A Foodstuffs trainee operator award in 1997 spurred Jason on to a successful career in the food and beverage industry, which he joined in 1984 at the age of 16.

Just a year after receiving that award, he bought a supermarket in Taumarunui. Today Jason owns one of New Zealand’s largest food retail outlets, Victoria Park New World supermarket in Auckland, and has chaired the group that represents New World North Island supermarket owners.

Foodstuffs North Island sponsored Jason’s participation in a joint Fonterra/Massey University governance programme. As part of the Te Hono Movement he’s also taken part in a Stanford University programme with other New Zealand food and beverage business leaders to investigate global opportunities for their businesses. For him, the emphasis was on the opportunities for Māori and his industry.

Jason has taken on governance roles that are helping him fulfil his vision of prosperity and respect on the global stage for Māori food and beverage businesses. He is currently the Chair of Ngāpuhi Asset Holdings Company and a Director on the Foodbowl Innovation Board.

In 2015 Jason won the Aotearoa Outstanding Māori Business Leader of the Year award. This award recognises an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership characteristics including strong vision, inclusive management, governance skills, altruism, humility and making collaborative decisions for the common good.

Jason stands proudly at the vanguard of Māori supermarket ownership and innovation in Māori food and beverage businesses. He belongs to Nuku ki te Puku, Callaghan Innovation’s Māori economy programme which is fostering ideas for Māori businesses, building their networks and challenging their work practices. Being part of that programme inspired him to develop his governance skills for use within iwi.  

Next Alumni Bio - Ken Hames.