On 15th March 2019 in the 75th year of the business, Ian Berry announced his retirement.
Ian had a bout of pneumonia early in the New Year and at 87 years old he decided that the time had come for others do the work!
Ian’s legacy will forever remain a part of Arataki Honey – and not just because he lives over the road and can still keep an eye on us all!
Ian was born in Nireaha in 1931 and started beekeeping aged about 10 years when his father gave him and his younger brother Alan a beehive each. Ian bought Alan’s hive for one pound, doubled his hive numbers and went on to be one of the most knowledgeable and respected beekeepers in New Zealand. Alan kept the pound and went on to a career in accountancy.
In his years at Arataki Honey Ian has taught many, many beekeepers the knowledge and love of honey bees. He has passed on his skills in honey production and processing. Ian has ensured that his strong principles in business management have been adhered to and while the company has grown it has remained a New Zealand owned family business.
Ian has been married to Pat for nearly 65 years. Together they raised a family and offered love and support to their six children, nineteen grandchildren and nineteen greatgrandchildren. Ian sometimes worried that the needs of the business left Pat shouldering the family responsibilities but their children and grandchildren all value the employment opportunities that Arataki Honey has provided and the work ethics that Ian taught them from an early age. Ian’s daughter Pam now managers Arataki Honey, Hawke’s Bay, but all six children have worked in the business with three having beekeeping as their main career paths. Many of the grandchildren have funded university studies working for the company and today the team includes three grandchildren working full time in beekeeping, retail and accounts.
On Ian’s retirement his youngest brother Russell spoke o f the huge contribution that Ian had made to Arataki Honey. Their father, Percy, suffered from health issues in the 1950s and it was up to Ian to provide the skills, management and sheer hard work to maintain and build the company. Without his many hours of work there would not be an Arataki Honey today.
Ian’s work ethics and his dedication to beekeeping in Hawke’ Bay are the foundation of our company. We hope he will continue to be proud of Arataki Honey in the years ahead.
SOME WORDS FROM IAN
My father, Percy Berry established Arataki Apiaries at Arataki Road, Havelock North, in June 1944. After I left school in 1946, I worked with my father and joined with him in 1954 to form Arataki Apiaries Limited, later Arataki Honey Limited.
Since those early days we have built up a business with a reputation for being an honest and reliable firm where it is a good place to work, where we could be depended on making our payments when we said we would. Also, we have supported our local community in many ways such as providing quality honey at reasonable prices and maintaining a pollination service to three generations of orchardists and farmers.
My family spent a lot of time and effort helping and guiding the National Beekeepers’ Association of New Zealand and I am proud of the fact that three of the family have been awarded life memberships for their work done for the Association and the beekeeping industry.
By sticking to strong principles the firm of Arataki Honey Limited, with its two divisions in Hawke’s Bay and Rotorua, has become a very strong company, with a wealth of knowledge on how to earn a good income from bees while at the same time playing our part in looking after staff, customers, suppliers, the community and shareholders. All without calling on overseas investors for money or running the
business on a basis that involves looking after its own business no matter what harm that may do to the industry, other beekeepers or the many other New Zealanders who depend on beekeepers for their livelihood.