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Our Story

Well … it all began as just a dabble really – a few disjointed thoughts, some scratchy drawings on the odd scrap of paper. I seemed to be always fossicking to find that special small something for a friend that had integrity, was NZ made and gave you that warm nostalgic feeling. And every year, there was a distinct lack of taonga that meant something to us, with our love of New Zealand-made Pacific design.

I had a creative itch that needed scratching and added to that was the allure of being my own boss. I realised I didn’t want to think about all the things I wanted to do but never actually get them done, so suddenly, with the help of a brilliant young illustrator and lots of people guiding and supporting my vision, my vague ideas began to turn into reality.

Beautiful hand-carved originals were eventually finalised, and the process of finding an appropriate molding technique was underway. Hugely important to us were the materials – our fledgling business had to be sustainable. The possibility of recycling something that would otherwise fill our precious landfills became something of an obsession, so after lots of experimenting we found that we could get the desired effect with the use of recycled material. Eighteen months later, in October 2007, Mamarua's Mementos of the South Pacific were launched.

mamarua goes to raroInspired by our South Pacific environment, Mamarua’s initial range included three designs – Aroha, Koru and Tapa. The three designs are offered as recycled resin and rubber pendants.

The Aroha design proved so popular we released two products in metal.

Our South Pacific seas then provided the inspiration for the NAUTILUS. It is a stylised form of the Pacific shell. Te Maunga o Taranaki then provided inspiration for our latest TIKI design – a cheeky wee tiki with a pointed head and a belly full of joy.


Mamarua means two mothers and we pooled our skills and resources and creative energies. Mamarua’s kaupapa (philosophy) includes not only designing beautiful mementos reminiscent of our Pacific heritage, but also producing them 100% in Aotearoa, using all recycled materials with eco-friendly packaging.

Our Crew

Like any product range, the design process and production process has involved the expertise of many.
Mamarua is Anna Gundesen and Therese Mangos
with special acknowledgement going to:

Brett and Lilach our carvers, Daniel our illustrator, Melanie for graphics, and a special thanks to Tony Miller and his team for the production of our beautiful recycled resin and rubber taonga, and Scott Barnett and his team for the production of our metal range.
Also of course there is the lovely Ana who has made our website and keeps it up to date and looking stunning.
Web Design -


Patterns of the Past: Tattoo Revival in the Cook Islands

Mamarua's sister company 'Punarua' has published their book on Cook Islands tatatau - check it out at

Patterns of the Past: Tattoo Revival in the Cook Islands