Frequently asked questions

What is the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer and Grower Award?

It is a celebration of young Māori farmers and growers who represent their whānau and businesses.

The award is focused on developing Māori farmers and growers; to support your growth professionally and personally. This is the opportunity to give a boost to your career and to enhance your whānau health and wellbeing. It provides the platform for you to continue to grow your leadership skills and develop leaders for today and tomorrow.

This is not a competition where you must be 'better' than everyone else! Kāore!

It's about giving you experiences to enable you to learn from and to grow. The judges look for the right person who will honour the blood sweat and tears of our ancestors and help inspire other Māori farmers and growers, as all our finalists and winners have done since 2012!

Watch this video to get a feel for what this award is all about and to appreciate this is about being part of the Ahuwhenua legacy:

What is expected of me when I enter?

When you apply, the judges will arrange to visit you and your employer to introduce themselves over a cuppa. It is very informal, they will ask questions about what you do, what you know about the business, and ask you about your future goals for yourself and your whānau.

What happens if I am selected as a finalist?

You are invited to attend the three field days of the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition (usually held in March / April). There you will observe, learn, and meet other Māori farmers and horticulturalists. You will have photos taken and be expected to introduce yourself. It is a very kaupapa Māori and you are celebrated as the next generation of leaders coming through.

The three-day study tour – what is this?

This is part two of the formal judging process that will take place leading up to the Awards Dinner. This time, it is from 14th May 2024 leading up to the big announcement night on 17th May 2024.

The three finalists and judges spend quality time sharing experiences relevant to your needs. This allows the judges time to observe you interact with each other and the people you meet. You are judged on the values of manaakitanga (looking after others), whanaungatanga (interacting with others) and mana motuhake (being authentically you).

This is a great time to bond as finalists, share your knowledge and perspectives, meet people and gain knowledge about what you need to get ahead.

There will be workshops for you to gain additional knowledge i.e. how to maximise your finances, visit and learn about other Māori businesses, meet Māori leaders, meet past winners and more.

Why me?

Because you are supported by your businesses and your immediate and extended whānau and your community. You will belong to a long line of hard-working Māori farmers and growers and join the Ahuwhenua community who is continuously looking for the next young leader to support.

If you are willing to learn, get out of your comfort zone (a little!) and allow the Ahuwhenua whānau to look after you. Haere mai, welcome. This will be an experience you will never forget.

The Entry Form has three main questions for you to answer:

  1. Who are the people you admire that motivate you to be the best you can be in the industry and why?
  2. Tell us the opportunities you are involved in or pursuing to advance your career?
  3. Tell us about your contribution to and participation with your community/ngā tikanga Māori and how you show your commitment to our Māori world. You may like to think about what support you provide to local hapū, marae and the wider local community.

We also ask for an employer and a community leader reference, telling us why you stand out and why they consider that you deserve this recognition.


  • Entry form in by:

    Friday 9 February 2024 for the Dairy award;

    Friday 14 February 2025 for the Sheep and Beef award; and

    Friday 13 February 2026 for the next award for Horticulture.

  • Late February: Judges visit with all entrants at their workplace.

  • Early March: Judges select up to three entrants as finalists followed by a formal acknowledgement letter.

  • March/April: Finalists are invited to attend the field days held by the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition.

  • Mid-May / early June: Judges meet and stay together with finalists for a 3-day study tour as the judging continues. Finalists get the opportunity to experience other businesses, interact with people, network and be inspired by former Ahuwhenua winners and finalists.

  • A final decision is made on the last day of the study tour and the winner announced at the formal awards dinner. It is a big night – a fantastic experience for all.

This information has been put together by our judge Matiu Julian from Primary ITO. He, or anyone else in the Ahuwhenua team are happy to discuss your entry and want to support you however we can, so please send us an email at info@ahuwhenua.maori.nz for someone to get in touch with you.