2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition Launched

MEDIA RELEASE - 27 September 2017

Māori farmers are being urged to enter the 2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award for dairy.

2018 LaunchDr Tim Mackle, CEO of DairyNZ and Kingi Smiler, Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee

The Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee Chairman, Kingi Smiler says it is a great opportunity for Māori to take up the challenge and enter. He says this will give them the chance to have a group of expert judges come and work with them to give them a good idea about what sort of progress they are making on their farms. He says it's also great for those who are at the pinnacle of their operations to show what they are capable of doing to other Māori farmers and the rest of the industry as a whole.

His comments came at the official launch of the competition this week at Waikato-Tainui College for Research & Development in Ngāruawāhia. The prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy is now in its 86th year and is competed for annually, alternating each year between dairy, and sheep and beef farming. The 2018 competition is for dairying.

Kingi Smiler says the Ahuwhenua Trophy is iconic and throughout its existence it has built up a rich cultural and spiritual history, as well as being a symbol of excellence in farming. He says the entrants, finalists and winners of the trophy have all played a huge part in growing the legacy of Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe who inaugurated the competition.

He says the vision of the pair was to make sure that our farmers were in balance with the environment and farming practices. Kingi says they wanted to train our people to ensure they were able to build sustainable practices for their business over time, with the objective being that they could sustain themselves through the generations.
He says these principles are as important today because of the water quality issues, and because the country hasn't been taking care of the environment it has become a problem that needs to be addressed.

The CEO of DairyNZ, Dr Tim Mackle who officially launched the competition says Māori values fit well with his organisations philosophy of having a strong focus on a sustainable, competitive profit based system. He says it involves focusing on making a profit out of the actual business and not relying on capital gains to make that profit. Dr Mackle says DairyNZ has been involved in the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for ten years and that his organisation has gained a lot by being involved.

Entries for the competition close on the 24th of November. Entry forms and other details are available here. Media can 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, DairyNZ, Te Tumu Paeroa, Te Puni Kōkiri, Fonterra, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, AgResearch, PGG Wrightson, AFFCO, Allflex, BDO, Landcorp, Tohu Wine and WorkSafe.

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