2017 Media Releases

Far North Farms Wins Ahuwhenua Trophy

Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award Winner

Another successful field day - Pukepoto Farm Trust

Great Ahuwhenua Trophy field day - Puketawa Station

Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award Finalists

Great Ahuwhenua Trophy field day - Omapere Rangihamama Trust

2017 Finalists Announcement

Omapere Rangihamama Trust

RA & JG King Partnership - Puketawa Station

Pukepoto Farm Trust

Ahuwhenua Trophy Entries Open

Far North Farms Wins Ahuwhenua Trophy

27 May 2017

Omapere Rangihamama Trust farm near Kaikohe in the Far North has won the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award for the top sheep and beef farm in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The announcement was made by the Right Honourable Bill English at an awards evening attended by more than 700 people in Whangarei last night. The function is regarded as the premier event on the national calendar for NZ agribusiness. It was attended by Māori leaders, politicians, agribusiness professionals, whānau of the finalists, past winners and media.

The trophy along with a special medal and a replica trophy was presented to the Chairman of the Trust Raniera (Sonny) Tau. The Trust also received more than $40,000 in prizes.

The other two finalists were RA and JG King Partnership of Puketawa Station near Eketahuna and Pukepoto Farm Trust at Ongarue near Taumarunui.

Omapere is a 902 hectare (effective) mixed sheep and beef property which is in the process of transitioning into a mainly bull beef rearing operation. The farm borders Lake Omapere and since 2007, the present trustees of the property have embarked on an extensive strategic plan to improve the farm. The judges who selected Omapere as one of the three finalists in the competition noted many positives including the clear strategy of the Trust, its contribution to education and its overall farm performance.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee Chairman Kingi Smiler congratulated Omapere Rangihamama Trust saying like all Māori farms, it has a strong strategic and practical commitment to improving the environment of the property and this is benefiting their whānau and all other people in the district.

He says Omapere is also doing a lot to encourage its young people to make a career in agribusiness by offering scholarships and this again highlights their intergenerational strategic thinking. Kingi says those who attended Omapere’s field day would have come away well informed and could not help but admire the passion and commitment to making the best out of some challenging country.

Kingi congratulated all the finalists saying it was great to see three top quality sheep and beef farms selected as finalists for this prestigious trophy. He says all are top performing, extremely well run farms in some of the most challenging country and at a time when the New Zealand primary sector has encountered volatile global markets and low prices together with a need to adapt to climate change. He says the people who run these operations are positive and confident about their future and are taking an approach that Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe who inaugurated the competition would have wished.

“New Zealand is fortunate to have Māori farmers because it is in their DNA as kaitiaki to manage the fragile environment and invest for future generations. This spiritual closeness to the land is vital in a modern society where consumers not only want food, they want assurance that it is done sustainably and ethically” he says.

Kingi Smiler says Māori agribusiness is in very good shape. He says the Ahuwhenua Trophy has been a major factor in lifting the profile and showcasing Māori agribusinesses contribution to the New Zealand economy.

For more information contact Peter Burke: 021 224 2184 / peterb@actrix.co.nz.

Photographs are free for use in relation to the competition. Visit www.bit.ly/ahuwhenuatrophy or contact John Cowpland, Alphapix: 027 253 3464 / info@alphapix.co.nz.

Our thanks to our valued Ahuwhenua Trophy sponsors: BNZ, B+LNZ, Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry for Primary Industries, Te Tumu Paeroa, AgResearch, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, PGG Wrightson, Primary ITO, AFFCO, Allflex, BDO, Landcorp, Tohu Wine and WorkSafe.

A big thanks also to sponsors of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award: Primary ITO, Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Tumu Paeroa and Allflex.