Auckland University’s top alumni stars revealed in ‘The 40 Under 40’

Auckland University has released The 40 Under 40 – a celebration of alumni aged 40 and under who are making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Michal Garvey – Foodprint

A combination of a passion for food, technology and sustainability led to the creation of an app that has so far saved 50,000kg of carbon emissions through food rescue.

Foodprint is the creation of Auckland University alumni Michal Garvey and gets her a place in the 40 Under 40 list.

The app allows customers to search for discounted food and allows eateries to sell meals that would be binned at the end of the day.

“It might be something left over at the end of a shift, something from a cancelled catering order or made in error and you can purchase on the app and then it is put aside for you to collect,” Garvey said.

“For the eatery side it is easy and it means they are still getting some money for something that would be going to waste.”

With the planet under such pressure, Garvey wanted to play her part in reducing the one-third of food produced for human consumption that is wasted.

“We live in a time where technology can provide us with solutions to change our damaging habits,” she said.

“Food should be treated as a precious commodity and fulfil its intended purpose of nourishment and enjoyment.”

Lockdown had been tough on Foodprint, which was only seven months old when Covid hit New Zealand shores.

Level 3 provided renewed hope for the app which has been described as a “lifesaver” for Kiwi businesses struggling to forecast demand as people work from home.

“We have had great feedback from eateries because if they have excess food they can still make some profit and don’t have the guilt of it being wasted,” Garvey said.

Foodprint has more than 400 Auckland eateries including Little Bird Kitchen, &Sushi, Ripe Deli, Mojo, the Caker and Revive.

The app recently launched in Wellington and starts in Lower Hutt this weekend.

Chandni Sahrawat – Social entrepreneur

Chand Sahrawat’s name is well known in the Auckland hospitality sector, along with husband Sid, as the people behind prominent restaurants Sidart, Cassia and The French Cafe.

Delicious food and business management aside, it is Chandni’s other work that helped earn her a spot in the 40 Under 40.

Chandni is an outspoken advocate for better inclusion of migrants in the New Zealand labour force.

Earlier this year she helped raise $7500 for Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in Auckland to help buy oxygen concentrators for Covid-19 patients in India.

Growing up in Mumbai, Chandni experienced sexual abuse as a child. She moved to New Zealand in 2002, aged 17, so she would not have to see her abusers walk free in the community.

As an international student at the University of Auckland, she accessed counselling services and gained the courage to “take back my power in life”.

Chandni now holds several qualifications: a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching, both from the University of Auckland, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and Guidance Counselling from Massey University.

She uses her influence and knowledge to improve the industry, is passionate about the living wage and making hospitality more inclusive for women.

Social enterprise is embedded in the culture of Sid and Chandni’s business, working with charities such as DineAid and supporting Starship Children’s Hospital.

In 2019 Chandni helped raise more than $120,000 for Victim Support by organising a charity luncheon at Sid at The French Cafe.

In the future Chandni plans to lobby for migrant rights and said she would also love to do some personal charity work “combining my skills and passion to work with victims of sexual abuse, especially women and children”.

Spotlight on:

Lanu Faletau was born in Tonga and educated in Auckland as a boarder at St Cuthbert’s School for Girls. Lanu holds three degrees, is a lawyer, plus-size model, and advocate for Pacific representation. As an Obama Foundation Leader for New Zealand and Tonga, she met Michelle and Barack Obama on a leadership programme in Kuala Lumpur last year.

Manase Latu is a 25-year-old Tongan tenor who grew up in Ōtāhuhu and studied music at Auckland University. He is currently in New York as a member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Programme and about to make his debut at the renowned Metropolitan Opera.

Karl Rock is an international YouTube influencer with a huge following for his videos on India. He is also an internationally recognised scam-buster and has presented at anti-piracy conferences around the world.

Dr Morgan Edwards is the Waitematā DHB obstetric anaesthetic lead; and vice-president for the NZ Society of Anaesthetists. She helps mothers and mothers-to-be access unbiased, factual information about pain relief options available to New Zealand woman.

Cat Ruka (Ngāpuhi, Waitaha), holds a Bachelor’s degree, Post-Graduate Diploma and Master’s degree all from the University of Auckland’s Dance Studies programme and is the first Māori woman executive director of Auckland’s Basement Theatre.

Tāmati Rākena is the co-founder of Tahunakura Charitable Trust and My Taiao Clothing based in Northland, a not-for-profit partnership providing financial support to assist Māori taking on tertiary studies. Tāmati is also a Kupe Leadership Scholar.

University of Auckland 40 under 40 list 2021

Business Leaders

Nuwanthie Samarakone – Started corporate talent agency ICE.

Te Aopare Dewes – Partner at law firm Chapman Tripp and leader of Māori legal group Te Waka Ture.

Dr Lloyd McCann -CEO of Mercy Radiology.

Richard Hobbs – General manager of Transpower’s Customer and Strategy division and advocate for decarbonisation of New Zealand’s energy sector.

Ziena Jalil -Former New Zealand Trade Commissioner, the youngest ever appointed.

Sarah Liu – Founder of The Dream Collective, an Asia Pacific top 10 diversity and inclusion consultancy.

Joshua Buckley – Operating executive at Control Air Enterprise, a large construction company based in California.


Angus Muir – Award-winning designer of art installations.

Claire Cowan – Composer and the first female in the history of the Royal NZ Ballet to score a full-length ballet.

Dr Kate Riegle van West – Founder and CEO of SpinPoi, a social enterprise taking the health benefits of poi to the world.

Ryan Archibald – Auckland Unlimited. He is also a former Black Stick and has represented New Zealand at three Olympic Games.

Marcia Hopa – Māori businesswoman, television presenter and kapa haka leader.

Shilo Kino – Award-winning author with Huia publishers, a freelance columnist with Newsroom, the Guardian and the Spinoff, and a news reporter at Marae TV.

Carl van Roon – Founder of Van Roon Martial Arts. He is an 11-times martial arts world champion in taekwon-do and karate.

Disruptors and Innovators

Dr Rahul Gandhi – Wellington Hospital doctor who was involved in developing cost-effective screening for rheumatic heart valve disease in East Timorese schoolchildren.

Syed Adeel Ali -Founding CEO of APIMatic software company with users in more than 200 countries.

Daniel Xu – Co-founder of UVLens and Spark 64, an artificial intelligence (AI) agency helping organisations leverage AI to do things faster, cheaper and smarter.

Imche Fourie – Chief executive of Outset Ventures, Aotearoa’s largest science and engineering venture incubator.


Nawaz Ahmed – Investor, adviser and host of popular podcast The Inquisitive VC.

Shaun Tan – Head of technology at Lanaco, a Kiwi start-up using premium-grade wool to make high-performance masks and filters for Nasa and the NZ Olympic Team.

Matty Blomfield – Co-founder of Hectre, an orchard management software designed to reduce the amount of fruit wasted globally.

Eleshea D’Souza – Innovator in New Zealand’s dairy industry, and has worked for Fonterra, Pāmu and LIC (Livestock Improvement Corporation).

Mofei Bian – Entrepreneur based in China assisting architects, builders and developers to import prefabricated housing from China.


Nina Tonga – Holds one of the most influential roles as curator ofcontemporary art at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Dr Emma Blomkamp – Honorary Fellow at The University of Melbourne and a professional co-designer.

Edward Ashby – Specialist adviser in Māori heritage at Auckland Council and a board member of Te Kawerau Iwi Tiaki Trust.

Valentino (Valery) Wichman – Barrister and solicitor and director of Central Policy and Planning Office for the Cook Islands’ Government.


Lucy von Sturmer – Founder of award-winning agency The Humblebrag engaging in social, environmental and cultural issues.

Kate Meyer -Creator of Planetary Accounting, a model to connect human decision-making with Earth’s environmental limits.

Boopsie Maran – Placemaker who aims to make public spaces to be more pedestrian-friendly, more liveable, and more fun.

Dr Karina McHardy – Former elite gymnast who advocates for diversity and consumer-centred change in healthcare.

Oshni Arachchi – Expert in human rights and banking and is the global head of sustainability data, screening and processes for Danske Bank Asset Management based in Sweden.

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