Donald Sew Hoy
Managing Director, Glacier Investments Ltd
The Auckland-based family company, Glacier Investments has been contract manufacturing in China for 32 years. In 2000 Donald and Jennie relocated from Dunedin to Auckland to assist the growth of their business. Glacier Investments contracts 32 factories in China and Bangladesh and has overall scrutiny on the manufacturing of over three million garments a year – instrumental in employing over 2500 workers.
Donald was honoured with a QSM “For service to the Chinese Community” in the Queens Birthday Honours List 2008. Donald’s community work includes NZ Chinese Association, NZAL. Donald says “we want to raise the status of Chinese in New Zealand. We enjoy helping those less fortunate because we love New Zealand and we are New Zealanders. I like to give back as I can remember when I too was a poor Chinese boy way back in war-torn China. With my brother Duncan we waited in line for the Red Cross to give out food and clothing”
In recognition of his success, Donald was named 2015 Senior New Zealander of the Year in the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards. Glacier Investments recently received at the 2015 HSBC NZCTA Awards “The Cathay Pacific Special Relationship Award” for the outstanding contribution by an individual to the New Zealand China Relationship through success in their own industry.
During the NZ/Australia NAFTA negotiations in the 1980s, which freed up trans –Tasman trade, Donald was a spokesperson for the apparel industry, and in 1971 Sew Hoy & Sons won a coveted NZ Export Award .
Then, from 2006 came New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China. The Government consulted with Donald extensively as he was by then doing much business manufacturing in China, and importing into NZ.
He and Jennie were subsequently invited by Prime Minister Helen Clark to accompany her to Beijing to witness the signing of the NZ/ China FTA on April 7, 2008, inside the Great Hall of the People. He was invited to the official Government Luncheon by Premier Wen Jiabo . “That was the peak of my business career, to return to Beijing with our Prime Minister and see how China had improved , over all these years both socially and economically over all these years – it was just unbelievable” he says.