Tonga’s artistic handicraft at PTI Auckland Trade Show

Hu’ahulu Ha’unga Fine Art is a family owned business run by Akosita Hu’ahulu Ha’unga of Tonga. They are part of a delegation coming to Auckland on the Pacific Trade Invest Path to Market programme and attending a one-day Trade show at The Cloud on April 6.

The product range includes hand-made earrings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches. Plus, hand-printed homeware cushion covers, wine bottle covers and lavalava (printed fabric).

“We make jewellery only from our Tongan local resources,” Mrs Ha’unga says.

Mrs Huahulu Ha’unga has a family of three young daughters Siu, ‘Ofaloto and Uaise. Being part of Tonga’s delegation will be her first trade show event, after attending her first Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ Path to Market workshop in Tonga in 2018.

The PTI Path to Market workshop is part of a multi-stage programme that helps Pacific Island exporters or potential exporters understand the New Zealand market. Participants are identified by the local economic development agency (EDA) in partnership with PTI NZ to attend the in-country workshop as the first stage. They are then invited on to the next stage of the programme in Auckland, where they hone their selling techniques during seminars and a trade show event.  Post-event they discuss feedback and go on site visits and one-to-one meetings to try and find buyers and distributors.

“[This is the] first time for my business to attend any trade workshop local and International which is very much helpful to my company to know and understand the needs for trading and marketing before doing it,” Mrs Ha’unga says.

Hu’ahulu Ha’unga Fine Art was started in 2011 under the name “Ofaloto Authentic Handicraft”.

This year, they changed the company name to Hu’ahulu Fine Arts because Mrs Ha’unga says the quality of the products is very fine. But she also wanted to give her second daughter ‘Ofaloto a chance to use her own name if she started a business.

Attending the Path to Market delegation to Auckland is an important development for the company.

But Hu’ahulu Ha’unga Fine Art has already established its successful reputation in Tonga.

“In the past years our company won many competitions especially in our Agriculture Show in Tonga 2013,2014 and 2015 we won the best innovation and creativity in ‘Tonga Made’ sponsored by the ministry of Labour Commerce and Industry,” Mrs Haunga said.

Mrs Ha’unga described coming on the Path to Market programme as “Steps to climb to be successful in Trading” but also it taught her “how to prepare our product for Trading,” she said.

She is keen to find out about the New Zealand market and who the buyers are.

“The goal is to open a market in New Zealand for new products made from local resources and to experience marketing and trading in New Zealand,” Mrs Ha’unga says.

For more information email Ian Furlong, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager on ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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