2018 Media Releases

Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced

The Proprietors of Mawhera Incorporation

Onuku Māori Lands Trust

Pāmu Farms of New Zealand (Landcorp) to sponsor Ahuwhenua Trophy

Massey University to Sponsor Ahuwhenua Trophy

2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition Launchedy

Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced

MEDIA RELEASE - Thursday 22 February 2018

The finalists for the 2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award for dairy were announced today at a function in parliament by the Minister for Māori Development, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta. They are:
The Proprietors of Mawhera Incorporation (Hokitika); and
Onuku Māori Lands Trust (Rotorua).

L to R: Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development, Moyra Bramley, Chairperson Onuku Māori Lands Trust, James Russell, Chairperson Proprietors of Mawhera Incorporation and Hon Damien O'Connor, Minister for Agriculture.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee Chairman, Kingi Smiler says it is great to once again see top dairy farms selected as finalists for this prestigious trophy. They are performing very well in some of the most challenging times, especially the volatile weather conditions which plagued the farming sector in the past two months. The people who run these operations are positive and confident about their future and are taking an approach that Sir Apirana Ngata, who inaugurated the competition would have wished.

He says in difficult times it is important that leaders emerge and show the way for others. Kingi Smiler says more than ever role models are needed in the Māori agri space. He says the competition requires the finalists to meet very high standards in all aspects of their farming operation and this year’s cohort is no exception.

“Farming in the New Zealand environment has never been easy. We are a long way from our markets, yet through innovation and determination we are able to put a wide range of quality products on supermarkets shelves, restaurant menus and processing plants around the world.  New Zealand farmers know that farming is about managing cycles, be they weather or market and they take account of this when drawing up their business plans. New Zealand is lucky to have Māori farmers because it is in their DNA to manage the fragile environment, care for their people and build a sustainable business. The concept of sustainability is not new to Māori. We have been practising it for centuries” 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 perception of Māori agribusiness.


Field days

Following the announcement of the finalists at parliament, field days will take place at each of the farms. Each field day will commence at 9.30am and finish at 2pm.

Thursday 5th April – The Proprietors of Mawhera Incorporation (Hokitika)

Thursday 12th April – Onuku Māori Lands Trust (Rotorua)

The winner of the Award will be announced at a function at the Wigram Air Force Museum in Christchurch on Friday 25th May.

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, Pāmu Academy,Tohu Wine and WorkSafe.

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