Join CEO and business leader Rachel Taulelei (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Koata) as she shares about her journey to leadership - both the positives and the challenges and her aspirations for women in business in the future.
Rachel is a fierce advocate of New Zealand’s primary industry and has spent 20 years promoting Aotearoa New Zealand as a world-class producer of food and beverages.
CEO of Kono NZ since 2015, and founder of sustainable seafood company Yellow Brick Road, Rachel was formerly NZ Trade Commissioner in Los Angeles.
Kono is a Māori family-owned, top 100 New Zealand food and drinks company employing over 400 staff, farming over 530 hectares of land and sea, and exporting to over 25 countries. Their brands include Tohu, Kono and Aronui wines, Kono mussels, Annies fruit bars, and Tutū cider. Kono also produces apples, pears, kiwifruit, hops, and crayfish and is involved in sustainable fishing through Yellow Brick Road.
Kono is an associated business of Wakatū Incorporation. Based in Nelson, Wakatū has over 4,000 shareholders who descend from the original Māori land owners of the Nelson, Tasman and Golden Bay regions located within Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island.
Rachel was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to food and hospitality. She has received the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award, the Prime Minister’s Business Scholarship and was named Māori Woman Business Leader for 2018 at the prestigious University of Auckland Aotearoa Māori Business Leaders Awards.
Her directorships include Moana NZ, Wellington Regional Stadium Trust, New Zealand Wine Growers, Aquaculture New Zealand, and Young Enterprise Trust.