2021 Finalist - Pouarua Farms

Ngā Puke ki Hauraki ka tarehu, E mihi ana ki te whenua, E tangi ana ki te tangata, Ko Te Aroha kei roto, Ko Moehau kei waho, Ko Tīkapa te moana, Ko Hauraki te whenua.

Pouarua Farms are located on the Hauraki Plains, 35km south east of the Bombay Hills. The 2,200ha platform comprises ten farms: nine dairy units and one drystock unit. This is the largest single dairy platform in the Hauraki region. 4,600 cows are milked across 1,775ha and produce approximately 1.65M kgMS.

Pouarua Farms are jointly owned by Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Tara Tokanui and Te Patukirikiri. The farms lie within the Māori land blocks known as Ngarua, Waitakaruru and Puhangateuru. The Waitangi Tribunal confirmed that the iwi of Hauraki suffered raupatu by the Crown and were marginalised in their own rohe being among the most landless of iwi in the nation. Pouarua Farms were returned to the five iwi in 2013 in the largest on-account Treaty settlement ever made by the Crown. The farms were initially in a 50/50 sharemilking agreement with Landcorp from 2013 – 2019. Pouarua Farms are now fully operated by the iwi owners under a limited partnership arrangement. The board is independently chaired by the Honourable John Luxton along with iwi representative directors Paul Majurey, John McEnteer, and Rick Braddock, who have all served from the outset of the return of Pouarua Farms to the iwi. Since taking on full operational care in May 2019, significant productive and financial gains have been achieved by careful execution of management led by Chief Executive Jenna Smith. The dairy farms are run as system 2 and as all the farms sit on quite raw peat of varying maturity, production and input are therefore equally as variable. Farm A was established in 2017 after a reconfiguration of four of the farms with the intention to increase on-farm efficiencies. Milking 600 cows on 217 effective hectares through a well-equipped modern 54 bail rotary shed, the farm is the vision of its owners, with practical technologies and careful consideration for the environment.

Farm A recorded an 18% increase in per cow milk production to 390 kgMS in the 19/20 season and a 20% increase in per hectare production to 1,034 kgMS despite a significant drought. This was achieved with careful utilisation of on-farm grown feeds and adjusting the stocking rate down, as well as utilising 3-in-2 milking to conserve energy during the hotter months. Nitrogen use is capped to 150 units/ha across all farms and Farm Environment Plans were adopted as soon as full operational care was undertaken. A forever planting plan sees approximately 7,500 plants (Harakeke and other native species) planted annually across the entire platform. With riparian planting of the drains the main priority. Specific species are planted in cultural gardens to utilise in weaving, medicines, food (honey), bird habitat, water quality, soil conservation and landscape improvement. Staff are supported with multiple on and off farm training opportunities, and the community is engaged through the local schools as well as a spend local policy which brings prosperity to the communities our people live in.

Key Contact: Jenna Smith, 027 599 0802, jennas@pouaruafarms.co.nz

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.

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.

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