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Proud to New Zealand made

To me one of the most special and unique aspects of working for Ariki New Zealand Limited is the knowledge that we are New Zealand made – this is our, in my opinion, point of difference to all other Paua Shell Jewellery brands on the market.

All Ariki New Zealand jewellery is hand crafted with precision and quality at our factory based in Blenheim in the heart of the Marlborough region in the South Island of New Zealand.

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Marlborough: home of Ariki New Zealand Jewellery

I thought it was about time I told you a little bit more about the region Ariki New Zealand Limited calls home, Marlborough New Zealand.

Marlborough covers the north-eastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The main town, Blenheim (population around 24,000) is 4½ hours by road from Christchurch, 35 minutes by air from Wellington and about 1½ hours by air from Auckland.
Here we enjoy long hot summers and crisp clear blue-skied winters.

Wine Growing in Marlborough

We have very diverse landscapes, from the snow covered alpine peaks of our mountains across the valleys of grape vines to the picturesque idyllic sheltered waterways of the Marlborough Sounds. We are spoilt for choice of awe-inspiring scenery. And the warm, settled, sunny days that contribute so much to the region’s successful wine industry create an ideal climate for outdoor activities.

The Marlborough Sounds where I live offers iconic scenery and sheltered inland waterways ideal for fishing and boating. There is excellent cycling, mountain biking, tramping and walks including the world renowned Queen Charlotte Track.

The region also has a wide range of recreational activities from swimming with dolphins in the Marlborough Sounds to watching whales in Kaikoura; from walks through the bush and along the rugged coastline to relaxing at one of Marlborough’s many world-class wineries.

Marlborough is renowned for world famous Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s largest winegrowing region, and the soils and enviable climate that create it. The vineyards thrive in one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand. Our region is also about fresh seafood sought by the world’s finest chefs. Salmon, crayfish, mussels and of course Paua to name but a few.
Marlborough is the perfect place for romance, relaxation or adventure, in every season. Here we enjoy the finer things in life.

Picton at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound is a busy port town, the southern terminus of the Cook Strait ferries which are an integral part of New Zealand’s main trunk road and rail routes.
It is geared to all visitor needs with many cafés offering fresh food and excellent espresso plus several fine craft galleries, I love to sit on a sunny afternoon gazing over the .sparkling clear waters in this idyllic wee port town and devour some of the best gourmet produce in the country.
Blenheim is the largest town in Marlborough and has a good selection of designer, boutique, specialty and day-to-day shops as well as some of the country’s best restaurants and wine bars.
There is an abundance of fresh green tree lined parks and idyllic river side spots to sit in the sunshine and enjoy everything this town has to offer.
Marlborough is a great place to visit and an even better place to stay.

Picton Ferry

Ariki New Zealand Jewellery
We are very proud to be able to call Marlborough the home of Ariki New Zealand Jewellery.
Ariki is the world’s most successful designer/manufacturer of Paua shell jewellery. It is also one of the largest New Zealand jewellery manufacturers.
The name “Ariki” is from the Māori language and means “The Chief” or “The Best”. The name pays homage to the history of our native New Zealand people, The Māori. And we certainly strive to live up to the virtues our name suggests.

Internationally Renowned
The company was established in 1932 when a Marlborough family saw the potential of the Paua shell to be the focal point of a unique New Zealand jewellery collection. Their ambition has resulted in the Ariki Paua Collection being widely sold in New Zealand and throughout the world.

The Ariki Difference
Ariki’s Paua is harvested from areas renowned for their water quality, both pollution free and rich in minerals. These minerals give the New Zealand Paua shell its intense depth of colour and thickness of shell. By using only the best quality Paua shells Ariki’s Paua shell jewellery is able to clearly distinguish itself from its imitators all around the world.

Made and Designed in New Zealand
Ariki’s jewellery collections are proudly produced at Ariki’s factory here in Blenheim. We have a proud history of being a New Zealand based manufacturer employing New Zealanders to produce handcrafted quality products for sale in New Zealand and Overseas.

And I am in turn proud and honoured to play a small role in this remarkable industry.

The legend of how the Paua got its shell

I was sitting at my desk today admiring a particularly beautiful piece of Ariki New Zealand jewellery – the colours of the cabochon shone and sparkled in the light as the beautiful autumn sunshine streamed through my office window, changing from blues and greens to pinks and purples as I turned jewellery piece to different angles. Movement makes the colours dance like sunlight on crystal clear water.
It reminded me of a most beautiful story I had recently come across which written by a New Zealand author and I just had to share it with you!
It tells the story of how our beloved Paua Shell came to have the most colourful and vibrant colours that we see in our jewellery today.

Tangaroa and the Paua

The myths and legends of New Zealand’s earliest inhabitants, the Māori tell us that once, in the days of old, Paua had no shell.
In Māori mythology, Tangaroa is one of the great gods, the god of the sea. He is a son of Ranginui and Papatūānuku, Sky and Earth.
Tangaroa, god of the sea, saw the difficulties that this created for Paua and decided to create something special for him. He said:
“I will take from my domain the coolest blues of the ocean. And ask of my brother Tane the freshest greens of the forest. From the dawn you shall have a tinge of violet. From the sunset a blush of pink. And overall there will be a shimmer of mother of pearl”.

With this, Tangaroa fashioned for Paua a wonderful coat that sparkled and dazzled with its beauty. But it was fragile and soon broken by those sea creatures who were envious of Paua’s new appearance. Tangaroa saw this, so he strengthened the shell with many layers of the coolest blues of the ocean, the freshest greens of the forest, the violet of the dawn and the pink of the sunset. Finally he added a camouflage coat to enable Paua to blend in with the drab greys and browns of the rocks. Tangaroa then charged Paua with the life-long task of adding layer upon delicate layer, each a different hue and blend.

So it was that Paua got his shell. He hugs the secret of his inner beauty to himself and only at the end of his life, when his empty shell washes ashore, is his artistry revealed.
To me this is the essence of our beautiful Ariki New Zealand Jewellery. A unique piece of New Zealand to be hugged close and treasured for over a lifetime.

The colours of the Paua Shell never cease to amaze me – each and every one is different and unique. Hand crafted by nature to show the most amazing and dazzling colours from our world into one precious creation.

And I am so proud of the fact we here at Ariki New Zealand take this creation and make it even more precious. Hand crafting each and every unique New Zealand jewellery piece to capture the Paua Shell beauty in its full glory and honouring Tangaroa the god who provided us with this treasure.