2018 Media Releases

2018 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Winner

2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy Winner Announced

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

Onuku Māori Lands Trust

Boundary Road Farm comprises a 72ha block near Lake Rotomahana, about 30km South of Rotorua. The Trust milks 220 cows, which produce about 90,000 kgMS.

Moyra Bramley & Alan Rondon - Onuku Maori Lands Trust

In 1882 the land now known as the Onuku Māori Lands Trust was partitioned and handed back to Ngāti Rangitihi. The Mount Tarawera eruption occurred on the 10th June 1886, wiping out the Rangitihi Pa located at Moura on the shores of Tarawera, and the world famous Pink and White Terraces on the shores of Rotomahana. The surrounding land, including that of Onuku, was covered with Rotomahana mud and portions of Tarawera ash and gravel. These soils today make up the base of the Onuku Farms. The estate stretches from Mount Tarawera in the North to Timberlands boundary in the South across State Highway 38.

From 1963 the land was developed and managed by the Department of Lands and Survey and handed back to Ngāti Rangitihi in 1982 when the Onuku Māori Lands Trust was formed. It had been run as one big drystock farming operation, but one of the goals of the Trust was to diversify and dairy was a good choice. Today the Trust has developed to consist of four dairy farms, a drystock farm, forestry, natural reserves and a Manuka plantation. Onuku has also developed outside the farm gates, starting an export honey business: Onuku Honey.

One of the strategic goals of Onuku has always been to acquire land on its boundaries and when the Rotorua District Council Northern Boundary Road dairy farm was put up for sale in 2004, Onuku felt they had to be a serious bidder. Hence this is the farm you see today. When purchased the farm was in a rundown state and required some work to bring back up to standard. As an investment, this farm has been a good performer averaging 1,214 kgMS/ha.  The farm is 90% pasture based and uses Farmax and Overseer to assist with effective management decisions.

The farm has a strong environmental focus, with Onuku being part of Project Rerewhakaaitu, a voluntary local farming initiative to help protect local waterways and lakes. Management focus on reduction in N and P loss and highest possible animal welfare standards.

The more recent strategy for Onuku is the move from sharemilking to herd ownership and the Trust now owns herds on Dairy 2 and Boundary Road Farms. Boundary Road Farm has allowed the Trust to realise another of its goals by ‘growing our own’ in the industry and our farm. Manager, Alan Rondon is of Ngāti Rangitihi descent, and his Grand Uncle was one of the original Trustees of Onuku. Alan originally worked for our Dairy 1 Sharemilker as his 2IC.

The strategy is for training Onuku owners in farm management on Boundary Road and creating a pathway through to the larger dairy farms on Onuku.

The Onuku board is actively involved with the various areas of its business, particularly on farm and they visit regularly. The Trustees are Moyra Te Ariki Bramley (Chair), Barnett Vercoe, Les Stowell, Maramena Vercoe, Tina Ngatai and Ken Raureti.

Media Contact: Angela Wharekura –  angela@teahika.co.nz 027 483 0359

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.