What does it mean to you and your team to win this award?

The award gives us confidence that our new emerging business is on the right pathway. It has been a challenging year to try and establish a new business venture, however, we now have greater confidence to keep building our business to uplift our whānau and to help restore the taiao – the environment.

Can you share a little about your team and what team culture means to you?

Our four Directors who designed and implemented this business are our original team members. All of our Directors give their time voluntarily and are highly motivated to set a clear benchmark on the tikangā and culture we wanted our team members to uphold. Our team is based on manaakitanga which is to nurture our people and nurturing our awa and whenua – rivers and land (kaitiakitanga).

What are some of the biggest challenges in your business at the moment and how have you overcome these challenges?

Labour supply is challenging for us largely due to the whānau we recruit are really struggling with the housing crisis in Hawkes Bay. The lack of affordable housing is very destabilising and impacts negatively on our staff.

Why did you decide to enter the awards?

We wanted feedback from the Chamber of Commerce about how to strengthen our business and to raise the profile of what we are trying to achieve regarding kaitiakitanga. We were wanting to share our work with the wider Hawkes Bay community to inspire other groups to undertake similar projects to help restore the biodiversity of Hawkes Bay.

What was your best “takeaway” from the awards process?

The confidence to keep on going with providing indigenous-led solutions to restore the biodiversity within the Hawkes Bay environment.

Where to next for your organisation?

We are trying to establish a native plant nursery at Waiōhiki to provide further employment for whānau as well as to supply plants for riparian planting and wetland restoration work to be carried out by our Kaitiaki Ranger team.

Visit Te Wai HERE