Summer reissue: Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to Rachel Taulelei, CEO of Kono.
First published June 4, 2020.
Independent journalism depends on you. Help us stay curious in 2021. The Spinoff’s journalism is funded by its members – click here to learn more about how you can support us from as little as $1.
Demand for New Zealand produce overseas is currently up. Our country’s careful and healthy management of the pandemic has shone a light on our products internationally as people want high-quality food and beverage made with Papatuanuku (Earth) in mind.
One of these producers is Kono, a whānau-owned Māori food and beverage business led by Rachel Taulelei. It sells food, wine, and produce all around the globe, from wines you know like Tohu to Annie’s fruit bars.
Before taking on the role of CEO, Taulelei founded Yellow Brick Road, a company selling the best seafood to top hospitality operators, and was the New Zealand trade commissioner in Los Angeles. Today, she’s on the prime minister’s Business Advisory Council and even talked to the PM for her series Conversations through Covid-19.
To talk about what being a whānau-owned business means and her hopes for the rebuild post-Covid-19, Taulelei joined us on the podcast this week.