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New Zealand’s three new Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence now open

New Zealand’s three new Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence now open

Last updated 4 August 2017
Last updated 08/04/2017

From early last month, the University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington began hosting three new cross-institutional Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs) specialising in language, culture, politics and economics. These centres will better connect and enhance trade and economic linkages for New Zealand with countries within the Asia-Pacific and Latin-American regions.

Each centre is central to New Zealand’s relationship with the part of the world it specialises in – North Asia hosted by the University of Auckland, and South East Asia and Latin America hosted by Victoria University of Wellington. 

Individuals, small, and medium businesses wanting to grow their understanding of the Asian and Latin American markets will find the initiatives and programmes invaluable. 

A consortium of the two host universities, the University of Otago and the University of Waikato, has been established to deliver on the CAPEs Purpose and Policy Objectives. 

“It’s great to see several universities collaborating. A key focus is also to help New Zealand businesses be better prepared to do business in these regions,” says Dr Dafydd Davies, Manager TEC University Investment. 

Funding over four years

Funding of approximately $31 million has been allocated over four years in Budget 2016 and will be administered and monitored by the TEC.

The TEC will measure and monitor the performance of CAPEs against the Purpose and Policy Objectives through the Performance Measurement Framework. It is designed to collect standardised data to show progress against eight elements: business focused; evolutionary; pragmatic; collaborative; build awareness of the regions; develop links to schools; and leverage existing resources and New Zealand’s international communities. Each CAPE will submit an annual report. 

The initiative forms part of Government’s comprehensive Business Growth Agenda that seeks to build a more productive and competitive economy. The initiative further links to the 2014-2019 Tertiary Education Strategy priorities such as growing international partnerships and delivering skills for industry. 

The Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment announced the results of a fully contestable funding process to establish the three CAPEs in March this year. Applications were assessed by an international panel, which included people with commercial backgrounds who had experience working in the two regions. 

­Going through an establishment phase for first six months

For the first six months the focus will be on: developing internship and student mobility programmes; developing an online presence; setting up short business courses; hosting industry events; and establishing Māori business initiatives. 

There are four main outcomes expected from CAPEs:

  • More New Zealanders with appropriate language and cultural skills (including economic and political) relating to the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions.
  • Enhanced public awareness of the importance of the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions.
  • Better understanding of how study of Asia-Pacific and Latin American languages, culture and society (including economics and politics) leads to success in the regions.
  • Enhanced links between New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions. 

For more information on the mission statements, objectives and outcomes for each CAPE please see the CAPEs fund page.