The Asia New Zealand Foundation
We were privileged to hear last Thursday from Alistair Crozier, Director and Business Manager of the Asia New Zealand Foundation who brings a wide variety of experiences across various overseas regions to his work.
“Asia represents approximately 60% of the world’s population”, shared Alistair, “with eleven of New Zealand’s top 15 trade partners coming from this region.”  As a result, he explained, we are increasingly tied to this area with one in six New Zealanders (including Alistair) also speaking an Asian language and the NZ Govt. believes Asia is going to be increasingly influential in NZ’s future.
Asia is currently seen as the 2nd most important region to NZ behind Australia, but only half of us know much about the region.  Alistair then asked what words do we associate with Asia?  Most think immediately of China, but it is significantly more than that. 
The Foundation’s purpose, he explained, is to help NZ gear up to thrive in Asia by raising awareness and encouraging access to the programmes offered.  These core programmes include business, entrepreneurship,   leadership, arts education. Media, research, diplomacy and sport area.
As Director of the Business programme, Alistair’s team arranges internships for recent graduates which include inviting Asian experts to NZ to provide Professional Development to various sectors.
In addition to leadership development the Foundation also runs entrepreneurship programmes and provides educational curriculum, resources and online classes to schools and NZ educators which aims to inspire interest in Asian culture.
“A key advantage is that we now have more multicultural classrooms which helps teachers and students understand more about Asian culture” explained.  While media coverage tends to often be quite focussed on issues, the Foundation tries to show “all of Asia” including how they live, what they do etc.
We thanked Alistair for his informative presentation on what the Foundation does and wished him well going forward.
For more detained information check out their website at