Tuku, the first Māori wine­mak­ers’ col­lec­tive, was launched in July. “It’s a col­lec­tive of like-minded peo­ple who think we can achieve more with our busi­nesses and our cho­sen ca­reers work­ing to­gether in­stead of in­di­vid­u­ally,” said Tuku chair­man Steve Bird. The group was formed af­ter mem­bers re­alised it would be more cost-ef­fec­tive to col­lab­o­rate when show­cas­ing wines, both over­seas and lo­cally, and that they could share ideas. It’s made up of te Pā Fam­ily Vine­yards, Tiki Wine & Vine­yards, Bird Wines, Kuru Kuru Wines and Ostler Wine, fam­ily com­pa­nies that all whaka­papa back to spe­cific waka: from Tau­ranga Tak­itimu Waka and Ro­torua-te Arawa Waka in the north, to Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Tūwhare­toa in the south. They’re all ar­ti­san, sus­tain­abil­ity-fo­cused pro­duc­ers with a sense of whā­nau and a deep con­nec­tion to the land. “Plus we also all like to have fun, we all love wine and we’ve all been in the game for a long time, so we know where all the bones are buried,” laughs Bird.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Wine­mak­ers from Kuru Kuru, Te Pā, Tiki, Ostler and Bird Wines.

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