Historic First For Waipapa 9 Trust Winner Of The Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence In Farming Award 2011 – Sheep And Beef

In an historic first, the current holder of the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Dairy Farming, Waipapa 9 Trust, has also won the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award 2011 for its outstanding sheep and beef operation.

Accepting the Trophy on behalf of his staff, board and shareholders at the Awards night dinner held June 3 at the Energy Events Centre, Rotorua, Chair Dawson Haa said their success is a fundamentally due to a great team and good governance.

I hope our historic win encourages other Maori farmers to make the most of their land and to know that with a great team, hard work and a commitment to improving the land for future generations excellence in farming is within their grasp.”

His Excellency the Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, (GNZM, QSO) presented Dawson Haa with the trophy before an audience of 580 people.

The Chairman of the Ahuwhenua competition, Kingi Smiler described Maori farmers are an economic force to be reckoned with.

Weve made history here tonight. Waipapas extraordinary success is indicative of the strength, and systematic growth, of the Maori agribusiness sector.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, which was established in 1932 by Sir Apirana Ngata, is known for its rigorous judging criteria and the high level of scrutiny applied by judges to each competing property. The competition recognises excellence in farming and sets the benchmark for the industry.

It was relaunched in 2003 to take account of the changing face of M?ori farming and the increasing contribution that M?ori agribusiness is making to the economy.

Each year it alternates between beef and sheep farms and dairy farms. This year the competition is for sheep and beef farmers. The Waipapa 9 Trust administers 6,537 hectares of land north west of Taup?, a mix of ancestral lands and land purchases made between 1997 and 2009.

The original development was into three sheep and cattle sations (Waipapa, Otanepae and Takapau Stations). These were administered and managed for the Trust by the Lands and Survey Department until 1989 when Waipapa 9 Trust took back the land and full responsibility operating the business.

The judges said they were impressed by farm operational strategies and policies and an implementation plan that is being executed with precision and passion. Key strengths were: Farm Surplus of $345/ha, well above average for the land class, and enhanced by a consistently good gross farm income Lambing at 125% is above the class average, and very significant for a farm with over 6,000 ewes A knowledgeable and experienced farm manager working with a tight and capable professional team that includes an accountant, farm supervisor, and ,when necessary, external auditors The Trusts overall goal is to grow the business in a sustainable way and maximise returns through better use of the land, increased productivity, improved profitability and growth through innovation. It also strives for minimal impact on the environment through increased awareness, strategic investment, sustainable management practices and high levels of management capability.

This ongoing development focuses on maximising the performance of the newly amalgamated sheep and beef units and the dairy units in the most cost effective manner. The Trust currently has 1,208 shareholders representing seven hap? of Ng?ti T?wharetoa and Ng?ti Raukawa descent.

Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples, presented the winner with a replica of the trophy. Platinum sponsor BNZs Head of Agribusiness, Richard Bowman presented the winner with the competition Gold medal. Dr Sharples said the Ahuwhenua Trophy was a huge incentive for Maori farmers to use the best scientific information, and the best management structures, to maximise returns to shareholders – and the winners were blazing a trail for other Maori asset managers to follow.

“And it’s not just their own shareholders who benefit – their success is good for Maori, and good for the New Zealand economy as a whole,” said Dr Sharples.’ Other guests included Ariki Sir Tumu te Heuheu and Lady Susan te Heuheu, Hon Dr Pita Sharples, Hon Bill English, Hon Georgina te Heuheu, Hon Hekia Parata and Sir Harawira Gardiner, Hon Steve Chadwick and John Chadwick, Hon Parekura Horomia, Todd McClay MP and Nadene McClay.

As well as being presented with the Ahuwhenua Trophy, Waipapa 9 Trust will receive up to $40,000 in cash, services and farm products. This includes a Farm First Growth Programme from Platinum sponsor, BNZ, a Yamaha Top Model ATV valued at $16,000, and seeds worth $4,000 from PGG Wrightson.

BNZ is the Platinum Sponsor for the Award. Gold sponsors are AgResearch, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Te Puni K?kiri. Silver sponsors are PGG Wrightson and Ballance AgriNutrients, and Bronze sponsors are MAF, AgITO, M?ori Trustee, AFFCO, BDO, Yamaha Motors and Allflex. Sponsor support has also been provided by Tohu Wines, Landcorp, DB Breweries, and Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd.