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Ahuwhenua Trophy Maori Dairy Award Launched

Ahuwhenua Trophy Maori Dairy Award Launched

The Ahuwhenua Trophy - BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Dairy Award was launched at the Federation of Maori Authorities Conference in Hamilton last weekend.

Chairman of the Awards Executive Management Committee, Kingi Smiler, says dairying is critical to the success of the New Zealand economy and Maori dairy farmers can feel proud of the contribution they are making to the industry’s success.

“I strongly encourage all Maori dairy farmers, whether as individuals or through incorporations or trusts to enter. Winning the Ahuwhenua Trophy is the pinnacle of success in Maori Dairy Farming.

“It presents a great opportunity for entrants to compare themselves with the best in the sector and to celebrate their quite considerable achievements,” he said.

Entries for the award opened on Friday, November 9, and will close on Friday, December 21. Judging will begin on March 3, 2008 and will run through until March 14. Field days will be held on the properties of the three regional winners on April 17, April 23 and May 1. The supreme award winner and recipient of the Ahuwhenua Trophy will be announced at a gala dinner in Rotorua on June 6.

Maori have significant landholdings in the dairy industry like the 2006 Dairy Competition winner PKW Farms Ltd which has 15 dairy farms and Wairarapa Moana with 12 dairy farms.

Kingi Smiler says the competition aims to recognise excellence in farming and showcase achievement in the Maori dairy sector – in particular, successful approaches to governance, financing, management and the recognition of nga tikanga Maori.

The competition, dates back to 1932. It was first established by Sir Apirana Ngata. It was relaunched in 2003 to take account of the changing face of Maori farming and the increasing importance of Maori incorporations and trusts in the sector.

As well as being presented with the Ahuwhenua Trophy, the winner of the competition will also receive up to $40,000 in cash, services and farm products including a King Quad Suzuki ATV. Regional winners will receive $15,000 in cash services and farm products.

While this year’s event celebrates Maori excellence in dairy farming, every alternate year it honours Maori excellence in sheep and beef farming.

The Bank of the New Zealand is the Platinum Sponsor for the Award. Gold sponsors are AgResearch, Dairy Insight/Dexel and Fonterra. Silver sponsors are PGG Wrightson, Te Puni Kokiri and Ballance AgriNutrients, and Bronze sponsors are AgITO and Suzuki.

Entry to the competition is free. Entry forms are available at www.tpk.govt.nz or by contacting Joan Nathu at the Office of the Maori Trustee nathj@tpk.govt.nz (phone) (04) 819 9250, or from regional offices of Te Puni Kokiri or the Maori Trustee.

ENDS

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