The Veg and Vines conference

This is the first conference on plant-based nutrition in New Zealand. We’ll be bringing together experts in the whole food, plant-based diet and sharing the experiences of those who have been involved in this industry. This conference is aimed at healthcare professionals, especially general practitioners, nurses, and allied staff, but is also open to interested members of the public.

Why is there need for this conference?

  1. To raise awareness of the importance and benefits of a plant-based diet
  2. Connect and build network of practitioners who are interested in this approach
  3. Share new ideas and start on solutions for improving health in NZ

Attendees can expect to learn:

What is a plant-based diet, background research, current research being done in New Zealand, clinical experiences with plant-based patients, how does this fit with the NZ public health system and Maori culture, and more!


We are strongly interested in sustainable approaches to weight loss, maintaining and improving health, managing and where possible reversing/curing chronic diseases. We are also interested in the role of prevention within the health care system.

The growing burden of chronic disease is front and centre of this conference, bringing together ideas for how to affect rates of our most common conditions and drive attention away from the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. This is focused on plant-based nutrition, but other innovative and evidence-based ideas on how to deal to this massive and growing problem are more than welcome.

In order to progress this topic we are gathering viewpoints from knowledgable experts and facilitating a way for people to connect, learn, and make the most of the opportunities to improve the health of New Zealanders overall.

Who is organising the event?
This conference is being run by exercise physiologist Morgen Smith and Dr. Nick Wright on behalf of the Plant Based New Zealand Health Charitable Trust. Dr Patrick McHugh is also a board member. More information is available on request.

Both Nick and Morgen are keen plant-based diet/lifestyle enthusiasts and teachers of lifestyle change.

What previous work has the trust done? 

The PBNZHT has been running research in the community, which teaches a whole food, plant-based diet to community members. The members of the trust have a strong interest in research, with Dr Duncan (public health physician and medical officer of health) and Dr McHugh (general practitioner and emergency physician) having been involved with many various trials over the years. Morgen Smith is an exercise physiologist who runs the current research namely “End Diabetes Gisborne East coast” (EDGE). Dr Nick Wright works alongside Morgen in the day-to-day running of the programme.

Ticket pricing

Tickets are $199 for early bird tickets, sold prior to 10th December. After this, ticket prices go up to $299. All profits will go back to the charity and pay for the expenses of the conference. Any further profit will be put towards future work of the charity which runs plant-based education programmes in the community.


We are not affiliated with the popular music festival Rhythm and Vines.

Gisborne Summer Activities

The city of Gisborne really comes alive over the summer months. We hope that by traveling to the East Coast for the conference you will be able to enjoy some local activities before and after the conference.

Student discount
Please get in touch for a student discount via your university email address.