The Ahuwhenua Trophy judges play a vital role in the success of the competition. All are very experienced people who are able to accurately assess each farm and provide valuable feedback to those in governance roles and those who are involved in the day to day management of the farms.
The competition has two judging panels. The first round judges have the task of selecting three finalists – in effect the short list. At this point the finalist judges become involved and they have the task of selecting the eventual winner. They attend the field days at each of the farms and the running of these days is a part of the competition criteria. The Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee greatly appreciates the support of those sponsors who have made top class agribusiness experts available to judge the event.
L-R: Paul Klee, David Handley, Tafi Manjala, Dean Nikora (Chief Judge).
Dean Nikora – Chief Judge
Having a person with the knowledge and skills of Dean Nikora adds great value to the judging panel. Dean, who is affiliated to Ngāti Maniapoto me Ngāti Tama, has extensive experience in governance, representation and consultancy within the primary sector. He has worked with Fonterra Shareholders Council, AsureQuality and Ballance Agri-Nutrients on a wide range of issues. Last year he was a member of an elite group of 24 New Zealand primary sector leaders who attended a bootcamp at Stanford University to determine how the agribusiness sector will play its role in the growth of the New Zealand economy. Dean is also a partner in a large dairy farming operation in Central Hawke’s Bay.
David Handley grew up on a Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farm and also spent time helping out on friends dairy farms during school holidays.
He is a qualified accountant and joined BNZ nine years ago spending the first six years in rural lending based in Pukekohe. He has been in Head Office for the last three years. In his current role he is in charge of corporate lending in Central and Lower North Island and specifically responsible for the banks 10 largest clients most of whom are involved in dairying. He is very familiar with analysis of farming businesses. He judged in the Northland Region Sharemilker of the Year competition a few years ago. He has attended a number of Ahuwhenua Trophy field days including those of Tarawera Station and Waipapa 9 Trust.
Zimbabwe born, Tafi Manjala has 14 years experience working with farmers, eight of which have been in Northland. He and his team work through farmer networks in the region to help farmers achieve their business goals. Tafi was, for three years, a finalist judge of the Farm Manager of the Year section of the Dairy Industry Awards. He has also been a judge of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards and the Regional Sharemilker of the Year competitions.
Tafi has lived in New Zealand since 2002. He has two children and enjoys being a lifestyle beef farmer leasing land and running 50 steers.
Paul Klee has been involved in the dairy industry since 2000, working with Fonterra as an Area Manger in Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay prior to moving into his current role as Regional Manager, Field Services, Lower North Island.
Paul is a Massey graduate and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness with Honours. He is passionate about the dairy industry and farming in general and takes an active role in growing his own farming interests in the Hawke’s Bay.
Chad Hoggard – Lead Judge
Chad Hoggard has worked with BNZ as an Agribusiness Partner for nearly eight years, firstly in Tauranga and then in Rotorua. He has been BNZ’s Senior Partner for Rotorua and Whakatane for 18 months, managing an 18 strong team of bankers and support staff. Chad, who has a farming background, has a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Valuation and Farm Management from Massey University and has worked as a fertiliser consultant. He is currently a shareholder and director of a Manawatu based farming company.
Lorraine Stephenson affiliates to Rangitane me Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, and has been involved in the dairy industry for 35 years. She and her husband David worked their way up from paid staff to sharemilkers and today where they own their own farm. Lorraine was a founding member in 1991 of the Ikaroa/Rawhiti Māori Dairy Farmers discussion group which is still going strong to this day. She is currently the Chairperson of her own iwi, Rangitane. Her passion for conservation and environmental issues within a Māori framework has seen her spend time on the New Zealand Conservation Authority, the QEII National Trust and the Biosecurity Advisory Board. She currently represents farmers on the New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Advisory Board.
Paul Bird has been a farm consultant for 20 years working in NZ, Ireland and the UK. Paul was involved in developing and delivering the DairyNZ Mark and Measure courses that have been running for 10 years. He is currently working as a consultant to DairyNZ on various business related projects including investigating success factors in large multi-unit dairy businesses. He has interests in commercial property and also aims to spend as much time as possible with his wife Anne and their two boys.
Peter Ettema has worked for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and its predecessors since 2005. His current role is as an acting manager for a five person team within the Sector Policy Directorate at MPI. Peter has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and a Masters of Environmental Management. He has worked in the agricultural sector both in New Zealand and overseas as well as maintaining strong rural links through previous roles at the Department of Conservation and as the Wellington representative for the QEII National Trust.
Paul Radich grew up in Stratford where he still lives, on a farmlet with his family. He has a BA in education and has worked, as an educator, in New Zealand, Japan and England. He spent three years with the Taranaki Regional Council as an environmental educator, before moving to Fonterra as an Area Manager and then Regional Services Manager for the Lower North Island. He is currently a Senior Area Manager in North Taranaki.
Paul has a passion for the New Zealand dairy industry and the co-operative approach. He says that being a judge in the 2010 Ahuwhenua Trophy was a highlight of his career and he is very excited to be involved again. “The Ahuwhenua competition has a great history and it is a privilege to be able to witness and be a part of this showcase of the very best in Māori farming.”
Abe Seymour – Competition Kaumātua
Abe Seymour affiliates to Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu and Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi and is currently a Strategic Relations Adviser providing advice to a number of organisations including the Primary ITO. He is a shareholder in a number of trusts in and around the Central North Island and from time to time provides advice in those areas. He has also sat on a number of boards and directorships for Māori and is heavily involved and a strong advocate in training programmes for young Māori who are likely to be tomorrow’s leaders. He is also involved in tertiary programmes, programme design and delivery to a number of organisations including the Waiariki Polytechnic.