About Us

Manuka Bioscience

Unlocking the benefits of mānuka oil from New Zealand

Leptospermum scoparium (mānuka) is one of the most researched New Zealand botanicals. Leaves and twigs from the mānuka plant are steam distilled to provide one of the most recently discovered essential oils in the world with exceptional therapeutic efficacy.  

Its proven antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties make it an excellent candidate for dermatological therapeutics and skincare formulations.

Manuka Bioscience is a botanical science company that is unlocking the true potential of East Cape mānuka oil by developing evidence backed, mānuka oil based ingredients, cosmeceuticals and therapeutics.

Our People

Manuka Bioscience people are a team of multi-disciplined and experienced scientists, entrepreneurs, financiers and leaders in natural health  commercialisation.

Senior Management

Mark Mathews

CEO

Mark is a CEO with decades of executive-level experience in the healthcare and natural products industries in New Zealand.

Prior to joining Manuka Bioscience he has had roles as  CEO of Good Health Products New Zealand, Chief Executive Officer at Nutralife New Zealand, Chief Operating Officer at Vitaco New Zealand, and Managing Director of Healtheries New Zealand.

Mark has considerable experience in strategic and business planning, growing revenue, developing export markets, launching new products, and financial management in large companies.

Suki Harding

HEAD OF Research

Suki has a broad base of expertise in R&D, technology commercialisation, investment
and international business.

Her previous roles include: Research Scientist at DSIR Industrial Processing Division,
NZ Trade Commissioner in Indonesia and Taiwan, Manager TechNZ and Director
Commercialisation at Foundation for Research, Science & Technology, GM Business
Development & Commercialisation at Industrial Research Ltd, Director & Business
Strategist at sustainable carbon technology start-up CarbonScape Ltd, and GM
Business Development at e-commerce start-up SouthFresh Ltd.

Suki has a BSc (Hons) First Class in Chemistry from Massey University, a PhD in Chemistry
from Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), and a MBA also from VUW. She also
completed the Entrepreneurship Development Program at MIT in Boston.

Rebecca Anne Hunter

Head of Marketing

Rebecca is a highly creative and analytical digital marketer with a huge passion for B2C marketing of cosmetics and personal care, having worked for a plethora of lifestyle and holistic health brands, creating, and executing digital marketing strategies globally.

She graduated with First Class Honours in Business & Marketing Management from Oxford Brookes University and since then has gained further marketing qualifications from the Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing and Squared Online; Google’s prestigious online digital marketing course.

Alan Whitehead

HEAD OF IT

Alan brings over 15 years experience in the tech sector, with considerable IT, web & ecommerce experience. He has been around ecommerce since before Shopify was a ‘thing’, building websites before anyone had heard of WordPress & solving IT problems back when connecting to the internet was a very slow and noisy process.

Prior to joining Manuka Bioscience early on in their journey, he has worked for the likes of Hewlett Packard & The Bank of Ireland, established his own digital agency & been a consultant for various ecommerce startups.

Alan has a passion for solving problems, and believes that by using modern technology and data analytics we can streamline processes, improve efficiency and enhance the customer experience.

Hein Waite

operations manager

Hein has an agricultural background (High Dip) in plantation and broadacre farming. He is an outdoors enthusiast.

Hein moved to New Zealand in 2013 and after some time with a South Island family-owned honey farm he moved to become the operations manager for New Zealand Mānuka Group. The mānuka oil assets of New Zealand Mānuka Group were acquired in 2021 and Hein has continued in the role he has previously occupied.

Hein believes we lead from the ground up and as market leaders in partnering with the best stakeholders/landowners. He leads our on the ground partnerships and initiatives that he knows will take the mānuka oil industry to new heights.

Sharlene Caskey

Head of OIL SALES

Sharlene is our sales manager for our bulk oil. She has been in the role for 7 years and is passionate about supporting our global customers by providing marketing and technical support.

Sharlene comes from a mānuka family, her father Phil was one of the founders of both the mānuka honey and mānuka oil industries in New Zealand and so has been involved in mānuka in one form or another since she was a teenager.

She loves sharing about mānuka essential oil, educating anyone she meets about the natural highly efficacious oil that from the East Cape of New Zealand. “I love mānuka oil in my home, we use it for many applications including skin, personal and hair care, it’s a must for my home first aid kit”.

Linkedin

Advisory

Dr Robert Gilmour

Robert has over 30 years’ experience in clinical medicine. His background includes teaching at both Monash University (Melbourne) and as an Associate Professor at Stanford University (Palo Alto). He has had the benefit of working with some of Australia’s leading Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons as well as leading Cosmetic Physicians both in Australia and California.

He has a deep understanding of the ageing process both physiologically and anatomically, and of all the available treatment options and is currently developing new minimally invasive procedures for restorative cosmetic medicine. He is one of the founders of The Australian Society for Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Surgery.

Dr Nikki Blomfield

Nikki is a New Zealand born General Practitioner, with 13 years of medical experience in the health care system who has been practicing cosmetic medicine since 2009.

Nikki is an experienced injector who loves the artistic and creative aspect of cosmetic medicine, combined with the hands-on, practical nature of this field of medicine and enjoys keeping up to date with the latest techniques and innovations. 

Christine Hammes

Christine is a registered nurse with over 20 years of nursing experience who has worked in the dermatology and appearance medicine industry for over 8 years and is a highly certified and well-regarded practitioner in the industry.

Christine is currently a senior clinical trainer at NZ Laser Training and is a well-respected clinical expert in this field. She has considerable procedural experience and in-depth knowledge of best practice patient care, which she implements in her clinical practice.

Directors

Stuart Cairns

One of the co-founders of Manuka Bioscience Limited, Stuart is an investment banker and entrepreneur with extensive experience in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions and start-ups in New Zealand, Australia and UK. He has served on the board of many Australian and New Zealand public listed companies in forestry, mining, biotech and financial services.

Formal experience in private equity, entrepreneurial passion and scientific know how, Stuart has successfully led exits in biotech and agriculture. His search for a unique New Zealand high value product that could be scaled globally led him to identify the opportunities presented by mānuka oil.

Eric Woudberg

Eric Woudberg is CA and CMInstD qualified with over 20 years of experience spanning the corporate and chartered accountancy sectors.

His current role is director corporate services at Private Equity company Polar Capital where he helps investee companies and business owners find their feet, build their confidence, and ultimately thrive.

Eric has been a director of New Zealand Mānuka Limited for 10 years and has a wide knowledge of things mānuka.

Sarah Wickens

Sarah Wickens is a formidable force in business and philanthropy. She is an entrepreneur, art advocate and worldly woman of Wellington.

Sarah’s start-up story is the sort synonymous with Silicon Valley. In 2002 she founded skincare brand Trilogy with her sister out of a garden shed, after spotting an opportunity in the emerging market for organic products. Over the best part of the next decade, the pair transformed the brand into a global pioneer in natural skincare, picking up a slew of prestigious accolades along the way. After Trilogy, Sarah has more recently lent her expertise to social enterprises intent on doing good things.

She has since switched her focus to charitable work, acting in an advisory capacity to The Wellington City Mission and The City Gallery Foundation.

Marvin Yee

Marvin Yee is the principal of Crown Financial Services (CFS), which funds Management and Private Equity. Outside New Zealand, CFS has operations in the United States, Singapore and Australia. Marvin’s area of expertise is in transactional banking and private equity. His investment experience include technology, fintech, medtech and the crafting of financial instruments. 

Marvin sits on a number of company boards both in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Malaysia and Singapore.

A graduate from Auckland and Massey University, he has an MBA specializing in accounting and finance and BA in politics.

Suki Harding

Suki has a broad base of expertise in R&D, technology commercialisation, investment
and international business.

Her previous roles include: Research Scientist at DSIR Industrial Processing Division,
NZ Trade Commissioner in Indonesia and Taiwan, Manager TechNZ and Director
Commercialisation at Foundation for Research, Science & Technology, GM Business
Development & Commercialisation at Industrial Research Ltd, Director & Business
Strategist at sustainable carbon technology start-up CarbonScape Ltd, and GM
Business Development at e-commerce start-up SouthFresh Ltd.

Suki has a BSc (Hons) First Class in Chemistry from Massey University, a PhD in Chemistry
from Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), and a MBA also from VUW. She also
completed the Entrepreneurship Development Program at MIT in Boston.

Partners

East Cape Landowners

Manuka Bioscience (MBS) manages Mānuka plantations in partnership with the following Iwi landowners. Some of these land owners are shareholders in MBS:

  • The Proprietors of Maungaroa 3B Block Incorporated
  • The Proprietors of Potikirua Block Incorporated
  • The Trustees of the Wharekahika A25 Trust
  • The Trustees of 1/1 Iwiroa 7 Block
  • The trustees of Rangitaki Ahu Whenua Trust
  • The Trustees of the Nepia Hona Lands Trust

People of East Cape
Creating new employment opportunities for local people and sustainable prosperity in the East Cape region are top priorities for Manuka Bioscience.
The population of East Cape is around 1400, most of whom are of Māori descent. Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. Local people harvest mānuka trees that grow wild on the hills of Māori tribal lands. This wild harvest makes up around 40% of MBS’ East Cape mānuka oil production.