The CCPS Knowledge Transfer series is a series of monthly events held in collaboration with the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre (NZCCRC), aimed at providing public sector officials with a broad and deep range of different insights, perspectives and experiences related to New Zealand’s strategic relationship with China.


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The CCPS Knowledge Transfer series is a series of monthly events held in collaboration with the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre (NZCCRC).

They are aimed at providing public sector officials with a broad and deep range of different insights, perspectives and experiences related to New Zealand’s strategic relationship with China.

These events feature a diverse array of China experts including government officials, globally renown academics, economists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.  Keep an eye on our website for speaker profiles and take the opportunity to hear their insights, perspectives and stories at our monthly Knowledge Transfer events.

Previous events

Carl Worker - "China's importance for New Zealand"

“At a future date we will look back and wonder how we could ever have thought to get by until now with such relatively slender China capability in our wider public service and community.” 

Carl Worker was Ambassador to China (2009-2015), Charge d’Affaire, NZ Embassy, Washington (2015-2016) and is currently MFAT’s Principal Business Adviser and the New Zealand Ambassador for Counter-terrorism. 

Carl explored the features and enablers of the New Zealand-China relationship drawing on ten years in Beijing and five in Hong Kong.  Some of the key points made by Carl during his talk were:  

  • China has prioritised economic development
  • There are big opportunities for NZ if we equip ourselves to understand and recognise them, and discern and manage the risks that come with those opportunities
  • The key to managing our relationship with China, in all its growing scale and complexity, is most fundamentally of all to maintain a “Fair Go” Kiwi attitude towards China
  • We need to continue developing our ability to understand and engage with China, to look for the opportunities, to be a relevant and constructive partner in China’s development and, last but not least, to judge by results.

Download the event flyer: Carl Worker  [PDF, 219 KB]

Peter Harris - "50 Years of China in a global context"

"A week is a long time in politics. Half a century in Chinese politics is both an eternity and a blink of the eye."

Peter Harris amongst other things is a Senior Fellow of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre and former founding Executive Director of the Asia New Zealand Foundation. He covered a huge amount of ground as he spoke about 50 years of China in a global context at his August 23 presentation.

The audience were treated to Peter’s deep insights and broad knowledge of this tumultuous period.  Peter described this period of history in the context of China’s changing relationship with the United States and Russia and also China’s desire to regain its rightful place as a global power. 

Peter reminded us that in terms of China’s history 50 years is an eye blink and that 200 years ago China was the wealthiest nation on earth and a true global power and left us with the thought that if New Zealand truly wants to prosper through our relationship with China we need to be in it for the long haul.  

Download the event flyer: Peter Harris [PDF, 254 KB]

Jade Gray - "Navigating the complexity of business in China"

Jade is the Co-founder of Gungho! Pizza and Pyro Pizza chains and a former member of the New Zealand Government’s China Beachheads Board.  Carrying a pair of skis and a smattering of Mandarin he set off from New Zealand in 1996 with a dream of making in the world’s fastest growing market.  Almost 20 years later a crowded room of public servants heard about how Jade has successfully, and on occasion not so successfully, navigated the complexities and quirks of doing business in China.

Jade related his experience to the roles that government and business each have in working together to achieve success for New Zealand and New Zealanders in China. He provided insights into the critical role that the New Zealand Public Service plays in facilitating, supporting and influencing the success of New Zealand businesses wanting to establish themselves in China.

Download the event flyer: Jade Gray [PDF, 232 KB]

David Kelly - "Can China understand us?"

David is the Director of Research at China Policy Beijing, a visiting professor at Beijing University, regular media commentator on Chinese for the BBC, ABC, Financial Times, Al Jazeera, Sky news and Voice of America.

Download the event flyer: David Kelly [PDF, 179 KB]

Geremie Barmé - "On the frontiers of friendship"

"Friendship" in Chinese politics is both simple and complex. The opening line of one of Mao Zedong's most important early essays on China and its future reads simply: Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the first importance for the revolution.

Friendships forged between China's first generation of revolutionary leaders and foreign supporters have even now a certain iconic significance. But friendships, especially those that are termed by the Chinese authorities as being ‘old friends’, can carry heavy burdens.

Geremie will speak on the background of China's ‘friendship politics’ and offer observations of the way Chinese leaders order the world in terms of different strategic relationships. He will also comment on how the concept of zhengyou, or ‘friend who speaks frankly’, has played a role in engaging with China.

Download the event flyer: Geremie Barmé [PDF, 494 KB] 

Gavin Crombie - 'Go West, Young Man"

  • Why New Zealand should turn their attention to the South West of China
  • The Three Rules of Investment in China - how this impacts on New Zealand companies trying to raise Chinese Capital

Achieving our ambitious economic goals in China requires New Zealand officials and businesses to look more actively for opportunities outside the traditional cities and regions where most New Zealand business has been based. 

The opening of the Consulate-General in Chengdu turned attention to China’s new growth engine in the west.  But the West has its own dynamics, and officials need to understand its culture and regional style to engage there effectively, whether with business or government.  

Gavin Crombie is a New Zealand businessman who has been grappling with doing business in Chengdu for the past 20 years.  He will discuss why New Zealand needs to focus more on China’s west, and what we need to know to be effective there.

Gavin is a respected authority on doing business in China. His best-selling book on the subject, ‘The Way of the Dragon’, is used in over 15 MBA programs worldwide and a new book, ‘Secrets of Success for Architects in China’, was published in 2016.

Download the event flyer: Gavin Crombie [PDF, 613 KB]

John O'Loghlen - 'The Parallel Universe of China's E-Commerce Landscape'

Traditional patterns of goods trade into China are being upset by China’s huge growth in e-commerce. Officials and businesses need to understand what this will mean for New Zealand’s trade with China.  Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, is changing the ground rules about who can do business there. It is forcing a rethink of the advice and support businesses will need from officials, and the provisions negotiators will need to write into future trade agreements. 

Few New Zealanders have a full understanding of Alibaba’s scale and the diversity of its activities.  On 11 November alone last year it processed US$17 billion of sales. Beyond its marketing platforms its interests span banking, healthcare, tourism, sports and media. 

John O’Loghlen, a New Zealander spearheading Alibaba’s entry into New Zealand and Australian business with China, will give insights into where his company and China’s e-commerce revolution are leading.

Download the event flyer: John O'Loghlen [PDF, 447 KB]

Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley DNZM - Globalisation, Free Trade and Banking - What it takes to achieve mutual success in the New Zealand - China context

At a time when increasing protectionist sentiment is being aired in Washington, China is now flying the flag for the benefits of globalisation. What lies behind President Xi Jinping’s latest assertions of China’s commitment to free trade? What is China likely to do to promote its regional free trade agenda? What do New Zealand officials need to know to be able to respond to Chinese policy initiatives?

Having been a member of China Construction Bank’s Global Board of Directors and currently Chairman of China Construction Bank NZ Ltd, Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley has deep insight into the strategic intentions and mutual benefits of diversification in the banking industry, both globally and from a New Zealand perspective. As Chairperson of Oravida New Zealand and Oravida Water, Dame Jenny Shipley has an appreciation of the complexity of exporting the best of New Zealand into the complex but lucrative market which is China.

Download the event flyer: Dame Jenny Shipley [PDF, 573 KB]

Jamil Anderlini - China Under Xi Jinping: How China's political rivalries might affect New Zealand

When: 3:45pm – 4:45pm, Wednesday 3 May 2017
Where: Wellington - RSVP for details

Rejuvenation or stagnation? How might political rivalries in China affect New Zealand’s relationship with China? What should New Zealand officials be looking for to get a sense of how current manoeuvrings might play out this year?

President Xi Jinping is often described by Western media as the most powerful Chinese ruler since Deng Xiaoping or even Mao Zedong. But some of his closest advisors say he will not have the power to impose his will on the Communist Party bureaucracy until after the 19th Party Congress in November, when he is expected to stack the Central Committee and Politburo with his allies.

Download the event flyer [PDF, 435 KB]

John McKinnon: Scaling up New Zealand's China footprint: The art and science of cross-agency coordination

New Zealand’s footprint in China is our largest offshore government presence with six diplomatic and consular offices, 10 agencies, and 405 staff.  How do we use this large presence in China to achieve New Zealand’s goals in China?  To what extent does China expect us to be operating a single, whole-of-government approach to the various parts of the relationship?  What are the consequences of not being ‘joined-up&rsquo

As New Zealand's Ambassador to China, John McKinnon leads our China operations and coordinates inter-agency engagement in the People’s Republic of China.  John will talk about the active role the New Zealand Embassy plays in strengthening its state-to-state relationship with China, and why close inter-agency coordination is important in China and between our China operations and New Zealand agencies.

John will share insights on what we can learn from the China experience to work effectively across agency boundaries, and how this will ensure we deliver on the NZ Inc Strategy and advance New Zealand’s value proposition to China for the longer term

Download the event flyer [PDF, 430 KB]

Read more about John McKinnon on the MFAT website

Luke Minford: Innovation in China: The changing role of government and enterprise

China filed more patents and litigated more IP than the entire world combined last year. What does this mean from a commercial perspective, and what does it tell us about China’s real innovation capacity?

Luke Minford outlined the forces shaping innovation in China, and explored why and how the role of government and enterprise in innovation has fundamentally changed in the last five years.

Download the event flyer [PDF, 543 KB]

Kerry Brown - Xi Jinping: Exercising power in contemporary China

29 August 2017 10.30-11.30 am, Wellington

Xi Jinping's leadership is coming to a defining moment with the 19th Party Congress being held in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, later this year. The political direction of China matters for New Zealand, and indeed the world has a profound interest in the kind of leader Xi seeks to become.

What outcomes can we expect from this event in terms of personalities and policies? Can we interpret Xi as an emerging autocrat or as a faithful servant of the China Communist Party (CCP)? Will we be looking at a perpetual presidency in the making, one where norms and processes are being undermined - or a China where there is one emperor and one alone, the CCP? What would the impact of a stronger Xi leadership be on the region and the wider world, including New Zealand, and its external environment?

Join us as noted China expert Kerry Brown shares his insight on Xi Jinping’s leadership intentions and reveals how Xi has built one of he most powerful leaderships modern China has ever seen. Fluent in Chinese and with 20 years experience of life in China, Kerry Brown has worked in education, business and government, including a term as First Secretary at the British Embassy in Beijing. He writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and The Observer amongst others, as well as for many international and Chinese media outlets.

Kerry is Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute at King's College, London, and former Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and Head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House, London. He has authored 12 books on the post-1949 People’s Republic of China, including his 2016 biography of Xi Jinping, CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping.

Download the event flyer [PDF, 555 KB]

John Mathews - Global green shift: Renewable China

22 September 2017 10.00-11.00 am, Wellington

The worldwide green energy transition is here, and China is at the helm. Although the reasons have more to do with environmental pollution and energy security than with curbing carbon emissions, China is leading the way and is contributing more than any other country to a climate change solution. The success of China’s industrialisation plan depends on renewables and on a circular economy. China’s build-up of renewable energy systems at serious scale is driving cost reductions that will make water, wind, and solar power accessible to all. This has acute implications for innovation and rule-making for New Zealand policymakers, businesses, and governments worldwide.

Professor John Mathews has long been interested in the greening of capitalism and the drivers of that process. Join Professor Mathews as he reveals the drivers of this astonishing energy transformation taking place in China.

John Mathews is an Australian Professor of Strategy at Macquarie Graduate School of Management. He has specialized in catch-up strategies of firms and countries in East Asia, publishing widely in this field. For several years Professor Mathews has focused on the greening of industry with an emphasis on the role of China (as proxy for the whole economy).

John’s recent books include Greening of Capitalism: How Asia is Driving the Next Great Transformation, and China’s Renewable Energy Revolution and its Global Significance, coauthored with Dr Hao Tan. In 2017 Prof. Mathews authored Global Green Shift: When Ceres Meets Gaia.

Download the event flyer [PDF, 466 KB]

Con Williams, Agri Economist with ANZ - Targeting value from agricultural links with China

Friday 24 November 2017, 10:30 am - 11:30 am, Wellington

To what extent does the value of the New Zealand’s economic relationship with China affect our prosperity? What industries are key in this relationship? What are the opportunities for New Zealand businesses, and where are the challenges?

Con provided a business perspective, including the role the public sector plays in sustaining and growing the value of our agricultural links with China.

Bonnie Glaser -

5 December 2017, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Wellington

Senior Adviser for Asia; Director, China Power Project - Center for Strategic & International Studies

A more confident, assertive and globally engaged China is emerging under President Xi Jinping. Where is Chinese domestic and foreign policy heading following the 19th Party Congress? How does all this impact China’s relationship with New Zealand and others in the Asia-Pacific region?

Join us for a global expert’s assessment of Chinese foreign policy as Bonnie Glaser, one of the leading US scholars in this area, explores how Chinese foreign policy has changed under President Xi. Bonnie explores the challenges to regional order and stability and delves into recent examples to pose questions for discussion with the audience.

Knowledge transfer series  
Date  Topic  Speaker
29 June 2016 New Zealand and China: Managing a complex, modern relationship  Carl Worker
23 August 2016 50 Years of China in a Strategic Context Peter Harris
22 September 2016 Co-founder of Gung-ho Pizza and New Zealand entrepreneur living in China Jade Gray
31 October 2016 Can China understand us? David Kelly
24 November 2016 On the frontiers of friendship Geremie Barmé
13 December 2016 Go West, Young Man - Why New Zealand should turn their attention to the South West of China Gavin Crombie 
2 March 2017 The Parallel Universe of China's E-Commerce Landscape John O'Loghlen
4 April 2017 Globalisation, Free Trade and Banking - What it takes to achieve mutual success in the New Zealand - China context Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley DNZM
3 May 2017 China Under Xi Jinping: How China's political rivalries might affect New Zealand Jamil Anderlini
7 June 2017 Scaling up New Zealand's China footprint: The art and science of cross-agency coordination John McKinnon
30 June 2017 Innovation in China: The changing role of government and enterprise Luke Minford
29 August 2017 Xi Jinping: Exercising power in contemporary China Kerry Brown
22 September 2017 Global green shift: Renewable China John Mathews
24 November 2017 Targeting value from agricultural links with China Con Williams
5 December 2017 Chinese domestic and foreign policy under Xi Jinping Bonnie Glaser
12 February 2018 China's justice system (details to come) Hamish McCardle

Calls for registration along with more details on the speaker and their topic will be available at least two weeks before each event.

For further information, or are interested in having one of our speakers present at your agency, please contact the programme team at