Putanga 27 Kōanga - Spring 2012

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Kōkiri – Kōkiri 27 2012

Look after Mother Nature and she'll look after you

A commitment to maintaining land and resources for future generations was a strong theme at the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy – Bank of New Zealand Māori Excellence in Farming Award.

Rotorua’s Kapenga M Trust’s dairy unit owned by 915 Tūhourangi shareholders – won this year’s premier Māori agricultural award. Speaking on behalf of owners and staff, Chair Roku Mihinui said sustainability was critical to the farm’s future.

Ahuwhenua trophy winner

“Look after Mother Nature and she’ll look after you. Recognise when she is stressed and work with her as naturally as possible to achieve a sustainable environment,” he said.

Chair of the Ahuwhenua competition’s management committee, Kingi Smiler said that the success of Kapenga M highlights the sophistication of an increasing number of highly successful Māori owned agribusinesses.

“At the heart of their success is the priority they put on environmental and cultural concerns. They know that as the current caretakers of their land they are responsible for ensuring this precious resource is available to future generations: to provide for themselves and their families and to contribute to the wealth and prosperity of the whole country,” he said.

Te Puni Kōkiri was again a sponsor of the competition, established in 1932 by Sir Apirana Ngata, and the then Governor General, Lord Bledisloe. It now alternates between sheep, beef and dairy farmers. All three of this year’s national finalists hailed from the North Island, with Tauhara Moana Trust (Taupō) and Wharepī Whānau Trust (Te Puke) named runners-up.