Eastern Bridge

LGNZ Partner Page

Bridging the gap between New Zealand and Asia to promote economic development and social well-being.

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Eastern Bridge

Local Government

Our origins started with local government. In 2014, while working at the Opotiki District Council, founder, Simon Appleton saw the disconnect between local government’s desire to be internationally engaged and their ability to do so sustainably.

We provide local governments with an outsourced foreign affairs and migrant support team. We work with you to reach your economic development and social wellbeing goals.

As no two councils are the same the services are customisable. You can choose different options based on your needs, or you can request Eastern Bridge to analyse and identify the opportunities to feed into your strategic planning.

This page is for New Zealand Local Authorities and Council Controlled Organisations who want to go global.

Commercially sensitive information about our products and services is contained in this page. The information is provided for Local Authorities to assist in making an informed decision about contracting Eastern Bridge.

The information is exclusively for the Local Government network and we ask that you do not share it.

Our Goals

What work towards

Economic Development

Promoting economic development opportunities through leveraging our international partnerships

Social well-being

Providing opportunities for our community to build aspiration and knowledge about the world

Welcoming Communities

Creating welcoming integrated communities which benefits everyone

What we do for Councils

Our services


A multi-lingual online news, information and e-commerce portal designed to support your Council engagement with migrant communities. Hongi can also market your city, region or district, promote your business community and create economic development opportunities to an international audience.


International Relations Service

Incorporating strategic planning, business cases, Hongi and more, this is a wrap around service for organisations wanting to support social wellbeing and economic development through international relations.


Strategy Development

We’ll provide a detailed analysis of your community, then we can work alongside your team to identify goals and create a strategy which enables improved engagement with your migrant communities. We’ll also assist you with the implementation.


Waikato - Guangdong Proposal

The Waikato-Guangdong Provincial relationship is a proposed project to link the two regions. The project has been in the pipeline since 2019 and is backup up with full strategy outlining the various economic and community development opportunities


What sets us apart

Why Choose us

A team

When working with Eastern Bridge you have access to an international team with a range of skills

A track record

Trust in us, not for what we say we can do but for what we have already achieved

Extensive networks

With Eastern Bridge you can access opportunities from our global, influential network

Our Goals

Why we do what we do

Our goal is to improve the lives of the people who call New Zealand “home.” We believe by connecting our communities to the world, we can support economic development and promote social well-being, in turn making New Zealand a more welcoming and prosperous place.


Economic Enablers

  • Investment and business attraction
  • Trade facilitation
  • Skilled worker attraction
  • International student attraction
  • Tourism attraction
  • Offshore procurement
  • Hongi


Social Well-being Enablers

  • Training
  • Educational exchanges
  • Cultural exchanges
  • Overseas experience programmes
  • Internships
  • Offshore camps
  • Hongi


Our Core Values

Integrity and Honesty | We will not compromise our values and will act in a trustworthy manner at all times. 

Ngakau- tapatahi me te Pononga | Kaore matou a marie i a matou uaratanga a, ka mahi i roto i te huatanga matatika i nga wa katoa.

Achievements Orientated | We will gain results in a timely, innovative and economic manner. 

Whakatutukitanga Whakawaiatanga | Ka whiwhi hua i roto i te auaha me te ngawaritanga.

Respect diversity | We respect and learn from the many cultures found in New Zealand.

Te whakaute i te rereketanga | Ka whakaute, ka ako hoki matou mai i nga ahurea huhua i kitea i Aotearoa.

Satisfying Expectations | We will always look to understand our client community's expectations and try to achieve a high level of community satisfaction. 

Tumanako Manawareka | Ka ahei tonu matou kia mohio ki nga tumanako o to tatou iwi kainga me te whakamatau kia taea te tairanga teitei o te whakanatanga o te iwi whanui.

To give you a few ideas

Case studies

Eastern Bridge has worked with over 40 Councils and Council Controlled Organisations since 2014. We pride ourselves on our ability to come up with creative and practical solutions to suite any budget. Over the years we have met with hundreds of Mayors, Prime Ministers and three Presidents along with numerous business leaders in New Zealand and across Asia. We have assisted in attracting foreign direct investment, supported job creation, raised half a million dollars for scholarships and attracted hundreds of international students and tourists into regional New Zealand. Here are a few examples of the work we have done: