Kerensa has held various voluntary and community-based roles, and has a strong interest in issues of social justice and equality. She is the Chair of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, the Māori Centre of Research Excellence and the Chair of Ngāti Tama ki te Tau Ihu Charitable Trust.
Kerensa is a lawyer who has worked as a solicitor in the private sector, as a barrister, and as a legal academic at the Auckland University Faculty of Law, where she specialised in Māori legal development, public law, land law and international law. Kerensa lives in Nelson and has worked for Wakatū Incorporation since 2012, and as its Chief Executive since 2016.
Kerensa is a member of Ngā Uri and a descendant of the tūpuna determined by the Native Land Court 1892 as the original customary owners of the Nelson Tenths’ Reserves.