The Great New Zealand Expatriate Directory
Richard Easther, Jolisa Gracewood, Amanda Peet and Mark C. Wilson
We propose the creation of a directory of expatriate New Zealanders, to
encourage the flow of skills and knowledge between the expatriate
community and New Zealand, and to link expatriate New Zealanders with
employment opportunities in New Zealand. The overall goal of the ``New
Zealand Expatriate Directory'' is to ensure that New Zealanders living
overseas are not lost to New Zealand.
Many professional associations and societies (the RSNZ and University
Alumni Associations, for instance) maintain networks of their own
members. The meta-directory we propose has these extra advantages: it
will be interdisciplinary, will extend beyond the borders of academia
and the professions, and will offer a single point of contact for
searchers. What we advocate is a more organised and versatile version
of the informal contact networks that New Zealanders create and
sustain as they move across the globe.
The following examples illustrate possible uses of the directory:
- Schools currently offering recruitment bonuses of several
thousand dollars to expatriate New Zealanders could search the
directory for qualified teachers living overseas.
- A New Zealand firm seeking legal representation in the United
States could search the directory for New Zealanders working in
American law firms, in order to locate lawyers familiar with both
- MoRST could locate expatriate New Zealander scientists to serve
as referees for grant applications, thus broadening the pool of
- A New Zealand yacht designer seeking short-term help with
computer simulations of a new hull design could search the directory
for consultants with expertise in computational fluid dynamics and
access to the supercomputers needed to perform the calculations.
- A film school seeking a visiting lecturer with insight into the
international marketplace to offer master classes (in screenwriting
or editing, say) could search the database for New Zealanders
working in the film industry overseas.
- An artist or performance group undertaking an international tour
could make contact with fellow artists or agents in the cities they
plan to visit.
- New Zealand firms working in (or expanding into) unfamiliar
international locations could find New Zealanders with the language
skills and cultural literacy to advise them on the local situation.
We envisage a computerized database accessible via the World Wide Web,
with searches and registrations also available by post or telephone.
Since much of the information in the directory will be private, and
because individuals currently employed overseas may not want to advertise
their willingness to consider job offers from New Zealand, strong privacy
safeguards will be needed if the directory is to function well.
Individuals adding their names to the directory would have the option of
providing different types of information, including
- Contact details and addresses.
- Professional and educational qualifications.
- Institutional affiliations and employers.
- Specific skills, and areas of special knowledge.
- The circumstances in which the information can be provided to
searchers (see privacy issues, below).
The existence of the directory, and an invitation to register, could
be advertised in a variety of ways. We suggest advertising on
websites read by expatriate New Zealanders (on-line versions of New
Zealand newspapers, web-sites such as nz.com, enzed.com,
and newsroom.co.nz), in newsletters and newspapers focussed on
expatriates (Newzgram or New Zealand News UK), and via university
Privacy concerns must be addressed and safeguards provided to ensure that
the information is not used for unwanted commercial or personal
The directory may work best if individuals can specify a variety of
privacy levels for the data they provide, as a person may wish to make
some details publicly available while restricting others to searchers
who have established their bona fides with the directory
Support and Ownership
In principle, this directory could be created and maintained by any
interested person or organisation. However, since it would be difficult
for it to be financially self-supporting, it will work best if managed,
or at least sponsored, by government.
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