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Living Nature Founder Honoured

Media Release

Tuesday June 7

Living Nature Founder Honoured

The founder of acclaimed New Zealand skincare company, Living Nature, has been officially recognised for her efforts in developing natural, beautiful skincare products in an ethical manner.

Suzanne Hall has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in this year's Queen's Birthday honours list.

Established by Ms Hall in 1987, Living Nature now produces and sells more than 200 skincare and makeup products and is regarded globally as one of the most comprehensive, truly natural skincare ranges. It has key export markets in Asia, the UK, Australia, Europe, and the USA, and is continuing to expand into new markets.

"I am delighted to receive this award as it affirms our vision for Living Nature," says Ms Hall. "When I started Living Nature I wrote a company mission statement, the essence of which was "to create a sustainable, profitable, ecological, educational and inspirational business that positively impacted on the individual, the community, the country and the world."

"This mission statement has remained unchanged for 18 years and the company continues to build on this foundation of respect in all aspects of operations."

Living Nature was created out of Ms Hall's aspiration to harness the power of nature and New Zealand's unique native plants. She is a pioneer in natural skincare - researching, developing and testing product formulations and a world-leading natural preservative system. "When I began, 'natural' was not considered important. Now it's a growth industry, growing 10 times faster than the mainstream. Many other large global cosmetic houses have followed our lead, but Living Nature remains one of only a handful of companies in the world that can claim to be truly natural."

The fact Ms Hall has been awarded the MNZM signifies the escalating value placed on nature and all things natural, in New Zealand and globally. "The world is changing and natural products are becoming more important as awareness of man's impact on the environment and the subsequent effects of synthetic products on our bodies is coming to the fore."

"It feels really great that people care about the work we've been doing and that our customers can trust and feel part of this bigger 'ethical' picture by using our products," said Ms Hall.

The award also recognised the importance Living Nature placed on working in the community. More emphasis needed to be placed on providing work in rural areas she said. "At Living Nature we are proud to be exporting world leading skincare and cosmetics from Kerikeri. We've done the thinking in New Zealand and we're exporting the IP(intellectual property) packaged and ready for market, not just the raw ingredients. This is much more valuable to our economy and keeps reinforcing our unique position and innovative thinking to the rest of the world. Our aim, and my challenge to all other New Zealanders is to create value-added products and support rural communities," said Ms Hall.

Ms Hall has also been recognised in a number of other achievements; in 1993 she won the Northland Business Person Of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year. She has been profiled in international magazines such as Marie Claire, Wallpaper and issues of the UK, Japanese and German Vogue.

Meanwhile, Living Nature was a winner of the Trade New Zealand Agritech and Life Sciences Award in 2002/3. The company was also named by leading UK "Here's Health" publication as the 'Best Bodycare and Beauty Range' in 2003, and as the 'Best Natural Skincare range' and 'Most Ethical Company' in 2004. Living Nature skincare products have also recently been selected by Air New Zealand for use in their new long-haul business and premium economy bathrooms.

As the founding director, Ms Hall's key focus now is to provide long-term product and creative direction for Living Nature.

Ends

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