The Southern Institute of Technology was pleased to host an evening with Mai Chen, one of New Zealand’s most influential public law specialists, last night. Mai spoke to a group of International students outlining her immigration experience as a young child from Taiwan to New Zealand and how she has paved her way to becoming one of New Zealand’s most highly respected lawyers.
Her message to international students was clear; in order to become successful in New Zealand you must practise your English and become a fluent communicator – without this, you will not be able to succeed. Mai further went on to advise the students to study hard and make the most of this opportunity afforded to them. Mai praised SIT Chief Executive Penny Simmonds and International Head of Department Bharat Guha for the way they look after the International students, saying “you are very lucky, here at SIT they look after you and you are special. In Auckland you are dime a dozen and the opportunities are not the same”.
Mai is a partner in Chen Palmer Law based in Auckland. Chen Palmer has won the Best Boutique Law Firm in 2010, and the Best Public Law Firm in the New Zealand Law Awards in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, and was a finalist in the Employment Law Awards in 2011.
Mai is the inaugural Chair of New Zealand Global Women. She has recently founded New Zealand Asian Leaders (2013), connecting top Asian NZ CEOs and emerging leaders with New Zealand companies doing business in Asia to enhance their success to help NZ Inc.
Mai won the Business and Entrepreneur Women of Influence Award in 2013. She also won Next Magazine’s Business Woman of the Year in 2011, and is a World’s Best New Zealander in the Kiwi Expatriates Network.
Mai has a First Class Law Honours degree from Otago University, a Master’s degree from Harvard Law School, is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, and an Honorary Associate of Auckland University of Technology.