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Calling Maori Dairy Farmers

Calling Maori Dairy Farmers

Chief Judge of the Ahuwhenua Trophy- Bank of New Zealand Maori Excellence in Farming Award, Doug Leeder is calling on Maori dairy farmers to enter the 2008 competition.

“This is a prestigious and historic competition, it’s a great way to for farmers to gain professional confidence and, an excellent way for them to get high quality feedback from professionals in the industry,” he says.

Mr Leeder says competition organisers are keen to see as many entries as possible from sole traders, family farms, trusts and incorporations.

Doug Leeder was Chief Judge of the Maori dairy awards in 2006; he is a long-time dairy farmer and the former Chairman of “industry good” organisation Dairy Insight (recently amalgamated with Dexcel and re-named DairyNZ).

Other final judges are: Roger Pikia the National Maori Strategist for AgResearch and Chairman of Hikairo Farm Trust, and Waipapa Marae ki Kawhia; and Campbell Parker, Upper North Island Regional Manager for the Bank of New Zealand.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition dates back to 1932 and was first established by Sir Apirana Ngata. It was relaunched in 2003 to take account of the changing face of Maori farming and the increasing importance of Maori incorporations and trusts in the sector.

The current competition, which is held annually alternates between sheep and beef farming and dairy farming. The 2008 competition will recognise excellence in the Maori dairy sector – in particular, successful approaches to governance, financing, management, sustainable farming and the recognition of nga tikanga Maori.

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Entries for the award close next Friday. (21/12). Judging to select three finalists will begin on March 3, and will run through until March 14. Field days will be held on the properties of the three finalists on April 17, April 23 and May 1. The supreme award winner and recipient of the Ahuwhenua Trophy will be announced at a gala dinner in Rotorua on June 6.

As well as being presented with the Ahuwhenua Trophy, the winner of the competition will receive up to $40,000 in cash, services and farm products including, a King Quad Suzuki ATV. Regional winners will receive $15,000 in cash, services and farm products.

The Bank of the New Zealand is the Platinum Sponsor for the Award. Gold sponsors are AgResearch, DairyNZ, and Fonterra. Silver sponsors are: Te Puni Kokiri, PGG Wrightson, and Ballance AgriNutrients. Bronze sponsors are: AgITO and Suzuki.

Entry to the competition is free. Entry forms are available online: www.tpk.govt.nz or by contacting Joan Nathu at the Office of the Maori Trustee: nathj@tpk.govt.nz or (04) 819 9205 or from regional offices of Te Puni Kokiri or the Maori Trustee.

ENDS

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