Te Awahohonu Forest Trust – Gwavas Station

5740 State Highway 50, Tikokino 4274 - Chair: Bob Cottrell


Te Awahohonu Forest Trust was formed in 1971. The Trust is constituted by the Māori Land Court as an Ahu Whenua Trust. The Trust administers Tarawera C9 comprising 20,960ha in total, 8,428ha in Awahohonu forest, 2,623ha in Tarawera Station, and 9,909ha Ahimanawa (Native). In addition to Tarawera C9, the Trust owns 1,000ha at Gwavas Station, and a further 160ha farming property neighbouring Tarawera Station.

Te Awahohonu Forest Trust – Gwavas Station


Gwavas Station was purchased by the Trust at auction in February 2011 and has undergone a significant development programme since purchase. The Farm is located at 5740 State Highway 50, just north of Tikokino in Central Hawke’s Bay. Gwavas Station is 1,000 hectares and the Trust leases a further 178 hectares of adjoining land, combining to provide an effective farming area of 989 hectares. Gwavas Station itself has a farming history dating back to the mid 1800s, the original station once covering 33,000 acres of land in the area.

The property is of an irregular shape with State Highway 50 bisecting the farm at the north eastern and eastern ends of the property. Approximately 70% of the area is flat to easy rolling country. The balance consists of moderately steeper hills and steep faces connecting with lower terraces and riverbeds.

Gwavas Station sits in a region that can experience summer dry conditions and has a complex range of mainly free draining soils. These comprise Takapau silts and Tukituki gravelly sands on the flatter areas, Poporangi and Mangatahi soils on some intermediate terraces and rolling hills, and Gwavas sandy loams on the remaining easy and steeper hills.

The farm winters nearly 12,000 stock units comprising approximately 50% cattle and 50% sheep. Gwavas Station is farmed as an intensive dry land finishing property that compliments the Tarawera Station breeding operation. Between 14,000 and 16,000 lambs and approximately 800 cattle are finished annually depending on the season.

The farm is effectively run with three full time labour units made up of the Farm Manager and two Shepherds. The farm also has the input of the overall Trust Farm Operations Manager, and the support of a Farm Consultant. The Trust has a strong relationship with their shareholders, business partners and staff and developing skilled people across the business is a key objective of the Trust.

The objective for the Trust is to finish all stock bred off Tarawera Station and maximise returns through optimising slaughter weights and specifications alongside a profile of a broader out of season stock supply. The stock strategy currently has an element of breeding involved while the property continues to transition through development (to improve soil fertility and pastures). Optimising the potential of the farm economically while remaining kaitiaki of all its resources and true to it’ values are key objectives of the Trust. Each generation of Trustees is expected to manage and pass on the assets of the Trust in better condition than when they were received.

Contact: Bob Cottrell, 027 617 7046 / bob.cottrell@xtra.co.nz


Field days will held at the farms during April. These are open to the public and provide an opportunity for the finalists to showcase their properties. It is also part of the judging process. Media, along with members of the public are most welcome to attend.

Field Day Thursday 11 April

ASSEMBLE FOR THE POWHIRI AT 5740 State Highway 50, Tikokino - Meet at 8.30am for the 9.00am start
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The day finishes with kai and refreshments All welcome to join us For further information contact Mark Harris: 027 577 9991

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.