Behind the team - our story

Our business “Whenua" is a small whānau business that has been launched since August 2020

Ko Shivonne Tufuga (nee Kutia) rāua ko Lynette Kutia (Mum) are the wāhine that run the business but co-own with both our husbands Fareti Tufuga (Husband) and Tuara Kutia (Dad). I was originally born in Gisborne but grew up in a small place called Otane within the Central Hawkes bay region. I am of Māori decent and of Ngāti Kōnohi and Ngāti Porou tribe. I have been married for five years to my husband Fareti who is of Samoan, Māori and Cook Island decent, and we have three beautiful tamariki Mathius, Milayna and Makarni.

We own our own papakāinga property within Te Tairawhiti where we all live and work from. Mid 2019 I had this idea In my head about creating a baby onesie that could represent the beauty of different cultures especially towards our Māori culture and also the Polynesian side which was inspired to me by my husband and beautiful children who are both of Māori and Polynesian decent. When I would dress our daughter Milayna (who was 8 months at the time) there were no styles out there. So I decided to sketch up a design to see what It would look like and before you know it mum and I decided to create this business.  With almost one year of planning and researching we were able to release our pēpi kākahu to everyone.