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Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer of the Year finalists revealed

31 May 2013

Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer of the Year finalists revealed in first year of sheep and beef competition

With exactly one week to go until the national Ahuwhenua awards event, the finalists in the 2013 Ahuwhenua Young Maori Sheep and Beef Farmer of the Year award have been revealed.

It’s the second year of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer competition, which is part of the Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award - a prestigious accolade in the industry with a long tradition of upholding Māori farming excellence.

This is the first year the Young Māori Farmer award has targeted young sheep and beef farmers. Last year the competition was targeted at dairy farmers with Tangaroa Walker from Toa Farms in Southland taking out the title.

The two finalists are:

Te Moana (Tem) Sidney

Junior shepherd, Mount Herbert Station, Waipukurau

Jordan Smith

Shepherd General, Kearins Bros Limited, Te Kuiti

Fred Hardy, Strategic Business Development Manager at Agriculture Industry Training Organisation (AgITO) and one of the judges, says:

“Our two finalists were selected from young people working on sheep and beef farms across the country. Tem and Jordan stood out because of their positive attitudes, hardworking characters and commitment to their Whanau.”

The award is open to young Māori aged 16-25 years who are employed on a sheep and beef farm and are currently enrolled in or have completed within the last year, a National Certificate in Agriculture Level 3 or higher.

In terms of what the judges were looking for, Fred explains:

“We were looking for youngsters with ambition, initiative and industry knowledge. They need to have a commitment to training and personal development, with clear goals. It was also important that they contributed to their local community and demonstrated a commitment to Māoritanga.”

Mr Hardy says he was impressed with the quality of the entrants into the first year of the sheep and beef competition.

“We had some very strong contenders. We conducted interviews and met them in person, interviewed their employers and their AgITO training adviser or their tutor. It was a great experience meeting such motivated young farmers from around New Zealand and it was a tough decision choosing our two finalists,” he says.

The aim of the competition is to encourage young Māori into leadership roles and to encourage personal development and growth of young Māori.

Fred continues, “our entrants should be commended for coming forward and putting themselves out there to be judged, which isn’t always an easy thing to do. However, the benefits they will receive from being involved in the competition are vast and positive. They will have access to networking opportunities with individuals and organisations who can really help them on their way.”

“Last year’s winner Tangaroa Walker has taken full advantage of the opportunities available to him. He has attended at a wide range of industry events, and even spoke at the Federation of Māori Authorities conference in Taupo last November. Tangaroa, and the two runners up, Mark Coughlan and Tyson Kelly, have really made the most of it and there will be these same opportunities for this year’s winner and runner up too.”

The Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer of the Year award is sponsored by AgITO, Te Puni Kōkiri, Allflex and Māori Trustee. It is primarily resourced by the Maori Soldiers Fund administered by the Maori Trustee.

Māori Trustee Jamie Tuuta congratulates both finalists and says “These are young people who will be leaders in Māori agribusiness. Being named as finalists already shows the commitment and ability they bring to their careers, to farming and to their whānau. I congratulate them on what they have already achieved and look forward to the contribution they will make in the future.”

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


About The Ahuwhenua Trophy

The Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award is the premier award for Maori in agriculture. It acknowledges and celebrates business excellence in the New Zealand pastoral sector.

As well as being presented with the historic Ahuwhenua Cup, the 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 Maori Trustee, Te Puni Kokiri, and Beef+Lamb NZ, Silver sponsors are PGG Wrightson, AgResearch, AgITO and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and Bronze sponsors are, AFFCO, BDO, Allflex and Polaris . Sponsor support will also be supplied by Tohu Wines, FoMA, Landcorp, Agrecovery and DB Breweries.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori 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.

About AgITO

Agriculture ITO (AgITO) provides leadership in education and training, develops national qualifications, maintains national standards and provides on-going support for their trainees and employers. AgITO training is subsidised by industry and Government. For more information on our qualifications, please visit

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