Matthew OMeagher




Cientiros Ltd.

Dr Matthew O’Meagher is an international education consultant and strategist, and a former education diplomat, university manager, and academic. He became an LANZBC Director in November 2011 and was elected President in May 2013.


Latin America has defined Matthew's career since his 1994 PhD in modern Latin American History from Duke University. As the founding Director of New Zealand’s first research centre of Latin American Studies from 2002-07, he worked assiduously to connect the worlds of academia, government and business by organising conferences on business opportunities for New Zealanders in that region.


As the New Zealand government’s first Education Counsellor in South America from 2007-09 he integrated New Zealand higher education institutions into the Becas Chile scholarship scheme, promoted New Zealand education expertise in Latin America, and supported schools, polytechnics and universities recruiting South American students.


As a senior International Relations manager for the University of Auckland from 2009-13, Matthew was instrumental in raising awareness across his institution of the research and recruitment opportunities existing in Latin America in educational leadership, English language teaching, public health, environmental science and alternative energy.


Matthew has recently founded Cientiros Limited, which specialises in higher education strategy, knowledge partnerships across emerging markets, human capital development, and public policy design and implementation. He is also the Project Manager for the University Roadmap being developed by Education New Zealand to chart a vision for growth in international education for New Zealand's universities.





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Vice President

Cullen Law

Peter Cullen established Cullen – The Employment Law Firm and continues to direct it as a partner.

The firm is a specialist employment law firm with a wide range of employer and employee clients. Peter uses his legal skills to impart clients with helpful advice upon which to base their decisions. His strengths lie in his in-depth knowledge ofNew   Zealandemployment law and his abilities as an advocate.


Peter is involved in developing strategies for migrant workers from Latin America to find employment withinNew   Zealandand strengthen the ties between our countries. He is also exploring other business opportunities inLatin America.


Serving as Vice President for the Wellington Employer’s Chamber of Commerce Board and as a member of the Employer’s Chamber of Commerce Policy Council strengthens Peter’s involvement with manyWellingtonbusinesses and organisations.


Media frequently seek his advice on employment and industrial law issues and Peter writes a column for the Dominion Post newspaper.


Strengthening the links between Latin American countries andNew Zealandis important to Peter and he has good relationships with the Latin American diplomats and embassies inWellington.


Visit Cullen- The Employment Law Firm’s website or Facebook:

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Group Limited

Clare Callow



Agritour Associates


Clare Callow has been a LANZBC member for 15 years, a director for sevenyears and served as president 2011 - 2013.

Clare is the founder and director of Agritour Associates Limited, a company that since 1983 has been promoting the adoption of New Zealand agri-technology by the international  agribusiness sector.  


Agritour Associates is New Zealand’s leading specialist agricultural tourism company devoted solely to technical agricultural, horticultural and rural tourism – it provides international clients with access to New Zealand’s leading farms, research establishments, agribusinesses, orchards and forests where best-practice is demonstrated. Latin American countries are a key source of clients for Agritour and New Zealand’s agriculturally focused businesses, particularly where pastoral livestock farming is an option.  


Clare is professionally trained with an agricultural science degree from Massey University.  She works in and has business involvement with a range of agriculturally-related areas of which Agritour Associates is one.  She continues a career-long involvement with animal breeding and genetics, focusing on sheep performance recording with The New Zealand Animal Breeding Trust of which she is General Manager; she owns a start-up company, Agritech New Zealand Limited, with the development of liquid organic fertiliser being one of its areas of interest.


Successful technology transfer is the key to all aspects of Clare’s business - her background and training as a former government animal husbandry consultant equips her well for communication of and education in complex technical areas. Further, her interest in the educational sector and her longstanding Trustee position on the Board of New Zealand’s largest independent co-ed preparatory boarding school has ensured Clare has kept abreast of developments in the communication and education fields.  



Leandro Cavalcanti


Executive Director

Reel Brazil Film Festival

Leandro is the Executive Director & Producer of the Reel Brazil Film Festival. He has over 12 years experience helping organise and run film festivals in New Zealand and abroad. In between film festivals he works as a contractor on a variety of projects within the project management and business analysis space and, in turns, as a business facilitator helping New Zealand and Brazilian businesses understand and do business with each other. He also has a keen interest in boosting commodities trading between the two regions.

Originally from the state of Minas Gerais where most of the Brazilian-originated coffee in NZ comes from, he is a Wellingtonian at heart and has made New Zealand his home since 2000. He has also lived for 5 years in London and 2 years in Toronto.

When he first arrived in the country, he worked in Wellington movie theatres and cafes to learn about the hospitality and movie industry. Between 2002-2006 he worked for the Brazilian Embassy in the trade and cultural promotions sector. Following that he spent two years in Toronto helping set-up and run a Brazilian film festival. In 2009 he returned to New Zealand and founded Reel Brazil; today the largest annual Brazilian event in the country and the main gateway for Brazilian cinema, as well as a stage for fomenting business and cultural exchange between New Zealand and Latin America (

From his time at the Brazilian Embassy to current days, he has built an established network of contacts in the arts, entertainment, government and select business sectors in Brazil, New Zealand and Canada. He has developed a deep understanding and hands-on experience of the ins-and-outs of doing business between Brazil, and is passionate about "selling" New Zealand as a business and tourist destination to Latin America.


Jane Coombs



 Ex Offico


Ministry of

Foreign Affairs

& Trade  

Jane Coombs is the newly appointed Divisional Manager of the Americas Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  She has taken up this role on return from Washington DC where she has spent the last three years as Deputy Chief of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy.


Jane is a career diplomat, with wide experience across a range of New Zealand’s foreign policy and trade interests.  Prior to her move to Washington she served as New Zealand’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2006-2008, (and was concurrently accredited to the DPRK). 


Jane started her diplomatic career in New York, at the New Zealand Permanent Mission, where she represented New Zealand from 1989-91 on the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly which deals with human rights, social and cultural issues.  She was elected Vice Chair of the Committee in 1990.  She was also closely involved in New Zealand’s successful UN Security Campaign.


From 1995-1998 she served as Deputy Head ofMissionat the New Zealand Embassy inMoscow.  She and her family were then posted toCanberra,Australia, from 1999-2003, where she was the Economic Counsellor responsible for taking forward the Closer Economic Relationship (CER) betweenNew ZealandandAustralia.  


From 2003-05 Jane was lead negotiator forNew Zealandin United Nations agreements dealing with biodiversity and biosafety and headedNew Zealanddelegations to international meetings dealing with oceans and forestry issues.


In November 2008 Jane was invited to participate in the Asia Society’s Young Leader’s Asia 21 Summit. She undertook an executive education programme at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2009.   She is married to US-born Tim Strong, and they have one son, Connor.



 Education NZ

Charles Finny has been working closely on matters relating to Latin America since 1993/94 when he was involved in initial approaches to Chile about a FTA negotiation.  He has visited Chile and Mexico many times.  His most recent visit to the region was with the Prime Minister in March. 


Charles was actively involved in LANZBC business when he was CEO of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce from 2005-2010.


Charle"s principle current interest in Latin America is education.  He Chairs the Board of Education New Zealand and is on the Boards of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, The New Zealand Film Commission and Victoria University of Wellington.


Charles is a partner at the Wellington Government Relations company Saunders Unsworth.

 Nick Fitzpatrick


 Delica Limited

Nick is a New Zealand citizen with an active and on-going interest in Latin America. He has been working for Delica Ltd for the past 10 years, including setting up and running of Delica's Peruvian office from 2007-2012. Delica Ltd is part of the Turners and Growers Group and works exclusively with fresh fruit and vegetables. Delica has several international offices including Peru and Chile.


His interest in Latin America began during University in the mid-nineties, when the Latin American studies department was in its infancy. He graduated from Auckland University in 2008 with Double major in French and History. He then went on to work in the wine industry for several years, including living in France and Switzerland during 2000/2001. A love of travel and International relations and cultures drew Nick to working for Delica in 2003 where he promptly put his hand up to lead the companies then recent involvement in Chile/Peru. Delica now has 10 full time staff in Peru and Chile, and Nick oversees Delica's involvement in the continent.


Nick is fluent in Spanish and French, as well as English. He is married with 2 young children and has wide interests including reading, wine and football.

Thomas Manning


Manning Group Limited

Thomas Manning has been a LANZBC member for 25 years (through the NZ Mexico Business Council which merged to form LANZBC), a director for eight years and vice president 2011 - 2013.

With a background in Hospitality Management and a decade spent lecturing in Business Communication at the Central Institute of Technology in Heretaunga Thomas has accumulated over 25 years experience working in Latin America since he was contracted in 1987 to market CIT's English Language Institute in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Peru and pioneered the marketing NZ's export education services in Latin America.

Since 1987 Manning Group has successfully worked in a wide variety of sectors (principally in Mexico & Argentina but also in Peru, Chile and Uruguay) including Adventure Tourism (Shotover Jet Limited & A.J.Hackett Bungy Limited), Animal Health (MAFTECH), ESL Education (CITEC), Dairy Management (MAF Flock House Bulls), Post-graduate Education (Massey University), Food Processing (Watties Industries Limited), Trade & Product Promotions (Weddel Crown Corporation & NZ Meat Board), Construction (Puerto Vallarta Partnership) and Importing (Café Vallarta Partnership & Mexicorp Limited).


In addition to the activities in Latin America Manning Group Limited has also successfully owned and managed a number of New Zealand-based enterprises in hotel management, property development & investment and latterly, feature film production.

Craig Musson2


National Trade

Academy Limited


Craig is the Managing Director of the National Trade Academy Ltd which commenced business in January 2000.  NTA is a Private Training Establishment providing training courses in the Land Based Industries.


Prior to 2000 he was involved in training with the Agriculture ITO and previous to this had a number of years involved in the rural services sector and service administration with the Waimate District Council.


In 2006 Craig started his involvement in South America with the  P4 Trade Mission to Chile with NZTE. Since 2006 he has been to South America a number of times promoting NTA courses in Chile, Uruguay, Argentina Brazil and Colombia. Craig sees many opportunities in South America and is very happy to be involved with the LANZBC.

 Paola Neilson


Neilson Immigration


Silvana Scheone


Minter Ellison Rudd Watts


Silvana Schenone is a partner at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. She is qualified to practice as a lawyer in Chile and New Zealand, and is Master in Laws from Harvard University.


Silvana is experienced in advising local and foreign investors, both in English and Spanish, on a range of corporate matters, having acted for a number of clients on acquisitions, joint ventures and partnership arrangements, private equity investments, securities offerings and general corporate advisory work.


Before coming to New Zealand, Silvana lived and worked in the United States (Boston and New York) and before that she practiced law in Chile (where she was born), receiving multiple recognitions during her career.


Silvana now leads the Latin American practice of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, the only major New Zealand firm with a dedicated focus and expertise in Latin America.


Minter Ellison Rudd Watts is a long established New Zealand law firm with more than 40 partners and over 120 other legal staff across their Auckland and Wellington offices. For over twenty years, the firm has been a member of the worldwide Minter Ellison Legal Group, which is the only recognised top-tier global legal grouping owned and operated from the Asia-Pacific region.

Paolo da Silva

PAOLO lima

Suppremo Hospitality Solutions.

Passionate about History, Sociology and Economy, Paolo studied Law in Brazil and has resided in New Zealand for the last 11 years.
Paolo is a Brazilian businessman who started his career in events working for 5 years as a professional DJ in the finest complex of Hotels and Resorts in South America.

In 2004 decided to come to NZ to look for bigger challenges in the music industry. His event experience expanded into a hospitality based role at the Hilton Hotel and not long after, he noticed the need for specialised professionals for high-end events in the Auckland hospitality market and decided to open his own business, Suppremo Hospitality Solutions.

Nowadays, Paolo is the sole director of Suppremo, regarded as one the finest hospitality operations in the country with over 200 employees; He is also the founder of BRAINZ Intelligent Imports and is highly interested in Latin America trade, culture and heritage.

LANZBC Principal Sponsors

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12 December 2014 - Air New Zealand announced today it will begin thrice weekly Boeing 777-200 services to Buenos Aires, Argentina in a code-share association wth Aerolineas Argentinas from December 2015.  To read the full story:  Please Click Here

LANZBC in the News

    RadioLive Show:

    "Growing export opportunities for
    Kiwi businesses in Latin America"
    with Louise Pagonis, 14 May 2014:

    To listen please click here




The Right Honourable John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, addresses Members and guests about his March 2013 Mission to Latin America at Auckland's Stamford Plaza Hotel, 11 September 2013.  

For Mr Key's speech:
Please Click Here 

Guests were also addressed by Argentine Ambassador H.E. Sr. Fernando Escalona on behalf of the the Latin American and Caribbean ambassadors.  

For Ambassador Escalona's speech: Please Click Here



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