80th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATED
Māori sheep and beef farmers who compete in the 2013 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming award this year will be part of the competitions 80th anniversary commemorations.
Entry for the competition is now open following its launch by the Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples at the Federation of Māori Authorities conference in Taupo on Saturday November 3th 2012.
The Minister also launched the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer competition, the first for young Māori sheep and beef farmers. This award was introduced last year for young Māori dairy farmers.
The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition mirrors the increasing significance and success of Māori enterprise in the New Zealand agribusiness sector, says the chair of the Ahuwhenua Executive Committee, Kingi Smiler.
"Māori will always be land owners. Kaitiakitanga and the care of their land for the use and sustenance of future generations is at the forefront of their thinking. This is why our top Māori sheep and beef farmers are leading others at the cutting edge of modern, environmentally and economically sustainable agribusiness."
The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition has historic as well as contemporary prestige. It dates back to 1932 when it was first established by Sir Apirana Ngata with the support of the then Governor General, Lord Bledisloe. It was re-launched in 2003.
Each year it alternates between sheep and beef farmers and dairy farmers. This year the competition is for Māori sheep and beef farmers.
Today the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition continues its long tradition of upholding excellence in Māori farming, and for many Māori incorporations and trusts, and their shareholders as well as whānau owned farms, it remains farming's pre-eminent accolade.
BNZ head of agribusiness, Richard Bowman, is incredibly optimistic about the opportunities available to Māori farm businesses today.
"Māori farm businesses carry a powerful identity and long-term perspective that places them in a particularly strong position to take advantage of growing international demand and increasing value added opportunities in the sector."
For further information please contact: Pamela Fleming: 027 457 5677.