How Healthpak, Kiwi Artist Flox and the Extinct Huia Bird Have Joined Forces to Promote Forest & Bird

Wednesday 15 February 2017, 12:27PM
By HealthPak

When HealthPak wanted a new design for their Forest & Bird range, the company knew they couldn’t find a more striking or poignant symbol than the huia.

Once our country’s largest species of wattlebird and sacred in Maori culture, huia numbers dwindled through deforestation and over-hunting until its last confirmed sighting was in the Tararua Ranges in 1907.

Popular culture, storytelling and films such as Hunt for The Wilderpeople often use the huia as a symbol – and warning – of the importance of caring for our New Zealand environment, so when HealthPak found a beautiful huia design by Kiwi bird artist Flox, they knew they had the right image to help promote their Forest & Bird-branded range of guest hair and skincare products.

The partnership between HealthPak and Forest & Bird has been going for five years, during which time the non-profit organisation has been able to spread their message and brand to hundreds of thousands of guests at hotels, motels, guesthouses, B&Bs and Airbnbs through the range of bathroom amenities.

HealthPak general manager sales & marketing, Jimi Kennedy-Grant, says the range has been wildly popular over the past five years and generated $35,000 in royalty cheques for Forest & Bird.

“The whole reason behind the relaunch was to tell a really powerful story. We wanted to reinforce the lesson of the huia so that it is not repeated,” Jimi says.

“As soon as we started to think about doing it, Flox’s design was instantly where we wanted to go and we were prepared to change our designs to suit her artwork. Championing the artwork by putting the huia front and centre on the product was important and tying the message to such an awesome bird makes for a sad but powerful story.”

Artist Flox – aka Haley King – says her huia artwork is a perfect fit for an organisation she feels very strongly about.

“I hold Forest & Bird quite dear to my heart and, as Kiwis, we have that love affair with birds so I think theirs is a really great cause. This is the land of birds and I always look at the huia as something that’s representative of a time that has many symbolic attributes: Maori used its feathers and beaks for all sorts of ceremonies, but for us contemporary-wise it symbolises that yearning for what we’ve lost. I just wish it was still around. It would be amazing to see and hear their calls in the forest.”

Jimi Kennedy-Grant says the message has been getting through to both accommodation owners and their guests because, as well as the hair and body products, the range includes Forest & Bird membership for those taking part and information leaflets and magazines.

“The success of the range so far has been down to the fact that hoteliers and accommodation providers are intrinsically involved in the environment and it resonates with them – these are people who are usually running accommodation near some pretty amazing places and they want to protect it.”

Forest & Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague said the guest amenities range carried with it a powerful message.

“A significant chunk of the public and visitors believe that New Zealand lives up to the clean, green image created by the tourism industry – we need to tell as many people as possible this is not the case. Working with HealthPak gives Forest & Bird the opportunity to speak to hundreds of thousands of people when they are staying in hotels, motels and guest houses at some of the most beautiful places in the world. We hope the beautiful design by Flox featuring the now extinct huia, will remind everyone of what we stand to lose if we don’t care for our environment.

“HealthPak has supported Forest & Bird for more than five years and has raised more than $35,000. But it has always been about more than the money - it is great to see a business run by people who are passionate about protecting nature in New Zealand. HealthPak are working to lead the way in their industry, encouraging others to think differently with innovative recycling schemes and packaging designed to have as low environmental impact as possible. Like many New Zealand businesses, HealthPak is on a journey to becoming as environmentally sustainable as they possibly can be and it is our goal to help them get there.”

For more information on the new designs of Forest & Bird-branded guest amenities contact HealthPak on +64 9 579 6268, at info@healthpak.co.nz or contact us via the website.

Further information


The Forest & Bird guest amenities range includes five bottled products, three sizes of soap, shower caps, sanitary bags, vanity and sewing kits and bath salts.

Also included for accommodation providers are:

The first 12 months membership of Forest & Bird and membership certificate to display within accommodation.
Free-of-charge full-colour compendium inserts for all your rooms detailing how the Forest & Bird range works.
Membership forms to give to guests.
The Forest & Bird magazine to display to guests.

Forest & Bird

Formed in 1923, Forest & Bird has about 70,000 supporters in 50 branches that work on a variety of conservation activities, from re-forestation to lobbying, bird monitoring to weed-busting.

Originally established to protect our native forests and birds, their role has been extended in recent years to include protection of all native species and wild places – on land and in our oceans, lakes and rivers.

Work includes:

Establishing a network of 38 reserves & sanctuaries for our native species that are actively managed by our members.

Successfully campaigning for greater protection for our native animals and helped to bring many species, such as the kakapo and black robin, back from the brink of extinction.