This small farm trust, with just over a thousand owners, is situated near the tiny settlement of Ongarue about 20 minutes north of the central North Island town of Taumarunui.
Terry Head (Farm Manager) and Weo Maag (Trustee)
Pukepoto means little hill, but this is a misnomer because the farm is a typical hill country farm with high steep hills and gullies that drop down to feed the Ongarue and Ohura Rivers, and ultimately the Whanganui River.
The property consists of 1400ha of which just over 1000ha are farmed. About 100ha are covenanted under the Ngā Whenua Rāhui scheme. There is 62ha in plantation pine and the remainder of the unfarmed land is scrub; much of which is being retired to prevent erosion. The Trust has worked closely with Horizons Regional Council in this regard.
Currently the property winters a flock of 6000 Romney ewes and a herd of 300 mainly Angus cattle.
Established by the Māori Land Court in 1978, the original Trust was known as Pukepoto Forest and Farm Trust. In 1994 through an order of the Māori Land Court it was renamed to Pukepoto Farm Trust as they are commonly known today. Like all whenua it is significant. However, through oral history passed down the Trust is proud to claim that the oldest son of Rereahu, Te Ihingarangi was born on the whenua.
The property was used as a thoroughfare for Māori from Taranaki and Whanganui and in those times it was not seen as an ideal place to live as there was always the risk of being attacked.
Over recent years Pukepoto Trustees haveworked towards lifting the performance of the overall business. Consequently subtle changes have and continue to be undertaken by the Governance and management teams within budget. The Trustees and management recognise that there is still room for improvement and continue to work with their external stakeholders who provide valuable advice, input and support. They have worked hard to take control over their land and to improve the quality of the farming operations. New staff have been employed, better stock policies have been put in place and this has helped improve the quality of the animals and lifted the return to its shareholders.
Like all farming operations, Pukepoto works to improve its operations from both a financial, social and environmental point of view. The country is hard and the task big, but the results of commitment to succeed are now showing through and this is delivering real benefits to the whānau of Pukepoto.
The contacts for the farm is:
Pukepoto Farm Trust – Weo Maag, 027 391 7042 or email@example.com