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Renee Heta

Operations Manager – Kono Seafood

Renee talks about why working for Kono is a great match, her love of seafood, and why her whānau are so important to her.

 As Operations Manager at the Kono mussel processing factory in Blenheim, Renee is responsible for the day-to-day site operations.  “It’s a busy factory, running 24 hours a day, five to six days a week.  Any down-time in the weekends is taken up with the necessary maintenance work to keep the factory running on form,” Renee says.

The Kono mussel operation has around 230 staff on site during the mussel season, sending half-shell greenshell mussels to 25 countries.  At the start of every processing season, Kono runs a two-day induction to bring staff back on board.  Renee says it’s an awesome experience that gives value to everyone who attends and gets better every year. “This year some of our key staff presented across the two days. The leadership team were awesome and I was super proud. It’s not easy to talk in front of a big crowd but they did it with ease.”

Renee wasn’t originally planning a long-term career with Kono.  “Kono was supposed to be a pit stop for me, but as I got to know the people and the business better, along with understanding the values and knowing that I was a part of an intergenerational vision, it was easy for me to stay.”  She says the Kono value of whanaungatanga really resonates with her - recognising the work of many, not just one, when it comes to life and mahi. 

 “Whānau is really important to me and my partner Ana-marie.  I’m the oldest in a big family of five brothers and three sisters and I have a gazillion nieces and nephews. I love spending time with my nieces, nephews and whānau in general, they’re a cheeky, crazy fun-loving bunch.”  

Renee not only works with seafood during the day but enjoys it at home too. “There’s nothing like a tapas seafood dinner with a nice bottle of Tohu Hemi Chardonnay!”  She loves living in Te Tau Ihu and getting to the beaches and rivers in the warmer weather. “There’s so many places to go see and enjoy.”