Three properties with strong historical links to their local communities and outstandi ng modern governance and management practices have been named as the finalists in the 2009 Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Awards.
They are Morikau Station near Ranana on the Whanganui River, Hereheretau Station, west of Wairoa, and Pakarae Whangara B5, north of Gisborne.
Morikau Station, one of Maoridom's oldest incorporations, is run by the Morikaunui Corporation Board. In 2005 it instigated a comprehensive strategic management programme by introducing innovative stock and pasture management practices and genetic improvement techniques into its flock of mainly Romney sheep and its Angus cattle herd.
Hereheretau Station is administered by the Maori Trustee on behalf of the Maori Soldiers’ Trust. In recent years it has overcome drought, poor natural soil fertility and rampant blackberry infestation by hard work and sound farming practices. Over the last five years Hereheretau Station has been able to provide grants totalling $221,000 to the Maori Soldiers’ Fund and Sir Apirana Ngata Scholarship, which benefits young Maori from all over the country. The education fund became the major recipient of Hereheretau Station profits as its original beneficiaries, World War 1 soldiers, gradually died out.
Pakarae Whangara B5, a farm of more than 5600 hectares was formed in 2006 bringing together of two significant bodies of land under one management structure. The move provided greater economies of scale, which was able to secure better pricing in the retail market, and create cost efficiencies within the business. The Pakarae Whangara B5 partnership has a strong commitment to sustainable farming and the training of its young people in all aspects of modern farming from paddock to boardroom.
Two runner-up properties were selected by the judges. They are Pouto Topu A Trust, a 670 ha property located at Te Kopuru in Northland and Pohaturoa Station, a 4,100 ha property, which is located in the Wairoa District
Ahuwhenua Trophy judge, Andy Bray of Meat & Wool New Zealand said what stood out for him was that “all entrants had a strong commitment to care for the assets of past and future generations while at the same time having a focus on achieving good bottom line performance in the short to medium term”.
“Maori farmers, many of whom are farming as iwi based enterprises, are thirsting for knowledge and are in the forefront of adopting new approaches and business models,” said John Acland who is the Chief Judge for the competition.
Field Days will be held at Hereheretau Station on April 23, Morikau Station on April 30, and Pakarae Whangara B5 on May 7. The supreme award winner and recipient of 2009 Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Awards will be announced at a gala dinner in Gisborne on June 19. BNZ is the Platinum Sponsor for the Award. Gold sponsors are: Te Puni Kokiri, AgResearch, and Meat & Wool New Zealand. Silver sponsors are PGG Wrightson, and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and Bronze sponsors are: the Maori Trustee, MAF, Agriculture ITO, Yamaha and BDO Spicers. Other sponsors are: Landcorp, Tohu Wines, AFFCO, Poutama Business Trust and DB Breweries
For further information please contact: Allie Webber 04 905 8594 or 021 465 678 Farm profiles & photographs will be available and transmitted shortly