Kono, the food and drinks business of Wakatu, has launched a new look.

“We’re really proud of the new face of Kono which encapsulates the power of four - four corners of beautifully woven harakeke (flax) kono from which we take our name, four iwi to whom our owners whakapapa, and ngā wāhanga e whā o te tau, giving us our four seasons,” Rachel Taulelei, Chief Executive, Kono says.

“For hundreds of years, the tūpuna (ancestors) of our owners lived in Te Tau Ihu, cultivating gardens and fishing for cockles, pipi, snapper, mussels, kahawai and crab.  We have always been gardeners, fishers, orchardists, artisans and providores.

“Through the passage of time, the world has challenged us to innovate.  To become scientists, researchers, wine makers, branders, marketers, viticulturists, and leaders.  We have taken up that challenge without hesitation and today craft award winning and world-renowned products like Tohu and Aronui wines, Kono mussels, Annies fruit bars, Tutū cider and more,” Ms Taulelei says.

“Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) is one of the core values that directs our business and our relationship with our environment. It’s our hope that customers will come to understand our guiding principles and know that products crafted by Kono have at their core a deep and inextricable connection to place. This is reflected by our new tag line, love for the land, respect for the sea.

“As part of our launch of our new icon, we harvested harakeke grown at our Whenua Matua vineyard. Members of our team wove this harakeke into kono (baskets) which were then filled with gifts from our product range, and given to some of our key supporters and customers. This is a unique koha (gift) we could give, and brings the story of our re-brand to life,” Ms Taulelei says.

A video showing the kono being made – from harvest to completion, is on our website.

“We are inviting people who also share our belief in kaitiaki and share our values of a love for the land and respect for the sea to wear the ‘K’ icon to demonstrate pride in these values. A K icon pin can be requested online. 

“Na tō rourou, nā taku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi

With my basket and yours, we, the people will prosper and be well”

 More information about the meaning behind Kono’s new ‘K’ icon

Referencing traditional art forms, the linear lines of Kono’s new icon face pay tribute to the whenu (strands) of fibre that are the basis of all mediums of weaving. The combined attributes of strength, durability, unity and flexibility are the hallmark of finely woven products.

The carving patterns of kaokao (chevrons), niho taniwha (triangles) and hekeheke (lines) are integrated. The positive and negative space are akin to the grooves and notches (pākati and hae) found in elaborate works of carved art and these patterns invoke themes of courage, leadership, exploration, movement, protection, responsibility and care.

Kono is the food and drinks brand of Wakatū Incorporation. Based in Nelson, New Zealand, 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.