Iwi: Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu
In a nutshell:
I'm the founder of Boosta, a company that makes energy bars using manuka honey. My job involves everything from understanding what products people would like to buy to testing recipes and making sure the packaging meets food labelling regulations.
St Paul's Collegiate, Hamilton, final year subjects: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics
Massey University - Palmerston North: Bachelor of Food Technology (Honours)
The careers advisor at school suggested Food Technology because I enjoyed maths and sciences. We will always need to produce food so there are lots of job opportunities.
My studies were supported by a couple of scholarships - there are lots out there for Maori students, including Te Ohu Kai Moana Scholarships for degrees in technology and engineering.
I worked at Fonterra Hautapu to get the work experience required for my degree. After graduating I worked for five years in the UK, then in Mount Maunganui for a company that makes sundae toppings and fruit sauces.
I launched my own company Boosta in 2010. I got the idea after doing the Coast to Coast multi-sport (cycling, running and kayaking) event and the energy bars we ate during the race were all very dry. Our range of bars use manuka honey from my father's bees.
Because I work for myself there is a lot of variety and I can be very creative. I employ six people to make the bars, so I need to understand how to manage them and the production process to get the best results.
I'm working with the All Blacks strength and conditioning coach Nick Gill - it's great that the team are using my products. I'm also helping him to commercialise a honey protein powder that he has developed.
I develop healthy products that I feel make a difference to people's lives. Exporting manuka honey bars overseas creates more jobs here in New Zealand.
I visited Denmark, Holland, France and Germany to do courses and production trials when I was working in the UK. Since I started Boosta, I've travelled to China, USA and Australia.
You need to be entrepreneurial, able think outside the square and quite self-disciplined. To be successful you need to be good at communicating, have an eye for details, and be ready to take risks while being prepared for the worst case scenario.
If you like being creative, enjoy the sciences and solving problems then this is the career for you.
Posted January 2014
Follow this pathway:
Food Technologist: People who work in this role
Food Technologist: Companies that employ people in this job role