Being a New Zealand Co-operative, the Māori world view inspires our mindset. 


We acknowledge the interconnectedness of all living and non-living things and our commitment to Manaakitanga (care for people), Kaitiakitanga (care for our land and environment) and Whanaungatanga (care for the connectivity between people) drives all that we do.

As an organisation, we want to create a sincere integration and appreciation of Māori culture within our Co-operative. We recognise the value this can bring in shaping who we are and the role it plays in celebrating our identity here in Aotearoa New Zealand and globally. 

The next step in this journey is to tell our story through the creation of a pou. A pou is a traditional Māori way of telling a story through the art of wood carving. It will be a physical representation of our Co-op and everyone in it, telling the story of our past, our present and our future ambitions, a tangible reminder that our strength and success come from working together and from our connection to Aotearoa New Zealand out into the world.

The pou is being carved by Arekatera ‘Katz’ Maihi, a well-known and accomplished musician, carver and Tā moko artist. Katz went on a two-month journey with us to get to know our Co-op and the people in it so he can create a design that is unique to us. His induction included:

  • Four farm visits across the Waikato, Auckland and Canterbury and sat down with a total of 26 farmers
  • Te Rapa Manufacturing
  • Edgecumbe Manufacturing
  • Farm Source store Morrinsville
  • Fonterra Research and Development Centre 
  • Eight online staff workshops with global employees

Watch chapter one to see the start of this journey, while in chapter two we travel to the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei marae to see the rākau (wood) being selected and blessed before beginning its journey to Whakatane to start the carving process.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

 

 

Meet Katz

Arekatera 'Katz' Maihi

The pou is being carved by Arekatera ‘Katz’ Maihi.

Katz leads a team of carvers, who all work together to tell our story. Katz graduated from the NZ Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in 2006 and established Toitu Design Ltd in 2007. Since its inception, Toitu Design has been a leader in its field and has built a reputation around expertise, authenticity, and workmanship to the highest standard. A strength is fusing traditional Māori art forms with contemporary design. Katz’s work can be seen outside Eden Park, and as part of the America’s Cup 2021 to name just a few. Click here to read more about Katz and Toitu Design.

Frequently Asked Questions 

 
  • The Co-op has been on a journey the last few years to reset our strategy and direction, these changes have given us the opportunity to relook at how we tell our story as an Aotearoa New Zealand company.
  • Being from New Zealand, the Maori world view inspires our mindset. We acknowledge the interconnectedness of all living and non-living things and our commitment to Manaakitanga (care for people), Kaitiakitanga (care for our land and environment) and Whanaungatanga (care for the connectivity between people) drives all that we do.
  • We are a global business and employer, so it is important we create a bicultural foundation for a multicultural workforce. Our customers and employees are from many different countries and cultures. We are recognising and celebrating our diversity.
  • Over the last few years, we have been building our Māori Strategy, and part of this strategy looks at how Māori culture overlaps with our Good Together philosophy and our values.
  • Our story is built on generations of farming families working together. The pou is a traditional Māori way of telling our story, a physical representation of our Co-op and a reminder to all of who we are and what we stand for.
  • Indigenous cultures are recognised around the world, the Māori world view enables us to connect to many cultures, enhancing our provenance story globally and our relationships with our customers.
  • The pou will be an icon and stake in the ground that tells the story of our past, our present and our future ambitions. It represents the themes of intergenerational farming and environmental sustainability, which we know are important to farmers and our customers.
  • Te reo Māori is our country’s indigenous language and one of the three official languages of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Indigenous cultures are recognised around the world, the Māori world view enables us to connect to many cultures, enhancing our provenance story globally and our relationships with our customers.
  • In many ways our products are some of our country’s best ambassadors along with our sporting men and women, who have amplified our unique identity which is recognised and respected all around the world.
  • The Māori principle of Kaitiakitanga (how we act as guardians or stewards to protect our natural environment today, for future generations) aligns with our provenance story, which is a big part of why our products are in demand around the world.
  • The pou is being designed and carved by Master Carver Arekatera ‘Katz’ Maihi, a well-known and accomplished musician and Tā moko artist.
  • Katz leads a team of carvers, who all work together to tell our story
  • Katz graduated from the NZ Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in 2006 and established Toitu Design Ltd in 2007.
  • Since its inception, Toitu Design has been a leader in its field and has built a reputation around expertise, authenticity, and workmanship to the highest standard. A strength is fusing traditional Māori art forms with contemporary design. He’s work can be seen outside Eden Park, and as part of the American’s cup 2021 to name a few.

By the time the pou is complete (Oct 2021) it will be 7 months from Arekatera began his journey with Fonterra. He spent 2 months getting to know and meet farmers and employees around the business, 1 month designing the Pou and precuring the wood and 4 months carving the 8-metre totara log.

The pou is made from an 8-metre totara tree that has been dried for 32 years and was found at the Orākei Marae in Auckland.