BACK TO WORK GRANTS available to AUCKLAND businesses

As reported in the NZ Herald, 14 February 2023:

Auckland businesses affected by the Anniversary Weekend flooding almost three weeks ago will be able to access financial help this week.

The Back to Work grants – part of a $5 million Government support package announced last week – will allow businesses to receive up to $5000.

The grants cover three categories:

  • Up to $5000 for red and yellow stickered businesses;
  • Up to $2000 for other businesses (not red or yellow stickered) who can demonstrate significant need;
  • $750 by declaration based on demonstration of a moderate level of need.

Among the criteria to qualify for the Back to Work grants, businesses must have no more than 20 staff (and a minimum of one), have been directly affected by the flood and have had serious cash flow issues.

“The Back to Work grants will not be a substitute for insurance or compensation for all commercial losses a business has suffered from the recent flooding,” said Auckland Business Chamber chief executive Simon Bridges.

“They are designed to help small business get back on their feet sooner, stronger.”

New Zealand’s major banks have also been offering help to affected customers and businesses since the flooding.

BNZ recently announced temporary overdrafts for agriculture, business and commercial customers of up to $100,000 and temporary overdrafts of up to $10,000 with no application fee for small business customers.

Westpac is offering to suspend principal payments for up to three months on home loans and business loans, deferred payment on business credit cards for up to three months and a temporary overdraft for business customers.

ASB was also offering access to working capital of up to $100,000 for eligible business and rural customers.

Applications for the Back to Work grants can be made through or via 0800 005 605, from later this week.

Published article link:

Affected by the floods?, #REACHOUT…

If you are being denied insurance and cannot get a payout; if you are having rental issues due to the floods.

The NZ Malaysia Business Association (NZMBA) and its secretariat, Stace Hammond Lawyers are assisting the community with pro-bono legal consultation regarding these matters until the end of February 2023.

Dave Ananth +64 21 021 68888
Pam Louis +64 22 0856608
Roshidah Mangnall +64 21 630088



If you need urgent repair work done to your home or commercial property.

HD Contractor Ltd., a member of the NZ Malaysia Business Association (NZMBA), has a handyman and building team available to assist with small, urgent flood damage repairs to your property.  Availability dependent on capacity.

ENQUIRIES / QUOTES:  09 – 2641559  / 09- 2641442

NZ Based Malaysian Volunteers help fellow citizens to deliver postal votes in time

As Malaysia moves forward with its 10th Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and unity government, we reflect upon the incredulous journey, unprecedented numbers and global effort of 48,109 overseas postal voters to exercise their voting rights against a race of time, combined with a 73.89% voter turnout on home ground

Article first published in Bernama, 17 November 2022 –

Based on 2020 United Nations statistics, there are about 1.86 million Malaysian living overseas. In 2022, the figure is suspected to be higher. Most are in the bordering countries like Singapore, Indonesia, and Brunei. Unofficial sources peg the number of registered overseas postal voters for the 15th General Elections (GE15) to 50,000 which is a staggering increase compared to just under 8000 during the 14th General Elections.

Polling day is on the 19th of November, leaving 14 days for overseas voters in an almost impossible race to receive and return their ballot using normal international courier lines, added with the uncertainty if these courier lines will still be operating in Malaysia on polling day itself. Ballots will take time to be received at the voters’ overseas address, they will then have to choose their elected representative, find a Malaysian witness for their ballot identity form, and locate an express postal service, and mail it back to Malaysia. To many in rural places overseas, this can be a momentous task, let alone the urban centres. The returning officer at the relevant constituency must receive the ballot by the time polls close at 5pm MYT in order for it to be counted otherwise all the voters’ efforts will be in vain.

From past experience in GE14, most ballots arrived in the 2 to 4 days prior to polling day with many international couriers having to turn away desperate overseas Malaysians wanting to courier their ballots home. Out of sheer necessity, Malaysians organically began the inaugural “GE14 Amazing Race” to fly their ballots home in time, depending on nothing but trust, compassion, and a united network of Malaysians across the globe, and at home, blurring all racial lines and intolerances to ensure their votes counted. This GE15, the Malaysian diaspora have embarked on yet an another “Amazing Race” albeit in a more coordinated fashion.

The Malaysian diaspora in New Zealand are getting help from a united network of associations and individuals in New Zealand (NZ) : Malaysians in New Zealand and selfless volunteers, NZ Malaysia Business Association ( NZMBA ) and it’s secretariat, Stace Hammond Lawyers, Bersih NZ (Bersih 2.0 New Zealand), combined with the expertise and assistance Global Bersih, Global Malaysian Network (GMN) , and plugging into the Undi 18 ballot delivery network in Malaysia. These entities and countless individuals have combined forces to help Malaysian voters in NZ understand the overseas postal voting process, guide them in a logistics plan that spanned the North and South Islands of the island nation, to fly their ballots home to Malaysia.

NZMBA President Dave Ananth and NZMBA Secretary Pam Wong-Louis who is also the city coordinator for Bersih NZ under the larger Global Bersih umbrella, both commented “We decided to step in as many Malaysians were confused, on how to get their votes home within a short time frame. There are many students, holiday workers, tourist and Malaysians visiting family from Auckland to Queenstown besides those who are permanent residents here. Many are young voters for the first time who are anxious to make sure they get their votes counted. The tight deadline is a real worry, they added.

Ballot secrecy and tampering was an issue that had to be considered, as well as the flyers safety through customs, carrying the sealed ballots of unknown voters. In order to maintain the sanctity and the integrity of the vote and address these security issues, the NZMBA garnered the support of its secretariat, Stace Hammond Lawyers to act as a witness and ballot collection point in Auckland, where the majority of votes are centred.

The Election Commission (EC) had set nomination day on 5th November 2022 and the overseas postal voter ballots were released on 7th November 2022. According to Pam, “Ballots started arriving in New Zealand from 14th November from statistics garnered from a NZ-wide poll carried out by the NZ team. Due to strict cut-off times that have to be adhered to in order to send off as many ballots collected NZ-wide to Malaysia by 17th November 2022, arriving the next day, many ballots may well be left behind. Nevertheless, every ballot counts and each Malaysian voter here who has sent their ballot home is proud to fulfil their civic duty as a Malaysian citizen. It is this ownership of the right to vote, that is the spirit of democracy that Malaysians carry with them across the globe.”

The NZ team, from previous experience in GE14, realised that most of the ballots would be incoming two days before polling and realised that there would be a gap between polling day and the Undi18 collection cut-off point on the eve of polling day, whereby late incoming international flights bearing last-minute ballots would have no one to help them receive and deliver the votes. As such, the team embarked on establishing a delivery network in Malaysia for all countries, consisting of runners on motorbikes, cars and domestic flyers. The NZ team initially sought the help of Bersih NZ’s old runner networks and contacts during GE14, but in order to expand the network very quickly they sought out the assistance of hundreds of dedicated and selfless volunteer runners and flyers through Global Bersih and the Global Malaysian Network. Thus, the GE15 Volunteer Runner Network (VRN) was born as an initiative under the Global Bersih and Global Malaysian Network umbrella. Within one and a half weeks, an entire network encompassing all Semenanjung states (except Langkawi); Kuching, Bintulu and Kota Kinabalu in East Malaysia were established.

The essence of this massive cooperation was based on the humanitarian principles of trust, honesty, and kindness, carried out in true Malaysian spirit through a principle of “tumpang nasib”. It is a principle that is prevalent throughout Malaysian life, from the villages to the urban centres, where one shares their kindness and generosity with another to help them get ahead. From the overseas Malaysian voter who entrusted his ballot to volunteers who helped to witness, check and seal his documents, to strangers who flew his and countless others’ votes home, to the volunteers in Malaysia who wait patiently at the international airports to accept incoming ballots, to those who are tasked with sorting ballots into the early hours of the morning, to the runners who will ferry the ballots all the way to the overseas postal voters ballot boxes. It is an endearing and unforgettable sight to behold Malaysians from all walks of life, blurring all racial lines and political ideologies, to be unified in a vision of a better Malaysia for all.

New Zealand’s University of Waikato keen to collaborate with Malaysian Universities

Read the full published article by Bernama, Malaysia’s national news agency here:

New Zealand has a long-standing history with Malaysian students since the 1950’s under the Colombo Plan. The plan allowed Malaysian students to further their education in New Zealand. This year, 2022, Malaysia and New Zealand share 65 years of diplomatic relationship, one of the oldest in Southeast Asia.

The last two years during the Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge for universities in attracting foreign Students. Post-Covid, New Zealand tertiary institutes are working to attract more students from Malaysia as part of the country’s efforts to promote it as a first choice destination for world-class education. An arrangement on higher education co-operation was signed between the two countries in 2013. In 2019, further education relations were reinforced between New Zealand and the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

At a recent meeting between Waikato University Vice Chancellor, New Zealand Malaysia Business Association (NZMBA) and Consul Group, Waikato University expressed its keenness to explore further possibilities to tie up with Malaysian education providers in providing quality education.

The University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand is keen to partner with Malaysian universities and educational institutes on twinning and educational and research opportunities. The Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University, Neil Quigley, expressed this in a meeting with New Zealand Malaysian Business Association (NZMBA) President Dave Ananth recently at their campus recently.

Also present were Waikato University’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and Director of the International Office: Professor Alister Jones and Sharon Calvert respectively; as well as Executive Chairman of Consul Group, Patrick Wilson; and NZMBA Hamilton Chairman, Alan Chew.

“New Zealand has been catering for Malaysian students for a very long time since the 1960’s, primarily through the Colombo Plan”, Neil said.  “Malaysian students are excellent, disciplined, and hard working”. Alan Chew, a Malaysian-born local graduate, also the inventor of New Zealand’s Covid-19 tracer app, echoed the same sentiment.

Dave added that Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine has drastically changed the world landscape.  

New Zealand is seen as a safe haven for families and students who do not want to be caught in unstable world affairs. The number of people applying to come to study in NZ is growing, now that our borders are open, he added. He stressed that Malaysians should explore other areas of study including marine science, farming , agriculture, food production amongst others.

Patrick Wilson, who is also Managing Partner of Stace Hammond Lawyers, Consul Group’s legal arm, and the oldest law firm in Hamilton, Waikato, said that Hamilton being one of New Zealand’s largest cities is very conducive for students to live in whilst receiving a world-class education.  Hamilton has less distractions of the larger cities, with a lower-cost of living and its city-campuses and surroundings are conducive to study. It has everything you need here with Auckland not far away.

NZ – Singapore bilateral trade pathways expanded

NZ – Singapore bilateral trade pathways expanded via the NZ Malaysia Business Association Inc (NZMBA), with the support of its secretariat, Stace Hammond Lawyers. An introductory meeting with His Excellency Sudesh Maniar, High Commissioner of Singapore in Wellington, led to further engagement with
Enterprise Singapore in Sydney to actively source NZ products and services for Singapore. Enterprise Singapore is the Singaporean government’s overseas trade arm.

big thank you to all

Dave Ananth, President of the NZMBA and Special Counsel for Stace Hammond Lawyers, strategising with Stace Hammond partners: Paul Connolly and Patrick Learmonth and NZMBA Secretary, Pam Louis at the NZMBA and Stace Hammond exhibition booth.

NZ Malaysia Business Association NZ Malaysia Business Association Inc and its Secretariat: Stace Hammond Lawyers would like to say a big thank you to all those who came to the Malaysian Carnival and Trade Expo 2022 last Saturday, and who gave their support to the various Malaysian organisations, especially the main organising student bodies, who put this event together for the Malaysian and wider community in Auckland. Thank you to the High Commission of Malaysia in Wellington, New Zealand, Tourism Board of Malaysia, Ministry for Ethnic Communities and Melissa LEE MP for your support of this event.



KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 (Bernama) — The dairy farming industry in New Zealand’s Northland region which is increasingly becoming competitive and resilient provides great opportunities for Malaysian investors seeking to develop a dairy processing plant with local partners.

President of New Zealand Malaysia Business Association (NZMBA), Dave Ananth noted the Northland region has a large land area suitable for dairy farming, besides a subtropical climate that supports stock growth in winter and spring.

He said Auckland based businessman Stuart Chapman, who is former managing director of Elders NZ, a business focusing mainly on livestock and wool, recently extended an invite to Malaysian investors to jointly develop a dairy processing plant on his farm in north of Auckland which is situated in Northland region.

“Demand for dairy products is accelerating strongly, particularly in developing countries, with New Zealand providing qualified investors the opportunity to have a direct investment in dairy farming in the best dairying regions of the country,” he told Bernama.

Dave, who is senior tax counsel with Stace Hammond Lawyers in Auckland, said he had the opportunity in joining Chapman and the Malaysian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Nur Izzah Wong Mee Choo, in visiting Chapman’s farm, recently.

He said during the working tour organised by NZMBA, Chapman mentioned that he has obtained all the required approval from local council and government for the proposed dairy plant, adding that he has enough local milk supply and ready buyers overseas.

“The plant will be equipped with the latest technology capable of producing Ultra-high-temperature processing (UHT) of milk and butter and sweetened condensed milk besides having the capability of being halal-compliant.

“We have everything ready, all the boxes ticked, from the supply to the buyers. It will be a win-win situation for the local community and the investor. The north of New Zealand does need a milk processing plant, operating on their own, independent of the big player” he added.

Dave said the five acre site of the proposed dairy processing plant has sufficient water for milk production, adding that there has been extremely strict environmental assessment done for waste management.

There are approximately 780 active dairy farms in the Northland region, with an average herd size of 318 and average milk solids per cow of 350kg in the 2018/19 season. Dairy is the second-largest contributor to economic activity in Northland.


Invitation to a hui on the new COVID-19 Protection Framework

Kia ora koutou katoa,

Earlier this week the Prime Minister announced that, subject to confirmation by Cabinet, New Zealand will move to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework soon after 29 November. This new framework will replace the current Alert Level system and is designed to help us manage COVID-19 with a highly  vaccinated population.

We know our communities have a lot of questions about the new framework and how it will work in practice.

To help understand the new frame work, we have organised a hui where Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) will talk about this in more detail and answer any questions you may have.

It will take place on the 24th November at 6.00pm to 7.30pm.

Because there are restrictions on gatherings of people the session will be run via Zoom and you can join through this link:

Meeting ID: 835 4083 8308 Password: 641116

We will be joined by colleagues from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet who will cover:

  1. The COVID-19 Protection Framework – An overview and what it means for you
  2. Information and collateral that will help you and your communities navigate the new framework
  3. Implementation – helping people to do the right thing and what to do if they aren’t
  4. Questions and answers.

Please email your questions in advance to We expect there to be a lot of information to cover, and this will help us tailor the session and make it as useful as possible.

Please RSVP by emailing to confirm if you are coming by 5.00pm 23rd November. We hope you can join us.

Ngā mihi

Joint initiative to assist investors expand into Australasia, Middle East and ASEAN Region

The NZ Malaysia Business Association Inc (NZMBA) and Malaysian Business Council UAE (MBC-UAE) have formed a bilateral partnership that serves as an influential platform for businesses in Malaysia, New Zealand and UAE to seek new opportunities and engage in high-level strategic business ties amongst the regions.

The joint NZMBA and MBC-UAE platform provides safe, reliable and lucrative networks and insider knowledge to help with establishing business interests and expanding markets in Australasia, Middle East and the ASEAN Region.

The collaboration between NZMBA and MBC-UAE is a strong and secure conduit for business, thereby uniting all three regions and more.

Read full article:

To get in touch with us, write to

Latest Update on Immigration NZ Rulebook.

Arran Hunt, Partner and Immigration specialist at Stace Hammond Lawyers, Updates us on the latest changes to the Operational Manual (Rulebook for Immigration NZ).

According to Arran… “A 24-month visa to be granted to someone who is awaiting a Skilled Migrant Category application decision, rather than the previous 12 month. It makes sense to make this change, as the same person could apply for an ESWV and get at least the same length of visa.

We have the operational manual changes, and they provide some much needed clarity.

Labour market test is gone for anyone who holds a work visa and is applying for a visa at the same job. That is ANY work visa, including open work visas.”

For further explanation Watch on Youtube: on the
Stace Hammond Lawyers – Immigration Youtube Channel


Samoa Initiates Discussion with NZMBA on Bilateral Trade and Business Opportunities in the Pacific, New Zealand, and Malaysia.

13 July 2021, Auckland, New Zealand.

The New Zealand Malaysia Business Association (NZMBA) with the Samoan Trade Commissioner and the New Zealand Samoa Trade and Investment Commission (NZSTIC) had a fruitful meeting at the office of Stace Hammond Lawyers on 13 July 2021, discussing bilateral trade and business opportunities between Malaysia, Samoa and New Zealand.

Samoa, a Pacific Island nation with a strong presence in NZ, has a largely agriculture-based economy. Current exports include seafood, mineral fuels, electrical machinery and equipment, and agricultural produce such as cocoa, taro, coconut, and palm oil.  Malaysia and Samoa’s bilateral trade is negligible. Total trade from Jan to May 2021, stands at RM7,559,291 with imports from Samoa at RM 126,461. A substantial trade imbalance exists, which Samoa wants to address.

NZMBA together with their secretariat Stace Hammond Lawyers and the firm’s Managing Partner, Patrick Wilson, have encouraged Samoa to look into the halal market in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Tafilelea Fa’avae Gagamoe, Acting Chairman of NZSTIC explained to the NZMBA President, Dave Ananth, how Samoa and its pacific island neighbours, including Papua New Guinea would be able to work together through an extensive labour force network that was readily available to upscale production to meet expanding global markets. Growing industries in Samoa are IT, infrastructure – in particular, water and waste management, renewable energy such as solar, biofuels and wind.

Ananth relayed that Samoa’s Trade Commissioner, Hon. Magele Mauiliu Magele, who visited Malaysia in 2014 as Minister of Education, realises that there is a great opportunity to tap into Samoa and the greater Pacific Region. Ananth said in a message, the following day, “I just had a zoom meeting with a Malaysian company and told them about the opportunities in the Pacific region. They are keen to explore especially with the current Covid-19 situation over in Malaysia. Samoa and the Pacific islands need to be explored and we are here to open doors for them”, he added.

Samoa has tremendous potential for Malaysian companies, and we can be the conduit working with the Samoan Trade Commissioner, Ananth says. “The Covid pandemic has changed the landscape and business thinking. The world has changed. We need to look beyond now, it is not about just ROI’s but also about health and safety. Whilst some countries are still playing politics with Covid, my suggestion is that we move on and do business, plan now, then you are set to run when the borders are open”.  


Read the full article here by BERNAMA: Daily:…/malaysian-halal-players…

The NZ Malaysia Business Association Inc (NZMBA) was invited by the Waikato Business Chambers CEO, Don Good to attend Fieldays 2021 with other local dignitaries. The invitation, besides the close working relationship NZMBA and the Chamber has, is also to explore halal products for the intended halal expo at the same venue in 2022. There were more than 1000 exhibitors this year but not many were in the halal industry.

NZMBA President Dave Ananth, who is also Senior Tax Counsel with Stace Hammond Lawyers (NZMBA’s secretariat) also attended the event with Stace Hammond Lawyers: Patrick Wilson and Paul Connolly. According to Ananth, the opportunity for the halal market is enormous. Ananth said, “I saw one or two halal exhibitors but there are many other opportunities: plenty from agriculture, dairy, milk, goat, crafts, fertilizers, technology. NZ manufacturers need to explore other markets, we need to sell, that must be the strategy. If we can expand NZ exports to include a wider range of halal goods to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, why not? We must think outside the box”.

“This is an amazing opportunity for businesses to showcase their products. We are keen on the halal opportunities available in clean green, Covid free New Zealand. There are tremendous opportunities for the right investor. We are happy to look for local partners in the region to tie-up with overseas investors be they from Malaysia or the Middle East. We want an expo tent here in 2022 to showcase NZ’s halal exports. That’s our focus, he says”.

NZMBA’s international marketing director, Norfahreen Azfy who is based in both Dubai and NZ said, “I have never seen anything like this. This is real: farmers, fantastic products, very different from what I have seen in the Middle East. It’s an amazing atmosphere, I am so thrilled to be here. I can already foresee so many opportunities for the NZ market in the Middle East.”

Asmuni Saharil, a human resource company director, in alliance with the NZMBA team is excited about introducing NZ cattle and goat that have been specifically bred for tropical climates, to Malaysia and Indonesia through a local company. Asmuni aims to take this to FELDA and some Malaysian State governments to seek collaboration.

NZMBA will be jointly working with MYDC – Myfundaction NZ, an Islamic-based NZ Trust currently involved in a lot of charity work, to help NZ businesses expand their outreach to halal markets beyond theirown shores.

Waikato Chamber CEO Don Good said, “We at the Chambers are fully supportive of NZMBA. We look forward to the many collaborations with the halal industry in the Waikato region and Islamic countries. “There are halal skincare and perfume products based and manufactured in NZ, come to us and the NZMBA, and we will tie the knots, he says.”

NZ’s contribution towards Malaysians affected by Covid-19

A documentary produced Zabrina Fernandez of Red Communications for Astro, highlights, among the many others affected by the pandemic, the story of the NZMBA’s Reachout Campaign and how stranded Malaysians in NZ were helped to get back home. The stories of Dave Ananth (NZMBA President), Esther, Pam Wong (committee members) and John Ho (stranded Malaysian overseas) are documented here.

*To Malaysians all over the world and at home, we stand with you in commemoration of Hari Malaysia and the experiences that bind us together.* #KitaJagaKita#Reachout

*There were many helping hands that helped to get our stranded fellow Malaysians back home, to you we say TERIMA KASIH from the bottom of our hearts.

Special mention to our High Commissioner Nur Izzah Wong Mee Choo and her amazing team, High Commission of Malaysia in Wellington, New Zealand*