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2013 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Sheep and Beef Trainee

Search for the 2013 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Sheep and Beef Trainee/Cadet of the Year begins

The search is on for the 2013 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Trainee/Cadet of the Year. On Saturday 3 November the competition was officially launched by the Minister of Māori Affairs Hon Dr Pita Sharples at the Federation of Māori Authorities conference in Taupo.

This is the first year the competition has targeted young Māori sheep and beef farmers.

Last year the inaugural Ahuwhenua Young Māori Trainee/Cadet of the Year competition was held, as part of the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award, for young Māori dairy farmers.

The aim of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Trainee/Cadet of the Year competition is to encourage young people into leadership roles and foster personal development and growth. The award has been made possible with the support of AgITO, the Māori Trustee, Allflex and Te Puni Kokiri. It is primarily resourced by the Maori Soldiers Fund administered by the Maori Trustee.

“We want to celebrate and recognise outstanding achievement and excellence in Māori farming,” says Fred Hardy, Strategic Business Development Manager at AgITO.

Fred, who is also a member of the judging panel, says young Māori who enter the competition will be rewarded with an invaluable learning experience and exceptional opportunities.

The 2012 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Dairy Trainee/Cadet of the Year winner, 22 year old Tangaroa Walker, a Farm Manager for Toa Farms, Kennington, Southland says “I want to motivate young Māori by directing them down the path I have followed to show them that the opportunities are out there if you are willing to sacrifice and put in the hard yards.” Tangaroa aims to own a farm and says he knows how he’s going to do it. He was also a speaker at the Federation’s conference talking about his passion for dairy farming and the benefits he has experienced since taking the title.

Mark Coughlan Farm Assistant, Wairarapa Moana Farms Dairy 2, Mangakino, and Tyson Kelly, Farm Hand, Corboy Farms, Te Awamutu, were runners up in this year’s competition.

Mark says he would encourage young Māori to enter the competition because it opens doors to so many opportunities. “It’s a great way to kick-off your career and it drives you to be successful. Being involved was fun and exciting too!” he says.

Fred says he enjoyed witnessing the positive effects the competition had on these three young men.

“I could see the benefits it bought to their careers, their self-esteem and confidence. It was a thrill discovering young Māori who were focused not only on their own careers, but also on their community and those around them”.

“The beauty of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Trainee/Cadet competition is that the judging process is designed to allow the trainees to show us how good they are; all elements and aspects are taken into consideration and combined to make a decision. We’re excited to meet motivated and passionate young Māori sheep and beef trainees in the New Year,” Fred says.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition 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 then re-launched in 2003.

The Awards alternate on an annual basis between beef and sheep and dairy farming. In 2013 the focus is on sheep and beef.

The winner will be announced at the Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards evening at the Pettigrew Green Arena, in Taradale, Hawkes Bay on Friday 7 June 2013.

ENDS

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