Eastern Bridge is a company which provides its clients with an outsources international relations management service, similar to a Foreign Affairs Office.The service incorporates many components including communication, marketing, research, delegation management, and training. The service is ideal for organisations, such as Local Government and Economic Development Agencies who want a cost efficient way to develop and manage their international partnerships. Eastern Bridge works with a range of clients, some in the early stages of engaging with Asia, other with advanced Asia engagements. Eastern Bridge's service have a strong Economic Development focus, however also consider cultural and educational activities.


The concept for Eastern Bridge came about when our Principle was working for a local government. During this time he saw the disconnect between local government’s need to be internationally connected and their ability to do so due to cost and access to experienced people. Eastern Bridge was established in 2014 to support local governments.


Eastern Bridge was founded in Auckland by Simon Appleton to support local councils to communicate with incoming Chinese investors. Eastern Bridge's first clients were Hauraki and Opotiki District Councils.


New services were added including Due-Diligence, Ethnic Media Management and Strategic Planning. Began offering services for Economic Development Agencies. EB joined a Prime Ministerial delegation to Seoul for the signing of the FTA with South Korea.


All of EB's activities were merged into one 'International Relations Management service". EB started leading offshore delegations. Korean and Japanese language support was added. First China based role established.


EB relocated to Hawkes Bay and partnered with Local Government New Zealand. EB registered and opened its China office and led 5 delegations to Asia. EB was involved in attracting over $120 million into regional New Zealand.

2018 Onwards

We will build on our 2017 success to increase our presence in China. We will manage the 2018 Mayoral China Delegation in partnership with Local Government New Zealand. Our China office has started providing educational and trading services to the Chinese market


We believe that New Zealand has a lot to benefit from being engaged with Asia, and vice versa. We hope that by opening dialogue and forming meaningful relationships with Asia, New Zealand will become a more vibrant and prosperous place.




Strategic Vision

Eastern Bridge works with its clients to look strategically at their international connections. As part of our service we will develop a strategic plan which helps guide the relationships which we manage.


Eastern Bridge maintains an extensive network of government and business people across New Zealand and North East Asia. When working with Eastern Bridge clients can be connected to this extensive network.

Experienced Team

Eastern Bridge’s team are based in New Zealand and China, and have a wide range of knowledge that you would expect from a fully developed Foreign Affairs Office.

Multi Cultural

Our multi cultural team can provide a different perspective when engaging with international partners. Our clients benefit from our cultural incites and training so not to make cultural faux pas when connecting with foreign partners.

Regional Focus

We are a regional based company with our headquarters in Hawkes Bay. We have a strong knowledge of, and passion for regional development. We regularly travel to meet our clients and when required accompany them offshore.


Simon Appleton (方志杰) is a recognised adviser in New Zealand Asia relations. Simon has spent close to a decade in Asia mostly in China and South Korea. He is a speaker of Mandarin and conversational Korean and holds a Master Degree in Chinese Law from Renmin University 中国人民大学. Since returning to New Zealand Simon has worked in local government and economic development roles before establishing Eastern Bridge in 2014. Simon is also the National Secretary for the New Zealand China Friendship Society and Executive Director for the Korea New Zealand Business Council. Simon also sits on the China Council advisory group.




Cecilia has a long and successful career in international trade and has travelled widely throughout Europe, Australasia and the Americas for work. Her understanding of Chinese and Western business culture is well respected and she a regular visiting professor at a University in Beijing. Cecilia has been working closely with Eastern Bridge since its formation and in 2017 became the Chief Representative for the Company in China.




Simon Appleton
Founder and CEO
Cecilia He
China Representative
Amy Tanabe
Executive Assistant (NZ)
Vivian Wu
Senior Advisor (China)
Kathy Yang
Executive Assistant (China)
Lei Tanabe
Japanese Market Manager
Jinyoung Kang
Korean Market Manager
Ian Appleton
Accounts Manager
Hayden Peacock
Researcher (China)
Merv Stark
Chief Adviser
Billy Qin
Andy Hillman
Miyoung Lee
Lulu Li
Chinese Market Manager


Postal address: PO Box: 7169 Napier

Phone: (09) 2162632 (Office) | Mobile: 0223969590

Email: amy@easternbridge.co.nz (Office Manager) | simon@easternbridge.co.nz (CEO)