The 2017 Ahuwhenua Trophy sheep and beef farming finalists named

2017 Ahuwhenua Trophy finalist Ronald King (right) receives congratulations from Minister Nathan Guy and Māori Development Minister leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

Three Māori sheep and beef farming operations were named as finalists in this year’s 2017 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori in Farming Award at a ceremony today at Parliament in Wellington.

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy were on hand to congratulate the sheep and beef farming finalists in the competition, celebrating excellence in Māori farming.

The 2017 Ahuwhenau Trophy finalists are: Omapere Rangihamama Trust’s 1,253ha sheep and beef operation northwest of Kaikohe in the Far North; RA & JG King Partnership’s Puketawa Station, a 1,108 ha sheep and beef breeding unit near Eketahuna; and the 1,400 ha Pukepoto Farm Trust’s station at Ongarue, near Taumarunui.

The chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management committee, Kingi Smiler, says it’s great to once again see three top quality sheep and beef farms selected as finalists for the trophy.

“All are performing very well in some of the most challenging times the New Zealand primary sector has encountered with volatile global markets and low prices together with a need to adapt to climate change. The people who run these operations are positive and confident about their future and are taking an approach that Sir Apirana Ngata, who inaugurated the competition would have wished,” he says.

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said he was proud to acknowledge and celebrate the key role Māori play in New Zealand’s primary industries.

All three stations are shining examples of the commitment Māori farmers have to sustainably developing their land for future generations said Nathan Guy at the announcement.

“I’m proud to acknowledge and celebrate the key role Māori play in New Zealand’s primary industries.”

He noted the asset base of the Māori economy is worth over $42 billion, most of which is strongly focused on the primary industries. Māori collectively own 40 percent of forestry land, 38 percent of fishing quoa and 30 percent of lamb production.

“Right across the economy as a whole, Māori are successful players and many of their companies and entities are amongst the top performing commercial operations in New Zealand,” he said, adding that all three had demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and a striking balance between, people, planet and profit.

“Our progress and achievements in the farming, forestry, fishing and tourism sectors alone deserve illumination as an inspiration to Māori everywhere and are a demonstration of our valuable contribution to the nation’s growth,” said Guy.

The Ahuwhena Trophy is now in its 84th year. It alternates each year between sheep and beef farming and dairy.

“All finalists embrace a Māori world view that requires a balance between the social, cultural, environmental and economic factors which are key to unlocking their power,” said Te Ururoa Flavell, who encouraged people to get out to the farms field days in April and May, cautioning they should be prepared to be impressed.

These will be held as follows:

  • Thursday, 20 April – Omapere Rangihamama Trust, Kaikohe
  • Thursday, 27 April – RA & JG King Partnership, Puketawa Station, Eketahuna, Northern Wairarapa
  • Thrusday 4 May – Pukepoto Farm Trust, Ongarue, near Taumarunui,

The Ahuwhenua Trophy will be presented at the competition’s celebration evening in Whangārei on 26 May.

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