Meet the Auckland team responsible for bringing you NZCTA Young Associates' events and opportunities! You'll often see us at events and we very much look forward to meeting you in person. In the meantime, find out a little more about us below.
Sonja has a double degree with majors including International Business and Asian Studies from the University of Auckland. She is further exploring her interest in international business with part-time postgraduate study in Global Management and Innovation. She currently works in the Advocacy team at the EMA, with the mission of helping business succeed. Sonja hopes to help bring understanding and engagement with China through work with the YA, while creating a space to help grow networks and build meaningful friendships- at the end of the day relationships are what it’s all about!
Min-Ji is currently in her penultimate year of studying a Law (Hons) and Arts conjoint at the University of Auckland. Having had the chance to travel, work and study in China since high school, her interest in China has grown steadily throughout the years. She is fascinated about what the vastness of China entails and interested in the potential for youth to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge and tools to propel themselves in the NZ-China space. She hopes that through her involvement with the YA she will gain further insight into China and its capabilities and also take advantage of opportunities to build bridges between the two countries.
Business Development Manager
Wei Hsiao is an Agile Coach at New Zealand Post. He is passionate about innovation in regards to the process of ideation and inception of ideas. He wants to explore how New Zealand businesses can incorporate Chinese innovation into their products and services, and vice versa. Aside from innovation he is heavily involved within local communities. His two key areas of focus being Maori & Pasifika in Technology and the Agile community space. In his spare time, he’s a wannabe baller and blogs about the notorious and exciting Chinese basketball (CBA).
Business Development Manager
Liam is currently completing a Master of Arts in Politics and International Relations at Auckland University, researching New Zealand's relationship with China. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in 2012 he spent time in Asia and Europe discovering vast differences to his home, New Zealand. In 2017 he was awarded the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia to undertake language study in Kunming, China. He sees the Young Associates as a way to reinforce similarities between cultures, by encouraging and nurturing relationships between NZ and China. He is also the founder and president of a Mandarin-English exchange program in Auckland.
David has been Arts student at the University of Auckland majoring in Spanish and Chinese. He also works closely with business leaders and local government as a coordinator for the youth-led sustainability group Generation Zero. His time in Yunnan learning Chinese on the Prime Minister’s Scholarship has further motivated David to pursue the language and explore China and New Zealand’s ever-growing and multifaceted relationship. In joining the Young Associates, David hopes to see behind the curtain when it comes to business practices in the Sino-New Zealand sphere and solidify cultural and commercial links between the two regions.
Isabella graduated from University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Bioscience Enterprise, and is now working as a Business Support Associate in Plant & Food Research. She is passionate about science and technology and wants to help in translating research into applications that the wider public and environment can benefit from. Isabella joined YA because of her Chinese-Indonesian heritage and her enthusiasm about the many potentials that can arise from collaborations between New Zealand and China. Outside of the office, you can find her engrossed in books or sketches.
Marco is a recent graduate of the University of Auckland with a conjoint degree in Commerce and East Asian Studies. His interest in China, and developing cross-cultural relationships came at a young age and was emboldened through extensive travel and study in the country. In addition to a strong interest in business development and analysing opportunities from a historical, trade and political perspective, he also enjoys creative marketing pursuits. In joining the YA, Marco hopes to become further involved in the invaluable trade relationship between New Zealand and China.
Kathy graduated with a Master of Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Auckland. She now works as a Regulatory Affairs Officer for Anagenix, a NZ company developing innovative NZ nutraceutical ingredients for international markets, including China. Kathy started exploring NZ-China trade through her thesis research looking at how the Chinese regulatory environment for health foods influences the entry of NZ nutraceuticals into China. By joining YA, she hopes to continue broadening her knowledge and experience in NZ-China trade, as well as encouraging others to take part in deepening the relationship between the two countries.
Social Media Manager
Antoine studies Public Relations, International Business and Chinese at AUT. He is currently on exchange in Shanghai with the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia, learning more about China’s business and political environments. Antoine is interested in the media sector and how it can impact everything from cultural perceptions to trade relations. He is excited about his role on the YA’s media team and hopes he can help motivate more young people to involve themselves within the NZ-China dynamic.
Teresa studies Law and Commerce at the University of Auckland. As a young female Chinese-Kiwi, she is driven by a desire to inspire other rangatahi to be informed, engaged and critical global citizens. Previously, she has been Jacinda Ardern's Youth MP, Head Prefect of ACG Senior College and an actress in an all-female Pop Up Globe Shakespeare show. Currently, she is the HR Manager for the YA, a Young Member of NZ Asian Leaders and the Auckland Regional President of UN Youth, the largest youth-for-youth organisation in Aotearoa.
Alan is now in his penultimate year of an Engineering and Commerce conjoint at the University of Auckland. He realised the importance of the NZ-China trade relationship, especially with the current technology growth in China. Although he was born in NZ, his family's roots are from China, which also caused an interest in NZ-China relations. He wishes to help develop a space for young professionals to gain an informative experience with the YA.
WeChat Content Creator
Sichen graduated from Auckland University with a Commerce and Law conjoint and is currently starting her law career at Simpson Gierson. Originally from China, she grew up in Singapore with a deep passion for Chinese culture and the Chinese Language. She hopes to share and develop her passion for the country and culture and meet likeminded individuals with a common purpose.
Han graduated with an Arts and Law (Hons) degree from Auckland University and is currently a solicitor at Simpson Grierson. He was involved in entrepreneurship during his time at University, running Tutor House, a tutoring company, with three of his friends. He backpacked through China last summer and was amazed at both the high-tech industry and grassroots businesses everywhere. It is this love for entrepreneurship and China which has led to his involvement with the YA. In his spare time, he blogs about music and culture at Gimme The Pretense.
AND HERE'S A TEAM PHOTO!*
*Minus Antoine, Sichen, Alan and Liam
Past Committee Members
- Han Li, Sonja Rose, Min-Ji Yang, Edward Smith, Wei Hsiao, Liam Finnigan, Marco Benvenuto, Isabella Njohana, Kathy Liu, Miji Lee, Antoine Ellis, Teresa Lee, Sichen Xi, Rong Shi, Sherry Zhang, Min-Hung Chiang
- Cindy Yuan, Jessica Liang, Chumin Yu, Han Li, Edward Smith, Allen Fan, Wei Hsiao, Liam Finnigan, Marco Benvenuto, Miji Lee, Antoine Ellis, Teresa Lee, Rong Shi, Min-Hung Chiang, Amy Ding, Julius Mataupu, Sandy Lam, Chris Hon, Victor Huang, Raymond Huang
- Kevin Wei, Cindy Yuan, Chumin Yu, Jessica Liang, Han Li, Akshat Chugh, Fraser Nicholas, Edward Smith, Sandy Lam, Allen Fan, Min-Ji Yang, Min-Hung Chiang, Victor Huang, Chris Hon, Lincoln Dam, Jennifer Tate