Aotea Made, the therapeutic skincare range produced on Aotea, GBI has joined forces with Air New Zealand to bring island ingenuity and Mātauranga Māori to the world.

Aotea cosmetics reach new heights with Air NZ deal

Aotea Made, the therapeutic skincare range produced on Aotea, GBI has joined forces with Air New Zealand to bring island ingenuity and Mātauranga Māori to the world. 

The partnership, part of a revamp that encompasses the airline’s uniforms, grooming guidelines for flight attendants, and snack options will see passengers traveling in Business Premier and Premium Economy on long-haul flights treated to the brand’s Harakeke Seed Oil and Mānuka Water Hand and Body Cream. 

Business Premier customers will also receive Aotea Made’s Kawakawa Healing Balm, in their amenity kit.

Aotea founder Tama Toki (Ngāti Rehua, Ngā Puhi) says he was raised with a deep understanding of Rongoā Māori (Māori medicine) handed down by his grandmother, a Rongoā Māori practitioner.

“She would treat us kids with what we found in the bush and the Aotea range is an expression of that upbringing.” Toki said.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

Tama says everything from the oils, honey, and hydrosols are grown, harvested, and extracted on Aotea. 

All products are packaged on-site, he says, “It’s something that our people here are quite proud of, our Māori community here. It’s something unique and different, and we get to do it all on our ancestral kāinga.”

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

Toki originally launched Aotea Made as a Rongoā drinks company ‘Aotea Tonics’, which created drinks infused with kawakawa, harakeke, mānuka and other native ingredients.

Tama says today Aotea Made uses its website as a platform to educate visitors about the properties, history, and traditional uses of kawakawa, harakeke, mānuka, and kūmarahou, highlighting the broader scope of Rongoā Māori.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

Kawakawa balms have been relied upon for centuries as a go-to treatment for a wide range of conditions, from eczema and psoriasis to insect bites and burns. 

Describing the benefits of Harakeke Seed Oil Toki explains, “It’s known for its rich and creamy texture. It’s packed with Omega 3, 6, and 9, and high in linoleic acid,” which provides relief from mid-flight dryness.

Mānuka water, an antioxidant extracted from the mānuka bush, boasts anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and promote the healing of inflamed skin, Toki says.

Toki says he hopes the inclusion of Rongoā onboard Air New Zealand flights will give travelers to Aotearoa an authentic glimpse into te ao Māori.

Air New Zealand’s chief customer and sales officer, Leanne Geraghty, sees the partnership as a testament to the airline’s commitment to supporting local sustainable businesses and showcasing the best of Aotearoa to the world. 

“Our partnership with Aotea provides customers with amenities that tell a story inspired by New Zealand’s unique culture. Air New Zealand is proud to support local, Māori-owned businesses and put traditional ingredients that have been used by Māori for centuries into the hands of our customers.” Geraghty asserts. 

“We believe that our Aotea products will not only enhance the travel experience for our customers but also showcase local suppliers working towards a more sustainable future. It’s a privilege to share these treasures with our customers when they fly with us.”

The collaboration has generated significant attention for the Aotea brand, providing a financial boost that will help the business reinvest in local infrastructure and create additional job opportunities for those on Aotea, according to Toki.

The ability to share something deeply rooted in Māori culture holds immense significance to Toki.

“As Māori, we are all so proud to share anything from this country, whether it be our language, our traditions, kapa haka. And one thing that I think is really fulfilling is being able to share something that’s so close to our culture. From such a tiny corner of the world, a tiny corner of our island. It’s really special for us here.” he says.

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