Erica Henare

2023 Finalists

Erica Henare

Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Maniapoto

Erica Henare is 27 years old and is the Pipfruit and Kiwifruit Manager at Kono, a new position for her. Erica first went to Motueka for a holiday before deciding to join Kono as a casual thinner for the summer break. She quickly fell in love with the job and the environment. From here, all of Erica's doors opened and her career accelerated.

Kono orchards are located in a place that holds immense significance to local Māori, with 224 hectares of planted land. Kono’s Motueka orchards grow apples, kiwifruit, pears, and hops. Erica is responsible for the day-to-day operations for a large part of the orchard and the working teams.

Being an iwi-owned organisation, it is recognised that people are the key to their success. Erica has developed her skills managing teams and has the respect of her peers by showing her commitment to manaakitanga, which is one of the values Kono promotes alongside rangatiratanga, whanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga.

Helping her team set personal and professional goals as part of their development demonstrates her caring approach in supporting others. Most importantly, she has built her people skills to develop a great rapport with colleagues both older and more experienced in the industry, and this has assisted her to progress quickly in her career.

Erica has her Horticulture Level 3 and is currently working on her Level 4. Her next goal is to proceed to Level 5.

When Erica is off the orchard, she enjoys spending quality time with her whanau and her three sons, aged nine, eight, and seven. Their favourite getaway is the beach. Her future goal is to buy a home for her and her sons.