The event that aroused my interest in natural health
My interest in natural health was suddenly aroused when I was about age 39 – my retired 66 year old father, who lived in Palmerston North, was hospitalised with a serious heart attack. Dad survived this attack (in fact he lived to be 96) but it was a wakeup call for me, I was eating the same foods and living the same lifestyle as him – and so began my passion for natural health.
Over the next four years, I researched all aspects of health, at the same time experimenting extensively with my own health.
How my Stay Healthy book came about
There was so much interest in my health and diet findings among men my own age that in 1988 I published a do-it-yourself book on everyday nutrition called “NZ Nutrition and Your Health.” The book instantly sold well, probably because it was timely and easy to follow. Ideas for improving the book flowed in from readers and so I published an improved second edition. This time I called it “Stay Healthy by Supplying What’s Lacking in Your Diet.”
The book continued to sell strongly year after year and has become (I believe) NZ’s top selling health book, and I’ve been updating and improving it constantly. It’s now in its 10th edition with over 90,000 copies sold. I believe it is still highly relevant and I’m now working on the 11th edition.
How NZ farmers helped me realise the importance of minerals
I spent many years in my youth helping my Dad on the Lower Hutt dairy farm he managed, so I have a lot of respect for the hard working farmer. I was greatly helped by farmers in researching the Stay Healthy book and also with the eventual formulation of CAA-Multi.
CAA-Multi came about after I read 97 year old farmer Percy Weston’s great book “Cancer: Cause and Cure.” I recognised the importance of his findings and the health problems caused by depleted soil minerals.
Many of our Health House customers are farmers – no doubt because farmers know the importance of animal nutrition and see the wisdom in looking after their own nutrition. When somebody expresses doubt that we need to supplement our diet with minerals like magnesium, zinc, boron, selenium or iodine, I tell them to go talk to a NZ farmer and ask him if he can farm effectively without providing supplementary minerals for his stock.
How my supplement business got started
Back in the days when I first wrote my book, supplements sold in NZ were mostly Australian. Readers would contact me asking where they could buy supplements to provide the diet minerals they clearly lacked. This was especially so for selenium and boron, two important minerals lacking in the NZ diet, but these were limited, or not permitted in Australia. I was also concerned about obtaining these same minerals for my own health needs. It soon became obvious that a multi-mineral/vitamin supplement supplying our NZ needs did not exist.
So I began importing a tablet from Australia containing magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and manganese. It was similar to Percy Weston’s original mineral formula that he’d refined over a 50 year period and called ‘Percy’s Powders' but did not contain the full formula of ‘Percy’s Powders’ – it lacked cobalt, sulphur and sodium. However no testimonials of the effectiveness of these tablets came back from my customers, and nor did I feel any different myself.
Shortly after this, the factory making the tablets in Australia was closed down, meaning I was no longer able to supply to my customers.
How CAA-Multi came about
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I had been concerned that these Australian tablets did not contain important minerals we were lacking here in NZ, especially selenium, boron, iodine and copper. I thought, “Why not make them here in NZ and add the missing minerals.”
So in 2004, I arranged for a nutritional company in Christchurch to manufacture the formula, this time in capsule form and also with the addition of the minerals known to be lacking in NZ soils – selenium, boron, iodine, copper, cobalt, sulphur, plus a full range of vitamins, including vitamin B12 and D.
Later on, plant silica, bioflavinoids, antioxidants and sea kelp were added, providing more than 25 other minor trace minerals.
Exceeded all my expectations
The effectiveness of the CAA-Multi exceeded all my expectations, testimonials and positive feedback just flooded in from my readers. This was because people’s immune systems were now working as nature intended, being provided with the minerals and vitamins that were previously lacking in their diet. My own health also greatly improved. I cannot remember a day in bed with sickness since taking my first capsule.
Setting up my own manufacturing
As the number of customers grew, it became apparent that to ensure the quality of CAA–Multi and some other companion products I had formulated, we needed to have closer control over the manufacturing process. So we moved the manufacturing back to Tauranga and in 2008 Zealand Health Manufacturing (our own supplement manufacturing factory) took over the manufacturing of CAA-Multi and most of the other Health House products. We also received Government food safety certification and began contract manufacturing for other health companies as well. This was all done in leased premises and although they were up to acceptable standards we thought they could be better.
Brand new factory, shop and offices built in Tauranga
So in 2014 we built a brand new, purpose-built factory, shop and offices in Tauranga. The factory has 13 temperature and humidity controlled production rooms which are regularly audited for compliance with NZ Food Safety Standards. In 2018 we added new medicinal cannabis grow rooms for research and are currently building commercial medicinal cannabis growing and processing rooms due for completion in August.
Over the past few years we’ve obtained even higher standards of certification, including Cosmetic GMP and are in the last stages of Pharmaceutical GMP.
We’re proud to be operating in New Zealand in the lovely Bay of Plenty and now have over 20 employees and support as many local suppliers as possible. All profits stay local and my wife Marie is active in supporting local charities.
Evolution of the Stay Healthy Book