Kingi Smiler (Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Te Atiawa, Tuhoe) is a chartered accountant and behind the establishment of the first Māori owned dairy processor Miraka, in Taupo. Kingi is Chairman of Miraka and Wairarapa Moana Incorporation, a cornerstone shareholder of Miraka with 10,500 dairy cows. Miraka won the inaugural 2015 He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Award for Māori Excellence in Export at the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Awards.
Kingi is Chairman of the Tairawhiti Land Development Trust and the Ahuwhenua Trophy Maori Excellence in Farming Competition. He was awarded the Federated Farmers 2013 Allflex Agribusiness Person of the Year for his gifted business leadership, and the Aotearoa New Zealand Māori Business Leaders Award 2014 by the University of Auckland Business School. Kingi completed his first Ironman in 1997, he has completed 26 Ironman events around the world and was inducted into the NZ Ironman Hall of Fame in 2012.
Miraka – Nurturing Our World
Miraka is the first Māori-owned dairy processing plant in New Zealand. It was established by a group of whanau Trusts and Incorporations who shared the same vision of adding value to their farming enterprises beyond the farm gate by investing in the manufacture and marketing of their products to customers.
The Miraka brand is represented by the face of a Kaitiaki (guardian), body of Papatuanuku (Earth Mother) and Ranginui (Sky Father), which highlight our connected relationship with one another and our natural world. The Tauihu (prow) of the waka is symbolic of our seafaring ancestors who set out into unchartered waters to find new land and opportunities for their whanau (families).
The protection of the environment is of paramount importance to Miraka. In keeping with the vision of ‘nurturing our world’, principles of sustainability are incorporated into all business decisions.
Since processing began on 1 August 2011, Miraka is the first independent milk company to make a profit in its first year. The plant was expanded in July 2013 to include an Ultra Heat Treatment (UHT) milk production plant. Today Miraka exports its range of quality products to more than 23 countries around the globe.