We meet with our growers on a regular basis to share information on what’s working well both industry-wide and locally.

We’re a small, close knit team and we work closely with our growers.

Here’s a few of the team our growers work most closely with:



Amy DonaldsonAmy Donaldson

Human Resource Co-ordinator

Amy has been helping to keep things running smoothly here since 2012. Starting off at reception, a few years later she made the move to human resources looking after all things staff related from hiring to firing and all the bits in between.

After spending her early years in Whangarei she moved to Auckland before settling in the Far North.

Amy has a wide variety of interests from motorsport and working out at the gym, to shopping and travel.

She has a philosophical outlook on life and her favourite saying is “everything happens for a reason”.

Christine Wasson

Christine Wasson

Payroll/Accounts

Christine has been with us since 1999 and is one of our longest serving team members. She manages the finances, which encompasses a myriad of tasks from invoicing and creditors to paying the staff.

Although born in Helensville, she has lived most of her life in Kerikeri.

Christine is married to Les who is the chief of the local Volunteer Fire Brigade and a lot of her time is spent supporting the brigade.

She doesn’t have a favourite catchphrase but her favourite way to spend any downtime is with her children and grandkids.



Hector Pantano

Head of Kiwifruit

Hector’s experience in fruit production and people management makes him the ideal person to head our Kiwifruit Production and Greenfield Development program.

In addition to Kiwifruit he has extensive packhouse experience and has also working in Argentina in the commercial production of table grapes.

Originally from Argentina, Hector emigrated to New Zealand in mid-2000. He and his family love the healthy lifestyle here and they enjoy travelling. Hector also likes to run.

His favourite saying is “I never lose…either I win or I learn.”

Laurie De Luca

Laurie De Luca

Field Operations Manager

Laurie started with us part time but took up a full time role in 2010. He schedules all the jobs, staff and equipment so that everyone turns up at the right place, at the right time, ready to do the job (no mean feat when you could be dealing with up to 120 staff during peak season).

Laurie and his wife Pam owned their own orchard for 10 years. He has been in the horticultural industry since 1994 so he has a thorough knowledge of what’s involved and can see things from a grower’s perspective.

He also works well under pressure which may have something to do with the fact that he was with the NZ Police for 23 years. On the rare occasion he gets a bit excited you’re likely to hear him exclaim “Holy Toledo”.

Outside of work he enjoys gardening, woodwork, metalwork and reading.



Michelle Mora

Pieter Trass

Orchard Development Manager

Pieter is overseeing the construction of the new Wiroa Orchard. Stage 1 of development involves land preparation and planting of 28 Hectares of kiwifruit which will eventually expand to 72 hectares. Pieter will manage the process and staff on behalf of the owner ensuring that all project timelines, standards and budgets are met. He is enjoying the challenge and loves being part of an industry in positive growth.

In addition to extensive orchard experience, Pieter has previously owned his own Citrus Orchard and was Citrus Manager for a Marketing Company for a number of years. His practical experience is backed by industry qualifications and he holds a Bachelor of Horticultural Science from Massey University and a Certificate of Horticulture Practice.

In his downtime Pieter is in to body boarding, working out at the gym and gardening.

Michelle Mora

Michelle Mora

Receptionist

Michelle has held a number of positions within Orangewood and this practical, hands-on experience helps her to answer the wide variety of questions she gets as a receptionist.

As well as handling front line enquiries, Michelle assists with recruiting and processes all the paperwork that comes in from the field.

Previous roles include artificial pollination, pruning and a variety of orchard work.

Originally from Te Aroha, Michelle travelled around Australia for some time before moving to Kerikeri in 2010.

When she’s not working, Michelle enjoys fishing, watching rugby, travel and spending time with her children and grandson.



Neil Otto

Coolstore Manger

Neil is passionate about optimising storage capacity and effective management of the cooling processes to maintain quality and maximise profits.

He has over 30 year’s management experience including running his own businesses.

Originally from South Africa, Neil moved here at the beginning of 2018.

He plays squash to keep fit and in his spare time Neil enjoys all things outdoors including, fishing, diving, jet skiing and camping.

His positive attitude is reinforced by the belief that “where there is a will, there’s a way!”

Nuku Jones

Finance Manger

Nuku manages the day to day financial requirements of our business and has a strong focus on implementing the financial strategies that are needed to grow our operation. He loves working with numbers, accounts, and business processes, and particularly enjoys helping others to better understand these areas.

Nuku has a Bachelor of Management Studies in Accounting from the University of Waikato and is also a Chartered Accountant.

He has extensive experience providing accounting expertise, guidance, and robust financial support services to local government, the health sector, iwi based organisations, and a variety of other business operations.

Originally from Taumarunui, Nuku  has worked in Auckland and spent several years in the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, and Samoa before settling in his wife’s hometown of Kerikeri where they have lived for over 25 years

Nuku enjoys playing tennis, long boarding, the occasional bike ride and visiting his children and grandchildren who are spread across Australasia.

Nuku can often be heard to ask “anything else you want to add?” although that’s rarely in relation to the budget!



Stephanie Britt

Steph Britt

Packhouse Operations Manager

Steph has been with us since 2008. She holds a Level 4 Certificate in Horticulture and is also a 2018 HortNZ leadership Programme graduate.

Steph is responsible for the performance of the Packing, Quality and Export operations and systems of Orangewood Ltd. She provides strong leadership to all packhouse staff to support them in carrying out their roles.

Steph forecasts, plans, and coordinates kiwifruit and avocado packing capacities and capabilities vs harvest volumes to ensure that our Grower's fruit is packed as timely as possible, and in the most efficient and effective manner as possible.

Originally from Whakatane, Steph and her partner needed a change from hospitality so bought a van and traveled the country for a year. In 2004 they ended up in the Kerikeri pruning kiwifruit and enjoyed the work so much that they both established careers in horticulture.

When time allows Steph enjoys fishing, gardening and playing with her 3 English Staffies.

 Todd JacksonTodd Jackson

General Manager

Todd ensures the sustainable performance of the company which encompasses a wide variety of tasks including executing the company strategy, day to day management, prioritising staff welfare and advocating on behalf of Northland growers at industry level.

He also ensures the relationships with stakeholders of Orangewood (such as growers and investors) are being upheld with regular communication and collaboration.

Todd holds a Bachelor of Business Studies in Accounting and has worked in the horticulture industry for over 10 years.

He grew up surrounded by horticulture in Hawkes Bay and later Marlborough, moving his own family to Kerikeri about 10 years ago.

Todd loves being outdoors and in his spare time you’ll find him surfing, mountain biking or coaching his kids’ football and cricket teams.

A team player who tackles every task with enthusiasm, Todd can be heard to say “I can do anything but I can’t do everything!”