Hill country farm field day a hit

MEDIA RELEASE18 April 2019

The final farm field day in this years Ahuwhenua Trophy has again attracted a significant turnout. Kiriroa Station at Motu, 70 km north west of Gisborne is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Eugene and Pania King.

Hill country farm field day a hit

Eugene and Pania King

About 300 people came along to hear the Kings talk about their determination and hard work with whanau that enabled them to buy the farm. There was also a tour where visitors had the opportunity to see stock and also some of the improvements the couple have made to the farm since they bought it in 2013.

Kiriroa Station is situated almost half way between Gisborne and Opotiki. The property is 483ha, (357 effective). 60ha flat, 200ha medium hill, with the balance being steep hill. The Kings trade cattle and finish all stock on farm and are currently wintering 3,800 stock units; a mix of 40% cattle and 60% sheep.The King family have a long association with the Ahuwhenua Trophy with Bart and Nukuhia Hadfield winning the trophy in 2015 and Ronald and Justine King being finalists in 2017.

Kingi Smiler, Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee Chairman says the field day at Kiriroa was an excellent event. The farm is a long way from any main centre, yet people turned out to see how the Kings manage this challenging block.

Eugene and Pania King are genuine role models for Māori farming, demonstrating how goal setting and hard work pays dividends. A long time ago their whānau set a goal of farm ownership, they never deviated from this path and now have all achieved it in style. What is more, having got their farm, they have set a course of continuing improvement which was evident to all those who attended the field day.

The Kings and the other Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists have taken Māori farming to a new level of excellence and are rightly acknowledged by being in the final of this prestigious competition. These are not just good Māori farms – they benchmark up with and above all farms of this type in Aotearoa.

Kiriroa Station – Eugene & Pania King
253 Motu Rd, Motu, Gisborne 4092

Kiriroa Station is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Eugene and Pania King. For
12 years they farmed in a whānau partnership. They all had one goal in common, to one day all own their own farms. The whānau knew that with hard work, commitment, and determination their goal would be reached. Eugene and Pania are grateful to have had the opportunity to farm with whānau, and are proud of what has been achieved.

In 2013 Eugene and Pania decided they had built enough equity to finally go out on their own.

After a year long search for a farm, they found Kiriroa. In March 2014 they moved to Motu to start a new chapter in their lives. Kiriroa is a special place to the Kings. They feel lucky to have taonga like the Motu river, and consider themselves kaitiaki to the 2.2 km of the river flowing through Kiriroa.

The Motu Valley is home to weka – and because of their declining numbers, in 2015 Eugene and Pania retired 2ha of land for them. With the help of the Gisborne District Council, Motu School, as well as support from the community, native plants were planted and a weka wetland habitat was established. With ongoing monitoring and maintaining the habitat, the weka are thriving. There are three QEII covenants on Kiriroa and a further two to be done within the next three years.

Kiriroa is a sheep and beef property situated in the Motu Valley, 72km north west of Gisborne. The property is 483ha, (357 effective). 60ha flat, 200ha med hill, with the balance being steep hill. They trade cattle and finish all stock on farm and are currently wintering 3,800 stock units; a mix of 40% cattle and 60% sheep.

Soil types are predominately pumice with some sedimentary. The property has an annual rainfall of 2.1 –2.5m, with altitude ranging from 500m asl – 732m. Motu Valley is regarded as summer safe, but does have long, cold winters. Regular snow falls are not uncommon. The King whānau is very supportive of whānau, community, marae and school; living and breathing their whakatauaki:

Poipoia te whenua, te wai, te hunga tangata ano hoki e ora tonu ia tatou! Look after the land, water, and the people, and all will look after you!

Contact: Eugene and Pania King, 06 862 4811 / e.pking@gisborne.net.nz


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.