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Founded in 2017, Aotea is inspired by mātauranga māori (māori knowledge), which manifests itself in their range of therapeutic skincare. Aotea takes its name from its homeland; Aotea being māori name for Great Barrier Island, located near Auckland, New Zealand. Aotea is driven by creating jobs and opportunities for the community on Great Barrier Island, so they grow, extract and manufacture all native flora and products in their range on the island, rather than outsourcing this.

Being a value-driven business, Aotea adheres to the principles of Tikanga Māori (the Māori way of doing things). This means that Aotea believes in true sustainability, and as Tangata Whenua (people of the land) they are kaitiaki (guardians) of the natural world and its resources. Examples of this include never picking too much from any given plant and leaving enough honey in the hives for the bees for winter.