First Māori Land-Based Summit ready to go

  Over 300 people will be attending Unleash the Māui, the first Māori land-based summit of its kind to be held this week at the Lincoln Events Centre. The three-day summit hosted by Whenua Kura and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is a conference with a difference and Renata Hakiwai, Chair of the Unleash the Maui Steering Committee says it acknowledges the important role of Māori in the future of the land-based industry. “The whenua has always been important to Māori; it’s in our traditions. The land was created by Māui, the Māori demigod responsible for the creation of Aotearoa, so it’s integral to our whakapapa – we are of this land. It has fed and sustained our people for many generations,” Renata says. The theme of the summit is Past, Present and Future and an exciting range of guest speakers will focus on leadership, pathways and innovation designed to enable…


HR Volunteer of the Year

  Claire Bourne, General Manager, People and Development, Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited was last week named HR Volunteer of the Year at the annual Human Resources Institute of New Zealand Awards in Auckland. Claire, who has been a member of HRINZ for the last five years, says she was honoured to receive the award and be recognised by her peers. “The most important thing in the world is people and at Ngāi Tahu Farming we do a lot of work around engaging and developing our talented staff, we are constantly reviewing our work and looking at innovative and outside-the-square ways of ensuring staff can reach their full potential,” she says. The HR Volunteer of the Year award recognises those who have contributed to the success and building of the capability of the HR profession through their personal contribution to the HR community, local region, or wider business community. For Claire,…


Aspiring Young Farmer wins award

Ngāi Tahu farmer Ash-Leigh Campbell is one of three aspiring Young Farmers to be recognised for their leadership qualities with the inaugural NZ Young Farmers 2016 Excellence Award. Ash-Leigh (Ngāi Tahu – Kāti Huirapa, Kāti Hāwea, Ruahikihiki; Waitaha; Mamoe), says the award will have a massive impact in terms of building her connection to Ngāi Tahu and to the business side of her career. Ash-Leigh is currently the sustainability co-ordinator for Ngāi Tahu Farming in Christchurch, working on sustainability issues around kaimoana, landscape, ecosystems and waterways within the organisation. She is a strong advocate for sustainability within the dairy industry and she is delighted to be part of an organisation that is leading the way. “There has been a significant forward shift over the last five years and the dairy industry is now looking much more deeply at its farming practices. Ngāi Tahu Farming is heavily involved in sustainability research…


Seed Central

Proseed is the largest forest seed producer in Australasia with customers from Australia and New Zealand to Spain, USA, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The company, which is owned by Ngāi Tahu Forestry, operates a specialist orchard, along with seed production and extraction facilities on a 160-hectare property at Amberley, in North Canterbury. The company produces around 1,500-2,000 kilograms of seed per year and is a significant employer in the Amberley community. Originally established by the NZ Forest Service in 1966, Proseed was developed into a separate business by the NZ Forestry Corporation in 1987. It was then purchased  by Ngāi Tahu in 2001. It is managed by a permanent staff of six, which grows to include around 80 seasonal workers during the peak pollination period, which usually runs from the beginning of June to the end of October Proseed markets seed to a customer base of forest companies and…


Farm development on track

With the development of farms seven and eight well underway at Te Whenua Hou at Eyrewell in North Canterbury, Ngai Tahu Farming is on track to complete its 20-farm development ahead of schedule. Ngai Tahu Farming Development Manager Glen Clayton says progress accelerated after the devastating high winds of 2013 felled approx. 1,000 hectares of Eyrewell Forest “This facilitated Matariki’s (the forestry company) desire to sell their forestry right to Ngāi Tahu Farming and enable a more aggressive harvest plan so all trees could be off the land by 2019. That meant that, from mid-2014, we knew we had to speed up our development plans,” he says. “With just three farms left to development after Christmas this year, the entire project will be completed in half the time we originally thought.” The project has “ramped-up” it’s on-the-ground capability and Ngai Tahu Farming manages around 50 different contractors who work across…


The changing face of Balmoral Forest

When you drive along the narrow tracks in Balmoral Forest, with dark pines looming overhead, it’s hard to imagine the landscape as productive farmland. Yet the forest landscape is changing and farmland is gradually taking hold. It’s still small scale – just 2,500 hectares of the 9,400 hectare Balmoral Forest has so far been cleared into various states of dryland pasture and in Stage 1 of the development, Ngāi Tahu Farming is in the process of developing an irrigated pilot farm. Ngāi Tahu Farming Rural Development Project Manager Rhys Narbey (Ngāti Kahungunu), says work on the 360 hectare pilot farm began in February 2016. “The pilot farm area was chosen for its proximity to the existing water canal, which is part of the Amuri Irrigation Scheme, which irrigates over 20,000 hectares of land from the Hurunui and Waiau rivers. The land had been sitting in a cut-over state for around…


Successful Oranga Pāmu Health Day

The first Oranga Pāmu Hauora Day has been held at Eyre Lodge, at Te Whenua Hou and organisers Ra Dallas and Elya Ameriks are enthusiastic about the future potential of the pilot event. “Our aim was to get as many of our health providers as possible to engage with whānau on the farms, to introduce them to Ngāi Tahu Farming, so that we can work together to ensure the wellbeing and health of our farming whānau,” Ra says. There are now around 130 people living in the Te Whenua Hou community and around a hundred of them took time out of their work day to attend the Hauora event. Farming staff and Whenua Kura students were provided with a ‘health passport’ and encouraged to visit the different providers offering everything from free blood pressure and eye tests to advice on diabetes, money management, sexual health, cardio-respiratory health, tax refunds, immigration…


High country challenges

Having the opportunity to stay on the Ngāi Tahu Farming high country stations in Whakatipu has been a huge plus for farming student Deborah Paterson and she is quick to recommend it for anyone learning about farming. “As part of the Whenua Kura and Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University,  we have a number of practical work assignments to complete. Mine have all been done on Ngāi Tahu Farms in dairy and beef. “This was my best opportunity to look at sheep and the challenges of high country farming,” Deborah says. “I’d been studying high country agriculture and this was my best chance to live the life.” Deborah spent two weeks on the Routeburn, Greenstone and Elfin Bay stations, which are all under the management of Stu and Anne Percy. During her time on the stations, Deborah was involved in feeding out to stock, moving sheep to and from…


Farming wins environmental award

Ngāi Tahu Farming was awarded Synlait’s Excellence in Environmental Management Award for 2015 – 2016 at Synlait’s recent Suppliers Awards evening in Christchurch. The award is part of Synlait’s Lead with Pride accreditation programme which recognises certified milk suppliers for achieving dairy farming excellence. Lead with Pride certified suppliers are independently audited and must meet (and in some cases, exceed) industry best practice across four pillars of dairy farming – environment, animal health and welfare, milk quality and social responsibility. Ngāi Tahu Farming farm managers Karl Vercoe (above left) and Chris Eruera (above right) accepted the award on the night with Shane Kelly, general manager, Dairy, Ngāi Tahu Farming (centre).


Kitchen koha

The gift of a slow cooker and an in-house recipe book to all farm workers and families is the latest Ngāi Tahu Farming initiative designed to encourage engagement and healthy living within the Te Whenua Hou farming community in North Canterbury. Ngāi Tahu Farming General Manager – People and Development, Claire Bourne says the initiative is part of the organisation’s induction programme based on feedback from farm staff. “It’s about providing our kaimahi with the tools they need to cook the nutritious, filling meals they need during their busy working year, especially at times like calving when they work long, hard hours and don’t always feel like coming home and cooking for themselves,” Claire says. To accompany the slow cookers, all Te Whenua Hou farming staff will also receive a slow cooker recipe book, which has been compiled by the People and Development team, with contributions from the farm management…


No ordinary life

The day I pulled into the driveway of Routeburn Station, it was pouring with rain and Anne Percy was heaving a laden wheelbarrow filled with gravel. She was drenched. As it turned out, it was just another day on the Ngāi Tahu high country stations at the head of Lake Whakatipu and for Anne and her husband Stu, managing the land in this dramatic part of Te Waipounamu goes hand in hand with climatic extremes. With an annual rainfall between 1500-2500mm, there is no time to sit around waiting for the sun to shine. Life goes on, farming goes on. “We had 416mm rain from May-June – that’s around the average annual rainfall for Canterbury,” says Stu. “It’s just part of life here, especially in winter. It’s a challenging lifestyle and nothing is easy but there’s no part of farming here that I don’t love.” As managers of the Ngāi…


Whenua Kura high-country experience

Practical work experience on the Ngāi Tahu Farming high-country stations gives Whenua Kura students an insight into a unique New Zealand farming lifestyle – one that is becoming increasingly uncommon. Whenua Kura Director and Kaiarahi, Renata Hakiwai says those students who take up the opportunity to work on the high-country stations, come away with a deeper knowledge of farming that stands them in good stead for future employment. “I think a lot of dairy farmers in the process of hiring workers would choose one who has both sheep and beef, and dairy experience because of the extensive knowledge they gain from a high-country stay,” says Renata. “I’m very keen to get more of our Whenua Kura students down there to experience a completely different way of farming.” The three Ngāi Tahu high-country stations – Greenstone, Elfin Bay and Routeburn – are managed by Stu and Anne Percy, as one farming…


Building community

The new Te Whenua Hou Community Committee is working hard to create an environment where Ngāi Tahu Farming employees and their families feel more socially connected to each other and to their wider communities. The group, which had its first meeting in March, aims to be the voice of the Te Whenua Hou community, and a number of mothers from the farms have joined forces with other community members to initiate a series of activities and events to grow camaraderie and connections. Staff barbecues have already been held and according to Rā Dallas, the whānau community champion for Te Whenua Hou, those have been a great success. “In addition to demonstrating manaakitanga and whanaungatanga, social events like that also encourage rangatiratanga and oranga – key Ngāi Tahu values that we want to encourage every farmer to be a part of,” he says. A community of close to 150 people is…


Enhancing biodiversity

Lincoln University senior tutor in ecology, Mike Bowie believes Ngāi Tahu Farming could lead the way in on-farm restoration planting, encouraging species that can provide important ecosystem services to help the farming process. “It’s all about farming sustainably and we think Ngāi Tahu Farming can show the wider community that planting reserve areas around the farms can have wide-ranging biodiversity benefits – and given that there is now only 0.5% of naturally occurring native remnants left on the Canterbury Plains, it’s a responsible thing to try and achieve,” he says. “Some species, especially the predators and the pollinators, can provide valuable ecosystem services, so it’s important that we encourage as broad a range of species as possible. Without this work, we could lose more species and given that there is a worldwide biodiversity crisis, any loss of species is sad, especially when it is caused by man. The remaining kānuka…


The merits of moss

Plait moss (Hypnum cuppressiforme), may be one of the most common moss types on earth but Lincoln University post-graduate ecology student, Rebecca Dollery is hopeful it may hold the key to successful germination of key plant species found in Ngāi Tahu Farming kānuka reserves. Hypnum cupressiforme, the cypress-leaved plait moss or hypnum moss, is a common and widespread species of moss belonging to the genus Hypnum. It is found in all continents except Antarctica and occurs in a wide variety of habitats and climatic zones. All the same, Rebecca was surprised to find it in abundance in the remnant kānuka stands at Te Whenua Hou, in what is essentially a dry plains environment. “When we first planned the biodiversity programme we were unsure of which species to plant in restoration areas,” says Rebecca. “That prompted an in-depth study of nearby reserves and remnant kānuka stands at Te Whenua Hou that…


Sowing the seeds

With Whenua Kura students once again enlisted to gather seed from remnant kānuka stands at Te Whenua Hou, the future regeneration of natural farm habitats has a bright future. According to Ngāi Tahu Farming Project Manager Ben Giesen, the students play an important part in the restoration chain and with 16,000 young kānuka seedlings already germinated and growing on from last year’s seed collection, he is confident this year’s seed haul will ensure many thousands more. “We have 16,000 kānuka and mānuka plants to go in around the farms in May and we currently have another 45,000 growing at the nursery. We aim to grow the top 15 plants on the Lincoln-recommended plants list here at our nursery and we’re well on the way to that – we already grow some of the top five including kānuka, lemonwood, karamu, kōwhai and flax. We’ve made significant cost savings by creating our…


Farm planting on target

Despite the challenges of a harsh physical environment, Ngāi Tahu Farming is well on the way to achieving its goal of planting 1.5 million native plants across its Te Whenua Hou properties. Working in partnership the with Lincoln University Department of Ecology, Ngāi Tahu Farming is implementing a biodiversity plan drawn up by the university in 2013. That plan provides planting schemes for all twenty farms (after forestry clearance and final development) and includes as many as 17 areas set aside for nature. In addition, native species are being incorporated into shelter belts, in-paddock planting as well as plantings around farm buildings and houses on each farm. According to Ngāi Tahu Farming Project Manager Ben Giesen, the partnership is working so well that Ngāi Tahu is looking to extend the Lincoln University biodiversity plan and planting scheme, which is an important part of the “Natural Environment” pou within Ngai Tahu…


The importance of eco-sourcing

Eco-sourcing native plants for the Ngāi Tahu Farming Te Whenua Hou restoration planting programme is important to Ngāi Tahu and Lincoln University not only for ecological and cultural values, but also in showing leadership in the use and planting of appropriate plant species. In future, almost all of the native species being planted around Te Whenua Hou as part of the Ngāi Tahu farming restoration planting programme are being eco-sourced – largely from small native reserves on the margins of the site. Seed for the shelter belt plants are now being eco-sourced from the wider Canterbury area using Proseed. Ngāi Tahu Farming Project Manager Ben Giesen says eco-sourcing has always been a very important concept and from the outset he was keen that the programme’s partners, Lincoln University were involved in attempts to source seeds from within the nearby kānuka and mānuka reserves. “Eco-sourcing has played a big part in…


Canal upgrades complete

The large scale upgrade of the Ngāi Tahu Farming water canals at Te Whenua Hou has been completed and with water flow now tripled, Ngāi Tahu Farming now has the capability to supply peak flow water demand to over 5,800 hectares of irrigated farm land. Glen Clayton, General Manager Farm Development says timing for the redevelopment was crucial so the project was split into two stages, beginning in May-June 2015. “We always knew there would be a need to upgrade the canals, it was just a matter of timing it correctly to fit with our development,” he says. “We wanted to avoid the worst of the winter weather but we also had to have the job completed by late September to fit in with our irrigation season. That was the biggest challenge.” From the beginning of the development, water sourced from the Waimakariri River at the Browns Rock intake was…


Farms host Ahuwhenua Open Day

Over 250 people attended the BNZ Ahuwhenua Māori Excellence in Farming Awards Field Day held at Ngāi Tahu Farms at Te Whenua Hou, South Eyrewell on 8 March. As part of the two-day final judging process, the field day attracted a large and diverse crowd keen to get a first-hand view of the two Ngāi Tahu Farming properties – Maungatere managed by Hemi Dawson (Ngāi Tahu) and Te Ahu Pātiki managed by Rod Lamb – that were joint finalists in the awards; and to congratulate the farms on their finalist medal and prizes. It is the first time in the 83-year history of the awards that a South Island farm has made it to the finals and this year, there were two – Ngāi Tahu Farming and the Rakaia Incorporation. Tewi Trust at Tirau in the Waikato is the third 2016 finalist. First round judge Paul Bird noted that Ngāi…


Building community relationships

Rā Dallas, the whānau community champion for Te Whenua Hou sees himself as the conduit between a large farming community in North Canterbury and the wider region, and he is excited about the potential his role has for building on Whanau Ora values. “We have a community of close to one hundred people now, spread across seven operational dairy farms and five grazing farms and that’s expected to grow. As in any new community, there are people living just 60 metres apart, who don’t even know each other – that’s where I come in,” says Rā. “I’m working hard to create a community environment where our people feel more socially connected, so that they can feel comfortable about knocking on their neighbour’s door for a chat, a cup of tea, or for help.” Funded by Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu through the Whenua Kura agricultural training programme, the whānau community…


Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced

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…


Supporting our Community

Earlier in the year Ngāi Tahu Farming provided a $2500 grant for Swannanoa School to help with the purchase of a scoreboard for their basketball competition.


Partners in Sustainability

Since announcing a formal partnership in December 2013, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University have begun demonstrating the range of benefits of focusing on sustainability for one of New Zealand’s largest industries.


Ngāi Tahu Farming welcomes new Chief Executive

Ngāi Tahu Farming recently announced the appointment of Andrew Priest as its first Chief Executive. Andrew, who took up the position on July 6, comes to the role with an extensive background in senior business consulting, leadership roles and as a company director. His experience spans a wide range of industries including forestry, building products, mining, agriculture, high tech and the post-earthquake Christchurch rebuild. “Andrew’s background sees him well equipped to lead a business that has an intergenerational focus with multiple measures for success – an approach that sits very comfortably with the thinking and aspirations of mana whenua”, says Board chair Gill Cox. While he’s only been in the role a matter of weeks Andrew’s been busy getting out and about meeting with those on the farms, mana whenua and local rūnanga. Click this link to read a story on Andrew and his appointment featured in The Press on Saturday…


Whenua Kura – Leadership Pathways

Whenua Kura, a Ngāi Tahu led partnership between Lincoln University, Te Tapuae o Rehua and Ngāi Tahu Farming, provides participants with industry appropriate qualifications and practical experience on Ngāi Tahu farms. Recently, students embarking on diplomas and higher certificates gathered to celebrate with Māori leaders.


Whenua Kura announces new Māori Farming Diploma

Ngāi Tahu-led agricultural initiative Whenua Kura has announced the introduction of Lincoln University’s signature Diploma in Agriculture, to the Whenua Kura suite of programmes. Starting in March, 2015, the Level 5 qualification is a one-year programme offering an introduction to agriculture, and the associated skills necessary for a successful farming career. Areas of focus include: farm management systems, plant husbandry, soils management, livestock production systems, plant and animal health and engineering. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Tā Mark Solomon says the diploma offers Māori working in the agricultural sector and Māori agricultural students a study pathway into farming management and leadership. “We want to train more Māori to be leaders in agriculture and educate our next generation to be Māori ‘super farmers’, who know and can apply the values of old, with the latest in agricultural best-practice.” Lincoln University Assistant Vice Chancellor, Communities and Professor of Indigenous Planning, Hirini…


Māori students ready for best-practice farming

A pōwhiri marked the commencement of studies for the first cohort of Whenua Kura students. Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri welcomed the students at the event attended by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Hon Steven Joyce at Maahunui Tuarua marae, Tuahiwi on Wednesday 6 August, 2014. The 14 Māori students, ranging in age from 18-28 years old also received their full-fee scholarships at the event. Whenua Kura is an iwi-led initiative that includes studying toward Lincoln University qualifications, specialising in land-based studies, work placements on Ngāi Tahu farms, a Māori approach to learning, as well as guidance and support through to employment. Whenua Kura student Papataitua Harrington said he has been enjoying the Whenua Kura course so far. “It’s an awesome group with heaps of different personalities – everyone is bringing their own thing to the course.” He said the students have been assisting with calving, “Getting the calves…


Ngāi Tahu Farming sponsor West Eyreton School Teams

Most of the Ngāi Tahu Farming employees are new to the small farming community of Eyrewell which is located 40 km northwest of Christchurch and sits within the takiwā of Ngāi Tūāhuriri. To help staff and their employees settle in, Ngāi Tahu Farming has been active in looking for ways to get involved in the community. Back when the farms were first piloted in 2011, locals have come came forward with offers of industry advice and support while local surrounding schools, sports clubs and community organisations helped with final land clearing (stick picking) as a community fundraiser. To help keep this community connection going, Ngāi Tahu Farming recently sponsored West Eyreton School, supplying branded navy jackets that will be used in a variety of ways to support the schools’ representative swimmers, triathletes, duathletes, cross country runners, school leaders, sports teams, debaters, choir and chess teams. West Eyreton School is located…


Whenua Kura scholarships for Māori

Work on the whānau farm More Māori are needed to work in agriculture. You can learn how to apply Māori values to the land and lead the way in best practice farming. Click here for Whenua Kura scholarship details. Click here for more on Whenua Kura. 


Nurturing native biodiversity

An important part of Ngāi Tahu Farming’s aim to be a leader in sustainable dairy farming has been to set aside over 150ha of land from its dairy farm developments at Te Whenua Hou for restoration of native biodiversity. Most of the Canterbury Plains has been farmed for a long time and native ecosystems have suffered as a result. The continuing intensification of agriculture through new dairy conversions is often seen as a further threat to what little remains. Ngāi Tahu Farming has entered into a three-year partnership with Lincoln University to develop a biodiversity plan, establish areas of native vegetation, and carry out research. Nick Dickinson, Professor of Ecology at Lincoln University, says increasing biodiversity is not just about making the landscape look nicer, but can be used to improve the quality of water and soil. Patches and corridors of native vegetation will be a feature on the Te…


Ngāi Tahu Farming wins water quality award

Ngāi Tahu Farming’s 380 ha dairy farm near Oxford – Dairy Farm One – has been awarded the Environment Canterbury Water Quality Award at the regional Ballance Farm Environment Awards in Christchurch (held on Thursday March 20, 2014). The farm – which has 1300 cows on a flat-contoured milking platform – is in its second year of production after forestry land was cleared between 2007 and 2011. The award judges described the property as an impressive large-scale dairy conversion with a clearly developed strategy and the impressive use of technology for monitoring. They also noted there had been extensive efforts to understand and minimise the impact of the farm business on water quality. Judges comments: An impressive dairy conversion development from forestry: clearly developed strategy, excellent systems and use of monitoring technology Extensive efforts to understand and minimise the impact of the farm business on water quality Displaying excellence in…


Phil Colombus, Regional Farm Manager of the Year

**UPDATE** 9 May Phil Colombus has come third in the 2014 national Dairy Industry Awards Farm Manager of the Year competition. Phil was also awarded the Fonterra Best Practice Award and the PrimaryITO Human Resource Management Award. Congratulations to Phil Colombus who has won the Canterbury North Otago Farm Manager of the Year title at the 2014 Canterbury North Otago Dairy Industry Awards on Tuesday evening, 4 February. As well as the Farm Manager of the Year Award, Phil also took out the TH Enterprises Ltd Leadership Award, RD1 Farm Management Award and the Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award. A farm manager for Ngāi Tahu Farming at Eyrewell, this is the second time Phil has entered the awards and the second time he has come out on top. In 2006 he won the Upper South Island Dairy Trainee of the Year title. Phil has worked his way up the…


Meet Jackson Bertanees

It took a while, but Jackson Bertanees (Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki) has gotten used to the long hours and the early morning starts that dairy farming demands. Two days a week Jackson is up and out of bed at 2am. At 3am he’s in the milking shed where he’ll spend four hours milking 1150 cows. Then he heads for breakfast before returning to the farm to spend a couple of hours doing tasks before heading home for a rest and some downtime. About 1pm it starts again with the same 1150 cows making their way back in to the 64-stall rotary shed on Ngāi Tahu Farming’s second dairy farm. The herd will have produced less milk in the hours since their morning milk so this time around Jackson will usually spend about three hours in the shed attaching the cups that drain up to 25,000 litres of milk a day from the…


Irrigation key to farm development

The Waimakariri River has been regarded as a taonga by generations of Ngāi Tahu whānau – a treasure to be carefully looked after. Today, as Ngāi Tahu Farming branch into dairy farming, drawing essentials water from the Waimakariri, the iwi role as kaitiaki in the management of waterways enters a new phase. Ngāi Tahu whānau see the health and well being of our waterways as important to the health of all New Zealanders and to that end, Ngāi Tahu Farming has invested heavily in research and development that will mitigate any nutrient and water quality issues associated with dairying. Glen Clayton, Development Manager, Ngāi Tahu Farming says ongoing research and development is critical for the dairy industry as it moves forward. “We’ve got to keep moving ahead; if we don’t, things in the industry won’t improve. We’ve set up our first Eyrewell dairy farm as a model farm – one…


Whenua Kura rōpū visit the Eyrewell dairy farm

A rōpū of Lincoln University staff and potential Whenua Kura students recently visited the Eyrewell dairy farm to learn more about Ngāi Tahu Farming’s operations. Ngāi Tahu Farming development manager Glen Clayton led the kōrero on board the bus. “It was an opportunity to talk to potential students and the staff from Lincoln about what makes our farms different. We explained some of the best practice technology we are using and research we are carrying out to ensure we are doing our best to uphold the values of Ngāi Tahu.” Whenua Kura is an educational initiative between Ngāi Tahu Farming, Lincoln University and Te Tapuae o Rehua, which aims to increase the number of Māori working on Ngāi Tahu farms and support them into leadership roles. Keith Churcher (Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki) used to be a fisherman and is now a painter weighing up his next career change. He travelled from…


Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University announce partnership

Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University have announced a partnership to support best practice farming on the iwi dairy farms being developed in Eyrewell, North Canterbury. On Friday 6 December, the Mana Whenua Working Party and other invited guests, including the Minister for the Environment, Hon Amy Adams, attended an on-farm launch and demonstration of the lysimeters that will play a lead role in monitoring nitrate leaching. Once all the lysimeters are in place, they will represent the most sophisticated, automatic monitoring facility that has been constructed on a commercial dairy farm in New Zealand. According to Clare Williams, chair of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, cultural and environmental aspirations have been top priorities for the Mana Whenua Working Party, which is made up of members of the Ngāi Tahu hapū that hold mana whenua (authority) over the Hurunui and Waimakariri River catchments associated with Ngāi Tahu Farming’s Eyrewell and Balmoral developments. Our…


Te Whenua Hou farm development on track

With the development of two new farms underway, production levels for the Ngāi Tahu Farming operations are set to rise significantly. The three existing Te Whenua Hou farms are expected to produce 1.5 million kilograms of milk solids in the season from 1 June 2013 to 31 May 2014. With farms 4 and 14 due to go into production in June 2014, the total production for the five farms from 1 June 2014 to 31 May 2015, is expected to rise to 2.2 million kilograms of milk solids. In addition, farms 4 and 14 will employ eight new families – four on each farm – bringing total farming staff to 24. A total of 2,100 new cows will also be brought into operation. Glen Clayton, Development Manager, Ngāi Tahu Farming says farm development will be steady for the next ten years, as all twenty planned farms come on stream. As…


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