Manuka honey made by bees in the Waipoua Forest, home of the giant kauri tree Tane Mahuta, is being sold in all 31 Trade Aid shops throughout New Zealand.

The honey is the product of a new partnership with Northland's Te Roroa iwi, a first for Trade Aid, the pioneering social enterprise that has imported food and handicrafts from producers in developing countries since the early 1970s.

Te Roroa Honey is 100 per cent owned by its iwi members and works under the principle of kotahitanga - collective action - which is a natural fit for Trade Aid's fair trade principles and history of working with producer associations and cooperatives.

A successful apiculture business increases the ability of Te Roroa to regenerate ex-forestry land in native bush and provide much-needed income and employment opportunities in Northland.


Trade Aid chief executive Geoff White said the need for trade justice did not just exist in developing countries.

"Many communities in developed countries also experience poverty, none more so than indigenous people," he said.

Trade Aid is responding by developing trading relationships with indigenous groups in developed countries who are committed to the revitalisation of their culture and language, improving the environment and providing support for the next generation.

Erana Clarkson, manager of Te Roroa Honey, said honey production was a natural extension of their kaitiaki - guardianship - responsibilities, looking after both land and people.

"We are excited about the partnership with Trade Aid," Mr Clarkson said.

"As a forerunner in the production of Mnuka honey we are excited about the future and contributing to the revitalisation of the Te Roroa people."

Te Roroa has become Trade Aid's 66th trading partner, and New Zealand is the 29th country on the Trade Aid map from which products are sourced.