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Māori Excellence in Farming Award Launched


2013 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award Launched

80th Anniversary Commemorated


Māori sheep and beef farmers who compete in the 2013 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming award this year will be part of the competitions 80th anniversary commemorations.

Entry for the competition is now open following its launch by the Minister of Māori Affairs, Hon Dr Pita Sharples at the Federation of Māori Authorities conference in Taupo on Saturday November 3th 2012.

The Minister also launched the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Trainee/Cadet competition, the first for young Maori sheep and beef farmers. This award was introduced last year for young Maori dairy farmers.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition mirrors the increasing significance and success of Māori enterprise in the New Zealand agribusiness sector, says the chair of the Ahuwhenua Executive Committee, Kingi Smiler.

“Māori will always be land owners. Kaitiakitanga and the care of their land for the use and sustenance of future generations is at the forefront of their thinking. This is why our top Māori sheep and beef farmers are leading others at the cutting edge of modern, environmentally and economically sustainable agribusiness.”

The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition has historic as well as contemporary prestige. It dates back to 1932 when it was first established by Sir Apirana Ngata with the support of the then Governor General, Lord Bledisloe. It was re-launched in 2003.

Each year it alternates between sheep and beef farmers and dairy farmers. This year the competition is for Māori sheep and beef farmers.

Today the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition continues its long tradition of upholding excellence in Māori farming, and for many Māori incorporations and trusts, and their shareholders as well as whānau owned farms, it remains farming’s pre-eminent accolade.

BNZ head of agribusiness, Richard Bowman, is incredibly optimistic about the opportunities available to Māori farm businesses today.

“Māori farm businesses carry a powerful identity and long-term perspective that places them in a particularly strong position to take advantage of growing international demand and increasing value added opportunities in the sector.”

The 2013 Ahuwhenua Trophy competition is open to Māori farming properties either owned individually, or managed by Māori Trusts and Incorporations in New Zealand.

Entries close on January 30, 2013. Entry is free and forms are available from all offices of the Māori Trustee and Te Puni Kōkiri, on the websites www.ahuwhenuatrophy.māori.nz or www.māoritrustee.co.nz

Background
The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the premier award for Māori in agriculture. It acknowledges and celebrates business excellence in the New Zealand pastoral sector.

Entrants in the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition will be tested on a range of protocols based on the efficiency with which the property is farmed relative to its potential, effective governance and management of the farming enterprise. While financial performance is an important part of the judging criteria judges are also required to take into account conditions that affect financial performance such as drought and market returns.

Initial judging will take place in March, field days will take place on April 25, May 2, May 9 and the winner will be announced at a gala dinner on Friday June 7, 2013.

Each regional winner will host a public field day. Competitors benefit from high-level peer review on their farms and the opportunity to share this at the field days leads to on-going improvements in performance for the competitors as well as the attendees.

As well as being presented with the historic Ahuwhenua Cup, next year’s winner will receive a replica of the trophy, a prestigious medal based on a 1932 design and up to $40,000 in cash and farm-related products and services. The three regional winners will each receive a medal and $15,000 in cash or farm related products and services

BNZ is the Platinum Sponsor for the Award. Gold Sponsors are Ministry for Primary Industries, the Māori Trustee, Te Puni Kōkiri, and Beef+Lamb NZ, Silver Sponsors are PGG Wrightson, AgResearch, Primary ITO and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and Bronze Sponsors are, AFFCO, BDO, Allflex and Polaris. Sponsor support will also be supplied by Tohu Wines, the Federation of Māori Authorities, Landcorp, Agrecovery and DB Breweries.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award competition is appreciative of the continuing support of all sponsors and was particularly grateful for the ongoing relationship with the competitions Platinum Sponsor, BNZ.


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