Eat Right Symposium

What we eat matters symposium

Our dietary choices impact our planet, our health and the animals.

New Zealand’s first Eat Right Symposium took place at TAPAC (Western Springs) on June 7th 2023 from 9am to 1pm. Students from schools around Tāmaki Makaurau came along to learn how what we eat impacts our health, the environment and animals.

The Eat Right Symposium encourages you to join us for a morning of inspiring talks, fun activities, and delicious food! You’ll also meet other young people who are passionate about health, sustainability, and animal rights!

This event will be of interest to students 14-17 who care about health, environmentalism, climate change, and animal rights.  Teachers who may be interested in this include those include PE,  Health, Sustainability and geography, Philosophy, History. Staff and students who run groups on: healthy eating, sustainability, climate change, animal rights, philosophy etc.

The 2023 event opened with a guest appearance by Steve Abel of Greenpeace followed by seminars and workshops with our speakers.

Watch some of our 2023 speakers below.

Meet our Speakers 2023

Alice Shopland
Steve Abel

Alice Shopland founded Aotearoa’s first vegan cheese company Angel Food in 2006.

Since then, the Angel Food team have been striving to make plant-based food mainstream. Starting as a small importer of vegan products lead by local activist and foodie Alice Shopland. We’ve since grown our own small team to develop and produce dairy-free cheese alternatives right here in Aotearoa. Today, we have a great range of plant-based and allergy-friendly cheese products suitable for just about any diet.

The impact of our dietary choices is now widely recognized – for human health, the environment, social justice, and for the animals. But making conscious choices doesn’t have to mean missing out on comforts like good cheese.

Pere and Samah Huriwai-Seger are activists and co-founders of Aotearoa Liberation League – or ALL – a charity which advocates for collective liberation.

Talk Synopsis

Pere and Samah will talk about their journey and experiences with activism, and how that led them to forming ALL. They will discuss why they see colonisation as the common enemy of animals, people and our environment, and how honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi can bring a positive outcome for all of us.

Patricia is a passionate vegan and animal rights activist. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Property Degree. However, she now primarily works as a freelance social media and communications assistant for vegan start-ups and non-profits. She has been working alongside Daisy Lab since 2021. Daisy Lab is a bio-tech startup that was founded in 2021. Its mission is to produce animal-free dairy products using precision fermentation right here in Aotearoa. Irina Miller, CEO and co-founder, will discuss her journey to founding Daisy Lab and the science behind producing dairy proteins that are nutritionally identical to the dairy proteins produced by cows. Patricia Paynter, social media and communications assistant, will discuss what role she plays for Daisy Lab and the joys and challenges of being a mission-driven freelancer. 

Steve Abel is an environmental and climate activist with 25 years experience.

He was part of the successful campaign to end native logging on crown land in the late 1990s; the GE free environment campaign in the early 2000s; the Greenpeace campaign to stop Marsden B coal fired power station in 2005; and the alliance with Te Whānau-ā-Apanui against Petrobras which led to a seven year campaign that culminated in the end to offshore oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa in 2018. He  is part of the urban tree protection group Mana Rākau. Most recently he has led the Greenpeace project to provide free nitrate water testing for rural people on bore supplies affected by dairy contamination. He is the New Lynn candidate for the Green Party in 2023.

Jason Shon Bennett
MIchael Davis
Oli Allen

Jason Shon Bennett is a self-cured health researcher, inspirational speaker, author who inspires and educates people all over the world. Jason’s health transformation story took New Zealand by storm; Jason spent 20 years extremely sick born sickly and premature to a mother suffering toxaemia. Throughout his first 25 years he suffered asthma, constipation, bad skin, allergies, hay fever and fatigue, alongside regular colds, flu, bugs and sickness that would have him in bed for weeks/months every year. He was on Ventolin daily (up to 16 shots), regular steroid injections and Intal preventers. After being told many times he was “incurable”, and was sick of being sick (long before the internet, social media and globalisation), he began extensive research into the world’s healthiest diets and the medicinal properties of foods. Applying these learnings in his own life, Jason transformed his health and has not been ill nor taken asthma medication for over 30 years.

Talk Synopsis

Want to live long, stay healthy, have clear skin, heaps of energy and save the planet? Eat more plants. Learn how and why.

Michael is a Chef, Body Builder and YouTuber with two channels.

He surprises a lot of people because they never guess he’s vegan too! Michael does street interviews and also Mental health and Gamification content on YouTube. His passion is to help people become the best version of themselves through both of those outlets.

Talk Synopsis

We live in a world where most people think “Animals deserve to be abused.” Michael unravels the complexities of this hidden truth of society by presenting all the evidence for this case hiding in our values, cultures and environments. You will be convinced of this fact without a shadow of a doubt but you will also understand what to do if you find that you disagree.


Irina Miller has been the CEO and co-founder of Daisy Lab since 2021. She is an experienced business consultant, entrepreneur and a recent TEDx speaker. During her career, she has worked with various start-ups and large corporates, across multiple sectors and geographies. However, after turning vegan and leaving Fonterra in 2017, her dream has been to produce animal-free dairy using precision fermentation in Aotearoa.

Oli Allen is an environmentalist and an animal caretaker. They found their calling when they joined the environmental committee in high school. This encouraged them to study Ecology and Zoology at the University of Otago where they developed a deep understanding of our ecosystems and how they are impacted by humans and the lives that we lead. Since then they have continued to develop their knowledge of environmental issues and the threats to our ecosystem while travelling around the world caring for animals. Through instagram and their website they aim to raise awareness about environmental threats and what we can do to help.

Registration is free*.

FREE plant-based catering by Tart Bakery and Goody Bags for ALL participants.

*Limit of 15 per school

For more information, contact Amanda Sorrenson, 

at or on 021 102 7317.