Here we celebrate the region’s entrepreneurs and innovators who are leaving their mark on the world, while living the famous Taranaki lifestyle. 

Each episode features a prominent local entrepreneur, making waves both nationally and internationally with their trailblazing spirit and can-do attitude. They'll share their successes, ah-ha moments and celebrated wins, as well as their struggles and behind the scenes failures. Our guests also reflect on how being from Taranaki influences their work and the lives they lead.

Hosted by long time business advocate and honorary Taranaki local David Downs, this series illustrates the thriving business environment within Taranaki by telling the stories of everyday people who've been able to achieve remarkable things.

Taranaki is a region where the unique natural and entrepreneurship ecosystems collide to create a place where people can flourish and achieve their full potential. Nau mai haere mai, we welcome you to hear our enterprising stories like no other.

Listen below,  or available on SpotifyApple Podcasts, Castbox or wherever you get your podcasts.


PowerUp S4 E6 Simon Singh

Date posted: 7/5/2024

As a nine year old growing up in New Delhi, Simon Singh dreamed of being CEO of an IT company. Now, he’s made that dream happen, but not in a way he could ever have imagined.

In this episode of Venture Taranaki’s PowerUp Podcast, one of Taranaki’s most restless entrepreneurs tells the story of how he came to New Zealand and grew an ever-expanding tech network. Simon talks through his rise within the IT sector, to the power of a good mentor and a capable team, and how he gained perspective on New Zealand and the world.

This is a super inspiring episode packed with gold for any budding tech entrepreneur.

PowerUp S4 E5 Gemma Adams

Date posted: 30/4/2024

Vizlink is a clever business based on a simple problem - how hard it is to communicate things using just words. Gemma Adams started the business to give farmers simple maps of their land and other tools to help communication and planning.

It’s a perfect fit for her - Gemma has a design background, is a dairy farmer, and is also dyslexic. She would often struggle to understand people because of the way her brain was wired, but she discovered how visual communication is a great leveller that puts people on the same page.

This episode talks through the journey of Vizlink, from the first moment of inspiration through to making it an international business. Gemma’s done it all while working on the farm, raising a family and ensuring she has a life outside of work, which is enough of an achievement on its own!

PowerUp S4 E4 Graham Nelson

Date posted: 23/4/2024

Graham Nelson is at the heart of entrepreneurism in Taranaki, in more ways than one. He is the founder of Manifold co-working space, which regularly hosts dozens of founders, contractors, remote workers, digital nomads and more, and he’s also a founder of Doso, a start up support organisation helping people bring their ideas to life.

Originally from Ireland, Graham talks about how he ended up in Taranaki and how he transitioned from his work as a designer into being a business founder and an enabler for startups and working professionals.

Graham has his finger on the pulse of the Taranaki work environment. He sees it every day and helps to support people in a variety of sectors. Both Manifold and Doso have become hugely popular, which speaks to the vibrant business scene and how his mahi has enabled the modern generation of work.

PowerUp S4 E3 Mihi Henry-Hatcher

Date posted: 16/4/2024

Mihi’s Place is centred around traditional Māori health and healing, which is an area of health and wellness that’s becoming more and more popular. And when you listen to founder Mihi Henry-Hatcher speak, you can see why.

Mihi’s journey to becoming a business owner is remarkable. She talks about the family intervention that changed her life, her discovery of holistic Māori healing and how she blends in contemporary health practices, and how the power of healing transformed the life of an abuse victim.

Mihi is an internationally recognised practitioner who’s been on a huge cultural learning curve since dedicating her life to healing people. This is an inspiring episode that you really can’t miss!

PowerUp S4 E2 Nick Carey

Date posted: 9/4/2024

Green Meadows Beef started as a two-person family business in a small pocket of rural Taranaki, and 11 years on they’ve sold more than a million packs of sausages, burgers and steaks all over the world.

The business started with a discussion over the family dining table, and was a trailblazing operation in the direct-to-consumer model that’s since become mainstream.

General Manager Nick Carey gave up a law career he enjoyed to lead the business, and talks through the various stages of growth he’s helped to oversee. He touches on the value of being a New Zealand business in the international meat market, the keys to its early success, the boom Covid years, the power of good PR and much more.

PowerUp S4 E1 Rachel Church

Date posted: 2/4/2024

When Rachel Church first moved to Taranaki, she noticed how the food and hospitality sector was a well kept secret. Before long, it was her mission to spread the word by creating an annual festival that celebrated local produce and the amazing things Taranaki people were doing with it.

And not long after that, that annual festival was so popular it became a quarterly event. Feastival is now a staple on the Taranaki event calendar, showcasing the best of Taranaki hospitality in unique collaborations.

Rachel talks through how she turned her idea into reality, including navigating a Covid-sized hurdle along the way, and how Feastival has transformed over the years as it’s become bigger and better. This is hugely valuable listening for anyone wanting to get an event or new business off the ground, with real life lessons packed throughout the journey.

PowerUp S3 E6 Hannah Hunt

Date posted: 4/5/2023

It’s one thing to listen to podcasts, but what about producing them? Hannah Hunt and Laura Leadbetter started Roar Collective with a shared love for the platform, but not much experience in actually making podcasts. Four years on, they’re one of New Zealand’s only podcast production companies with an impressive list of corporate and celebrity clients.

In this episode of Venture Taranaki’s PowerUp podcast, Hannah talks us through the journey. It includes how they signed up their first big show before they even had any recording equipment, growing a family while also growing a business, and how they got access to the kind of advice that helped them to grow.

She also reflects a lot on how they’ve done it from Taranaki. Hannah has a big emphasis on work-life balance, which is a big part of why she moved back to the region after years away. It’s a great look into the Taranaki lifestyle, and how the regional culture gives people a productive work and home life.

PowerUp S3 E5 CJ Mahony

Date posted: 27/4/2023

CJ Mahony left school at 16 and started a transport company as a bit of a side hobby. Nearly 20 years later, he employs 35 people and is the man behind one of the largest commercial developments in South Taranaki in living memory.

CJ’s AGTRANS business has grown and shifted to be a popular crane transport option in the oil and gas industry. At the same time, his desire to put a permanent driveway to his work site has seen him purchase a 67 acre farm that he’s developing into a $12 million commercial and residential business park. He makes it sound like no big deal because he’s that kind of guy - he’s even bought himself a bulldozer and is pretty much doing all the earthworks himself.

This is a real can-do kind of yarn. CJ has a no-fuss confidence about him, and there’s an element of humour in the way he describes big things as being quite straightforward. But there’s no doubt there’s a strong intellect, a boatload of practicality and plenty of know-how about him, and it’s helping him do big things in a growing community.

PowerUp S3 E4 Elliot Taylor

Date posted: 20/4/2023

**Content warning: this podcasts discusses issues around mental health, addiction and abuse**

Elliot Taylor created Throughline to help people in distress get access to critical helplines. In just a few years, it’s grown to offer more than 1,400 helplines to people in more than 100 countries.

This is a fantastic example of using technology to solve problems. Research shows the huge impact helplines can make, but it’s not always easy for people to find the best one at the right time. That’s what Throughline does.

Elliot reflects on how he started and grew the company from his home in rural Taranaki, building technology, getting funding and connecting with people all over the world. His mantra of approaching things like an experiment is evident throughout - it’s a great example of what a tech startup looks like, and the difference it can make.

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We’re proud to bring you the voices of our entrepreneurs, innovators, and creators, delivered with their own experiences, insights and humour in mind - the views, thoughts and opinions shared by our guests are uniquely theirs. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Venture Taranaki.