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Wettie: Spearfishing and wetsuits from those who know it best

From beginnings in a rumpus room in 2007, Wettie, an Auckland-based business selling wetsuits and spearfishing gear, has expanded and built itself up to the point where it now covers both national and international markets.

The company is very family-orientated, with Jackson Shields, a worker at Wettie, pointing to the long-standing family pastime of spearfishing being a strong component of the company, which is currently New Zealand’s leading brand for spearfishing equipment and wetsuits.

Inside experience

Shields stresses that a big part of the business has always been the expertise of the people behind it. Spearfishing has been a big part of Shields’ family and many people have taken an active part in the activity, including his grandfather, father, sister, brother, and himself, so his family have the right information to provide consumers what they’re after.

When starting up the business, the Shields family thought that instead of worrying about importing goods from elsewhere, they had the knowledge and experience themselves to be able to produce quality spearfishing and wetsuits on their own.

In addition to providing repairing and alteration services to all customers, Shields says Wettie strives to keep the cost of their products down as much as possible, without compromising on quality.

“We’ve been able to cut out those middle men, that freighting cost, and provide them [customers] with a product where the quality is exceptional, but the price doesn’t actually have to match that. So you’re actually not necessarily paying a premium for a lot of our products that we make here; it’s more affordable than buying it anywhere else.”

Why Wettie is NZ Made

In addition to giving Wettie the freedom to add personal touches and enhancements to the products on offer, Shields says Wettie is continually dedicated to the New Zealand market to honour the kiwi customers who have allowed the business to get to its current position.

“We still put a lot of focus on our bread-and-butter in New Zealand because we don’t want to let down our customers that have helped us build our business to the point we are now.”

“People like the idea of something being made in New Zealand, obviously, but they also like that you’re able to put your own personal touch on it…”

For Shields and his family, spearfishing is much more than a business—it’s an integral and exciting part of his life and the lives of his family, and he really enjoys being able to incorporate this love into his work.

“It’s not just our business, it’s also our passion as well. We all spend a lot of time in the water. What could be more exciting for a spear fisherman than designing his own wetsuit or designing his own spear gun?”