Auckland Museum buys ‘treasures’ from Path to Market delegation

The Auckland Museum bought a ‘carload’ of treasures from Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand’s delegation to the first ever Pasifika Business Market at Pasifika Festival. Around 12 handicraft, jewellery and giftware suppliers opted to go the Auckland War Memorial Museum on a site visit. They were well drilled on their ‘elevator pitch’ during the PTI NZ Path to Market workshops that they attended — and some put it successfully into action during their short time there.

But the site visits are not just an opportunity to sell some of the product left over from Pasifika.  The visits offer an opportunity to view different businesses, see other products, observe the packaging, labelling and pricing and note the standards required to compete.

But it’s also an important introduction to what could potentially become a long-term buyer in the future.

Susan Bakani, Artisan Culture (PNG); Serah Lenore Tari, Women’s Export Association (Vanuatu); Gilda Lasibori, Bilum Export and Promotion Association (PNG) at the museum.

Lisa Varga is the Retail Operations Manager at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Ms Varga has enjoyed a good association with PTI NZ’s Path to Market programme after buying many pieces of Pacific Island made handicrafts for the Auckland Museum Store over the years.

After having struggled to find good quality, authentic products from the Pacific region to sell in the Auckland Museum Store, the Pasifika Business Market provided a wonderful forum for to connect face to face and to purchase on the spot, Ms Varga said.

“This year was even bigger and better than last year, and we came away with a carload of new treasures,” she said.

“We found stunning wooden carvings from Artisan Culture in Papua New Guinea, pearl necklaces from Kora Pearls in the Cook Islands, weaving and jewellery from Elefa Handicrafts from Majuro and lovely Bilum from BEPA in Papua New Guinea.”

“We know that customers love wooden carving, jewellery and weaving, so purchasing these was a focus for us. One of our favourite finds was some wallets made from banana paper by Green banana paper, a sustainable business model with stunning designs from Kosrae,” Ms Varga said.

For more information please contact: Ian Furlong, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager on


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