Kono, a Māori-owned food and beverage business based in Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island, was awarded Te Tupu-ā-Nuku Award for Business and Innovation at Ngā Whetū ō Matariki Awards. The award recognises a Māori business for their contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand’s economy and future.

“It is always humbling to be recognised with a significant award,” Rachel Taulelei, Kono CEO says.  “It’s also a wonderful recognition of what our Kono team is achieving both here and overseas.”

The annual Matarki Awards are now in their third year. Organised by Te Puni Kōkiri in partnership with Māori Television, the awards are a celebration of Māori achievement across a range of disciplines.

“Being Māori is our super-power,” Ms Taulelei says. “We bring our values, history and legacy to everything we do. As a vertically integrated company we have the ability to take our produce all the way from water to plate, or vineyard to glass – that’s a pretty special relationship to have with our whenua and moana.”

“Our promise is love for the land, respect for the sea. We’re thinking about how we can be the best kaitiaki that we can be. We think about what our impact is, what benefit we have for both people and place. We’re intergenerational thinkers and planners, and we know that if the environment is healthy and well, then so are we.”

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. Their products include Tohu, Kono and Aronui wines, Kono mussels, Annies fruit bars, and Tutū cider.

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.

More information about Kono

Māori Television’s Ngā Whetū ō Matariki Awards
The annual awards event recognises and celebrates Māori achievement across a range of disciplines including business and innovation, education, Te Reo Māori and tikanga.

Te Tupu-ā-Nuku Award for Business and Innovation is special recognition of inspiring New Zealanders whose game-changing discoveries, research or innovations are a driving force in our society. An innovation can include a product, service, process and/or technology across any industry.
More information about the Awards