In the photo: Hon Meka Whaitiri presenting the bronze medal to Alan Haronga , Chair of Wi Pere Trust.
Te Karaka, Gisborne
About 300 people attended a field day at the Wi Pere Trust farm at Te Karaka near Gisborne yesterday. Wi Pere Trust 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 just over 48,000 stock units with a 58/42 ratio on 6,770 hectares of mainly steep hill country.
Among the special guests was Associate Minister of Agriculture, Hon Meka Whaitiri. The local community, rural professionals, government officials and farmers from the East Coast were also in attendance. After the welcome and a series of presentations, guests were taken on a farm tour to view the nature and size of the property first hand.
Hon Meka Whaitiri presented the finalist bronze medal to Wi Pere Trust Chairman, Alan Haronga. Minister Whaitiri described the field day as fantastic, with a great turn-out of people who were able to see just how Wi Pere Trust has developed its farming operations.
“I have every confidence that the rest of Aotearoa New Zealand will catch up to what Māori farming is all about – how Māori are not only driving profits, but more importantly looking after the land and the people,” she says.
Minister Whaitiri believes there is room for a conversation with the wider farming community to understand what Māori farming is actually doing and how it contributes to the sector as a whole.
Wi Pere Trust Chairman Alan Haronga says the huge turnout and the interest in the field day was beyond the Trustees expectations and the fact the sun was shining was a bonus. He says all this added to what the Ahuwhenua Trophy represents in terms of excellence in farming.
“The sector needs energy and it needs uplifting and we are happy to put our shoulder to the shovel to make a contribution”. Alan Haronga says that the industry could do a better job of communicating the beauty and benefits of farming.
The Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee Chair, Nukuhia Hadfield praised Wi Pere Trust for staging the field day and noted that for farms like Wi Pere Trust on the East Coast, it was not an easy task given the adverse weather conditions they have had to endure in the past year.
“It is really important that our industry supporters get out on the whenua, so they can see what farming is all about and what our farmers are out there doing every day,” she says.
The next and final field day will be held on:
Thursday 8 September: Hereheretau Station, Wairoa.
Meet by 8.45am at Whakakī Marae, 6 Hinepua Road, Whakakī, Wairoa. Farm tour quads/side by sides only – helmets mandatory.
ALL FIELD DAYS START AT 9AM AND CONCLUDE AT 3:30PM
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.