Our Corporate Gold Members:
New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong
Kiwis in Hong Kong A - F
Getting to know Kiwis in Hong Kong!
We asked a selection of Kiwis living and working in Hong Kong to tell us:
- Where are they originally from in New Zealand and how long they’ve been in Hong Kong;
- A little about their work and any memorable projects or experiences they’ve encountered;
- Whether they have family in Hong Kong; and
- What they most like about life in Hong Kong.
If you want to contact any of the Kiwis listed below, please send an e-mail to email@example.com in the first instance. We’ll pass your message on.
Here’s what they shared with us …
Kiwis in Hong Kong A - F
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.
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 New Zealand. I never took the second step. Following two contracts I was offered a permanent career in Her Majesty’s Overseas Civil Service. I accepted. 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 benefited 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 !
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. 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.
I was born in Dunedin but grew up in Christchurch. I arrived in Hong Kong in July 2013 so about to hit my 10 year anniversary.
I am CEO of Aspen Digital which is a wealth management platform for Digital Assets and Web 3. We work with family offices and high net worth individuals to help them build a portfolio across various products whether it be cryptocurrencies themselves, various quant strategies or private equity. We launched the platform in January 2022 and now have over 200 clients across Asia and Europe.
I run and manage the overall business, from sales and relationship management to product development and compliance. Launching the platform in general has been extremely memorable.
To say the last 12-15 months in the crypto and Web 3 asset class has been eventful is an understatement and a real test for everyone involved. We have had one ‘black swan’ event after another and managing these external events while building the platform and onboarding new clients has been a real challenge.
To get to where we have got to today has been invaluable experience for myself and the team and given Hong Kong’s positive stance in 2023 on Web 3 we are now in a great position for our next phase.
I came here from London and met my wife (Cecilia) in Hong Kong who is Canadian Chinese.
The Covid period has been busy for us, we now have two kids Harvey (2) and Ava (1) with another one of the way due in May so plenty going on!
In my spare time, I am a big cricket fan and play regularly for both the Hong Kong Cricket Club and Craigengower Cricket Club which I had no idea about before I arrived (I thought I had retired) so that has been a big part of our life here where we have met so many great people.
I think the last three or four years have been difficult, we used to travel a lot and now that’s coming back being close to so many great locations was always a big attraction so looking forward to doing more of that again.
I love the energy of the place and the convenience with so many different activities at your doorstep. From a business perspective I think it’s the best place in the world, especially now. The number of connections I have made from all types of industries and backgrounds would be hard to replicate anywhere else.
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.
My business is in behavioural health consultancy: helping individuals and organisations act in ways that promote and sustain health and well-being. 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 the Desk, a home-grown co-working venture in Hong Kong.
The importance of overall health and well-being, 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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, board games and computer gaming are a big part of home life too. Yes, I will play Fortnite and Minecraft with my kids.
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.
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.
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!).
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%.
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 favourite 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, travelling.
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.
Te Rau Brown
I'm born and bred in the first city to see the sun, Te Tairawhiti / Gisborne. I attended the University of Waikato before moving to Hong Kong in 2004
I operate an apparel brand called ONYX Sports focusing on designing and manufacturing sportswear and school wear for clients in New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Australia. I also produce promotional products for various clients through my other company, Fuze Merchandise Agency.
The entire entrepreneurial journey, whilst being a rollercoaster, has been memorable for me. I worked for a few organisations including the Hong Kong Rugby Union, and Zuru Inc, in my early years in Hong Kong. I wanted to create a lifestyle where I could live in Hong Kong, whilst being able to travel to New Zealand for "work" to see whanau at my discretion, so I created my own company in 2012 manufacturing in China, and selling into New Zealand.
We manufacture apparel for schools, and for a variety of sports such as Waka Ama, Hockey, Rugby, Netball, Touch Rugby. We've also put together promotional programs for the University of Waikato, AUT, Te Wananga O Aotearoa among others. All of our clients have been great to work for. The mantra has always been the same - build trust through providing amazing service, and a quality product, and they will keep coming back. I enjoy playing sports, so it's always great to get onto the hockey pitch, or touch field, with my clients post business meetings. I still get a kick out of seeing people wear a product that I've helped to create.
It's your typical Hong Kong story, I came here with the expectation of staying for one year, and 18 years later I'm still here. I met my wife in Hong Kong and we have two tamariki who are aged six and three. My wife, Lena, has her immediate family in Hong Kong which is great, as we spend a lot of time with them. She is Australian so I need to make sure the kids wear the correct colours during trans-Tasman events.
After 18 years, I still think this city is amazing. There is so much to do here, and it's a very safe city to live in.
I am from Auckland, and have just celebrated seven years in Hong Kong.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I'm originally from Ashburton, and I've been in Hong Kong for seven years.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
I was born in Roxburgh, Central Otago. At an early age, the family moved to Nelson. I attended Waimea College, followed by Art school in Dunedin. After a years plus traveling and time in Sydney, I ventured off again. Planned a short stay transiting through Hong Kong in 1990 and have stayed since.
I am an artist running a small busy Arts Studio, creating and producing feature artworks in a large variety of forms and mediums for international five-star hotels, corporates and very high end residential. Along with my partner, our studio runs in tandem with our art consultancy service where we have a large resource of international and acclaimed artists we work alongside.
My role is head artist, running a small team of artists, trained in-house. I am primarily a painter and specialised gilder with a variety of precious metal leaf, gold, silver etc.
Most memorable job, is difficult, as many significant and memorable. Not to mention in many parts of the world. A few mentions: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong Lobby Lounge/Chinese Restaurant/ Japanese Restaurants and Presidential Suite; The Shard, London; the Entrance of Shangri-la London Sky club; 89/F, Freedom Tower, New York; and feature mural at The Peninsular Shanghai Lobby.
I met my wife and business partner Helen here in Hong Kong.
Our son Joshua was born and raised in Hong Kong. He completed his film and television degree at NYU and now lives in Sydney.
For time off in Hong Kong we enjoy junk boat Sundays with family friends of so many nationalities, in Sai Kung, out to the beach. Also Windsurfing, biking, hiking and exploring the outdoors of Hong Kong.
What I love about Hong Kong is the balance between the easy access of abundant sub-tropical nature in conjunction with the vibrant everyday culture, its convenience, variety and compactness, so much in such a small space. Very central to Asia and world travel and business.
Along with fruit, forestry products, live sheep, and wine I am an export from the sunny Hawkes Bay.
I studied arts and law at Victoria University of Wellington (as it then was). Upon graduation I returned to Hawkes Bay and commenced practice as a lawyer in Napier with a firm of which I eventually became a partner.
Ten years later as the Millennium dawned I could swat away the travel bug no longer and departed for the UK via Africa. I spent a year in Namibia, much of it living in a tent, as a volunteer staff member with Raleigh International, a British youth development charity. After completing two expeditions with Raleigh I travelled through Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique
At the beginning of 2001 I finally arrived in London, booked a much needed haircut, replaced my rucksack with a handbag and started lawyering again. There followed eleven fantastic years during which I was lucky enough to work in several top-rated international law firms and to gain valuable offshore litigation experience dealing with contentious trust matters.
Ultimately I was able to combine this experience with my interest in family law by working on high conflict, high net worth matrimonial cases at a time when London was developing a reputation as the ‘divorce capital’ of the world. It was this work that brought me to Hong Kong almost entirely by chance after lunch with a colleague who said jokingly ‘I don’t suppose you would be interested in working in Hong Kong?’.
I had never contemplated living in Asia and knew no one in Hong Kong. But the offer of a ‘Go see’ visit was irresistible and, just like Jerry Maguire, Hong Kong ‘had me at hello!’. That was 2012 and I have never regretted packing up lock stock and barrel and moving my life to the Far East.
I am a partner with the Family and Matrimonial department at Howse Williams, an independent law firm set up in 2012 by some legacy partners from the Hong Kong office of the British firm, Richards Butler. The firm has grown to be one of the largest independent law firms in Hong Kong with more than 30 partners working across all practice areas. Family law has been part of Howse Williams’ core business from the outset and the Family and Matrimonial Team is ranked in the top tier by the leading legal directories.
I head up the Family Trust & Wealth Preservation section within the Family department. Traditionally my work has involved dealing with families faced with divorce, death and other unhappiness. This continues to be the case, however modern families have more complex needs, complicated relationships and issues than ever before. In turn, the everyday work of a family lawyer, especially when dealing with internationally mobile families has expanded substantially. With qualifications to practice in New Zealand, England & Wales and Hong Kong I am often asked to advise families spread throughout those and other parts of the world.
Another aspect of the job that is emerging in Asia is pre-emptive planning for the preservation of family wealth through generations and despite relationship changes. Working with couples or families before or when a relationship starts rather than when the end is imminent enables a network of arrangements to be put in place that are designed to avoid unnecessary drama and assure financial security in the event that the relationship founders.
Notwithstanding my 30 years’ litigation experience, these days I rarely ever go to court with clients, unless as a last resort. It is almost always possible and preferable to seek a better way to resolve disputes and to find consensus by negotiation, mediation, collaboration and often a combination of all three. A challenging mix of technical and soft skills, IQ and EQ, is needed to find a good solution but when it works it is extremely rewarding and satisfying.
This is not to say that we never see high conflict cases or people behaving badly, this still happens, but these are not the matters that are most memorable. I remember one client in London who was shaken to discover after a marriage of more than 20 years, her husband’s class A drug habit. The husband was a prominent businessmen and my client was worried that as a result of his status I would not believe her, so she scooped his stash into an envelope and sent it to me. By Royal Mail. When I opened the envelope it exploded all over my office and transformed a not especially interesting Wednesday into a scene from Scarface. This resulted in a rather uncomfortable discussion with the senior partner as to why there was cocaine all over my office carpet!
My family all remain in New Zealand. It is fair to say they were fans of my move to Hong Kong since it is a far more accessible holiday location than long-haul London. They were regular visitors pre-Covid.
I am a keen traveller and until recent years always had a go-bag ready for a quick trip to anywhere – Hong Kong is the perfect location for the compulsive traveller. I am yearning for the day when I can dust off the passport and head to Chek Lap Kok.
On weekends in Hong Kong you can usually find me on the courts at HK Tennis Centre indulging my other passion, which is tennis. If there is any silver-lining to the travel restrictions it has been real improvement in my backhand.
The 10-month long summer, outdoor lifestyle and easy access to sandy beaches and nature was a revelation to me when I arrived in Hong Kong. I love not owning a winter wardrobe, swimming in the sea year round, junk trips and fresh seafood.
The ability to work long hours and still enjoy a social life was something that London’s commuter routine made very difficult whereas in Hong Kong it is easy. You can decide to do something and 10 minutes later actually be doing it. Ultimately, living on a beautiful harbour at the edge of the ocean is good for the soul.
I was born in Hong Kong to Kiwi parents from Rotorua and Hãwera.
It's been 10 years since I returned to the city.
In 2019 I established an executive search practice centred on global supply chains, I work with firms looking to hire leadership talent in Hong Kong as well as in now prominent production hubs like Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and West Africa as well as the EU and the US.
When New Yorkers and Londoners were told to stay put at home in 2020 no one could foresee the impact on global supply chains. Stability is a fleeting memory and investors have never paid this amount of attention to "the where" and "the how" of their products.
My practice centres on recommending individuals we can vouch for through a robust global network, ensuring that clients are in the best position to navigate volatility.
I recently completed a project for a Sustainability firm with ground-breaking dye technology hire a Chief Executive, we recommended only one individual for the project after they had been searching for close to half a year.
My family left back to Auckland in 2015, I live here with my wife who came here from Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2018.
Before Covid we travelled, throughout the pandemic we've been fortunate to spend time with other stranded friends. We're usually with our "Hong Kong family" or exercising.
I write about Hong Kong's talent situation and supply chain happenings in my own personal time, releasing a newsletter every hump day.
All of the world's people are amazing and Hong Kong's citizens are a fantastic bunch.
The city never fails to show me how much of a small world it is and with it reopening I expect it to get much smaller.
I grew up in Porirua (Waitangirua and then went "upmarket" to Titahi Bay) and shifted to Auckland when I was 15 and then went onto Auckland Uni.
I came to Hong Kong in 1996 arriving prior to the handover. In early 2000s I had a three year stint in Singapore and then four years in Bangkok before returning to HK in 2007. So about 19 years so far.
I am a Managing Director at UBS and head up the Asia Pacific Regional Tax team. I am qualified as a Barrister, Solicitor and Chartered Accountant. UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, UBS is present in all major financial centres, worldwide.
I'm also the Chairman of the Capital Markets Tax Committee of Asia, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) and on the board of the Hong Kong Rugby Union Charitable Foundation.
I've worked on a lot of deals and built high performing teams.
I've been on the HK7s Organising Committee for a while. Running the HKRU and being involved in the 7s with an all access pass has been certainly eye opening.
I met my wife Helen in Hong Kong and have two children that grew up in Hong Kong, although my youngest daughter is now at boarding school at St Peters, Cambridge learning how to be a "proper kiwi" as she says. Transporting children has been a major weekend job and I've been heavily involved in coaching sports teams.
While it hasn't been as much fun in the last six months, I enjoy the work hard, play hard approach that Hong Kong has.
Short travel times to get around Hong Kong and the opportunity to visit Bali, Thailand and the Philippines with ease (pre COVID and Hong Kong quarantine hotel) have been a fav. Attending the HK7s and supervising the South Stand. And meeting the various characters, players, legends and wannabees that make up the 7s weekend experience in Hong Kong.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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!’
I am from Wellington, grew up in Belmont and attended Nae Nae College when Bruce Murray was principal. I have been in Hong Kong for 20 years and it has flown by.
I am in the business of helping people and teams develop well-being, resilience and high-performance. I do this through movement, mindset and lifestyle coaching. I call myself a Performance Coach nowadays and specialise in corrective and high-performance exercise, working mostly with business executives whose aim is mostly to stay healthy and to optimise their stress.
One time I gave a wellness talk at a corporate off-site in Kona, Hawaii at a location you could only get to by helicopter!
In 2009 I worked on the Mandarin Hotel Group signature massage treatment to match up stretches and posture exercises with based on Traditional Chinese Medicine meridian lines and five element theory. I have been the strength and conditioning coach for one of Hong Kong most famous athletes Professional Boxer (now amateur) Rex Tso since 2015. Being in the corner holding the spit bucket for his last five professional fights with packed out stadiums, a sea of iPhones and a million Facebook viewers is certainly a highlight.
The Hong Kong Olympic Sailing team and youth squad has had me as their mental skills coach since 2019 and they narrowly missed out on going to Tokyo. I am writing a psychological skills training programme based on my time with them.
I've been a Senior Master Instructor for TRX since 2010 and use to go around the region mentoring the up and coming trainers and delivery presentations at international fitness conferences. Movement bonds people and this role allows me to meet a lot of people from the region. Thankfully this role is starting up again in June.
I was the strength and conditioning coach for the Seagods Dragon Boat team for 15 years and learnt a lot about team culture and the value of socialising as well as hard work. Prior to that my experience with Elite Sport (as a New Zealand gymnastics representative) was very much about focus and very little about connection and socialising.
As there is quite a bit of down-time between clients I have been able to publish three books - "How to calm you mind". "ROAM: Movement as Medicine" - of which I have developed in a general fitness curriculum, and "The bottom line of fat loss" - which I would reboot as Weight loss through wellness".
I also coach an incredibly hard working professional athlete whom I can't name until he retires.
I co-parent three teenagers who were born and bred in Hong Kong. Jack is off to do a music degree in Bristol, Bonnie is going to a school in the UK to further her rugby career (she has played for NAG since she was 11) and I suspect Grace will follow suit next year. They have played rugby at HKU Sandy Bay since they were five and I was able to coach them until around U-14 when all parents should step aside and just be, well, Dad.
The convenience of Hong Kong affords an easy access to many activities. I have dragon boated, outrigged and surf skied the Dragons Run, trained for and completed an ultramarathon in the Sahara and Atacama deserts, played Rugby for Sandy Bay, raced some spartan events and competed in three cross-fit opens. For 2023 my self-project is being a student of yoga and recovering from the battering I have given my body over the years.
I like the convenience of the Hong Kong, the people that I meet from all over the world - my clients, the dragon boat team, the rugby teams and clubs. How close the city is to other countries, the skyline - especially from the Star Ferry at dusk. One is never too far away from a trail to hike on or water to paddle on.
I am from Christchurch and have been in Hong Kong for the last six years.
I work in the bar and liquor industry, specifically working with brand development and importation, as well as working in operations and consulting on bar and brand projects both in Hong Kong and in greater China and around Asia Pacific.
I'm currently acting as Director of Business Development for the Iron Fairies group, with plans for multiple operational openings over the next 12 months including in Hong Kong, Bali and further afield in Asia Pacific.
Previously I worked on projects including the launch of ecoSpirits (the world's first low-carbon spirits distribution technology), consulted on the incredible ARGO bar at the Four Seasons Hong Kong, and curated and remotely rolled out a bar concept for the luxury St Regis hotel group which culminated in a simultaneous live-cast week-long training session with 22 hotels across Asia.
I had some family visit but Covid and quarantines has slowed that down a bit, I am hoping to bring my father out once quarantine is over as it was his photos from a business trip to Hong Kong which originally planted the seeds that inspired me to choose Hong Kong.
Personal time is a little rare with hostings and social responsibilities but I do try and spend a couple of hours in the garden every week when I can.
Hong Kong has an incredibly vibrant and tight hospitality community, with restaurants and bars I would be willing to put against any city in the world in terms of quality, and the constant busy flow of life in the city means it's never boring.
I also have a house with my wife and cat out in Lantau which overlooks a wide-open green area frequented by cows and plenty of birds so I always have a break from the city when needed.
Yeshan (Yay) Ekanayake
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)!
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.
I look after the F&P team here in Hong Kong and Macau and together we aim to further educate doctors and nurses in Hong Kacau/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.
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’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.
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.
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!
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!
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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 USD35m deal.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.