Sunday, March 3, 2024

Passing the ball to young Māori in ag recruitment drive

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Sports event will see MPs face-off against dairy farmers and industry leaders.
Farm4life founder Tangaroa Walker will be taking to the field to help encourage young Māori into the sector.
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DairyNZ is organising a memorial sports event with the aim of attracting young Māori into the dairy sector. 

The John Luxton Memorial Event will feature local dairy farmers, sector leaders, MPs and a former All Black facing off in light-hearted but competitive rugby and netball games. 

A dairy sector netball and rugby team, including local parents, children, grandchildren and others from rural communities will face off against parliamentary teams consisting of MPs and parliamentary advisors. 

In the dairy sector teams you can expect to see young Māori dairy industry leaders such as Farm4life founder Tangaroa Walker and Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award winner Quinn Morgan. 

Other notable players will include DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle on the wing and Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard holding down the front row. 

The dairy sector has raised $40,000 in the lead-up to the event to support Tainui and Hauraki in training young Māori in agriculture. 

The late John Luxton was an important figure in the dairy industry and held several leadership positions, including minister of agriculture and chair of DairyNZ. He was the last Pākehā Māori affairs minister.

John Luxton, who died in November 2021, was known for his work in encouraging young Māori into the agricultural sector.

He was also well known for his work in encouraging young Māori into the sector and his family has created a trust to support young Māori into agricultural jobs. Luxton’s son Richard and three of his grandchildren will be playing in the dairy sector’s sides. 

Amidst labour shortages and a lack of young people coming into the industry, DairyNZ hopes the memorial event will bring awareness to the great lifestyle and abundance of opportunities that come with a career in the industry.

It will be held at Campbell Park, Morrinsville, on Saturday September 24, with netball starting at 1.30pm and rugby at 3pm.

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