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BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award (Dairy) Launched

MEDIA RELEASE:
November 12, 2011

Calling All Māori Dairy Farmers

2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy- BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award (Dairy) Launched

Entry is now open for the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy - BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award. This year it’s the turn of Māori dairy farmers to accept the challenge and test themselves against some of the best dairy farmers in Aotearoa.

The 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming competition was launched at the FoMA (Federation of Māori Authorities) conference in the Mataatua rohe (Tauranga) on Saturday November 12 by AgITO’s Strategic Relations Manager Peter MacGregor. AgITO is one of four silver sponsors of the award.

Entries for this historic and prestigious competition close on Friday, 27 January 2012.

Peter MacGregor praised the historic competition for its unique role in encouraging Māori farmers to make the best, sustainable use of their resources to build strong agribusinesses which provide good returns to shareholders, as well as long term employment and other economic benefits for New Zealanders of all backgrounds.

He said that competitors often see tangible benefits from entering within a few short months.

“Entrants all receive robust, objective and honest feedback from the judges. This allows them to implement changes and improve their performance regardless of whether or not they are chosen as finalists,” he said.

BNZ Head of Agribusiness Richard Bowman says, “We know the dairy business is doing a great job of fuelling the global economy, with a strong showing in emerging economies like India.

“Dairy farming is a huge part of this country’s heritage. The dairy sector is the life-blood of New Zealand’s agricultural sector, and at BNZ we are proud to again sponsor the Ahuwhenua Trophy Māori Excellence in Farming competition,” he said.

Strong historical links between Mataatua and the Ahuwhenua competition were highlighted by the attendance of the winner of the 1973 Ahuwhenua competition, John Edwards, at a recent hui hosted by Te Arawa and Mataatua to encourage entries.

The winner of the 1933 competition, William Swinton, also came from Raukokore near Waihau Bay. In 1940 Mrs Tatai Hall of Te Teko became the first wahine to win the competition and, in 1990/91, Rotorua’s Parekarangi Trust became the first trust or incorporation to win.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the premier award for Māori in agriculture. It acknowledges and celebrates business excellence in the New Zealand pastoral sector and is open to Māori farming properties either owned individually, or managed by Māori Trusts and Incorporations in New Zealand.

Each year it alternates between beef and sheep farms and dairy farms. This is the fourth year since the competition was revived in 2003 that entrants will compete for the Ahuwhenua Trophy for excellence in Māori dairy farming.

BNZ is the Platinum Sponsor for the Award. Gold sponsors are Fonterra, DairyNZ, and Te Puni Kōkiri. Silver sponsors are AgResearch, AgITO, PGG Wrightson and Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Bronze sponsors are MAF, AFFCO, BDO, Māori Trustee, LIC and Re:Gen. Sponsor support will also be supplied by Tohu Wines, Landcorp, Ecolab and FoMA.

The winner of the competition will be announced at a Gala Awards dinner to be held at the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre on 8 June 2012.

ENDS

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