Brookfield Primary School Thrilled with Mānuka Mulch


Families, school staff and Good Neighbour organisers gathered at Brookfield Primary School last weekend to rebuild and build extra raised gardens which will now become an integral part of a food and nutrition learning programme for the children.

Staff and parents of Brookfield Primary School undertook a range of fundraising activities to meet the cost of building the raised gardens. With only half the money raised and the project booked to take place at the end of April, the school was hugely grateful when New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds offered to cover the balance of the costs as well as supply all the garden mulch they wanted.

Wayne Roberts, Business Development Manager from New Zealand Manuka Seaweeds, also lent a hand over the two day project alongside 30-odd other volunteers, “It’s a great project and we are very happy to be involved.

“Good Neighbour is a great initiative in getting people together and kids involved in building gardens and growing food for themselves. We really like how the school is now also looking at ways to tie this Project into their education programme.”

Andrea Green from Good Neighbour organised and directed the filling of the gardens according to a tried and tested formula. Although she had never seen or used the Kolush mulch before, she was very excited to be working with it on this project.

“The mulch is extraordinary, it smells fabulous, I absolutely love it,” said Green. “I think that everything is going to grow tremendously well and the mineral content is so rich, I am delighted.”

Green explained that the process they used included layering the mulch with sand, blood & bone mix, and straw, before finishing with a top layer of mulch to protect the garden plus retain moisture to help reduce the need for so much watering through the summer months.

“A lot of mulch we’ve used before is just chipped bark which is too woody and thick but this is very, very fine. It’s definitely my favourite mulch that we’ve used.”

The school will be taking some time to work out how they want the gardens to be planted but are considering a mix of flowers, vegetables and fruiting plants to help create a diverse learning environment for the children. A butterfly house will also be built soon plus hives may be brought in to support the growth of the plants and vegetables.

Helping to Save Lives on the East Cape


New Zealand Mānuka Group is the primary sponsor for a life-saving initiative, organised by St John Opotiki, to make their Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) readily accessible at key locations across the East Cape.

Area Committee Chairman of St John in Opotiki, Pete Jackson, who is directing the placement of the AED’s confirms the support from New Zealand Mānuka Group was essential for completing this project.

“The support from New Zealand Mānuka Group means a lot as it has allowed us to get the boxes we need to protect these expensive medical devices so that we can put them in the locations where they are accessible and can be found easily.”

The AEDs are being placed at 20km intervals between Kutarere and Potaka, preferably in a local marae or other suitable public location. Once in place, St John will be offering training to local people both in person and via a YouTube video.

Pete Jackson explains further, “Staff from our Opotiki office will be following up after the AEDs are in place to provide training. The beauty of the AED is that anyone can use it as it will self-activate if it finds that the patient needs to have their heart kick started.”

Used specifically for cardiac arrhythmia, the Automated External Defibrillator is a life-saving medical device which can be used for any patient collapse. If someone collapses then anyone on the scene at the time can put the AED on them. The device monitors the person’s heart and if it decides a shock is required to save them then it will warn everyone nearby before activating the shock to the patient.

According to St John, more than 2,000 New Zealanders will suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital and 64% of these people will be relying on a bystander to perform CPR to save them. Use of an AED within 3-5 min of collapse can increase the chance of survival by up to 40%.

It is unfortunate that cardiac arrhythmia is experienced by so many people, especially in our region. However, we hope that with the placement, access to and knowledge of these life-saving devices in our local marae and public places across the East Cape region, we will see more people survive and make a full recovery.

Proud to Sponsor Martinborough Rugby Club Premier Teams


Rugby and provincial rugby teams are the cornerstone to many of the local communities where we operate. It is for that reason that we were thrilled to be invited to support the Martinborough Rugby Club senior teams when they approached us for sponsorship late last year.

Tony Croft, Seaweeds Operations Manager based at our Martinborough processing facility, brought the suggestion to us as a member of the Martinborough Rugby Club committee.

“New Zealand Mānuka Group is one of our main corporate sponsors this year which has covered the cost of our jerseys as well as other gear for the season,” says Tony who also plays for the Senior Reserves.

“The sponsorship covers our two senior teams which is 44 players in total wearing the club colours featuring the New Zealand Mānuka Group logo,” he explains. “Both teams are playing in the Wairarapa-Bush competition which is a regional event with 15 premiership games through the season.”

Established in 1904, Martinborough Rugby Football Club has a proud history and a strong presence in the Wairarapa region. The community-based club is run by a dedicated group of volunteers, mainly farmers and other locals living in the area. The addition of sponsorship funds always goes a long way to help the club and its teams keep running and remain able to participate in the exciting and hard fought regional rugby competitions.

“Our Senior A team has only had three games so far which have all been very close,” says Tony. “The team were gutted after their game last weekend which was against the top team in the region, although they only lost by two points.”

Other New Zealand Mānuka Group staff who are also representing Martinborough Rugby Club this season are Jono Hartnell, Rueben Goodger, Chance Ropiha, Alex Priest and Chance Rockborough. We wish them all a great season and best of luck in their up-coming games.

Working Together for Healthy Bees & Strong Hives


Going into the winter season, one of the biggest concerns facing beekeepers nationwide is the health of their bees which essentially dictates the strength of the hive.  Under the guidance of our newly appointed National Beekeeping Manager, Hein Watt, our beekeepers are using a ground-breaking bee nutrition formula which is effectively seeing our bees going into winter stronger and healthier than ever before.

“We’ve implemented a feeding programme where we are feeding the hives on a 3-4 week cycle depending on their accessibility,” explains Hein.  “We have been trialling the Kōbee supplement and the bees are going absolutely crazy for it!”

“Our goal is to ensure our bees get all the amino acids, essential minerals and trace elements they need going into the winter season so that we have stronger and healthier hives going into spring which means we have happy, healthy bees.”

Hein has also been spearheading a national Hive Management Programme which will effectively ensure company-wide uniformity of all beekeeping activities on a seasonal basis.  The focus of the programme is particularly around minimising Varroa but also ensuring all beekeepers know how to correctly identify American Foul Brood, and the steps to take if they do find it in their hives.

“We are putting all our beekeepers through a refresher course to ensure they comply with the Disease Elimination & Conformity Agreement (DECA),” continues Hein.  “This includes a mini exam to verify that they are able to check for and identify American Foul Brood.”

Another important aspect of the Hive Management Programme is an annual planning meeting each winter for everyone to exchange ideas and their knowledge from the season just gone as well as agree to the activities in place to ensure stronger, healthier hives for the next season.

Hein is already enthusiastic about the results he is seeing and feeling positive about the health of their hives going into the winter season, “With the bee feeding we are doing and our Hive Management programme, our bees and hives are going into winter looking really good and very strong.”

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.

Our unique new Mānuka Mulch makes gardens lush


resh from our product development team at New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds is a truly incredible range of garden mulch products which is already causing excitement with our landowner partners and avid local gardeners.  Our newly launched Kōlush branded Mānuka and Mānuka+Seaweed garden mulch is another great example of the fact that our business is so much more than just honey – we are a Mānuka company first and foremost.

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.

Traditionally producing agar from the pterocladia seaweed collected around our coastlines, we are now moving into producing a wide range of products for gardeners, landowners and beekeepers nationwide.  The first product launched just this month is the Kōlush Mānuka and Mānuka+Seaweed garden mulch.

Both these products contain Mānuka mulch which is the bi-product from our oil processing operations yet still contains an incredible amount of nutrients as well as providing moisture retention for your gardens.  Combined with beach cast seaweed, the added benefit is improved soil structure and balance, further enhancing the natural environment to give a luscious, thriving garden.

Gardeners are choosing to use Kōlush as a purely decorative feature or they are digging it into the soil more to get the additional benefits particular from the seaweed combination mulch.

Our Kōlush range is available now from all good Palmers Garden Centres nationwide.  You can also find out more from our New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds website here –

Top NZ Chef teaches using honey as a sugar substitute


Top New Zealand chef, Jimmy Boswell, hosted five masterclass sessions at the “Sunshine & A Plate” event. Demonstrating how to use Melora Manuka or Floral Blend honey as a sugar substitute in many of his recipes, Boswell showed the 80+ registered attendees a simple way to reduce refined sugars and add flavour complexity to his Italian-style dishes.

Chef Jimmy Boswell held a series of masterclasses over the course this hugely popular event covering a range of themes including “Love Food, Hate Waste”, a general masterclass with an Italian focus, a diabetic masterclass and a schools event based around the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution.

“People come to these masterclasses to learn and get new ideas,” says Boswell, who is also a credited cookbook author, TV presenter and food stylist. “They love the food and they see how I am using honey to add a sweet layer to the dish for its balance and taste”

“I’ve been using honey as a sugar substitute for years. I have dozens and dozens of recipes where I specifically identify honey to be used,” explains Boswell.

“Certain dishes like those with a lot of tomato or basil can stand up to the strength of the Manuka honey.  Whereas for lighter dishes, like a seafood dish I demonstrated which had mussels and cockles in their shells, I use the floral blend which is lighter and will complement the flavours of the dish.”

“Sunshine & A Plate” is an annual foodie festival established and run by Hospice Whakatane to “celebrate summer’s bounty and the region’s local delicacies”.  Featuring cooking lessons, demonstrations, dining experiences and competitions, all funds raised went directly to Hospice Eastern Bay of Plenty’s care of the community.

Boswell recommends swapping honey for sugar spoon-for-spoon in sauces and some savoury dishes to provide balance or enhance the flavour of the dish, “One of my sauces which people love is a Sicilian tomato-based sauce which you can use for ragus, bolognaises, pizzas and more. Quite often Italian’s use sugar just to provide a little bit of sweetness but I prefer to use honey.”

Showcasing our region with Sunshine & a Plate


In February this year New Zealand Mānuka Group was, once again, given the opportunity to support ‘Sunshine & A Plate’ – an annual food festival held in Whakatane which also raises funds and awareness for Hospice Eastern Bay of Plenty. 

This is the second year of what is fast becoming an iconic event for the Eastern Bay of Plenty, and the second year New Zealand Mānuka Group has been involved.  In 2016, 250g jars of Melora Mānuka Honey were donated to be included in the ‘Sunshine & A Plate’ gift boxes as well as providing tours of our Awakeri processing facility.

“The feedback to our special food tour in 2016 was very positive, and was suggested that we should include this on alternate years,” explains Rosemary Sloman, festival organiser and Community Relationship Development, Hospice EBOP.  “This year we asked for New Zealand Mānuka Group’s involvement in an educational capacity through a showcase video presenting all aspects of their operation as a prelude to our Masterclass Chef series and the opening night with our partner sponsors.”

Immediately after the presentation New Zealand Mānuka Group ran a business card draw for all sponsor representatives.  Sharon Seales from the Whakatane Liberty Centre was the lucky winner of a $250 gift hamper including UMF 5+ Mānuka honey Mānuka blend honey, lemon lozenge pouch, orange flavoured lozenge 12pk box, Mānuka with almond oil, Mānuka Secrets hand crème, Mānuka Secrets lip lustre.

The ‘Sunshine & A Plate’ food festival included 31 separate events over 10 days, from the opening sponsors evening on February 17th through to a very special parakuihi (breakfast) on the closing day, February 26th.

Rosemary explains further, “Sunshine week has been developed to showcase and champion all that is grown, gathered and produced in our region; to encourage national and international visitors into the area; to provide a sustainable funding stream to ensure our Hospice services can be accessed across the Eastern Bay of Plenty; and to grow pride in the diversity of our region.”

This year, the fesitval attracted visitors from all over New Zealand as well as international visitors from Hawaii, UK and Canada.

Images below: (Top) Ingrid McNiven from NZ Mānuka Group giving the company presentation (Bottom) Ingrid McNiven and business card draw winner Sharan Seales

Junior BeeKeeper wins experience of a lifetime


Chance Ropiha, one of our Junior Beekeepers working within our Wairarapa team since May 2016, has won the the Hunting & Fishing New Zealand TenBuckTee promotion – a $20,000 adventure experience prize.

We cant wait to hear all about his advernture of a lifetime.

Read all about it here.

Best Mānuka Honey Health Brand 2016


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).