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Prominent business leader


Rachel Taulelei is a prominent business leader and a strong advocate for the Maori economy, values-based business models and our food and beverage industry.

After graduating from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Laws, Rachel joined New Zealand Trade & 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. Her commitment to kaitiakitanga has been evident throughout her career, from Yellow Brick Road, to her time as CEO of Maori-owned food and beverage company Kono, and now in her current role as co-founder of business design and brand strategy firm, Oho.

She has established herself as a leader in business, with a particular expertise in primary industries and has spent 20 years promoting Aotearoa as a world-class producer of food and beverages.

In 2012 Rachel received a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award, in 2015 she was honoured as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the food and hospitality industry, and in 2017 was awarded a Prime Minister’s Business Scholarship. In 2018 Rachel was named Maori Woman Business Leader at the prestigious University of Auckland Aotearoa Maori Business Leaders Awards, and in 2019 was the recipient a KEA World-class New Zealand award.

Rachel was a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council from 2018-2020 and in 2019, was appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC). She was the ABAC chairperson for New Zealand for APEC in 2021.

Rachel currently Chairs the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust (Sky Stadium) and Moana New Zealand, and serves on the boards of the Warehouse Group (where she Chairs the Environmental Social Sustainability subcommittee), ANZCO Foods, Sealord, the Young Enterprise Trust, and Queen Margaret College. She also acts as an advisor to venture capital firm Movac. Her past directorships have included Grow Wellington Ltd, Headwaters New Zealand Ltd, craft beer company Yeastie Boys Ltd, The Sir Peter Blake Trust, Westpac External Sustainable Business Panel, New Zealand Wine Growers, Aquaculture NZ, NZ Hops and the Wellington Culinary Events Trust.

She is a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Programme.

Rachel is a very engaging speaker - positive feedback from our Managers about her inspiring messages. Worksafe Conference

She is professional, generous and thoughtful with her presentation style.


Fantastic speaker, suited our style and audience well, and just generally a really inspiring experience.

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