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Waipaoa Cadet Training Trust In Discussions Over Relocation Offer

“An unbelievably good match” is how trustees of a Gisborne farm cadet training programme are describing an offer from the Joan Fernie Charitable Trust (JFCT) to accommodate cadets on one of its three stations, north of Napier.

The Waipaoa Station Farm Cadet Training Trust was down to its last cadet, after Waipaoa Station was put on the market last year, and they could not find a suitable place to rehome their acclaimed farm training programme.

“While we are still in negotiations with JFCT, the opportunity to base our students at Moeangiangi Station (Northern Hawkes Bay) will change everything for us,” Waipaoa Station Farm Cadet Training Trust Chairperson Tim Rhodes said. “This is a really exciting proposition, and we are very thankful to JFCT for supporting us and our work in growing skilled Kiwi farmers.”

JFCT Chairman Mike Barham said the Trust was “extremely excited” about the prospect of bringing the farm cadet training programme to Moeangiangi and “it would be an incredible legacy for Joan Fernie”. “Joan spent a lifetime farming and was passionate about it, as were her parents and ancestors. She would be delighted by what we are trying to achieve.”

JFCT has recently appointed new General Manager, Danny Angland, to lead its farming operation, and new Moeangiangi Station manager Dan and Ange Jury. It is also making plans to upgrade the infrastructure and buildings on the station to accommodate the training programme.

Along with allowing it to build its intake back to five new cadets each year, JFCT will enable Waipaoa Trust to expand its offering to include exposure to intensive livestock finishing. Hill country farm training, which will continue to be provided, has been its core offering at Waipaoa Station.  

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The two Trusts are also looking closely at other farm training operations to see what improvements can be made to the programme to take full advantage of the opportunities at Moeangiangi.

“Our main point of difference in all our training is that we work one-on-one with cadets, so that they come away with a sound knowledge of the theory and how to put it into practice. For example, all of our cadets learn how to break in and ride a horse, and train their own heading dog and Huntaway,” Tim Rhodes says.

As a Board, we will always have a commitment to the Gisborne area but there will be many benefits to delivering our training programme in a less remote location. “For example, with the cadets only 40 minutes from Wairoa or 50 minutes from Napier, they will be able to continue playing sport and taking part in other community activities for the two years they are with us.”

It is expected that training of the first intake of students at Moeangiangi Station will begin in 2026. The Board will shortly advise how potential trainees can show an expression of interest. Keep an eye on the Waipaoa Trust’s website at waipaoa.co.nz or the Waipaoa Facebook page for more details.

Background

Since 2007, the Waipaoa Station Farm Cadet Training Trust has successfully provided young people with the opportunity to complete skills-based training in sheep and beef farming at Waipaoa Station, Gisborne. The course has been popular and well respected with graduates having a reputation for being well-rounded, confident, motivated, and ultimately work ready. The Trust has trained a total of 75 young farmers who are now all immersed in the industry.

The Joan Fernie Charitable Trust (JFCT) operates three separate stations – Moeangiangi (3644 hectares) and Mangatapiri (3008 hectares) which are large- scale pastoral farms, and Chesterhope which includes 567 hectares of productive land between Napier and Hastings. The stations were all owned by the late Joan Fernie who invested them into a charitable trust prior to her death in 2007. To learn more about JFCT visit joanfernietrust.org.nz

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