PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council

18 November 2019

Placing diverse New Zealand business and trade interests firmly on the APEC agenda is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been selected to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC). Rachel Taulelei will also be ABAC chairperson for New Zealand when the country hosts APEC in 2021.

“As part of the Government’s ongoing work with business to strengthen the economy, I am seeking to balance representation of Māori business interests, women, small and medium Enterprises, regions and key business sectors,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“That’s a lot to ask but I am confident Rachel, Malcolm and Toni will do us proud and provide strong business input New Zealand businesses in the APEC community,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The ABAC’s primary function is to provide advice to APEC leaders each year on the implementation of APEC’s work programme from a business perspective. It is made up of three private sector representatives from each APEC member economy.  

When New Zealand hosts APEC in 2021, New Zealand will also become the Chair of ABAC for the host year. The New Zealand ABAC members will provide a business perspective to the hosting and reflect New Zealand’s business diversity

Rachel Taulelei is the CEO of Kono New Zealand, founder of sustainable seafood company Yellow Brick Road and formerly New Zealand Trade Commissioner in Los Angeles. In 2018 Ms. Taulelei was named Māori Woman Business Leader at the University of Auckland Aotearoa Māori Business Leaders Awards. She presently sits on the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.

Malcolm Johns is the Chief Executive of Christchurch International Airport Ltd. and Director of Lyttleton Port. He was previously CEO of InterCity and Deputy Chair of Tourism New Zealand and of the Tourism Industry Association. He is a member of the Trade for All Advisory Board and the Advisory Board for the Sustainable Business Council.

Toni Moyes is Chief Operating Officer at Montoux, and was previously Chief Operating Officer at 8i, a holographic technology company. She is the co-creator of Leading Ladies – a peer networking organisation offering women support, guidance and encouragement in their professional lives. Before entering the private sector, she held a number of roles at the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment and at Treasury.

The three new appointments will replace outgoing ABAC members: Phil O’Reilly, Tenby Powell and Katherine Rich, whose terms end this year.

The Prime Minister thanked the trio for their work, saying they have “performed exceptionally well for New Zealand”.

APEC 2021 will be the largest international event ever hosted by the New Zealand Government and provides opportunities to deepen New Zealand business connections and advance trade interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

Media contact: Ellen Read 021 562 332

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