Category Archives: New Zealand

H.E. GAVIN YOUNG Consul General and Trade Commissioner of New Zealand in Mumbai

H.E. GAVIN YOUNG Consul General and Trade Commissioner of New Zealand in Mumbai

H.E. Gavin Young is the Consul General and Trade Commissioner of New Zealand in Mumbai. He has been in India since April 2010. His consular jurisdiction covers Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa while the trade jurisdiction covers South India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

In early 2011, his office will be moving to Bandra Kurla Complex which will bring together all New Zealand government agencies that operate in Mumbai, including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Tourism New Zealand and a new New Zealand Immigration visa office. This significant investment by the New Zealand Government is part of their commitment to further strengthen their already strong relationship with India.

In this interview, Mr. Young shares with us the potential and opportunities of trade and tourism exchange between India and New Zealand.


New Zealand is a very environmentally responsible nation and also ranked as the leading nation in the Global Peace Index. How can an emerging economy like India gain from New Zealand in areas of environment conservation and renewable energy?

New Zealanders see themselves as guardians of their environment and culture. We feel it is necessary to take care of what we have for future generations. It is part of who and what we are.

We have signed international agreements on climate change and have recently introduced an emissions trading system. We have large plantation forests that produce renewable timber for the world and act as huge lungs to store carbon. Over half of those forests are currently Forest Stewardship Council certified, so that users of that wood can be assured it is from a renewable resource. New Zealand also produces 73% of its electricity from renewable sources – our aim is to be 90% renewable by 2025.

Consumers are also becoming increasingly concerned about pesticide residues on food. New Zealand has developed farming systems to produce no detectable residues on apples, while other fruits and foods have green programmes to limit residues and antibiotics in the food chain.

As a result of all of this, we have some very smart green technologies that make good business sense as well as environmental sense to Indian companies, governments and consumers.

Hydro Dam

For example, in areas of innovation in agricultural technology, New Zealand is a world leader in CNG technologies which are increasingly driving Indian public transport systems. We also have hybrid CNG/diesel technology, technology to reduce water use and renewable energy systems amongst our offering.

Next year New Zealand will be hosting the Rugby World Cup. With limited resources in manpower, how is New Zealand working towards welcoming the world for such a mega event?

We have been planning for several years for the Rugby World Cup and preparations are on-track to welcome the expected 60000 visitors. The games will be held from 09 September to 23 October 2011, when the final will be held in Auckland.

Rugby is a national passion for New Zealanders. We are hosting the tournament country-wide. It is a unique opportunity to experience our rugby traditions, spectacular scenery, culture, and business – from food and wine, to the latest in sustainable technology.

New Zealanders are driven to perform, on the sports field and in business. Attending the tournament will be a great opportunity to get to know us better and find out more about doing business with New Zealand.

I would encourage business people thinking about visiting New Zealand in 2011 to join The Business Club, an online platform designed to connect overseas visitors with New Zealand business people in a wide range of sectors, to help them make the most of their trip:


What is the perception of Indians amongst New Zealanders?

India is increasingly perceived as a dynamic, emerging economy, run by highly educated and motivated people, with the world’s biggest movie industry and a world class cricket team.

For those New Zealanders who have yet to visit India, their experience is often of the 130000 people of Indian origin who now call New Zealand their home. That experience is of hard working, smart people who bring new cultural additions to New Zealand. Well-known Indians include a member of the New Zealand Parliament and perhaps best known, our Governor General Rt. Hon. Sir Anand Satyanand, who was born in New Zealand.

While we both have positive perceptions of each other, we also have a lot more to discover as we get to know each other better.

Which are the key focus areas for 2011 that you would be looking at in your capacity as a Consul General and Trade Commissioner in India?

We plan to greatly expand our business-to-people and people-to-people connections over the coming years. Building the network amongst the Indian business community in areas where New Zealand has something unique to offer India is a key part of this.

We will also be concentrating on several trade missions, raising the profile of New Zealand in key sectors and opening the new Consulate General Office in Mumbai in early 2011.

New Zealand is one of the premier destinations for leisure travellers and the incentive market. How will your office play a key role in synergizing with Tourism New Zealand to tap the potential growth of tourism travel out of India?

India is an important market for tourism to New Zealand. The total arrivals from India to New Zealand have increased 16 percent year on year, and holiday arrivals have increased 23 percent. India has moved from being the 19th largest visitors market for New Zealand in 2004 to the 10th largest in 2009.

We work very closely with the Indian Film Industry and with cricket to promote New Zealand. The recent success of the film ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ is a good example of our partnership, where Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise helped the production company to facilitate filming, and in return there was great exposure for New Zealand through the beautiful scenery and  endorsements from the film stars Sonam Kapoor and Imran Khan.

We are now working on opportunities to raise the profile of New Zealand during the New Zealand Cricket Tour of India in November 2010 and during the Cricket World Cup in 2011.

What is your opinion on Namaste New Zealand ( – a dedicated website generating awareness and sales for the Indian outbound traveller to New Zealand?

Namaste New Zealand is an excellent initiative targeted to the Indian traveller helping them to bridge the gap from knowing that New Zealand is a great destination, to how to access.


What are the key trade exchange opportunities between India and New Zealand?

The qualities that define New Zealand are fresh ideas and innovation. Indian companies can bring scale, and the two together are a great combination.

Some of the key areas to work together are in the food and beverage industry, and the food supply chain; wood and green technologies; information and communications technologies; infrastructure, aviation and services and in specialised manufacturing.

To give a few examples, New Zealand produces rugged extreme short take-off and landing aircraft, that are already operating with the UN in Nepal and would have real application in India for servicing remote areas – useful for everything from mining and tourism, to government officials and cargo, and reduce the costs where helicopters are used. New Zealand also has software that civil aviation ministries can use for clocking the revenue from airlines that over-fly the country.

Which are the potential growth areas in terms of trade and investment that both countries could benefit from in the future?

India and New Zealand currently have a two-way trade of over $1 billion.  While we have had a great bi-lateral relationship for many years, there is a lot more depth and understanding of each other to be added.

We are coming up to the third round in our Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with India and we know that a comprehensive FTA can make a huge difference to trade. We signed a comprehensive agreement with China in 2008 and have seen two-way trade skyrocket. China is now our second biggest trading partner, while India is our 11th biggest trading partner.


Indians often travel abroad for higher studies. What are the education opportunities and areas of learning for Indian students to pursue in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers a welcoming environment to Indian students, with more than 8000 Indian students currently studying there. We have 8 top quality universities all of which are research-based and government-owned, and 20 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP’s) that focus on practical, skills-oriented training in areas such as hospitality and tourism, design, ICT, nursing, fashion and many others. New Zealand also has a number of Private Training Establishments (PTE’s) which are quality controlled so students can be confident that their qualifications are recognised globally.

New Zealand is also recognised as a world leader in the development of its education system, from early childhood through to tertiary education. More than two decades of reform across all aspects of teaching, learning, assessment, and management have transformed New Zealand’s education sector and set the bar for change in many other countries.  In particular, New Zealand is an acknowledged world leader in teacher training and professional development.

New Zealand also has a modern and highly regarded workforce training system that gives growth industries the skills and knowledge needed to be globally competitive. Training of airline pilots is one example, where quality training systems together with varied weather, terrain and relatively un-cluttered skies produces pilots that are highly sought-after by international airlines, including here in India.


Which places have you travelled to in India and what has been your experience of India so far?

India is an amazing, energetic and dynamic nation. While I have been to India many times – the first being in 1982 – I still have lots to explore in India.

My work programme has mainly taken me to the major metros, some of which I have not been to before and have really enjoyed discovering, such as Bengaluru. I also have some personal travel planned over the winter, starting with Kerala in November. I am looking forward to that.

Which is your favourite holiday destination in New Zealand?

My favourite holiday destination is definitely the unspoiled natural beauty of the West Coast of the South Island, with its original native forests, wild coast, rivers in which salmon come to breed, glaciers,  picturesque reflecting lakes, mountains, penguins, seals, adventure activities and very  genuine, honest people. It is also increasingly becoming a place where artists are making their homes.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I like to keep fit through swimming and going to the gym. I enjoy travelling to interesting ‘off the beaten track’ destinations that may involve trekking. I also enjoy music, movies and reading books.

I think that people need a creative side and for me, it is cooking when I have time and gardening when I am living in New Zealand – I love watching things grow.

In India, I am also busy with Hindi classes although my Hindi is not very good.



New Zealand is serious about its engagement with India. We have a lot to offer each other and a lot to discover about each other. We are a resourceful nation with high levels of innovation in our products and services that make us a good fit with Indian business.

From New Zealand’s side, we welcome Indian tourists, students and migrants. New Zealanders are also good people to do business with. We are open, friendly, culturally sensitive and uncomplicated. Coming from a country that Transparency International ranked number one in 2009 on its Least Corrupt Countries Index, we are an easy country to do business with and our people make great business partners.

My job is to help expand those connections and partnerships.

KIRAN NAMBIAR Regional Manager of India and South East Asia for Tourism New Zealand


KIRAN NAMBIAR - Regional Manager of India and South East Asia for Tourism New Zealand


Kiran Nambiar has been with Tourism New Zealand for the last seven years, since its inception in India. Currently, he is the Regional Manager of India and South East Asia and during his tenure, tourism to New Zealand from India has grown from 15552 visitors in July 2003 to 27842 visitors in August 2010. Kiran shares with us why New Zealand seems to be the preferred destination for the Indian outbound traveller – be it for lovers of adventure or natural beauty and also for  families and honeymooners.


How has tourism to New Zealand grown during your tenure?

I joined Tourism New Zealand in November 2002 as Country Manager of India and have been the Regional Manager of India and South East Asia since June 2008. Tourism as an industry is fast evolving and today’s traveller is maturing in his travel needs, preferences and decision making patterns. Tourism New Zealand has always focused on reaching out to the Evolved Traveller, someone who is seasoned in his travels and appreciates the subtle differences New Zealand has to offer.

Which are the regions you handle as part of South East Asia and which according to you are the key emerging markets for the future?

As Regional Manager, India and South East Asia for Tourism New Zealand, I am responsible for India, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia markets.

For India, the leisure segment makes up more than half of our overall visitor arrivals into New Zealand, majority of which is contributed by New Delhi & Mumbai. The western region contributes about 40% of the total visitors from India and the North, about 30%. We will continue to develop these markets as our objective is to increase awareness of New Zealand regions within evolved travelers which will result in longer length of stay. Our prime market continues to be the West market, though we see tremendous potential in the South market as evident from the economic progress witnessed in recent times. Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad are the new regions we will focus on developing into our next growth markets.


How has tourism from India to New Zealand grown in 2009-10 and what is the estimated growth you expect in 2010-11?

India is an important market for Tourism New Zealand. Total arrivals from India to New Zealand are +16% for YE August 2010 at 27842 visitors and holiday arrivals are +23% for YE August 2010 at 13096 visitors. India has moved from being the 19th largest visitors market for New Zealand in 2004, to the 10th largest in 2009.

There is a lot of demand in India for travel to New Zealand especially in the months of November to January, being the wedding season and peak period for honeymoon travel. The biggest challenge for growth in this period is lack of air capacity. We are still expecting about 7% to 10% growth for the next 18 months. But India will deliver 20% to 30% growth in visitor arrivals to New Zealand for 4-5 years consecutively once air connectivity improves.


Te Puia Thermal Reserve

What is the role of the Tourism New Zealand office in India and how do you go about creating awareness of New Zealand amongst members of the travel trade as well as the end consumer?

Tourism New Zealand’s aim in India is to promote the 100% Pure New Zealand experience to the evolved traveller and to raise awareness on the regions and activities that New Zealand has to offer. The Evolved Traveller is a high-end niche traveller who is well travelled, is looking for a unique experience in vacations, loves nature, and consumes many of the products New Zealand has to offer. On the travel trade front, we will continue to engage and develop our relationship with our travel trade partners. Our focus will continue on regular trade education and training programmes like the Kiwi Specialist programme and our biannual trade event Kiwi Link India. For both, existing relationships and new ones that we will develop in new markets, our various trade initiatives including our travel trade website – – will help agents enhance their knowledge of New Zealand and drive back that value to their customers. On the consumer front, we will continue to focus on reaching out to the consumer through an extended PR campaign and internet promotions, highlighting the honeymoon, family and FIT offerings from New Zealand.

How has Bollywood, Hollywood and sporting events played a significant role in creating awareness about New Zealand?

Bollywood and cricket, so far, have played a significant role in creating increasing awareness about New Zealand in India.

The Indian Cricket team’s visit to New Zealand resulted in a 25% increase in April and a 20% increase May. Our peak season, despite the recession, remained profitable. This event presented Tourism New Zealand with multiple platforms to promote the country’s tourism potential, increase our profile as a destination and influence immediate summer holiday decisions for the year.

We carefully touched upon the adventure element (with renowned Indian cricketers performing the Auckland Sky Walk and Film actress Preity Zinta doing the bungy jump, sky dive and jet boat) as well as the leisure element (with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and others fishing on a remote island and other team members sailing in Auckland), keeping in mind our target audience of family groups, young professionals, corporates, sports enthusiasts and the like.

We have seen growth in consumer interest when a movie shot in New Zealand hits the theatres. With the success of  ‘I Hate Luv Storys’  in India, Tourism New Zealand is ready to build aspiration and demand for the destination through the visibility that the film generated for New Zealand. The agreement with Dharma Productions also allowed for the presence of 100%  Pure New Zealand branding on their website, which drove traffic to upon being clicked.


International Antarctic Centre at Christchurch

How long would you recommend a stay for the first-time visitor to New Zealand and what are the places which should be included to get a glimpse of the major highlights of New Zealand?

The average length of stay for Indian holiday makers is about 10 to 12 days, starting with the North Island, covering areas such as Auckland which is an urban and vibrant city, Rotorua which is the hub for geothermal attractions, Wellington – the arts capital of New Zealand, to the English charm of Christchurch, geothermal spa resort town of Hanmer Springs, rare wildlife encounters in Kaikoura, adventure capital and alpine town of Queenstown, glacier region of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, scenic marvel that is Fiordland in the South Island.

We are also seeing a new trend with visitors staying up to 21 days in New Zealand on self-drive holidays, honeymooners prefer to spend 14 days and cover only the South Island.

What according to you are the must-visit experiences of New Zealand to be included for the following types of interests:


Self-Drive is an excellent offer and definitely makes for one of the most special holidays for honeymooners. Spectacular scenery combined with empty roads and the luxury of exploring New Zealand’s diversity at your own pace and in the company of your loved one, is a sure shot holiday special for honeymooners. Self-Drive is also a very flexible and economical offer for newlyweds. Exclusive accommodation ranging from luxurious lodges to boutique hotels, offer various seclusion options and romantic getaways.

The potential for honeymooners to become closer through amazing experiences is limitless in New Zealand with plenty of romantic activities. Whether it is paragliding across New Zealand’s blue skies, enjoying a panoramic view of New Zealand in a helicopter tour, doing a food and wine trail, bungy jumping, jet boating, white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking with seals, taking a cruise along mystic Milford Sound, whale watching, dreamy gondola rides, indulging in a thermal spa treatment or swimming with dolphins, a New Zealand honeymoon is sure to be etched in anyone’s mind for life!

Experience the thrill of Sky Diving


New Zealand is renowned as the adventure hub of the world. New Zealand offers a unique mix of adventure activities – from high adrenalin to soft adventure. For the adrenalin junkies, bungy jumping, jet boating and sky diving should be on top of the list. Soft adventure enthusiasts must experience zorbing, white water rafting, para gliding, skiing and much more.

Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle

Family Holidays

New Zealand has a wide variety of wildlife. Wilderness cruises are available in all regions popular for its wildlife and children would simply love swimming with dolphins, whale watching, and befriending fur seals and penguins. Jet boat rides, kayaking, canoeing, hot air balloon rides and hiking are some of the many activities that the family can enjoy together. New Zealand has a sizeable Indian population, so Indian cuisine restaurants are abundant. And of course, shopping is never something a destination can miss out on which is why New Zealand’s cities have plenty of them.

Special Interests such as Wines, Spas and Golfing

New Zealand is famed world over for its new age wines. Napier and Marlborough are the two major wine producing regions in New Zealand and offer unique vineyard experiences.

New Zealand is situated on the famous active volcanic zone geothermal belt known as the ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’ and is ranked among the Top 15 hot spring mineral water sites in the world. Located on the edge of two massive tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust, New Zealand has a large amount of geothermal activity. This means there are many thermal pools throughout the country for the visitor to enjoy after a long hard day! Pools range from small spa-type natural mineral pools to large thermally heated swimming pool complexes.

New Zealand offers great golfing experiences for travellers from around the globe. While Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs are popular world over for their golf experiences, you can also enjoy golf overlooking glacial lakes at Queenstown and Wanaka or in the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

What is your opinion on Namaste New Zealand (, a dedicated website for the Indian outbound traveller?

Namaste New Zealand is a great website where consumers not only get a chance to know more about New Zealand and the different tourism products that New Zealand has to offer, but also get a chance to share their first hand experiences with other potential travellers.


Name at least 5 must-do experiences that you would find exclusively in New Zealand.

New Zealand is blessed to have the diverse landscape it is renowned for. Fascinating and exotic, New Zealand is where all the natural attractions of the world seem to converge. While in New Zealand, one must visit Milford Sound in the South Island, considered as the Eighth Wonder of the World, bungy jumping, as it was invented in Queenstown, visit White Island in the North Island, New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, Fox and Franz Josef in the South Island for the unique glacier experience and Rotorua for the cultural Maori experience as well as the geothermal landscape.

Why is New Zealand perceived as one of the best self-drive destinations?

Self-Drive holidays have always been popular with Indian visitors to New Zealand, for not only its sheer ease and convenience but the fact that it is also the best way to explore the country at a leisurely pace. With the Indian license being valid in New Zealand along with other comforts like New Zealanders driving on the left hand side and vehicles being equipped with right hand drive, Self- Driving holidays offer great flexibility in itinerary planning to include activities, sights and attractions perfectly suited to one’s individual tastes and preferences.


The average Indian traveller spends more than the British, French and the German when holidaying. What are the luxury and exclusive tourism products that one can experience in New Zealand?

Compared to other markets, the Indian traveller is more focused on quality than price, so Indians tend to spend more on higher quality accommodation, activities and attractions.

Indians are also known to be some of the biggest spenders in the world and luxury holidays are becoming increasingly popular among Indians. To our advantage, New Zealand has done some pioneering work in this area with luxurious products like luxury lodges, helicopter tours, gourmet alpine picnics, scenic aerial tours, indulgent spa treatments, luxury chauffeur driven tours and other high-end activities that has carved our ‘luxury tourism’ consumer mind space and are of high appeal with our Indian audience. Indians spend an average of NZ$3500 per person on a single trip, which reflects the interest and spending power on such luxury tourism products. Despite the economic crisis, the luxury consumer has not shown hesitation or reluctance with their holiday plans and we expect this growth to sustain at a steady pace.

Moreover, consumer values are changing as the outbound travel market continues to grow. People no longer just want to tick countries off on a list, but they want to go to places for a unique experience. Travellers from India are quite open minded today in craving newer experiences and unconventional travel destinations.