Haukura Jones is our newest team member at Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) Auckland. Haukura joined PT&I as Office Administrator in June. Born in the town of Hihi in picturesque Doubtless Bay on the East Coast of New Zealand’s Northland, her family relocated to Wellington, where she had her schooling.
One of seven children of Ngareta and Shane Jones, Haukura was raised speaking both Te Reo Maori and English, like her other siblings, reflecting their Maori and European heritage. At age 12, Haukura went to the Nga Tawa Diocesan School for Girls. In her seventh form she attended Wellington High School, which is renowned for its art department. That stint stirred a deep and abiding interest in Maori art and culture.
“I greatly enjoy painting, design, gardening and cooking,” says Haukura who after finishing school enrolled at Massey University for a Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts. “At the end of the first year, I decided I wanted to work and gain some life experience. So I packed a bag and moved to Brisbane, Australia, where my brother was living at the time,” she adds.
Haukura says she not enjoyed only the warm weather but the day to day challenges that she faced in the varying busy environments working with charity organisations and as a customer service representative in security. She later moved back home and amongst her people, whanau, iwi. “We have still got our family land in the Far North and I was living there before I moved to Auckland for this position as the Office Administrator,” Haukura says.
About her month working at PT&I, Haukura says she has greatly enjoyed it. She assisted the PT&I Trade team during our participation at the Fine Food NZ show last week. “I worked at the Fine Foods Festival at the ASB showgrounds, which was very new to me and I really got the hang of it. I’m looking forward to helping with the Auckland Food Festival in July as well.”
Haukura feels excited to be working on projects at PT&I. “I have been asking many questions and I am always learning more about PT&I and what we can achieve. I’m thankful for this opportunity to serve the people of the Pacific, helping sell their products in New Zealand and aiding economic development back in the islands.”
Strongly believing in the Maori culture of pooling resources, caring and sharing, Haukura quotes an ancient Maori saying: “Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi.” It means, “With your basket and my basket the people will live,” she explains.