From rural banking to cow genetics: meet the new CRV Ambreed field consultant for Taranaki Gill Haenga

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New CRV Ambreed field consultant Gill Haenga knows the roads and the people of the Taranaki region well.

Over the past 12 years, as a rural account manager for ASB Bank in New Plymouth, she travelled extensively around Taranaki region meeting farmers.

As CRV Ambreed’s newly appointed field consultant for coastal Taranaki/Manaia, Ms Haenga will again be traversing some of those same rural roads, turning up farm driveways to meet and talk with farmers. The area encompasses Okato to Manaia, and the coastal side of Mt Taranaki.

Building relationships is something Ms Haenga enjoys, and she’ll bring that passion to her new role at CRV Ambreed.

“I love getting out on the road and meeting farmers,” says Ms Haenga. “You get to know people well, and their families and farm business. You see their children grow up, and that’s a special thing.”

Ms Haenga was born and bred on a dairy farm at Okaiawa, in south Taranaki. “My father had a medium-sized dairy farm with around 300 cows, which is about the average herd size for Taranaki.”

She began working in banking at 20 with TSB Bank in Taranaki, spending three or four years as a lending consultant. Ms Haenga then moved to Hamilton to work with ASB Bank, where she worked in rural banking for a few years as a Farmline relationships manager.

In 2006 she moved to New Plymouth with ASB Bank, where she worked as a rural account manager for 12 years until leaving to join CRV Ambreed in mid-October. “I loved working in rural banking but wanted a new challenge,” says Ms Haenga. “I wanted to stay in the rural sector because that’s where my passion lies.”

She says her rural banking career gave her a good understanding of the issues affecting farmers, particularly those in the Taranaki region. “As a region, Taranaki has a lot of smaller family-owned farms – some of which have been in the same family for generations – so it’s different to some other parts of the country in that respect – with fewer large-scale 2000-plus cow operations.”

Like other farmers throughout the country, Ms Haenga says Taranaki farmers work hard but are under pressure, especially in terms of compliance demands from regional councils. “Compliance is a huge issue for Taranaki farmers,” says Ms Haenga. “It’s an ongoing headache. From talking to farmers I know that some are under financial pressure, and that is due to everything from pay-out (for milk solids) to inclement weather conditions.”
In the new year, after the busy AI period is over, Ms Haenga is looking forward to getting out and meeting existing and potential new CRV Ambreed clients around the Taranaki region.

She is excited about starting with CRV Ambreed. “I see CRV Ambreed as an exciting company with lots to offer farmers, especially in terms of genetics. It’s a very innovative company with a lot of products to help farmers increase production, put more milk in the vat and breed a good herd of cows.”

CRV Ambreed’s Sales and Marketing Manager Matt Macfie says he’s delighted to welcome Ms Haenga to the company. “Gill has a strong background in rural banking in the Taranaki region and understands the needs of local farmers well, and the issues affecting them. We are excited to have her join the team, and our farming customers will enjoy getting to know her her I’m sure,” he says.

Ms Haenga is married to Darin and they have two children, Benjamin, 4.5, and Maia, 20 months old. In her free time she enjoys sports and keeping fit.

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