Finnisha Nicola Letitia Tuhiwai

2020 Finalists

Finnisha Nicola Letitia Tuhiwai

Ngati Te Rino raua ko Te Parawhau nga hapu, ko Ngapuhi te iwi

Finnisha Tuhiwai, 25, was born in Whangarei and is packhouse manager for Maungatapere Berries which is located west of Whangarei in the rural township of Maungatapere.

She has gained a number of qualifications through Primary ITO, including Train the Trainer and Kiwifruit Orchard Skills. Finnisha has also completed other personal development courses including leadership courses, and the Storage and Handling of Berryfruit course through Massey University. She is currently studying Horticulture Level 4 – Fruit Production with Primary ITO and would like to do the Agribusiness Diploma to continue her personal development.

Finnisha was initially a dairy farmer but says the attraction to make a career in horticulture came because it was close to home. She says once she started working for Maungatapere Berries and learning about all the different jobs, such as propagation and learning about the plants and their life cycle, she really got involved and put her hand up to learn anything she could.

It was while working in the Berryfruit Packhouse that she found her passion. "I love being involved now in the decision making, troubleshooting ideas, and even working on processes and training. I have discovered there is a career in horticulture, and I can earn while I learn is important for helping me support my family. I enjoy being outside and the variety of teams and people I work with. One thing I enjoy is that horticulture is always changing and developing," she says.

Finnisha Tuhiwai says her goals are to continue her education in horticulture, and further develop the packhouse looking at new technology and how the business can be the most productive. Finnisha says she hopes to take her learnings back to her people, be a great role model for her family and show that you can make this a career.