Ahuwhenua Trophy 2019 finalists announced

MEDIA RELEASE - Thursday 21 February 2019


The finalists in this year's Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori sheep and beef farm were announced at Parliament today by the Minister of Agriculture, Hon Damien O´Connor.
The finalists are:
Whangara Farms, situated 35 km north of Gisborne;
Te Awahohonu Forest Trust – Gwavas Station, at Tikokino 50 km west of Hastings; and
Kiriroa Station – Eugene & Pania King, at Motu, 70 km north west of Gisborne.

Ahuwhenua Trophy 2019 finalists announced


The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for excellence in Māori farming and was inaugurated in 1933 by the reknowned Māori Leader, Sir Apirana Ngata and the Governor General at the time, Lord Bledisloe. The objective was and still is to encourage Māori farmers to improve their land and their overall farming position as kaitiaki. On a three year rotational basis, the Trophy is competed for by Māori farmers in the sheep and beef, horticulture and dairy sectors.

The Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, Kingi Smiler says the high calibre of this year’s finalists shows the strength of the Māori agribusiness sector. He says selecting the three finalists from an impressive field of entrants was no easy task.

“This competition is prestigious and people actively seek to enter this event to showcase the quality of their farming enterprises. What makes Māori sheep and beef farms so special is that in most cases they are in remote hill country areas which in itself makes farming operations challenging throughout the year, but especially in times of adverse events. The resilience and innovation shown by these people is an example to all New Zealanders that hard work coupled with clear strategic objectives and excellent farm management can produce some outstanding outcomes,” he says.

Kingi Smiler says that over the years the Māori agribusiness sector has grown exponentially, not only in sheep and beef, but also in dairy and horticulture. He says Māori are rapidly moving into the value-add space and to increase returns from their assets.

“We are seeing better governance in trusts and incorporations and they in turn are employing top managers to run their businesses. At the same time young people are coming back to work on the land which is great. Māori are making the economic impact we always knew they could,” he says.


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, BNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Te Tumu Paeroa, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, AgResearch, PGG Wrightson, Massey University, 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.