2017 NZ China Mayoral Forum banner

The development video below is brought to you FREE OF CHARGE.

The purpose of this 2017 New Zealand China Mayoral Forum development video is to outline to all councils the benefits of the forum and the preparation required by them to gain the best effect from their participation and subsequent interactions with the Chinese. 


  • A look back at the previous forum
  • A look ahead to this year's forum
  • Support available from EquiP and Eastern Bridge
  • Some initial hints and tips to get you started

Learning outcomes

After this development video you will be able to:

  • define the benefits of your council's participation in the forum;
  • identify the preparation needed by your council to gain the best effect from the forum; and
  • select effective support packages to ensure ongoing Chinese partnership success. 

About the presenters

Simon Appleton, CEO, Eastern Bridge

Simon grew up in regional New Zealand before moving to Asia.  He has lived in China and South Korea for almost a decade where he has worked in both the Education and Media industries.  Simon studied a Masters of Chinese Law from Renmin University before moving to the Bay of Plenty to work for the Opotiki District Council as their Economic Development Officer.  During this time he provided language and international relations support to other councils and economic development agencies.

In 2010, Simon established Eastern Bridge to provide councils with a cost-efficient and professional alternative to establishing their own international relations department.  Simon speaks Mandarin Chinese and Korean.

Philip Shackleton, Principal Policy Advisor, LGNZ

Philip has been working at LGNZ since November 2010. He provides policy advice and project management expertise on development and infrastructure reporting through the LGNZ Economic Development Committee. Philip’s current work includes sector manager of Metro Mayors forum, project manager of the New Zealand Core Cities Project, stakeholder engagement for tourism and economic development regional forums, course development for KnowHow China training and Project Manager for LGNZ’s Project Horizon.

Philip has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology from Otago University, a Diploma in Business majoring in marketing from Auckland University and is an accredited Economic Development Professional awarded through the EDANZ professional development programme. He brings a strong mix of both private and public sector experience to LGNZ. This includes nine years in senior marketing roles in the building industry, five years as a company director of two start up’s including an IT company, three and a half years as Chief Executive of the Wanganui Chamber of Commerce and 10 years experience working in senior economic development roles for both the Dunedin City Council and the Wanganui District Council.



Please contact the EquiP team for further information on 04 924 1200 or email equip.pd@lgnz.co.nz 


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Date updated: 24 May 2019