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About us

We are Aoteaora New Zealand's food movement, dedicated to connecting people to our land and our ocean through our food.

Eat New Zealand is the leading cross-sector organisation committed to telling the Aotearoa Food Story. We are a platform which encourages and enables collaboration between all parts of our food system encouraging regeneration. We do this by building stronger, more resilient food communities, increasing our unique culinary credentials and making New Zealand the world’s premium food destination.

We believe we have unique stories to contribute to the world of food, and would like to see them unearthed and celebrated at an increased volume! One of the ways Eat New Zealand drives this change is through events such as Feast Matariki.

Feast Matariki (www.feastmatariki.nz) was created in 2019, as Aotearoa’s first and only national food celebration around this important time of year. It is a series of kai events across the motu, designed to build capability and connection; from hunters, fishers, mahika kai specialists, chefs, small food producers, students, scientists, community leaders and event organisers. We’re working with Ngāi Tahu over the next few years to continue to find ways that we can sit down at tables together, celebrating who we are, no matter our backgrounds.

We hold an annual Eat NZ Hui touted as ‘the most important food conversation in New Zealand’, we help regions discover their food story and are working with sector leaders on establishing a Local Grain Economy for Aotearoa through our #EatNZGrains initiative.

We lead the Eat New Zealand Kaitaki, a collective of 135+ next-generation food leaders telling the Aotearoa food story. This unique cohort represent all aspects of our food system; from food production to transformation, celebration and food experience. They come from across New Zealand; from Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) to Rakiura (Stewart Island). Their stories are the embodiment of what makes New Zealand food unique.

Other campaigns include #KnowYourFarmer, #KnowYourFisher, #GrowFoodCommunities (supporting local food systems), #RepurposeTheSurplus (minimising food waste) and #LotsofLittle (supporting small food producers and biodiversity).

Our website lists over 2500 establishments, events, festivals, farmers markets and food tourism operators. We're beginning to include producers as well. It enables people to build a food itinerary as they move around the country.

Eat New Zealand was formerly called ConversatioNZ and has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2015. It was founded by Giulio Sturla, one of NZ's best chefs, and owner of MAPU an intimate test kitchen experience in Lyttelton.

Our mission

Eat New Zealand is committed to honouring the principles and intent of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all our undertakings. We acknowledge the importance of our indigenous food stories, people, places, environment and practices and this understanding underpins all aspects of our values and approaches.

We will be instrumental in creating a future where all New Zealanders will have access to their food in a connected way. This will be kai (food) which sustains us culturally, socially and nutritionally. It will be produced or collected in a way that supports the balance of our natural world; our land, fresh water and ocean.

About Us

Food manifesto

— These are our founding principals, goals and ideas

  • 1. Culture

    We acknowledge the importance of Māori food sovereignty and culture in our overall story. We also acknowledge the influence other cultures have had and celebrate the cultural diversity of our food in all its forms and actively seek inclusiveness.

  • 2. Knowledge

    We gather and share knowledge freely. We’re a trusted source and knowledge hub for food in Aotearoa.

  • 3. Biodiversity

    We celebrate diversity in thinking, perspectives and our natural world and understand the interconnectedness between all things. We encourage food ecosystems that support the environment they exist within and seek to protect and promote these.

  • 4. Balance

    We understand the balance necessary between the production of food and the importance of human health and the natural world.

  • 5. Respect

    We support and champion respectful practices of harvesting or producing kai in Aotearoa.

  • 6. Innovation

    We provide a platform that supports innovative thinking and encourages research.

  • 7. Awareness

    We will raise awareness about the importance of food culture. This includes raising awareness of the lack of access to local ingredients where necessary.

  • 8. Fellowship

    We acknowledge that we are stronger together and actively seek collaboration with others who reflect our values.

  • 9. Future

    We will empower young people to be food citizens and support the increase of food citizenship as part of all curriculums.

  • 10. Pride

    We will advocate for our unique food and ingredients and take pride in encouraging our people and manuhiri (visitors) to experience our food.

  • 11. Interconnection

    We will address global issues and be part of the global food movement.

Our people

— The collective behind the movement

  • Giulio Sturla

    Giulio Sturla

    Giulio Sturla the chef-owner of Roots Restaurant was born in Chile and raised in Ecuador. His passion has been cooking and eating good food since young, he has travelled extensively and worked in many countries in world renowned restaurant Mugaritz in Spain before coming to New Zealand.

    Giulio and his wife Christy Martin opened Roots Restaurant in Lyttelton after the devastating earthquake in 2011. Roots was created with a belief that a restaurant can start up from passion, commitment and determination. The main emphasis is the quality of ingredients, the stories behind the food and presenting the true flavours. Roots Restaurant has several accolades and awards and has maintained its three hat status on 2017.

    Giulio is the founder and driving force behind Eat New Zealand.

  • Angela Clifford

    Angela Clifford

    Angela is the CEO of Eat New Zealand, and is committed to putting New Zealand Food on the world map. 

    She is also the Managing Director of Tongue in Groove Wines in North Canterbury, and has had wine business roles in both Australia & New Zealand over the last 20 years.

    She was the co-founder of Summer of Riesling in New Zealand, a board member of Pinot Noir NZ (NZ Wine's biggest event), and the Canterbury representative for the NZ Sommeliers & Wine Professionals Association. She originally established the Barossa Farmers Market, was vice-chair of the NZ Farmers Market Association and founded Waipara Valley NZ , the Forage North Canterbury, Lamb & Pinot Dinner and Truffle Day Out wine and food events.

    Angela is also the co-owner of an organic permaculture CSA property The Food Farm, with her husband and three children. She knows how to milk a cow in a paddock, gut a chicken, find porcini and grow field tomatoes. These are her proudest accomplishments to date.

  • Sarah Meikle

    Sarah Meikle

    Sarah Meikle is a highly accomplished marketing and events manager who is currently the Chief Executive of the Wellington Culinary Events Trust.  Within this role, Sarah is both the Festival Director of Visa Wellington On a Plate and Event Director of Beervana.

    Sarah is a passionate campaigner for telling New Zealand’s food story and advocating for the role that food plays in New Zealand’s culture.

  • Rob Elliot

    Rob Elliot

    Robert Eliott has a strong background in event creation, leadership, marketing and sales. He is the owner and managing director of Lemongrass Productions – an NZ based event company specialising in food and drink events. Annually Rob and the Lemongrass team run the Taste of Auckland Festival, Auckland Restaurant Month, Street Eats, and the Winetopia event series. A second focus of the business is running functions for corporate clients looking for exceptional food and drink experiences. Through this role Robert frequently collaborates with a wide array of people and companies in the food, wine and hospitality sectors. Robert’s career has seen him designing and operating large-scale events in the UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

  • Mark Frood

    Mark Frood

    Mark Frood is a successful international tourism marketer and sits on several boards in New Zealand. He is dedicated to connecting our visitors and people to our land, through our food.

    “I am super passionate about the sustainability of the New Zealand tourism industry, helping the NZ economy and our people grow. I strongly believe that through tourism our culture, adventure, food and beverages we can encourage more people to work, play and stay in New Zealand’s special environment. By doing this today we can encourage those people to become the protectors (tiaki) of that environment tomorrow”.

    "Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi" – (with your resources and my resources, the tribe/people will survive)

  • Simon Collins

    Simon Collins

    Simon is Vice Chairperson of Eat New Zealand. A serial entrepreneur, he is passionate about chasing opportunities that allow him to do pretty much whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

    In his youth Simon worked in very nearly every Wellington cafe between about 1999 and 2007, indicating he was either in high demand or unpleasant to be around. It was in this time that a passion for food impressed itself in Simon.

    Working as a consultant to government and private sector clients, Simon has developed significant experience with the tourism and food and fibre sectors. This work has seen him travel the length and breadth of Aotearoa, eaten as much as he is humanly able, and revelled in the hospitality of the tangata whenua.

    Simon knows we have the best natural ingredients, stunning regions, people, history, and culture in the world. He wants to bring this beauty to the world through his work with Eat New Zealand.

  • Aimee Kaio

    Aimee Kaio

    Aimee Kaio is of Ngāi Tahu, Te Arawa and Ngā Puhi descent.

    Born and raised among a community of inspirational people, fishermen, muttonbirders, mahika kai whānau in Bluff, New Zealand; Aimee understands the importance of gathering real food for our wellbeing; for our whole being!

    Aimee currently Manages Tribal Economies, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu – a sector that aims to empower its people to self-determine their own futures; through whānau enterprise and the rejuvenation of regional tribal economies such as utilising our land, water and place resource.

    Aimee is a Director of the Southern Institute of Technology; a Board member of COIN South; and a Director/co-owner of small businesses with her husband.

    Her academic background has supported her interests and career of ‘all-sorts’; she holds a Science degree in Biochemistry, a Masters in Entrepreneurship and is contemplating a ‘tribal economies/food sovereignty’ PhD.

    Aimee, her husband Jason and their 4 children live in Bluff today; they love Bluff life, whānau, community and the bountiful kai available to them everyday.

  • Sam Bree

    Sam Bree

    Sam is a Commercial Manager for Kiwibank based in Wellington. Specialising in food and beverage with a core focus in the lower North Island/Upper South region. From manufacturing to hospitality, he is passionate about seeing Kiwi goods being dutifully created and enjoyed by all.

    He believes that's telling the story of our food and beverage is what will continue to drive this sector into new frontiers. Our country has an abundance to offer - telling the story of what is it, where it came from and how to buy it is the key to the continued success the industry deserves.

    Sam is a Chartered Accountant and worked as an Accountant before starting in banking in 2014. It is with these skills that he takes on the Treasurer role at Eat New Zealand.

    He lives in Wellington with his wife and three young boys. They spend their time between Wellington and Hawkes Bay where they are in the early stages of planting their own small orchard.

  • Kate Underwood

    Kate Underwood

    Kate is a freelance food writer, communications specialist and founder of @relishthememory – a dedicated food storytelling platform. With a background in Human Nutrition, she spent seven years with Potatoes New Zealand working across all aspects of communications, whilst delivering The Chip Group, a unique industry/government training initiative promoting healthier hot chips. She was also part of a team of global food trend-analysts for London based agency – The Food People.

    In 2019 she was named Emerging Food Communicator at the 2019 NZ Food Media Awards and she has her finger in a number of NZ food-related pies. She's an engaged member of Food Writers New Zealand, contributes regularly to Nourish Magazine, UNO Magazine and was Stone Soup’s biggest fan. She's judged various NZ Food Awards including: Metro’s Cheap Eats, NZ Sausage Awards and the 2020 Outstanding Food Producers and is a current member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network.

    Kate works alongside Angela to drive the New Zealand food story across all Eat New Zealand platforms, and has a deep desire for everyone to feel as captivated by our diverse food scene as she does. She's also the lead of our Eat New Zealand Kaitaki - a collective of young food storytellers from across the food system.

    Born and bred in Te Puke on kiwifruit, whitebait and avocados, these days she’s based in Ōtautahi and spends most of her days acquiring, cooking, eating, grammin’ and writing about food, as the Food Editor for Avenues Magazine.


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