Rachel Taulelei was named Māori Woman Business Leader for 2018 at the prestigious University of Auckland Aotearoa Māori Business Leaders Awards. The award recognises a Māori woman who has achieved significant success in her career to date.

“The award is a recognition of a momentous team effort, as we never get to these places alone,” Ms Taulelei says.  “It’s important to celebrate for a number of reasons – not least of which is that shining a light on Māori women in business ensures we are visible to young women, those just getting started in their careers.  If we’re visible and available, it makes it infinitely easier for young wāhine, and young Māori tāne, to identify themselves in future positions of leadership.”

The annual Aotearoa Māori Business Leaders Awards, now in their 14th year, celebrate the success and achievements of Māori business leaders.

“It is an honour and a privilege to receive this award and to be in the company of other current and future leaders,” Ms Taulelei says. 

“I’m driven by ideas of Māori excellence and creating a space where our capability meets potential. By understanding what role I can play in supporting, advancing and celebrating Māori because as a friend of mine says, the end of the day, what’s good for Māori is great for the world.”

Previous winners of the Māori Woman Business Leader award include Hinerangi Raumati (2017) and Wakatū Incorporation board member Miriana Stephens (2016.)

Notes for editors

Rachel Taulelei has been the CEO of Kono NZ since 2015. Kono is a Maori-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 products include Tohu, Kono and Aronui wines, Kono mussels, Annies fruit bars, and Tutū cider.

Kono is an associated business of Wakatū Incorporation. Based in Nelson, Wakatū has approximately 4,000 shareholders who descend from the original Māori land owners of the Nelson, Tasman and Golden Bay Regions – Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island.

More information about Kono

The University of Auckland Aotearoa Māori Business Leaders Awards
The awards are run by the University of Auckland Business School. A steering committee of Māori business and government figures from throughout the country guide selection of the winners.

More information about the Awards