“After researching the truffle industry for two or more years and buying our 1.5 hectare block of land in Temuka to join the truffle industry, the consultation we received from Kings Truffle gave Dawne and I the confidence to move onto the next step and make our dream become a reality. From the bare block of land we had to prepare then planting of the trees and getting the irrigation in… We look forward to our future within the truffle industry and our on-going working relationship with Bill and Jax”
Chris and Dawne Tuite, Temuka

Kings Truffles Team

Kings Truffles was founded by Bill Lee who is also now the Managing Director (and head tractor driver). His daughter, Jax Lee, is the General Manager in a largely family operated business. Kings Truffles is governed by a Board consisting of three Directors (including the MD) all of whom have had varied and extensive business experiences, including business start-ups.

Bill has a Masters degree in Agricultural Science and was a Nuffield Farming Scholar. He has spent considerable time in France and Australia gaining expertise both in truffle-infecting technology and general husbandry of tree and truffle management. Since 2003 and 2006, Bill and Jax, retrospectively, have been involved in all aspects of the truffle industry; producing and selling truffle-infected seedlings (which have since produced truffles); hands on experience growing and managing trees; producing their own truffles; and marketing and selling them. Kings Truffles is one of the largest truffle-growing, New Zealand owned, operation in NZ, with over 5000 trees based in North Canterbury and Banks Peninsula.

With hard work, a lot of sweat, a few tears and even more laughs the team at Kings Truffles are proud to be part of the ever growing New Zealand truffle industry. The experience the team brings is essential. Combined with innovation and an open mind to learn more and develop accordingly, Kings Truffles strives to ensure delivery of the best quality black truffle in the world.

Meet Our Team

Bill Lee
Bill LeeFounder and Directing Manager
Bill has been hooked on truffles ever since he embarked on a tour to Southern France to look first hand at the industry in 2003. He is convinced New Zealand has the potential to become a major world supplier of truffles to an increasingly sophisticated and wealthy base of customers. This potential is enhanced by the fact that New Zealand produces fresh product in the Northern Hemisphere off-season. His vision for Kings Truffles is to become a world renowned truffle producer and exporter, supplying a quality product.

Jacqueline (Jax) Lee
Jacqueline (Jax) LeeGeneral Manager
Jax brings a strong background in sales and marketing (she has a degree in graphic design and a post graduate diploma in business studies majoring in marketing), along with practical farming and truffle nursery experience, to the team. She has visited both France and the United States to observe different growing techniques and for marketing purposes retrospectively. She loves dogs and her current truffle dogs, Digger and Freddy, are both successful and proven truffle hunters.

Jax started in the nursery infecting trees in 2006 and now as well as this, manages all husbandries and harvesting for trees managed by Kings Truffles. With this experience Jax is able to act in a consulting role as well as being the key person in organising sales and marketing of truffles.

Freddy
FreddyTruffle Dog
Freddy, a female labrador/pointer cross is the boss of the truffle dog team. 2014 was her first truffle hunting season when she wasn’t even a one year old. After limited training time with truffles she still managed to find a respectable amount of the underground treasures. Now after having a few seasons finding truffle and training in the off season she is an integral member to the team. Not only is she a truffle finding machine but Jax’s running buddy, chief rabbit hunter in the off seasonand also mother to two new members to the Kings Truffles dog team.
Moe
MoeTruffle Dog
Moe is a 2 year old Spaniel and the hippy of the team. Coming to us a little later in life we are yet to try him on the real thing but he is going well in training and can’t wait to try find some fresh black truffle for Jax. In the off season he is a great uncle to the pups and a surprisingly good guard dog even if he is the smallest of the four now.
Moose and Snoop
Moose and SnoopTruffle Dogs
Moose (brown) and Snoop (black), are two boys that Jax kept from Freddy’s litter of 10 puppies. The father, Pluto, is a truffle dog in his own right and offers harvesting services in the South island with his handler, Susan Morton, for other truffle growers. Still very much at the learning stage and exploring everything, both puppies are showing huge potential and can’t wait to learn more from their mum and uncle about finding this underground treasure!
Digger
DiggerTruffle Dog (past)
Digger was an Australian kelpie and was locating truffle from 2010 – 2015. His Australian heritage came out in him when he was hunting truffles, with a very low key swipe at the spot in the ground where the truffle is, blink and you would miss it!