Nga Stanley, Assistant Manager at Craigmore Sustainables’ Springhill Apple Orchard has been named the Rotary Young Employee of the Year.

Selected from 18 finalists, Nga’s award is recognition of his outstanding efforts to make a difference in his workplace. The awards, which celebrates Central Hawke’s Bay young employees and the businesses supporting them, was held on 9 November in conjunction with the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs graduation.

In addition, Craigmore’s Springhill team were nominated for the inaugural Youth Friendly Employer of the Year, which acknowledges and celebrates employers who recognise the potential of young people and actively contributes to their personal and professional growth.

For the last two years, Craigmore has taken part in Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay, a community led recovery programme which connects the business community with local people who are seeking meaningful employment. The programme, funded by the Ministry of Social Development through the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, provides support with recruitment, training and in work support for both employers and employees. During this time, Craigmore has put 50 students through work experience at its Springhill apple orchard.

Con Williams General Manager, Horticulture says it is a credit to the team who have put in a tremendous amount of work.

“We’re incredibly proud of Nga and the contribution he is making to Springhill orchard. Nga is known for living up to our value of ‘owning it every day’ through hard work, is always looking to acquire new knowledge to push his understanding and turn this into action.

“Ben James has a passion for fostering talent in the horticulture sector and giving people a chance to experience working on an apple orchard. It’s a real focus of Ben’s to create pathway’s for young talent and local employment opportunities in the likes of Central Hawke’s Bay”. said Mr Williams.

The Springhill orchard development which began in 2018, covering 180 hectares in Ongaonga, Central Hawke’s Bay. In 2023, the orchard produced 2,471 tonnes of apples in its first significant harvest. At maturity it is expected to produce in the region of 15,000 tonnes of apples annually.

Published: 14 November 2023