Our Story

From translation to full wrap-around international relations services

origins of the company

Our story

Eastern Bridge Group was founded with a singular purpose: to foster meaningful connections and promote understanding between communities on a global scale. Established with the vision of facilitating mutually beneficial cooperation, the company has been a catalyst for prosperity in New Zealand and beyond.

The journey began by offering translation support to local governments, evolving over time to encompass a comprehensive suite of international relations and migrant engagement services. As the scope expanded, Eastern Bridge Group extended its support to local governments, council-controlled organizations, iwi, community groups, and even private companies and educational institutions.

During the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic, Eastern Bridge Group took a proactive step to support marginalized migrants, launching the Hongi platform. This dedicated media platform provides migrants with vital news and information, ensuring they remain connected and informed.

Today, Eastern Bridge Group is a united team of dedicated individuals who share a common passion for promoting international cooperation, goodwill, and prosperity. Our services span community exchanges, international trade, education, investment, and communications, reflecting our commitment to facilitating positive change across borders.

At Eastern Bridge Group, our journey is fueled by a deep-seated belief in the power of collaboration and understanding, driving us towards a future of enriched connections and shared prosperity.

Simon Appleton

Our founder

In 2014, Simon embarked on a mission to bridge the gap between local government ambitions for international connectivity and the practical means to achieve it. Recognising the potential of effective outsourced international relations, Simon set out to empower New Zealand communities to engage on a global scale and seize the opportunities that such engagement presents.

As Eastern Bridge evolved, Simon's deep appreciation for the diverse migrant communities in New Zealand grew. He aimed to enhance the ability of councils and community organisations to connect with these communities, leveraging their potential for mutual benefit. Simon's commitment to regional prosperity and growth remains at the core of his endeavors.

Simon's journey into the world of Asia began after he moved to Beijing immediately after completing high school. Over the span of nearly a decade, he immersed himself in China, working in media and education sectors, and achieving a Masters Degree in Chinese Law from the esteemed Renmin University. Simon's experience extended to South Korea, where worked in local government and education for three years.

Upon his return to New Zealand, Simon took of the role of Economic Development Officer at the Opotiki District Council and was seconded to ToiEDA, a regional economic development agency, further reinforced his commitment to economic development, youth empowerment, and community well-being.

Simon's profound international experiences and aspirations converged in the inception of Eastern Bridge. Apart from his role as Founder and CEO, Simon holds the honorable position of the Republic of Korea's honorary consul in Hawke's Bay and serves as the Executive Director for the Korea New Zealand Business Council. His unwavering dedication continues to shape Eastern Bridge's path towards fostering understanding, prosperity, and growth.

the divisions of Eastern Bridge

Our structure

In response to the changing landscape brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, Eastern Bridge underwent a significant transformation in 2022 and 2023. Recognising the need for a more adaptable and dynamic approach, we restructured our operations to better serve our mission and expand our impact.

Central Pillars of Eastern Bridge Group:

1. Eastern Bridge Limited and Consulting: Our founding entity, Eastern Bridge Limited was rebranded to Eastern Bridge Consulting, remain at the core of our operations. Committed to community well-being and economic development, these pillars continue to foster relationships and provide specialised consulting services to various organisations.

2. Eastern Bridge Education: Launched in 2022, Eastern Bridge Education now handles all our education programs. We believe in empowering minds through quality education and fostering a welcoming environment for international students seeking learning experiences in New Zealand.

3. Hongi News and Information Foundation: In the same year, we established the Hongi Foundation, a not-for-profit society dedicated to delivering reliable news and information to migrant communities. This initiative reflects our commitment to nurturing informed and engaged societies.

4. Eastern Bridge Global Trade: 2023 marked the birth of Eastern Bridge Global Trade, offering comprehensive export support, procurement solutions, and brand development for New Zealand businesses. Our goal is to open new avenues for growth in international markets.

5. Eastern Bridge Digital: Also launched in 2023, Eastern Bridge Digital specialises in AI consulting and the development of applications that facilitate cross-cultural communication, migrant engagement, and multilingual marketing. We harness technology to foster meaningful connections and bridge cultural gaps.

Future Endeavors and Expansion:

As we look to the future, our ambitions remain resolute. Eastern Bridge Group plans to expand into new horizons, with the planned launch of Eastern Bridge Tourism and an Investment entity. Our vision extends beyond Asia, reaching into Africa and the Middle East, broadening our scope of impact and fostering connections that transcend continents.