Anahera Hale

2021 Finalists

Anahera Hale

Ko Whetumatarau te maunga, Ko Awatere te awa, Ko Te Whanau A Hinerupe te hapu, Ko Hinerupe te marae, Ko Horouta te waka, Ko Ngati Porou te iwi, Ko Anahera Hale toku ingoa

Twenty-five-year-old Anahera Hale is the 2IC farm assistant on Rod and Jacquie McPherson’s dairy farm near Whakatane. She’s been working on 100 hectares (94 effective) where they run between 340/345 cows and winter about 360 cows. The farm is system two where cows are just fed grass and get topped up either with silage or palm kernel.

Anahera says she loves her dairy farming career – especially the fact that she can work outdoors and with animals. But this pathway to happiness within the dairy industry has been a roller coaster ride for Anahera. She was born in Whakatane but says her whakapapa is from Te Araroa. She grew up in Edgecumbe and was raised by her Papa and Nan from birth, who she says provided her with an amazing start to life.

Anahera went to Te Teko Kohanga Reo, and later attended Edgecumbe Primary School where she indulged in her love of horses. She also loved the outdoors and was always out hunting deer and pigs or out gathering kai moana with her Papa.

It was at Edgecumbe College that Anahera became interested in farming and working or doing something with animals. She says at school the subjects which she thrived in were all hands-on subjects such as agriculture, horticulture, physical education and woodwork. Sport was also a big part of her life.

The death of her Papa caused her much grief as she had lost the biggest role model in her life. Some difficult times followed, and she went on a limited volunteer service run by the Defence Force to try and get her life back on track. Then the family home was destroyed by the Edgecumbe floods in 2017 and she and her Nan lived in a small cottage on a farm until their house was rebuilt. While living on the farm Anahera’s interest in farming was once again sparked and this led to her being accepted for a course in agriculture at Toi Ohomai the Institute of Technology in the Bay of Plenty.

With the support of tutor Rachel Nash, Anahera completed the course and also did part time casual work with Rodney, which later led to a full time job. Dairy farm life has given Anahera a new sense of purpose. She enjoys the range of tasks on the farm, and says she has learned that with hard work and motivation, anything is possible. As for the future she would love to progress through the industry and aim for farm ownership. Another thing she would love to do in future is going home back to Te Araroa to start rearing either sheep or beef.