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An Inspiring Experience With the Mana Whine Mission

Rhona Mackenzie, a business leader and co-founder of Auckland-based FMCG brand incubator Red Shoots, was selected as one of 26 inspiring women to participate in the inaugural all-women’s business delegation to Australia for the Mana Wāhine Mission. The mission, held from August 13th to 16th, aimed to represent the interests of Aotearoa New Zealand businesses in Australia and foster collaboration for the greater good.

The guiding whakataukī (proverb) for the mission was “Hāpaitia te ara tika, pūmau ai te rangatiratanga, mō ngā uri whakatipu,” which translates to “Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations.” This theme aimed to encourage learning, collaboration, and mutual support among the participants.

The primary objectives of the mission were to enhance New Zealand’s export growth, achieve commercial outcomes, and raise the profile of New Zealand exports in Australia. Delegates, including Rhona Mackenzie, had the opportunity to network and gain insights from accomplished businesswomen on effectively conducting business in Australia.

The mission featured influential business leaders from diverse companies and organizations such as ANZ, Country Road, Xero, Kantar, KeepCup, Cox Inall Ridgeway, Ngali, ACMI, and Melbourne Business School. The delegates also had the privilege of engaging with Hon. Barbara Edmonds, New Zealand’s Minister for Economic Development and Pacific Peoples, during the three-day event.

Rhona Mackenzie aimed to leverage this opportunity to deepen her understanding of successful business operations in Australia, particularly in relation to Red Shoots’ partnerships with Australian retailers like Woolworths and Coles. She found the experience enriching, describing the connections formed and insights gained from fellow participants as highly valuable.

The mission emphasized the power of collaboration and the exchange of knowledge between New Zealand and Australia. Rhona Mackenzie returned from the mission with a heightened awareness of the nuances of doing business across borders and a renewed determination to contribute to Red Shoots’ growth trajectory.

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