2 月 2017

Mānuka Plantations are Transforming the East Cape

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Kevin Crawshaw is our newly appointed Plantation Development Manager. Tasked with overseeing the development and refinement of our Mānuka plantations, Kevin’s main priority is to manage the planting and maintenance of the plantations. One of the core principles is employing people from the local community to deliver and maintain the plantation while being trained up into key roles to run and maintain the plantations on a day-to-day basis.

“A big part of this process is the organisation of physically getting the plantation built, there’s some horticulture and science into how you achieve that. But probably the biggest part is developing the personnel,” says Kevin.

“We are selecting people from the local community to maintain and work on the plantations. There are plans to develop a training centre at Maungaroa Station to then develop the skills we need on the plantations leaving me to then move on to help build other new plantations in the region.”

With a solid background in farming and 25yrs in commercial landscaping, Kevin’s last major project before joining New Zealand Mānuka Group was overseeing the landscaping for Temple View Development in Hamilton.

Kevin goes on to explain that his role is primarily focused in the overall planning and development, “The key part of what we are doing here is to get a plantation up and running, refine it and continue to refine it, then move on to manage other developments from green fields to harvest.

“It’s pretty cool because not only are we transforming part of the East Cape but also potentially creating a whole new income source for the country with the Mānuka oil.”

We are a Mānuka Company First & Foremost

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Introducing our new Sales Manager, David Turner, who is based in Awakeri, managing our global sales team towards building brand awareness, distribution channels and revenues for the group.

“As a company, we are more a Mānuka company rather than just a honey company,” explains David. “So we really want to build awareness about what we do and the benefits of Mānuka as well as the range of Mānuka products we sell.”

After 20yrs working in top managerial and general management roles in the telco sector, David decided it was time for a sea-change about 5yrs ago and moved to Golden Bay to run a health and beauty eCommerce business. He then moved to Nelson where he successfully ran an organic skincare company selling products into Asia.

“I love the back story,” says David when talking of his decision to join New Zealand Mānuka Group. “The fact that I’ve come from an organic industry and New Zealand Mānuka Group has clear views on sustainability, giving back to the community and the fair share programme – it’s all music to my ears. It’s a great story to be able to tell.”

Best Mānuka Honey Health Brand 2016

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New Zealand Mānuka Group’s Kiwi Mānuka™ brand was announced the “Best Mānuka Honey Health Brand” for 2016 at the Hong Kong Health Awards held at the end of last year. The prestigious award was accepted by our Hong Kong distribution partner at the annual awards ceremony heralded as “the event of the year in the health industry”.

The Hong Kong Health Awards is an annual event recognizing the efforts and contribution of businesses and industry leaders promoting healthy lifestyles as well as quality products and services. The international event encourages and rewards the pursuit of excellence, innovation and quality across a diverse range of categories in the health sector.

The winner of the 2016 Best Mānuka Honey Health Brand, New Zealand Mānuka Group’s Kiwi Mānuka™ was the only New Zealand business presented with an award which was a significant recognition of excellence for the company, particularly in this tough international market.

Speaking after the awards, Hong Kong distribution partner, Leo Wong had special thanks to the fans of New Zealand Mānuka Group’s products, “We thank you and our consumers for your support and especially Kimmi and her team at Megalife and Teamwork advertising for this chance to participate at this event.”

Accepting the award on behalf of New Zealand Mānuka Group were representatives from the Macau distributor, Mandi and Winnie, pictured here with Dr Vik Fong (centre – one of the judges for the award).

Celebrating Minginui Nursery Opening

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New Zealand Mānuka Group recently presented a plaque to the team at Minginui Nursery in recognition of the relationship as their first customer and for the incredible work done to turn the nursery into a viable business for the local community. Ngati Whare general manager, Mere George, tells us of her role in helping to establish the nursery and the incredible impact this has had on the small, rural town of Minginui.

“It was a real boost for us to secure this relationship with New Zealand Mānuka Group,” said Mere. “A lot of the work we are doing in and around the nursery is quite centred on the region of Minginui but having a significant company take on the first growing contract and willing to support what we are about, we hope will encourage confidence in other businesses to want to do the same thing.”

Minginui Nursery is a multi-million dollar iwi initiative tasked with returning the Whirinaki Forest to native bush. In order to achieve their vision and goals, the nursery needed a large contract customer to help get the business off the ground.

Proud to be their first customer, New Zealand Mānuka Group ordered 30,000 Mānuka seedlings to support the development of their plantations on the East Cape. While this represents only a small portion of our total planting programme, we wanted to support the Ngāti Whare-owned nursery due to the positive impact on the local community.

Mere is seeing the incredible results already, and, as she says, it’s not just financial but also from a social perspective in terms of providing employment, a local industry, creating an economy and bringing training opportunities to the village.

“From my point of view, the biggest impact has been in the jobs and employment created. We’ve also started to create opportunities in the education space for our youth to see and understand that there are jobs available which won’t take them away from home.

“I’ve spoken to some young children here and they’re already talking about wanting to work in the nursery when they’re older, like their mum or dad. There’s a level of confidence and a huge level of interest from the community about what’s happening here.”

Mere is equally impressed with the dedication and commitment of the people currently working at the nursery who have had to learn new skills to be part of this exciting new operation.

“We’ve got an awesome group of employees that are dedicated and wanting to see this thrive, they’re excited about the contracts with New Zealand Mānuka Group because they see the purpose to the work that they are doing – that really pays dividends.”

Karl Gradon, CEO at New Zealand Mānuka Group, says the decision to support Minginui Nursery was a simple one, “Minginui needed a customer to get off the ground and we needed Mānuka seedlings for our east coast plantations.”

“It was of benefit to us to know that the money we were spending was going back to the community and providing this town with employment and income opportunities that weren’t available previously.”

Pictured above (Kohiti Kohiti – Kaumatua, Mere George – Ngati Whare General Manager and Murray Redpath – New Zealand Manuka Group)