The three finalists for the 2017 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award for sheep and beef were announced today at parliament by the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy. All three finalist farms are from the North Island. They are:
- Omapere Rangihamama Trust (Kaikohe)
- RA & JG King Partnership, Puketawa Station (Eketahuna)
- Pukepoto Farm Trust (Ongarue near Taumarunui).
The Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management committee, Kingi Smiler says it is great to once again see three top quality sheep and beef farms selected as finalists for this prestigious trophy. All are performing very well in some of the most challenging times the New Zealand primary sector has encountered with volatile global markets and low prices together with a need to adapt to climate change. The people who run these operations are positive and confident about their future and are taking an approach that Sir Apirana Ngata, who inaugurated the competition would have wished.
He says in difficult times it is important that leaders emerge and show the way for others. Kingi Smiler says more than ever role models are needed in the Māori agribusiness space.
The farm run by the Trust is situated just 2km northwest of the Far North township of Kaikohe and is regarded by its shareholders as a taonga tukuiho, gifted to them over time by their ancestors. Up until the 1950s the Omapere land had separate titles occupied by individual/whānau owners who used the land for food gardens and small dairy units.
Puketawa Station is a sheep and beef breeding unit located at Tiraumea about 45 minutes east of Pahiatua in the northern Wairarapa. The property consists of 1108ha (900 effective) and is mainly medium to steep hill country with some rolling contours.
Upwards of 300 people turned out for the first of the field days being staged by the three finalists for the 2016 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award for Dairy. The field day was held at Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited's farms Te Ahu Pātiki and Maungatere which are located near the Canterbury township of Oxford.