Trophy a chance for Maori farmers to shineSave
By Alison Whiteford
Every second year, Maori sheep and beef farmers have an opportunity to shine by competing for the high-profile Ahuwhenua Trophy, the BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award.
The competition alternates between dairying and sheep and beef and, in 2017, it is sheep and beef's turn.
While the Ahuwhenua Trophy is New Zealand's oldest farming competition - and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is a proud long-time sponsor - the trophy is about more than just selecting a single winner.
The competition's process is where the magic happens. It offers Maori entrants the opportunity to tell their stories; of their people and their land - stories that are intertwined with the day-to-day and year-to-year business of farming.
Field days associated with the Ahuwhenua Trophy are special days.
While the nuts and bolts of the farming system are showcased, it's the layers behind what you see on the day that make this competition a joy to be a part of.
Why enter? It offers the opportunity to benchmark your business. While there is a commitment of time, the return on that investment is significant.
Judging is carried out by agribusiness professionals, who are generous with their feedback and insights around where future growth may lie - not to mention the chance to network.
The Ahuwhenua Trophy open doors to new opportunities - not just for you, but for your wider team and whanau.
For more information, visit www.ahuwhenuatrophy.maori.nz.
Paua Station, about 20 minutes' drive from Cape Reinga, was a finalist in the 2015 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award for sheep and beef farming.
The station is owned by the Parengarenga Incorporation which has 3600 shareholders.
The judges who selected Paua Station as a finalist said they were impressed by many aspects of what has happened at the property in recent years, particularly noting the farm had poor infrastructure and no systems when management was handed back from government agencies relatively recently.
A good five-year strategic plan along with the secondment of skilled farm advisers to the farm committee had seen big steps toward realising the potential of the farm.