Calling all Māori sheep and beef farmers! Entries for the Ahuwhenua Trophy, Te Puni Kōkiri Excellence in Māori Farming Award 2019 for Sheep and Beef will be opening soon.

Ahuwhenua 2017 on stage

Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee Chairman, Kingi Smiler says Māori sheep and beef farmers throughout the country are doing great things on their land. The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition offers them a great opportunity to showcase their efforts to their peers and all others in the primary sector.

Kingi Smiler says many Māori farmers are leading the way in developing and implementing long term sustainable practices on their land as kaitiaki, as well as embracing new technologies. He says it’s important that the wider community understand this and there’s no better way of doing this than by entering the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition.

“While there’s great prestige attached to winning the competition, all those who enter gain significant benefits. Their farms will be judged by a panel of experts who can give them invaluable feedback which will help them improve and grow their businesses,” he says.

Kingi has issued a special plea to farm consultants and other rural professionals to support the competition and to encourage Māori trusts, incorporations and individual whānau to consider entering the competition. He says too often Māori farmers don’t realise just how good their farms are and a word of encouragement from rural professionals will often be the catalyst for them to enter.

“The Ahuwhenua Trophy is an iconic taonga and throughout its existence it has built up a rich cultural and spiritual history as well as being a symbol of excellence in farming. Past entrants, finalists and winners of the trophy have all played a huge part in growing the legacy of Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe who inaugurated the competition,” he says.

The 2019 competition was officially launched by Beef + Lamb New Zealand chair, Andrew Morrison at the Red Meat Sector conference in Napier.

Cedric Nepia (Trophy Kaitiaki) and Andrew Morrison (Chairman Beef + Lamb NZ)

Morrison says “the Red Meat Sector conference is the perfect forum to launch the 2019 Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for sheep and beef. Māori are a major player in our sector and they bring both scale and innovation which contribute hugely to our sheep and beef exports and the strength of the New Zealand economy. The Ahuwhenua Trophy provides not only an opportunity to showcase the achievements and sustainable practices of Māori farmers, but also to put the spotlight on the whole of the sheep and beef sector.

Ahuwhenua is about Kaitiakitanga, which is inclusive of stewardship, lifting productivity and the performance of our people, the care of our land and water resources and linking to value chains and consumers. Some of the recent champions of the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Sheep and Beef are Wairarapa Moana, Pakarae Whangara Partnership, Atihau-Whanganui; Te Awahohonu Trust and Nuku and Bart Hadfield, all fantastic exemplars for our industry”.

Entry Forms and further details about 2019 competition will be on the Ahuwhenua Trophy website in the next few weeks.