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Northland iwi turns family pastime into multi-million dollar operation

Northland iwi turns family pastime into multi-million dollar operation
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Blanche Murray's introduction to the manuka honey industry was not without pain.

Moving hives at night with only a beekeeping half-suit, she bent over in front of a headlight in thin fleecy trousers – her backside becoming an illuminated target she reckons was stung about 80 times.

"I jumped like a kangaroo," she says.

The young mum is a face of the manuka honey industry that is turning what was once considered wasteland into liquid gold and bringing jobs and prospects to Maori in areas including her own Far North community.

Blanche is the granddaughter of revered Maori rights champion Saana Waitai-Murray, who co-lodged the historic "flora and fauna" claim with the Waitangi Tribunal, wanting a bright future for whanau and whenua.

Saana told her the burgeoning industry was "a great opportunity for our whanau", says Blanche, 30, who gathered her sister and brothers together to launch Kai Ora Honey from the family home in Awanui three years ago.

Blanche says Saana told her they were "the kaitiaki (guardians) of the land where this high-active honey is produced".

[read full article here]

 

 

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