Kirihimete is just around the corner and self-appointed tastemakers Janaye Henry and Leonie Hayden are back with another stellar list of top gift picks.
As we start to slowly emerge from the latest Covid outbreak, there is no better time to support local and help our SMEs regrow (that’s “small and medium-sized enterprises” for those of you who don’t speak business). We’ve upgraded the list this year with Instagram handles so you can follow your fave new finds and boost them on socials. The amount of incredible things we found couldn’t possibly fit in one list. Lucky for you there is a Kirihimete gift guide from last year, one from 2019 and one from 2018. Look. No. Further.
Kai & kāinga
Whip up delicious coconut buns with minimal effort with Moist Popo Buns’ ready-to-make mixes. Imagine turning up to Kirihimete with the humblebrag of having homemade buns! Yes, you can claim you made it, you combined ingredients and that IS cooking.
Who I’m buying this for: The friend who always bites off more than she can chew at a potluck – sis, your potato salad shouldn’t have celery in it!
Chocolate is never a bad gift. Ever. Chocolate infused with native ingredients from our moana and ngahere? Chef’s kiss! Kōkō Chocolate is the latest delicious creation from Hoete Mitai-Ngatai and designer Adrienne Whitewood (who also has heaps of other goodies to put on your list), and comes in three reka flavours – karengo and macadamia, kawakawa and matcha, and mānuka and raspberry.
Who I’m buying this for: My work secret santa, who deserves better than the toilet-shaped mug they got last year.
One of the few wahine Māori winemakers in the country, Jannine Rickards aka Huntress is also a master hunter and forager who focuses on respect for the whenua and honouring Indigenous growing practices. The 2021 Waihonga wine is like a mouthful of sunshine. Check out Charlotte Muru-Lanning’s profile on Rickards here.
Who I’m buying this for: I’m keeping a couple of bottles on hand for those last minute Christmas party invites, so I can effortlessly trick people into thinking I know about wine.
If you need something spectacular to take along to Christmas lunch, family-owned bakery Sweet & Me has got you covered. Every cake and dessert looks like a dream, but the hand-painted traditional masi macarons are literal works of art.
Who I’m buying this for: The busy working parent who barely survived the holiday season, who’s going to spontaneously explode if they have to spend another minute cooking.
Manawa sells the best-tasting honey in the world. No seriously, they just won the best-tasting honey in the world out of over 600 honeys. They also have a huge array of recipes on their website so not only do they provide the goods, they tell you what to do with it. I’m obsessed!
Who I’m buying this for: An absolute treatie for my sweetie, this is going to my sweetest friend!
Amokura Glass is a glass-making studio in Rotorua that makes bright and beautiful glassware, from decorative koru to tumblers, dishes and vases.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend whose mission is to have their house resemble a rainbow explosion at a paint factory.
Loving these Tracey Tawhiao-designed throw cushions (above) made from hemp and organic cotton. Tawhiao is an amazing painter, poet and performance artist, and now you can just casually have her artwork on your couch.
Who I’m buying this for: The art collector friend who I could never afford to buy art for.
A cute plant cutting in one of the speckled, handmade tipu planters by Tane Ceramics would make a very thoughtful yet understated gift.
Who I’m buying this for: That one who bought 100 plants in lockdown and started talking to them like, a lot.
Who I’m buying this for: The craft beer aficionado in my life.
While we’re pairing things with other things, Mt Atkinson coffee is an ethical brand that does direct trade with western Uganda growers, ensuring they get a fair price for their beans, plus it uses compostable packaging. They also sell gorgeous handmade mugs and tumblers from Thea Ceramics on the site. It’s a one-stop coffee lover’s shop.
Who I’m buying this for: A raging caffeine addict with excellent taste.
Awwa sells cute period undies in a variety of cuts. You can buy boxers, briefs, thongs, high waisted, hipster cut and they are all period suitable. We are truly living in the future!
Who I’m buying this for: That person who tells you they want nothing. The translation is they don’t want random junk – they want a practical gift and what’s more practical than cheek warmers (or coolers depending on the cut).
Tātahi Merchants sells kākahu, beach umbrellas and towels but the iconic item from this store is the Hāneanea Dress. The oversized, flowy dress of your dreams in multiple colours. Easy to dress up or down and bonus pockets!
Who I’m buying this for: Myself and also my best friend because what an iconic fashion matching moment!
Hine Collection sells activewear for wāhine, tāne and tamariki. They span XS-6XL and are super comfy. It’s a good level of compression without feeling too constricted. Just wearing the kākahu makes me feel fitter already and I am into it.
Who I’m buying this for: That whānau who go for hikes as a family. I absolutely cannot relate but I admire the hustle.
William Wright sells socks and beanies that are cool in a way I’ll never be. That’s not self-deprecating, I like who I am but you know that cool guy in your life who wears those little beanies that look immediately fashionable? That’s the vibe and I am here for it. They even have socks in pride colours and $2 from every pair goes to RainbowYouth. Chris Parker we’re coming for your gig!
Who I’m buying this for: I’m ready to accept my title as cool aunty after buying this for my cousin who is in his early 20s. I know him well enough to know he is cool and viral on TikTok but that’s about it.
Tukau Legacy sell kākahu for you and your tamariki, bags, bucket hats and fanny packs all featuring te reo Māori. I’ve been raving about this brand for a long time, the shirts are so comfy and being able to get a matching buckie hat or fanny pack? OK fashion icon.
Who I’m buying this for: I see this as an iconic family photo moment on Christmas day. You know those families that get matching Christmas get up? This could be that, except these clothes you’ll want to wear year round.
The Hori sells kākahu and art prints. You might know Hori from the iconic e hoa sweatshirt, and if you follow him on Instagram you know his attitude towards this design is hilarious and reluctant. However he sells heaps of cool as clothing designs. I’m especially into the IA tee for our non-binary whānau!
Who I’m buying this for: My sister and me. She’s the basic b who would love the e hoa sweatshirt and I’m currently loving the WE ARE MĀORI crop top. It also gives me the option to steal her sweatshirt when I get cold because of the crop top and that’s what we call forward thinking!
According to its insta, Infamy Apparel is “decolonising fat fashion one garment at a time!”. Now that is a kaupapa I can get behind. The “decolonise your body” belts are currently sold out but set your alarms because there is an expected drop December 1st.
Who I’m buying this for: My fat friends who are regularly done dirty by typical fashion retailers. It’s about time we see garments and accessories being made with fat people at the forefront rather than as an afterthought.
Aria Collection sells activewear for wāhine. They’ve got your leggings, shorts, shirts, jumpers and even a unitard. They’ve got so many colours there truly is something for every mood. Their sizing spans XS -XL (6-24).
Who I’m buying this for: The friend who wears activewear to brunch. Comfort is key and nothing is comfier than a pair of leggings. Top tip: activewear being gifted to someone who never wears it is a bad idea and will result in a fight.
Unde sells cotton undies, bras and boxers that are made to order. Made to order is awesome because it avoids unnecessary wastage. They look so soft and comfy and I was seeing sizes from XS-8XL (6-30) on the website.
Who I’m buying this for: My best friend because the list of people I could gift underwear to is smaller than you might think. Also she loves a high-quality undie.
Ahu Boutique sells kākahu and face masks that are fun and fashionable. There is a physical store in Rotorua but the rest of us can enjoy the online shop. They have Kōkō Gift Boxes ready to go which boast a selection of Māori makers’ products.
Who I’m buying this for: Your fashionable friend who lets you borrow their clothes, two birds one stone.
Beauty & hauora
Curionoir sells parfum and candles in gorgeous clay or glass blown receptacles. Now you know it’s flash when we use the word “parfum” instead of perfume. Everything looks so beautiful and considered, I desperately want to smell all the smells. They have a physical store on Ponsonby Road but for the rest of us we can enjoy the riches online.
Who I’m buying this for: That parent who deserves something lush and special but refuses to buy it for themselves.
Wiki Goods sells things that will make you feel good and relaxed. I’m talking teas, skincare, ceramics, cruelty-free lipsticks and so much more. The website states 2 DOLLA HOLLA SHIPPING NZ and that is something I can absolutely get behind.
Who I’m buying this for: That tāne who thinks skincare is exclusively for women. Surprise, it’s not! The packing is quite minimalist, so a good introduction without challenging masculinity too much (small steps, nē?).
Carson Creates sells soy wax candles that are so aesthetically pleasing, in a variety of delicious flavours. The look of a candle is just as important to me as the smell and Carson Creates really delivers on both fronts. I have intel that let me know the peach and sweet pea are incredible summer scents.
Who I’m buying this for: My neighbours who had to tolerate very interesting smells coming from the house when I was baking earrings in my oven during peak lockdown hobby finding. Apologies look good in candle form.
KawaCure sells an impressive amount of kawakawa-infused products. They have body balms, lip balms, hand sanitiser, skincare, soaps, teas and more. They have gift baskets available too, which is perfect if you’re sending direct from website.
Who I’m buying this for: Whoever I get for Secret Santa – because of the wide variety of products, I can pick a few things out and give a thoughtful and practical gift.
Beauty by Bibby has eyeliners in every colour imaginable! They also have eyeshadows, false lashes, brushes and so much more. This was such an exciting find because the colour range they have is beautiful and I haven’t seen anything like it before that is Aotearoa based.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend who always borrows my makeup at pre-drinks. I don’t mind but last time you did spill your Cruiser into my brand new palette so it’s time for your own set.
Hau Botanicals sells face and body oils, balms and a clay mask that are all cruelty free and organic. You can see all the ingredients on the website so you know exactly what you’re putting on yourself. They incorporate traditional rongoā such as kawakawa and mānuka.
Who I’m buying this for: The beach bum friend who spends all day rolling around in the sun until they look like a churro. It’s important to replenish your skin after all that sun!
Kohiko Candles sells candles, diffusers and soy wax melts. Essentially your one-stop smell-good shop. Some candles have crystals and dried flowers in them, so not only are you getting a candle you’re also getting a bonus crystal.
Who I’m buying this for: My e hoa who is loving crystals. Do I know what they mean? Absolutely not. Will she be stoked with this candle crystal combo? Absolutely yes.
Frankie Apothecary is one of our OG rongoā-inspired brands, selling oils, haircare bars and bath salts – and there are even convenient gift boxes to purchase. I love a gift box moment because it takes all the stress out of picking individual products and gives someone the chance to try lots of new things at once.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend who gets stress eczema but loves beautiful things and doesn’t want those ugly white prescription creams messing up their bathroom aesthetic.
Āla Skin is a boutique skin treatment clinic in Tāmaki for when your face needs some bougie TLC (hello, lockdown face is a thing). They do bespoke facials which include relaxing breathing. Opening hours are limited but a voucher could be just the thing.
Who I’m buying this for: The friend who worked non-stop through lockdown, looking out for others and checking in on friends, and deserves to be treated like a queen once the madness dies down.
Where my dogs at? No, my literal dogs. Paw Face has natural soaps and balms just for kurī, like the Paru Paws hemp and kūmarahou soap bars (also OK for horses). Cute, right?
Who I’m buying this for: My neighbour who is obsessed with her mini cockapoo-golden-labra-spana-doodle.
Jewellery, accessories & taonga
For independent jewellery and taonga makers, weavers and carvers, obviously te ao Māori has an embarrassment of riches and this is by no means an exhaustive lists. Research the makers in your rohe and buy directly!
Taonga Puāwai sells earrings laser-cut to look like native plants. These are always my most complimented earrings and most asked-after earrings – well now the secret is out! They are light as well so you get to avoid saggy lobes, bonus!
Who I’m buying this for: My kaiako who has had to tolerate multiple late night emails from me. Apologies look good in the form of earrings!
Taonga by Timoti is ethically sourced and carved pounamu made by Timoti in Te Waipounamu. His signature “dots” are beautifully simple, contemporary cylinders in the finest stone, and he even has a cool new range of guitar picks. His traditional designs are stunning though – everything is tino special.
Who I’m buying this for: That relative who thinks they’re Santana every time a guitar comes out.
Mitchell Vincent has the sweetest little silver charm earrings, you can get tiny feathers, niho and putiputi, as well as larger real feathers, like the raukura, so you can celebrate and remember Parihaka all year round.
Who I’m buying this for: That hot friend (of any gender) that just looks rad wearing one earring.
So Extra truly lives up to its name with its range of oversized sunnies and blingy sunglass chains. She has the range – and you can even shop by face shape.
Who I’m buying this for: My friend who’s always hungover but somehow it makes them more dramatic and crack up.
Mikaere Taonga sell ataahua taonga made out of whale bone. I learned from the website that whale bone absorbs your natural oils and turns a “soft honey gold colour”. I love the idea of fusing with your taonga in a visible way, not to mention how stunning every design is.
Who I’m buying this for: This is a tino special gift for a tino special person that can be passed down for generations. I’m not making any generational commitments in my love life currently so I reckon a dear whānau member.
Toi Kupu Gallery sells statement earrings, literally. Get the “Land back” earrings of your dreams, or how about “Mana wahine”? My favourite thing about this kind of taonga is it speaks for you – you walk into a room and people already know what’s up. You can even hit them up about custom kupu for you and your mates’ inside jokes.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend who is out there fighting for the kaupapa.
Prints, art & stationery
Who I’m buying this for: My sister who enjoys my vibe but would lovingly describe it as “too much”. Here ya go sis, neutrals!
Tuhi Stationery sells maramataka journals, stickers and stationery but my holy grail item is the 2022 planners. They have diaries that incorporate te reo Māori, others that incorporate Sāmoan, and all offered in a variety of colours. I’m obsessed.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend who is 20 minutes late to every hangout – the perfect passive-aggressive present to tell them to pull it together (it’s me, I’m the late friend).
Xoë Hall sells truly breathtaking art prints. They are so incredible and in a multitude of colours so can match any vibe. She also puts her designs on shirts occasionally but you’ve got to be quick because unsurprisingly they sell out fast.
Who I’m buying this for: Whoever out of my friends has the coolest tattoos gets one of these art prints. It just makes sense.
Sadē Artistry sell art prints of nudie wahine silhouettes in front of cool abstract backgrounds. I actually spotted these prints at a market once and didn’t buy one and it’s been a huge regret so I’m excited I found the webstore. Don’t make the same mistake I did, buy the print.
Who I’m buying this for: My cuz moving out next year. There’s going to be a lot of empty wall space and what better way to feel at home than by hanging your own art?
Vendela’s Illustrations sells incredible artworks. You can buy originals or prints, which I’m really into because it means you can work with a wider variety of budgets. I love the art style, I’ve never seen anything like it before and it could work for heaps of different rooms and people.
Who I’m buying this for: My flatmate who keeps trying to hang the watercolour he did during lockdown in the lounge… I reckon watercolour in your bedroom and this in the lounge please.
Kākano Designs sells personalised stickers, dog bowls and budget binders. Truly an array of things – I think the personalised stickers leave room for lots of creative freedom. If you’re learning te reo you can put stickers on everything. New school books? BOOM: stationery stickers. They also have Christmas labels for presents, so handy.
Who I’m buying this for: While personalised stickers are great for tamariki, I reckon this is a great gift for someone who always leaves their tupperware at work. Stickers on all the tupperware!
Pēpi & tamariki
Awhi Company sells muslin wraps and knitted blankets. Now, I’m no baby but those wraps look COMFY. They have beautiful designs on them and I love the journey from womb straight to supporting Māori businesses – iconic baby vibes.
Who I’m buying this for: Being pregnant seems hard, doing it in summer seems even harder. I’m buying this for my hapū friend who is throwing a baby shower in December. Is it a baby shower gift or a Christmas gift? The answer is both, I’m on a budget.
Mini Miro has the cuuuuutest baby and toddler clothes, with onesies and pōtae featuring tohorā and pā harakeke, plus taniwha and poi-embroidered crew neck jumpers.
Who I’m buying this for: Every. Single. Baby.
Our Taiao sells beautiful taonga but has made it to this part of the list because I am obsessed with the summer silicone bucket set. It’s awesome because it’s durable – no more cracked beach buckets ruining the sandcastle (and Earth), you have a silicone one that will last.
Who I’m buying this for: Any beach baby who is on a life mission to make the world’s best sandcastle!
Wildflower Children’s Makeup sells makeup that is safe for your tamariki to have a play with – rather than that dreaded moment of seeing your most expensive palette smeared everywhere. They list all the ingredients so there are no surprises and it allows your little one to get creative safely. We love to see it!
Who I’m buying this for: My cousin who helps herself to my makeup. I’ll share when you’re older but for now have your own set.
TJ and Co sells fidget toys for tamariki by tamariki. The owner is 10-year-old TJ who started her business in April. Fidget toys are honestly so fun, there is something so satisfying about popping those buttons, and a portion of every sale gets donated to Brain Tumour Support NZ.
Who I’m buying this for: All the tamariki in my life! These are a great stocking stuffer and I’ve met so many tamariki who are obsessed with them.
StylerWear sells the cutest bibs and shorties for pēpi. They also have boobie pads (probably not for pēpi but pēpi related), scrunchies, teethers and burp cloths. I had to google what a burp cloth is and apparently burping babies comes with a high risk of them throwing up – I love to learn. I gasped out loud when I opened the website, it is all so cute, and if you have pēpi in your life you need to get amongst!
Who I’m buying this for: Every baby including babies of the future who I don’t even know about yet because it is all so cute. Truly nothing has made me want a baby more than these kākahu.
Ngā Kupu Pai sells hoodies, earrings and cufflinks. So why are they under the tamariki section? One word: backpacks. Honestly the coolest school bag I could ever imagine and why limit it to just school? I too could own one of these bags. You can even add your own affirmation of whakataukī to the backpack, which is such a special gift. Imagine your tamariki going to school with a little message you’ve written on their bag: SO WHOLESOME!
Who I’m buying this for: That tamaiti who is nervous about starting school. Not only will they have a cool bag, they’ll also get a special personalised message.
Maha ngā kaupapa
Narrativ sells clothes and books for pēpi, jewellery, things for sustainable living, a bit of everything, really! I love the convenience of being able to buy multiple gifts from one place and I especially love the homeware section.
Who I’m buying this for: This is for the whānau who live in a different city and aren’t travelling for Kirihimete. This way I’m not responsible for wrapping anything and one store can cover the whole whānau. Ideal!
Aho Creative sells kākahu, wraps for pēpi, scarves for you and some home decor items. I am especially in love with the Wooden Wharenui + Whānau Playset. It’s wholesome and necessary for tamariki to see themselves represented in the world around them.
Who I’m buying this for: My nephew who I forgot to buy a birthday present for, oops. Wooden wharenui for you, scarf for mum to say sorry and to confirm I am still the ultimate aunty.
Waiapu Road sells kākahu, candles, bath salts, earrings and mugs. They have been absolutely storming my Instagram this year. I’ve set many alarms to get my hands on their dresses and mugs. I have been successful three times! My top tip is follow their Instagram so you can keep an eye on when everything is getting released.
Who I’m buying this for: That aunty who has everything. I bet she doesn’t have this because it sells out so fast. Set those alarms, impress those aunties.
Moana Fresh stocks a lot of local artists and sells their māhi. They have jewellery, art prints, oyster decorations and so much more. I told you about them last year but I’m back and doing you a solid by letting you know pre-orders have opened for their 2022 calendar. I’ve already got my hands on one, make sure you do too.
Who I’m buying this for: Anyone who lives in my house. Here’s the logic: I’ll gift it and insist it’s a communal calendar for a communal area. That way it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving (to me). Yes, you need a calendar, you’re going to be busier than you think.
Designed by Natives sells art prints, kākahu, jewellery and even decorations for your tree! All the tree decorations are made from wood and some incorporate te reo Māori. I love the free-standing earring display because it makes your earrings look like works of art (which they are) when you’re not wearing them.
Who I’m buying this for: My uncle who can’t find any of the Christmas decorations from last year. That safe place you put them is looking very safe but I’ve got you’ve covered with these tree decorations.
Panikeke gives bags, jewellery, fans, fabrics and beauty. It’s Island glam, it’s a stylish, cheeky nod to the big fashion houses, and I am here for all of it. All of their woven bags are bomb, but the Pucci (wink wink) range is to die for.
Who I’m buying for: You can go small with high-quality lavalava and scrunchies and nice soaps for stocking fillers, or you can bust out a bag. It’s a one-stop shop for anyone fabulous.
Kaukau in Pōneke is one of those places where every object makes you drool with desire. The shop/gallery features a number of Moana-nui-a-Kiwa makers – Lucky Dip aka Tuhirangi Blair, Papa Clothing, Curio Noir, Maia McDoald, Heidi Brickell and Telly Tuita to name a few.
Who I’m buying this for: That stylish friend who recently moved from Pōneke to Tāmaki and won’t stop going on about how much they miss it there. It’s a taste of the very best of the capital, and hopefully it’ll stop them banging on about it.
Poi Yeah sell pōtae, plush patu, flashcards, beeswax wraps and of course poi. They have such a wide variety of poi in so many colours, poi keychains and a DIY poi kit. I’m especially loving the pōtae on the website, they are a fashionable, iconic moment!
Who I’m buying this for: That aunty who always turns up for the chill gathering dressed like she’s heading to a red carpet straight after. I see you and I respect you.
InnoNative is still one of the biggest markets for Māori makers and local crafts. It’s such an incredible showcase of mana Māori. Books, beauty, toys, taonga, kākahu – they have it all.
Who I’m buying this for: Everyone who needs a special thank you for their tireless work in our communities over this terrible year – the kaiako, the kaumātua, everyone delivering kai to whānau, all the health professionals. Kia ora katoa.
Whai by Nicole Titihuia Hawkins is a poetry collection. “These poems are playful, staunch, vulnerable and at times utterly hilarious. They have big kaiako energy. While her work is anchored in the present, Hawkins stays in conversation with her ancestors, and looks towards the future.”
Nuku by Qiane Matata-Sipu is the culmination of the incredible podcast series that profiled 100 “kickass Indigenous wāhine”. With lush photography and the most inspiring stories, this deserves pride of place on the coffee table.
Atua Wāhine is by a collective of wāhine Māori writers and their stories centre around atua wāhine. I love collections of work because it introduces you to multiple writers at once and then it’s a fun treasure hunt to find more work from your favourite contributors!
Kia Kaha by Stacey Morrison and Jeremy Sherlock is an illustrated book of Māori who have done incredible things. The book features a huge array of trailblazers who have excelled. Representation matters and this book is the wholesome antithesis to a gnarly Facebook comment section. It should become a staple in every home.
IG @stacedotcom and Jeremy has a private account which I love the mystery of but ultimately I will respect the boundary.
Bloody Woman by Lana Lopesi is a set of essays. Did you know essays can be fun and not just for university? Me neither but now we’ve both learnt something. “This wayfinding set of essays, by acclaimed writer and critic Lana Lopesi, explores the overlap of being a woman and Sāmoan. Writing on ancestral ideas of womanhood appears alongside contemporary reflections on women’s experiences and the Pacific.” I’m excited by writers daring to write down what the rest of us only whisper. I’m excited by this book and you should be too.
Huia Short Stories 14 by Huia Publishers is a collection of the best short stories from the Pikihuia Awards for Māori writers. It’s a collection of work from first-time and emerging writers in te reo Māori and English. I’m excited to familiarise myself with the people who will be writing stories well into our future! Pro tip: everything on the Huia Publishers website is pure gold and a great gift idea.