When was it started your business and why?
Kia ora my name is Gordon. I’m the Founder and CEO of Natures Therapeutics. Our operations commenced August 2020. Based in Whangarei New Zealand, we manufacture a range of health and personal products. Each product contains at least 1 plant extract traditionally used by Māori.
Our health products help relieve respiratory, muscular, joint, and skin conditions. Products are natural – a great alternative to the chemical-based options!
Final products are manufactured at our facility in Whangarei to ensure we can control quality.
Why did I start Natures Therapeutics? I lived overseas for 35 years. I returned to live in New Zealand in 2015. When I returned, I decided to restart taking the traditional natural formulas I had grown up on, to improve my well-being. (I fully tautoko (support) people entering the bush and harvesting for their personal use and family/friends etc).
However, I quickly realised, that others wanted these traditional plants too – but didn’t have access and/or didn’t want to spend the time to harvest and process. I started Natures Therapeutics to provide products for these people.
What is the most unique/exciting aspect of the business?
Achieving true quality and sustainability. Purposely, the decision was made to not harvest from the bush. In partnership with our supply chain, plants are grown in controlled, purpose designed spaces. Harvesting is undertaken according to tikanga (tradition). The health properties are extracted in a laboratory environment so we can guarantee each batch is of identical strength.
What are you most proud of?
Reviving traditional knowledge passed down with mana (prestigious recognition) and aroha (genuine and loving intention). Our manufacturing process integrates modern technology to provide an end product that is well-suited for our modern day lifestyles. Creating good stable products with decent shelf life has been challenging but we persisted. We are very proud of our product range and the many comments we receive from happy customers.
Where is the product sold? Do you export?
Our facility is located in Rathbone Street, Whangarei. We do have a small shopfront at the front of our facility where people may come, browse, ask questions and of course purchase. The majority of sales are received via our online store naturestherapeutics.co.nz.
We can, and do ship, globally. At present we don’t export as such (to an offshore distributor) but we do have the capability and are presently exploring the potential.
How did you get through the challenge of Covid-19? What other hurdles have you faced?
The initial national lockdown came very early in our journey. Like many other New Zealand businesses, we could not operate. The realisation of COVID-19 impacting long term motivated us to look at a product/s that could help people impacted by the virus.
In addition to our existing Kūmarahou Elixir, we tested and developed 4 other products that can significantly help with symptoms. Those products quickly became, and remain, our most purchased products. As with any business that is predominantly ‘online’, getting our message and story out to the public has been a hurdle that is not easy to overcome.
We have worked very hard to learn about and upskill in the digital marketing space. It was very slow to begin with, but we are now enjoying good steady growth. Whilst our digital marketing skills are still developing, our customer’s reviews and ‘word of mouth’ is greatly helping our story getting out.
Why are you proud to be New Zealand Made?
We are extremely proud to be New Zealand Made. However with that comes responsibility. Globally, New Zealand has a very good reputation as a clean and reputable manufacturer. Every day we challenge ourselves to be good caretakers and strive to always deliver excellence. Our mission is “exceeding expectation”. Being recognised as New Zealand Made feels good and in some ways is very empowering.
What does the future hold?
Our vision is “preferred supplier”. So our future is all about working toward our vision. A strong foundation has been built and we are so proud we have taken time to ensure tikanga (cultural tradition), safety, quality, value, and sustainability have been embedded as core values. Our customers demand a product that does what they need/want it to do.
Keeping that ‘front of mind’ our sights are firmly set on strengthening and growing our domestic and international exposure.
While taking a year off from his engineering job, Matt Peacock’s passion for art, coupled with a friend who kept telling him to turn it into a business, led him to found Tides Out Maps.
The business sells handcrafted wooden depth maps based on the waterways of New Zealand.
Peacock has found his entrepreneurial fulfilling and is especially proud of just how satisfied his customers are with his maps.
What the business has to offer
The range of the maps is vast, covering all of New Zealand, and even some international options too, with each map being 100% geographically accurate.
There’s also a lot of customisable options on offer for customers, with Peacock making sure that everything is perfectly suited to each customer’s needs, whatever they may be.
“It is our mission to make every map that goes out our door just a little bit different. Before we start making your product, we’ll check in to see if you’d like to add a custom engraving at a location that’s special to you. Whether it’s your favourite fishing spot, your beloved holiday home, or even the place you fell in love… let us know and we’ll add your memory to your map.”
Peacock and his team are fortunate to have started up towards the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the virus affected the business far less than others.
Proud to be NZ made
Peacock takes pride in the fact Tides Out Maps is New Zealand Made through-and-through. Each map is designed and constructed right here with remarkable attention to detail.
Setting his sights to the future, Peacock says he would like Tides Out Maps to continue growing and reaching more clients, while also being able to make a personalised relationship with all of its unique consumers.
Drying Solutions was born out of a struggle to find a device that could dry macadamia nuts.
Sensing an opportunity, co-owners Robert and Paulette set their sights on the nut growing industry, and when that venture proved unsuccessful, they turned their sights to the pet food industry.
From there, the business, which provides drying solutions for a wide range of food industries, has grown with increased diversification into various products like fruit, leaves, and mussels.
It creates energy efficient products that utilise refrigeration heat pump technology. The low heat better maintains the food’s nutrients and colour, and the pair have also built a sealed chamber that prevents air from getting in or out.
The husband-and-wife duo take pride in their achievements. They were able to help a big New Zealand company from humble beginnings to becoming a prominent exporter. They’re also proud of the company’s record of helping other businesses develop their own products, as well as the major energy efficiency of their NZ-patented Rexmoi® Dryers.
They sell within NZ, and export a product to Australia. However, they have also received a lot of overseas inquiries.
Thankfully for Drying Solutions, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were a lot less damaging, as they were constructing units for a petfood company, which was considered an essential business, during the spread of the virus.
However, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for them. For instance, they’ve had delays in getting parts, with NZ suppliers facing their own challenges. The business has been completely self-funded which has meant that development of the Rexmoi® Dryers has not been as fast as they would have liked.
Drying Solutions has many bold goals for the future.
Firstly, it wants to export more dryers. The pair also want to aid innovating clients by providing novel products, including those that want to turn waste products into valued added goods.
Additionally, Drying Solutions strives for increased innovation, including bigger and smaller units.
With carbon costs playing a role in multiple other types of dryers, Drying Solution’s dryers effectively utilise electricity, with their low/no carbon footprint putting them in an advantageous position.
Drying Solutions is proud to be NZ made and of the high quality products it produces.
It’s proud of the hands-on support it can provide to customers in the form of availability of help, technical support and programming to fit customer requirements.
Drying Solutions is also able to continue developing several versions of the Rexmoi® Dryer and associated equipment. It has worked with a client on developing a hot box that repacks emergency slides, and for another client they’ve successfully developed a cooling tunnel.
Phil Bennett found his passion for food as a teenager through his friends, who were bakers and chefs. They introduced him to the idea of getting involved in the food industry himself, and with a fondness for Italian cuisine, he teamed up with co-owner Linda Murphy to make high quality, fresh pasta.
The owners’ skills complement each other very nicely. Phil excels in product development, engineering, and sales, and Linda is talented at analytics, finance, and her ability to build strong business systems.
Pasta Vera’s journey began with Bennett and Murphy owning a small factory and a factory shop, creating and developing many of the company’s core products at the time.
Over 20 years later, Pasta Vera sources fresh ingredients and delivers a range of fresh pasta, lasagne, and pesto, including a gluten free and a vegan range. Additionally, their products are available through food service distributors and retail outlets across the country.
The turning point
The most prominent feat for the business was when they were able to invest in a new purpose-built factory in 2017, located in Wigram, Christchurch. The new resources and increased rate of production was great for the company, they say.
“We went from originally hand folding pasta to being able to invest in Italian pasta machines to meet market demands.
“We were making Pesto with a stick blender and now we make it in large batches with a 100kg bowl chopper, and we’ve also gone from baking 10 trays of lasagne for our retail shop, to producing 3000kg a day.”
As a recognised supplier of fresh pasta products to the food service sector, Pasta Vera’s goal is to keep providing the food industry with quality and locally-made fresh pasta, pesto, and lasagne.
It’s founders are proud to be running a Kiwi-made business.
“It’s important for as a NZ business to support other NZ business and ensure that we provide quality, locally produced products for all New Zealanders to enjoy,” the duo say.
“Having the recognition of being an authentic NZ Made company builds credibility, trust and authenticity for our brand across levels of business.”
Qualified physio Bart de Vries felt he was doing meaningful work, until he realised he was sending people back to the environments that had injured them in the first place.
Disheartened, he decided to give up his career to create “the world’s healthiest desks” back in 2015.
“I was sick of seeing people return to the environments that were injuring them.
“I decided I should look for a better workspace setup but couldn’t find one that did what I wanted.”
Seven years on, Limber’s space efficient, sit-stand-kneel desk system is being used by more than 1000 customers worldwide, including the likes of Xero, UC Berkeley, and Meta (aka Facebook).
Value-driven to its core
De Vries says Limber’s values can be boiled down to care for people and the planet.
Its desks are made from sustainably forested wood, and offset 120%+ of the manufacturing emissions.
“We are on a mission to halve the global disability from back pain by 2050. Back pain is the number one disability in the world.”
He says the business is on a mission to make lives better, but it will also unleash a huge amount of productivity and creativity that can be used to solve the problems that face humanity.
“The past 3 years have been a bit of a rollercoaster,” he reflects.
With lockdowns and people moving to working from home post covid, he says more people wanted desks that were adjustable and don’t cause pain.
“The flipside is that with supply chain disruptions and costs increasing across the board we have had to battle through the complexity a bit, just like everyone has.
“We’re very grateful for our enthusiastic and supportive customers.”
The business launched b2b a month before the first lockdown then had to switch 100% direct to consumer which required a lot of work.
Finding a manufacturing partner during the first lockdown to then deliver for the new level of demand, then switching to another partner soon after was another real challenge for the business.
“Fighting for supply of raw materials and seeing our margins disappear with inflation meant we have had to make big decisions quickly and on the run to save the company.”
All of its business comes from online sales which it fulfils from its Lower Hutt workshop.
The business expanded to Australia in July using a third-party logistics provider to fulfil orders quickly. It is also sold into the US, Canada, Spain and the UK shipping from New Zealand.
Once Limber has an established presence in Australia, it plans on expanding its presence in the US and beyond.
“We are also looking at how we can supplement our physical products with a digital offering. The first of these being an at home ergonomics certification which we are currently selling to corporate customers to help their people to avoid pain and have a healthy work from home set up.”
De Vries says New Zealand has a premium brand on the global stage and he’s proud to leverage Kiwi-made as the brand presents its products to the world.
In 2017, while thinking of business ideas, Hasan Chahoud’s son asked him: “Baba, why don’t you start the saboon business?”
With aleppo soap being a part of Chahoud’s family business in Syria, and soap making being a long-standing part of his family, he jumped at the opportunity.
Hasan Aleppo Soap’s roots come from a rich knowledge of making aleppo soap, and the business now crafts a range of natural and authentic aleppo soaps as well as other health products with a focus on quality over quantity.
It heavily incorporates old-fashioned methods in making its soap. It is even considered the first aleppo-originating family that makes authentic aleppo soap in New Zealand.
“It is a great feeling to start such a big step in manufacturing and sharing the heritage of Aleppo soap in New Zealand,” Chahoud says.
Pure, authentic, and natural
Hasan Aleppo Soap pride themselves on creating authentic and natural products. In addition, its product range is wide and expansive, including deodorants, perfume, essential oils, tooth care products, and its top-selling Aleppo Soap Shampoo Bar, which is a 3-in-1 shampoo and conditioner bar.
It offers eco-friendly products that are low-waste and use packaging that is minimal and/or recyclable. In addition, these products are healthy and very useful for sensitive scalps and skin.
Much like other NZ businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic proved challenging for Hasan Aleppo Soap, but the business spent the time adding more products to its already extensive product line, and focused on online sales.
It sells products in Auckland (via the Howick Village Market and the Clevedon Farmers Market) and across New Zealand from their online store, as well as exporting to countries such as Australia, France, China, and the United States.
Hasan Aleppo Soap sees the value in being a Kiwi-made business.
“Being a New Zealand brand is something we value and people from all over the world do value as well. So, joining Buy NZ Made was important to highlight this feature in our products line,” Chahoud says.
Its product range can be found at https://www.hasanalepposoap.co.nz/shop/
New Zealand-owned and operated Warmington is a one stop shop for fireplace needs.
It designs and manufactures a vast range of fireplaces – like wood and gas fires, outdoor fires, and wood burners that are made for New Zealand conditions, with environmentally-friendly options. Warmington also sells other products, including chimneys and flues.
Warmington customers can get custom-made fireplaces, crafted just for them, via LEAN manufacturing principles, in smaller manufacturing lead times than other companies, giving Warmington an advantage over competitors.
Its fantastic service comes complete with technical consulting and project management helping customers with all installations. All fireplaces are made in Auckland, and its products are not only loved locally, but are also cherished in Australia and the United States.
Warmington wants to lead the industry in designing and manufacturing home heating solutions.
With distinctive in-house consulting and product testing capability that means it can design custom products, Warmington can bring customers exactly what they are looking for, alongside the guarantee that it’s made to New Zealand’s high safety standards.
Warmington is passionate about innovation, and with a team of engineers, architects, builders, and designers, as well as lots of expertise and knowledge in the industry, it has become well-known for making an extensive range of excellent, high-quality wood and gas products.
What the future holds
The last two years have been a challenge for Warmington, just like the majority of NZ businesses.
Warmington has needed to be flexible in order to deal with the differing guidance from the NZ government when it comes to sorting out COVID-19 in the workplace.
It also faces the challenge of changes to the competitive Solid Fuel heating market, but it is focused on keeping the team together and growing it in response to more demand.
Despite the fact inflation will be an issue in 2022, Warmington sees such challenges as a chance to keep improving, to be the designer, manufacturer, and home heating solutions provider that customers expect.
Warmington is fully staffed to manage the growth, and it is making investments in equipment to improve its processes and to keep training its team to meet demand.
Warmington loves to improve its business and it isn’t afraid to take challenges head on.
The business expects more growth, demand, and improvements in time to come.
By Mark Summers
When professional snowboarder Robert Mitchell got injured, he turned to his great, great-grandfather’s bone broth recipe.
The recipe was brought to New Zealand when his grandfather came to look for gold, and three generations on, worked wonders for Mitchell’s recovery.
Mitchell found that he was going to the doctors when he was injured, and he’d always get the usual medication to help his pain.
While these were useful, he noted that what he fed himself while he was healing was also incredibly important.
“I have used bone broth to rehabilitate injuries in the past with great results. This led me to develop Mitchell’s Bone Broth Powder, made using our traditional recipe, and dried to remove the water but preserve the rich nutritional profile.
“It really helps bounce back from an injury and recover from a heavy session to stay strong to keep doing what I love.”
Mitchell says making original bone broth took a lot of time and painstaking effort, especially when one of his arms was in a sling. But four years on, he was finally successful in creating a winning formula.
He says bone broth is packed with healthy, nutritious ingredients like amino acids, collagen, and proline, that improve the wellbeing of others.
Mitchell’s Bone Broth Powder is also dairy free, gluten free, and legume free, and it contains no antibiotics or hormones.
The last year has been difficult for Mitchell, as logistics became far more of a challenge and prices increased across the board.
However, sales have surged, as the pandemic has amped up the demand for healthy, natural food and a surge in local support.
Mitchell has had some trouble finding subcontractors. He says that patience, perseverance, determination have been the key to solving these problems.
The entrepreneur is inspired by ideas that are outside of the norm. He loves it when people follow their interests and people that create new products or ideas.
A year from now, he sees the business growing its product range and getting into export markets. Currently, Mitchell’s Nutrition sells mainly online, selling DTC and stock to roughly 50 independently owned health stores in NZ and posting some orders to Australia.
All its ingredients are New Zealand-grown. Its products are created from 100% grass fed bone and vegetable. Mitchell is proud that the bone broth consists of products that are grown, raised, processed, and packed in this country.
Mitchell says he will continue to expand his business and strive to make more nutritious and healthy food products.
“Our mission is to elevate the standard of mental and physical wellness through innovative health supplements made locally using premium New Zealand ingredients.”
NZ Made Day on 21st November 2020 and is a day where you can support New Zealand businesses that make their products locally.
This year many eCommerce retailers are offering either Free Delivery or a Free Gift with purchase on NZMade Day.
Go on to the Buy NZ Made Instagram or search the Instagram hashtags #shopkiwi and #nzmadeday for businesses who are offering free delivery, a free gift with purchase or something else to entice you to buy on NZMade Day.
The 10 NZ Made products are from some of the participating ecommerce retailers offering Free Delivery or a Free Gift on NZ Made Day, so get ready to #shopkiwi.
During Level 3 lockdown, thousands of businesses owners were inundated with eCommerce orders as Kiwis went to support those who made products in New Zealand. NZ Made Day is your opportunity to make a difference again by through purchasing the products they’ve worked so hard to build, craft, sew or sculpt.
Covid has been a tough year. Let’s help Kiwi businesses finish strong and #shopkiwi on NZ Made Day.
Made from clear pine, sanded smooth, this elegant and simple activity frame is the perfect gift for any young baby. Featuring 3 sets of toys hanging from the frame made of food grade silicone beads in Mustard Yellow, Tui Blue, Marble, Grey, and natural Beech wood, providing a range of different textures, shapes and movable parts to keep your young one entertained.
If your bubba can’t get enough of wriggling around, try something new with a gorgeous play gym from Nik Nax on Gift Tree. Gift Tree are offering a FREE GIFT, this NZ Made Day.
For sore or dry lips, it doesn’t get much more soothing than a combination New Zealand’s superhero ingredient, mānuka honey, with the beauty of calendula. Combined, Hayley Benseman Skincare have created a gorgeous product that soothes and helps heal. The beautiful natural ingredients make it great for those who have sensitive skin.
Use it for yourself or for your kiddies as its all-natural and edible (we all know they lick most of it off anyway). Hayley Benseman are offering a FREE GIFT on NZ Made Day, so make sure you don’t miss out.
People have been milking sheep in many parts of the world for thousands of years, and it is now experiencing a strong resurgence in popularity. Studies suggest sheep milk may be a very good alternative for those who struggle with the digestion of cow’s milk or experience an upset stomach after drinking milk.
Spring Sheep Milk is made by Kiwi families for the world to enjoy, so why not give it a go in your Sunday pancakes. Spring Sheep are proud to offer FREE SHIPPING, this NZ Made Day.
Native Woodcraft is a family owned business specialising in decorative wooden panels with links to Ngāti Kahunguni and Te Atiawa. The designer panels are most often used in outdoor spaces, entertainment areas, playgrounds and even fencing. They often feature NZ Native birds so you can pick your favourite.
They’re made in Dannevirke out of high quality NZ pine and can be painted, stained, varnished or left a-la-natural. Native Woodcraft are also proud to offer FREE SHIPPING on NZ Made Day with code “NZMADE21”.
Newflands Hoki oil is a unique fish product that is high in Omegas from sustainably fished stock around the pristine waters of New Zealand. It is a lovely golden liquid which is easily digested when pumped over your pets’ food. Founder, Fiona Robertson decided to make Newflands after she couldn’t find any other option on the market and found that it helps her dogs’ joint health, coat shine and skin health.
Help your dog as it gets older with Newflands, they are also offering a FREE GIFT this NZ Made Day.
We’ve talked about mānuka honey and we’ve talked about milk, but what about a delightful combination of them both in soap form. Cleanse and moisturise your skin with this antibacterial mānuka honey and hydrating goats milk soap from Ahhh Bodycare.
Relax, draw a bath and indulge in this gorgeous soap on NZ Made Day. Ahhh Bodycare are proud to offer 25% off online during NZ Made Day.
Let’s be honest, do you really use your sit-stand desk? Or do you just leave it sitting or standing most of the time. It’s okay…it’s not you, it’s the desk. Limber’s innovative desk has been called the world’s healthiest desk by professors from UC Berkeley.
It’s because the desk moves as fast as you can, with a time-tested rope and pulley system that means you don’t have to wait for…..ever…..for the desk to move. Limber will offer FREE SHIPPING this NZ Made Day.
Studio 397 designs and manufactures an affordable range of quality outdoor garden art that will add colour and create atmosphere to any home, bach, fence or even your work space, and most importantly will not rust or break down. This cheeky Pīwakawaka (Fantail) is handpainted on a sign grade PVC with pāua eye detail.
Freshen up that outdoor space with a Fantail, or another native bird that strikes your fancy. Grab your Studio 397 art with FREE SHIPPING this NZ Made Day.
Grab a mixed crate of Pete’s Natural Sodas and enjoy NZ fruits in the summer sun. Pete’s Natural are a family owned business in sunny Motueka, the idyllic top of the south, close to the Abel Tasman National Park. Their passion is to be entirely natural.
Pete’s recipes are a closely guarded secret, tested many times with family and friends before the final delicious formula was nailed for the first delicious boutique lemonade back in 2009. Pete’s Natural are celebrating NZ Made Day with FREE SHIPPING and a 15% DISCOUNT.
It’s been a tough year for everyone, share a part of your Kiwi Christmas with someone special with a 12 Days of a New Zealand Christmas card from Little Paper Hugs! Each day features another bit of classic Kiwiana, like “Four Tūi’s Calling, Three Flat Whites, Two Buzzy Bees And A Kiwi In Native Bush.”
Little Paper Hugs are offering FREE SHIPPING for NZ Made Day to spread a little joy at the end of a hard Year.
When medical herbalist and health scientist Sandra Clair settled in Dunedin from Switzerland and decided to start a health clinic in 1995, she was surprised that plant or herbal medicines were not an option in New Zealand’s mainstream health system.
“They were almost nowhere to be found,” she recalls.
Since launching her brand Artemis in 1998, she has played a key role in the growing acceptance of plant-based medicine in New Zealand.
She says medicinal plants have unique active compounds with scientifically confirmed effectiveness to treat common ailments – including reducing anxiety, improving sleep, aiding digestion, and assisting with immunity and detoxification.
Artemis wasn’t so much a big bright idea but emerged out of demand from her clients.
“I am an accidental entrepreneur. My clients asked me to start retailing the products that I was prescribing for them and I was happy to do so.”
Launching a global health brand hasn’t been without its challenges.
She says unlike in Australia, Canada, the EU and Switzerland, New Zealand’s current Medicines Act 1981 does not permit legitimate health claims or the discussion of scientific results.
So, it is difficult to communicate the benefits of New Zealand’s medicinal plants, even if they are scientifically proven.
In addition, New Zealand has not yet established a strong medicinal herb growing industry as is the case in Europe, where local governments subsidise organic agriculture to provide pesticide and herbicide free medicinal plants.
Clair says as we look to rebuild New Zealand’s economy, more investment in R&D around locally-grown plants would open up opportunities to establish new markets for premium Kiwi-made products for the global stage.
The company is working towards a model where 10% of Artemis sales are local and 90% in overseas markets, mostly China.
While 2020 has thrown curveballs, Artemis is now benefiting from the early economic recovery in China.
“The year has been anything but predictable and we are riding with agility the rollercoaster that is our world with Covid as best we can.”
The early outbreak in China disrupted business and caused the opening of its Tmall Flagship store to be delayed.
That set Artemis back in its build-up to the important peak selling season and winter in China.
“There are definitely challenges, with closures during periods of lockdown among our New Zealand retail partners, and with the costs of international freight.”
But as a smaller business, it has been nimble, resilient and able to adapt.
“A good example of how we’ve adapted is with the freight cost challenge. Our hero export product for China is Artemis Thyme Lemon Tonic, packaged in a heavy 250ml glass bottle.
“We knew we needed to find a better way, so we worked with our manufacturing partners to create a lightweight single serve sachet format, boxed in convenient quantities.”
The business is two years into a three-year project with funding from Callaghan Innovation, working with Plant & Food Research at the University of Otago that evaluates the properties of fresh Central Otago Thyme extracts.
In 2019 Artemis received an NZTE International Growth Fund grant to support its China growth plan.
Clair says there are several benefits to being a Kiwi exporter, including access to incredible natural resources and the reputation and standards that New Zealand has as an export business.
But being a Kiwi company can also be a challenge as the market is small and the geographical distance can be tough.
Clair has some strong advice for other Kiwi exporters and entrepreneurs.
“Look at opportunities in a global context. Be clear and honest about where your business has true competitive advantage on a global scale.
“Tap into expertise early and listen. Really listen. Define your end users and identify why they need what your business is good at, and what is important to them.”
Selecting a board that helps to reduce knowledge gaps is crucial, she says.
“Last, but definitely not least, you need tenacity.”