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New Connection For Overseas Kiwis

15 November 2001

Media Statement

Prof David Teece
Stephen Tindall


For immediate release


New Connection For Overseas Kiwis

The creation of a world-wide network linking overseas-based New Zealanders is moving ahead at full pace, with the appointment of a Wellington-based executive officer.

The non-profit Kiwi Expat Association (KEA) will help New Zealanders establish business contacts with other Kiwis around the world, and to stay up to date with trends and opportunities in New Zealand.

“KEA will have a strong business and knowledge-industry focus,” says Executive Officer Mark Vivian, a New Zealander who has himself recently returned from working in knowledge-based industries in London and Silicon Valley.

“KEA’s network might help a New Zealand company break into new markets overseas with the help of knowledgeable and connected Kiwis who already know that market.

“Similarly, KEA will help match talented New Zealanders with jobs and other business opportunities in this country.”

KEA is the ‘hub’ or ‘mother ship’ based in Wellington that will provide infrastructure, templates and other services for satellite societies around the world.

KEA’s first overseas branch is currently being established in Northern California by Professor David Teece, a New Zealander based in Silicon Valley and at the University of California at Berkeley.


Professor Teece reports that he has had plenty of offers of help to establish the Northern California node of KEA. "This is most gratifying. People are pleased that this is not going to be a beer and cheese club. They are attracted by its strong professional and business orientation, emphasizing learning and networking,” Professor Teece said.

“Our experience in Northern California will prove the model from which other societies can be created around the world,” Mark says.

“I am very fortunate to be inheriting a project with a lot of support and momentum already behind it,” Mr Vivian says. “A number of New Zealand companies and individuals have come forward offering their services to get the association up and running.

“My first task is to ensure that the existing support is built into a strong and dynamic organisation that can serve its members well. A public launch and service offering will follow that initial phase,” he said.

New Zealanders and those overseas can register their interest with the society by ringing 0800 4EXPAT in New Zealand or (644) 472 0594 from overseas. Potential sponsors or supporters of KEA can contact Mark Vivian on (021) 418 044.

ENDS


Editors:
- Publishing the contact number 0800 4EXPAT is requested, if that can be accommodated within your editorial policy. Thank you.
- Mark Vivian can be available for interview by ringing (04) 496 1359 during business hours or (021) 418 044 at other times.


Background information

The Kiwi Expat Association is a non-profit organisation, and is being established as an incorporated society.

The organisation was announced on the final afternoon of the Knowledge Wave conference on August 3 2001. It is putting into action the wide agreement at the conference that New Zealanders living overseas should be seen as a resource to be tapped.

KEA’s founding Directors are Stephen Tindall (The Warehouse Ltd and the Tindall Foundation), Professor David Teece (Global Chairman of LECG, a consulting firm) and Dr George Barker (Managing Director of LECG Asia Pacific).

The venture is a private initiative which Mr Tindall and Professor Teece are supporting with seeding capital. In the longer run, it is anticipated that the society will be self-funding and effectively owned by its members.

KEA will work collaboratively with other initiatives that wish to participate.

Mark Vivian (32) has recently returned to New Zealand after three years overseas. He has spent the last three years working in Silicon Valley, where most recently he was Business Manager of the North American Technical Services Group at Niku Corporation (www.niku.com). In that position, he worked with various Fortune 500 companies such as Motorola, Cisco Systems and American Express. Previously he had headed Business Development activities for Niku’s business portal and professional services marketplace.

(Niku Corporation is the market leader in Services Relationship Management software, which allows companies to manage their projects, resources and intellectual capital more efficiently and effectively.)

A graduate of the Canterbury University, Mark has also spent four years working in London, where he held senior management positions with two global recruitment firms during the 1990s.


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