Onuku Māori Lands Trust field day attracts good crowd

MEDIA RELEASE 12 April 2018

Another large crowd of people attended the field day of Onuku Māori Lands Trust, a finalist in this years 2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award for dairy.

Onuku Māori Lands Trust field day attracts good crowdMoyra Bramley - Chair Onuku Māori Lands Trust and Dawson Haa - Past Entrant Representative on Ahuwhenua Trophy Mgt Committee

Boundary Road Farm comprises a 72ha block near Lake Rotomahana, about 30km south of Rotorua where they milk 220 cows which produce about 90,000 kgMS.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for Māori agriculture and as part of the competition each of the finalists runs a field day to showcase their farm and its unique features to other farmers as well as the judges of the competition. It is 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.

The Chair of Onuku Māori Lands Trust, Moyra Bramley said the field day went extremely well. "It was good to share what we have been doing with so many people, so they understand what we are aiming at."

She says she doesn't think of the Ahuwhenua Trophy as a competition, rather as an acknowledgement of what they have done. "Whether you win or not it doesn't matter, the whole process of the competition gives you the incentive to excel."

The Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee Chairman, Kingi Smiler says Onuku Māori Lands Trust organised an excellent field day which enabled people from throughout the Central North Island region to get a first-hand look at the achievements of the Trust.

Kingi Smiler says the field days run by the finalists are an important part of the Ahuwhenua competition because they show first hand what the finalist has achieved both in terms of the productive capacity of the property and the commitment to sustainability.

"Sustainability is about kaitiakitanga, one of the pillars of Māori farming. We as Māori see sustainability as not just caring about the physical environment but also caring about people and community. The judges and people who attend the field days are looking hard at the performance of a farm as well the financials," he says.

Kingi Smiler says this years finalists, including Onuku Māori Lands Trust are excellent practitioners of sustainability in all its forms. They ran a great event and showcased the high standards of farming that are being achieved by Māori. He says the competition is about identifying role model farms and Onuku's Boundary Road Farm certainly fits that criteria.

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.