An Australian-Fijian kava company has gained its first New Zealand supplier, as demand for the beverage soars.
The drink - an earthy-tasting ground root which numbs muscles and has been used to treat anxiety and stress - has been used widely across the Pacific and among its diaspora for centuries.
Fiji Kava was the first kava company to list on a global stock exchange when it made its debut on Australia's ASX last year.
The company has now signed a one-year Memorandum of Understanding with New Zealand health care provider Green Cross Health.
In a statement, Fiji Kava said the agreement would make its capsules and instant kava powder available in up to 200 pharmacies in New Zealand.
"There is a major resurgence of global demand for kava as anxiety disorders and depression continues to grow in our society, and New Zealand and its strong Pacific Island population is central to the growth in kava demand," said Fiji Kava managing director Zane Yoshida.
In December, Fiji Kava raised $US3.7 million in its ASX debut.
The company is also the first foreign kava producer approved to operate in Fiji.