Women who walk the talk


Some of the country’s leading businesswomen are coming to Queenstown next month to inspire their local peers. 

The Queenstown Chamber of Commerce is holding its second annual women’s business conference on May 17 and the impressive line-up of speakers means only limited ticket numbers remain available. 

Former New Zealander of the year and businesswoman of the year Peri Drysdale – founder of Untouched World and Snowy Peak – is among the list of guest speakers. 

She’ll be joined by Justice Minister Judith Collins, millionaire entrepreneur Melissa Clark-Reynolds – the youngest woman to attend a NZ university – Fisher Funds founder Carmel Fisher and Linden Leaves founder Brigit Blair. 

Radio boss Jana Rangooni, Yellow Brick Road founder Rachel Taulelei and style guru Lisa O’Neill – who delivered a hilarious presentation last year – also speak. Media personality Mary Lambie is the MC. Chamber chief executive Ann Lockhart says the speakers are “just as outstanding” as last year. 

“It’s a one-off opportunity to hear women who have led the way in business and who are outstanding people in their own right. They’re all incredibly inspirational women. The theme this year is walking the talk, and all of the women have indeed illustrated how they’ve done that.” 

Business is challenging for everyone starting up or owning their own company, which is the idea behind the conference theme, Lockhart adds. 

“No one in business does it without some challenges. 

“All of the women speaking at the conference will have faced multiple challenges in terms of their businesses. Some of those challenges will be unique to women.” 

Several hundred Queenstown women own their own business, Lockhart says. 

“Women can come along to learn, be inspired and motivated. They’ll go away with a toolbox of ideas.” 

There are still tickets available from the Chamber but the event, at The Hilton, will sell out, Lockhart warns. Tickets, $245 plus GST, are open to Chamber members and non-members.