Aroha Te Pareake Mead is an independent Māori researcher from Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou, specialising in Mātauranga Māori/indigenous knowledge, biocultural heritage, conservation and indigenous cultural and intellectual property policy and law, She is Chair Emeritus of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) and spent 16 years on the Governing Council of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). She remains active in IUCN.
Aroha is a member of the Māori Advisory Trademarks Committee and is on the Governing Council of Tapuhi Aotearoa (Safeguarding Aotearoa’s Unique Species), and Steering Committee of Species Aotearoa. Her current projects include working with the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, and Wakatū Inc in their Indigenous Organisms Programme. She is on the Sustainability Advisory Council of Fonterra and the Kāhui for the Ministry for the Environment. She previously was on the Board of Genomics Aotearoa and chaired GA’s Kāhui.
Dr Wood is Professor and Head of School of Biomedical Science and Pharmacy, at the University of Newcastle. She is also Head of Nutrition Research, within the Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs, at the Hunter Medical Research Institute. Prof Wood is a nutritional biochemist, registered nutritionist (RNutr) whose research focuses on how nutritional factors such as antioxidants, fatty acids, fibre and obesity, can modify inflammation, with a particular focus on the lungs. Prof Wood and her team have published extensively in the area (>160 peer reviewed journal articles) and have contributed to the development of disease management guidelines, such as the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines, the Australian Asthma Handbook and the National Asthma Council of Australia ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ brochure series. Her research has been recognized by various awards, including the Nutrition Society of Australia Research Award in 2011 and the HMRI Mid Career research award in 2018. Dr Wood currently serves as Immediate Past President of the Nutrition Society of Australia, Director of the Australian Nutrition Trust and has served as Deputy Editor for Respirology and Editorial Board member for Nutrients.
Naomi Manu is the founder of Massey University’s highly successful Pūhoro STEM Academy. Five years later the Manawatū based programme is the most comprehensive indigenous STEM programme in the world. Pūhoro has spread to Horowhenua, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Christchurch and South Auckland with almost 1000 students across years 11-13. Before this programme, 75% of rangatahi were not on an academic pathway, now not only are they on an academic pathway but they are exceeding expectations around their capability. Pūhoro connects its students with scholarships, internships, industry opportunities and employment which galvanises and unleashes untapped Māori potential.
Naomi was a finalist in the 2018 NZ Women of Influence Awards in the Diversity category. Naomi is passionate about rangatahi development and in particular creating opportunities for rangatahi Māori to enhance their skills for increased economic transformation and knowledge creation. Naomi previously worked as a social sector researcher at Kāhui Tautoko Consulting Limited and held numerous senior advisory roles across multiple government agencies. Naomi was the principal investigator within numerous local and nationwide research projects including Youth Guarantee, Whānau Ora provision and Māori language revitalisation.
Dr Andrea Braakhuis
Dr Braakhuis is a registered dietitian with a research interest in the clinical and health application of plant and animal-based bioactives. Andrea has over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals and is an Associate Editor for the Nutrition & Dietetics journal and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Current collaborators include AgResearch, Massey University, Otago University, the Auckland Cancer Society and various commercial partners. Andrea founded the Dietitians New Zealand Research Special Interest group and is currently employed by The University of Auckland with the Nutrition and Dietetics programme as the Academic Director.
Angus Brown is the CEO and co-founder of Ārepa, a brain-food technology company working at the nexus between nature, neuroscience and food technology to make the worlds smartest food, his goal is to build a world-leading billion-dollar health food company out of Aotearoa New Zealand exporting high-value, clinically validated functional brain food.
Before Ārepa, Angus was the Business Manager at The FoodBowl, helping large and small companies alike develop and launch new products to market.
Arohaina’s background is in Financial Services and she holds a Masters in Financial Planning. She currently leads the Kaitahi Working Group, who is a committed team of individuals working towards the overall strategy and vision of the company – to be part of the solution.
Arohaina is Pookai Aronui (Director) for Te Pataka o Rauru and Kii Tahi Ltd, investment arms of Southern Taranaki iwi, Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi.
Bob Major is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading business leaders in the dairy industry and beyond. After graduating from Massey University with an MSc he held various senior positions within the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute, the New Zealand Dairy Board, and Fonterra Co-operative Group, in the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand. Over the last ten years, Bob has focussed on governance roles, and is, or has been, a director of a range of companies including Sealord, Westland Co-operative Dairy Company, Comvita, Miro Berries and Kiwirail. He also chairs the Avocado Primary Growth Partnership.
Professor Clare Wall
Professor Clare Wall heads the Nutrition Department at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland and is the principal investigator of the HVN Infant Health Priority Research Programme. Her research interest is in the inter-relationships between the determinants of nutritional status and health outcomes of the paediatric population.
Chloe van Dyke
Chloe is the founder of Chia Sisters, an internationally successful beverage company with a focus on health, innovation, and sustainability. She has a degree in Neuroscience, and a diploma in herbal medicine which includes the indigenous uses of Chinese, ayurvedic, western, and ronguā Māori plants for medicinal use. She has a particular interest in enhancing the scientific knowledge of our indigenous plant species and how they can be protected for use in export markets. Chloe runs her business in a way that prioritises the wellbeing of the environment and the communities in which it operates. The company is solar-powered, zero-carbon, climate positive, living wage, and B-Corp certified and is the founding business of Businesses for Climate Action. Chloe is an Edmund Hillary Fellow, Obama leader, and Asia New Zealand Foundation leader.
Craig Armstrong is Director (Customers) at New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. He has global executive and Board experience with Lion Nathan, Cadbury Schweppes, Hunterskil Howard, CPLG, National Foods and HJ Heinz. He is also trying to make a success of growing and commercialising edible oils from tree crops.
David has had a successful career in the private and public sector, with senior roles at organisations such as Microsoft, and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. David is a published author on New Zealand Innovation, with two highly successful books – No.8 Re-wired, and No.8 Recharged.
He’s an ex-comedian, TV and Radio actor, semi-finalist for New Zealander of the Year, and a genetically modified organism who documented his battle with cancer in his book A Mild Touch of the Cancer.
David co-founded sosbusiness.nz a not-for-profit initiative to help cafes and other small businesses during Covid-19. It quickly became a huge hit and to date has sold over $2 million in vouchers for over 2500 small businesses.
David released a new book, Silver Linings in March 2021, and continues to act as a consultant for government and industry, as well as a director on a number of boards.
Professor Dawn Freshwater
Professor Dawn Freshwater is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland. Professor Freshwater has held senior University positions in the UK and Australia, most recently as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Australia. She has spent several decades working in mental health research and contributing to hundreds of publications.
Dr Denise Conroy
Dr Denise Conroy is a Senior Scientist with the Consumer Team, Plant and Food Research, based at the Mt Albert campus. Denise is a Consumer Behaviourist, specialising in understanding the attitudes, emotions, values and cognitions that motivate people to consume specific products, brands or experiences, or to reject these offerings. As an interpretivist researcher Denise is a skilled methodologist, and is very experienced at leading complex teams, across different disciplines, and from diverse backgrounds, to reach a common goal. Much of Denise’s research is Asia focussed; current projects include an exploration of how organic labels on fresh fruit and vegetables are processed and interpreted in Vietnam; why organic is considered to be part of status expression in South Korea, as opposed to any reference to sustainability or the green movement, and, as PI of the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, exploring how Chinese consumers construe the relationships between food and health.
Dr Doug Rosendale
Dr Doug Rosendale is the Chief Science Officer at Anagenix Ltd. Doug is responsible for the science programmes supporting Anagenix products. He has over 20 years of postgraduate research, publishing and student supervisory experience in academia and industry. Doug holds a PhD in Engineering and Technology from Massey University and a Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences from The University of Auckland.
Professor Frank Bloomfield
Professor Bloomfield is the Director of the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland. He practises clinically at National Women’s Health in Auckland and undertakes research that spans basic science through to clinical trials. Much of his research focuses on the role of nutrition in fetal and neonatal growth and development. He is passionate about the multidisciplinary nature of neonatal care and thinks that we set an excellent example of this in New Zealand. He is a past president of the Perinatal Society of New Zealand and of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand and a current council member of the Perinatal Research Society in the US.
Hamish leads the deer milk business within Pāmu which is looking to develop a high-value alternative dairy industry and product offerings. With Hamish’s leadership, Pāmu Deer Milk has become a world-first ingredient, showcasing groundbreaking innovation in the New Zealand food industry and is one of the examples of Pāmu’s innovation leadership and industry partnerships. Hamish sees enormous growth potential for targeted, high-value forms of functional dairy produced in a way that contributes positively to both the environment and people’s health and wellbeing. Pāmu is the brand name for Landcorp Farming Ltd, which strives to be a leader in New Zealand agriculture, carefully creating natural products of high quality.
Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh
Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh is a world-renowned food scientist. In addition to leading the Food Science and Technology programme at Massey University, he is also Director of the Riddet Institute and leads the Science of Food programme for High-Value Nutrition. His research has focused on food colloids, food ingredient functionality, functional foods and the food structure-nutrition interface. He has published more than 300 research papers and is the co-inventor of 12 patents which have been the basis of several commercial innovations. His international standing has been recognised by national and international awards, including the Prime Minister’s Science Prize. He serves on several national and international committees advising on food strategy, development and implementation.
Dr Jennifer Miles-Chan
Dr Miles-Chan is a Director of the Human Nutrition Unit and Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland, and principal investigator of the Metabolic Health programme. Jennifer’s research focuses on inter-individual variability in nutritional energetics and the regulation of body composition and metabolism – in essence, trying to work out why some of us are more susceptible to obesity and metabolic disease than others, and how we might be able to tailor prevention and treatment strategies accordingly.
Professor Jeremy Krebs
Professor Krebs is an Endocrinologist with a particular interest in obesity and diabetes. He trained in Endocrinology at Wellington Hospital in New Zealand and then did his doctorate with the Medical Research Council – Human Nutrition Research unit in Cambridge England. His thesis was on the impact of dietary factors on obesity and insulin resistance. Prof Krebs returned to New Zealand in 2002 to take up a consultant Endocrinology post at Wellington Hospital, where he was Clinical Leader of Endocrinology and Diabetes from 2007 to 2017. He is a past President of NZSSD. He is a Professor of Medicine with the University of Otago, and previously the Director of the Clinical Research Diploma at Victoria University. As well as clinical and teaching activities, Prof Krebs leads a research group across the DHB and the University in the area of obesity and diabetes, with a focus on nutritional aspects, and diabetes service delivery. He has a wide range of collaborations across disciplines and institutions. These include working with basic scientists in genetics and immunology and with academic nutritionists. Prof Krebs is a member of the science leadership team of the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge and a leadership role in projects in the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge.
Joanne Todd leads the Challenge Directorate team. She joined the Challenge from Fonterra Co-operative Ltd, where for over 20 years she held several nutrition and management roles with a focus on combining business development, science, regulatory and marketing activities, with an emphasis on Asian export markets. She has led and developed globally based cross-functional teams to deliver on a portfolio of projects and has built consumer insight, clinical research, and product development programmes that have delivered successful commercial outcomes increasing revenue for Fonterra’s consumer brands business. Her experience includes work across many areas including maternal, paediatric, immunity and mobility platforms, bringing vast experience in consumer-led innovation, combined with commercial acumen and understanding of the global consumer goods market and international regulatory environments.
Dr John Monro
Dr John Monro is a Principal Scientist at Plant and Food Research. John has studied dietary fibre in the fore and hind gut, physiologically valid determination of its functional properties, and how to communicate its effects to accurately guide food choices for health. More recently his research has focused on digestible carbohydrates in foods, on valid determination of carbohydrate availability by in vitro digestive analysis, and on food structural factors that modulate the glycaemic response. John is a lead researcher on the postprandial and long term clinical trials for the Kiwi, Fruity and Friendly research project funded by High-Value Nutrition and Zespri Ltd.
Professor Jun Lu
Professor Lu obtained his BSc from East China Normal University and MSc and PhD from the University of Auckland. He established the Biomedical Science teaching programme and research laboratory at AUT. His research interest is mainly in nutraceutical products and metabolic disease. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has been working on New Zealand seafood products (including mussel, seaweed, paua, fish and clams) to extract bioactive compounds for more than ten years. He is the principal investigator of the HVN-funded project mussel-fucoidan as supplemented superfood for the prevention of type 2 diabetes and alleviation of joint pain.
Kaylene Larking is the Manager of MIA Innovation Limited, the research and development arm of the Meat Industry Association, the trade organisation that represents meat processing companies in New Zealand. The MIA science portfolio covers the span of meat quality, food safety, processing, engineering and emerging technology disciplines, to nutrition and human health. The challenge of working across various science disciplines with multiple industry organisations and research providers has helped shape her understanding and appreciation of R&D in the agricultural sector.
The Distillery founder Mark Buntzen is an experienced strategist and facilitator with a background in business strategy consulting, industrial design, and science. He focuses on research-led strategy, innovation, and futures & foresight work to help clients create–and realise–better futures. In service of this work, Mark often develops and facilitates engaging, challenging workshops that use structured creativity and problem-solving techniques to help people develop smart solutions to their business challenges.
Dr Matt Miller
Dr Matt Miller is a lipid chemist working for the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, Aotearoa New Zealand. Dr Miller has over fifteen years of research experience looking into the chemistry and novel sources of marine oils. Dr Miller PhD was awarded a Dean Commendation prize and the 2010 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) medal for research achievement looking at fish nutrition in respect to omega 3 biosynthesis.
Matt leads a team of researchers looking at the nutritional benefit of New Zealand Greenshell™ mussel under the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge. Dr Miller is the president of the Australasian section of the American Oil Chemist Society (AAOCS), is a committee member of the New Zealand fats and oil group, and has recently been elected Vice-Chair of the Health and Nutrition Division at the American Oil Chemist Society (AOCS).
Dr Meika Foster
Dr Meika Foster is a nutritional biochemist with a background in law. She is the founding director of Edible Research Ltd, which provides translational research services in Food and Nutrition Science to the Food Industry, Universities, and Government. She leads the implementation of Vision Mātauranga in HVN science and innovation programmes and is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine, University of Otago and a New Zealand Registered Dietitian. She has been employed previously as a nutrition researcher in Australia and New Zealand and is well-published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Her particular research interests include the role of plant-based dietary patterns in the prevention and management of chronic disease; and cultural and intellectual property law.
Professor Nicole Roy
Professor Nicole Roy is with the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago Professor Roy has research interests in nutrition and health, host-microbiome interactions, gastrointestinal physiology, and gut-brain communication. She is based in Palmerston North and leads the Digestive Health Priority Research Programme for the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge. Professor Roy completed her PhD in Canada and the United States and postdoctoral studies in Scotland, where she focused on how nutrition and food components can modify inter-organ nutrient partitioning and communication using tracer kinetics, animal models and in vitro models. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Riddet Institute and a Principal Investigator in the Riddet Institute Centre of Research Excellence.
Dr Olivier Gasser
Olivier Gasser, M.Sc., Ph.D., completed his postgraduate degree in Biomedical Research at the University of Basel (Switzerland) in 2004. Following postdoctoral research at the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland, and Harvard Medical School, USA, he joined the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in 2011 to become a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute’s cancer immunotherapy programme. In 2017, Dr Gasser was appointed as Leader of the Translational Immunology research programme where he now focuses on nutrition and the microbiome and their impact on immune development and homeostasis in humans. As leader of the Immune Health Priority Research Programme of the High-Value Nutrition (HVN) National Science Challenge, he investigates the mechanistic links between nutrition and health outcomes, with special interest in immune-metabolic effects of food macronutrients and the direct impact of polyphenols on immune function. The HVN-funded side of his research programme is paired with fundamental immunology projects investigating the role of microbiome- and/or vitamin-reactive T cell subsets (such as mucosal-associated invariant T cells and invariant natural killer T cells) in the development of allergic and metabolic diseases.
Professor Richard Gearry
Richard is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Otago, Christchurch and Consultant Gastroenterologist at Christchurch Hospital. His research spans many facets of luminal gastroenterology and nutrition including inflammatory bowel disease, functional gastrointestinal disorders and coeliac disease where he has published widely. He undertook Medical and Doctoral studies at the University of Otago and post-graduate Fellowships at Monash University (Melbourne) and St Mark’s Hospital (London). He has served on a range of national (NZ Nutrition Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis NZ, IBD-NZ, Gut Foundation, National Intestinal Failure Governance Board, Zespri Science Advisory Board) and international (International Organisation for the study of IBD, World Gastroenterology Organisation, Cornerstones Faculty, Asia Pacific IBD Consensus Group) and contributes regularly to media stories in his field of expertise.
Ngāti Maniapoto, Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua, Te Arawa (Ngāti Whakaue, Tuhourangi & Ngāti Pikiao)
As The CEO of Poutama Trust for 21 years, Richard is a future oriented thinker with experience in economic development and growth, an avid collaborator, a global thinker and a keen adopter and user of technology.
He has had involvement in moving enterprises into the area of functional and nutritional foods that leverage medicinal and health properties. This includes the development of plant-based foods such as hemp and blending of CBD and Mānuka Honey, and through insects such as crickets that have a high protein content.
He has also facilitated the international market development and export of products and services for a diverse range of businesses that includes tourism operators, entertainers, film and television producers, food & beverage exporters, technology business and service providers.
Professor Richard Mithen
Richard Mithen is a Professor of Human Nutrition at the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland and Chief Scientist for the New Zealand High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge. Following a PhD at the University of East Anglia and several years working in south-central Africa on the conservation of wild crop relatives, Richard was a group leader at the John Innes Centre and Professor of Crop Science at the University of Nottingham prior to moving to the Institute of Food Research in 2003. Richard has played a major role in the development of the Quadram Institute, a new institute on the Norwich Research Park that combines food and nutritional science with human microbiome research and clinical expertise. Richard’s major research interests are at the interface between crop and food science and human nutrition. Richard migrated to New Zealand in 2019.
Dr Rod Claycomb
Dr Rod Claycomb is the Co-Founder and current Innovation Director of Quantec Ltd, a New Zealand company specialising in the development and commercialisation of high value naturally derived bioactives. Rod has an extensive background in the dairy industry, filling roles from pure and applied research through commercialisation.
Prior to Quantec, Rod was the founding CEO of Sensortec Ltd and prior to that, the Director of R&D for Waikato Milking Systems.
Rod’s areas of expertise include bioactives, biosensors, agritechnology and commercialisation. He holds a PhD from the University of California, Davis in Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Rod is the author of numerous publications and inventor on seven patent families.
Photograph courtesy of Stephen Barker. www.barkerphotography.co.nz. ©Barker Photography
Dr Sabrina Tian
Dr Sabrina Tian, Innovation Research Science Manager at Sanford Limited, has 34 years’ work experience including 25 years’ food industry R&D experience (Fonterra, Sanford). Sabrina has a doctoral degree in the functional food and gut health field obtained from Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand. She has broad knowledge and skills in dairy protein separation, marine bioactive extraction, and food & bio technology. Sabrina is also equipped with the theoretical and practical combination of chemistry instrumentation and microbiological analytical skills from her previous positions in other laboratories (R.J. Hills, SGS).
Currently Sabrina leads Sanford’s marine by-product utilisation, bioactive compounds extraction and validation research towards nutraceuticals and functional ingredients commercialization. Sabrina also works with a team of scientists looking at the nutritional benefit of NZ Greenshell™ mussel under the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge.
Sabrina co-lectures at the University of Auckland, and currently co-supervises five PhD projects within New Zealand universities. She is a professional member of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) and she is one of the Industry Advisory Group members for several MBIE-funded national science programmes.
Shayne Walker is of Ngati Kahungunu descent, has an MBA from Massey University, and holds various Māori leadership roles. Health leadership includes being the Chairman of the Hawkes Bay District Health Board and has completed multiple marathons and two ironman events.
Dr Tom Wheeler
Dr Tom Wheeler is a Senior Scientist and Technical Manager of an analytical chemistry team at the Cawthron Institute. Since 2017 he has led research on the biochemistry of seaweeds with the goal of understanding their nutritional benefits, functional properties and utility as food ingredients. A biochemist by training, Tom has also applied his skills in protein analysis and purification to investigating the innate immune-related properties of milk proteins, hormonal control of mammary gland function and the role of salivary proteins in ruminant digestion.
Vanessa Hayes sold her successful Gisborne Life Insurance business in early 2021 to concentrate on her passion; growing the New Zealand Macadamia Industry, based on variety research she started in 1983. She now commutes twice weekly between the Nursery and Organic macadamia orchard at Torere and the macadamia product and sales office in Gisborne where she lives with Rod Husband; her life and business partner in Torere Macadamias Limited (TML).
Research trials at Torere included existing New Zealand varieties and new imported international varieties, to find the best for New Zealand conditions. TML’s extensive research over many years identified the best commercial dropping varieties. They have sole plant variety rights to propagate and supply these varieties to grow the NZ Macadamia Industry and increased nursery capacity to match the demand for more trees.
Agmardt, Poutama Trust, Te Puni Kokiri and Trust Tairawhiti provided support to assist TML’s variety research activities. TML now receives support for the New Zealand Macadamia Growth Strategy from an impressive number of Government agencies that includes PGF, MBIE, MPI, PFR, Hort Innovation Australia, two Tertiary Education providers and HVN.
The range of new research projects will provide data from New Zealand grown macadamias that is not currently available. E.g., pre-approved kernel health and nutrition content data from these TML varieties will be delivered as specific outcomes from the HVN and PFR research project.