Winner of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Award

MEDIA RELEASE 24 May 2019


The winner of the 2019 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award is 20 year-old Kristy Maria Roa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura. Kristy works as a shepherd on Iwinui Station near Tolaga Bay on the East Coast of the North Island.

Winner of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori AwardWinner of the 2019 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award, Kristy Roa

The announcement was made by the Māori Trustee and Chief Executive of Te Tumu Paeroa, Dr Charlotte Severene at a gala awards function in Gisborne in association with the Ahuwhenua Trophy award for the top Māori Sheep and Beef farm. About 600 guests including the Ministers of Agriculture and Māori Development were present at the function.
The other two finalists in the competition were Tumoanakotore-i-Whakairioratia Harrison-Boyd, (Ngati Porou, Whanau a Tuwhakairiora me Te Whanau a Hinekehu), a shepherd at Whareopaia Station near Tolaga Bay on the East Coast; and Taane-nui-a-Rangi Rotoatara Hubbard (Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Pahauwera, Tainui, Ngati Pakapaka, Ngai Tahu, Ngai Tuhoe), a shepherd on Caberfeidh Station in the Hakataramea Valley near Kurow, northwest of Oamaru.
The three were selected from a number of entrants from around the country.
The Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award was first held in 2012 and is designed to recognised talented up-and-coming young Māori farmers. It is also designed to encourage young Māori to make farming a career choice and to showcase to prospective employers, the talent pool that exists within Māori. Since its inception the event has created interest within and outside te ao Māori and has given finalists and winners a huge sense of pride and achievement. All have gone on to greater things since winning this event.
Lead judge Peter Little says once again there was a good response for entrants for the awards. He says it is never an easy task to select a winner from three finalists given the pool of young Māori, who in a short space of time are making great progress in their careers in agriculture. 
Peter Little says the winner Kristy Roa exemplified all that is good about young Māori who are making successful careers in the primary sector. He says Kristy has shown great commitment to her work, excellent leadership and will do a great job as a role model for other young people contemplating a career in the agribusiness sector.
Peter Little says “land diversification is opening up new opportunities in the agribusiness sector.” 
He says the training undertaken by the finalists have helped them establish themselves in good jobs and provided an excellent platform for them to progress to senior positions within the industry. 

Winner Profile
Kristy Maria Roa – Ngāti Maniapoto; Ngāti Apakura
Kristy Roa is a city girl who grew up in Hamilton and whose parents have no direct connections to farming although they own an engineering business that builds milk tankers for Fonterra.
At school, 20 year-old Kristy did the normal school subjects and was planning to go overseas when she left and work on a horse ranch in Canada. But she says quite by chance she heard about the farm cadet course run by Waipaoa Cadet Training Trust on the East Coast. Just driving there through the farmland  to an open day to check out Waipaoa suddenly inspired her to make agriculture her career choice. She gained some experience for a few months on farms in the Waikato and then applied and was accepted for the two year course. While she loves the outdoor life, it’s the business aspect of farming that is a major attraction. She says many city kids see farming as a lifestyle, whereas she sees the business dimension which she describes as ‘pretty cool’.
Kristy Roa works as a shepherd on Iwinui Station (Hauiti Corporation) near Tolaga Bay – a 2,100 hectare property on which is run 5,300 ewes, 3,700 ewe lambs, 450 cows and 1,000 trading bulls. This is her first job out of Waipaoa but her long term goal is to manage a large scale sheep and beef farm in the Gisborne area and one day own her own farm. Kristy can contacted on 027 848 4360 or roakristy@gmail.com.

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: Te Puni Kōkiri, B+LNZ, BNZ, Ministry for Primary Industries, Te Tumu Paeroa, AgResearch, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Massey University, PGG Wrightson, AFFCO, Allflex, BDO, Pāmu Academy, Tohu Wine and WorkSafe.


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