Our Story

Kōaka | Natural Health & Skincare

Kōaka creates natural and sustainable skincare from organic New Zealand hemp. We are shifting the way we care for each other and our environment.


Our Roots | How It All Started

Kōaka started from an idea to make change. Our founders; Brad and Brendon, have been on a mission since 2017 to shift the way we take care of each other and our environment. 
Kōaka Natural Health and Skincare - NZ Hemp
Developed by New Zealand Pharmacists out of the need for a natural alternative for inflammatory skin conditions, Kōaka's products are designed to be simple and effective in their treatment and management of our health. Through using natural ingredients that Papatūānuku (Earth Mother) and Ranginui (Sky Father) provide, we are capable of healing in the most natural way. In January 2019, Kōaka's founders Brendon McIntosh and Brad Lake had been selling their nutritional hemp seed oil at the Riccarton Markets in Christchurch and were researching the benefits of hemp for health. 

Hemp seed oil is packed full of active botanicals, antioxidants and omega fatty acids, which provide essential nutrients, anti-inflammatory and skin regenerating properties. The evidence was clear that hemp not only provided benefits when taken internally, but can also be applied topically for maintaining skin health and for various skin conditions. This was the spark that lit the flame to create Kōaka.

Brendon and Brad knew that this discovery could be life changing, they knew this knowledge had to be shared with other pharmacists and health care professionals. Nearing the end of 2019, they sought the help of esteemed Māori Pharmacist, Aleshia Johnson, who was on a similar mission to bring holistic healthcare into the mainstream practices of pharmacy. 

From humble beginnings, at the market stall offering a pure and natural moisturising serum to now having six organic hemp based products in the range, being stocked in pharmacies all throughout New Zealand and providing education to other pharmacists and the public about the health benefits of hemp, Kōaka offers a viable option for those seeking natural, organic and environmentally friendly products for skin care and everyday health. 

Kōaka is loosely translated as simply meaning 'hemp' in Te Reo Māori, a national language of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Hemp is a plant of strength and toughness, but it offers so much more. 

Koaka NZ Our Story