Maori sheep and beef farmers who enter the 2011 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming competition, will get invaluable advice from some the most experienced and successful farmers in New Zealand. says Ingrid Collins, chair of Whangara Farms, the current holder of the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Excellence in Sheep and Beef Farming .
In launching the 2011 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming competition at the FoMA (Federation of Maori Authorities) conference in the Bay of Islands on Saturday night November 6, Ms Collins said that simply entering the competition proved beneficial to Whangara Farms as a modern agribusiness.
“We received robust, objective and honest feedback from the judges and we were able to implement changes that really improved our performance. You can’t get that kind of knowledge from a text book or website.”
Noting that sheep and beef farmers are currently operating in a tough financial environment, she said that Maori farmers have a fundamental advantage because they take an intergenerational view of their business.
“Economic conditions change but as kaitiaki of our whenua, we know that the land endures.
“Entries for this historic and prestigious competition close on Friday, 28 January 2011 and I would encourage Maori farming entities to take part by taking a stand, building confidence and advancing into the future with humility and pride in who they are.”
The chair of the Ahuwhenua Executive Committee, Kingi Smiler, said that a number of Maori farming businesses around the country could take heart from the success previous winners in the competition have had.
“It’s a great way to look at your business, learn new things and engage in continuous improvement,” Mr Smiler says.
Mr Smiler said that he was appreciative of the continuing support of all sponsors and was particularly grateful for the ongoing relationship with the competitions Platinum Sponsor, BNZ.
“Once again the BNZ has got in behind us as our Platinum Sponsor. We applaud their genuine, continued interest in the Maori farming sector.”
The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the premier award for Maori in agriculture. It acknowledges and celebrates business excellence in the New Zealand pastoral sector and is open to M?ori farming properties either owned individually, or managed by Maori Trusts and Incorporations in New Zealand.
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 Maori farming and the increasing importance of Maori incorporations and trusts in the sector.
Each year it alternates between sheep and beef farmers and dairy farmers. This year the competition is for Maori sheep and beef farmers.
As well as being presented with the historic Ahuwhenua Cup, next year’s winner will receive a replica of the trophy, a prestigious medal based on a 1932 design and up to $40,000 in cash and farm-related products and services. The three regional winners will each receive a medal and $15,000 in cash or farm related products and services.
Entrants will be tested on a range of protocols based on the efficiency with which the property is farmed relative to its potential, effective governance and management of the farming enterprise. While financial performance is an important part of the judging criteria judges are also required to take into account conditions that affect financial performance such as drought and market returns.
Each regional winner will host a public field day. Competitors benefit from high-level peer review on their farms and the opportunity to share this at the field days leads to on-going improvements in performance for the competitors as well as the attendees.
A Gala Awards dinner will be held in Rotorua on Friday 3 June 2011.
Entry is free and entry forms are available from all offices of Te Puni Kokiri and the Maori Trustee or from Joan Nathu, ph 04 819 9205 or [email protected]
Copies of the entry form are also available on: www.maoritrustee.co.nz.
Entries close on Friday, 28 January, 2011
BNZ is the Platinum Sponsor for the Award. Gold sponsors are AgResearch, Te Puni Kokiri and Beef + Lamb New Zealand. Silver sponsors are PGG Wrightson and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and Bronze sponsors are Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Agriculture ITO, AFFCO, BDO, Maori Trustee and Yamaha Motors. Sponsor support will also be supplied by Tohu Wines, Landcorp and DB Breweries