|Motueka, New Zealand
On the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park in Nelson is the coastal settlement known as Mārahau. The owners of our indigenous food and drinks company Kono, call Mārahau, and the rest of the top of the South Island, known as Te Tauihu o te Ika a Māui – home.
We come together as whānau, to camp and gather on our customary land every summer. Each time, we are reminded of the values that shape and guide what we do in modern life. The values of manaakitanga – the quality of care and generosity towards people; and kaitiakitanga; the importance of balance and the need to ensure that this balance between people and the whenua, our land and sea, is maintained. Te Tauihu is our tūrangawaewae, the place where we make sense of the world before we push out into new frontiers.
For hundreds of years, our ancestors have lived here, cultivating gardens and fishing the warm, safe bay for rich, fat cockles, pipi, snapper, mussels, kahawai and crab. We have always been gardeners, fishermen, orchardists, artisans and providores.
Through the passage of time, the world has challenged us to innovate. To become scientists, researchers, wine makers, branders, marketers, viticulturists, and leaders. We have taken up that challenge without hesitation and today craft award winning and world renowned products like Tohu and Aronui wines, Kono mussels, Annies fruit bars, Tutū cider and more.
At Kono, we have embarked on a journey of deep introspection to determine what being a good kaitiaki really means to us. We are guided by Te Pae Tawhiti – a 500 year plan for success. A compass that ensures we do what is right for people and place, and that manifests itself through ambitious intergenerational outcomes, core to which is our environment. To prosper, our environment must be well and healthy, full of life and vitality.
This is not only because our moana and whenua deserve to be healthy in their own right, but also because the wellness of our people is intrinsically linked to the wellbeing of our environment. Love for the land and respect for the sea must be ever present.
Kaitiakitanga is the value that directs our business and our relationship with our environment. It’s our hope that customers will come to understand our guiding principles and know that products crafted by Kono have at their core a deep and inextricable connection to place.
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