Monday, April 22, 2024

Māori dairy’s finest vie for Ahuwhenua Trophy

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The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for excellence in Māori farming and was inaugurated 91 years ago.
Ahuwhenua Trophy Excellence in Māori Farming Award 2024 – Dairy. February 2024. Photo by alphapix.nz CONDITIONS of USE: FREE for editorial use in direct relation the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition. ie. not to be used for general stories about the finalist or farming. NO archiving of images. NO commercial use. Please contact John@alphapix.co.nz if you have any questions
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The finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori dairy farm have been announced at a function at Parliament by Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka. 

Guests included politicians, agribusiness leaders, industry representatives, diplomats and the finalists themselves.

On a three-year rotational basis, the trophy is competed for by Māori farmers and growers in the sheep and beef, horticulture and dairy sectors. This year the competition is for dairy.

The finalists are:

Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Incorporation – based in Mangakino; and Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board – based in Opotiki.

Nukuhia Hadfield, chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy management committee, said once again the competition attracted a high calibre of entrants from around the country. 

She said the dairy sector, like all primary sectors, faces huge challenges – global financial disruption, war, rising costs and some major markets that are taking longer than expected to recover from the covid pandemic. 

New Zealand’s dairy farmers are not immune to these challenges, but this has not deterred them from entering this year’s competition.

 “This year’s finalists, along with the other entrants in this competition, show the strength and determination of Māori dairy farmers to successfully overcome adversity and get on with the daily task of producing their products in a truly sustainable way. Aotearoa should be proud of what they do and the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition ensures that their efforts are recognised and celebrated,” she said.

Hadfield said an issue Māori farmers face is that their contribution to the Aotearoa economy goes largely unrecognised, and one of the goals on the Ahuwhenua Trophy is to build awareness of this important contribution within te ao Māori, as well as with the wider public and throughout government and industry circles.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for excellence in Māori farming and was inaugurated 91 years ago by Māori leader Sir Apirana Ngata and the governor-general at the time, Lord Bledisloe. 

The objective was and still is to encourage Māori farmers to improve their land and their overall farming performance with an emphasis on sustainability.  

The finalists will each hold a public field day at their respective properties: 

Thursday, March 28 – Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Incorporation

Thursday, April 4 – Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board

The winner will be announced at the awards dinner held on Friday, May 17 at the Globox Arena, Claudelands Event Centre, in Hamilton.

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