Introducing the ABAC team

ABAC brings together up to three senior business executives from each of APEC’s 21 member economies. Members represent a range of sectors and small and medium enterprises as well as large business. ABAC members are appointed by APEC heads of government and report directly to them.

Read a message from Rachel Taulelei, Chair of ABAC in 2021:

Kia ora kotou katoa and welcome to these ABAC pages !

Our job at ABAC is to represent the views of businesses to the APEC Economic Leaders. We do this by engaging widely across the business sector and drawing on these views in the annual report and the in-person dialogue ABAC has with the region’s Leaders. We also issue a range of reports and letters to APEC Ministers and senior officials that advance your general interests as business owners and leaders in the Asia Pacific region.

In 2021 New Zealand will be chairing APEC and for the first time we will do so virtually. That gives us a huge opportunity to influence the economic direction of a region that takes over 70 percent of our exports and to find practical ways of rebuilding the Asia Pacific economy.

To do this effectively, we will need the help of business in New Zealand and our colleagues in other APEC economies. We’re keen to hear your views so get in touch and keep an eye on these pages for latest developments.

“Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari, he toa takatini”
“Success is not the work of one, but the work of many”.

Ngā mihi

Meet New Zealand’s ABAC team


Rachel Taulelei

Rachel Taulelei (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Rārua) is ABAC Chair for 2021, a prominent business leader, and a strong advocate for the Māori economy and sustainability in the food and beverage sector.

Her commitment to kaitiakitanga has been evident throughout her career, as founder of sustainable seafood company Yellow Brick Road in 2006, to her time as CEO of Māori-owned food and beverage company Kono, and now in her current role as co-founder of business design and brand strategy firm, Oho.

Rachel has held a number of governance roles, with particular expertise in primary industries. As well as chairing ABAC and the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust, she serves as a member of the boards of the Warehouse Group, Young Enterprise Trust, and acts as an advisor to venture capital firm Movac.

Anna Curzon

Anna leads Xero’s global product team, overseeing the design and build of beautiful products and services that small businesses and their advisors need to thrive. Anna passionately advocates diversity in technology and building inclusive environments, where people feel enabled to do the best work of their lives. 

Currently, Anna serves on the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council and the board of KEA, using her 20 years of experience in the finance and technology industries to help to supercharge the New Zealand economy. In 2017 the global SaaS Report named Anna one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in SaaS.


Malcolm Johns

Malcolm has been the Chief Executive of Christchurch Airport since January 2014 and is a non-executive director of the Lyttleton Sea Port Company, a member of the Business Climate Leaders’ Coalition, a Board member of the Sustainable Business Council of New Zealand, a member of Business New Zealand’s Major Companies Group and has served on the Government’s Trade for All Working Group. Over his 30 year career, he has held a number of senior executive and governance roles within New Zealand’s transport, aviation and tourism sectors.  Malcolm has a particular interest in the contribution the regions of New Zealand can make to the country’s economic and social outcomes. Christchurch Airport has formed a number of small/medium business export mentoring and e-commerce programmes that have enabled businesses across New Zealand enter the export sector.

Executive team 

Stephen Jacobi

Alternate Member and Executive Director, ABAC

Stephen Jacobi is managing director of Jacobi Consulting, a consultancy offering strategic advice in international trade, government relations and industry development. Stephen is a former diplomat, ministerial advisor and chief executive. In 2021, Stephen will assume the role of Executive Director of the Global Secretariat for ABAC.

Stephanie Honey

Deputy Executive Director and Lead Staffer, ABAC

Stephanie Honey is an international trade policy consultant, drawing on over 25 years’ experience in the public and private sectors.  Stephanie is a former trade negotiator and diplomat.  She runs an independent trade policy consultancy, Honey Consulting, as well as a business that provides executive education in trade, Global Trade Insights.

Glen Candy 

Project Manager (Business engagement)

Glen is a communications freelancer with broad experience of working with businesses, government agencies, local government and not-for-profits. He has also spent nearly two decades supporting exporters from diverse sectors.

Carrie Stoddart-Smith

Māori Engagement Advisor

Carrie Stoddart-Smith (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua) is Managing Director and Principal Indigenous Trade and Economies Consultant at Opinio Native, an indigenous consultancy firm that offers strategic, policy and communications advice on Māori trade, economy and political matters. In her mahi (work), she helps Māori entities get their voices in front of the decision makers that matter to their interests.