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
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.
ustainability 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.
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.”
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: www.nongmoproject.org
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.
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”
With a vision to transform the school grounds into an edible landscape for the children and local community, Otepou School got a jumpstart on the first stage of their project with sponsorship and the donation of eight cubic meters of Kōlush garden mulch from New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds.
Otepou School Project Manager for the edible landscape vision, Nicola Douglas, said the kids had been doing lots of fundraising so far this year to build a raised garden maze designed by the children. With New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds offering the gap in funds needed as well as supplying all the mulch required, the school was able to move forward with their project much sooner than expected.
“Without the funding from New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds we wouldn’t be here doing this work right now,” says Douglas. “The product they have given us is absolutely amazing too – it smells and looks so beautiful. Everyone is loving working with it.”
Established in 1896, Otepou School was originally called Papamoa Native School. Now with a roll of 65 local children, many are 6th generation students directly descended from the students who attended the school when it first opened.
Douglas agreed the project was not just about building the raised gardens but about bringing families together for the future of their children and community.
“One of our projects is to build a food storage space which will be a shelter to keep our excess kai which will be available to any of our families in need,” says Douglas. “People will be able to stop in and take what they want and leave a koha if they can.”
Other projects also planned as part of the edible landscape vision will be a pizza oven and hangi area, fruit trees, chickens, bees and other plants planned for the circumference of the school.
Once built, the children will be planting winter vegetables including beetroot, silverbeet, cauliflower, onions and garlic into the raised gardens. Come spring, they will plant summer vegetables and be encouraged to take their produce home to eat what they have grown.
School Principal, Vianney Douglas, was also one of the 50-odd whanau and local community helping out on the day. She was also very grateful for the support from Good Neighbour who had experienced gardeners directing the build of the gardens.
“We are following their good advice. We’ve got three layers of the mulch in our raised gardens which I think is going to be awesome for growing our vegetables for the kids.
“The mulch looks beautiful. As soon as I saw it I thought it just smells so beautiful!”
The Ministry for Primary Industries is restricting the movement of people and plants in and out of affected areas where Myrtle Rust, the fungal plant disease threatening the survival of our Mānuka forests and plantations, has been discovered.
Karl Gradon, CEO of New Zealand Mānuka Group, confirms, “It is clear the disease is making its way across the country. It’s carried on birds, on cars and on peoples’ feet – it’s a spore and it’s going to spread.”
Myrtle rust is a fungal disease that severely attacks plants in the myrtle family including Pōhutukawa, Mānuka and Rātā. It is not known where the microscopic spores have come from, nor if it is the same type as that found in Australia and New Caledonia.
“We are working with many of our different industry partners to come up with control programmes,” continues Gradon. “We have been listening very closely to MPI and their recommendations, and are staying engaged with them.”
As Gradon warns, Myrtle Rust disease is a national threat to Mānuka, “Mānuka is a toanga, and one of the greatest national treasures on the iwi landholdings, where most our Mānuka grows wild. The impact of this disease needs to be taken very seriously by the Ministry of Primary Industries.”
New Zealand Mānuka Group is currently implementing extensive education and training for all their people directly involved in working with the Mānuka trees including how to identify the disease and what to do once it has been found.
“Most importantly, this is about education and making sure we have the right processes and management strategies are in place to prevent this disease from reaching our plantations,” explains Gradon.
MPI is continuing to work with all industry partners including the forestry, nursery and honey industries to ensure members are aware of what they can do to help.
April saw the release of a new scientific definition from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to authenticate New Zealand Mānuka honey. New Zealand Mānuka Group applauds the scientific rigour undertaken but says there is still a way to go to protect our industry and native New Zealand plant.
With four laboratories now accredited to carry out the Mānuka5 test which measures for five different attributes from a Mānuka honey sample, New Zealand Mānuka Group CEO, Karl Gardon, explains there is still some concern and questions around the integrity and stability of the markers identified.
“We have fought really hard for MPI to go to this level of scientific rigour,” says Gradon. “We had hoped that they would have embraced existing industry science and tried to align with the existing studies out there, alongside peer reviews.”
Last week (mid-May), MPI agreed to extend the review period to allow processors access to the science in order to give an informed opinion. This is an essential next step given that MPI has said it will be the legal responsibility of the processors to ensure their products comply with the tests and do not produce false or misleading representation.
Gradon explains further, “We think it’s great to have a multiple marker system but we do question the integrity of some of those markers and the prevalence of some of those markers, not just in Mānuka, but also in other products.
“We do challenge some of the findings in terms of the stability of the markers that have been used by industry to date, such as Leptisternum, which is a unique compound synthesised only in Mānuka.”
While the science to support their findings is yet to be released to the industry, General Manager of Technology, Jonno Hill of Hills Laboratories, confirms, “The new definition is based on the concentration of four chemical markers and a DNA marker. We first test for the Mānuka DNA using one method, then analyse for the four chemical parameters via a second method.”
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