In this issue:

  • NZMEA Head briefs members on Christchurch Terror Attack and MFAT Response.
  • Expo 2020 Ramps Up.

  • New Zealand Business Council in Dubai – Invitation to first Network Meeting.
  • Special Benefits for NZMEBC Members. 


NZMEA Head briefs members on Christchurch Terror Attack and MFAT Response

Head of MFAT’s Middle East and Africa Division, Stuart Horne, briefed NZMEBC members last week on how MFAT worked quickly and collaboratively with all Government agencies within a structured crisis management framework in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

“From an MFAT perspective, the immediate need was to get clear and quick messages out to the countries whose nationals were involved in the attacks, which is where our diplomatic posts played a very important role,” he said.  “There were also significant reputational risks for New Zealand, particularly in terms of our standing in the Muslim world”

“There were many different nationalities among the victims, some with dual nationalities, so it was important to have clear messages distributed quickly to the global community.
Within days we had large numbers of foreign delegations visiting, bringing very senior people, and all those people needed to be accommodated in terms of dialogue with the community, engagement with our Government and basic logistical needs such as local travel, accommodation and meetings.   This meant that for the first two weeks post the attack there was a huge diversion of MFAT resources into managing the communications, the relationships and the logistical requirements of Government, international visitors and local and domestic media.

“Fortunately MFAT has a large number of Middle East alumni and former ambassadors we could call on in bringing together a team of skilled and knowledgeable people, including Arabic speakers, who knew the relevant protocols and in many cases had pre-existing personal relationships with many of the visitors and affected Governments.”

“It was all hands on deck also for Government Ministers, a number of whom found time or even travelled to Christchurch to host senior government representatives from overseas.
All those delegations needed to be welcomed, to be given consistent messages and relevant information.    Their immediate observations of the warm and authentic on-the-ground response from all New Zealanders, the prayers offered by the Imam in our Parliament and the involvement of our indigenous hosts all contributed to a positive view of New Zealand and its people in the light of this terrible attack by one individual,” Mr Horne said.

“Fortunately the immediately empathetic response from our Prime Minister, from the people of New Zealand and from the Muslim community in New Zealand meant the global story  became framed by the response rather than the attack itself,” he said.

“For those doing business in the Arab world, the view of New Zealand and its response to the tragedy will be critical for future relationships.

“In that respect it is important that New Zealanders doing business in the Middle East are aware of the key messages we want to convey:

  • Muslims are part of our community.  They are our friends, our colleagues, our neighbours – they are us.
  • New Zealand is one of the most multicultural nations in the world.  We are a nation of 200 ethnicities, 160 languages. Our diversity is something that we value and celebrate.
  • New Zealand is an inclusive country that promotes peace, security and tolerance.
  • The New Zealand Government has no tolerance for violence or extremism of any kind.
  • The Government has provided financial support to victims and their families and the New Zealand public raised more than $10 million for the victims’ families.
  • The Prime Minister has announced a Royal Commission of Inquiry into New Zealand’s security agencies after the terrorist attack.
  • The New Zealand Government has acted swiftly to strengthen New Zealand’s gun laws following this attack and legislation has been passed to ban all semi-automatic weapons.
  • The New Zealand Government is taking steps to partner with others internationally to extract more responsible behaviour from social media platforms that publish offensive material which may encourage, promote  or disseminate anti-social behaviour.
  • New Zealand remains one of the safest places in the world to travel for business, education or a holiday.

A video record of the immediate post- attack response has been made by MFAT and has been used widely with the international community.  To view the video click here.


Expo 2020 Ramps Up

When the UAE won the bid to host Expo 2020 in 2013, the country celebrated with pride. And with good reason. For 170 years, world expos have had a fascinating history of showcasing innovative solutions, disruptive technologies, new icons and state-of-the-art infrastructure. From ice cream, instant coffee and the Eiffel Tower to the telegraph, telephone, typewriter and touchscreen – all these firsts made their debut at world expos.

On a recent visit to New Zealand, Expo2020 Commissioner General Clayton Kimptonreported that the park-wide infrastructure build was almost complete, meaning countries could now get their construction programmes for their pavilions under way.

“The theme of the NZ Pavilion is ‘Care for People and Place’, which is not just about caring for our environment but also having a strong, sustainable economy and investing in people,” Mr Kimpton said.

“The New Zealand site will be entertaining, informative and engaging, with about one third of the site dedicated to hosting in restaurants and showcasing our food, beverage and hospitality offerings,” he said.

“The balance of the space will be flexible in terms of layout so it can be used for product launches, dinners, AGMs, tastings and business meetings,” said Mr Kimpton.

“Our engaging exhibition space with NZ branding will be open from 10 am to 10 pm, seven days a week and will include an immersive cinematic experience that will enhance our Kaitiakitanga (Care for people and place) theme,” he said.

Tony Martin, Regional Director for NZTE in India, the Middle East, and Africa, will visit New Zealand shortly to consult stakeholders on the Leverage Programme that is being planned by NZTE for Expo2020.

Expo 2020 Dubai will span six months from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, and will redefine the global standing of the UAE and Dubai. With 190 countries, including New Zealand participating, it will be the first global event of this scale and stature to be hosted in the Middle East.

Register here for the park-wide Expo2020 online marketplace.

Apply here for the Innovation Impact Grant Programme to fund solutions that improve lives and support the spirit of Expo 2020’s theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. Funding grants of up to US$100,000 are awarded to projects that benefit communities and the environment around the world.  Winners join a global network of innovators and the chance to have their projects showcased in 2020.


New Zealand Business Council in Dubai – Invitation to first Network Meeting

Following the successful establishment of the NZ (Middle East) Business Council in Dubai, Chairman Andrew Perrier has issued the organisation’s first newsletter which includes invitations to current and prospective members of the Council to two upcoming events:
1. ANZAC Day Dawn Service

An ANZAC Day Dawn Service will be held at 5 am on Thursday 25 April at the Promenade, Intercontinental Hotel, Festival City, Dubai. The Service is hosted by the Australia New Zealand Association with the support of the Australian Consulate-General in Dubai and there is no charge to attend.

Please see the invitation below for RSVP details and the option to attend an optional breakfast for which small charge will be made.

2. NZBC First Network Meeting

The Council’s first Networking meeting will be held on Wednesday 1 May, as an “After 5” event kindly hosted by the Address Hotel, Montgomerie Golf Club. The new Administrative Board of the Council will be present and their plans for the newly formed New Zealand Business Council will be the focus of discussion.

NZatExpo2020 Commissioner-General Clayton Kimpton will provide an update on progress with the New Zealand Pavilion and UAE and Qatar Ambassador Matthew Hawkins will be in attendance, along with Consul-General Kevin McKenna.

Please email your RSVP for this event to

Please see the full NZ Business Council newsletter here.


Special Benefits for NZMEBC Members

Members are reminded that special flight concessions are available to members from Emirates, the Council’s major sponsor, for all NZMEBC members.

These rates may be accessed by contacting Simon Urbahn of Business World Travel, contact details for Simon are:

Phone: 09 529 3700