Nature's Koha: From Forest to Face with Hana Botanicals

Matt Pryor
February 22, 2024
In the beautiful rohe of Te Tai Tokerau, nestled in Awanui, lives Zhanae, one of the passionate co-owners of Hana Botanicals, a natural and native skincare company. Raised in the natural beauty of the Far North, Zhanae’s upbringing instilled a love and appreciation for nature.

It’s from this deep-rooted connection, and her qualification in business, that her journey with Hana Botanicals began; she is now the co-owner of a growing pakihi at the age of 22.

With over three years of dedication to Hana, Zhanae’s journey is a testament to her dedication to incorporating te ao Māori practices into her business. Drawing inspiration from her tīpuna who cultivated and harvested plants for weaving and rongoā, Zhanae and her team are committed to regenerating native forests, ensuring the sustainability of their ingredients. By adopting traditional Māori practices, such as harvesting during the right lunar cycle, not only minimises harm to Papatūānuku, but also creates a symbiotic relationship that helps both the environment and their customers.

The creation of Hana Botanicals’ skincare range was not just a business decision, but a response to the challenges the honey industry was experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Determined to diversify their offerings and share the natural goodness of Mānuka with the world, Zhanae and her team formulated a skincare line infused with Mānuka Honey and Aotearoa’s native extracts. This approach not only revitalised their business, but also highlighted the remarkable benefits of indigenous ingredients.

Reflecting on the journey of starting and growing a business, Zhanae acknowledges the many challenges they faced along the way. From endless to-do lists to sleepless nights, the path to success was far from easy. Yet, it’s in overcoming these hurdles that she finds her greatest sense of pride. Each obstacle conquered is proof of her resilience and determination.

For aspiring mana wāhine entrepreneurs, Zhanae offers a valuable piece of advice: “Don’t let fear hinder your passion.”

Embracing the unknown and taking calculated risks are essential steps towards realising your dreams. It’s this fearless attitude that propelled Zhanae forwards, transforming her aspirations into achievements.

And what about Hana Botanicals’ products? Zhanae proudly describes them as curated with love and care, ensuring they are cruelty-free, toxic-free, and made safe certified. Each product not only nourishes the skin but also supports environmental conservation efforts. It’s an invitation to embrace a skincare routine that celebrates both personal well-being and the vitality of Papatūānuku.

In Zhanae’s world. Nature meets business in the best way possible. She’s all about blending tradition with a modern twist, and with Hana Botanicals, she’s doing just that. Here’s to Zhanae, her hīkoi, and the beautiful skincare revolution she’s leading – one pot of goodness at a time.  Visit to see the full range.

Co-owner Blanche (left) and Zhanae
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