Dec 19, 2017

Pakaowhai Community Gardens Thrive on KōLUSH


When we heard a local group of enthusiastic volunteers were going to build a community garden just down the road from us, we jumped at the chance to offer our support.  Arriving with an 8m3 truckload of our luscious, weed free KōLUSH Mānuka+Seaweed Garden Mulch, the gardening team soon got stuck into finishing the raised gardens which are now thriving with a bounty of vegetables for the local community.

In September 2017, the Opotiki community garden was given a new lease of life with the raised gardens being re-built and renamed as the “Pakowhai Community Garden” – Pa Kowhai being the name of the original Maori village located near where the Waioweka and Otara rivers merged.  Pa Kowhai was also known to have had extensive cultivations so there is some wonderful local history to the community garden as well.

Tania Rother, Intercultural Research & Engagement Consultant and organiser of the community garden rebuild project, explains that the main purpose of the Pakowhai Community Garden is to revive the art of growing your own healthy food in Pakowhai/Ōpōtiki.

“We want the garden to become a place of inspiration, learning and sharing for the community, and show how easy and fun it is to grow your own vegetables!” says Tania.

The Kōlush Garden Mulch range is available as Mānuka or Mānuka+Seaweed.  Both are made from bi-products of New Zealand Mānuka Group’s processing operations through the Mānuka oil processing and seaweed processing to produce Agar.

We strongly believe in the simplicity, science and sustainability of Mānuka as nature’s original super plant. From seedling to harvest and replanting, we use every part of this incredible resource which is delivered to you as honey, oil, skin care, wound care and now garden care.

“We’ve built the new garden beds and then ran a workshop on Lasagna Gardening with the Mānuka mulch as the key ingredient,” Tania explains.

“The produce from the garden goes directly into the beautiful kai that is prepared at ‘The Shed’ Café in Opotiki which is run by Toi Ohomai students enrolled in the Food and Beverage diploma.”

To find out more about Pakowhai Community Garden or to get involved, visit their Facebook page at

Planting 4m Trees Significant Jump for Trees That Count


An important part of our operations are our Mānuka plantations and annual tree planting programme.  To support the wonderful community organisation that is “Trees That Count”, we have added our pledge to plant a total of 4,000,000 native trees which will be a significant jump in their annual tally.

Trees That Count is an online community marketplace literally counting and actively promoting the planting of native trees annually nationwide.  The goal for 2017 was to see one tree planted for every New Zealander – that’s 4.7 million trees.  With the addition of our pledge soon to be added to the count we have achieved more than doubled this goal!

We strongly believe in the simplicity, science and sustainability of Mānuka as nature’s original super plant. This is why we have established a propogation and nursery programme which will allow us to plant over four million seedlings Mānuka each year.  Our landowner partners throughout the East Cape and Wairarapa regions are continuing to convert their land into fully irrigated horticulture operations which is allowing us to push ahead with significant investment in our “super plant” developments.

Established in 2016, Trees That Count is “part of an ambitious plan to create a movement where Kiwis unite to help restore and enhance the environment, encourage biodiversity, clean air and waterways, and make a difference to climate change in New Zealand by planting native trees.”

The marketplace is open to individuals, groups and companies throughout New Zealand all of whom are encouraged to add to the live tree count online.  Whether you are simply planting some native trees at the back of your property or involved in more commercial operations like our Mānuka planting programme, all native trees count.