New Zealand Mānuka have teamed up with Rotohokahoka Trust to develop the diverse landscape of Ngāti Waoku.
The new tourism venture, the Mānuka Story experience has an estimated project value of over $30 million dollars and is targeting over 180,000 local and international visitors per annum.
Phil Caskey, Chairman and Founder of New Zealand Mānuka Group, explains that the Mānuka Story experience will provide visitors with hands on and locally guided viewing of a working mānuka plantation, beekeeping and honey operation while showcasing the historical importance of mānuka in traditional Māori medicine. Its vision is to also reflect the unique cultural innovation when Māori and Pākehā values are engaged in a co-productive business environment.
Chief Executive of New Zealand Mānuka Group, Karl Gradon, says that “the partnership is one where all parties are fully aligned and excited by the opportunity to share the Story of Mānuka to a truly global audience in Rotorua. Being the industry pioneer, with a history of innovation and value sharing with landowners, we can join with the Trust and tell a uniquely New Zealand story in a way that can’t be matched by any other organisation. The location of this amazing whenua allows us to tap into the heart of the rapidly growing Rotorua health and wellness visitor hub, while creating employment for the wider community.”
Mayor Steve Chadwick says the venture will add a unique new aspect to Rotorua’s many tourism offerings. He says, “It will align with Rotorua’s tourism aspirations as well as contributing to our future economic growth and seeding new investments and jobs.”
Rotohokahoka trustee, Tania Butcher-Tapsell says, "We are thrilled to have had the full support of the Mayor and her Council. This is a very important venture not just for Ngati Waoku/Te Arawa, but all of Rotorua.”