Speaker Series



Thursday 8 August, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
The Boathouse, Nelson

The Women of Influence Speaker Series is an opportunity for people all over New Zealand, who aspire to make a significant contribution to their community, to fully realise their own potential by learning from some outstanding leaders who have done just that.

Join us for networking drinks and canapés, and hear from some of our amazing speakers including:
The Chia Sisters – Juice Crafters
Rachel Taulelei – CEO
+ more to be announced.




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The Chia Sisters

The idea for Chia was born in 2012 when Chloe, a neuroscientist, set out to create a nutritious on-the-go drink for her sister Florence, a national champion triathlete. Fast forward seven years, and they’ve just been named on the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list of game changers in the Asia Pacific.

Following the launch of Chia, made from hydrated chia seeds and antioxidant-rich juices, the sisters launched Awaka Sparkling Coconut Water and Bottled by the Sun Fresh Pressed Juice. All are natural and nutritious and free from added sugars. The pair have won numerous awards including Best Drink in New Zealand for 2019 and are now exporting to supermarkets and cafes across New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.

The Van Dykes’ business model is built around sustainability. In 2018 they opened New Zealand’s first solar-powered juicery and became Nelson’s first Living Wage accredited employers. They bottle their juices with recycled glass, maintain a zero waste policy and use low carbon ingredients.

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Rachel Taulelei

Rachel is the CEO of Kono NZ, a Maori-owned, top-100 New Zealand food and beverage company, farming more than 1,000ha of land and sea, and exporting to over 25 countries. Their brands include Tohu wines, Tutū cider, Kono mussels, Kiwa oysters, and Annies fruit bars. Kono NZ also grows apples, pears, kiwifruit and hops, and is involved in sustainable seafood through its Yellow Brick Road business.

Rachel is a fierce advocate of New Zealand’s primary industry, and has spent 20 years promoting New Zealand as a world-class producer of food and beverages.

A 2013 WOI finalist, Rachel has received the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award and is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to food and hospitality. In 2018 she was the recipient of the Māori Business Woman Leader of the Year award, and this year was named one of KEA’s World Class New Zealanders. She currently sits on the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.