Rachel Taulelei, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Rārua—LLB 1998
Rachel Taulelei is a prominent business leader, particularly in the food and beverage sector, and a strong advocate for the Māori economy and sustainability.
He toka tū mōana a Rachel Taulelei o te ao pakihi, arā, ki te taha o te wāhanga o Rongomātāne, ka mutu, he māngai hoki a ia e āki ana i ngā take ohaoha Māori me ngā take toitūtanga.
I muri iho o te whakapūmautanga o tana tohu ture mai i Te herenga Waka ka hono ia ki Te Taurapa Tūhono Aotearoa. I te mutunga iho ka noho ko ia hei kaikōmihana Taurapa mō Aotearoa ki Ngā Ānahera.
I te tau 2006 ka whakamairanga ake e ia he kamupene toitū kaimoana, arā, a Yellow Brick Road Ltd, ka whakawhanake ai i te whakaaro auaha e whai wāhi atu ai ngā whare hoko kai huhua puta noa i te motu ki ngā momo kaimoana whakahirahira. Mārama ana te kite atu i tana manawanui ki ngā mātāpono o te kaitiakitanga mā roto mai o āna mahi mō Yellow Brick Road me āna mahi hoki hei Tumu Wakarae mō te kamupene Māori, arā, a Kono, ā, tae noa mai ki āna mahi hei kaiwhakarewa taketake o te pakihi, Oho.
Kua toka tāna noho hei tātāriki o te ao pakihi i āna mahi i roto i te Manatū Ahu Matua, ā, kua eke atu ki te rua tekau tau a ia e whakatairanga ana i a Aotearoa hei kahurangi kāmehameha, hei puna hoki ō Rongomātāne.
I whakawhiwhia a ia ki te tohu Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award i te tau 2012. I te tau 2015 ka whakahōnoretia a ia ki te tohu a Te Kuini, arā, ki te New Zealand Order of Merit mō āna mahi mō te ora iti o Kahutore me te wāhanga manaaki. I te tau 2017 ka riro i a ia te karahipi pakihi a te Pirīmia. I te tau 2018 i whakaīngoatia a Rachel; he wahine tātāriki Māori pakihi i te hui taiea o te whare wānanga o Waipapa Taumata Rau mō nga amokapua o te ao pakihi Māori. I te tau 2019 ka whakawhiwhi ia ki tētahi o ngā tohu kahurangi o Aotearoa, arā, te tohu o te Kea World Class New Zealand.
Ko Taulelei hoki tētahi o ngā mema i rungā i te kaunihera kaitohutohu pakihi a Te Pirimia mai i te tau 2018 ki te tau 2020, ka mutu, i te tau 2019 ka tohua ko ia hei māngai mō Aotearoa i runga i te kaunihera kaitohutohu ohaoha o te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa me te moana o Āhia. Ko ia hoki te tiamana o ABAC mō Aotearoa i te tau 2021.
I tēnei wā tonu e noho ana a Taulelei hei tiamana mō Moana Aotearoa me te kaunihera kaitohutohu o Wellington Regional Stadium Trust (Sky Stadium). Ka noho hoki ia hei Tumuaki mo Warehouse Group, Sealord me ANZCO Foods. He kaitohutohu hoki ia mō Movac. I roto i āna mahi o mua i noho a ia hei manutaki mō Aquaculture New Zealand, Grow Wellington Ltd, Headwaters New Zealand Ltd, Moana New Zealand, New Zealand Hops, New Zealand Wine Grower, Sir Peter Blake Trust, Wellington Culinary Event Trust, Westpac External Sustainible Business Panel me te kamupene waipiro Yeastie Boys Ltd.
He mema hoki a ia o whare makatea o ngā manutaki o Aotearoa, ā, he ika whiro o te Hotaka Tumu Whakarae i te Whare Wānanga o Stanford.
After graduating from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Laws, Ms Taulelei joined New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, eventually becoming New Zealand trade commissioner in Los Angeles.
In 2006, she founded sustainable seafood company Yellow Brick Road Ltd, developing an innovative, provenance-based supply of fresh, responsibly caught premium seafood to hundreds of establishments across the country. She has taken this demonstrable commitment to kaitiakitanga into her current role as chief executive officer of Kono, a Māori-owned food and beverage company, and it will be a cornerstone value as she builds her start-up business design and brand strategy firm Oho.
She has established herself as a leader in business, with particular expertise in primary industries, and has spent 20 years promoting Aotearoa as a world-class producer of food and beverages.
She received a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award in 2012, was honoured as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the food and hospitality industry in 2015 and, in 2017, was awarded a Prime Minister’s Business Scholarship. In 2018, Ms Taulelei was named Māori Woman Business Leader at the prestigious University of Auckland Aotearoa Māori Business Leaders Awards and, in 2019, was the recipient of a Kea World Class New Zealand Award.
Ms Taulelei was a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council from 2018 to 2020 and, in 2019, was appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and chaired through New Zealand's 2021 hosting year.
Ms Taulelei presently chairs Moana New Zealand and the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust (better known as Sky Stadium). She is a director for the Warehouse Group, Sealord, and ANZCO Foods. She also acts as an adviser to venture capital firm Movac. Her past directorships have included Aquaculture New Zealand, Grow Wellington Ltd, Headwaters New Zealand Ltd, Moana New Zealand, New Zealand Hops, New Zealand Wine Growers, the Sir Peter Blake Trust, the Wellington Culinary Events Trust, the Westpac External Sustainable Business Panel, and craft beer company Yeastie Boys Ltd.
She is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Programme.