Conference series


Export excelerator 

DATE: Friday 6th December 2019

WHERE: EMA Business Hub, 145 Khyber Pass Road, Grafton, Auckland

Meet Kiwi Exporting Elite:

We invite you to spend quality time with New Zealand’s innovative business leaders focused on exporting. Come to our Export Excelerator Conference for a friendly exchange of export know-how.

ExportNZ Auckland and our network of Export Excelerators have created a truly invaluable half-day programme.

Attendance numbers are capped at 100 to ensure you have the opportunity for effective networking and time to ask your specific questions.

So, come and see for yourself why our Export Excelerator events are becoming so talked about within the export business community.


A half day of presentations and panel discussions designed to boost your knowledge, help you make new and meaningful connections, and come away with fresh ideas to grow your global business.


Exclusively open only to business owners and their teams who are exporting, or have aspirations to export.


  • You receive valuable information from successful exporters.
  • You will likely hear about problems that you haven’t faced yet, but will in the future, and how you can plan accordingly.
  • You will hear from many experts with varying perspectives, which produces new thinking that challenges existing best practice.


HEAR ‘TALES FROM THE TRENCHES’ – 3 stories about the challenges of building a successful global business

Our first speaker confirmed:


Ryan Sanders, Founder at Haka Tourism Group

In 2007 Ryan started Haka Tours with no tourism experience, but a desire to break away from the corporate world and to work in an industry he was truly passionate about. Haka Tours goes directly to the consumer online, bypassing the traditional travel agency and wholesaler market. 

Twelve years later, in addition to its adventure tourism range, the wider Haka Tourism group now includes a growing nationwide chain of up-market hostels, Haka lodges, international educational brand Haka educational tours - which operates in 12 countries globally - and new hotel brand, Haka hotels. 

Haka Tourism Group is aiming for a $100 million revenue business by 2025. 

Breakout Sessions:

‘EXPORT TIPS, TRICKS, TRAPS’ – 24 panellists provide advice on steps you can take to ensure your exporting activity is strategic and profitable.

We re-examine the eternal exporting questions such as:

  • What is the right business model for each market?
  • What makes a good channel partner?
  • Are cultural differences significant when negotiating terms and managing channel partner relationships?   How to ensure your communications and marketing are fit for purpose.
  • How do you gain real depth in international markets?

Hear strategic approaches others have made in entering markets and how that might apply in your situation.

Attend any 2 of following, 45-minute interactive discussions about market dynamics across 4 regions. Numbers are limited to 15 people per breakout, booked on a first-come, first –served basis.

Breakout #1AUSTRALIA


Ray Connor - Former General Manager, asBUILT (2018 - 2019)

Ray Connor has over 15 years of broad senior commercial experience leading award winning SME growth businesses; with a passion for Export focused technology businesses.  Ray’s background spans a diverse range of industries including IoT sensor development, manufacturing, supply chain and logistics management, food processing tools and technology, sound editing software development and franchise operations.

Panellist to be confirmed

Panellist to be confirmed

Panellist to be confirmed

Breakout #2China


Michele Lam - Export Markets Manager, Villa Maria Estate

Michele Lam, Export Markets Manager, is very passionate about New Zealand wines and enthusiastic about sharing this with the rest of the world. In her current role, she supports Villa Maria’s global export teams from the NZ Head Office base. She is also the Market Manager for Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, India, Thailand and Philippines.  


David Banfield - Former Group Chief Executive Officer, Methven (2014 - 2019)

David has spent over 20 years leading businesses and teams around the world. At a very early stage when working as Global Commercial Director and Southern European Managing Director based in Germany he was recognised for harnessing and celebrating International culture and in the process driving team engagement and performance. David has significant international experience, and has a passion for turning cultural and market understanding into commercial success. He is focused on developing world-class teams delivering world-leading products and services developed in New Zealand to discerning consumers around the globe. David and the team recently formalised their strategic goal to deliver 10 years of 30% CAGR in the China market by utilising an integrated omni and specialist channel approach.

Panellist to be confirmed

Panellist to be confirmed

Breakout #3Middle East


Blair McKolskey - Director, Pollen Group

Blair McKolskey is Managing Director of PLN Group and its family of furniture brands. With a background in financial services, Blair is an entrepreneur with an MBA in finance and has served past and present as a non-executive director to several notable investment institutions. He has also served as Chair of the Furniture and Cabinet Makers Association of New Zealand (FCANZ). Under his leadership, PLN Group has become one of the fastest-growing furniture and innovation groups in the New Zealand. The company exports more than 40% of its product which can be found in top companies around the globe including Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Citibank, HSBC and Disney.

Panellist to be confirmed

Panellist to be confirmed

Panellist to be confirmed

Breakout #4 – USA

chris photo_1

Chris Leonard -  Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at SnapComms

Chris Leonard is the CEO and Co-Founder of SnapComms,a world-leading provider of internal communications software. Chris has built a successful, fast-growing business based on three principles: unwavering commitment to customer service excellence; a genuine desire to push technology to the limit; and leading an industry in product innovation for effective employee communications. Having been involved with SnapComms from its inception has meant Chris has acquired substantial business acumen and broad capability within technology start-up and growth-phased environments.


Christine Fenby - Marketing Director, Vista Group Limited

Christine is the Marketing Director of Vista Group, which was founded in NZ in 1996 and listed in 2014. Vista provides software and additional technology solutions across the film industry sectors of distribution, exhibition, and consumer (moviegoers). Prior to joining Vista full-time in 2012, Christine provided consultancy services to a broad range of businesses including Vista. Her marketing career began at TVNZ, when following “halcyon days” working in television production, and completing tertiary study with The University of Auckland, she was appointed to roles that supported TVNZ’s then global commercial operations; her export services and international marketing career was underway and has progressed ever since. In both 2018 and 2019, Christine was included in the ‘Top 50 Women in Global Cinema’ organised by the film industry sector online media channel Celluloid Junkie and judged by an independent group of peers. Christine believes her role at Vista to be one of the best available in the NZ tech export sector.

Panellist to be confirmed

Panellist to be confirmed


Excelerate100 participants

2 Complimentary tickets

NZTE Export Essentials participants

Member rate applies

EMA / ExportNZ members


$295 + GST

$590 + GST

For 2 people: 2nd ticket 1/2 price

For 3 people: 2nd ticket 1/2 price & 3rd ticket complimentary 

For more information & to register:

Register here on the ExportNZ website

Alternatively, contact Sarah Drinkwater:

09 367 9968

Limited to 100 seats!   Reserve your place now!