Ahuwhenua Trophy Finalists Announced

MEDIA RELEASE - Friday 21 February 2020


The finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top horticultural enterprise were announced today at Parliament by the Minister for Māori Development, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta. The three finalists are:

Ahuwhenua Trophy Finalists AnnouncedFinalists & Minister Mahuta – L-R: Ratahi Cross (Chairman, Ngai Tukairangi Trust), Minister Mahuta (Minister for Māori Development), Norman Carter (Chairman, Hineora Orchard, Te Kaha 15B Ahu Whenua Trust) & Homman Tapsell (Advisory Trustee, Otama Marere (Paengaroa North A5) Block

This is the first time in the 87 year history of the competition that the trophy has been open to Māori horticulturalists. The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for excellence in Māori farming and was inaugurated 87 years ago by the visionary 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 with an emphasis on sustainability. 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 which organises the competition says it is exciting to see such a positive response from Māori in the horticultural sector. He says the high calibre of all the entrants and in particular the finalists, highlights the contribution that Māori are making. He says in the last twenty years, the horticulture sector in New Zealand has become one of the stars of the New Zealand primary sector economy and it is pleasing to see that Māori have been an integral part of that growth.

"Since the inception of this competition we have seen what our sheep and beef and dairy farmers can do and now it is great to have the opportunity to showcase the excellence of our horticulturalists," he says.

Kingi Smiler says while the sector is now basking in its success, the industry has been through hard times – especially the kiwifruit sector who have had to deal with PSA which significantly impacted on the industry.

"What we see in our finalists in 2020 is a unique combination of vision, resilience, innovation good governance, smart management and a commitment to their people. They should be proud of their achievements and we are proud of them," 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.