A "proud" New Zealander with extensive business links here and in China, Deyi "Stone" Shi has worked to cultivate a strong relationship with leading National Party figures since arriving 12 years ago.

He is the founder and chairman of the Oravida Group of Companies which exports New Zealand meat, wines, seafood, fruit and dairy products to China.

His New Zealand investment portfolio includes swamp kauri in Northland and a 5 per cent stake in NZX-listed honey products company Comvita.

Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye and National Party president Peter Goodfellow attended a function to celebrate Oravida's purchase of new offices in the former Ports of Auckland building on Quay St. The offices were opened last year by Justice Minister Judith Collins, whose husband, David Wong-Tung, is on the company's board.


Mr Shi paid $39 million for the Paritai Drive mansion partly financed by former Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin, and lives there with his wife and two children, the younger of whom was born in this country.

Mr Shi speaks limited English and is more at home on the golf course, playing daily. He has teed off with Prime Minister John Key.

Julia Xu, Oravida's managing director, says Mr Shi "is very proud of his New Zealand citizenship".