Speech by Gianfranco Ugazzi at the Annual General Assembly 2021 after receiving an appreciation plaque for his contribution to the ICCNZ

I joined the ICCNZ in 2010 when I moved to New Zealand. At the time, I was based in Christchurch and remained there for most of the following years, facing the dramatic events of the earthquakes and aftermath. Since 2015, I spend most of my time at my house in the Auckland Area.

At the time, when I joined ICCNZ, the organization was in a survival mode or at its Nadir: around 20 members and almost absent in Auckland. The future looked bleak, but I considered myself as fortunate to have the opportunity to face a challenge.

It was a bumpy ride, but we moved on and improved the situation at all levels, increasing the number of members, the number and the quality of events, getting an improved presence in the country.

My real motivation to join the institution and to support it, with my work and financially, was to have a chance to pay back, at least, a small portion of the large debt I had to the Italian Community.

I grew up in Italy, I was educated in Italy and the investment in the “GU product” provided by my family and the Italian community at large was considerable. 

Updated statistics estimates that to raise a child in Italy, up to the age of 18, could vary, depending from the income of the family, between Euro 114 K to 270 K. If you get a tertiary education, as it was in my case, consider an extra substantial amount of up to 50 K.

I noticed that other people or entities have different motivations to join ICCNZ, from status symbols to tangible net economic advantages.

One thing I can only state, a business organisation such ICCNZ is basically a network of members having the same roots.

This network has an intrinsic value and independently how large or small is it, run on a voluntary basis or through a self-sustained structure, generates an added value. In other words, its output in terms of tangible and intangible assets is higher than the input provided by the members.

I sincerely hope that this way of thinking should prevail, and particularly large Italian Corporations, which benefit the most by the supporting Italian Communities domestically and internationally based, will commit themselves and stretch their financial and economic muscles in support of ICCNZ.

I extend my sincere wishes to the President, the Board and the Members of ICCNZ to succeed in improving and strengthening their organization.

I think that ICCNZ is on the right path of success, particularly since the milestone of establishing itself firmly in the economic capital of the nation.