatic payments that are transferred under the suspicious transactions reporting threshold. Within the day, or sometimes within minutes, the money is on-sent in smaller amounts to numerous virtual bank accounts run by the scammers, these accounts could be located anywhere in the world. Often the same process happens again where the monies are on-sent from those virtual banks to third-layer accounts in yet another global location. The jurisdictional complexities of rapid and multiple transaction movements, chasing increasingly smaller and smaller parcels of money is a deliberate strategy of the scammers to prevent capture of themselves and the money. The need for speed between victims, New Zealand banks, New Zealand Police and the Hong Kong Police ADCC in stopping transactions while in progress at the first layer is the best way to interrupt the crime and prevent losses. 
 
What do you do in your personal time?
 
I’m certain my answer here is the same for just about everyone living in Hong Kong in these strange Covid restricted times; hiking and eating! More hiking is admittedly required to mitigate the self-inflicted effects of the second pastime. Covid restrictions have meant my wife and I have been able to explore much more of Hong Kong on foot than we originally expected. This must be one of the greatest selling points for expat living here; not only is Hong Kong a great culinary city with all the bells and whistles you expect, but it also has fantastic green space access and beaches that can rival many holiday resorts. Put together with a world-class public transport system and a reasonably favourable climate, and we’re finding Hong Kong is a fabulous city to work and live in.


Kia Ora : I'm Kate MacFarlane


Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I grew up in rural Northland - in a 'blink and you miss it' town called Poroti just outside Whangarei.

I spent a fair bit of time down in Canterbury doing postgrad studies in law and international relations before basing myself out of Wellington for work. I moved to Hong Kong one year ago. 



What do you do for business in Hong Kong?
 
I'm the Deputy Consul General at the New Zealand Consulate here in Hong Kong. We also cover Macao but unfortunately due to border settings I haven't been able to get over there yet!

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project.

There are eight Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade staff that work in the Consulate - three of us are diplomats posted from our Wellington HQ. We also work very closely with our colleagues from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and New Zealand Police who we are co-located with in Hong Kong (check out Hamish's profile from last week!).  
 
In a nutshell, we're the New Zealand Government's representatives on the ground here in Hong Kong.  Our main job is to promote New Zealand's interests - this includes working to build New Zealand's economic and cultural links with Hong Kong, monitoring political developments and providing assistance to our kiwi community as needed.
 
As it has for many others, the pandemic has reshaped our focus and the way we work.  For example, we're increasingly working on COVID related issues such as supply chain resilience and vaccine recognition. 
 
A key part of our work is building connections, so you'll often find us out and about meeting with different people from all sections of Hong Kong society.  

What do you like about living in Hong Kong? 

Ah spare time, given that I'm writing this from my quarantine hotel in Hong Kong that's quite an existential question for me right now!  
 
Last year was a whirlwind of settling into Hong Kong, so this year I'm looking forward to exploring the outer reaches of Hong Kong a bit more and getting back into my hobbies. I played ice hockey in New Zealand and am keen to pick it back up if I can find the right team (if there is anyone reading this who plays, please reach out!).  
 
I also like to have something creative on the go so I'm planning on taking pottery lessons and I'm currently teaching myself how to sew. And, of course, I also very much embrace the Hong Kong staple of eat/drink/hike.
 
Like many others who base themselves here, I'm a keen traveller and hoping to explore the region when border settings ease up. 


Kia Ora : I'm Frank Doogan


Where in New Zealand are you from?

I was brought up in Auckland and now live (when I am back) on the Tinopai Peninsular where I have a small farm. I love it for the winds and the smell (yes, that one) in the front paddock.

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

I run a company called Train The Teacher which is morphing into our key service MyIT My Intelligent Tutor.

We are still active in teacher training with a current project for some 300 teachers in China, but we increasingly focus on tutoring students face-to-face and online across a ‘library’ of subjects in Hong Kong, and in LA and Oxford where we have licensees running fully supported, but independently owned businesses.


Tell us about your work role/work, plus a memorable project.

I had the real pleasure of founding Train The Teacher with Maria Bjorning Gyde, also from New Zealand, and went on to found MyIT My Intelligent Tutor. The project which kicked off Train The Teacher was working as Director of Studies for Unitec in China – the learning was fantastic as was the monthly bash at the New Zealand Embassy – generous and great hosts. We developed tremendous interest in teaching methodologies and went on to write papers that looked at how to fuse the benefits of Western and Chinese approaches to learning,

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

My kids are in New Zealand where Finn works in arboriculture - meaning he is a real asset for work in Tinopai, and Caoimhe has the best-ever interest in raranga (Maori weaving) - just amazing art. My personal time in Hong Kong is the laziest idyll of watching movies with my wife, Grace, and an obsessive series of hobby interests that include memorizing and writing poetry.

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

 

I totally love the activity and buzz of the street life and the range of people you see in all their varied selves doing ordinary but marvellous things - whether it is a mate launching a new company, a bunch of folk squeezing a business meeting into Pacific Coffee, an old woman pushing a trolley of recyclables, or young people struggling to forge identities in a fluxing world, the city has the humanity in Pope’s description of people as ‘The glory, jest and riddle of the world!’


Kia Ora : I'm Katie Townsend


Where in NZ are you from and how long have you been based in HK?

I was born in Hastings but as a child and as an adult I have moved all around Aotearoa (North & South Island), Sydney, London, Dublin and now Hong Kong.

I came to Hong Kong in 2013 when I was ready for a change in my life, and have been here for 8.5 years! 



What do you do for business in HK?


I am a teacher at Bradbury School, an international primary school which is part of the English Schools Foundation.


Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project.


I currently teach a Year 2 class (6 year olds). I remember when I first got the position in 2013 I thought I misheard in the interview that there would be 30 children in my class of 5 year olds (the most I would have in my year 1 class in NZ would be 18)! That was certainly a shock to the system!

However, I adapted to my “new normal” and love teaching in Hong Kong. It has obviously been extra challenging during these times of COVID and online learning. Having to teach online or in classrooms with masks and plastic dividers between every child has forced me to adapt my style of teaching to another version of the “new normal”. I never thought I’d be asking kids not to come on zoom in their underwear!


What do you do in your personal time?


I love being on the water, and one of the best things about Hong Kong is the easy access to beaches. I have competed in  dragon boating for 25 years in NZ, UK and now Hong Kong. I belong to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club “Royal X” team and am also the coach and a paddler in the “Flying Kiwis” team - made up of kiwis and those that love NZ. I have also represented Hong Kong at the World Dragon Boat Club Championships in Hungary. 


I also love the sport of waka ama (outrigger canoeing) and have paddled since 2002. I have coached and represented Hong Kong at the World Va’a Long Distance Championships in Australia in both an Open Womens team & individually.  It's a way to see Hong Kong from a different perspective and certainly helps with my mental health having time on the water away from the craziness of the city. Waka ama is also a way to meet so many different people who all have a love of the ocean. 


What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

 

Hong Kong is such a mixture of a city - which is what I love about it so much! It has the Chinese culture but then a multitude of other cultures co-existing which contributes to the richness of life here in Hong Kong.


There is also the fantastic combination of nature and urban living. I had no idea there would be so much green in Hong Kong. The many opportunities to go for hikes and obviously paddling in beautiful and iconic locations is a major reason why I have stayed for so long. And don't get me started on the food!! 

Kia Ora : I'm Graham Barkus


Where in New Zeland are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I am originally from Wellington, and came to Hong Kong after university (Victoria University of Wellington) in 1989.  I’ve moved around the region a little, but been here continuously this time for 21 years.
 


What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

My business is in behavioural health consultancy: helping individuals and organisations act in ways that promote and sustain health and wellbeing.  I am the founder and the only one of the four partners who doesn’t (yet) have a doctoral degree!  I am also on the management team of theDesk, a home-grown co-working venture in Hong Kong.

Tell us about your work plus a memorable project.

The importance of overall health and wellbeing, and the ways in which ‘work’ can affect human health positively and negatively are in the spotlight as never before – thanks Covid!  That doesn’t always translate to clarity as to ‘how’ a business can contribute more meaningfully to the health of its employees, customers or community; helping solve this for our clients is a fantastic part of the work. 
 
At the other end of the scale, guiding an individual client successfully through lifestyle changes she wants to make to reverse a chronic condition like pre-diabetes, hypertension or a cardiometabolic disorder is massively rewarding too.
 
Do you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

I married Karyn in Hong Kong and we have a daughter who now lives and works in the UK and a son who is finishing high school here.  Personal time….??  Luckily I live near hills that offer great hiking and trail running, and in a fantastic city that offers endless options for cityscape photography.
 
What do you like about living in Hong Kong?  

Despite the challenges of the last two+ years, there is still so much to love about this place.  The fact that – still today – you could meet someone on any given day and open a door to a whole new opportunity is something I think is unique to Hong Kong



Kia Ora : I'm Ben So


Where in New Zeland are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

Our family's from Hong Kong, and I was actually born here. Mum and Dad left for New Zealand when I was just a few months old, so I guess that makes me an Aucklander.


What do you do for business in Hong Kong?


I returned to Hong Kong about 10 years ago and it wasn't long before I started missing home comforts like Vogel's bread and proper beef and lamb. Each holiday in Auckland would inevitably conclude with me packing a suitcase full of edible goodies to bring back to Hong Kong. After a while, it occurred to me I couldn't be the only one who'd appreciate a better selection of Kiwi-grown produce, so decided to start a business importing foodstuffs from New Zealand into Hong Kong. That's how 178 Degrees was created.


Tell us about your work plus a memorable project.


Kiwis are very lucky to have some of the best food in the world, grown right on our doorstep, and it's done so in an ecologically responsible manner. We have the best lamb, arguably the same can be said for our beef, and seafood, and the idea was  wanted to share them with Hong Kong consumers. But the problem was Hong Kongers don't rate our primary products that highly. So the challenge was showcasing New Zealand food in a way that resonated with the Hong Kong public. One of the themes locals clearly associated with Aotearoa was the purity of the country's natural environment, which led us to distinguish ourselves from competitors through superior sustainability credentials.

Our approach is different from many online grocery stores that claim to follow sustainable practices. In contrast, all of our processes are designed with sustainability and traceability at the forefront, and we have the documentation to back this up. We only work with suppliers who care deeply about sustainability and caring for the environment. We know this because we personally visit the farms to talk to our producers and see all of that in action. Talk of sustainability is meaningless without traceability, so each of our products has a batch code, which allows us to track each individual item back to the supplier, and where and the exact time it was produced. One of the major projects we're working on is having all of our goods location- and temperature-tracked from the moment they leave the factory, during transit (either by sea or air), all the way to the customers' door. This information will be accessible to all of our customers at any time, so will be a huge step up in transparency compared to other retailers.


What do you like about living in Hong Kong?  

I love long-distance running, and have completed 15 marathons so far, including all six of the majors (Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Tokyo). Training is time-consuming, but luckily it's pretty easy to find good routes, even in the heart of the city. So if you've ever seen a shirtless runner seemingly chasing trams along Des Voeux Road, that was probably me.

Kia Ora : I'm Sean Purdie


Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

I was born in Port Chalmers (home of the world’s best cheese rolls) and grew up in South Auckland.

I’ve lived here for nearly 22 years after moving to Hong Kong in June 2000, when the New Zealand company I worked for was bought by an American company who had their Asia Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong.



What do you do for business in Hong Kong?


I’ve always worked in the power sector in regional roles and am now the Asia Pacific power lead for a global environmental and sustainability consultancy.

Tell us about your work role/work, plus a memorable project.


The most significant change since I started in Hong Kong (with the greatest range of change in the past few years) has been the APAC wide growth of renewables power, and the technology associated with this, including storage.

The size of projects such as offshore wind and hybrid technologies (such as solar/onshore wind and batteries) has increased exponentially. My company works from India to Japan to New Zealand and all the countries in between.

Do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?


My family grew up here, the oldest is now studying in the UK and the two youngest are still in Hong Kong. I enjoy coaching rugby, water sports, collecting crime fiction first editions and barbeques.

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?  


Besides the low taxes – the variety of experiences and the people you meet here, that you can play competitive sport even when you really are too old to, and that you can be part of global changes – in my case the low carbon economy transition, the associated asset decarbonisation and getting to work with the new technology happening in this sector.


Kia Ora : I'm Chrissy Etchells-Bailey



Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong? 

I am from Orewa, on the Hibiscus Coast just north of Auckland. 

It used to be 'aaaggees' north of Auckland but now it's all motorways and just a hop skip and a jump.
 



My parents and siblings still live there, albeit after their own adventures abroad like me.  Who knows if I will end up there with my family? 

Anything is possible, especially after the challenges of Hong Kong over the last few years. I have been in Hong Kong about 14 years with a hiatus in Wellington for 18 months thrown in.


What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

I am Vice Principal and PYP Co-ordinator at Peak School - ESF.  To work across the entire school and the wider community really is a privilege, and every day I like 'going' to school.

I have never had that 'Sunday feeling'. Long may it last!

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project. 

Forever more I will be able to use this time of online learning as either ammunition for an interview or as a memorable work story!  What a ride it has been. 

Teachers have had to re-learn and flip their craft on its head to deliver online learning. Unfortunately (!) we have had the chance to continually improve on our online provision and teachers should be so proud of how day on day they deliver curriculum to the houses of our students.  

What a tale of resilience and creativity. 

It hasn't been an easy journey for our students and their families either, yet together we are moving forward. However, hopefully this passes soon and we can be back face to face with our students sooner rather than later!

Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

I came to Hong Kong all those years ago by myself ready for the experience of a lifetime and that is exactly what I have had! I now have a wife and toddler along for the experience of a lifetime 2.0. 

Our family spends a lot of quality time together outdoors and at the beach or when we can at the Hong Kong Cricket Club. I love to read and listen to podcasts during my down time and catch up with friends over drinks the other times.

Connecting with people and having candid conversations is what I like best.  (This is starting to sound like a dating bio!).

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?
 
The opportunities, without a shadow of a doubt. The opportunity to learn, to connect, to meet amazing people, to travel, to make money, to eat, to drink, to laugh, to explore and to know yourself. This city has a very special part in our hearts in there a few years back.

Kia Ora : I'm Damien Laracy


Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?

It’s a little bit complicated; I am an Italian born New Zealander of Irish descent married to a lovely Japanese woman. I have lived in Hong Kong since January 1995 .



I was born in Rome, Italy, in 1967 whilst my Father was doing research for a Doctorate. Mum had bravely agreed to accompany him from Auckland despite the fact that she was seven months’ pregnant.

Dad was a lecturer at Auckland University and he was on a research trip to Rome to study the history of the Catholic Marist Fathers in the Pacific. Young Marist missionaries in the Pacific had been in the habit of sending letters back to the Marist  archives in Rome, and Dad sifted through the old letters for material for his writings and lecturing.


I have three sisters and we all grew up in Auckland and in Canberra, the Australian component being due to regular sabbatical trips by Dad to the Australian National University for more research about war and peace in the Pacific. We also had extended stays in Suva whilst dad ferreted through the records at the University of the South Pacific.


Despite those periods outside of New Zealand I am a Northcote boy from Auckland. My mother still lives in Auckland, and has recently retired from being a barrister .

What do you do for business in Hong Kong?


I qualified as a lawyer in Auckland in 1990 and then went travelling in September 1994 intending to have an OE in London, see Europe, and then go home after a  couple of years. However when my best friend and I arrived in Hong Kong for a five day stopover on the way north I decided that Hong Kong deserved a closer look. As a result I have been practising law here since 1995 and I now manage the Hong Kong office of an English commercial law firm, Hill Dickinson.


Tell us about your work role/work, plus a memorable project.


Much of my time these days is spent dealing with office administration and management matters. I enjoy the challenge of that, and of trying to building a more sophisticated and profitable business year on year. However, being a disputes lawyer myself, it is not as euphoric as winning in Court or in an arbitration.


I have handled a wide range of interesting commercial disputes over the years; high value shareholder disputes, international trade and shipping matters, and plenty of debt recovery and insolvency matters. However, even though I now manage a commercial law firm, the cases that are the most personally memorable tend to be some of my earlier ones in Hong Kong when I was regularly handling Plaintiff personal injury work. For obvious reasons though, they did not have happy fact patterns.

For example, I represented a policeman and successfully sued the Hong Kong Police Department after my client was sent into an unsafe work situation and shot execution-style by armed thieves as a result. My client survived despite being shot in the head at close range. We sued the Police Department for not providing adequate information about the known risks of that particular assignment, and we ultimately settled the matter following a hearing in the Court of Appeal. The Police Department then very decently kept my client on in a lecturing role. I have also successfully sued a major European airline following a mass fatality incident in 1994 after an unqualified 16 year old boy was permitted to take over an aircraft’s cockpit controls. I acted for the families of Hong Kong businessmen who perished amongst the 75 who died. Another case I was involved with resulted in another settlement and in improvements to the lighting of the pedestrian pontoons at the old Discovery Bay Marina after a fatality there following a social gathering on board a liveaboard junk.


These days my personal caseload of disputes work is almost all commercial and most of it is resolved by way of arbitration rather than litigation in Court. I also sit as an arbitrator from time to time.


Others in the office handle corporate and transactional work, insolvency, insurance and regulatory work, international trade and transport disputes, construction, and property and probate work. So I still have exposure to a wide range of legal work which is both challenging and enjoyable.


Did you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?


I married late in life at the age of 44 and I now have nine year old twins, Maria and William. We are regular hikers in the weekend and the kids get a special kick out of hiking The Twins, which they first did when they were four years old. When the squash courts are open I also enjoy playing squash.


My wife, Junko, and I also jog together - with the kids sometimes grumbling along behind. It’s good training for their Sunday morning mini rugby.

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?  


The wide range of restaurants, the plentiful hiking trails, and the ease of socialising with friends and colleagues are big draws. Playing Masters squash in the public leagues I get to meet a very wide variety of people who I would never otherwise interact with were it not for the extremely well organised leagues run by Hong Kong Squash.


The ability to travel easily for business and pleasure, into China and regionally, is of course also (in normal times) a huge draw.


Leisure aside, I like the diversity and quality of legal work available in Hong Kong and I enjoy seeing junior lawyers that I have worked with and trained flourish.  


Kia Ora : I'm Rebekah Bradley





Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?
 
I grew up in Taupō with my parents and younger brother and moved to Auckland when I was 17 to study.

I spent four years at 'The University of Auckland' where I completed a Science and Commerce conjoint degree.

During my last year of study, and for the three years that followed, I worked across Customer Service and Marketing for 'My Food Bag'. The next leap was to Hong Kong! My partner and I moved together and we've now been here for almost seven years. 
 
What do you do for business in Hong Kong?
 
My journey with My Food Bag was incredibly inspiring and ignited my passion for Marketing, Food, and Startups. I've continued to immerse myself in this scene with marketing experience now spanning across B2B, B2C, and D2C areas of business.

Upon moving to Hong Kong I was put in touch with the team at Eat The Kiwi where I ended up spending four years as the Marketing Director. My next career step had me out of F&B and into FMCG as Marketing and Business Development Director for local period care company 'Luüna naturals'. More recently I've started as Sales and Marketing Director at Slowood - a sustainable grocer and distributor. 

I also run a business selling meditation cushions and equipment direct to consumers and to businesses, schools, and studios. I co-founded this company, Arrived Mindful, with my Mother in Law (who is also a Kiwi in Hong Kong!).
 
Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project.

Working for young companies means that I often step outside of my Marketing Role and help to build strong foundations, systems, and processes across multiple areas of the company to enable a stable growth phase. I approach solutions through a marketing lens where the customer always comes first and USPs help to guide decisions.

My work has me developing high-level marketing and sales strategy, communicating with internal and external stakeholders, developing new parts of the business, whilst training and fostering teams in areas such as content creation, copywriting, advertising, customer service, and event planning.

My most memorable project to date was creating, launching, and establishing the Eat The Kiwi home delivery website in Hong Kong. It was consistently hands-on and I was able to learn about multiple parts of the business. It was the first time I was able to apply my knowledge whilst working closely with a senior team to create something together. The people in a start-up make all the difference and this team was especially hard-working and compatible. The success that followed in my final year with Eat The Kiwi made it all the sweeter, with YoY growth of 700%. 

Do you have a family here and what do you do in your personal time?
 
I live with my Fiancé, Jamie. His parents, brother, and sister are also living here and we regularly see each other. It's really special to be able to share this part of our lives together. We often hike together and especially love dining at our favorite Seafood Restaurant in Mui Wo! In my own spare time, I love exploring Hong Kong, hiking, cooking, eating out, reading, crocheting, spending time with friends and when possible, traveling. 
 
What do you like about living in Hong Kong? 

So much! People in Hong Kong seem to be especially open to supporting, meeting, connecting, and helping one another. The restaurants, from Cha Chaan Tangs to Fine Dining. Tai Long Wan. The heat, I actually love the Summer here.

The diversity of the people I connect with, from all over the world, in different areas of work and life. The constant presence of spirituality through the city, the hidden temples in side streets. Catching the tram. Learning about the culture, language, and holidays. The fast pace. The quiet hiking trails. The convenience. Hong Kong presents a consistent juxtaposition and it is what makes it so lovable. 


Kia Ora : I'm Krystina Te Kanawa




Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?
 
I hail from the King Country - little ole Te Kuiti, in the middle of the North Island. Most famous for the shearing capital of the world and Colin Meads, full stop :) 
 



What do you do for business in Hong Kong?
 
I work for myself as a Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist in Hong Kong, in a range of areas; events, makeup lessons, weddings, corporate headshots and I have my own range of makeup brushes, which we will be expanding in the very near future. We are working with New Zealand scientists at the moment, which is very exciting, so watch this space! 

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project
 
I used to work in TV in New Zealand - TVNZ and Māori TV, and CNN/CNBC in London, since coming to Hong Kong it’s more private work with ladies and I absolutely love it. I get to meet, chat, and get to know my clients quite closely and for a day or evening make them feel and look amazing, and they really appreciate it.
 
Most memorable moment was working for two French TV stations at the 2012 London Olympics. I went to the opening and closing ceremonies and worked at the French TV House near Tower Bridge for 2.5 weeks, it was an incredible experience. 
 
Do you have a family here and what do you do in your personal time?
 
I live here with my husband Sheldon, 2-year-old son Kaila and our new addition 3-week-old baby girl Billie. We are also very lucky to have my twin sister Laree here, especially with Covid and only been home once to see family, it's nice to have her here, especially for the babies.
 
What do you like about living in Hong Kong? 
 
I love that I can see friends almost every day without having to book well in advance, a lot of my close friends live 1-2 minutes within walking distance of where we live in Happy Valley, so it's pretty cool. Having the beaches so close to us.

I play netball for Valley and then the balance of been able to go out to brunches and enjoy ourselves. Of course, the travel around Asia as well. Lastly pre-covid, our kapahaka roopu, Te Hokioi - we only meet once per month, but it grounds me and it's a really nice environment to be in, connect to home and enjoy our culture through singing. I really can't wait to get back into it, whenever that will be. 


Kia Ora : I'm Jamie Le Brun






Where in New Zealand are you from and how long have you been based in Hong Kong?
 
I was born at home in a small town called Matangi, just outside of Cambridge. I soon moved to Auckland where I was raised from primary school through Auckland University before departing to Hong Kong in 2015.
 


What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

Originally, I moved to Hong Kong to join a rapidly growing sales team at ZURU toys. Soon after touching down in Hong Kong, I found myself living and working as a project manager in Shenzhen, China. This was a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop under the guidance of the founding siblings, Anna, Nick and Mat Mowbray. The experience was invaluable as I jumped across departments working on a range of projects. A highlight was managing the marketing campaigns for a portfolio of brands across all direct markets, including that of the now world famous Bunch O Balloons.

I was also fortunate enough to be involved in ZURU Tech's housing project. I was tasked with gathering due diligence for an exciting automation manufacture project set to disrupt the trillion dollar building industry. My role was to develop strong relationships with both government and private entities in Vietnam and to locate a suitable piece of land for the full scale manufacturing facility. At the end of 2017, I made a difficult decision to leave ZURU to join a brand I grew up with, Subway. Anna, Nick, and Mat understood & appreciated the opportunity I had to work with family & to grow a brand with great potential. Even as I left ZURU, I felt the support of the Mowbray family.

In 2020, I was invited to join the board of the company where it all started, ZURU Inc. It is an honour and privilege to be working closely with the Mowbray family once again, amongst an even more diverse portfolio of companies and projects under their ever growing umbrella.

Today, I am a Development agent for the Subway brand across the Hong Kong & Macau Markets. More specifically, I am the General Manager for the Development office.  

Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project.

My role with Subway takes many shapes and forms. The major focus of our work is to grow the Subway brand, helping everyday folks into a business of their own, specifically a subway restaurant. That includes the onboarding of new franchise owners, conducting the training they require with the support of our Australian office. Locating and negotiating the leases for our franchise owners and managing the floor plans with teams in the USA. We then help the franchise owners with the procurement of all equipment, décor and contractor quotations and guide them through the entire build and opening of their restaurants. Once open, we are always on to support Franchise owners, we conduct audits in which we work closely with franchise owners to improve operations. Beyond this focus we also help to manage any local marketing campaigns and brand partnerships, as well as supply chain suggestions and collaborations with our sourcing entity, IPCA.

I am starting to take a step back from restaurant operations, as we hire capable, experienced people into roles to oversee that aspect of the business and becoming far more focused on strictly development. Time to grow!

A memorable project would be the Fresh Forward décor roll out. Subway introduced a new décor in 2018 and we aim to have 95% of the Subway restaurants across the Hong Kong and Macau markets in this new décor. Fresh Forward is a breath of fresh air for everyone involved in the brand, from our staff in store and the customers, to our development office and our landlord partners we work closely with.

Do you have a family here and what do you do in your personal time?
 
No family of my own at this time, although being recently engaged to my amazing partner Becks, I am sure we are not far away! I do have a lot of family in Hong Kong, my mother and her partner moved here over 10 years ago now. They were the original catalysts for change, moving from New Zealand to Hong Kong to pursue careers at Cathay Pacific and Subway those years ago. My sister was not far behind, as an architect at New Zealand owned Line house, and my brother moving over just last year to take a dream job with the NBA.

In any downtime I like to play basketball, camp at Tai Long Wan and hang out with friends and family. Hong Kong is a fast paced city that demands a lot from anyone, so it is important down time is really that, a time to relax and refresh. It is important to have that balance.

What do you like about living in Hong Kong? 

The people are amazing. There is something about the energy here, the friendliness on morning walks and this can do attitude that resonates well with kiwis. I also love the opportunities; the scale of business here is phenomenal and I the ceiling for success is so high, you can keep pushing without any harness. Finally, I would say the safety and ease of transport. Both of these things make Hong Kong a wonderful place to socialise and move about freely, that is pretty unique and something you miss when you travel away from Hong Kong.


Kia Ora : I'm Gayble Tsang






Where in New Zealand are you from?


I left Hong Kong as a baby when my parents emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1960’s.


Our family was sponsored by the community of Dargaville, all of whom were so extremely generous and supportive helping us settle in.    


How long have you been based in Hong Kong?

In late 1985, myself and my partner headed to London for a year. What was to be a five month stay in Hong Kong to tide over UK’s winter became pretty much a lifetime. We were offered contract work and based ourselves in HK ever since.

What do you do for business in Hong Kong? Tell us about your work role/work, plus a memorable project.

When I arrived in Hong Kong it was an extremely exciting time in the financial markets and particularly Hong Kong being a major centre for Asia. The financial services industry was an obvious choice.   

My first role was in regional internal audit with a US banking group, a significant opportunity to involve and learn-on-the-job. This led to broader opportunities and diverse roles, managing capital markets, deal making, revenue ownership, audit risk and regulations, consultancy, all with international organizations.

My most memorable project was with CLSA Ltd where I built their new risk, audit and compliance department from grass roots, growing the department alongside CLSA’s global expansion.  

Each of my roles valued face-to-face relationships and required hands-on execution in each country. My most memorable locations were Johannesburg, Sao Paulo, Bermuda and Karachi, each with their culture, risks and complexities extending past the work environment.  

Do you bring family up/do you have a family up here and what do you do in your personal time?

I don’t have my own family in Hong Kong, rather a “Hong Kong family” of friends also living and working the same 30+ years as I’ve been here.  

In my personal time I do sports, hike, cycle, gym, water sports, anything active, and enjoy the socializing and the travelling for which Hong Kong is such a great base.   

What do you like about living in Hong Kong?  

I have many likes about living in Hong Kong .. it’s international vibe, the real positive energy, its can-do spirit, the efficiency and that everything works, transport and ease of travel, its safe and clean environment, and of course the stunning geography.

Driving these is what seems a genuine ethic of “do things well, do things right and with respect” this ethic I would say is what I like most about living here.

After around eight years we moved to Pakuranga, a suburb of Auckland which has become very popular with Asians.


Our next interview coming soon!


Kia Ora : I'm Titus Rahiri






Where in New Zealand are you from?

 He uri tēnei o Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāiterangi me Ngāti Pāoa. I tipu ake au ki Tauranga Moana, i kuraina au ki reira. I haere au ki Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, katahi i mahi au ki Tamaki Makaurau i mua i taku peka atu ki Ranana i te tau 2005 mō ngā tau e waru. I tae mai au ki Whanga Kakara nei i te tau 2013, ā, tae noa ki tenei wa.

 

I am of Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāiterangi and Ngāti Pāoa descent.  I grew up in Tauranga Moana and went to school there, went to university at Waikato, and then worked in Auckland before moving to London in 2005 for eight years.  I moved to Hong Kong in 2013 and have been here since.


What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

I am CEO at KorumLegal – a legal solutions platform company connecting customers to a range of legal solutions. 

I founded KorumLegal in Hong Kong in 2016, and we now have offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and London with over 300+ lawyers and legal consultants providing solutions to a range of customers from large MNC’s and financial institutions to professional services firms, SMEs and scale-ups. We’re looking to set up operations in Australia and New Zealand this year as we continuously seek to build and grow our footprint. You can get more info at www.korumlegal.com.


Tell us about your work, plus a memorable project.

I’ve been a lawyer since 2000 in New Zealand, London and now Hong Kong. I call myself an ‘accidental entrepreneur’, as I had no intention of setting up a legal business providing solutions across half the globe!  

 But it’s been an enjoyable adventure – with a lot of hustle and grind – and many failures along the way. It was borne out of my frustration with the status quo in the legal industry and the desire to be a part of creating change. Our mission is ‘We’re shaping legal solutions together, for a better tomorrow’. This has been my memorable project to date.


Do you have a family ing Hong Kong and what do you do in your personal time?

I came to Hong Kong with my previous role as General Counsel at Expedia Inc. I arrived in Hong Kong knowing only three people – and so it was a chance to get out of my comfort zone! 

Nine years later and my partner Josh and I have made many wonderful friends who are now part of our Hong Kong whānau. We also adopted our two dogs Hugo and Blu here in Hong Kong – so lots of wonderful things to thank Hong Kong for.


What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

There are many things to like about living in Hong Kong. However, recently there have been things to not like too! But some of the positives are: relative ease of living; great work opportunities; access to travel (when we were/are able to!); the cultural melting pot; the low tax; the kai; the humidity vs freezing aircons; the small apartments, the gritty-ness, the mix of old and new world – amongst many other things. 

And last but not least our awesome kiwi whanau and community here who keep us connected to home.

Kia Ora : I'm Paul Buckland






Where in New Zealand are you from?

I'm originally from Ashburton, and I've been in Hong Kong for seven years.
 
What do you do for business in Hong Kong?

I'm a partner at The Lantau Group, a strategy and economic consultancy focusing on the Asia Pacific energy industry.

We advise on issues ranging from market valuations, opportunity assessments and commercial due diligence, to regulatory risk, tariff reform and economic disputes and arbitrations.

Tell us about your work role.

I run our deep analytics team, bringing meaning to data, and building tools that gain us insight into electricity markets via forecasting and analysing data. I enjoy making things that improve understanding, and that help others do their jobs better.

Do you have a family in Hong Kong and what do you do in your personal time?

I'm in Hong Kong with my wife Donna and our 8-year-old son Louie. For fun I like to hike with family, play squash, and have paddled for the past seven years with Buzz Dragon, a competitive dragon boat team (when covid restrictions allow it!)
 
What do you like about living in Hong Kong?

I like that there's so much variety packed into such a small geographic area. You can be amongst skyscrapers, or 15 minutes away be on a hiking trail with none in sight. There are all the trappings and convenience of modern life, but it's easy to get away from it all and enjoy nature or find a quiet beach to relax on.

I love being embedded in a culture I find fascinating and welcoming, particularly the local fisherman community in which our dragon boat team has been privileged to be a part of.