Our Whakapapa

Discover our story and where we came from

Wai Mānuka was born out of Whanaungatanga.
Whānau, friendship and community is at the heart of everything we do.

About Wai Mānuka– Kaupapa

It all started with us - 3 Māori Boys - Joe Harawira (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Te Rangi), Lance Paora (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) and Wayne Atkins (Ngāti Porou) growing up in New Zealand’s Eastern Bay of Plenty town, Whakatāne.

What began as a New Year’s Eve conversation back in 2019 between lifelong friends, has developed into a premium alcohol-free beverage business.

The discussion turned to the things we care for most – health and well-being, whānau and giving back. In light of the occasion, we landed on the idea of creating a healthy, non-alcoholic beverage we could proudly take to social events and share with whānau and friends.

We knew by adding pristine spring water from Bay of Plenty and sustainably sourced mānuka honey from Whakatāne, it embodied our own values and culture. Celebrating our land the people and promoting good health. 

From humble beginnings selling Wai Mānuka at our local White Island Café, demand for our inu rapidly grew. Within a month we landed a
high-profile partnership with America’s Cup 2021 event and we established ourselves in some of the country’s top restaurants as well as Government House. You can now find Wai Mānuka in high-end bars, cafes and restaurants across Aotearoa.

Wai Mānuka embodies our strong values and culture, it is our gift and we have our sights set on sharing it with the world.

Thank you for coming on the journey with us.

Nga mihi,

Joe and Wayne.

Many hands and honeybees work together to create Wai Mānuka. 

We acknowledge all, from our founders to our beekeepers, the flourishing mānuka plant, and the beautiful bees themselves. 

The unique design on each of our bottles is enriched with visual storytelling, celebrating the journey of Wai Mānuka itself.

He inu na te taiao

The role of nature in the process of creating Wai Mānuka.

The Māori design on every bottle of Wai Mānuka was created by Arekatera (Katz) Maihi, of Ngāti Whatua and Ngāpuhi descent. The design incorporates puhoro, unaunahi and maramataka to illustrate the role of nature in the process of creating Wai Mānuka.

It speaks to the journey of the bees, their relationship with nature and the moon’s many phases on influencing seasons. The result of this beautiful dance within nature is mānuka honey. We are privileged to share this with the world.

He mihi aroha tēnei kia koutou katoa ngā pī

Much love to the bees

Every bottle of Wai Mānuka has its own unique taste. Our honeybees fly up to 5km in any direction and can visit more than 500 flowers per day. Each season is unique, each hive is placed to capture wild Mānuka at its best, and each individual honeybee will weave its own journey. Therefore, thanks to our hard-working honeybees, the natural landscape and seasons, every bottle will taste slightly different. We work hand in hand with homegrown honey produced by MacKenzie Apiaries with our hives in

The Māori Boys

Wayne Atkins

Ngāti Porou

Marketing & Distribution

Joe Harawira

Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Te Rangi

Business Development

Learn more about The Māori Boys

About us