Taupo Trust Wins 2010 Ahuwhenua Trophy For Dairying Excellence

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The Taupo based Waipapa 9 Trust has won the prestigious 2010 Ahuwhenua Trophy Bank of New Zealand Maori Excellence in Farming competition for its outstanding dairying operation.

Accepting the Trophy at the Awards night dinner at Taupos Events Centre this evening, on behalf of his staff, board and shareholders, Chairman, Dawson Haa said that their success is an example of the increasing sophistication and strength of the Maori farming sector.

All New Zealand farmers should know that Maori farmers are increasingly well educated and they are striving for excellence. They believe in modern technology, strategic planning and business growth and if they see that the farmer next door is getting more for his product that they are they want to know why, he said.

His Excellency The Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, (GNZM,QSO) presented Dawson Haa with the trophy before an enthusiastic audience of nearly 500 people.

“For more than 70 years, the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy has recognised the best in Maori farming. The finalists have not only demonstrated outstanding skills in agriculture, but also a commitment to Maoritanga in the widest sense,” Sir Anand said.

The Waipapa 9 Trust administers a substantial, integrated agribusiness utilizing a total of 6500 hectares. It runs around 3000 dairy cows on three blocks and has land in forestry and sheep and beef production. Each block has its own manager, two of whom are 50/50 sharemilkers, and the operation is overseen by farm supervisor.

Between the late 1990s and 2009 the Trust acquired a number of adjoining farms. These acquisitions enabled the growth of the Trust to accelerate through greater ability to leverage and develop their land based businesses alongside other commercial investments.

The Waipapa 9 Trusts 1200 shareholders are of Raukawa and Ngati Tuwharetoa descent.

The other two finalists in the competition were Hanerau Farms Trust which operates a 242 hectare dairy farm in Northland and the Rangatira 8A 17 Trust which administers a 221 hectare dairy farm at Broadlands, Reporoa on behalf of 1500 owners from the Rauhoto hapu of Ngati Tuwharetoa.. Hanerau Farms Trust is owned by Te Uri o Hau, a hapu of Ngati Whatua representing14 marae around the Kaipara harbor. As well as being presented with the Ahuwhenua Trophy, the Waipapa 9 Trust will also receive up to $40,000 in cash, services and farm products including a King Quad Suzuki ATV.

The competition, which has both historic and contemporary prestige, dates back to 1932 when it was first established by Sir Apirana Ngata. It was relaunched in 2003 to take account of the changing face of M?ori farming and the increasing importance of M?ori incorporations and trusts in the sector.

Each year it alternates between beef and sheep farms and dairy farms. This is the third dairy competition

Maori dairy farmers own an estimated 100 million shares in Fonterra.

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