A new brand of mussels that embody the best parts of Māori innovation and tradition is being launched in supermarkets across the North Island.
Distribution into the South Island and Australia is expected to commence later this year, and plans are underway to enter the North America and Europe markets soon after.
Te Arawa-owned and operated, Hī Mussels offer seafood lovers a new, high-quality mussel product packed with distinctly Aotearoa flavours.
These bite-sized, succulent, green-lipped mussels are sustainably farmed from the South Pacific waters of Coromandel and can be enjoyed on their own or used as an ingredient in a showstopping meal.
The new brand is launching with two ranges of greenshell mussels – infused and marinated.
Hī (pronounced ‘he’), uses ground-breaking technology to create and package the smoke-infused and marinated mussels without compromising on size or texture.
The infused mussel range is delicately blanched and steamed, drawing on the legacy of a traditional Māori cooking method, which is then sealed to lock in flavour and long-life.
Our traditional marinated mussel range contains the very best selection of tender, juicy mussels, packed with flavours absorbed from our distinctly Aotearoa marinades.
These are available in the standard 399g punnet as well as, for the first time, family-sized 2kg buckets.
Chris Karamea Insley says the launch of Hī into New Zealand supermarkets signals a significant milestone in Te Arawa’s decades long fisheries journey.
“Māori and kaimoana have been entwined for generations. On the journey from Hawaiki to Aotearoa, our ancestors were gifted kaimoana by Tangaroa, the god of the sea, to sustain them.
“Generations later, that connection and sense of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of te moana (the sea) and kaimoana (seafood) persists and makes us the ideal people to bring this product to the world.”
Mr Insley says sustainability is a top priority and informs Hī’s business strategy.
“We want to leave this whenua better off than how we found it. That means investing in long-term, sustainable solutions to farming kaimoana, as well as packaging them in a sustainable way.
“Sustainability in the economic sense also underpins our business strategy and we are committed to fostering job opportunities and career progressions for our people.”
Mr Insley says Hī is more than a brand and more than a product – it is a symbol of Māori past, present and future.
“Hī’s seamless integration of tradition and innovation highlights the resilience and lasting legacy of our ancestors, as well as our ability to pave a new path and lead the way into the future.”
Profit from this new business venture will remain in the New Zealand economy and will be invested back into initiatives that benefit iwi Māori.