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Family Business Association proudly presents the Family Business Insights Conference in New Zealand on Wednesday 25 September 2024.

Bringing together the New Zealand family business community, immerse yourself in this half-day premier event as you connect, share and grow with your peers.

Boasting an unrivalled conference program, be inspired by high calibre speakers and a keynote presentation which will explore topics including including leadership, sustainability in family businesses and looking at business through an intergenerational lense.

Family Business Excellence Awards

This year we will also be announcing and celebrating your local Family Business Excellence Awards winners over a two-course seated lunch before the program begins. 

Meet the speakers

Master of Ceremonies (MC)
Julian Wilcox
Broadcaster, Director & MC
Julian Wilcox (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa), a dynamic broadcaster and media veteran, has been a pivotal figure in Māori centric media for nearly 30 years. As a founding member of Māori Television, he has fronted TVNZ’s Te Karere, Māori Television’s Native Affairs, and currently co-hosts The Hui.

Julian's expertise extends to hosting major national events, including the Christchurch Earthquake memorials, showcasing his skill as a seasoned MC. He also served as Chief Officer of Operations for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Known for his leadership, informed optimism, and bilingual proficiency, Julian is a true stalwart of Māori media.

Keynote: A brewing success - A fourth generation family venture
Rae-Lee Fleming
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
John McLean
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks 

In the realm of family business success, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks stands out for its perseverance, innovation, and generational continuity. From its modest beginnings in Bundaberg, Australia, to becoming a global player, Bundaberg's journey exemplifies dedication and entrepreneurial spirit.

Founded in 1968 by the Fleming family, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks is now led by third-generation family member Rae-Lee Fleming and her husband John McLean. The business remains true to its roots while embracing growth. Quality and craftsmanship are central to Bundaberg's ethos, guided by the principle: "If it’s worth brewing, it’s worth brewing well." This dedication has driven significant growth, with profits soaring over twentyfold in 24 years.

What started as a local soft drink business has evolved into an international enterprise, exporting to over 60 countries. While Bundaberg Ginger Beer is its most iconic product, the company offers a range of brewed non-alcoholic beverages.

New Zealand holds a unique significance in Bundaberg's journey, boasting over 30 years in the market and achieving the largest sales outside of Australia. The company's dedication is reflected in their New Zealand distribution centre located in Sylvia Park, Auckland. Bundaberg Brewed Drinks continues to grow and innovate, inspiring family businesses and entrepreneurs globally. Rooted in tradition, integrity, and a commitment to quality, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks embodies the excellence of family-owned enterprises today.

Rae-Lee and John will share their rich family business story and future plans.

Session 2: Legacy and sustained family business growth
Legacy is a powerful force behind the sustained growth of family businesses. It connects generations, shapes long-term vision, and serves as a source of identity and inspiration.

But while legacies serve as a source of identity and inspiration, they can also have the potential to hinder innovation and change. This is the "legacy paradox": the challenge of balancing traditional values with modern business strategies to build a legacy with future generations in mind.

In this session we will interview a multi-generational family business asking the questions around balancing tradition and change for enduring success.

Session speakers to be confirmed.

Session 3: The strong connection to family values and company values

Sophie Cooper
Aden Cooper

Most people would think that it's bonkers to be expecting their first baby and to buy a business, but Sophie Cooper is not most people! In 2016, the unstoppable creative brain behind Ahhh was pregnant with her daughter Beau, so naturally she decided to breathe new life into another baby.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Sophie purchased the soap manufacturing company she’d been working in for 2 years and poured her passion and love into soap and bath bomb making. Two years later, her vision became Ahhh. Along with her expert team, Sophie has grown Ahhh to include a suite of safe and sustainable goodies for people of every age to luxuriate in. When Sophie was busy juggling the demands of motherhood and running a business, her escape at the end of the day was to relax in a hot bath for that much needed “me time.”

In 2020, Sophie’s husband Aden joined the family business full-time, and whilst discussing a re-imagination of the Ahhh packaging and brand, they decided to make a big change and rename! This was a big deal for Sophie as it felt like renaming her toddler. So, the new name had to be something meaningful and special to both Aden and Sophie to celebrate the next step in their business journey. In the end, they decided on Anihana which in itself has a rich meaning and a very strong link to whanau.

Since rebranding to Anihana they have gone from distribution to around 300 stores in New Zealand to 8,500 with export to Australia and the US.



Keynote: Intergenerational thinking - empowering the rising generations and leaders of tomorrow

Nadine Toe Toe
 Kohutapu Lodge & Tribal Tours Ltd

In the heart of remote New Zealand a small family-run business has, over the past 10 years, been harnessing the power of tourism to revitalise their community.

In one of the country’s most socially and economically disadvantaged communities Nadine Toe Toe, along with her husband and team, offers 'real people tourism' providing visitors with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a modern Māori community. But their efforts extend beyond the borders of her community. With a mission to give back, Nadine and her team have launched a unique initiative: an Indigenous and regenerative youth cross-cultural exchange program. This program not only enriches the lives of travelers but also uplifts Indigenous communities worldwide. The program goes beyond borders, extending its reach to other Indigenous communities globally. It provides a platform for cultural preservation, showcasing the diverse heritage and practices of each community while also addressing shared challenges and fostering sustainable solutions.

Nadine Toe Toe is a truly inspirational female leader. Her vision of a thriving and interconnected global community, empowering the rising generations and leaders of tomorrow to be the voice for change is becoming a tangible reality.

Program Outline

Please note: Program is subject to change.

Networking Drinks

Networking drinks will round off the celebrations, so we hope you will stay for this wonderful opportunity to connect with other members.

Conference and Family Business Excellence Award Lunch Registration 

Registration includes the seated two-course lunch, afternoon tea and post-event networking drinks and canapes.

Early bird pricing ends on Wednesday 11 September.

* Prices include GST.


Located at the ANZ Pavilion, guests are invited to join us at this stunning architectual designed venue in the heart of Auckland CBD at 24 Albert Street.

Please contact our office on 0800 249 357 or at if you have any questions or require assistance with your registration.

For information regarding cancellation and substitutions, please click here.