Last night Sir Stephen Tindall launched the Hawke’s Bay chapter of Kea, a worldwide network for Kiwis working abroad. New Zealand has the highest proportion of its citizens living overseas of any OECD nation … including 24% of highly skilled New Zealanders.

Tindall, founder of The Warehouse retail empire, is the chairman of this association, which numbers 25,000 members in 174 countries, chiefly in Australia, the UK, the US and Canada and a growing contingent in China. With more than 750,000 Kiwis living overseas, there’s plenty of room for growth!

Kea provides business and social networking opportunities for Kiwis within these various countries, and also connects Kiwis abroad with business people based in NZ, and vice versa. Tindall gave several impressive examples of how entrepreneurs here in NZ have been able, through the Kea network, to tap into the small army of highly-placed Kiwis working overseas, to advance their business goals.

And now with Venture Hawke’s Bay serving as Kea’s partner here in our region, that process can work in reverse. Kiwis abroad looking for business or investment prospects in Hawke’s Bay can be introduced to relevant people and resources here, and can generally keep abreast of opportunties in the Bay through VHB’s dedicated area on the Kea website.

If you do business abroad, you might want to check out the resources Kea can offer. And if you have Kiwi relatives, friends or business associates working abroad, tell them about Kea and urge them to sign up. Here’s where you can find out more.

Kea is a great idea, and Venture Hawke’s Bay is NZ’s first regional development agency to formalise a relationship with this growing network.

Well done Kea; well done VHB.

Tom Belford

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