We catch up with Anne Harper
We caught up with Anne Harper as part of our Women of the Waterfront series celebrating the women that work in Auckland’s waterfront.
Tell us about yourself and what you do in the waterfront.
I work for a NZ technology company Koordinates, we work from the start up space in the Grid. I love our natural environment which is why I work helping our customers publish their geospatial data.
I believe if we have access to all the data that government and organisations are collecting, we can model our environment to care for it and our communities.
The power of intention – How did you design your life and career path? Or did it evolve?
I think my intention was to live to my values and that has stayed set, I believe that business needs to be in harmony and respectful to our natural environment and we need to look after communities. That was we will have a lovely world with healthy people.
How I stay true to these values is what has evolved over time. To design a life around them takes time, trial and all of the errors.
Did your job exist when you were at school?
Sort of. The technology didn’t exist. Sales for small NZ business did.
What are some of the unique experiences/greatest successes you’ve had in this role?
Koordinates is awesome, being part of a team building a platform that I believe is the best and only in the world is such an exciting journey. I met the founders years ago and thought their business idea was awesome so to be on board years later and seeing the difference we are making in NZ is very cool.
SIBA (Spatial industry Business Association) exists to promote the use of Geospatial technologies. Koordinates are a member and support me in this. I became the Chairperson last year. I was the first woman to be elected onto the committee and it was so exciting to become Chair. I really enjoy this work to make a difference to our industry and New Zealand.
How do you maintain balance in your life? Work, family, social?
Friday is nature day, I decided to take the pay cut and work 4 day weeks so I could spend Friday’s volunteering, currently I spend this time guiding visitors (usually schools) on Tiritiri Matangi island.
I have a very supportive and flexible employer, it makes me feel quite free and that really helps prioritising family, friends and my interests (diving, hiking, yoga etc.)
Embrace the lessons – What challenges have you experienced that have shaped you as a person the most?
I’ve volunteered a few times working on very remote islands in the backcountry, hiking up cliffs, spent nights alone in tents, isolated beaches and ancient forests. Feeding Hihi and Kākāpō . Scuba - not cage, diving with sharks.
Coming from a tech job and growing up central city these times have been challenging, have shaped me and re enforce my love and respect and deep wish to care for our environment.
Shero’s & Hero’s – Who are your role models & why?
I have so many of both! We’ll stick with just the ladies today, Mum - Sarah Harper so gorgeously creative and incredible world views. Aunt Hermione, she is such a free spirit, adventurous and gives so much to communities. Alma Hong, CTO of Radio NZ and an inspiring Mentor, Jane Goodall, environmental awesomeness. Rebecca Mills, starting a business next to me at Grid and such amazing work with purpose.
Many many more, I would love to gush about all my friends here.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
Get in the ocean.
How do you try to encourage/empower the women in your life to achieve to their full potential?
Cheer them on, support them in their interests and help them find their voice and create space for them to speak it.
This is really important in my Chair of SIBA role, I was the first women, it’s really important that this is a start and I take actions to welcome in other women. Our industry, like the rest of Tech, needs much more diversity.
What’s your favourite place on the waterfront / thing to do / about the waterfront?
Having an office on the waterfront is amazing, I love the co working as I work around such inspiring people and there is a great vibe. The ability to run down to the waterfront and take in the ocean air and stunning views of Rangitoto is such a treasure.