A first harvest honey. A first in multi-sensory sculpture

Collaborating with New Zealand artists to celebrate ecosystem regeneration and a first harvest of premium UMF Mānuka honey. 

Over ten years ago, Comvita started a long-term journey to help restore New Zealand’s landscape by planting specially selected Mānuka tree seedlings on land in need of regeneration in the lower North Island’s Manawatu-Whanganui region. Of course, this also had the added benefit of providing the very best quality, pure and pristine high-grade UMF Mānuka honey for our customers around the globe.

With over 10 million native Mānuka seedlings now planted across New Zealand, we’re not only seeing the regeneration of our land, but also (to our great delight!), native birds, lizards and other species are now thriving as well.

Such positive outcomes for a whole ecosystem are definitely worth celebrating – with you, our customers. We felt this was a rare opportunity to reflect the magic of this now-flourishing land and the healing power of a first harvest, premium UMF Mānuka honey from Makino, a remote spot in the honey-growing heart of the Manawatu-Whanganui region.

Connecting hearts and minds to the healing power of nature.  

After many months of teamwork and toil, we were thrilled to share our Makino First Harvest UMF Mānuka honey at our recent market launch in Dubai. And that’s not all. As a reflection of our founding principle of Kaitiakitanga (the guardianship and protection of nature) we also unveiled a unique, multi-sensory sculpture that pays homage to the unique provenance of this rare Mānuka honey.

The sculpture

The Makino landscape is guarded by majestic mountain ranges and the sacred Whanganui River. Inspired by the natural beauty of its origins and Taoist design, Makino First Harvest Premium Mānuka Honey is showcased on a striking brass alloy sculpture designed by internationally renowned New Zealand artist and sculptor, depicting the powerful volcanic topography of the area.

With only 50 created in total, each of these luxury items contains bespoke ceramic UMF Mānuka honey vessels, forged with clay sourced directly from the Makino region soil, Gidon’s work is deceptively simple and free of superfluous ornamentation. 

Brass alloy is poured into the bespoke mould.

A picture containing person, indoor, dish
Gidon Bing crafts the brass alloy sculpture.

A person sitting at a table
Gidon Bing at work in his Auckland studio.

The final sculpture
The final sculpture - finely crafted to perfection, just like our Mānuka, is an artistic reflection of the scared Whanganui river as it flows from the unique volcanic topography of the Mount Ruapehu central plateau.

Makino First Harvest

 Pure, premium 1st Harvest UMF Mānuka Honey is housed in Makino clay ceramic pots.

The music

Adding further value to each unique collector’s piece is a bespoke sound journey curated by legendary New Zealand composer, Peter Hobbs, capturing the music of Makino, from indigenous birds to the buzzing of bees. Each work of art contains a near-field communication chip which delivers a true multi-sensory experience, adding layered sounds of the forest to the exquisite taste of Makino First Harvest Premium Mānuka Honey.

A picture containing tree, outdoor, grass, person
 A picture containing tree, outdoor, grass, person
Renowned New Zealand sound artist, Peter Hobbs, recording the sounds of Makino.

This unique combination of fine sculptural art, ecosystem regeneration and a rare first harvest honey culminated in bespoke design valued at $10,000, shining a light on what is possible when the values of kaitiakitanga and craftsmanship come together. These collector’s pieces are ideal for those who seek premium artistic design with purpose - those who appreciate that we must all live as a part of nature’s rhythm, not apart from nature.

Kaitiakitanga is in our nature.

In the spirit of kaitiakitanga or ‘guardianship’, we are very proud to have brought new life to the Makino land, by planting Mānuka trees on what was once arable land subject to soil erosion. These plantings have created biodiversity, healthy waterways and brought about the return of native birds as well as a home for bees to thrive. From Makino, tributaries flow into the Whanganui river, an entity so spiritually and physically strong that its life force has been given the rights and status of a living person.

Alongside the Whanganui River’s two legal guardians, we consider it an honour and a duty to be part of such a rich and nurturing environment. We are excited to introduce Makino First Harvest Premium Mānuka Honey 2021 and look forward to sharing Makino’s bounty and New Zealand’s fine art with people around the world.

A lake surrounded by trees
A majestic tributary of the mighty Whanganui River in the Makino region.

Our Harmony Plan for a better world.

The planting of land with native trees is just one part of Comvita’s Harmony Plan - our contribution towards creating a planet in which bees and people can thrive together. With sustainability goals of restoring nature’s balance, addressing climate change and supporting communities, we commit 1% of gross earnings to our Harmony partnerships, and we aim to keep building partnerships that connect people to nature.

You see, at Comvita, we truly believe that business can be a force for good. By undertaking these initiatives, we’re living our values and purpose, working in harmony with nature, and healing and protecting the world as we go. We hope you’ll join us too.

The finished sculpture
The finished sculpture: as tasteful and exquisite as our First Harvest Premium Mānuka Honey. 

If you are interested in owning the Makino 1st Harvest honey and sculpture please email us at [email protected] or feel free to call in New Zealand on 0800 504 959.

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