Sharing insights: Chef, entrepreneur, author, TV personality and Whakatipu resident Nadia Lim's been added to the line-up for the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Business Women's Conference. PICTURE: JAMES ALLAN PHOTOGRAPHY


A new Queenstowner and a media personality have been added to the line-up for next  week’s Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Business Women’s Conference.

The 10th annual event, being held on Friday at Hilton Queenstown, sold out within 24  hours, with a heavy-hitting panel of speakers confirmed.

However, Georgina Beyer, the world’s first openly-transgender mayor and MP, and social entrepreneur and Eat My Lunch & AF Drinks founder Lisa King are no longer able to attend.

Queenstown Chamber events and marketing manager Rachel Clifford says celeb chef, entrepreneur, best-selling author and TV personality Nadia Lim, and former TVNZ 1News anchor Wendy Petrie are now coming along instead.

Lim is a My Food Bag co-founder and runs the historic Royalburn Station, near Arrowtown, with hubby, Carlos.

They’ve also recently opened the Royalburn Farm Shop in Arrowtown.

While she’s currently on telly three nights a week as a judge on MasterChef NZ, which premiered on Sunday, she’s been the subject of headlines in recent weeks, after rich-lister Simon Henry, a founder and CEO of a chemicals company, called her ‘‘Eurasian fluff’’, and alleged a photo of her in My Food Bag’s prospectus ‘‘showed some cleavage’’ in order to sell

Petrie anchored the nightly TVNZ news for 14 years and, as a journo, covered the Royal wedding, the Gallipoli 100-year anniversary and the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

In July, 2020, she was told by network bosses they didn’t intend to keep her on following a Covid restructure, leaving her colleague, Simon Dallow, as the sole anchor.

But Petrie’s since been enjoying her new-found freedom, completing two marathons, and has chaired and hosted motivational summits focused on building resilience and  adaptability.

The passionate South Auckland advocate’s also a Field of Dreams Foundation board member.

Other speakers are author, child and adolescent psychiatrist, and Centre of Research Excellence for the Ageing Brain Maori strategic leader Dr Hinemoa Elder; victims of crime campaigner Ruth Money; Dame Silvia Cartwright, NZ’s first female High Court judge and second female Governor-General; with comedian Michele A’Court as MC.

Get ready to LOL

Ticket-holders to this year’s Queenstown Chamber and Skyline ‘Welcome to Winter Business Lunch’ should come prepared for some belly laughs.

This year the annual event’s taking on a comedy debate-style twist — the moot: ‘Queenstown, the jewel in the New Zealand tourism crown’.

To be argued by affirmative and negative teams, it’s not clear yet who’s for and against, but the speaker line-up’s RealNZ boss Stephen England-Hall, ACT Party deputy leader Brooke van Velden (above), Winter Pride organiser Martin King, Great South tourism and events GM Mark Frood, Haka Tour and ANZ Nature Tours GM Eve Lawrence and comedian Nick Rado.

Queenstown’s More FM brekkie announcer Joel Palmer’s been given the job of moderating.

Tickets to the July 7 debate, held as part of this year’s Welcome to Winter four-day event,
cost $89 per person, or $890 for a table of 10.