Two All Black legends, Auckland’s Cloud on Queen’s Wharf and over 400 New Zealand and British business people came together on 29 September in a unique business matching evening. As the largest British owned company in New Zealand OCS was the main sponsor of the event, which was hosted by UKTI and the British High Commission.
The night gave British businesses the opportunity to meet face to face with local NZ businesses and gain specialist advice on New Zealand industries. It also brought New Zealand companies face to face with British business people visiting the country for the Rugby World Cup. UKTI staff were on hand to assist New Zealand and Australian business in attendance looking to invest and expand in the UK as well as British businesses looking to trade with New Zealand.
Special guest speakers for the evening, former All Blacks John Kirwan and Tana Umaga, entertained the audience with their charm in an interview with the High Commissioner. The former All Blacks were in no doubt which team they wanted to be lifting the trophy at the end of the Tournament. Speeches followed before the networking began in earnest.
The British High Commissioner, Mrs Vicki Treadell said “I think British and New Zealand companies working together can conquer Asia’s markets. It’s about bringing together British capacity with New Zealand technology to go into the global market together “
The New Zealand Minister for Trade, Tim Groser, commented “This is a huge business networking opportunity here and I have been talking to some truly inspirational British companies I have just met. It’s great as New Zealand and the United Kingdom can explore the 21st century together in Asia. We have amazing platforms in Asia. We have two Free Trade Agreements with China and Hong Kong. Why don‟t we try and work together in the niche areas.”
Chris Cracknell, CEO of OCS Group said, “The turnout here at the Cloud has been great, we have been in this part of the world for 20 years and we really see the Asian axis as the dynamic hub that is going to drive the world’s economy for the next twenty years.” He continued, “New Zealand’s long standing relationship with China gives it a great advantage for British investment and trade. I guess in the end New Zealand understands the Asian markets much better than many of the European countries. New Zealand is not isolated it is in the centre of where it needs to be.”
UKTI in partnership with their other sponsors, Land Rover, KPMG, Servcorp, Virgin Atlantic, Vodafone, BHP Bilton and Ted Baker presented a series of eight sector stands covering industries as diverse as IT, advanced manufacturing, sustainability, transport, life sciences, food and beverage and the creative industries.
In accordance with their strong emphasis on sustainable business practices OCS were featured in the sustainability category. In his speech Chris Cracknell’s enthusiasm for the subject and respect for New Zealand skills and innovation shone through. He spoke about OCS’ recent acquisition of Envirocomp - a unique New Zealand innovation allowing the composting of nappy, sanitary and incontinence waste - and how they were planning on expanding the technology internationally. He said Envirocomp was a “great example of meeting the sustainable demands of the future, taking a cross world approach, bringing the best of the skills right here in New Zealand back out around the globe”.