Kea Develops 'Virtual' NZ Abroad
media information: 23 August 2005
More than 5,000 Kiwi expats are banding together around the world to give a helping hand to NZ businesses and creating a global talent network.
Kea - New Zealand's Global Talent Community - was formed as the Kiwi Expat Association in 2002 after the Knowledge Wave Conference.
Since then it has gone on to form a number of allied groups worldwide, and this week reveals significant advances in its strategic approach to networking New Zealand with the world.
The new-look Kea (www.keanewzealand.com) has created an interactive website that links Kiwis with other expats and offers companies a knowledgeable foot in the door in international markets, adding value to business.
KEA founding director, David Teece says "in the knowledge economy of today, what matters isn't the real estate you occupy; it's the intangible assets to which you have access.
"We are extending the definition of New Zealand to embrace Kiwis abroad, by creating an expanded "virtual" New Zealand nation."
"It's anachronistic to think of New Zealand as being defined by its geography. It's not just two South Pacific islands; it now includes over a million talented individuals living offshore who still consider themselves New Zealanders.
Kea CEO Ross McConnell is one such individual, having been encouraged back to NZ by the opportunity to work with Kea. He says Kea's philosophy is to stop lamenting the brain drain and look upon expats as a brain gain for the country and tap into their knowledge and expertise wherever they are in the world. In this context, New Zealand's global talent community presents significant opportunities to the country in today's global economy.
Kea's newly-launched website will make it simpler for members to connect and collaborate, and to search for others with a particular skill set, whilst organisation can list opportunities both in NZ and overseas.
"Kiwis long to connect with other Kiwis when they're away from home and we have made this simpler in enabling members to link into with local Kea Groups for meetings and events," says McConnell. "Also we are committed to ensuring expats keep in touch with what's going on in business as well as in the country, so that if they choose to return they are not out of touch with what's happening at home."
Mr McConnell says Kea works alongside a range of partners from the private sector, academia, the research community and central and local government, giving members a global linkage of talent and networks to support NZ interests around the world.
Fellow director and founder Stephen Tindall has met up with New Zealand talent all around the world in the past 30 years of travelling. "They often ask what they can do to help New Zealand and are keen to assist others where they can. New Zealander's are renowned for never giving up and are incredibly generous in helping out other Kiwis - from arriving in London with their backpacks and sleeping on the floor of a friend's flat, to sharing their knowledge or investing in a business opportunity - Kea aims to help facilitate this process."
Kapohia nga taura here ki Aotearoa.
Take hold of the strands that link you to New Zealand.