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  • 18 Jul 2016 6:25 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    AUCKLAND, 18 July, 2016– The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand has today announced the finalists for the 2016 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards, held in conjunction with Hawaiian Airlines, the 17th year of these awards celebrating success and innovation for companies doing business with the USA.

    Mike Hearn, Executive Director for AmCham, says 2016 has seen another very strong group of entries, covering a diverse range of products and services. While technology companies are again to the forefront of finalists there are some strong entries from pharmaceuticals, wine, building products, cars, food & beverage and engineered products.  

    “Exports to the USA increased for the 6th consecutive year and we are also seeing big growth in the services sector with the USA. The US accounts for 11.6% per cent of New Zealand’s total earnings from overseas trade.” says Mr Hearn.

    Commenting on the finalists, Mark Foy, DHL Express Country Manager New Zealand, said: “The USA offers fantastic opportunities for local businesses and we’re seeing ongoing volume growth from both importers and exporters. The high caliber of the 2016 finalists highlights that Kiwi ingenuity is thriving. Innovative businesses are tapping into increased online connectedness and are reaping the benefits of trading with the USA.”

    The finalists are:

    Importer of the Year

    • -         Ford NZ & the All New Mustang
    • -         Protempo Ltd
    • -         SOS Hydration Ltd

    Investor of the Year to or from the USA

    • -         Baxter Healthcare
    • -         Proliant Biologicals
    • -         Trimble Navigation New Zealand Ltd

    Exporter of the Year to the USA under $1 million

    • -         Autogrow Systems Ltd
    • -         Heilala Vanilla
    • -         Packaworld International Ltd
    • -         Raygun Ltd

    Exporter of the Year to the USA $1 million to $10 million

    • -         Aranz Medical
    • -         Cuddon Ltd – Cuddon Freeze Dry division
    • -         Export X
    • -         Giesen Wines
    • -      Howick Limited
    • -         James Dunlop Textiles Ltd
    • -         PowerbyProxi Ltd

    Exporter of the Year to the USA over $10 million

    • -         Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
    • -         Constellation Brands
    • -         Gallagher Group
    • -         Protempo
    • -         Pushpay
    • -         Wherescape Software
    • -         Whitehaven Wine Company Ltd

    Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy

    • -         Bodeker Scientific
    • -         Kaila Colbin
    • -         Young Enterprise Trust

    One of the above will be chosen as the Supreme winner. 

    One other award will be presented on the night:  The AmCham Supporter of the Year

    The awards will be presented at a black tie gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel Auckland on 18th August. For details and tickets see

    In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the awards are supported by 3M New Zealand, Baldwins, Fonterra Co-operative, Prescient Marketing & Communications, The Pullman Hotel and media sponsor The Business.

    Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included Zespri International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Health, Zeacom, SMI Group, Fonterra and Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services t/a Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems, Greenshell New Zealand, Vista Entertainment and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

  • 13 Jul 2016 12:00 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the announcement that United States Vice President Joe Biden will make an official visit to New Zealand next week.

    “New Zealand places great value on its relationship with the United States and the Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss key regional and international issues,” Mr Key says.

    “Vice President Biden’s visit will allow us to discuss ways we can work closer together on issues like economic and trade ties, as well as international peace and security matters.”

    Vice President Biden and his delegation arrive in New Zealand on Wednesday 20 July for a series of official engagements on Thursday 21 July.


  • 01 Jul 2016 9:36 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Houston-based Noel Group Inc. today announced the opening of its Houston Launch Pad (

    The Launch Pad is a Noel Group initiative
    designed to assist businesses to quickly establish a beachhead in the Houston market, and as a gateway to Texas and the US. Located just 10 minutes from the airport and on the 20th floor of the iconic Greenspoint Four building in a campus-like setting that includes a Hilton hotel, fully-serviced conference center, a dozen restaurants and a state-of-the-art fitness center, the Launch Pad is the ideal place to do business while enjoying the benefits of an all-in-one facility. A comprehensive range of support services are available via Noel Group on flexible terms, including:

    • ·        Office space, facilities & ICT infrastructure
    • ·        Business development & marketing
    • ·        Private equity investment
    • ·        Accounting, insurance & legal
    • ·        Travel, housing & relocation

    Noel Group CEO, Stacey Horne, believes that a key benefit the Launch Pad can offer is the ability to establish quickly in familiar company and gain market access and visibility via existing relationships built over many years. “Our team has been working with international companies, particularly New Zealand, for more than a decade and knows how to build relationships across cultures. We offer a full range of services for those who want to move into the US market. Houston is a thriving city that offers a friendly, yet cosmopolitan business environment with a can do attitude that transcends geography.

    Noel’s SVP, Hamish Clark, agrees that the Launch Pad provides the ideal bridge for both sides of the Pacific. “We ‘kiwis’ share many of the same values as our Texan neighbours, including our pioneering spirit and passion for innovative thinking. Our key challenges are distance and a comparatively tiny domestic market. The Launch Pad was designed with these challenges in mind and to make ‘the leap’ as painless as possible. A trusted and committed in-market presence with deep roots is a big plus for any New Zealand company, and in order to ‘plug in’ to the US value chain with minimum burn and maximum leverage. The combination of transpacific fibre and direct flights from Houston-Auckland also make short work of distance.”

    One of the Launch Pad’s early benefactors is New Zealand’s largest privately-owned paint manufacturer, Resene Paints. The company has entered into a joint venture with Noel Group to develop and market an innovative surface coating with exceptional rejection properties. It is also a significant contributor to Noel Group’s private equity fund. Resene’s CEO, Nick Nightingale, is excited by the initiative and agrees that local knowledge is invaluable for international companies entering the US. “We at Resene Paints congratulate the Noel Group on the launch of this terrific initiative. We think that it is a great idea to smooth the path of companies trying to start up in the USA; dealing with all of the little 'roadblocks' that can occur whilst trying to get established in a different jurisdiction. It is this sort of innovative thinking that makes us proud of our association with the Noel Group and, of course, anything which helps to spread 'Brand Kiwi' gets our especial backing. Noel Group has in-depth understanding of NZ business environment so can readily translate that into the US market. Resene is already using Noel Group's local knowledge and networks to identify potential sales relationships and JV opportunities in Texas/USA.”

    Noel Group is also a proud member of AmCham New Zealand. Executive Director, Mike Hearn, is a Launch Pad advocate and had this to say about how the initiative could benefit its membership. “AmCham New Zealand congratulates the Noel Group on the launch of this important beachhead which will greatly assist our members and other companies doing business in the region. Having access to Noel Group’s expertise will be an invaluable asset and I look forward to deepening our already strong relationship with the Group.”

    Houston-based Noel Group Inc. is a ‘smart capital’ private equity firm investing in proven entrepreneurs with scalable technology and core IP.

    The Houston Launch Pad is a Noel Group initiative designed to assist businesses to quickly establish a beachhead in the Houston market, and as a gateway to Texas and the US.


    Stacey Horne, CEO

  • 03 May 2016 5:47 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    The American Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce the launch of the 2016 AmCham – DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards, held in conjunction with Hawaiian Airlines. The awards celebrate business achievement between New Zealand and the United States. 

    Two-way merchandise trade between New Zealand and the USA hit a new high in the last year of $11.9 billion, which accounts for 11.6% per cent of New Zealand’s total earnings from overseas trade.

    AmCham works closely with its members and companies trading with the USA to enhance and expand business and trade relationships within the private and public sectors.

    "The annual Success & Innovation Awards provide an opportunity to showcase those companies that have demonstrated imagination, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as honour and celebrate their achievements," said Mike Hearn, Executive Director, American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand.

    “This year we have increased the dollar value for the three exporter categories to better cater to the business community.” 

    Awards categories are: 

    -         Exporter of the Year to the USA - with export revenues to the USA up to NZ $1 million

    -         Exporter of the Year to the USA - revenues from NZ $1 million to NZ $10 million

    -         Exporter of the Year to the USA - revenues over NZ $10 million

    -         Importer of the Year from the USA

    -         Investor of the Year for New Zealand companies investing in the US, as well as US companies investing in New Zealand

    -         The Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy

    A Supreme Award winner is selected from winners of each of these awards.

    AmCham also presents an award to the Member/Supporter of the Year. 

    Commenting on the company’s sponsorship of the awards, Mark Foy, DHL Express New Zealand Country Manager said: “Innovation is at the heart of numerous Kiwi success stories and we’re pleased to work with AmCham to celebrate some of the country’s best importers and exporters. With the rise in online shopping, demand for high-quality, well-designed products has significantly increased and as a result we are seeing strong growth in exports to the US.”

    The winners of the importer and exporter awards receive 100,000 air miles from Hawaiian Airlines to enable them to build on their current success.

    Companies interested in entering the 2016 awards can find further information at or by contacting Mr Hearn – email   or phone 09 309 914009 309 9140.  Entries close at 5.00 pm on 10 June.

    Finalists will be announced on 15 July and the winners announced at a black tie awards gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel Auckland on 18 August.  

    Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included ZESPRI International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Zeacom, Specialist Marine Interiors, Fonterra and Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems, Vista Entertainment, Greenshell New Zealand, Orion Systems International and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

    In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the awards are supported by: 3M New Zealand, Baldwins, Fonterra Co-operative, Prescient Marketing & Communications, the Pullman Hotel Auckland and the Business Herald.

  • 29 Apr 2016 6:18 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes a new Global Impact Visa (GIVs) designed to bring innovative, global entrepreneurs to New Zealand.

    “Last year the Government committed to considering a new Global Impact Visa to cater for high-impact entrepreneurs, investors and start-up teams to launch global ventures from New Zealand,” Mr Woodhouse says.

    “Today’s announcement delivers on that commitment and will attract younger, highly talented, successful and well-connected entrepreneurs who are at the start of their entrepreneurial career and able to establish their ventures in New Zealand.

    “GIVs will help meet the Government’s Business Growth Agenda’s innovation and investment objectives by lifting innovation in New Zealand.

    “It will also help expand the pool of smart capital by attracting individual investors and entrepreneurs to live here in New Zealand.

    “The successful implementation of GIVs will create new jobs through the establishment of new ventures, attraction of smart capital and access to global networks.”

    GIVs will initially run as a four-year pilot, and be limited to 400 visas over the duration of the pilot. 

    The policy will be delivered by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) in partnership with the private sector. The private sector partner will be selected through an open procurement process and will manage the attraction, selection and integration of the migrant entrepreneurs in New Zealand.

    The procurement process for selecting the private partner is due to begin next month.

  • 23 Apr 2016 10:20 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Today, the Department of Commerce released “Trans-Pacific Partnership Opportunities by Market”, the latest report in the International Trade Administration’s series of fact sheets outlining TPP opportunities by state, sector, and now market. This new report highlights the benefits the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement for American workers and businesses in the 11 other TPP countries.  The report will help U.S. businesses of all sizes better understand how TPP will increase their competiveness and the growing commercial opportunities for Made-in-America products in some of the largest and most dynamic countries in the Asia-Pacific region. 

    TPP will reduce the cost of exporting, level the playing field for U.S. businesses - in particular, small businesses - by eliminating tariffs, lowering service barriers, and increasing transparency while also increasing competitiveness by instituting stronger intellectual property rights protection and establishing enforceable labor and environmental obligations.  When fully entered into force, TPP will eliminate more than 18,000 foreign taxes, or tariffs, that various countries place on Made-in-America goods.

    To complement the release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Opportunities by Market report, on May 3 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm (ET), we are hosting a webinar that will provide an overview of how TPP will contribute to new commercial opportunities in the TPP markets.  To registration for the webinar, please click here.  I encourage you to share this email with your membership, partners, and stakeholders.  

    Stefan M. Selig

    Under Secretary
    U.S. Department of Commerce

  • 19 Apr 2016 1:38 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Economic Development and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce leaves for the United States tomorrow to promote US-New Zealand business links, and leverage New Zealand’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).

    In August 2015, New Zealand joined the GPA, providing New Zealand companies guaranteed access to US government contracts.

    “The US Government is the world’s largest purchaser of goods and services. Federal government spending is worth more than US$600 billion per annum. New Zealand’s GPA accession improves the contracting environment for New Zealand firms. We also value the US as a key science and innovation partner,” Mr Joyce says.

    “New Zealand has a strong international reputation for honesty, integrity, quality of government and reputable business practices and legal systems. This is a great “brand” for New Zealand companies to build from.”

    The mission aims to attract interest in New Zealand solutions for US state and federal government and to secure the attention of key US government department leaders, buyers and influencers.

    Mr Joyce leads a delegation of New Zealand exporters targeting government procurement at a two-day CEO Summit in Washington DC, organised by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

    “US procurement is committed to transparent and competitive government procurement that delivers the best value for money. It is a very lucrative, complex market, and GPA membership gives New Zealand businesses the right to bid for government contracts,” Mr Joyce says. “There are opportunities for New Zealand businesses in almost every sector in the US.”

    While there, Mr Joyce will also visit Berkeley and Georgetown universities, and call on the Assistant Secretary of State to talk about New Zealand's wide range of academic, cultural and educational flows between both countries.

    Mr Joyce will also visit San Francisco and Houston. He will return to New Zealand on 22 April.

  • 12 Mar 2016 11:34 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    AmCham survey finds US companies in NZ support TPPA

    “Annual AmCham survey finds no TPPA opposition from US companies operating in NZ”

    The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand has conducted an annual survey of US companies operating in NZ since 2006. As part of their 2015 survey companies were asked them if they supported TPPA, with not one expressing their opposition.

     Drilling into the survey, AmCham Executive Director, Mike Hearn points out that preliminary results show 80% of those responding expressly note their support for the agreement, that 20% skipped the question but that not one respondent expressed opposition to the agreement.

     “Clearly these are internationally savvy enterprises and so this result comes as no real surprise,” said Mr Hearn.

     Drawing from AmCham’s submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, Mr Hearn, said there were real wins for NZ exporters to the US in the dairy, timber, beef, horticulture, agricultural goods and wine industries.

     “Over $826m of New Zealand’s protein products will be duty free into the US on the TPPA’s entry into force, with other duties for New Zealand dairy exports within WTO tariff quotas also being eliminated.”

     AmCham’s submission also points out that the advent of Closer Economic Relations (CER) with Australia saw firms on both sides of the Tasman take up trading opportunities far more quickly than anticipated.

     Mr Hearn said he was sure TPPA would also deliver results more quickly than anticipated as New Zealand firms were not only already internationally very competitive but, from what he’d seen of our companies operating in the US, nimble and quick to capitalise on commercial opportunities.

     “TPPA also opens up very lucrative markets in Asia such as Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam,” he said.

     Click here for copy of submission to Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee 

  • 10 Feb 2016 11:30 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Trade Minister Todd McClay announced today the Government will be running nation-wide roadshows on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    “The roadshows are for interested members of the public to learn more about this important trade agreement, and to assist businesses identify and plan for new export opportunities when TPP comes into force,” says Mr McClay. 

    Registrations are now open for the first four roadshows at
    •   Auckland, 7 March
    •   Christchurch, 11 March
    •   Dunedin, 14 March
    •   Wellington, 18 March

    Roadshows will be also held in following months in Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga, and Whangarei.

    “The roadshows will build on the large amount of information the Government has made available on TPP, including the full text of the Agreement, detailed factsheets and sectoral outcomes, and background analysis.

    “Each roadshow will include an overview information session, followed by workshops on specific areas of TPP.

    “For businesses, it will be an opportunity to learn about how outcomes in TPP are directly relevant to their areas of speciality and markets, but also to connect with online tools, business groups, and government agencies that can assist their planning for TPP’s entry into force,” says Mr McClay. 

    One such online tool for TPP was launched today, with the addition of the TPP market access outcomes to the New Zealand tariff finder:

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will also be conducting a number of Hui in February and March to discuss TPP with Māori. Further information on these is available on the TPP website.  


  • 09 Feb 2016 10:45 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Trade Minister Todd McClay today announced the commencement of Parliamentary treaty examination of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), following signature of the Agreement on 4 February 2016. 

    “The Government has presented the final text of TPP, together with its National Interest Analysis (NIA), to the House of Representatives for treaty examination by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee.

    “During Parliamentary treaty examination, the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee can choose to call for public submissions. After it has completed its treaty examination, it will then report back to the House of Representatives and, if it chooses, make recommendations to the Government,” says Mr McClay.

    Alongside these documents, the Government also presented the text of four intellectual property treaties to which New Zealand will need to accede under TPP, along with the separate National Impact Analyses required for each of those treaties. 

    “Legislative changes required in order to implement TPP will be introduced to Parliament at a later stage, and go through normal Parliamentary procedures. 

    “The full set of legislative changes that will need to be taken up by this Bill is set out in the NIA.

    “Only when these steps have been completed, and other countries have completed their own domestic approval procedures, will TPP be able to enter into force.”

    The Government will also be running a number of road shows and hui-a-iwi after signature for interested members of the public, and to assist businesses with preparation for TPP’s entry into force. 

    The TPP NIA is available at New Zealand’s treaty making process is set out here