Kono, the Māori-owned top 100 New Zealand food and drinks company based at the top of the South Island, has acquired Ngāi Tahu Seafood’s greenshell mussel assets. The assets include two purpose-built marine farming vessels and associated aquaculture equipment, the right to lease 15 marine farms in Marlborough Sounds, Tasman Bay, Golden Bay and Collingwood, as well as access to spat-catching areas.
“Our mussel growing and processing business is strong,” Rachel Taulelei, Kono CEO says. “The purchase and lease of additional marine farming assets from Ngāi Tahu provides us with increased certainty of supply, which means we have an even better foundation from which to plan for future growth.”
“Having more water space to supplement our existing farms gives us alternate harvest areas, which helps us manage our risk overall. Our purchase of these assets and lease of related water space is positive for the ongoing growth of the Marlborough region and beyond. We are already one of the largest employers in the top of the South Island, and our expanded business will continue to provide employment opportunities and support for the local economy,” Ms Taulelei says.
“GreenshellTM mussels are one of the most sustainable seafood products in the world. Kaitiakitanga, taking care of the environment, is at the core of everything that we do. Our land and water are indivisible, they have to be well for our people to be well. Love for the land and respect for the sea is paramount.
“We have already started this season of mussel processing on a positive note and the deal with Ngāi Tahu gives us a huge boost for this season and beyond,” Ms Taulelei says.
Na tō rourou, nā taku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi
With my basket and yours, we, the people will prosper and be well
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Notes for editors
Kono is a Māori-owned, top 100 New Zealand food and drinks company employing over 400 staff, farming over 530 hectares of land and sea, and exporting to over 25 countries. Products include Kono mussels, Annies fruit bars, Tohu and Aronui wines, Tutū cider, apples, pears, kiwifruit and hops. Kono is solely owned by Wakatū Incorporation, based in Nelson.
Kono GreenshellTM mussels are exported to more than 25 countries around the world. Kono’s GreenshellTM mussels are individually snap frozen on the half shell within hours of harvest to capture a fresh, straight from the water taste.
Kono is an associated business of Wakatū Incorporation. Based in Nelson, Wakatū has approximately 4,000 shareholders who descend from the original Māori land owners of the Nelson, Tasman and Golden Bay Regions – Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island.
Ngāi Tahu Seafood is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation, the commercial arm of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the governing body overseeing the activities of Ngāi Tahu, New Zealand's southernmost indigenous Māori people. It forms one of the 'five pillars' of Ngāi Tahu commercial development, with sister companies Ngāi Tahu Property, Ngā Tahu Farming, Ngāi Tahu Capital and Ngāi Tahu Tourism.