Wai Mānuka Sparkling Water


Friends Joe, Lance and Wayne are the founders of Wai Mānuka – a refreshing, revitalising sparkling water featuring lemon and manuka honey. They created their company, Three Maori Boys, in 2019 not only to bring great products like Wai Mānuka to the market, but also to create opportunities for the trio to stay connected.

Three Maori Boys engaged Strategy Collective to create a brand for Wai Mānuka and help them launch the product (we now look after all their communications and marketing needs).

The Project/s

Meeting with Three Maori Boys over Zoom we explored their vision and mission, and discussed where they wanted to position Wai Mānuka.

From here we created a brand strategy and story, identity, packaging and marketing collateral including photography and video. As Māori, Joe, Lance and Wayne have a deep spiritual connection to people and the land. Wai Mānuka is their precious gift to the world. It felt right to engage a Māori artist, and we chose Katz Maihi.

Katz’ design is titled “He inu na te taiao” and speaks to the role nature plays in the creation of Wai Mānuka. The design incorporates puhoro (thigh tattoo), unaunahi (a fish scale carving design) and maramataka (the Māori lunar calendar). It references the journey of the bees, the influence that the moon’s phases have on pollination and fruiting trees and how this culminates in the mānuka honey and lemon in Wai Mānuka.

Strategy Collective used Katz’ design to create packaging befitting this premium non-alcoholic beverage.

We worked through a launch plan that secured coverage for Wai Mānuka on Seven Sharp and created marketing assets and guidance for their evolving journey.

The creation of a brand video for an America’s Cup activation is another example of engaging Māori artists to help authentically bring Wai Manuka’s brand story to life. Maisey Rika, an amazing singer-songwriter based in Whakatane, gifted Three Maori Boys the Waiata Tipuānuku Tipuārangui. It refers to our Matariki stars, the seasons, and the influence these have in providing sustenance (kai/food) both in the soil and above the ground.

The Results

Whilst still early days for Three Maori Boys and Wai Mānuka, they are on a great trajectory and the coverage, support and activations that have been achieved in such a short space of time is exciting!


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