2022 Ahuwhenua Trophy Winner Announced
The winner of the 2022 Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori sheep and beef farm is Wi Pere Trust, a large sheep and beef farming operation at Te Karaka, near Gisborne.
The Minister of Agriculture, Hon Damien O’Connor announced their success at the Ahuwhenua Trophy awards dinner in the Hawke’s Bay attended by over 800 people. Guests included the Hon Willie Jackson, Hon Meka Whaitiri, Sir Tumu and Lady Susan Te Heuheu, representatives of Kiingi Tuheitia, along with diplomats, other representatives of central and local government, agribusiness leaders and whānau from all the finalists.
As the Minister announced the winner there were scenes of great jubilation as Wi Pere Trust whānau came on stage to join in the celebrations to receive the coveted Ahuwhenua Trophy. Minister O’Connor presented the trophy to Wi Pere Trustee, Trudy Meredith.
Minister O’Connor congratulated all the finalists and winners in both the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition and the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer award. He told the gathering that Māori account for 25% of the production of sheep beef and wool and have brought a highly professional approach to their farming operations. He says as Māori develop their land further it will lead to the creation of even bigger enterprises. Minister O’Connor encourages everyone to go along to the Ahuwhenua Trophy field days to better understand the complexity of the farms and passion of the farmers.
Trudy Meredith of Wi Pere Trust says winning the Ahuwhenua Trophy was absolutely amazing – especially given this was the first time they had entered the competition. She says winning the competition will make people recognise the excellence that Wi Pere Trust strive for and the high standard of their operations, and how as a Trust they look after people. “It’s not all about profit – and although it does help, it’s not the be all. This has also set the bar for the next lot of trustees,” she says.
Nukuhia Hadfield, Chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, says the farms of all of the finalists were impressive and the judges had their work cut out for them to come up with a winner. She says despite a challenging year, all of the finalist field days were excellent and each organisation is a great role model for farmers.
“But in the end Wi Pere Trust has been judged the winner. They are very worthy winners and for those of us who took the opportunity to attend their field day will see why. Wi Pere Trust runs an outstanding farming operation and measures up well in all the other criteria that are part of the judging process,” she says. Nukuhia Hadfield says this competition has once again demonstrated the strength and excellence of Māori farming.
The other finalists were: Onuku Māori Lands Trust located near Rotorua; and Hereheretau Station located in Whakakī, Wairoa.
The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the most prestigious award for excellence in Māori farming and was inaugurated 89 years ago by the great 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 position with an emphasis on sustainability. On a three year rotational basis, the Trophy is competed for by Māori in the sheep and beef, horticulture, and dairy sectors.
For further information contact Peter Burke on 021 2242184 / email@example.com. To access "free for editorial use" photos of the three finalist farms and their field days go to https://bit.ly/3PWEdX7 and contact John Cowpland from Alphapix for download access on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our thanks to our valued Ahuwhenua Trophy sponsors:
Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry for Primary Industries, Te Tumu Paeroa, BNZ, NZ Mãori Tourism, B+LNZ, AgResearch, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, PGG Wrightson, AFFCO, BDO, Allflex, Massey University, Kono Wines and FARMAX.
A big thanks also to sponsors of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award: Te Puni Kōkiri, Primary ITO, Te Tumu Paeroa, B+LNZ and Allflex.