One of the country's biggest ever mayoral trade missions to China is getting down to business on Tuesday morning.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown is heading a 34-strong group including representatives of 28 businesses on a five city mission over the next nine days.
The mission is seeking opportunities for Auckland-based firms and include business in sectors as diverse as manufacturing and film-making.
The trip includes logistical challenges such as dividing into as many as seven different sectors in each stopover.
The group's business leader, Stuart Fergusson, who chairs the New Zealand China Trade Association, says in China the status of mayors has a big impact on what the missions can achieve.
"By (a business lobby) attaching itself to a mayoral delegation there's an almost automatic entree at a significantly-higher level," Mr Fergusson says.
Auckland Council is spending more than $60,000 on the mission.
A similar group sets off from Wellington in May.