Ben Purua: Ahuwhenua Awards Update

Written by
FFYN Council

The finalists for the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Grower Award 2023 have recently been announced. This prestigious award, which recognizes young Māori in the pastoral and horticulture sectors, showcases the incredible talent and leadership of emerging Māori growers. The three finalists have been selected from a pool of exceptional candidates from across the country, highlighting their commitment and passion for the industry.

Alix Te Kere, a Health and Safety Advisor at Rockit Management Services in Hastings, represents Ngati Kuhungunu, Ngati Tu, Ngati Maru, and Ngati Maniapoto. With five years of experience at Rockit, Alix has worked her way up from Senior Leading Hand to her current role. She is dedicated to expanding her knowledge in health and safety and has completed a hazard and risk identification course. Alix's strong connection with her colleagues and her balanced work-life integration make her an exceptional candidate.

Erica Henare, hailing from Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Maniapoto, is the Pip Fruit and Kiwifruit Manager at Kono NZ LP in Motueka. Erica's journey in horticulture began as a casual thinner during a holiday in Motueka, and she quickly realized her passion for the job and the environment. As a people-oriented leader, she focuses on supporting the development and goals of her team members, which has earned her respect and recognition in her role. Erica's commitment to continuous learning is evident as she works towards her Level 4 qualification in horticulture.

Representing Rangitane, Taranaki, Grace Rehu is a Leading Hand at Turners and Growers in Puketapu, Hawke's Bay. Grace's affinity for horticulture was nurtured by her family, with whom she spent summers working at a strawberry farm. Her love for working outdoors and connecting with the whenua led her to pursue a career in the field. Despite the challenges posed by cyclone Gabrielle and other storms, Grace has demonstrated resilience and determination. She actively participates in professional development programs and aims to inspire other rangatahi to pursue careers in horticulture.

The Ahuwhenua Young Māori Grower Award has been instrumental in bringing forth outstanding young Māori farmers and growers since its inception in 2012. The program has created a powerful network of emerging Māori leaders who exemplify industry achievement. This year's finalists will have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders and expand their networks at the field days organized by the Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists.
We extend our congratulations to Alix Te Kere, Erica Henare, and Grace Rehu on their exceptional achievements and selection as finalists for the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Grower Award 2023. We wish them continued success in their careers and commend their commitment to the horticultural industry. Through their dedication and leadership, they serve as role models for all young people in Aotearoa.

As we celebrate the achievements of these finalists, we are reminded of the limitless opportunities that the primary sector offers.

The Ahuwhenua Awards will be held on the 10th June 2023 in Tauranga. 

Written by
FFYN Council

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