‘Monsoon Munchers’ in Sri Lanka
ECONOMYNEXT – Eminent personalities associated with New Zealand and calling their group "Monsoon Munchers" have visited Sri Lanka as part of their annual visit to familiarise themselves with an Asian destination.
The group, including a former governor-general of New Zealand; a former governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand; retired top diplomats from Australia, Britain and New Zealand; as well a top editor, held talks with local dignitaries.
The group was hosted in parliament by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, and the visitors were also hosted for lunch by State Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne.
The New Zealand-based Monsoon Munchers include personalities who at some time of their careers were associated with New Zealand and have a keen interest in Asia.
The list of visitors and their brief bios:
Alan Bollard and Jenny Morel
Dr Alan Bollard is Executive Director of APEC. He was previously Governor of the Reserve Bank, Secretary to the Treasury, Chairman of the Commerce Commission and Director of the New Zealand Institute for Economic Research. He is also a novelist, biographer and painter.
Jenny Morel is a company director, founder of an investment bank specialising in technology companies, and founder and CEO of venture capital firm No 8 Ventures.
Tony and Susan Browne
Tony Browne was Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Ambassador to China, Director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taiwan, and High Commissioner to Vanuatu. He is now a member of the Executive Board of the New Zealand China Council, Chairman of the Victoria University of Wellington Confucius Institute and Chairman of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre.
Richard Fell was the British High Commissioner in Wellington. He had previously served in Asia in Saigon, Vientiane, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. He is now Book Review editor of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.
John and Philippa Larkindale
John Larkindale was Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, High Commissioner to Australia, and Ambassador to Russia. He is President of the New Zealand Institute of Public Administration.
Richard and Dianne Long
Richard Long was Editor of the Dominion, Wellington’s daily newspaper. He was a war correspondent in Vietnam, and head of the Dominion’s Parliamentary press gallery team. He was Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition, a Director of Television New Zealand, and is Chair of the New Zealand France Friendship Fund.
John Luxton and Mary Scholtens
Hon John Luxton is Chair of the Asia New Zealand Foundation, a former Minister of Agriculture and nine other portfolios, and a director of a number of agricultural businesses. Mary Scholtens QC is a barrister.
Bruce and Trinh Middleton
Bruce Middleton is a former Ambassador to Mexico. He served in the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo and Saigon.
Geoff and Rachel Miller
Geoff Miller was Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, and Ambassador to Japan and Indonesia. He was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Director-General of the Office of National Assessments.
Rachel Miller recently published a history of wives and partners in the Australian Foreign Service.
Michael and Lynda Potts
Michael Potts recently retired as Australia’s High Commissioner to New Zealand. He was High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ambassador to Vietnam and Ambassador to Austria. He was Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister John Howard.
Michael and Wen Powles
Michael Powles was Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador to China, Ambassador to Indonesia, and High Commissioner to Fiji. He was a Human Rights Commissioner and has written or edited several books on the South Pacific. He is the son of New Zealand’s first High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Sir Guy Powles.
Wen Powles was Consul General in Shanghai. She is now Director of the Victoria University of Wellington Confucius Institute.
Anand and Susan Satyanand
Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand is Chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation. He was Governor-General of New Zealand, an Ombudsman and a Judge. He is Patron of Transparency International in New Zealand and a member of Transparency International’s global Advisory Council.
Gordon and Marie Shroff
Gordon Shroff was Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Head of the New Zealand Aid Programme, and Head of the New Zealand Immigration Service.
Marie Shroff was Secretary of the Cabinet for 15 years, and subsequently New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner.
Frank and Marina Wilson
Frank Wilson’s first posting was in Vietnam where he organised the evacuation of New Zealand nationals at the fall of Saigon. He later became Chargé d’affaires in Moscow (after the Ambassador was expelled), Ambassador to Chile and Consul General in Hong Kong. (COLOMBO, August 21, 2016)