Some heavyweight members have been named on a new government-backed body aimed at fostering New Zealand's links with China.
The New Zealand China Council, chaired by former Commonwealth secretary-general Sir Don McKinnon, is part of the Government's New Zealand Inc China Strategy launched in February.
Sir Don said the council was aimed at co-ordinating the "public and private sector effort to ensure New Zealand's relationship with China reaches its full potential".
It would not leave "anyone in the shade" but bring together Kiwis engaged in China from across the board, including academia and general community.
One of its first tasks would be an inaugural "partnership forum" between the two countries in Beijing later this year.
The forum would coincide with commemorations of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China.
The council's establishment board is a virtual who's who of political and business contacts, including former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, the Prime Minister's chief science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman, ANZCO Foods chairman Sir Graeme Harrison, and Foreign Affairs secretary John Allen.
Others include Bruce Hassall, chief executive of PwC New Zealand; David Green, managing director of ANZ Bank's institutional arm; Tourism Association chair Norm Thompson; and chair of the New Zealand China Trade Association, Tim White.
The council's full Chinese name is Xinxilan Zhongguo Guanxi Cujin Weiyuanhui.
Sir Don said a search had begun for an executive director to help run the council.
- © Fairfax NZ News