May 19, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

New Maori brand seeks to boost exports

4 min read

Wakatu Incorporation has completed the new brand identity for its food and beverages businesses to boost exports of all the Kono New Zealand products.

Aotearoa Seafoods, Tohu Wines and Ngatahi Horticulture are now known as Kono NZ LP.

Working together as a consolidated business enables us to switch to multi-product marketing rather than single-product selling. This will increase our overall sales and enable us to become a premium food supplier, Kono Chief Executive Keith Palmer says.

One focus will be strengthening our relationships with existing customers to expand the breadth of products we supply to them.

Our values give us a unique cultural connection with Asian businesses.

This is particularly effective in China. China is potentially the largest market for our seafood and we have established relationships and cultural similarities between our M?ori way of doing business and the Chinese approach, Palmer says.

The Maori word Kono means food basket and traditionally a kono was used to showcase produce.

Kono delivers an array of exceptional New Zealand seafood, wine and produce to customers all around the world. Our products are synonymous with the industries of Te Tau Ihu, the top of the south, Wakatu Incorporation Chairman Paul Morgan says.

As custodians of our land, Kono is committed to conserving the environment and investing in the key industries that are the lifeblood of our regional economy.

As well as being nutritionally beneficial, the food is produced sustainably and we are proud to share it with others, he says.

Hospitality, integrity, long-term relationships and taking care of the natural resources are the cornerstone values which underpin the way Kono operates.

Often people develop a brand and then present it and work out how to live it. For us, Kono evolved from our cornerstone values and it is a natural progression to unite the food and beverage businesses as one entity, Palmer says.

Our traditional Maori values are intrinsic to how we operate. They are the essence of Kono, he says.

The values are:

  • Kaitiakitanga (custodianships of the land and sea)
  • Whanaungatanga (the importance of respectful relationships)
  • Manaakitanga (hospitality and caring for others)
  • Rangatiratanga (self-determination)

Sharing logistics, developing group supply arrangements and collaboration between the business unit chief executives are some of the immediate benefits uniting the Wakatu food and beverages divisions brings, Palmer says.

The overarching purpose of Kono is to develop the Wakatu Incorporation lands sustainably and to provide a return for our Maori owners, Morgan says.

As custodians of our land, Kono is committed to conserving the environment and investing in the key industries that are the lifeblood of our regional economy.

Our long-term strategy is to build an integrated business, utilising the sea and our land to provide our customers with a quality product. The enduring relationships we envisage with our customers are similar to the inter-generational focus we have to do the best for our owners, he says.

Introducing Kono NZ LP

Kono is the food and beverages division of Wakat? Incorporation, headquartered in Nelson, and a premium exporter of New Zealand products. It is a vertically integrated business managing the entire value chain of growing, processing and internationally marketing its products to guarantee quality and food safety.

Sustainable production is a cornerstone value for the companys business units, considering M?ori have for centuries been the kaitiaki (guardians) of the land and the sea.

Konos values give it a unique cultural connection with Asian businesses.

Kono products are synonymous with the industries of Te Tau Ihu, the top of the south, and are the lifeblood of the regional economy.

The companys owners are descendants of the original Nelson-Motueka-Golden Bay landowners at the time of European settlement in 1841. The Iwi of the original owners and their descendants are Ngati Koata, Ng?ti Rarua, Ng?ti Tama and Te Atiawa. There are now over 3,000 owners holding more than 10 million shares.

Food and beverages produced by Kono are consumed in 25 countries around the world.

Kono Seafood

Toni Grant is the chief executive of Kono Seafood, formerly known as Aotearoa Seafoods.

Wakatu began investing in aquaculture in 1998 and Kono Seafoods is now the largest of Konos business units with more than 200 employees.

Kono Seafoods farms, processes and exports greenshell mussels and crayfish and is based in Marlborough. Its key markets are in Asia and all the seafood is exported.

Kono Beverages

Mike Brown is the chief executive of Kono Beverages, formerly known as Tohu Wines.

The wines produced by Kono Beverages come from New Zealands premier wine-growing regions of Nelson and Marlborough. The business unit is focusing on its premium Tohu wines from the Awatere Valley and growing the existing, successful Kono export brand.

It is the worlds first Maori-owned wine company and produces around 100,000 cases of wine each year from its three vineyards, which are certified by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand. Exports account for 80% of wine sales.

Kono Horticulture

Martyn King is the chief executive of Kono Horticulture, formerly known as Ngatahi Horticulture.

Kono Horticulture has 200 hectares in apples, pears, hops and kiwifruit and is one of the Nelson regions major growers and horticultural employers.

This business unit has a special responsibility as the caretaker of much of the Wakatu ancestral lands around Motueka.

2 thoughts on “New Maori brand seeks to boost exports

  1. Pai t?nei ripoata. E pai ana te mohio mo taku hinengaro, heoi ano ki roto he wairua pai. Engari, kaare au taea te wareware i ng? tino mamae o te whenua nei. Me k? ra, ng? rawa e hoko atu a na te P?ti Nahinara.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.