Tony Browne is Executive Chair of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre and chair of the Victoria University of Wellington Confucius Institute. He is a member of the Executive Board of the New Zealand China Council and chair of its Education Working Group. As a prominent figure in promoting Chinese language learning, in 2014 he was appointed as a Senior Consultant to Hanban, the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing. He is a member of the Business Advisory Board of the University of Waikato Management School and a Director of Taiwan New Zealand Trade Development Ltd.
Tony spent nearly 40 years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade before retiring in 2011. He was Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China from 2004 to 2009, heading the New Zealand Embassy throughout the negotiation of the New Zealand China Free Trade Agreement. Following his posting in Beijing be became Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade until 2011. Earlier in his career his roles included being Director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei, High Commissioner in Vanuatu, Director of the Ministry’s North Asia Division and Chief of Protocol.
A few months after New Zealand established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China he was posted to Hong Kong to undergo two years of Chinese Language training. He then spent two years in the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing from 1976 to 1978. He spent a total of twelve years living and working in “Greater China”.