2021 Finalist - Tunapahore B2A Incorporation

Ko Kapuarangi te maunga, Ko Wainui te awa, Ko Torere-nui-a-rua te tupuna, Ko Manaakiao te wharekai, Ko Tainui te waka, Ko Hoturoa te tangata, Ko Ngai Tai te iwi.

Tunapahore was originally one whole land mass located between the two coastal points of Hawai. In 1953 the Māori Land Court met and decided to split the land, hence there are now two land blocks known as Tunapahore B2A, and Tunapahore B2B.

During the 1930s–1950s Tunapahore (TB2A) was a dairy and dry stock unit, managed by Duncan Kerr, who was married to Hera Mio of Ngāitai. When the milker died in a car accident, the management decided to sell the dairy herd, and later when Duncan Kerr died, they sold the dry stock. The land was leased to surrounding pakeha land owners. Tunapahore B2A Incorporation was incorporated on 6th July 1959 before Ivor Prichard, Māori Land Court Judge.

The Tunapahore B2A Incorporation farm consists of 376ha located at Hawai and Tōrere on the famous State Highway 35 on the East Coast of the North Island. There is a run-off area called Section 8 comprising 10.93 effective hectares and two other leased areas, one is part of the milking platform (16.5ha) the other is leased for maize silage production (10.1ha). The milking platform is 132ha, with 385 cows producing 125,940 kgMS.

The farm was leased for a number of years for around $2,000 pa. In the early 1980s the Committee of Management (COM), along with their Farm Advisor Alistair Hall, obtained bank funding (using Hall's own land as security) to bring the farm back under management of the Committee. It was operated as a dairy farm, originally with a Farm Manager and later for many years with 50/50 Sharemilkers. A lease of the adjacent Tawaputa Block was used to increase the milking platform. A twenty by twenty aside Herring Bone shed was built, and Mike O'Carroll from Taranaki was the first 50/50 Sharemilker, with Colin Mihaere, nephew of the current Chair as his milker.

In April 2019, the Sharemilkers decided they no longer wanted to continue farming so in a matter of weeks the COM set about purchasing a dairy herd, plant and equipment and hiring staff. This was a huge undertaking, and it shows the progressiveness of the Committee and their ability and willingness to roll up their sleeves and assist wherever necessary to get things moving. The current Farm Manager Janet Poihipi, who has worked for a number of years on the farm under previous Sharemilkers, is regarded as an absolute asset to the Incorporation.

The success on the farm has enabled further investment opportunities: In 1985, portions of the hill country were leased to be planted in pine forest with the coastal block harvested in 2014. Six hectares of this block was returned to the dairy platform, the remaining block left to return to native bush. Within the forest are a number of registered archaeological sites. One area in particular boasts the remnants of a pa site which will have held up to 300 people.

In 2010, a partnership was entered into with Nga Whenua Rahui to regenerate native forest.

A 5.54ha kiwifruit orchard was purchased in July 2006. The orchard originally comprised of 1.06ha of Hort 16A and 4.48ha of Hayward all grown on Bruno Rootstock. 2009/2010 saw the introduction and spread of PSA and the Committee were able to replace their Hort 16A block with G3 under the GOFO provision. There has since been a further cutover of .55ha of Hayward to G3. The orchard consistently produces great fruit and is within the top producers for both EastPack and Zespri.

Shares have been purchased in Whakatohea Mussels (Opotiki) Limited, and the Incorporation also owns Shares in Fonterra, Zespri, Ballance, Farmlands and EastPack Limited.

Key Contact: Jack Mihaere, 027 413 7654, mizwacky@hotmail.com

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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