On 4 March, ANZCCJ Executive Director presented to the New Zealand UN Youth Globalisation Tour Delegation about the economic links and connections between Japan and New Zealand. The delegation consisted of 14 university students from all around New Zealand, including the University of Otago, the University of Auckland, Massey University, Lincoln University and Victoria University.
The presentation began with a basic summary of the ANZCCJ, including its history, roles and responsibilities, and the industries it covers. Judith mentioned that although New Zealand meat and dairy is popular in the Japanese market, it is important that the Chamber boosts awareness surrounding other industries, such as education. The next slide displayed a map-like graph, highlighting the key NZ corporations in Japan and how they compare to one another. Judith also brushed on the important programmes that build Japan-NZ cultural links, such as the JET programme and recommended programmes like these as a great opportunity for students to discover Japan, and one day build a career in or related to Japan. The presentation finished with an overview of ANZCCJ’s members and Chamber activities as well as how NZ SME’s were operating in Japan.
After the presentation, and during discussions, one thing that the UN Youth delegation highlighted was some of the key differences between their perception of Japan (and how NZ is viewed in Japan) with other Asian nations. The delegation’s tour included Singapore, Jakarta, Ho Chi Min, Guangzhou and Shanghai, from which they said there were views there that NZ’s ‘Pure’ brand was still a very effective marketing technique and will continue to be used (and pushed more strongly) in those nations. However, visiting Japan, it became clearer that there was a real need to re-develop NZ’s brand in order to appeal to the Japanese market. The delegation agreed that NZ should focus on kiwi ingenuity when promoting our brand, and highlight areas such as DIY, innovation, and R&D. Judith agreed that, in her own personal opinion, NZ needs to have a clear vision when creating a brand, such as being an open space for technological developments, including on things that would transfer NZ's knowledge and ultimately ‘pure’ brand to the world.
Contrasting these issues, some negative aspects surrounding Kiwi culture were raised and discussed. One problem discussed was the continuous ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ in NZ, particularly in smaller towns, which stifles creativity. Delegates thought that NZ should learn how to correctly acknowledge and celebrate other’s achievements and be proud of their own accomplishments as well, in order to breed further innovation. Another issue was the need to talk honestly and openly about minority inequality in NZ. As Asian-New Zealanders, some delegates had encountered various forms of racism and tokenism back in NZ, including in the major cities. All ethnic minorities, and well as the LGBT community, needed to be protected in a more inclusive and welcoming environment. Everyone agreed, that if NZ can’t determine and accept its own national identity (which had shifted a lot in the last 30-40 years), it would continue to be difficult to develop and market a single national brand overseas.In conclusion, Judith drew attention to the ‘three Es’ that she thinks would help to revive Pure NZ’s brand: Equality, Energy and ‘Ennovation’. New Zealand must represent these values to show our authenticity and value of diversity; our quality of life advantages; and our progress in the fields of sustainable tourism and education.