22 Mar 2021

Hui to put Māori in driving seat to protect mānuka honey marketing

6:05 pm on 22 March 2021

A group working to protect mānuka honey in the global marketplace is holding a series of hui with Māori around the country.

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Photo: 123rf

The meetings, which got under way in Northland last week, are being held by Mānuka Charitable Trust. The trust's operating arm - Te Pitau - has funding from the government's Provincial Growth Fund to take legal action to stop Australian beekeepers marketing their products as mānuka honey.

The legal challenge was previously being led by Mānuka Honey Appellation Society, which started in April 2016 to protect the name mānuka honey as an international certification trademark for genuine honey produced in New Zealand. Last year the Mānuka Charitable Trust took over that role.

Te Pitau chair Victor Goldsmith said mānuka was a Māori word which had important cultural significance and Māori needed to be in the driving seat of efforts to protect it.

"So that's why Māori are playing in this particular space, to make sure that our taonga and all our treasures in Aotearoa New Zealand are protected," Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith said the hui were for all Māori, not just those involved in the honey industry, and the feedback would shape how the trust operated in the future.

"We need to work through what a true representation model may look like... so that's the reason why we are going out to our people," he said.

Hui dates:

  • Hamilton, 15 April
  • Rotorua, 16 April
  • Taupō, 13 May
  • Whakatāne, 14 May
  • Gisbourne, 27 May
  • Whanganui, 28 May
  • Nelson, 10 June
  • Christchurch, 11 June

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