South Island Lantern Business Forum
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The Forum


Expert commentary and the latest trend data and economic analysis from China will be on offer at the 2019 South Island Lantern Business Forum. Don’t miss this chance to increase your impact in this growing market.

China is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and New Zealand’s largest goods trading partner. In 2018, trade between New Zealand and China was valued at more than $27 billion. In the same period, more than 450,000 Chinese visitors landed on our shores, spending upwards of $4 million.

So how can you get a piece of this action? How is your business maximising it’s reach in this market? What could you be doing better? At the South Island Lantern Business Forum you’ll hear from industry-leading speakers, get clued up on the latest data and trends, attend workshops and profit from an unparalleled networking opportunity.

Keynote speakers include Jinbo Yao, founder and chairman of (58同城网), one of the largest online marketplaces in China. Sitting on the China Rich List and worth more than $1b, this is a unique opportunity to hear from a Chinese businessman at the top of the game.

Former Prime Minister Sir Bill English will also take the stage to share his insight on dealings with China. He’ll be joined by Liam Corkery, Trade Commissioner for China, and Dr Mingming Cheng, a China research expert, who will provide new details on Chinese youth travel.


The Speakers

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Sir Bill English
Keynote Speaker

Sir William (Bill) English served New Zealand and the National Party since his election to Parliament in 1990, recently he was honoured as a Knight Companion, New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the state.

Bill is now a director of Wesfarmers an ASX 20 conglomerate with large scale retail and industrial interests. He has also started his own consultancy in New Zealand and Australia advising businesses and governments on financial services, infrastructure and social investment.

Born in Lumsden in 1961, and educated at St Patrick’s College Silverstream, he studied Commerce at the University of Otago and English Literature at Victoria. He went on to work as a Treasury analyst before returning to the family farm in Dipton and standing in the seat known today as Clutha-Southland – a post he held until his decision in 2014 to stand as a List MP only.

As Finance Minister from 2008 until 2016, Bill oversaw one of the fastest-growing economies in the developed world, steering New Zealand through the Global Financial Crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes and returning the Government’s books to surplus.

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Catherine Wang, CEO, Ebaytown China
Trade Panel Speaker

Catherine is an entrepreneur and business leader with 30 years’ experience in International Business with a distinguished record of managing rapid growth companies in New Zealand by taking a business concept to a fully operational company.

Catherine is now based in China where she established Ebaytown China to focus on growing the bilateral business opportunities between New Zealand and China. Catherine’s goal is to make Ebaytown China as the primary gateway of New Zealand F&B SMEs in the Chinese market.

The founder of Pic’s Peanut Butter, Pic Picot said, “It took a lot of time, and a number of false starts before we settled on Ebaytown as our partner in getting Pic's into the hands of our Chinese customers. Ebaytown has strong management teams in both New Zealand and China, and strong alliances with major Chinese distribution companies, giving us a wide range of online and bricks and mortar channels. In the end though, it is the people that matter most, and in Catherine and Daniel Wang we have found partners with whom we can really enjoy doing business.”

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Bernard May, General Manager, Mataura Valley Milk
Trade Workshop Panellist

Bernard is a business leader with over 30 years of experience in the dairy and beverage industry. He has qualifications in Food Technology and Quality Assurance with comprehensive knowledge of operations management, risk management, commercial leadership and people development. He has deep connections to the dairy industry having been raised on a dairy farm and involved in various dairy technical, operations and leadership roles.

Bernard is passionate about developing and implementing strategic business plans, customer and people engagement programs. Previous roles have been General Manager for Lion Nathan, General Manager operations for Westland Milk Products and Senior Vice President (UHT).

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Jinbo Yao
Keynote Speaker

Mr. Jinbo Yao, one of the most influential entrepreneurs in China, is founder and CEO of 58 Group, a leading ten-billion-level classification information website listed on the NYSE in October 2013, and founder of Xue Da Education that listed on NYSE in November 2010. In January 2010, Mr. Yao was awarded “the most innovative entrepreneur of 2009” in China’s internet industry.

58 Group currently has 27 branches and over 20,000 employees providing services in over 400 cities in China, with an annual revenue exceeded 10 billion yuan in 2017. It is a leading U.S. listed Chinese Internet company, one of China's largest Internet platforms for daily demand, and one of those who serve the most users.

In 2015 Mr. Yao started his focus on platform development, and led 58 Group’s merge to AnJuke (Real Estate Information website),, (another leading classification information website). He also started and supported the inter-incubation of new brands within 58 group such as Zhuanzhuan, a leading online Secondhand-Dealing website, and 58 Daojia whose has grown into a new unicorn company with valuation exceeded 1 billion USD.


Shane Lodge, Supply and Environment Manager, Oceania Dairy Limited
Trade Panel Speaker

Shane Lodge is the Supply and Environment Manager at Oceania Dairy Limited. His role covers all company external relations, farmer Supplier issues, milk supply, environmental compliance and sustainability and a range of other companywide regulatory issues. In his roles he works closely with his companies Chinese owners – Yili and has visited China on a number of occasions.

Shane has worked in the dairy industry since leaving university in 1982 with a B. Agr. Sci.; working first for the Ministry of Agriculture as a Dairy Advisory Officer until 1998 then in various senior roles in the South Island Dairy Co., NZ Dairy Group, Fonterra, New Zealand Dairy Limited before helping to set up Oceania Dairy Limited.

During this time he has been a member of the Dairy and Environment Committee, the Dairy Industry Technical Advisory Group, the Dairy Industry Product Advisory Council, the executive committee of the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand and he was the Executive Director of the DCANZ for a number of years.

He has worked in the dairy industry through times of great growth, many changes is standards and regulations and refocussing to meet changing customer requirements while ensuring Food Safety is the number one priority.

A recipient of a Churchill Scholarship, Shane has visited the dairy industries in a number of countries including China, Australia, the UK, Ireland, Mexico, Thailand and Canada.

Shane is also a Ministerial and Judicial Justice of the Peace and is rostered to sit on the bench in Court on a regular basis and is Warrant Issuer (search and other warrants required by Police and other agencies).


Justin Turnock, Director Corporate Banking Department, Bank of China (NZ) Ltd
Trade Workshop Panellist

Justin is an experienced corporate banking professional with the aim of making businesses ‘China ready’. He has been involved in the start-up of ASB Corporate – South Island and Bank of China New Zealand focusing on the development of new to market strategies and the execution of tailored initiatives to guide New Zealand businesses entering offshore markets with the appropriate resources, connections and know-how.

He is a qualified CPA with a BCom (International Business) and a GradDipCom (Accounting) from Auckland University. He studied in China and speaks Mandarin, which has enabled him to assist Christchurch City Council to foster closer economic, cultural and political ties with Christchurch's sister cities in Wuhan and Gansu Province.


Liam Corkery
Trade Workshop Speaker

Liam Corkery is responsible for facilitating and promoting trade and investment and maintaining an extensive network of relationships relevant to New Zealand businesses.

Liam was most recently the Director of the New Zealand Trade Development Centre in Taipei. Previously, Liam was based in Singapore with NZTE helping to attract and facilitate FDI from ASEAN and India and has worked for NZTE in both Wellington and New York.

Liam has a triple major Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University and a Global Executive MBA from the University of Southern California, delivered jointly with shanghai Jiao Tong University.


Dr. Mingming Cheng
Tourism Workshop Speaker

Dr. Mingming Cheng is a senior lecturer in digital marketing at Curtin University, Australia. He was a lecturer in tourism at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Mingming’s core research interests and expertise deal with Chinese outbound tourists with a strong focus on Chinese young generations, the sharing economy (e.g. Airbnb), data science (big data) and digital economy. His philosophy, as a researcher and lecturer, is to translate research to society, creating positive impacts on those involved. Mingming has been a consultant for a number of organisations, providing industry training and advice on Chinese consumers. Mingming has conducted/assisted a number of projects on Chinese outbound tourists with various organizations, most recently Ngāi Tahu Tourism and North Asia Centre of Asia Pacific Excellence. Further information can be found in Mingming’s personal website:


Lisa Li, China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd
Tourism Workshop Facilitator

Lisa opened the New Zealand overseas branch of China Travel Service in 2000 to handle ground arrangements for Chinese tourists, shortly after New Zealand was awarded ADS status. There has since been a rapid rise in Chinese tourists with the nation’s rising affluence and signing of the FTA in 2008.

She is a key driver in supporting NZ businesses to harness this market segment balancing it with sustainable tourism by targeting high yield tourists and encouraging travel throughout the year,

As a tourism professional, Lisa has come full circle as a New Zealander of Chinese heritage that first arrived in Aotearoa in 1998 attaining a Master of International Business at the University of Auckland. She is now encouraging Kiwis to visit her hometown Xi’an on 10 September 2019 to celebrate China New Zealand Year of Tourism for a banquet and grand Welcoming Ceremony usually reserved for visiting heads of state as a once-in-a lifetime experience.

As the facilitator, Lisa will draw out practical knowledge from the speakers to make this a productive workshop.




The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is a comprehensive platform for exporters wanting to gain access to the domestic Chinese market of consumers that will be held in Shanghai November 2019. Exporters in the New Zealand Pavilion at the inaugural CIIE were overwhelmed with opportunities. It is a testament to trade liberalisation and economic globalisation, actively opening the Chinese market to the world to strengthen economic cooperation and trade with New Zealand.

· Venue:

National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai)

· Hosts:

Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China

· Shanghai Municipal People's Government

· Partners:

World Trade Organization

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

United Nations Industrial Development Organization

· Organisers:

China International Import Expo Bureau

National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

Website :

Contact : Your local NZTE Relationship Manager or China Chamber of Commerce in NZ (CCCNZ)

phone (09) 980 9039 or email



The Programme

Detail 1

11:45 AM Guests arrive & registration


12:50 PM Opening Remarks

1:05 PM Welcome: MC

1:15 PM Keynote speaker

2:05 PM Keynote speaker


3:30 PM Workshops begin: 2 options

Option 1: Trade – Succeeding during interesting times

Option 2: Tourism – Leveraging opportunities during the China Year of Tourism

4.15 PM Final panel - summary of learnings, Q&A

5:30 PM Networking drink will be held at Tūranga - 60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch

6:30 PM Networking drinks conclude – you are welcome to join the South Island Lantern Festival opening ceremony which will be held in Victoria Square

The Workshops

Option 1:

Trade – Succeeding during Interesting Times


Liam Corkery will be speaking to the below.

China Trade Workshop:

Succeeding during Interesting Times

China is New Zealand’s largest market and therefore critical to the New Zealand economy. Consumers are increasingly affluent, sophisticated and in many cases well-disposed towards buying from New Zealand. However; in recent times Chinese markets have turned downward, credit is tightening, growth has slowed and consumers are talking of “down-grading.” There is a new bilateral political context and a looming trade war. As we become more familiar with China, conditions seem to be becoming increasingly challenging to navigate, and the future harder to anticipate.

Liam Corkery was New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Trade Commissioner in Taiwan from 2010 until 2014, and Beijing from 2014 until December 2018. Together with a select group of NZ and Chinese business leaders Liam will lead a discussion on the current challenges and opportunities that NZ companies are facing, and they will discuss what NZ businesses need to be doing to succeed in these interesting times.

The Panel

  • Oceania Dairy Limited

  • Ebaytown China

  • Mataura Valley Milk

  • Justin Turnock, Director of Corporate Banking, Bank of China

Option 2:

Tourism – leveraging opportunities during the China Year of Tourism


Presenter: Dr Mingming Cheng

Topic: Emerging travel trends for Chinese youth travel

Mingming’s core research interests and expertise deal with Chinese outbound tourists with a strong focus on Chinese young generations, the sharing economy (e.g. Airbnb), data science (big data) and digital economy. His philosophy, as a researcher and lecturer, is to translate research to society, creating positive impacts on those involved. Mingming has been a consultant for a number of organisations, providing industry training and advice on Chinese consumers.

Presenter: Kate Travel

Topic: The latest China consumer trends and what is Kate Travel’s approach to targeting the right visitors. What is Kate Travel’s China strategy and how can operators leverage their marketing activity

The Panel

Topic: How Year of NZ-China Tourism is a catalyst for future growth out of China. Understanding how Tourism businesses can excel at understanding the Chinese customer journey (from marketing to visitor experience on the ground to advocacy)

Facilitator: Lisa Li – Director – China Travel Service

  • Dr Mingming Cheng

  • Kate Travel

  • Joined by other industry leaders

The Final Panel

This will be comprised of the keynote speakers and presenters from both workshops to summarise the day.

  • Sir Bill English

  • Jinbo Yao

  • Dr. Mingming Cheng

  • Liam Corkery

Sponsor Information

This event has been brought to you thanks to the valuable contributions of the following sponsors.

Bank of China

Christchurch Airport

2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism

China Chamber of Commerce

China Southern Airlines

Christchurch Casino

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce


Think Asia

Christchurch City Council

Consulate-General of The People’s Republic of China in Christchurch

Register Here

Tickets available from $59