Aotea Native Tonics
Founder of AOTEA Tonics, Tama, grew up on Great Barrier Island – the Maori name for which is Aotea. It’s where his whanau and hapu are from and it is here that the native ingredients for your tonics are harvested. While the summers were long and idyllic, winter life on the island would take on a harsher edge. Well off the beaten track, the island is void of electricity and running water. Tama’s Kuia – his Grandmother – would be sure to always have a pot of kumarahou or kawakawa tonic simmering on the woodstove during the cooler months. These tonics, a form of traditional rongoa – remedies and medicines – became a regular part of the whanau diet to treat winter ailments.
AOTEA Tonics are inspired by traditional forms of remedial medicine as well as a desire to create sustainable business for whanau on Aotea. It is these traditions that have formed the basis of the recipes. Each tonic offers a particular traditional purpose with the function of the native herbs complimented by contemporary herbs that offer a similar qualities. This appreciation of Maori heritage and the desire to create sustainable business is what makes the team at AOTEA Tonics so passionate about what we do.