About Us

Kiwi Discovery Limited consists of retail operations that centre on the consumer encounter with New Zealand-made products.

The business was founded in 1997 by Korean immigrant Yong Chan Lee.

Kiwi Discovery, with 39 major awards to its name, is now recognised as one of the most successful operators in the New Zealand tourism industry. Its contribution to New Zealand is immense. The business has a highly specific marketing approach, and has leveraged long-lasting relationships with industry partners to create growth and progression.


The first Kiwi Discovery store opened its doors at Auckland International Airport in November 1997. It was the first (and remains the only) travel retailer to specialise in New Zealand-made fine foods such as paua, salmon, dairy products, beef jerky, honey, chocolates, jams and health foods. The store was relocated and expanded in 2005 to 120sqm. In November 2010, it successfully relocated its airside shop to the new retail area under the Auckland Airport Redevelopment project.

Sushi Bar Hayama was established in December 2000, following nearly two years of negotiations to break through the catering monopoly at Auckland Airport. Most Auckland hotels do not cater for Japanese tastes at breakfast time, and Sushi Bar Hayama quickly became popular with tour operators, frequently servicing hundreds of customers prior to Japan-bound morning flights. Hayama upgraded its airport site to bigger premises just one year later.

The second Hayama opened in December 2006 at the new food court in the domestic terminal at Auckland Airport. In December 2010, Hayama opened its first kiosk on the airside in the newly developed food court area. Since May 2011, the landside restaurant has expanded and now incorporates a joint Southeast Asian eatery, Silk Road.

The third operation, Merino Discovery, enabled a broader market base for Kiwi Discovery Limited: It was the first souvenir shop at Auckland Airport to specialise in New Zealand-produced merino and merino possum fashion and accessories, opening its doors in June 2003 on the landside of the international terminal. Owing to the success of the Merino Discovery landside store, the second Merino Discovery opened airside in December 2005 next to the existing Kiwi Discovery. Both the landside and the airside stores are now located within the respective Kiwi Discovery stores.

Affiliated Store


After selling the New Zealand iconic merino brand Icebreaker for many years, a decision was made to open a standalone partnered store in 2010 on airside. Since opening, our Icebreaker TouchLab has gone from strength to strength, winning us the prestigious Retailer of the Year award at the 2013 Auckland Airport Retail Excellence Awards.

Today Kiwi Discovery Limited is a force to be reckoned with, taking New Zealand products to the world and providing more than 80 staff with a rewarding work environment that is full of opportunities.

Vision & Mission Statement

At Kiwi Discovery, we live by our Vision and Mission.

Our Vision:
Maintain leadership position in our niche market.

Our Mission:
Total commitment to quality, excellence & service.

Producing and sourcing the best products and ingredients available in New Zealand.

Hiring top performers and continuously motivate them to be their best.

Consistently delivering outstanding customer service.