Entrepreneurship & Governance

Passionate about business, marketing & leading impactful companies. 

Photo credit NZ Herald

Photo credit NZ Herald


My Food Bag

Co-Founder (march 2013-Present)

Theresa co-founded the hugely successful start-up, My Food Bag, alongside Cecilia Robinson and Nadia Lim. The company now has a turnover of around $130m. The goal of My Food Bag is to bring inspiring, nutritionally-balanced tasty recipes and the best of New Zealand seasonal produce together and deliver it to your home. 

Nadia Lim, Theresa Gattung, Cecilia Robinson - Co-founders of My Food Bag

Nadia Lim, Theresa Gattung, Cecilia Robinson - Co-founders of My Food Bag

World Women

Co-Founder (2015-Present)

Theresa co-founded the World Women Charitable Trust with Barbara Gabler, Lindy Nelson and Chris Woodwiss in 2015. A forum for women to share knowledge, look at issues differently and question the status quo.

worldwomen believe in women standing in their full power in private and public life and that the unleashing of this energy in the company of like-minded women has the power to transform our world.

worldwomen hosted an international conference in March 2017, worldwomen17, providing a space in time for women to be inspired by powerful local and international women who are already manifesting change in education, in health and in business. 

As a result of this conference the focus of worldwomen continues to be:

SheEO in New Zealand  
SheEO was launched in New Zealand in October 2017.  442 women Activated and the Top 5 Ventures were selected and announced at the SheEO Summit and Gala in April 2018.  Join us, become an Activator.

Pay Equity
Women are getting paid less because they are women.  And it’s not getting any better. 
Let’s not wait another 100 years!  We should each do everything we can to support this initiative.  Contact your local MP, write, blog, speak about the matter. It will not change unless women raise their voices. See an article by Theresa (100 Years on).

Cambodia Charitable Trust
Denise Arnold was a speaker and workshop presenter at worldwomen17 and the Cambodia Charitable Trust (CCT) continues to receive amazing support as a result of her participation.  Aside from the many girls, libraries and bikes sponsored at the event, a further 48 girls were sponsored post conference. There are many ways you can continue to help CCT here.

Dr Tererai Trent
Dr Trent was a speaker at worldwomen17. Tererai continues her work to fund a project that will bring opportunities for jobs, income and education for women and children in rural Zimbabwe.  Tererai’s most recent book, The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams, can be ordered here. Donations to the Tererai Trent International fund can be made here.


New Zealand Lead(2017- present)

SheEO was started in Canada in 2015 by Vicki Saunders and then taken to the US. Theresa Gattung, as New Zealand Lead, brought SheEO to New Zealand in 2017 and it was launched in Australia in 2018. There are half a dozen other countries coming on board.   It is the start of a truly global way for women to support other women in business.

 SheEO is an initiative whereby 500 women (called Activators) contribute $1100 each to support early stage female entrepreneurs. The contributors are called Activators because the concept is that they are activating their mentorship, their patronage as customers, their support and their advocacy as well as their cash.

 The money is pooled and loaned out at zero percent interest to five women-led businesses (called Ventures) selected by the Activators.  All Ventures are revenue generating with export potential and are creating a better world through their business model or their product and service. The loans are paid back over five years and then loaned out again, creating a perpetual fund which we will pass on to our daughters, nieces and granddaughters. Join me on the SheEO journey and Activate here.

New Zealand has had two rounds of Activation in New Zealand and you can view the Top 5 Ventures for both 2017 and 2018 here. Take a look at the Global Venture card deck here.

Board Positions

With a professional background spanning financial services, telecommunications and agriculture, I am passionate about business and currently hold a number of governance positions.

Chair, AIA Sovereign NZ. July 2018 - present
Theresa was appointed as an Independent Director and Chair of AIA Sovereign’s Board of Directors in July 2018, when AIA completed its acquisition of Sovereign Assurance Company Limited (Sovereign). She is also a Member of AIA Sovereign’s board committees. AIA Sovereign is New Zealand's largest life insurer and one of the country's leading private health insurers.

Chair, AIA Australia Ltd.  
March 2010 – present (director from May 2009)
Australia’s largest Group Life Insurance Company. AIA Australia won the Australian & New Zealand Insurance & Finance (ANZIIF) Life Insurance Company of the Year 2012, 2013 and 2015, ANZIIF Women's Employer of the Year 2016 and the Australian Financial Review Smart Investor Life Company of the Year 2012 and 2014 and Australian Insurance Awards (AB&F) Life Insurance Product of the Year 2016: AIA Vitality and Executive of the Year 2016: Damen Mu.

Co-founder and Director My Food Bag. March 2013 - present
The goal of My Food Bag is to bring inspiring, nutritionally-balanced tasty recipes and the best of fresh, free range and locally sourced produce together and deliver it right to your door in New Zealand. Current turnover around $130m.

Chair, Telco Technology Services.  November 2011 – present
Private company established to take advantage of the shift to cloud solutions, which is now one of the largest IT players in the education sector in NZ.

National Advisory board on the employment of women. October 2016 - present.
The National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women ('the Council') has a long history of addressing issues of concern for women in employment. The Council has been tasked to provide advice that will assist the Government in planning action to deliver tangible results for New Zealand women, their families and communities.

Chair, Co.OfWomen.  March 2016 – present.
A community, support and learning organisation exclusively for women entrepreneurs, and those planning to be.  

Chair, The Six Senses. November 2013 - present
The Six Senses is a producer and distributor of luxury beauty products for premium brands.
Based in New Zealand, The Six Senses is run by an all female team with deep and diverse expertise in the fields of beauty products, manufacturing, marketing, project management, PR, law and commerce.  Recent successes include the creation and distribution of a range of four fragrances with KAREN WALKER which were produced in France and distributed globally.  Karen Walker B was awarded Female Fragrance of the Year 2016 at the Bauer Beauty Awards.

Board Member, World Pulse. February 2018 - present
An award-winning social network connecting women worldwide for change by harnessing the power of technology to help create a world—both virtual and physical—where women unite to share resources, launch movements, start businesses, run for office, or simply tell their story. A world where all women thrive.

Director, MyCare. January 2017 - April 2018
New Zealand’s first online marketplace connecting people to a nationwide network of helping hands. Mycare is changing the way people find support in New Zealand, not only helping people to find the support they need in their own community, but also building tools to help them manage their ongoing care needs. With thousands of people registered with Mycare, it is now New Zealand’s largest online community for home support services.

Chair, Wellington SPCA.  March 2011 – December 2017
Major financial turnaround completed and the substantial REHOME SPCA project, rehoming the Wellington SPCA to the old Fever Hospital, completed in February 2014.

Director, Royal New Zealand SPCA. June 2016 - April 2018
SPCA New Zealand is a charity that helps protect animals who are sick, injured, lost, abused or simply abandoned


2015 Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee – TVNZ NZ Marketing Awards.
Theresa Gattung, co-founder of My Food Bag and former Telecom chief executive, was inducted for her long history of marketing accolades. She joins laureates Geoff Ross, George Hickton and Bill Peake.

NEXT Magazine Woman of the Year

In 2017 Kiwi businesswoman Theresa Gattung was named the inaugural winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award. The NEXT Woman of the Year Awards honour inspirational Kiwi women, paying tribute to their passion, commitment and drive to succeed.

Women of Influence Awards 2018 - Lifetime Achievement Award

Theresa Gattung was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Women of Influence Awards on the eve of the day marking 125 years since women won the right to vote. Gattung celebrated the finalists and remembered the nation's "foremothers" involved in the suffrage movement.

Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RNZSPCA)

Theresa Gattung was Chair of the Wellington Board of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for many years and on the Royal New Zealand SPCA (RNZSPCA) National Board from June 2016 to April 2018 as it transitioned to become ONE SPCA. In February 2019 she was inducted into the RNZSPCA Hall of Fame.


Co.OfWomen – is a community, support and learning organisation exclusively for women entrepreneurs, and those planning to be.  

Global Women – Global Women actively work to expand the national and international impact and influence of women leaders, develop and assure leadership opportunities for qualified women, and mentor and shape emerging leaders.


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