Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have congratulated 2017’s Ahuwhenua Trophy competition sheep and beef farming finalists, celebrating excellence in Māori farming.
Announced at a Parliamentary event, the three finalists are Omapere Rangihamama Trust (Kaikohe), RA & JG King Partnership, Puketawa Station (Eketahuna) and Pukepoto Farm Trust (Ongarue).
“These beef and sheep farming stations are shining examples of the commitment Māori farmers have to sustainably developing their land for future generations. I’m proud to acknowledge and celebrate the key role Māori play in New Zealand’s primary industries,” says Mr Guy.
“The asset base of the Māori economy is worth over $42 billion, most of which is strongly focussed on the primary industries. Māori collectively own 40% of forestry land, 38% of fishing quota, and 30% of lamb production, to name just a few examples.
“Right across the economy as a whole, Māori are successful players and many of their companies and entities are amongst the top performing commercial operations in New Zealand.
“All three finalists are inspiring models of Māori farming innovation”, says Mr Flavell.
“They have all demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and striking a balance between people, planet and profit.
“Our progress and achievements in the farming, forestry, fishing and tourism sectors alone deserve illumination as an inspiration to Māori everywhere and are a demonstration of our valuable contribution to the nation’s growth.”
The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition is now in its 84th year and celebrates the pursuit of innovation and new approaches by Māori farmers. The competition alternates each year between sheep and beef farming, and dairy.
“All finalists embrace a Māori world view that requires a balance between the social, cultural, environmental and economic factors which are key to unlocking their power,” says Mr Flavell.
“They are part of a continuous creed of Māori farms modelling the belief that the immense potential of our country’s primary sector can be harnessed and contribute more substantially to the increased prosperity of all New Zealanders.”
Mr Flavell encouraged people to get out to the farms field days in April and May 2017, cautioning that they should be prepared to be impressed.
A perennial on the Māori calendar, he also encouraged people to join the Ahuwhenua Trophy celebration evening in Whangārei on 26 May 2017 to share in the success of the Trophy winner.
The Government’s Regional Economic Development programme operating in many regions has a strong focus on lifting the capability of Māori-owned land.