Here at HealthPost, we’re big on supporting local Aotearoa brands, and what better way to celebrate Aotearoa’s first Matariki holiday than with our favourite Māori-owned brands?
Marking the start of the Māori New Year, Matariki is about reconnecting with your whānau – and taking the time to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and prepare for the future. In Māori culture, it’s a meaningful time for loved ones to come together and honour ancestors, share delicious kai and tell stories.
From harnessing a vision built on Māori history to sustainably sourcing native plants across our beautiful whenua (land), here are four Māori-owned brands to celebrate this Matariki.
1. ŌKU NZ
Passionate about the traditional use of our native rākau (plants) to support health and wellbeing, founders Scott and Helen formed ŌKU with a vision to use plants as our medicine, and to show off the many wonderful health benefits found within our native ngahere (forests).
Their unique range of herbal teas, tonics and balms feature native herbs like Kawakawa, Kūmarahou and Houhere – which are shown to support healthy digestion, balanced energy and optimal immune health.
Drawing inspiration from Helen’s Māori background (Tapuika, Ngāiterangi), ŌKU are conscious of their Tikanga Māori – ‘doing things the right way’. From sustainable harvesting to contributing to land restoration projects, they’re committed to reducing their CO2 footprint every step of the way – ensuring minimal impact on our environment.
“At ŌKU, we’re constantly striving to incorporate Māori culture into our business model. We begin our staff hui with karakia (prayer), we use traditional rongoa planting and harvesting methods, and stay in communication with my Hapu and Iwi. When we incorporate kaupapa Māori principles into our business, it means that not everything is about profit. It’s also about giving back – back to nature, and back to our community and whānau.”
- Co-Founder, Helen Paul-Smith
For a peaceful moment in your day, unwind with Restore NZ Native Herb Blended Tea. Formulated with native herbs Karamu, Mānuka, Kawakawa and Kumarahou, this nourishing herbal tea blend is organic and wild-harvested. It’s also packaged in a recyclable cardboard tube – making it a great choice for you, and our planet too.
AWWA, derived from the Māori word ‘awa’ - meaning ‘river’ or ‘flow’, was founded by female duo Michele and Kylie. Inspired by our tupuna (ancestors), who spoke openly about menstruation and valued periods as a sacred and special time, AWWA was formed to help unpack the stigma around periods today, and to empower and uplift those who menstruate.
As a carbon-positive business, AWWA's carbon credits are sourced from projects that grow and protect native rākau across Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands. Whether you’re menstruating or want extra support during pregnancy or for a weak bladder, AWWA’s range of period-proof underwear is here to keep you dry (and fresh) all day long.
“Māori culture is at the heart of everything we do at AWWA. Our products are inspired by the beliefs and rituals of our tupuna. Our kaupapa is to help reconnect future generations with their cycle and see their ikura (period) as sacred and special. Leading a Māori owned business is central to AWWA's ethos. It means people over profit. Kaupapa over profit.”
- Founders, Kylie and Michele
Holding up to five regular tampons or pads worth of flow, AWWA All Day Classic Period Brief (Black) is a super absorbent, leak-proof underwear for your period. Perfect for saving on waste – and money, this comfy brief can be washed and reused as often as necessary and makes a wonderful all-day or all-night option for moments you need it most.
Anihana – Māori for ‘Anderson’, was named by founders Sophie and Aden, after Sophie’s late mother Marara Anihana and their daughter Beau Anihana Cooper. Inspired by Māori heritage, anihana represents the company’s strong connection to family values – while their sustainability efforts give back to our precious whenua.
Handcrafted using sustainable ingredients that are good for our planet, anihana’s body and haircare range features shower bars, bath bombs, solid moisturisers and 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners – all superb for your daily self-care ritual.
“We have a very diverse team from all over the world and they appreciate the cultural heritage ingrained in the anihana brand. For me personally, it is an honor to be able to name our business after my daughter Beau Anihana Cooper and my late mother Marara Anihana (Anderson).”
- Co-Founder, Aden Cooper
For sustainable beauty that nourishes and soothes, anihana Solid Moisturiser – Raspberry & Vanilla is a wonderful addition to your skincare set. Made with ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil and hemp seed to hydrate your skin – leaving it smooth, soft and smelling great. Each moisturiser is equal to 2 x 250ml lotions, making it a great option for any eco-enthusiast.
Whether you’re looking to shop local, discover wellness favourites or simply support brands that pay homage to our beautiful Māori culture, these Aotearoa-owned brands are worth adding to your wellness list this Matariki.