2018 Media Releases

2018 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award

Onuku Māori Lands Trust field day attracts good crowd

Mawhera Incorporation Field Day Success

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

Mawhera Incorporation Field Day Success

MEDIA RELEASE 5 April 2018


The Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, Kingi Smiler says the Proprietors of Mawhera Incorporation, based near Hokitika on the West Coast of the South Island are to be congratulated for the excellent field day they organised on their property this week.

Group Photo at Whare Tipuna, Tuhuru, Arahura Marae

The Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, Kingi Smiler says the Proprietors of Mawhera Incorporation, based near Hokitika on the West Coast of the South Island are to be congratulated for the excellent field day they organised on their property this week.
Mawhera Incorporation are a finalist for the 2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award for dairy. Their farm consists of 348ha in the Arahura Valley, north of the West Coast town of Hokitika where they milk 500 cows that  produce 190,000 kgMS. As part of the competition, finalists are required  to run a field day to showcase their farm and its unique features to other farmers as well as the judges of the competition.

“In the past we talked about entering the farm in the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, but we didn’t feel ready,” said James Russell, Chairman of the Proprietors of Mawhera Incorporation.  “However with Rakaia Incorporation winning the Trophy in 2016, Mawhera thought it was appropriate at this time to enter the competition. To become a finalist is an honour and a privilege”.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for Māori agriculture. It is now 85 years since the visionary Māori leader Sir Apirana Ngata and the Governor General at the time Lord Bledisloe launched this award. Since the re-launch of the competition in 2003 Māori agribusiness is now seen as an integral part of the New Zealand economy.

Kingi Smiler says one of the great features of the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition are the field days. He says it is an opportunity for finalists to tell the story about the history of their property, how it has been developed and to highlight their achievements. He says the field day at Mawhera attracted 120 people and this shows how interested the local people are in seeing what the Incorporation has achieved and what its goals are for the future.

“It is one thing to read about the achievements of a farming enterprise, but when you can go out and see the land and cows and meet the people and take in the environment in which they operate.  In the case of Mawhera that is dealing with 3 metres of rainfall annually, it gives a new and better perspective. Mawhera Incorporation have set aspirational goals and have put in place systems to achieve these. This come through in their story and is manifest in the actual farming operation,” he says.

Kingi says it has been a very difficult year because of the erratic weather conditions for Mawhera Incorporation and other West Coast dairy farmers. But he says they have shown resilience in dealing with the difficult climatic conditions to produce a fine result and a good looking farm.

Media Contact: James Russell, Chairperson –  03 755 6313.


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.