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About Port Nicholson Fisheries

From small beginnings, Port Nicholson Fisheries has grown to become New Zealand's largest Māori-owned exporter of kōura (lobster/crayfish).   Whether they are our fishing partners or our employees, Port Nicholson Fisheries chooses to work with people who share the same values that we hold dear. These values include collaboration, hard work, family, guardianship, respect for all cultures, integrity, pursuit of sustainability, and honesty. 
Old photo Port Nicholson Fisheries Taranaki Street Wellington

Port Nicholson Fisheries traces its beginning back to 1975 when George Stavrinos, a fisherman from Greece, arrived in New Zealand to visit his sister. He marveled at New Zealand's unspoiled coastline and the variety and abundance of fish he saw in shops and markets. Despite speaking almost no English, George decided to make a new life for himself and began catching and selling fish in Waikanae, just north of Wellington.  A few years of hard work later, George opened a warehouse in the capital, then bought Port Nicholson Fisheries in 1984.  

Much later, as a result of the 2011 Koura Inc project – a project sponsored by the Māori Economic Development Taskforce which advocated that Maori lobster owners work together throughout the lobster value chain – Port Nicholson Fisheries joined with Aotearoa Fisheries to form the largest Maori-owned lobster processing business in New Zealand.  In 2016, Moana New Zealand came in as a key limited partner in the business joining our three founding members - Parininihi ki Waitotara (PKW), Iwi Collective Partnership (ICP) and Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri (Chatham Islands). 


Lobster fisherman with crayfish pot, sun rise

As a fully Māori-owned company, we abide by the customary principle of kaitiakitanga (guardianship and conservation) taking a long-term view of everything we do. Our lobsters are wild-caught in baskets that sit on the ocean floor, minimising the impact on the seabed.  Lobster fishing is also closely managed under New Zealand's Quota Management System for seafood, designed to ensure the sustainability of the country's kaimoana (seafood) for generations to come.


Over 90% of our premium live lobster is exported. When diners experience the rich and sweet taste of Port Nicholson Fisheries crayfish they are actually experiencing a part of New Zealand. The Southern Rock Lobster (jasus edwardsii) is prized in many Asian societies as a symbol of strength and prosperity, due to its brilliant red colour and resemblance to a dragon, making it an essential for celebratory dining, holidays and festive occasions.

Port Nicholson Fisheries actively explores new ways to diversify our product offerings to a growing base of customers.

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Kids under a tree looking at ocean

At Port Nicholson Fisheries our approach to our work begins with who we are: an iwi-owned company with a deep responsibility to the environment and to the communities that our iwi partners serve. We therefore strive to be the best we can, as individuals and as a team, which means embracing and leveraging the contributions of all our people and their unique differences. So we look after one another, which gives us all the courage to own our actions, to walk the talk, and to believe that Port Nicholson Fisheries will continue to thrive as a company and be a great place to work. 

Award-Winning Leadership
PNF Directors Warwick Tauwhare-George, Brian Dickson, Tom McClurg, Dion Tuuta and Richard Coleman receiving prize at NZ International Business Awards 2018

Recognised for excellence in export.
Port Nicholson Fisheries took out the He kai kei aku ringa award for Māori Excellence in Export at the 2018 New Zealand International Business Awards. Judge Hinemaua Rikirangi said, “Port Nicholson Fisheries won because they were just an outstanding participant and it was evident that they understood how to apply Māori values and whanaungatanga, and how you bring all of those aspects together to get a really strong business model. Very strong in relationships and very focused in terms of their global reach and where they wanted to target.”

Pictured L-R: PNF Directors Warwick Tauwhare-George, Brian Dickson, Tom McClurg, Dion Tuuta and Richard Coleman.

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