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Māori farming excellence celebrated

Hon Meka Whaitiri
Associate Minister of Agriculture
Associate Minister of Forestry

27 May 2018

MEDIA STATEMENT

Māori farming excellence celebrated

Associate Agriculture and Associate Forestry Minister Meka Whaitiri congratulates all the winners and finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Awards in further developing Māori agricultural success, return and skills development.

The Ahuwhenua Awards that celebrate excellence in Māori farming were first held in 1933 until 1990, and then re-established in 2003 through the work of the Meat New Zealand with the support of the late Hon Parekura Horomia.

“The commitment of the finalists to ensuring the success of their enterprises, including the contribution to the wellbeing of their whānau and communities showcases Māori agribusiness leadership at its finest,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“Both Ahuwhenua Trophy winner, Onuku Māori Lands Trust from Rotorua and finalist, Proprietors of Mawhera Incorporation from Hokitikia, are exemplars that those in Māori development can learn from. Onuku and Mawhera show how Māori innovation can meet the different challenges they each face with their farming operations, including meeting their environmental and sustainability goals as an integral part of their commitment.

“I applaud the announcement of a new horticulture award, to sit beside the current beef and lamb and dairy awards. The Māori horticulture sector is innovative and evolving, so the inaugural award in 2020 will be an exciting opportunity.

“The Māori Young Farmer of the Year winner Harepaora Ngaheu and his fellow finalists Cheyenne Wilson and Mathew Pooley highlight the calibre of the young talent we have. Today’s winners and finalists will be tomorrow’s leaders, so it is critical we continue to invest in their development.

“We know there are many talented young Māori working in the primary industries. We need to ensure that the skills and training available will equip them to have a rewarding and diverse career in the primary sectors that includes farming, robotics, marketing and international trade,” Meka Whaitiri said.

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