Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition for Horticulture Launched

MEDIA RELEASE 1 August 2019

Ahuwhenua Trophy Chairman Kingi Smiler says it is great to have the support of Horticulture New Zealand and the various sector groups who are sponsoring and supporting the new Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for horticulture, which was launched last night at the HortNZ Conference Gala Dinner by the Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition for Horticulture LaunchedBarry O'Neil President of Horticulture NZ, Hon Nanaia Mahuta Minister of Maori Development and Kingi Smiler Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Management Committee.

He says it was logical and timely to have a separate event to recognise the Maori contribution to horticulture. For more than two centuries, Maori have exported horticultural products – a fact not widely recognised in New Zealand.

"In the last ten years in particular, Maori have become major investors in the sector and this has resulted in good financial returns and jobs for our people. But there is still much more to done and I am sure with the positive publicity that the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition generates, this will encourage more Maori to become involved in the sector," he says.

Kingi says it is time to celebrate the achievements of Maori working in the horticultural sector. He says the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition has the mana and prestige which no other event in Aotearoa has and the prospect of winning this beautiful cup will surely be an incentive.
"I urge Maori leaders and rural professionals to proactively encourage Maori to enter this competition. For the finalists there is not only the prestige of winning the competition but the added benefits of high quality feedback on their enterprises. Past finalists have noted how valuable this is," he says.

Kingi says having an Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for horticulture is very exciting and he is confident that it will be well supported by both Maori and all those in the horticulture sector.

Kingi says the other great news is that the Ministry for Primary Industries has announced that it will become a joint Platinum sponsor with Te Puni Kōkiri. He says this generous sponsorship will ensure the financial viability of the competition and enable it to maintain the high professional standards that has characterised Ahuwhenua in recent years.

Kingi says in addition to this, MPI are also offering a $30k prize to provide native seedlings to the winner and finalists. These are being donated by Te Uru Rākau – Forestry NZ and produced by Minginui Nursery. This has added a new and appropriate dimension to the competition and one that will greatly valued by all he says.

Entry Forms and further details about 2020 competition will be on thiswebsite in the next few weeks.

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, Horticulture New Zealand, Te Tumu Paeroa, Bank of New Zealand, Plant & Food Research, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Massey University, PGG Wrightson, FMG, Zespri, BDO, New Zealand Fruit Growers, Pāmu Farms, Tohu Wine and WorkSafe.
A big thanks also to sponsors of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award:
Te Puni Kōkiri, Primary ITO, Te Tumu Paeroa and Horticulture New Zealand.