MacLab partners with iwi and industry pioneers

MacLab has developed new valuable partnerships with iwi and key industry players to support its ambitious growth plans as a nutraceutical business.

The latest partnerships are with Maara Moana, the Pooley family, and Marine Farm Management.

MacLab financial controller Gary Rountree says the company has embraced partnership models since embarking on a new strategy for supply which commenced in 2017. The first arrangement was with Jim Goulding and his family. Jim was one of the early mussel farmers in the industry and has served on various boards including the Marine Farming Association (MFA). The second arrangement was the establishment of Maclab Tasman – a joint venture between Maclab and Tasman Bay Aquaculture Limited (Stoney and Rondy Bourke). Maclab Tasman has successfully mastered the art of farming mussels in the challenging environment of Tasman Bay and is now spearheading Maclab’s growth in Golden Bay.

“We are now building on our strategy with iwi and other partners to secure an increasing supply of quality greenshell mussels. We want to work with the best people to maintain our operational excellence in aquaculture farming in order to supply mussel powder to the expanding nutraceutical sector.”

Among its newer partnerships, MacLab has entered into an agreement to develop 100 hectares of greenshell mussel farms on water space consents in Golden Bay owned by iwi consortium Maara Moana. Its shareholders are each of the Te Tauihu iwi – Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Toa, Rangitāne, Ngāti Kuia, Te Ātiawa, and Ngāti Rarua.
As consent conditions are satisfied, MacLab will progressively develop and operate the farms on behalf of Maara Moana.

MacLab is now extending its partnership arrangements to include another pioneering family. Rob Pooley has a long and distinguished career including having long served on the Marine Farming Association (MFA) executive including 16 years as President.

Rob’s son Simon also brings an impressive record as a skilled mussel farmer and manager, as documented last year on Country Calendar; he carries on the family legacy.

“This partnership sees MacLab securing a substantial parcel of greenshell mussel farms in the Marlborough Sounds and Golden Bay from the Pooley-owned company Just Mussels Ltd. Simon Pooley will also provide marine farming services to MacLab in the Marlborough Sounds. “

Marine Farm Management Ltd (MFML) provides services primarily to the marine farming operations in Golden Bay. MFML’s owner, Jonathan Large, has 20 years experience in the mussel industry and took over from Rob Pooley as MFA President in 2016.