Cook Islands’ Kora Pearls sees double at Pasifika

Kora Pearls of the Cook Islands will be offering twice as many of its magnificent pearls at the Pasifika Festival this weekend. That’s because they’re having two Pasifika stands – one in the Cook Islands Village and one in the Pasifika Business Market. Kora Pearls will continue to have a jewellery focus, the other handicrafts and jewellery. “We will still sell Kora Pearls on silver fittings but more products using rito and rope,” said Mrs Kora.

“My daughter Tiare and I will be in the stall and our objectives are to showcase to other islands that pearls can be utilised in all forms of jewellery as well as being affordable. We also have a range of $20 loose pearls (photo) which can be used in creating any form of jewellery. Also have a set of local Cook Island drums that have been made from Manihiki Tamanu – Pacific Mahogany,” she added.

This year Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand worked closely with Auckland’s ATEED to arrange the new Pasifika Business Market as part of its Path to Market programme. The 7-stage programme helps the potential exporters better understand exporting to the New Zealand market.

Cook Island drums that have been made from Manihiki Tamanu – Pacific Mahogany.

Kora Pearls have been at Pasifika Festival for the past five years, always getting great support.

Mrs Kora said, “We have had a great response every year except sales were down when the venue was changed to South Auckland due to the fruit fly scare.”

“The benefit of selling in the PTI Pasifika Business Market is more foot traffic as location is next to the Samoa village which normally has the most visitors,” Mrs Kora said.

PTI NZ invited Nancy and her husband Kora to come to the Auckland Gift and Homeware show last year. Since then they have made a few changes. “We have increased production and for Pasifika we have a lot more handcrafted pieces available,” she said.

Kora Pearls specialises in selling black pearls from the Cook Islands only. The pearls are certified as being home grown on their pearl farm in Manihiki, a small island in the Northern Cook Islands.

Nancy and Kora have been pearl farming in their family business for past 25 years. It’s a tradition they’re passing on to the third generation: their son Thomas who has learnt the art of grafting oysters. The harvested pearls are sold in their retail outlet “Kora Pearls” in Rarotonga.

They also have a website www.korapearls.com where they showcase the whole range of jewellery from gold and silver pendants to strands and rings.

For more information email Joe Fuavao, PTI Trade Development Manager on joe.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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