Mō Mātou | About us
I didn’t think people were allowed on Kapiti Island, how are there hives there?
Our whānau has been caring for Kapiti Island since the early 1800s. Our great-great-grandfather Wi Parata, a Ngati Toa and Te Ati Awa rangatira (leader) was born on Motungarara Island, a small offshore islet from Kapiti, to Metapere Te Waipunahau, a Ngati Toa chieftainess.
He was the grandson of Te Rangihiroa who arrived in the area with Te Rauparaha, and the great-nephew of Te Pehi Kupe.
Wi married Unaiki Pukehi of Ngati Toa, Te Ati Awa and Ngati Raukawa descent, and farmed the land on Kapiti Island before passing it down to his daughter, our great grandmother, Utauta.
Utauta also farmed the land and managed to hold on to it while other landowners were forced to sell by the government.
As a result, our whānau is lucky enough to continue caring for the only private land on the island, and we continue the mahi (work) as kaitiaki or guardians that our tupuna (ancestors) carried out before us. Part of that role includes sharing what we can with the rest of Aotearoa.
We take a Whenua First based approach to everything we do on the island. That means our activities are woven amongst the conservation, biosecurity, and cultural needs that come a symbiotic relationship with the land. This is especially important given national and international importance of Kapiti Island as a nature reserve. We’ve worked alongside DOC managing those needs for decades and continue to do so.
We’re very much a local and whanau based business. We have teamed up with a professional and highly principled local apiarist with values similar to our own. He is helping train some of our whānau to make beekeeping a sustainable practice on the island. It’s another way we work with the land to ensure it grows and develops as a healthy ecosystem.
How much Mānuka is in the honey?
We decided we didn’t want to pay for the UMF Mānuka Honey rating label, but in the 2020 limited harvest of Kapiti Island Honey, there is a minimum 90mg MGO per kg of our honey, MGO is the main antibacterial compound in Mānuka Honey. 83 MGO is the equivalent of 5 UMF.
Whānau and whenua first
Kapiti Island Honey is a whānau run business. It's not going to turn any of us into millionaires but it does give us an opportunity to work together on a kaupapa promoting healthy whenua (land), healthy customers, and our own healthy wairua (spirit). That's why we do it!