The finalists in this year's Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori Dairy farm were announced today at Parliament by the Minister of Agriculture, Hon Damien O'Connor. The three finalists are:
- Pouarua Farms. The farm is located near the township of Ngatea on the Hauraki Plains, close to Thames. The 2,200ha platform comprises 10 farms – nine dairy units and one drystock unit and is the largest single dairy platform in the Hauraki region. A total of 4,600 cows are milked across 1,775ha and produce approximately 1.65M kgMS.
- Tataiwhetu Trust. This property is located in the Ruatoki Valley south of Whakatane. They run 432 kiwi cross cows and carry 188 replacement stock on their two support blocks. Tataiwhetu is an organic dairy farm milking once a day and their herd produces 129,140 kgMS.
- Tunapahore B2A Incorporation. The farm consists of 376ha located at Hawai and Torere on the famous State Highway 35 on the East Coast of the North Island. The nearest main town is Opotiki. The milking platform is 132ha, with 385 cows producing 125,940 kgMS.
In the photo: Rear left to Right: Hon Meka Whaitiri (Associate Minister of Agriculture), Jack Mihaere, Chairman, Tunapahore B2A Incorporation, Paki Nikora, Chair, Tataiwhetu Trust, Walter Ngamane, Kaumatua, Pouarua Farms. Front L-R: Hon Damien O'Connor, Minister of Agriculture & Trustee & Hon Willie Jackson, Minister for Māori Development & Trustee.
The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for excellence in Māori farming and was inaugurated 88 years ago by the great 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 in the sheep and beef, horticulture, and dairy sectors. This year the competition is for dairy. The Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, Kingi Smiler, says once again there are three outstanding finalists in this year's competition. He says this is despite the fact that the country and the world is living in challenging and uncertain times. He says farmers and Māori in particular have come through adversity in the past and will do so again. "I am full of praise and proud of our Māori farmers for entering the competition this year and showing the determination to showcase their very successful enterprises. This is in the true spirit and legacy of Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe," he says. Kingi says the good news is that despite the pandemic, farm gate returns for dairy farmers remain solid and consumers world-wide are looking for the high quality, sustainable products that our farmers and processing companies produce.
Field days will be held:
- Thursday 25th March – Pouarua Farms
- Thursday 1st April – Tataiwhetu Trust
- Thursday 8th April – Tunapahore B2A Incorporation You will be notified if there are any changes to these dates due to Covid 19 developments.
Media can contact Peter Burke: 021 224 2183 / firstname.lastname@example.org. Photographs are free for use in relation to the competition. Visit www.bit.ly/ahuwhenuatrophy or contact John Cowpland, Alphapix: 027 253 3464 / email@example.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.