Winner of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Award


The winner of the 2019 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award is 20 year-old Kristy Maria Roa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura. Kristy works as a shepherd on Iwinui Station near Tolaga Bay on the East Coast of the North Island.

Winner of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori AwardWinner of the 2019 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award, Kristy Roa

The announcement was made by the Māori Trustee and Chief Executive of Te Tumu Paeroa, Dr Charlotte Severene at a gala awards function in Gisborne in association with the Ahuwhenua Trophy award for the top Māori Sheep and Beef farm. About 600 guests including the Ministers of Agriculture and Māori Development were present at the function.
The other two finalists in the competition were Tumoanakotore-i-Whakairioratia Harrison-Boyd, (Ngati Porou, Whanau a Tuwhakairiora me Te Whanau a Hinekehu), a shepherd at Whareopaia Station near Tolaga Bay on the East Coast; and Taane-nui-a-Rangi Rotoatara Hubbard (Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Pahauwera, Tainui, Ngati Pakapaka, Ngai Tahu, Ngai Tuhoe), a shepherd on Caberfeidh Station in the Hakataramea Valley near Kurow, northwest of Oamaru.
The three were selected from a number of entrants from around the country.
The Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award was first held in 2012 and is designed to recognised talented up-and-coming young Māori farmers. It is also designed to encourage young Māori to make farming a career choice and to showcase to prospective employers, the talent pool that exists within Māori. Since its inception the event has created interest within and outside te ao Māori and has given finalists and winners a huge sense of pride and achievement. All have gone on to greater things since winning this event.
Lead judge Peter Little says once again there was a good response for entrants for the awards. He says it is never an easy task to select a winner from three finalists given the pool of young Māori, who in a short space of time are making great progress in their careers in agriculture. 
Peter Little says the winner Kristy Roa exemplified all that is good about young Māori who are making successful careers in the primary sector. He says Kristy has shown great commitment to her work, excellent leadership and will do a great job as a role model for other young people contemplating a career in the agribusiness sector.
Peter Little says “land diversification is opening up new opportunities in the agribusiness sector.” 
He says the training undertaken by the finalists have helped them establish themselves in good jobs and provided an excellent platform for them to progress to senior positions within the industry. 

Winner Profile
Kristy Maria Roa – Ngāti Maniapoto; Ngāti Apakura
Kristy Roa is a city girl who grew up in Hamilton and whose parents have no direct connections to farming although they own an engineering business that builds milk tankers for Fonterra.
At school, 20 year-old Kristy did the normal school subjects and was planning to go overseas when she left and work on a horse ranch in Canada. But she says quite by chance she heard about the farm cadet course run by Waipaoa Cadet Training Trust on the East Coast. Just driving there through the farmland  to an open day to check out Waipaoa suddenly inspired her to make agriculture her career choice. She gained some experience for a few months on farms in the Waikato and then applied and was accepted for the two year course. While she loves the outdoor life, it’s the business aspect of farming that is a major attraction. She says many city kids see farming as a lifestyle, whereas she sees the business dimension which she describes as ‘pretty cool’.
Kristy Roa works as a shepherd on Iwinui Station (Hauiti Corporation) near Tolaga Bay – a 2,100 hectare property on which is run 5,300 ewes, 3,700 ewe lambs, 450 cows and 1,000 trading bulls. This is her first job out of Waipaoa but her long term goal is to manage a large scale sheep and beef farm in the Gisborne area and one day own her own farm. Kristy can contacted on 027 848 4360 or

Previous Winners


Harepaora Ngaheu - 2018 Winner

Peter Little says "Harepaora Ngaheu will do a great job as a role model for other young Māori contemplating a career in the agri business sector. They need people like Harepaora who has not had an easy life but through determination and hard work has shown that it is possible to come through adversity and achieve at a high level. It is important that young Māori realise that every day there are new opportunities opening up for them as more land is brought into production and other land improved."

Harepaora Ngaheu, Dairy winner 2018

Jordan Biddle

“When I was at school I had little inkling that I’d make farming my career choice. But this occurred when I started working part time on farms when I was just fifteen, doing odd jobs such as fencing. The breakthrough came two years later when I was offered a permanent role at Waitaha Station in northern Hawke’s Bay. Two years later I moved to my present role atPihanui Station.”

Jordan Biddle, Sheep and Beef Winner 2017

Jack Raharuhi

"I got into the wrong crowd as a teenager and I chose the wrong path. I left school and came to work here on the farm which I now manage. Dairy farming got me in line. I had no time to go out and get into trouble. Now I have a fiancée and two children,"

Jack Raharuhi, Dairy Winner 2016

Hannah Wallace

“Winning this competition has given me the confidence to want to achieve my dreams of owning or leasing my own farm. It gave me a real confidence boost and made me realise that, yes us females can be farmers, and yes we are good at what we do because we are right up the with the boys.”

Hannah Wallace, Sheep and Beef Winner 2015

Wiremu Reid

2014 Young Māori Dairy Farmer of the Year, Wiremu Reid, has his heart set on owning a farm by age 30 and says winning the competition has been a positive step towards his goal.

"I'm confident we'll get there. Ultimately we want a run off, or a lease block, with conversion possibilities; but for the short term we would like somewhere to graze our own stock."

Wiremu Reid, Dairy Winner 2014

Jordan Smith

“It was a really positive experience for me. I would recommend it to anybody because it will help them go further in the industry.”

Jordan Smith, Sheep and Beef Winner 2013

Tangaroa Walker

"I want to be the most successful Māori in the world and I want to motivate young Māori by directing them down the path I have followed to show them that the opportunities are out there if you are willing to sacrifice and put in the hard yards."

Tangaroa Walker, Dairy Winner 2012