Puketawa Station is a sheep and beef breeding unit located at Tiraumea about 45 minutes east of Pahiatua in the northern Wairarapa. The property consists of 1108ha (900 effective) and is mainly medium to steep hill country with some rolling contours. Breeding stock on the farm comprise 3177 Romney breeding ewes plus 850 ewe replacements and 148 stud ewes. The cattle side comprises 144 mixed mainly Hereford cows plus replacements.
Bridie, Ronald, Dallas, Justine (Buzz) King
The farm was bought by Ronald and Justine King in 2013. The farm was in a ‘tired’ condition and since then the couple have worked hard to improve both pastures and farm infrastructure.
Their journey to buying Puketawa is quite remarkable. Ronald originally owned a 280 acre sheep and beef farm near the Taranaki township of Whangamomona. In 2001 Ronald and his three siblings and their partners, who were all accomplished shearers, pooled their financial resources and purchased Mangaroa Station in the Ruakituri Valley in northern Hawke’s Bay.
The whānau bought Mangaroa to work collectively and build their assets, so they could eventually all buy their own large scale farms. Later, the whānau also bought Ruakaka Station in the nearby Tiniroto Valley which they also worked hard to improve and develop. Due to a combination of very hard work and great sacrifice, all the siblings now own their own farms. They are role models for the value of cooperation and determination.
Ronald’s sister Nukuhia Hadfield her husband Bart, won the Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori sheep and beef farm with Mangaroa Station in 2015.
The strong whānau tradition continues at Puketawa Station with Justine’s father Ron Falconer living on the farm and offering his vast farming knowledge and experience, as well as playing a major role in the day to day running of the property. Justine’s sister Veronica and her husband Warwick, as well as Ronald’s sister Marama and husband Rob also help on the farm from time to time.
Justine is an accomplished horse women and set up the Alfredton Riding Club, and runs many horse activities within and for the community. Ronald has retained his shearing interests and in 2015 was the manager and a judge when the New Zealand shearing team competed in the United Kingdom. He has also judged at world shearing champs, golden shears, NZ champs and many other shows around NZ. They are also both very involved with many other community and school run ventures.
The couple continue to develop and upgrade Puketawa Station and have a development plan that includes spraying gorse, planting trees and retiring areas of land to mitigate erosion. They also involved in riparian planting and generally improving the farm and preserving the environment. Ronald and Justine take their role as kaitiaki seriously and seek to preserve the environment for their children and future generations.
The contacts for the farm is:
Puketawa Station – Ronald King, 06 376 7550 or 027 243 4320 / firstname.lastname@example.org