As a kiwi, I’m always on the look out for New Zealand born entrepreneurs in the health and wellness sector. Not only is the population a lot smaller than most countries in the world, but it’s also further afield creating less reach.

On my last visit to Christchurch however, I struck gold finding a Canterbury local creating a name in the industry through a journey that started with healing himself through indigenous New Zealand natural products, Rob Haines.

His path that started from humble beginning’s with one product based in his home garage with a fax machine, and have now expanded to a full range of diverse products that ship internationally. Through his own battle’s, he’s managed to create a natural product range to cure basic ailment’s like cold and flu, right up to products that can support digestion, sexual health, weight management, sleep and stress  – if that’s not something the world needs more of, than I don’t know what is!

Keep reading for the full scope on how ‘New Zealand Health Food‘ found it’s feet…

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The tight team at ‘New Zealand Health Food’


M.E. “New Zealand Health Food was founded in 1988 by Rob Haines, based around indigenous New Zealand natural products. Why did he decide to get into this area?”

N.Z.H.F. “Rob had some serious health issues, having been diagnosed with Cronh’s disease and ankylosing spondylitis in his mid-20’s. His awareness of health was highlighted as been number 1 importance.

Rob started trading in shark cartilage powder as at the time it was popular for helping to shrink cancer tumors (so it was claimed). This was out of his garage with a fax machine, diary and a pen. It had to succeed as Rob had put all of his savings into this venture. Within 6 months he were doing many other items sourced from south pacific in New Zealand. “

M.E. “From humble begginings indeed! And then in 2009, he opened a retail store in Christchurch, what were the challenges in taking his dream to this next level?”

N.Z.H.F. “It was a real challenge as we were an independent store not part of a franchise or chain in a conservative city with no retail experience. Identifying a niche in the market (nobody was doing value bags at that time) pretty soon gave us a loyal customer base along with great service from a great team of retail staff. Keeping up with the trends of what’s hot is part of the fun and challenge in retail.”

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The interior of Rob’s retail store in Christchurch city

M.E. “That’s incredibly inspiring! I can’t say I would have thought about using natural products when you started, but now I would be lost without them! Aside from the local market though, do you have much scope internationally?”

N.Z.H.F.  “Yes we do, we export to Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and America. We also have an online store (www.nzhealthfood.com) where we also ship worldwide.”

M.E. “Out of the products you have, which one do you find is most popular with the consumer market?”

N.Z.H.F. “Joint care, fish oils, super-foods and of course UMF Manuka Honey (Manuka South brand)”

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Manuka South Honey Range

M.E. “Your Manuka South range is something I’ve never come across before with such popularity, can you tell me about the health & wellness benefits?”

N.Z.H.F. “Manuka South is the premium range of NZ Health Food Company. Our Honey is carefully handpicked by our experienced team here at Manuka South.

“Our Honey is carefully handpicked by our experienced team here at Manuka South” – N.Z.H.F.

With close relationships with expert bee keepers throughout New Zealand’s unique back country lands, we can acquire New Zealand’s finest Manuka honey every harvest, every year.



UMF Manuka Honey is known for its many health benefits which include:

  • Anti Bacterial
  • Anti Microbial
  • Anti Septic
  • Anti Viral
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti inflammatory
  • Anti Fungal properties

UMF Manuka Honey has also been known to treat Eczema, Psoriasis, Arthritis Wounds, Burns, Insect bites, Infections, Ringworm, Athletes Foot, Acne and eliminate scarring and an all-around superfood.” 

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The raw and real deal – Manuka Honey being sourced in New Zealand! 

M.E. “Over the years since you’ve started, how do you think the ‘wellness industry’ has changed?”

N.Z.H.F.  “More people want to live longer, look better, look younger and lead healthier lives, so the wellness industry is always growing through every medium.


“In addition, as in industry, health and wellness grows year on year worldwide” – Rob Haines

Awareness of personal health at all levels emotionally, physically and mentally are now more important than ever in this world that we live in. In addition, as in industry, health and wellness grows year on year worldwide.

M.E. “When you think about how the company will grow within the next five years, how would you like to see it unfold?”

N.Z.H.F.  “In a structured manner, passing on the skills and knowledge to my family who are now working within the business.”

M.E. “Lastly, what is your BEST advice for someone wanting to go out on their own and start a business?”

N.Z.H.F.  “Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions. Play-act your dreams, this is where Rob’s favourite motto comes up “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” ” – New Zealand Health Food, (C/O Rob Haines)

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The retail front ‘New Zealand Health Food’s’ stocks it’s indigenous health food range in Christchurch, New Zealand

Another week, another amazing story that highlights the power of following through on a dream, and passionately bringing it to the world.

Wishes in Wellness,

Monique Elouise x