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Aotea – Kūmarahou Soap


Silver & Editor's Choice
Formulated from excellent, non-toxic ingredients. Includes manuka and sage oils.
Aotea is 100% owned by Māori and is built upon principles of tikanga māori’s. The range of products are grown, harvested and formulated on their papakāinga (land) on Aotea (Great Barrier). Their range is made using all natural ingredients and native flora. The brand uses Mānuka honey, Mānuka oil, harakeke seed oil, kawakawa and kūmarhou. They value their employees and ensure that not only are they paid fairly but also that they function in a wānanga space, collaborating with one another and supporting each other.
Aotea manufacture every product on Aotea (Great Barrier Island) and are 100% powered by solar panels. They also have a reticulating water system to conserve water. All of their grey water is also used to irrigate their crops. The brand extracts all the oils onsite on their papakāinga (māori land) and also grows all the flora themselves so that the practice is as sustainable as can be. Further there are principles of tikanga māori, like kaitiakitanga (stewards of the natural resources), that they adopt in their business. This means traditional ways of harvesting are implemented, where the bulk of the native flora is retained so the crop can keep healthy. This is also adopted with how they manage their beehives, where at least 1/3 of the honey is left in the hives over the winter so the bees stay healthy (as opposed to stripping the whole hive of the honey).
Aotea provides job opportunities for their community on Aotea, which is why they grow, extract and manufacture all the products onsite rather than outsource this. They are also proud to say that for every year they have been in business they have provided scholarships to their rangatahi māori to attend high school and are in the process of creating more jobs for whānau.

What our experts say...

I really resonated with the Aotea – Kūmarahou Soap, with its honey-like consistency, beautiful fragrance and gentle cleansing qualities. I was honoured to indulge in a product created by hand, in small batches with respect for traditional methods and our environment. I love discovering businesses founded by passionate individuals who are dedicated to minimising harm, respecting people and the planet and creating with care. Aotea embodies all of those attributes and entwines them with a sense of community and culture.

– Niccii Kugler

I love the scent of this soap; it has an almost gel-like consistency that is wonderful to take your time to wash your hands properly. It’s wonderful that the production of this soap supports the local community and that the ingredients are native to NZ.

–Fiona Morouco

Using this product, my hands really do feel clean and are protected with antibacterial qualities. The smell is fresh and it creates a nice lather. I love that this is a 100% Māori-owned product, and that through the sales of it they can give back to their community.

–Lucy E Cousins

Infused with antibacterial manuka oil and with an extra concentrated lather, thanks to the natural saponins of the Kūmarahou plant, this deliciously fresh smelling soap is powerful in its cleaning whilst being gentle on my skin. I love that the oils used and the Kūmarahou are grown on Aotea Island and the product is also manufactured here too.

–Emily Fletcher

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