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.
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 joining 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.
"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," she says.
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. It's an ongoing headache. From talking to farmers I know that some are under financial pressure, and that is due to everything from payout [for milksolids] 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: "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."
Ms Haenga is married to Darin and they have two children, Benjamin, 4, and Maia, 22 months old. In her free time she enjoys sports and keeping fit.