Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have congratulated this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy competition finalists, celebrating excellence in Māori farming.
The three finalists are Tahu a Tao farm in Rakaia near Ashburton, the two Ngāi Tahu Farming operations,Te Ahu Pātiki and Maukatere near Oxford in Canterbury and Tewi Trust in Okoroire near Tirau.
“I commend these finalists for their sheer hard work and fulfilling a legacy left by Sir Apirana Ngata, who helped introduce the competition which encourages proficiency and skills in Māori farming,” says Mr Flavell.
Ngāi Tahu Farming chief executive Andrew Priest sees the awards as a wonderful opportunity to raise the profile of the organisation’s farming activities.
“Up until July last year, Ngāi Tahu Farming was a part of Ngāi Tahu Property; now we are a stand-alone business in our own right and the Ahuwhenua awards are an opportunity to highlight our new identity.
“We also have a strong involvement with the Whenua Kura programme, which focuses on growing Māori leadership in agriculture through its in partnership with Te Tapuae o Rehua and Lincoln University, and by entering the awards, we hope to we hope to showcase Māori achievement in the farming industry,” he says.
The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, which is now in its 83rd year, celebrates the pursuit of innovation and new approaches by Māori farmers.
The competition alternates each year between sheep and beef farming and dairy.
“These dairy farms are outstanding examples of excellence in agribusiness and demonstrate commitment to sustainable developing farm land for future generations. I am proud to celebrate and acknowledge the key role Māori play in New Zealand’s primary industries,” says Mr Guy.
“The Ahuwhenua awards contribute significantly to the profile and growth of Māori agribusiness – and in turn the growth of the country’s economy. It is also a reminder that the provenance of these finalists’ products are internationally appealing because Māori culture is uniquely Aotearoa,” says Mr Flavell.
The Government has a number of initiatives in place to support Māori Agribusiness growth including the Regional Growth Programme, MPI’s Pathways to Productivity programme, the Primary Growth Partnership and the Sustainable Farming Fund.
“I congratulate all farmers involved in this year’s competition and I’m looking forward to seeing the continued growth and success of Māori agribusiness,” says Mr Guy.
Each of the finalists announced today will showcase their properties at public field days in March, before a winner is announced in Hamilton on May 20.
For more information, visit www.ahuwhenuatrophy.maori.nz