Ahuwhenua Trophy Finalists just announced

Ahuwhenua Trophy Finalists just announced

The finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Awards, the premier award for Maori in agriculture have been announced.

The finalists in the 2011 Sheep and Beef competition are:

  • Waipapa 9 Trust, west of Taupo
  • Pakihiroa Farms, on the East Coast, west of Ruatoria
  • Otakanini Topu Incorporation, on the Kaipara Harbour near Helensville

Each year the competition, which was first established in 1932 by Sir Apirana Ngata, alternates between sheep and beef farmers and dairy farmers. The current holder of the Dairying Trophy, Waipapa 9 Trust, is once again a finalist.

Waipapa 9 Trust administers a substantial, integrated agribusiness totaling 6500 hectares. The Trust’s entrant in this competition, Waipapa Station, was formerly three separate sheep and beef stations and comprises1,490 ha of which1,100 ha is the effective grazeable area.The property carries over 12,000 stock units. Between 2005 and 2010 the three stations were reorganised to consolidate management systems and capacity. As well as dairy the Trust also has land in forestry, 300 ha of which was converted in 2010 as part of its Lake Taupo Protection planning. It has systematically retired lands, protected wetlands and waterways, contributed to nitrogen reduction initiatives and invested in low impact effluent systems. Waipapa 9 operates a Cadet Training Unit under a separate Charitable Trust to help young Maori develop skills in agriculture and farming.

Pakihiroa Farms is a 3140ha property of medium to steep country which includes the Ngati Porou ancestral mountain, Hikurangi, in its boundaries. Owned by Te Runanga o Ngati Porou which bought the property back from the Williams family in 1985, Pakiroa is operated as a commercially independent limited liability company. It runs 10,700 stock units on 1,356 effective grazeable ha which also includes 210 hectares of pine forest fenced and planted to protect waterways and 115 hectares eucalyptus planted to sequester carbon. Both plantings are part of the farms erosion control strategy. The balance of the property includes Hikurangi maunga and part of the Raukumara Range. Official access for trampers to Mount Hikurangi, internationally renowned as the first place to see the rising sun, is through Pakihiroa.

Otakanini Topu is a Maori Incorporation farm bordering North Auckland’s west coast at Muriwai Beach on one end and the southern end of the Kaipara Harbour on another. The property totals 2,750 ha of which 2,200 ha are effective grazeable land. It runs 16000 stock units on 1550 ha and has 600 ha in forestry. The rest is unproductive land in mudflats and wetlands.

A farming regime emphasising sustainable farming within the constraints of the properties coastal environment and the systematic introduction of new genetics and initiatives is in place. Since its formation in 1951 from the amalgamation of local Maori whanau lands and the return of government administered land, Otakanini Topu staff have mapped and maintained the many cultural and historic sites on the property.

Public field days will be held on the property of each finalist in late April through to early May.

Details will be announced shortly: see www.ahuwhenuatrophy.maori.nz

The supreme award winner and recipient of the Ahuwhenua Trophy will be announced at a Gala Awards dinner in Rotorua on Friday 3 June 2011.

As well as being presented with the historic Ahuwhenua Cup, this 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. Each finalist will receive a medal and $15,000 in cash and farm-related products and services.

BNZ is the Platinum Sponsor for the competition. Gold sponsors are AgResearch, Te Puni K?kiri, Beef+Lamb New Zealand, Silver sponsors are PGG Wrightson and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and Bronze sponsors are Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, AgITO, BDO, Maori Trustee, AFFCO and Yamaha Motors. Sponsor support will also be supplied by Tohu Wines, Landcorp, DB Breweries and Aotearoa Fisheries.

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