In the photo: Hon Meka Whaitiri, BRIG Lisa Ferris, Paul Te Aho
About 300 people attended a field day at Hereheretau Station yesterday, located 30km north of Wairoa. Hereheretau Station the major asset of the Māori Soldiers Trust which was set up in 1917 to help local Māori veterans returning from the First World War. Hereheretau Station is a 2,000ha sheep and beef operation and was purchased in 1925 and vested in the Māori Trustee.
Hereheretau Station is one of three finalists in this year’s prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy, Excellence in Māori Farming Award for the top Māori sheep and beef farm. The farm runs 25,000 stock units with a 55/45 ratio on 3,480ha, 2687ha of which is effective. Eighty percent of the land farmed is Class 6, 7 and 8 hill country.
The Associate Minister for Agriculture Hon Meka Whaitiri was in attendance along with rural professionals, government officials and farmers from the East Coast of the North Island and surrounding provinces. A feature of the day was the presentation by Minister Whaitiri of the bronze medal to Brigadier Lisa Ferris, of the Māori Soldiers Trust Committee and Paul Te Aho, Block Manager at Hereheretau Station.
After the formalities, guests were taken on a farm tour to see at first hand the nature, size and developments that have taken place on the property.
Minister Whaitiri says Hereheretau Station is another farm that is in her electorate of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti. She noted her personal associations to the area, one being the daughter of a war veteran who fought in Korea. “I am also the Minister of Veteran Affairs so it was quite poignant that you wear multiple hats on occasions like this,” she says.
Minister Whaitiri described Hereheretau as an amazing farming station and was delighted to see some of the developments that have been undertaken on the property. She says she is glad that she is not a judge given the quality of all three finalists in the competition. “In my view, they are all winners,” she says.
Hereheretau Station Farm Supervisor, Peter McKenzie says he was very proud of the way the field day went. He says it was wonderful to see so many people come to the day, particularly the young managers and farmers there. He says the farm track held up and it was a spectacular sight as more than 100 farm vehicles traversed the property to get to the back hut. He says it’s great to see the farm performing so well.
Ahuwhenua Trophy Chair Nukuhia Hadfield says Hereheretau Station staged an excellent field day that was well run, informative and highlighted the excellence of their farming operation. She says it was great to hear them tell their story of how they came into being and what they have done over the years. The farm tour enabled those attending to see how the vision, strategy and policies are translated into practical outcomes on-farm.
Nukuhia noted a lot of work goes into these events and one the great features is the Ahuwhenua Trophy field day handbook which is also available online and contains a lot of data about each property. This in turn helps the finalist judges who are able to further question the farm owners and staff and to gain a real insight into their performance.
For further information contact Peter Burke on 021 2242184 / firstname.lastname@example.org. To access "free for editorial use" photos of the three finalist farms and their field days go to https://bit.ly/3PWEdX7 and contact John Cowpland from Alphapix for download access on email@example.com.
Our thanks to our valued Ahuwhenua Trophy sponsors:
Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry for Primary Industries, Te Tumu Paeroa, BNZ, NZ Mãori Tourism, B+LNZ, AgResearch, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, PGG Wrightson, AFFCO, BDO, Allflex, Massey University, Kono Wines and FARMAX.
A big thanks also to sponsors of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award: Te Puni Kōkiri, Primary ITO, Te Tumu Paeroa, B+LNZ and Allflex.