Introducing Manāki Whitebait

A little bit of history…

The Manāki story starts with an aspiration to restore and enhance the native species that make up the whitebait catch.  Paul Decker, Dr Tagried Kurwie and the team at Mahurangi Technical Institute in Warkworth were the first to successfully hatch the whitebait species. Some of these were destined for reintroduction into local streams affected by the development of the Northern Motorway extension. In their Warkworth Research Centre over the last 16 years the team successfully developed their ability to breed all of the whitebait species. This research demonstrated that by scaling up the farming processes commercially viable production of the species was possible.

With the environmental aspirations successfully achieved, Premium Marine Technology Limited was formed to undertake the commercial development of whitebait farming.

Now after further development we have commenced building a pilot commercial facility in Bluff to fully evaluate our research results.



We are the world’s first sustainable producer of Farm Fresh New Zealand whitebait.

Manāki Premium Marine Technology Limited is New Zealand’s first and only 100% sustainably produced whitebait.

We all know whitebait is one of Aotearoa’s most iconic foods.  But did you also know that in the wild it is also one of our most threatened?

The good news is that after many years of research, we are able to sustainably produce 100% NZ whitebait. Even better news is we are not limited to producing whitebait during the season, so soon you will be able to get farm fresh whitebait whenever you feel like it.

Because we know so much about breeding whitebait we are also working with others to enhance wild stocks to ensure these fish survive for future generations.

So next time you feel the need for a whitebait fritter … keep an eye out for us.

Why Manāki Whitebait?

“Manāki” is the Maori word for caring for and supporting others.  Our Manāki brand reflects our view that providing good food plays an important role in being a good host.   Manāki also encompasses the protection of the environment which we are supporting through our environmental partnerships.

When you see Manāki Whitebait you know we promise to deliver –

Highest quality farm fresh whitebait.
Consistent product chilled and delivered to most of Aotearoa within 24 hours of farm harvest.
Availability year round is our ultimate goal.
Commitment by Manāki to the ongoing sustainability of whitebait and its environment.

Contact Us to find out more about Manāki Farm Fresh Whitebait.

The Whitebait Story

Whitebait are the juveniles of Five of New Zealand’s most precious native freshwater fish: inanga, kōaro, banded kōkopu, giant kōkopu and shortjaw kōkopu. While many of us know about whitebait, few people know the full life cycle of the New Zealand whitebait. While the adult fish live in freshwater, whitebait hatch and spend the first 12 weeks living in the ocean. It is on their return to freshwater that we usually see whitebait as juveniles for the swim upstream to grow into adults.

Four of five whitebait species are considered “threatened” due to declining numbers in our streams. These traditional whitebait habitats are under pressure mainly from loss of habitat and introduced species .
Through our environmental partnerships we are working to promote the survival of the whitebait species.

Experience Manāki

Check out our Facebook page or updates on this page to find out where you can try Manāki sustainable New Zealand Farm Fresh Whitebait.

Leaving a legacy

Sustainable, quality, farm fresh whitebait for now and future generations. A new era in New Zealand whitebait.


Manāki means in Maori to look after, care for, show respect or kindness to. Premium Marine Technology Limited chose the brand to represent its values.

© 2016 Manāki Ltd.

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