Rachel Taulelei, ONZM

Rachel Taulelei, a huge supporter of Food Writers New Zealand, has been made a member of the Order of New Zealand Merit on the new year’s honours lists. Here’s why.

For services to the food and hospitality industry, the award-winning co-founder of Wellington’s iconic City Market, former chair of Visa Wellington on a Plate and founder of seafood company Yellow Brick Road, Rachel Taulelei has been awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours list.

Now some may think this is for what has been a stellar career in eating and drinking in the nation’s finest restaurants, but there is far more to it. Rachel is a close friend; we have developed several businesses together – and it has been a joy watching her force radical change in the New Zealand fishing industry, developing an innovative pathway for a network of fishermen to get their product direct to hundreds of restaurants across the country. For many years, I was one of them, and it was with her supply of spankingly fresh fish that I finally built the seafood restaurant I had always wanted.

With an emphasis as much on provenance as sustainability and a strong commitment to kaitiakitanga as a way of doing business, Rachel has built a formidable reputation that has led to her current role as the CEO of Maori food and beverage company Kono NZ LP.

Martin Bosley
Photo credit Duncan Innes