2021 Field Day - Tataiwhetu Trust

Another Ahuwhenua Trophy field day success

A field day at Tataiwhetu Trust’s organic dairy farm in the Rūātoki Valley south of Whakatane attracted of more than 180 visitors including a number of VIPs. Tataiwhetu Trust is one of three finalists in this year’s prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori dairy farm.

Guests at the field day included the Ministers of Agriculture, Hon Damien O’Connor, the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Willie Jackson and the Associate Minister for Agriculture, Hon Meka Whaitiri. Also present were rural professionals, central and local government officials, and farmers from throughout the Bay of Plenty.

The visitors were welcomed on to the Tauarau Marae by local Māori dignitaries including the Chairman of the Tataiwhetu Trust, Paki Nikora. After the welcome and a series of presentations, guests were taken on a brief tour of the farm. Tataiwhetu is an organic dairy farm milking once a day and their herd of 432 kiwi cross cows produce 129,140 kgMS. They also carry 188 replacement stock on their two support blocks.

Kingi Smiler, Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee praised Tataiwhetu Trust for their field day. He says organising this event and completing all the other tasks associated with entering the competition requires significant effort and commitment on the part of Trust members and staff.

Kingi says they did an excellent job showcasing the rise and rise of Māori dairy farming and hopes that other Māori farmers will take note of this and consider entering their farms in the competition in future years.

“It is great to see Māori farms in the Eastern Bay of Plenty come to the fore in the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition. They are answering the call of Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe from 88 years ago to create better farms that serve their whānau well financially while at the same time enhancing the environment,” he says.

Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor said it was great to get out of Wellington and spend a day seeing yet another example of excellence in Māori farming. He says the field day at Tataiwhetu Trust’s organic dairy farm shows the vision and the positive steps Māori are taking to gain ownership of their lands and to develop them so that they are both profitable and sustainable.  He says they along with the other finalists in the dairy competition, Pouarua Farms and Tunapahore B2A Incorporation, are living the vision of Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe by developing their lands to their potential and becoming role models for others. 

“The government and I personally recognise the huge contribution that Māori agri business makes to the New Zealand economy and for leadership that it shows in the sustainability space. It aligns with our “Fit For a Better World” roadmap. 

“By doing this Māori farmers are making a significant contribution to enhancing the provenance of our products internationally. It is especially great to see more Māori product brands appearing in our overseas markets,” he said. 

“Our primary sector needs to go not only from volume, but also volume to values. Consumers now days are looking for healthy nutritional food products that are proven to be sustainably produced. They’re inherently interested in the values with which food and fibre is produced. Māori farmers are well placed to meet the expectations of these consumers,” said Damien O’Connor. A field day for the third finalist will be held Thursday 8th April at Tunapahore B2A Incorporation. The winner of the competition will be announced at the Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards Dinner being held in New Plymouth on Friday 14th May.

Key Contact: Paki Nikora, 07 312 9165; 027 289 2688, plnikora@gmail.com

Our thanks to our valued Ahuwhenua Trophy sponsors: Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry for Primary Industries, BNZ, Te Tumu Paeroa, DairyNZ, Fonterra, Māori Tourism, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, PGG Wrightson, AgResearch, Allflex, BDO, AFFCO, Massey University, Ecolab, FMG, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment and Kono Wines.

A big thanks also to sponsors of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award: Te Puni Kōkiri, Primary ITO, Te Tumu Paeroa DairyNZ, and Allflex.

Media can contact Peter Burke: 021 224 2183 / 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.

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