top of page

Local disruptors challenging NZ status quo

Updated: May 13

A cartoon style image of paper planes going straight up through clouds with one red plane going in a completely different direction
Disruptive thinking in NZ

Kate Bolland, RX Group's marketing executive, shares her thoughts on New Zealand businesses who are disrupting the market. From 03 Space, Manawanui, My Food Bag and Sharesies, check out these epic disruptor in our local backyard.


Business and retail is evolving, with new technologies, changes in customer expectations and sentiment and ways to deliver value to customers in a tough economic climate. 

I want to put a spotlight on local NZ businesses that are making bold moves to stand out from the crowd with fresh approaches. To win customer’s hearts, minds and wallets. 

New Zealanders are known for their ‘number eight wire’ mentality and having the ability to make use of what they have and are known to punch above their weight with innovation, creativity and disruption.  

In this article I will discuss four New Zealand businesses who are disrupting the market and dare to challenge the status quo.

03 space 

03 space is a newly opened cafe/study area/viby pace that is 'designed for optimal productivity'. It was born as the 'third place' in between home & school, and is inspired by study, coffee and friends.

The 03 space creates a new spatial experience with the ambience of a bar, liveliness of a cafe, comfort of home and focus of a library. There are different areas people can access, non-members can access the cafe of course as well as a study area and private booths. And members have extra access to the veery cool study cave space (as seen in image 1) which is home to Australasia's largest bookshelf.

There are two levels of membership, a white and black card which cost 29.99 and 39.99 a week respectively.

HOWEVER, you get all of your money back in o-coins (03 Space's own digital currency) which you can spend on food, drinks and merchandise directly through their app.

Members also earn o-coins every hour they stay.

Key features:

  • World barista champion coffee beans and equipment for award-winning coffee served alongside toasties and Korean fish cake

  • Spacious interior, ambient lighting, ergonomic seating, music and unlimited wifi & charging

  • They host community events including League of Legends, karaoke and movie nights

What a fabulous new concept, that is changing the game and providing a welcoming and cool environment for people to belong.

Check out there website here: LINK

Or, Insta here: LINK



Manawanui is a social enterprise that is New Zealand's leading provider of Individualised Funding (IF) services for people in the disability community since 2004. IF is a way of managing disability support funding that gives disabled people more control and flexibility. Manawanui are experts in what funding can be used for, as well as providing digital tools and services to make managing funding easy.

Manawanui's in-house developed software is now being productised on the other side of the world as a B2B SAAS company - which we think is very cool!

They also have taken their IP, processes and software from a disability space and trialling it in the older persons space. Both those living at home (so similar model to existing disability) but ALSO in a retirement village where independent living residents can use it rather than either relying on care home staff (who are already stretched to their limits) or paying a care agency who add a chunky commission on their services.

Alongside trialling their technology in the older persons space, they have seen great success in improving the mental health outcomes of prisoners in an initiative alongside Te Rau Ora and the Corrections Department. Manawanui supplied the technology to manage funding, budgeting and guidance for 10 Māori repeat offenders. Read more about the success of the initiative here: LINK

Manawanui and their incredible services and proprietary technology has such a phenomenal impact empowering people to live with choice and control, completely disrupting the industry.


My Food Bag

My Food Bag (who I'm sure everyone knows) is New Zealand's first and longest standing subscription-based meal kit provider.

This was such a game-changer when launched. Out of category new entrants often have the biggest disruptions and this was no different.

In New Zealand, My Food Bag - as well as a whole of competitors that have came to the game (Hello Fresh, Bargain Box etc) disrupted the supermarket duopoly by cutting them out of the weekly food shop.



Finally we have Sharesies! An incredible New Zealand company that makes investing easy and accessible. With a vision to 'give someone with $5 and someone with $5million the same investment opportunities'.

Very impressively, last month was Sharesies highest trading month in history, with over $448M NZD traded.

They also:

  • have 550,000 users in NZ, including 40,000 children

  • educate, simplify and demystify investing, different strategies and building a diversified portfolio

  • do a weekly 'Shared Lunch' conversation with experts and CEOs to discuss all things investing and have a podcast

Sharesies have lowered the barriers to entry for those wanting to enter the share market and are serving a previously underserved demographic. They have been a disruptor in this space, making the process of investing easy while delivering a fantastic customer experience.


The landscape of New Zealand business is being reshaped by disruptors who dare to challenge the status quo. From O3 Space creating a new and unique spatial experience to Manawanui, empowering people through software solutions as well as My Food Bag changing the supermarket duopoly and Sharesies' democratisation of investing. These disruptors are redefining whats possible and continue to push boundaries and inspire change.

Amazing work 👏


bottom of page