Reflections on Rewi: A Conversation with David Mahon

Date: Thursday 3 September
Time: 5-6pm
Venue: HMLT104 Hugh McKenzie, Kelburn Campus VUW [Map of venue]
In-Person: Register Here
Online: Zoom link

Image of Rewi Alley in 1939

Abstract Towards the end of his life Rewi Alley had a series of conversations with a young David Mahon, then beginning his 35 years of living in Beijing. Rewi had been used in New Zealand both to acclaim and disparage post-revolutionary China. He was heralded as the patron of New Zealand’s modern relationship and denigrated as an anachronistic figure, irrelevant then and today.  That tension remains. Yet Xi Jinping made it clear when he came to New Zealand that he knows and acknowledges Rewi’s legacy, in large part because of Rewi’s close links with Xi’s father.

David Mahon will reflect on where Rewi Alley would stand on the China of 2020.He will discuss the man himself against more recent commentary questioning his personal attributes and his ideology. He will reflect on how the China of 2020 stacks up against Rewi’s vision of what a new China should offer the Chinese people, and how it should act with the international community, including New Zealand.

About the speaker

David Mahon is the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Mahon China Investment Management Ltd and has lived in China since 1984. Mahon China is one of the longest-established foreign-owned investment and advisory firms on the Chinese Mainland. It has a history in private equity in a range of sectors and is currently General Partner of its fifth private equity fund. Mahon China also has a long track record in investment advisory and mergers and acquisitions. Its main focus is in the agriculture, food & beverage, and specialised manufacturing sectors. The company has wide experience in market entry and fundraising and undertakes specialised economic and commercial research on behalf of clients. Mr Mahon writes and publishes China Watch, a quarterly review of China’s political, economic and social developments, and the China-New Zealand Report. He is also a regular commentator in the Chinese and international news media.