Tuaropaki Trust Wins Excellence in Farming Award
30 March 2007
Tuaropaki Trust Wins North Central Region Maori Excellence in Farming Award
Tuaropaki Trust, which runs a livestock farm 26 kilometers, north west of Taupo has won the North/Central regional competition in the Bank of New Zealand Maori Excellence in Farming Award for Sheep and Beef. The three regional finalists will compete for the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy.
A distinctive medal and a prize valued at over $15,000 comprising farm goods and services and cash donated by sponsors will be presented jointly to Farm Manager Rusty Morris and Farm Consultant Peter Keeling at a field day to be held on the Station property on 10 May 2007.
The Tuaropaki Trust has its genesis back in 1952 when a group of families decided to amalgamate their land titles to develop the Tuaropaki land as a collective body.
Tuaropaki Trust chairman, Tumanako Wereta says visionary leadership by the founding elders laid the foundation for the Trust’s current position as medium-size Maori corporate.
As the result of an intuitive strategic approach, good governance and a high level project management team, the Trust has established a unique range of business segments - sustainable farming, geothermal power (electricity to the national grid) generation, temperature controlled horticulture (export tomatoes and paprika) and satellite/wireless communications (NZ & West Australia).
Tuaropaki land totals 2,734 hectares on which it runs sheep, cattle and deer and operates two dairy units. Land not suitable for pastoral farming is used for afforestation and set aside as conservation areas.
“Fine-tuning of the Trust’s overall strategy in recent years has seen a greater emphasis on the farm production which is our core business and we are now seeing the results”, Mr Wereta said adding that Farm Consultant, Peter Keeling has made a major contribution to lifting performance.
Bob Cottrell, Chairman of the Competition Executive Committee said the three-man judging panel was pleased to note an ongoing growth in the performance of Maori farming businesses.
“The 720,000 hectares of pastoral land farmed by Maori is making a significant contribution to the wider New Zealand economy,” Mr Cottrell said.
Runner-up in the North/Central region was the Rotorua based Whakaue Farming Limited, a Company owned by the Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands Incorporation which is chaired by Hamuera Mitchell. Whakaue farming Ltd farms 3 sheep breeding and beef finishing blocks plus a sheep, beef and deer block in total comprising 2563 (effective) hectares and carrying approximately 10,500 ewes, 3600 hoggets, 500 heifers, 275 steers,900 bulls and 2200 deer.
Meat & Wool New Zealand resurrected the competition for the Ahuwhenua Trophy in 2003 following discussion with Maori on how to enhance the delivery of services to Maori.
The competition, provides for participation from Maori farming businesses throughout New Zealand with the country being divided into three regions and the winner of each region going on to compete for the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy and prizes valued at more than $40,000.
A successful competition for dairy farmers was held last year and it is intended that the two events will alternate in future years.
To assist in transferring information more widely, a field day will be held at Tuaropaki Station, Tirohanga Road, Mokai, Taupo starting at 9.30am on 10 May. The focus will be on the systems management and governance, which have resulted in the station being selected as the regional winner.
"Our three aims for the competition are to recognise excellence in Maori farming, to utilise the competition to highlight successful approaches to the wider Maori farming community and to highlight the contribution of Maori farming to the New Zealand economy.” Mr Cottrell said.
The national winner for 2007 will be announced at a dinner to be held in the Rotorua Convention Centre on Friday 15th June 2007. Tickets are now available from Phyllis Mangin, Meat & Wool New Zealand 0800 647 000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bank of New Zealand Maori Excellence in Farming Award is sponsored by: The Bank of New Zealand (platinum sponsor), Te Puni Kokiri, Meat & Wool New Zealand, AgResearch (gold sponsors); Ballance Agri-Nutrients and PGG Wrightson (silver sponsors) and AgITO and Suzuki as bronze sponsors. In addition a number of other sponsors have offered generous support including AgriQuality, PPCS, AFFCO Group, Landcorp, Poutama Business Trust and DB Breweries.
Notes for editor
The regional boundaries and field day dates are as follows:
Region 1: North Central - including Auckland, Northland, Manukau, Coromandel, Thames, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, King Country
Field day, Thursday 10 May
Region 2: Eastern – including East Coast, Poverty Bay,
Field day, Thursday 24 May
Region 3: Southern – including King Country, Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Horowhenua, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, South Island, Chatham Islands Field day, Thursday 3 May.
For more information please contact:
Allie Webber (04) 474 0697 or mobile 021 465 678
Background information Tuaropaki Trust
Visionary leadership by the founding elders of the Mokai based Tuaropaki Trust is the foundation for its current position as a successful medium-sized Maori corporate.
The Tuaropaki Trust, which has won the North/Central regional competition in the 2007 Bank of New Zealand Maori Excellence in Farming Award, runs a livestock farm and two dairy units 26 kilometers, north west of Taupo
It had its genesis back in 1952 when a group of families decided to amalgamate their land titles to develop the Tuaropaki land as a collective body.
“Our elders instilled the belief that if you look after the land the land will look after you, “ said Tuaropaki Trust chairman, Tumanako Wereta.
Tuaropaki land totals 2,734 hectares on which it runs sheep, cattle and deer and operates a 1,300 cow dairy unit. The Station business unit is approximately 1825ha and 24,000 stock units. Farm policies are based around 8,500 ewes and replacements, 600 breeding cows and 1,300 trading cattle. It has 1,000 breeding hinds and 500 mix sexed weaners, and provides winter grazing for 800 dairy cows from the Trust’s dairy unit.. Land not suitable for pastoral farming is used for afforestation and set aside as conservation areas.
Huge investments have been made in other parts of the business but fine-tuning of the Trust’s overall strategy in recent years has seen a greater emphasis on the farm production which is our core business and we are now seeing the results”, Mr Wereta said.
Tuaropaki Station supports six full-time employees on the farm. The dairy units are run by sharemilkers. A key Trust strategy is to invest in their people, by offering education grants.
Mr Wereta said that Farm Consultant, Peter Keeling who has been working with the Trust for three years, has played a major role in improving the overall performance of the farming operation. He has also helped develop a strong commitment by farm management and staff to present Tuaropaki Station as a model Maori farm
Mr Keeling said that Tuaropaki Trust’s key goals are based around business growth.
“It has identified key goals and standing still isn’t one of them.”
Mr Keeling said that the Trust has changed its sheep-breeding programme, added in more cattle finishing, and have restructured the deer operation. It is now a member of Cerco, a supplier group which sends venison direct to Supermarket customers.
“ There is still away to go and we will be continuing to achieve further improvements whilst still recognizing the challenges of different market opportunities”.” Peter Keeling said.