Young Māori Farmer award finalists announced

Kristy Maria Roa, Ahuwhenia, Young Māori Farmer 2019
Kristy Maria Roa. Photo Alphapix

The finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award for Sheep and Beef have been announced.

They are :

  • Kristy Maria Roa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura. Kristy works as a shepherd on Iwinui Station near Tolaga Bay on the East Coast of the North Island.
  • Tumoanakotore-i-Whakairioratia Harrison-Boyd, Ngati Porou, Whanau a Tuwhakairiora me Te Whanau a Hinekehu. Tu is a shepherd at Whareopaia Station near Tolaga Bay on the East Coast.
  • Taane-nui-a-Rangi Rotoatara Hubbard, Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Pahauwera, Tainui, Ngati Pakapaka, Ngai Tahu, Ngai Tuhoe. Taane is a shepherd on Caberfeidh Station in the Hakataramea Valley near Kurow, northwest of Oamaru.

The three were selected from a number of entrants from around the country.

The Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award was first held in 2012 and is designed to recognise talented up-and-coming young Māori farmers. It is also designed to encourage young Māori to make farming a career choice and to showcase to prospective employers, the talent pool that exists within Māori.

Since its inception, the event has created interest within and outside te ao Māori and has given finalists and winners a huge sense of pride and achievement. All have gone on to greater things since winning this event.

This Award runs in tandem with the senior Ahuwhenua Trophy competition and the winner is announced during the Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards Dinner being held in Gisborne on Friday 24th May 2019.

Lead judge Peter Little says it is never an easy task to select finalists given the pool of young Māori who in a short space of time are making great progress in their careers in agriculture. Peter Little says the training undertaken by the finalists has helped them establish themselves in good jobs and provide an excellent platform to progress to senior positions within the industry. He says the farming sector needs talented, motivated young people and this Award is about recognising their achievements thus far, but also showcasing to other young people the great career opportunities that are awaiting them in the primary sector.

Kristy Maria Roa – Ngāti Maniapoto; Ngāti Apakura

Kristy Roa, 20, is a city girl who grew up in Hamilton and whose parents have no direct connections to farming although they own an engineering business that builds milk tankers for Fonterra.

At school, Kristy did the normal school subjects and was planning to go overseas when she left and work on a horse ranch in Canada. But she says quite by chance she heard about the farm cadet course run by Waipaoa Cadet Training Trust on the East Coast. Just driving there through the farmland to an open day to check out Waipaoa suddenly inspired her to make agriculture her career choice. She gained some experience for a few months on farms in the Waikato and then applied and was accepted for the two year course. While she loves the outdoor life, it’s the business aspect of farming that is a major attraction. She says many city kids see farming as a lifestyle, whereas she sees the business dimension which she describes as ‘pretty cool’.

Kristy Roa works as a shepherd on Iwinui Station (Hauiti Corporation) near Tolaga Bay – a 2,100 hectare property on which is run 5,300 ewes, 3,700 ewe lambs, 450 cows and 1,000 trading bulls. This is her first job out of Waipaoa but her long term goal is to manage a large-scale sheep and beef farm in the Gisborne area and one day own her own farm.

Tumoanakotore-i-Whakairioratia Harrison-Boyd – Ngati Porou; Whanau a Tuwhakairiora me Te Whanau a Hinekehu

Tumoana Harrison-Boyd, Ahuwhenua Māori Farmer Award 2019
Tu Harrison Boyd. Photo alphapix.

Tumoanakotore, or Tu as he is commonly known, has always had an interest in farming dating back to his early school days. At secondary school he joined the NZ Trades Academy programme which saw him get three days a week on-farm experience in his sixth and seventh form years. At one of the farms he met up with two shepherds who were graduates from Smedley Cadet Training Farm in Central Hawke’s Bay. Tu applied and was accepted for and completed the two year programme at Smedley. But he then went on to do a Diploma in Agriculture and a Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University. While at Lincoln he was selected as a Tri- Lamb young leader and travelled to Australia and the US to see how their sheep industry is run and how we can better our relationship with them.

After completing these two courses he did some casual farm work before being offered a job as a shepherd about a year ago at Whareopaia Station near Tolaga Bay on the East Coast.

The 1,000 hectare (815 effective) property runs 3,000 ewes and 340 mixed aged cows. The setting of the farm is beautiful and Tu says from the woolshed you can see the whole of Tolaga Bay. It’s a busy life for the 23 year-old. With two young children he says he chases sheep by day and changes nappies by night. His short-term goal is to be a stock manager on a large Maori owned farm and be a manager by the time he is 30.

Taane-nui-a-Rangi Rotoatara Hubbard – Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Pahauwera, Tainui, Ngati Pakapaka, Ngai Tahu, Ngai Tuhoe

Taane Hubbard. Photo alphapix.

Taane Hubbard, 23, is an experienced shepherd on Caberfeidh Station in the Hakataramea Valley near Kurow northwest of Oamaru. He grew up in the East Coast town of Wairoa and in his last three years at secondary school joined a special agricultural academy set up at Wairoa College (similar to a gateway programme).

He says this meant he spent three days a week doing normal curriculum studies but the other two were spent on local farms – mainly Tangiwai Station and Burnside Farm – seeing the options the sector offered and learning skills that would eventually set him on his path to a career in agriculture.

At the Academy he gained level 2 and 3 in Agriculture through Primary ITO. He then worked as a casual farm worker before working briefly at the local freezing works. He then started his study at Taratahi Agriculture training centre completing level 4 and a Massey Diploma in Agriculture before being offered a position at the historic Tautane Station in Central Hawke’s Bay working as a shepherd general. After nearly two years he moved to his current position at Caberfeidh Station.

This farm is 6,000 hectares (5,300 effective) and runs up to 17,000 ewes and 550 mixed aged cows, (finishing all progeny, depending on conditions it also finishes an extra 15-20,000 lambs, grazes fattening or dry stock, as it is) a large operation with twelve staff working on the property.

Taane was a finalist in the 2015 AYMF award along with his partner, Hemoata Kopa.

He says his long term goal is to be a supervisor or general manager of a large Maori Incorporation farm with a strong emphasis on helping other rangatahi find a career in agriculture.

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