Ahuwhenua Trophy Field Days and Awards Dinner Cancelled

MEDIA RELEASE - Friday 19 March 2020

The field days and awards dinner planned for New Zealand's most prestigious competition for Maori farmers and horticulturalists has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Each of the finalist's field days would normally attract between 200 and 300 people and the awards dinner could host between 700 and 900 guests.

Kingi Smiler, the Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee says "the health and safety of finalists, sponsors, whanau and others is paramount. Following the advice of our health authorities about large gatherings must take precedence."

The competition is now in its 87th year with Horticulture being showcased for the first time in 2020.

Kingi Smiler says "we are pleased that we can complete the judging, because of the very small number of people involved and announce a winner for this inaugural Horticulture competition." "The winner will be announced by the Minister for Maori Development, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Minister of Agriculture the Hon Damien O'Connor and a special event for the presentation of the Trophy will be arranged once Covid-19 related restrictions are eased."

Kingi Smiler says the three finalists – Te Kaha 15B Hineora Orchard in Te Kaha, Otama Marere in Te Puke and Ngai Tukairangi Trust in Tauranga are in the kiwifruit industry's top performing quartile have developed sustainable businesses for their whanau and communities.

"What we see in our 2020 finalists is a unique combination of vision, resilience, innovation, good governance and smart management."

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.