About Us

Kainuiwai: Where Passion Meets Purpose

Kainuiwai is more than just a brand, it’s a story woven from family, tradition, and a deep love for the outdoors. Born from the spirit of my father, a lifelong mentor and fishing buddy, Kainuiwai embodies the values he instilled in me: respect for nature, unwavering perseverance, and the strength found in shared passions.

The name itself, crafted by my father, blends Maori words symbolizing prosperity, connection to the land, and enduring strength. It reflects not only our cultural heritage but also the lessons learned on countless fishing trips – lessons that transcended the catch and seeped into the fabric of my being.

But Kainuiwai’s journey took an unexpected turn when my father was diagnosed with cancer. Determined to support him in his fight, I decided to channel my passion for fishing and Maori culture into something more – a way to give back and honor the man who shaped me.

That’s how Kainuiwai, the brand you see today, came to be. Each Kainuiwai product, like the Prosperity Tee, is imbued with meaning. The Maori hook symbol adorning it isn’t just a logo, it’s a potent reminder of our cultural roots and the values that guide us.

But Kainuiwai is more than just products. It’s a purpose. All profits generated go directly towards supporting my father’s battle with cancer. By choosing Kainuiwai, you’re not just getting quality apparel or outdoor gear, you’re joining our story, becoming part of a community that celebrates cultural heritage, cherishes the outdoors, and believes in the power of collective support.

So, browse our selection, discover the stories behind each product, and know that with every purchase, you’re not just making a statement, you’re making a difference.

Join us on this journey. Together, let’s honor tradition, embrace passion, and fight for what truly matters.

Unveiling the Symbols: Hei Matau and the Kainuiwai Hook

Hei Matau: A Talisman Steeped in Legend

The Hei Matau, a cherished symbol within Māori culture, takes the form of a stylized fishhook. It embodies a wealth of meanings, including:

  • Strength and Determination: The hook represents the wearer’s willpower and unwavering spirit.
  • Prosperity and Abundance: It signifies the promise of a bountiful harvest and a life filled with blessings.
  • Fertility and Growth: The hook symbolizes the potential for new beginnings and flourishing life.
  • Safe Passage: The Hei Matau serves as a charm for safe travels across water, a reminder of the ocean’s power and respect for its depths.

A Story Woven in Tradition

The Hei Matau’s significance is deeply rooted in Māori legend. The tale speaks of Maui, known for his strength and resourcefulness. Using only a woven line and a hook fashioned from his grandmother’s jawbone, Maui is said to have caught a giant fish, which eventually became the North Island of New Zealand, known as “Te Ika a Maui” (the Fish of Maui).

From Practicality to Powerful Symbol

Initially, Māori people wore the Hei Matau for practical reasons, ensuring their fishing hooks wouldn’t be lost at sea. Over time, the hook around the neck evolved into a powerful talisman, offering good luck and protection during fishing expeditions and voyages across vast waters.

The Wearer’s Mark

The Hei Matau signifies the wearer as a provider and protector, someone with unwavering determination to succeed. Today, it transcends its original purpose, becoming a symbol of authority, good health, and the promise of a prosperous life.

Kainuiwai: Fish with purpose.