Ruatōrea’s only listed company has a high

Did you know that Rua Bioscience was originally founded to create work for Ruatōrea locals?

With a community-minded focus woven through the company from the get-go in 2016, it comes as no surprise that Rua Bioscience — the only publicly listed company from Ruatōrea — makes a shining case for a people, world and land-first organisation.

Now six years down the line, Rua Bioscience has officially celebrated two impressive milestones: they’ve not only exported the first lot of medical cannabis to Australia, but this is also understood to be New Zealand’s first legal export of cannabis genetics under the medicinal cannabis scheme.

To reflect more on this moment, Global Women was fortunate to join in conversation with Member, Anna Stove. As current Managing Director of Rua Bioscience and the former Global Women Chairwoman, Anna gives us an intimate glimpse into what underpins this success, and how a truly collaborative cultural context is key to this. 

A key part of Rua Bioscience’s business model is about drawing on te ao Maori.  “As a business with a deep sense of kaitiakitanga, Rua believes it is responsible for protecting and nurturing the environment and sharing the benefits of a successful business with its community. Rua’s intergenerational view comes from a deep-seated belief that great business is good for the land and its people.”

“We are just setting up new board dates for 2023 & for the first time are setting these around the maramataka (traditional Māori calendar),” — Anna Stove, Managing Director of Rua Bioscience.

Te ao is expressed through more than the guiding principals and values of the company. Day to day operations embrace the Māori and pākeha world view. Anna, a pākeha woman, shares how the traditional Māori calendar plays into the equation: “We are just setting up new board dates for 2023 & for the first time are setting these around the maramataka (traditional Māori calendar). Each year has 12 months based on the cycles of the moon. These lunar months begin and end when the moon is full, and last for about 30 days.  Depending on the moon, certain days bring more energy and other days bring bad luck.”

A commitment to their community, beyond the Rua Bioscience walls, is also part of their focus: they supply free products to those who may not usually afford to. “I am very proud that we have also set up a free compassionate access programme for the Te Taiwhawiti region.  This gives doctors the ability to prescribe medicinal cannabis for patients (who meet specific criteria) who otherwise would have no ability to afford the product as it is not funded by PHARMAC,” shares Anna. 

Discover more about this incredible milestone through our Partners, Whakaata Māori, via their te ao news.