It’s always interesting asking local business operators how they ended up…
In 1820 the Kurahaupō iwi of Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Māui (Top of the South Island) were visited by the Russians led by Admiral Fabian Gottlieb von Bellinghausen. Hamuera Robb, our Kaitiaki Taonga Māori has written this interesting article about the connection that remains, to-this-day between Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Māui and St Petersburg in Russia.
The Kurahaupō iwi occupying those lands were, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and Rangitāne o Wairau. These same people encountered Cook and his men fifty years earlier.
You can read the complete article here: www.nelsonmuseum.co.nz/learn/russianconnection