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New Bee Nutrition Solution Keeps Bees Humming


Our product development team at New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds has been incredibly busy this past year, having just launched the luscious Kōlush Garden Mulch range they are now undertaking in-market trials with a brand new range of bee nutrition product called Kōbee.

Kōbee is the culmination of extensive research and development alongside our beekeeping partners who have been monitoring and giving essential feedback on our unique formula bee nutrition supplement. This proprietary concentrate contains mixed seaweeds each providing essential amino acids, minerals and trace elements for optimum bee and hive health.

When added to the normal sucrose feed for the hive, Kōbee provides a much wider range of nutrients aiding gut health and giving our bees the best boost to prevent and fight off disease as well as being more resilient through seasonal changes or challenging environmental changes.

New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds is our Opotiki-based seaweed processing company with a second, newly built facility now also operating in Masterton. Through this business we create and distribute naturally sourced Mānuka and seaweed products to enhance the nutrition, growth and productivity of plants, pastures and bees.

While our Kōbee Bee Nutrition range will not be available until later in the year, we will keep you posted on our progress and developments with this exciting new supplement which will soon be available to beekeepers nationwide.

This is just one more exciting innovation which demonstrates how our business is more than just honey.

Announcing our Northland Beekeeping Partnership


New Zealand Mānuka Group and Northern Life have recently announced a joint venture agreement to form a beekeeping partnership. The venture not only boosts our total hive numbers but is also a helping hand into the Northland region where large tracts of land are abundant in Mānuka trees.

Hein Wait, our national beekeeping manager, has been leading the development of this new venture with Northern Life and explains the focus of the operation will be in servicing the Northland region.

“This is a major and important move for our operations as we have never operated in the Northland region before so Northern Life is effectively giving us a boost into this area as well as the creation of our first own in-house Queen division,” explains Hein.

Northern Life has a Queen division as part of their operation which is to be included in the new joint venture. This is a significant benefit for our national beekeeping operations as it means New Zealand Mānuka Group will now have first pick of the Queens as they become available.

Weather dependent, Hein is expecting to be able to increase the New Zealand Mānuka Group total hive numbers for this year’s season. The operation is to be supported with the success they are having with using the new bee nutrition formula, KōBEE.

“Obviously our ability to increase hive numbers depends on how well they have survived the winter but so far the bees are looking good, especially since we have begun adding KōBEE to their feed.

“The feed supplement is already making a big difference to our hives – there are more eggs and larger brood sizes. It appears to stimulate the Queen so she is laying more and we haven’t seen any of the Nosema virus which can appear at this time of year.”

Despite a late start to the season, thanks to a very cold and wet spring, Hein is still confident this year will be much better than last season, which he says was one of the worst seasons that he has ever encountered nationwide.

“We are all gearing up for it being a better season this year,” says Hein. “We are visiting our land blocks and making sure ensure optimal stocking rates. As we go into the flow and the hives are healthy and strong, we will know we are halfway there already.”

In the meantime, everyone is watching and waiting for the weather to clear so the team can get on with the job of beekeeping. A few dry days each week through spring and a warm summer is all we are hoping for now.

East Cape Students Retrace Footsteps Maori Battalion


New Zealand Mānuka Group is proud to help sponsor a group of 19 secondary school students from Te Kura Mana Māori o Whangaparāoa, Cape Runaway, East Cape, are heading off on the trip of a lifetime to retrace the footsteps of their ancestors who fought in both B & C Company of the 28th Maori Battalion.

Over two years of fundraising, planning and studying is finally coming to fruition for 19 secondary school students, three teachers and six parents who will be following the footsteps of their tipuna (“ancestors”), to pay their respect to those who fought in Greece and Crete.

“This trip will be a real eye-opener for some of our students as for a few this will be their first time on a big plane,” says tour organiser and principal of Te Kura Mana Maori o Whangaparaoa, Tuihana Pook.

The students have been researching the region, the climate, the people, their culture as well as the war cemeteries in both Greece and Crete.
Tuihana explains further, “As mokopuna (“children”) of Te Whanau-ā- Apanui, our trip will give us the opportunity to see and hear about how soldiers, from our iwi as well as iwi throughout New Zealand, dedicated their lives in both the Battle of Greece and the Battle of Crete so we would have the freedom we have today.”

New Zealand Mānuka Group is just one of the many sponsors who have contributed to this important journey and learning experience for our children. Potikirua Incorporation, Te Piki 10, Whangaparaoa 1B2B10, Iwiroa 7 & 9, Pauanui, Tawaroa, Whakaari Beekeepers Ltd, Te Puni Kokiri, Whangaparaoa 2L, Oruati 2B, Te Kaha 2B, Raekahu, Maungaroa 3B, are some of the Land Trusts and Incorporations to whom the parents and students are most grateful.

The Board of Trustees of Te Kura Mana Māori o Whangaparāoa and the students themselves have also made significant contributions towards this trip-of-a-lifetime.

“We fly out on 27th September and will have a one night stopover in Bangkok then continue our journey via Dubai before reaching our final destination in Athens, Greece,” says Tuihana. “We return via Dubai and arrive in Auckland on Oct 11th.”

Everyone here at New Zealand Mānuka Group wish them safe travels and will share photos and updates with you on our social media and website soon.

Congratulations to Our Boys in the TVC East Coast Division


Each year, a group of our beekeepers and beekeeping partners compete in the East Coast Rugby Union Competition which is one of the premier events in the region. NZ Manuka Group and Pakura Beekeeping have proudly sponsored the team’s shirts, gear and away game travel costs.

Pakura Beekeeping manager and spokesperson for the team, Mark O’Brien explained what a great season the boys have had this year, “TVC won most their games throughout the season so were strong going into the competition.”

The team were up against Hikurangi for the final who were also a strong contender for the win. However, it came down to penalty time and a last minute goal kick for TVC to secure the competition.

“At half time the score was 7-5 then 14-14 at full time,” says Mark of the nail-biting finish. “The game went into extra time of 10mins each way which took the score up to 21 all when TVC got a final penalty to secure the game at 24-21.”

It was by far one of the most exciting games of the season with the whole community getting behind the game. To win the competition is a fantastic result for everyone involved and supporting the boys playing. And of course, the players are all thrilled with their win too.

The 2017 Mitre 10 Heartland Championship is the twelfth season of the second tier of New Zealand domestic competition. The tournament boasts twelve unions throughout the country, all of who are contributors to the catchment areas of the New Zealand Investec Super Rugby franchises.

A Great Result for Martinborough Rugby Football Club


As the jersey sponsor of Martinborough Rugby Club’s Senior Premier and Reserve teams, we have been keeping a close eye on their games this season, and are pleased to report the boys have had an absolute blinder!

Martinborough Rugby Football Club is a strong community-based club run by a team of dedicated volunteers. While the club enters their premier team into the Wairarapa Bush rugby competition every year, it has been 24 years since they made the Grand Final, and 26 years since they have won – most of the current players weren’t even born then!

“It’s been a great season,” confirms Rachael Colton, President of Martinborough RFC. “Our Senior Premier team made it to the grand final for the first time in 24 years!”

Considering their shaky start to the season, losing their first four games, the fact they made it to the finals was a huge result not only for the team but for the club and the town as well.

“The supporters have been right behind them the whole season,” explains Rachael. “We’ve got people who have never followed rugby before turning up to games and coming along to the club.

“Making it to the finals was great for the town too. Everyone got behind the team flying green and black everywhere.”

After such a fantastic end to the season, the club and premier team are already talking about next year with pre-season training due to start in January.

Rachael puts the team’s extraordinary result down to their positive attitude even when they weren’t doing so well.

“They are such a good bunch of guys and when they finished last in 2016, they were still so positive and turned up to training as normal. They have worked really hard this year.”

A special congratulations to everyone at Martinborough Rugby Football Club for the wonderful recognition they received at the 2017 Wairarapa-Bush annual awards night, including:

Pat Shannahan Trophy: Mens Premier Player of the Year – Chris Raymond
Lane Penn Trophy: Coach of the Year – James Bruce
David Galvin Trophy,: Senior Administrator of the Year – Rachael Colton

Complete & Sustainable Use of Our Valued Resources


Here at New Zealand Mānuka Group we pay special attention to the way our resources are utilised to minimise waste and maximise sustainability. It is through this approach that our core resources, the Mānuka tree and seaweed collected from our coastlines, are used and valued to their fullest potential.

Based right here in our processing facility and head office, we are lucky enough to have a team of scientists who are dedicated to not only ensuring we bring the highest quality products to our customers. They are also able to help us tap into new opportunities which become available through the bi-product of our processing activities.

Zero Waste is Good for Business

One example of how we take full advantage of our Mānuka plants is seen through the creation of our KōLUSH Garden Mulch products. To produce our powerful MβTK Mānuka oil range, we harvest the tops of our Mānuka trees, extract the oil from the brush and what is left is a Mānuka mulch still rich in nutrients which has been pressed down to a fibrous mix perfect for the garden.

The way we go about producing pharmaceutical grade Agar has given us another incredible resource which is now being added to a number of other products in our business. Agar comes from dried and processed pterocladia (red) seaweed. We collect this seaweed by hand and using tractors along the coastlines where it is washed up by the tide.

The collected seaweed is then brought back to our factory in either Marterson or Opotiki where sorters separate the pterocladia needed for producing Agar. To make full use of this valuable resource, our team of scientists looked into the profile and attributes of the brown and green seaweed bi-catch. They have now identified that these seaweeds also have their own unique combination of nutrients which are very beneficial across a wide range of applications.

As the result of our seaweed collection activities, we now produce KōBEE Bee Nutrition, we have a Mānuka+Seaweed KōLUSH Garden Mulch and we are about to launch our new range of plant & soil nutrition products which will all be branded as KōFERT.

Sustainability Goes Beyond Waste Management

However, we are also constantly reviewing and assessing our activities and potential environmental impact right back to the land. From ensuring our staff carpool where possible, to using technology, to planting and caring for the land; we have the greatest respect for the native resources available to us here in New Zealand and want to ensure we have access to this for generations to come.

KōBEE Launched at Apiculture NZ Conference


New Zealand Seaweeds officially launched its new bee nutrition brand, KōBEE at the recent APINZ Conference held in Rotorua. Attended by beekeepers from all over New Zealand as well as Australia, Philippines, America and the UK, KōBEE drew significant interest from attendees and fellow exhibitors alike.

The annual APINZ Conference is an important event in the beekeeping industry for the wide range of speakers and high-quality exhibition stands. This year’s event was no exception with organisers confirming 1,200 delegates had registered to attend the three-day conference.

NZ Seaweeds’ Business Development Manager, Wayne Roberts, was particularly impressed with the number of enquiries and amount of interest he received for KōBEE. “With Natural Pollen sources dropping around the world its important to put bee nutrition as a top priority. One of the biggest concerns facing beekeepers nationwide is the health of their bees which essentially dictates the strength of the hive – that’s when KōBEE can really make a big difference.”

KōBEE is a mixed seaweed concentrate designed to provide all the essential amino acids, minerals and trace elements for optimum bee and hive health. Used in extensive field trials by beekeepers working with New Zealand Mānuka Group, the feedback and results prove the effectiveness of their unique formulation. “explains Wayne. “We looked at what bees need and what they require from their food and their environment, and have found a seaweed formulation as close to that as possible.”

With over a decade of experience in the seaweed industry, Wayne is passionate about seaweed and the unique qualities of this incredible natural resource. Joining the Business Soapbox Talks at APINZ to give a short presentation on KōBEE, Wayne also shared his wealth of industry knowledge, closing with a very appropriate quote from David Attenborough which was well received.

“There has never been a time in history when the natural environment has been under threat more than it is now and therefore, the need for new ideas and innovation to combat the destruction of nature upon which we all depend for the future has never been greater.”

Announcing Our UMF™ Mānuka Products are NON-GMO


We are excited to announce that all of our UMF™ 5/ 10/ 15 and 20+ Mānuka honey range is now Non-GMO Project Verified. This is a wonderful result for everyone involved.

One of nature’s truly incredible and unique ingredients, our Mānuka honey is sourced and processed with the utmost care to ensure its finest quality, highest purity and richest natural compounds. From our landowner partners, to the beekeepers, extraction and processing team, we are all very passionate about bringing you only the best Mānuka honey.

The Non-GMO Project is a mission-driven nonprofit organization offering a third-party non-GMO verification program to the standard consumers expect. They are the pioneer and established market leader for GMO avoidance. They have set the industry standard for non-GMO verification since the Butterfly first appeared on store shelves in 2010.

The Non-GMO Project Product Verification Program third-party verification is the highest quality system when it comes to product labeling and certifications because it ensures products have been comprehensively evaluated by an independent party for compliance with a standard developed by industry experts and stakeholders.

Companies must work with third-party technical administrators to get their products verified. These technical administrators are skilled industry professionals and will work with you to help your products achieve verification.

Achieving this verification is not only an important outcome for our future but represents our commitment to quality and authenticity.

Looking for the Non-GMO Project Verified label is an easy way for you to differentiate foods. You can now be absolutely assured that our UMF™ 5 / 10 / 15 and 20+ Mānuka honey are safe and feel confident in the knowledge that you are doing the best for your family and the environment.

For more information on the Non-GMO Project, please visit:

From NZ Fieldays to APINZ Conference


Our NZ Seaweeds team are incredibly busy – having just completed a hugely successful display at the NZ Fieldays, they are now about to set up their trade stand at the APINZ Conference in Rotorua.

With a jam packed site to demonstrate KōLUSH Garden Mulch, KōBEE Bee Nutrition and KōLUSH Soil & Plant Nutrition, it was a big challenge keeping up with the interest and demand for information and samples – This was the first time NZ Seaweeds has had a stand at the NZ Fieldays, and we were all very excited to present our new brands and product ranges to Fieldays visitors this year.

“We have some great products,” agrees our CEO, Karl Gradon. “We represented the company well and have strong leads coming out of this event. A huge thank you to everyone that manned the stand and helped us put our best foot forwards!”

But we really don’t have a moment to celebrate our success at the Fieldays as we are about to head straight into the annual Apiculture New Zealand Conference.

Held in Rotorua on 9th to 11th July, we are all set to go with a full display of our KōBEE Bee Nutrition to officially launch this exciting new product to the beekeepers attending from all over New Zealand as well as overseas.

This three-day event has a packed programme of guest speakers, workshops, talks and social functions. New Zealand Seaweeds’ Business Development Manager, Wayne Roberts, will be giving a short presentation of KōBEE at the Business Soap Box Talks being held at the APINZ Theatre.

If you are attending, please stop by the KōBEE trade stand to register and pick up a free 1L sample of KōBEE to try for yourself.

Taking New Zealand Mānuka Group to the World


Janine Chamley is our new Global Marketing Manager and a highly experienced strategic marketer who brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience from 20 years working for New Zealand’s largest company’s including Fonterra, Goodman Fielder and Fletcher Building. Marketing everything from pet food to toilet paper, cream to concrete, and most aisles of the supermarket in between.

“I really enjoy working in primary industries,” says Janine. “Representing the best New Zealand has to offer is a big passion for me – we’ve got so much to offer the world!”

Janine brings expertise in innovation management, strategic planning and brand development to NZ Mānuka Group. As leader of our marketing team, she is responsible for establishing brand structure, long-term marketing strategy & innovation plans across the total business.

“I am also focussed on excellence in execution, in order to deliver on the business pivot to be a consumer-based business selling an innovative range of Mānuka-based products to the world.”

When she’s not flying our flag to consumers and markets around the globe, Janine loves to escape to the beach with her husband and two daughters to relax and unwind.

“Living by the beach and exploring the country are the best ways for us to unwind together”