Latest News

AmCham shares news updates from member companies - subscribe by RSS, follow our LinkedIn page or become a member to receive notifications. 
  • 08 Aug 2014 4:58 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The 15th annual AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards have been held this evening at the Pullman Auckland Hotel, with Orion Health winning the Supreme Award for trade with the United States.

    Chair of the Judging panel Stephen Titter said “Orion Health clearly and succinctly described its business operation and value proposition, including its focus and commitment to customer centric product and service innovation, which has propelled its continuing rapid growth in a highly competitive sector and its winning significant and strategic customers internationally and in particular the USA.

    The judges were particularly impressed with the strength of the Orion business model is and its ability to secure long-term annuity contracts and add further value through consulting services, tailoring Orion Health solutions to specific customer requirements.

    Of special interest to the judges was Orion Health’s outstanding and consistent track-record in Corporate Social responsibility, in particular a strategic and close working relationship with the Auckland University School of Medicine”.

    This was one of the toughest years for the judges particularly in the Exporters over $5 million category finalists. There was only a point or two between all the finalists.

    AmCham was delighted to welcome Minister Steven Joyce to his first AmCham Awards dinner where he presented the three exporter and supreme awards.

    Tim Baxter, country manager DHL Express New Zealand, who announced the supreme winner said, “At DHL Express we recognise that the NZ/US trade lane is highly valuable and growing steadily. It is encouraging to see organisations like Orion Health maximising this opportunity. Orion has demonstrated the successes that can be achieved through expansion into international markets with the right business strategies and focus”.

    The Supreme Award is chosen from the winners of each of the categories presented on the night. The complete list of winners follows:
    Importer of the Year from the USA: BMW New Zealand Ltd
    Investor of the Year to or from the USA: Valar Ventures/Matrix Capital
    Exporter of the Year – under NZ$500,000: Kiwa Digital Ltd
    Exporter of the Year – NZ$500,000 – 5 million: Jucy Group Ltd
    Exporter of the Year – over NZ$5 million: Orion Health Ltd
    Trevor Eagle Memorial Award – AmCham Supporter of the Year: AUT University Business School
    Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy: Fulbright New Zealand
    Supreme Award Winner: Orion Health Ltd

    The AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards celebrate success and innovation in the export, import and investment sectors between New Zealand and its third-largest trading partner, the USA. Winners of the importer, exporter & Citizen Diplomacy categories receive airfares to the value of $2,000 from Hawaiian Airlines for travel to the USA.

    In addition to AmCham, DHL-Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the Awards are also supported by ASB Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra, Prescient Marketing & Communications, The Pullman Auckland Hotel and media partner The Business.

    Other previous winners of the Supreme Award include Zespri International, Specialist Marine Interiors, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Systems International, Zeacom and Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services t/a Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems, Vista Entertainment and Greenshell New Zealand.

  • 07 Jul 2014 3:07 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    AUCKLAND, 7 July, 2014– The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand has today announced the finalists for the 2014 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards, the 15th year of these awards celebrating success and innovation for companies doing business with the USA.

    Mike Hearn, Executive Director for AmCham, says 2014 has seen another strong group of entrants, covering diverse range of products and services.  These include cars, refrigeration equipment, technologies, cricket bats, water, agricultural equipment, horticultural products, healthcare devices, pharmaceuticals and tourism.   

     “We continue to see New Zealand companies entering the US market and succeeding there.  While trade with the USA continues to run around $9 billion pa, there are more New Zealand companies establishing offices in the USA, particularly in the tech sector.” says Mr Hearn.

    Tim Baxter, country manager DHL Express New Zealand further highlights the interest in the US market. “In a recent exporter survey conducted by DHL Express, it found that the US continues to be the second major export destination behind Australia. Fifty per cent (50%) of exporters shipped goods there in the last 12 months.

    “Exporters continue to face challenges such as the strong kiwi dollar, rising fuel costs and increased competition in export markets. However they are continuing to innovate and make in-roads into the lucrative US market. We do everything we can to support exporters with our dedicated team of Certified International Specialists at DHL Express,” says Mr Baxter.

    This is the first year of the Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy which has attracted a diverse range of entries.


    The finalists are:


    Importer of the Year

    -        BMW Group New Zealand Ltd

    -        Patton Ltd


    Exporter of the Year to the USA $1 to $500,000

    • -        Kiwa Digital Ltd
    • -        Laver & Wood Ltd

    -        Modlar Ltd

    -        StQry NZ Ltd  


    Exporter of the Year to the USA $500,001 to $5m

    -        1907 Water Ltd

    -        JUCY Group Ltd

    -        Movio Ltd

    -        Pacific Wide NZ Ltd


    Exporter of the Year to the USA over $5m

    -        Compac Sorting Equipment Ltd

    -        Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd

    -        Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd

    -        Orion Health Ltd

    -        Scott Technology Ltd


    Each of the above winners receives an receives a return economy Class ticket on Hawaiian Airlines from Auckland to either, Honolulu, Maui, The Big Island, Kauai, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Portland, Phoenix, Sacramento or New York.


    Investor of the Year to or from the USA

    -     EnerNOC, Inc.

    -      Khosla Ventures, Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, Qiming Ventures (Lanzatech)

    -      Microsoft New Zealand Ltd

    -      Scott Technology Ltd

    -      Valar Ventures & Martix Capital (Xero Ltd)


                The Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy

    • -        Fulbright New Zealand
    • -        Royal New Zealand Ballet
    • -        NZ Bootcamp
    • -        New Zealand Robotics Charitable Trust/Vex Robotics

    One of the above will be chosen as the Supreme winner.  

    One other award will be presented on the night:  The AmCham Supporter of the Year


    The awards will be presented at a black tie gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel Auckland on 7th August. For details and tickets see

    In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the awards are supported by 3M New Zealand, ASB Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra Co-operative, Prescient Marketing & Communications, The Pullman Hotel and media sponsor The Business.

    Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included Zespri International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Health, Zeacom, SMI Group, Fonterra and Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services t/a Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems, Vista Entertainment and Greenshell New Zealand.

  • 22 Jun 2014 10:50 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Prime Minister John Key flew out of the US after an Oval Office visit yesterday, saying: "It's hard to see the relationship getting much better."

    His personal friendship with President Barack Obama, forged over Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks and the Honolulu golf course, has had pay-offs in the political relationship.

    The golfing connection was evident in Obama's gift to Key, a putter engraved with his signature and the presidential seal and Key's initials, JPK, for John Phillip Key, along with some presidential golf balls.

    Key left a set of black merino sweaters by Untouched World for Obama and his family.

    Obama said he wanted to visit New Zealand during his presidency which is due to end at the end of 2016.

    Obama said that under his and Key's leadership terms undefined they were both elected to office within days of each other in 2008 undefined "it is fair to say the US New Zealand relationship has never been stronger".

    Key said the United States and New Zealand had a shared history "that words probably can't define".

    "We have a feeling and an understanding of each other and we back each other up and I think that is reflected in the nature of the relationship."

    The US-led TPP led their agenda and Obama set a specific goal of getting a TPP deal to the US Congress before November.

    Key announced yesterday Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would visit New Zealand soon and TPP was bound to be top of the agenda.

    He also indicated on The Nation yesterday that New Zealand would not oppose US air strikes in the growing Iraq crisis.

    Source: New Zealand Herald

  • 22 Jun 2014 10:27 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    During a Whitehouse talk with Prime Minister John Key, US President Barak Obama pledged to visit New Zealand before his term wa up.

    "I would love to come to New Zealand because I hear it's really nice and I know the people are nice because I've had a chance to meet them," the President said.

    "We are going to be working with my schedulers to see what I can come up with, if not this year certainly before the end of my presidency [in Novemer 2016]."

    Mr Key earlier invited Mr Obama to visit New Zealand on the back of the G20 summit in Brisbane in November but it is not clear if Mr Obama's schedule will allow for a visit that soon.

    Mr Obama said ties between NZ and the US were now as strong as they ever have been.

    The president also referred to the US military's relaxation of its ban on New Zealand naval vessels berthing at American military facilities.

    Mr Obama also revealed he had personally intervened to ensure the New Zealand Navy to berth at the US naval base at Pearl Harbour instead of the civilian dock during an exercise this month.

    "I'm proud that my original home state of Hawaii is going to be welcoming a New Zealand ship coming into port for the first time in a couple of decades and we're very proud of that. I'm sure you will get a good welcome when they come," Mr Obama said.

    "And although obviously New Zealand is a small country with a small armed forces, the cooperation we have on intelligence issues, New Zealand's excellent efforts when it comes to training and participating in peacekeeping operations, makes it an invaluable partner."

    The two leaders also discussed China, North Korea, climate change and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

    Mr Key told reporters after the meeting, "Top of that list was the TPP and the capacity for the partners to reach an agreement; I feel very confident after the meeting that a high quality comprehensive deal can be achieved. There's a lot more work to be done and its never over till its over but I think there's a willingness on the part of the partners and the US and New Zealand have always been firmly of the view that the TPP was good for [our]countries and for the region."

    Asked about his commentsearlier this week that the TPP might best be resolved by leaving Japan out of the deal for now, Mr Key said New Zealand wanted a high quality comprehensive deal and that was the level every participant country should aiming for.


  • 14 Jun 2014 11:46 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Revenue Minister Todd McClay and United States Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Marie Damour, today signed an intergovernmental-agreement (IGA) which will minimise compliance costs to financial institutions in New Zealand while assist in the prevention of tax evasion.

    The IGA is in response to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) information-reporting regime enacted by the United States which will take effect from 1 July 2014. It requires non-US financial institutions to provide certain information about their US customers to the United States. 

    US tax payers have a worldwide tax responsibility to the US government.

    “Under the IGA, rather than individually sending account information for US taxpayers to the US IRS, New Zealand financial institutions will instead provide this information to Inland Revenue, who will exchange it with the IRS,” Mr McClay says.

    Mr McClay says that the agreement will make it easier for New Zealand financial institutions to comply and thereby reduce additional costs being passed on to New Zealand customers.

    “The IGA is reciprocal, meaning that New Zealand will also receive information about certain accounts held by New Zealand residents with US financial institutions. This will help prevent tax evasion and enhance the integrity of both countries’ tax systems.”

    “This agreement is much the same as negotiated by a number of other nations including Denmark, Australia and the UK. The key difference is that we have managed to negotiate New Zealand-specific exemptions for entities and accounts that are considered low-risk from a US tax evasion and avoidance perspective. This includes Superannuation, KiwiSaver schemes, tax pooling accounts, registered charities, and Maori authorities as defined by tax legislation.”

    “It is not imposing extra taxes or changing taxing rights. It is also not about Inland Revenue collecting taxes on behalf of the US government.”

    “The IGA simply makes it easier for our financial institutions to comply with US law, while also helping stamp out tax evasion,” Mr McClay says.

    The text of the agreement and a related memorandum of understanding are available at

  • 20 May 2014 10:09 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Prime Minister John Key has welcomed an invitation to meet the President of the United States during his upcoming visit to the US.

    The White House has announced President Obama will meet the Prime Minister in Washington DC on Friday, 20 June.

    “The invitation underlines the very close relationship between the United States and New Zealand,” Mr Key says.

    “I look forward to meeting with President Obama.  We are likely to discuss the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, to take stock of our bilateral relationship, and to exchange views on current regional and international issues,” he says.

    The Prime Minister is travelling to the United States from June 16 to 20.

    While in Washington DC, the Prime Minister will also meet with a range of senior administration figures, Congressional representatives and business leaders. 

    The Prime Minister will also undertake a full programme in New York in support of New Zealand’s bid to win a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2015-16.

  • 23 Apr 2014 2:32 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    New award added to AmCham Awards – the Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy

    Entries open for US-NZ success & innovation awards

    The American Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce the launch of the 2014 AmCham – DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards, held in conjunction with Hawaiian Airlines. The awards celebrate business achievement between New Zealand and the United States. 

    AmCham is also delighted to announce the launch a new award sponsored by 3M New Zealand which will be called the Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy in memory of our special friends who died so tragically a year ago. This award will be presented annually to a person, group of people or organization who have made significant contributions to strengthening the bonds between the people of Aotearoa and the United States. The contributions can be made in any field that complements the deep political and economic ties between these two great nations including education, science, research, culture, arts and sports.

    "The annual Success & Innovation Awards provide an opportunity to showcase those companies that have demonstrated imagination, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as honour and celebrate their achievements."

    Awards categories are: 

    Exporter of the Year to the USA - with export revenues to the USA up to NZ $500,000

    Exporter of the Year to the USA - revenues from NZ $501,000 to NZ $5 million and

    Exporter of the Year to the USA - revenues over NZ $5 million

    Importer of the Year from the USA

    Investor of the Year for NZ companies investing in the US or US companies investing in NZ

    The Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy

    A Supreme Award winner is selected from winners of each of these awards.  AmCham also makes an award to the AmCham Supporter of the Year. 

    The winners of the importer and exporter awards receive a return economy Class ticket on Hawaiian Airlines from Auckland to either, Honolulu, Maui, The Big Island, Kauai, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Portland, Phoenix, Sacramento or New York.

    Award winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel Auckland on 7th August.

    Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included ZESPRI International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Systems International, Zeacom, Specialist Marine Interiors, Fonterra and Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems, Vista Entertainment and Greenshell New Zealand.

    In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Hawaiian Airlines, the awards are supported by: ASB Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra Co-operative, Prescient Marketing & Communications, 3M New Zealand and the Pullman Hotel Auckland. Media Partner: The Business


    If you have any questions contact

    Mike Hearn

    Tel 09-309-9140


      2012 © American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc • Site prepared by Highland Creative

  • 22 Apr 2014 5:37 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the relationship between the United States and New Zealand is the best it’s been in thirty years.

    ‘It's the best it's been in 30 years. We've had a number of high level visitors come here and try to reiterate the importance of the relationship that we have and me coming here is just another indication of the importance that we place on this partnership.’

    But Admiral Locklear says we are not allies, ‘no, allies require us to have treaties. We don’t have a treaty but we are partners.’

    Admiral Locklear said we need look forward.

    ‘I think in general, we need to look ahead and not in the past.  We need to look at the future security environment that all the globe faces’ 

    When asked whether New Zealand would be well qualified to take up a UN Security Council seat, Admiral Locklear said, ‘of course’.

    ‘It's important to not only to have the perspective of the large nations, but of the smaller nations that often have a unique perspective of a part of the globe.  One of the things I value very much, even in our relationship, security relationship, with the Armed Forces of New Zealand, is that you all have a very unique view, a very valuable view of the South Pacific, and of this region, the Antarctic region.

    ‘If you extrapolate that view into the issues that the UN Security Council are dealing with, I couldn’t see why New Zealand wouldn’t be a great addition to that.’

    Admiral Locklear says climate change is the biggest long-term threat to the Asia Pacific region.

    ‘The increasing frequency of storms, the increasing likelihood that large tsunamis would impact as we’ve seen in Aceh and we’ve seen in Japan that it will impact large population areas which will put many many people at risk and disrupt the security environment. You add to that the fact that in my area of responsibility 70 per cent of all major disasters occur here.’

    He also says there will be a fight for global resources.

    ‘I don’t see a way out of that. The global community is going to have to figure out how to deal with regions that are becoming now arid and deserts that haven’t historically been and the fact that water supplies are becoming challenged.’

    When questioned about the rising influence of China in the Asia Pacific region, Admiral Locklear said, ‘the question for the world with China will be – what leadership role they take, other than in the economic realm.

    ‘What is their role in the security environment? How are they leading their neighbours to good solutions and a good security environment and I think if they make good choices on that and they become leaders and they demonstrate to their neighbours the ability to be trusted and to be transparent then -as they will say to me - there’s plenty of room for everyone to operate here in the Pacific.’

    Asked whether China can be trusted now, Admiral Locklear said, ‘I think trust is a word I wouldn’t apply too broadly.’

    ‘I would say that as far as our bilateral relationship, that we are based on the dialogue between our President and President Xi that we are in the process of developing an improved bilateral relationship, then that trust underlies that.’

    ‘Trust requires that we talk, that we work together, that we understand each other, that there’s a level of transparency and we’re not there yet but we’re working on it.’

  • 27 Feb 2014 10:21 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the bipartisan Encouraging Trade and Investment from New Zealand Act, legislation to extend eligibility for trade (E-1) and investor (E-2) temporary entry visas to New Zealand, to promote trade and investment in the United States. The bill is also supported by original cosponsors Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA). U.S. citizens are already eligible for similar visas in New Zealand. The bill’s introduction comes on the same day as an announcement by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully that New Zealand will open a Consulate General at Bishop Square-Pauahi Tower in Honolulu to strengthen ties with northern Pacific nations.

    An E-1 trade visa allows for visiting, foreign nationals to come to the United States in order to engage in trade activities such as international banking, technology development or tourism. An E-2 investor visa allows visiting, foreign nationals to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested a substantial amount of capital. The applications for these visas are closely scrutinized by the U.S. Department of State to ensure the trade business or investment is substantial and real, not speculative.

    “New Zealand is one of our nation’s important economic partners, with total foreign direct investment from New Zealand to the United States valued at $6 billion in 2011 and New Zealand-owned firms supporting 10,900 jobs,” said Senator Hirono. “Hawaii has seen this firsthand, with businesses such as Hawaiian Airlines, the only North American airline in New Zealand, helping to spur a substantial increase in business and tourism from New Zealand to Hawaii in recent years. At the same time, New Zealand businesses have found that the lack of access to E-1 and E-2 visas has hampered their ability to increase trade and investment in the United States. By extending trade and investment visas, the Encouraging Trade and Investment from New Zealand Act not only directly promotes economic growth and job creation in Hawaii and across the United States, but also bolsters the bilateral relationship between our nations and strengthens Hawaii’s economic ties to the Asia-Pacific region.”

    “The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii supports legislation that would extend E-1 and E-2 temporary entry visas to New Zealand to promote trade and investment in the United States,” said Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “This legislation would increase investment and trade with New Zealand, creating a significant number of jobs in our country for our citizens and families. As importantly, this legislation would help pave the way for businesses in Hawaii, large and small, to compete in the global marketplace and strengthen our state’s economic ties and leverage our advantageous location to the Asia Pacific region.”

    “Hawaiian Airlines is extremely supportive of any initiative that promotes trade and investment between the United States and New Zealand, and the Hirono-Lee bill would further strengthen the bilateral relationship between our two countries. Hawaiian Airlines entry into New Zealand in 2013 has helped to foster trade between our two countries by connecting Honolulu and 11 mainland U.S. gateways with Auckland, providing improved accessibility for New Zealand and U.S. business travelers,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Mark Dunkerley.

    “We support this legislation that would extend trade and investor visas to New Zealand, as it is in line with our efforts to diversify Hawai‘i’s tourism profile in one of our major market areas,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “New Zealand is a vastly growing market for Hawai‘i’s visitor industry, welcoming a record 47,280 visitors in 2013. This legislation would be beneficial to Hawai‘i’s tourism economy by generating further interest in the Hawaiian Islands as both a visitor destination and a place to conduct business.”

    “On behalf of the New Zealand Government, I would like to express our gratitude to Senators Hirono and Lee for sponsoring this important piece of legislation which will assist New Zealand businesses to trade with and invest in the United States,” said New Zealand Ambassador to the United States Mike Moore. “I would also like to thank Senators McCain, Rubio, Schumer and Murray for co-sponsoring this bill. This bill is a very positive development for both the US and New Zealand. In 2010 alone, United States subsidiaries of New Zealand-owned firms were responsible for 10,900 American jobs and contributed $560 million to US export earnings, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. But New Zealand businesses have told us they want to do more. These visas will help them grow in the US market and create US jobs. The US is also an important strategic partner for New Zealand and is seeking to increase its engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. Improved access to the US for New Zealand businesspeople and investors will continue to strengthen and modernise our bilateral relationship. We hope that Congress will recognise the benefits of this bill to both New Zealand and the US, and move to pass this legislation as quickly as possible.”

    “Americans and New Zealanders collaborate closely in business, technology, research, security and entertainment, yet the lack of access to trader and investor visas has been a serious impediment to increased economic growth and greater bilateral cooperation,” said United States | New Zealand Council President William Maroni. “The E-1 and E-2 visa categories were created expressly to benefit the U.S. economy by promoting capital infusion and job creation. The United States currently allows temporary entry for traders from more than 50 countries (under E-1 visas) and for investors from more than 80 countries (under E-2 visas). New Zealand – an important partner, supporter and friend to the United States and an influential thought leader throughout the world – should be offered the same eligibility. It’s in our shared best interests and it’s long overdue. Extending E-1 and E-2 visas to New Zealanders would significantly increase bilateral business activity, encourage greater investment and economic growth in the United States, create more American jobs and related benefits, and strengthen US-NZ bilateral relationship.”
  • 27 Feb 2014 10:20 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced New Zealand will open a Consulate General in Honolulu to strengthen ties with northern Pacific nations.

    New Zealand’s Consul General in Honolulu will be cross-accredited to Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.
    “With the Pacific Islands Forum in the Marshall Islands last year and Palau this year, the region’s attention is focused on the northern Pacific and the unique issues these island nations face,” Mr McCully says.

    “We want to advance our relationship with the people and governments of the northern Pacific and opening a Consulate General in Honolulu is a practical way of demonstrating New Zealand’s commitment to these countries.

    “It will allow us to work more closely with US officials and experts on regional security and development issues. Honolulu is a natural focus for cooperation with the United States as it stands at the centre of US strategic, cultural and academic engagement in the Asia-Pacific.”

    The Consulate will also provide support to New Zealanders travelling to the northern Pacific as well as New Zealanders in transit to the mainland US and other destinations