2023 Ahuwhenua Trophy field days completed

Finalists have all successfully hosted Ahuwhenua judges, sponsors, guests, iwi, hapū and whānau at their respective field day.


Published: Tuesday, 23 May 2023 | Rātū, 23 Haratua, 2023

Māori Investments Ltd (MIL) Whiritoa Orchards, Wi Pere Trust, and Ngai Tukairangi Trust, are the three finalists competing for the coveted Ahuwhenua Trophy for Excellence in Māori Horticulture.

Field days are an opportunity for finalists to showcase their business in operation.

Whiritoa Orchards

Orchard manager Helen Scott (pictured), property manager Rex Anderson, and orchard supervisor Ray Hiki, and team presented a well-managed, highly productive and robust horticulture operation where they use tikanga Māori to help guide their approach, and nurture the land to create a healthy, well-performing business.

Determination and conviction to lift the health of their whenua and build a long-term sustainable future for generations to come, is why they are a finalist this year.

Their deep understanding of responsibility of care required for the land, and for future generations, is embedded in their management processes and practices, creating a firm foundation as Kaitiaki of their whenua.

Helen says people are at the heart of their operation buts it’s also their meticulous attention to detail and careful thought that has enabled them to achieve success without compromising profitability.

The Board and team at MIL Whiritoa Orchards place tāngata and te taiao at the centre and have built a thriving business that supports kaimahi, whānau, and their community.

Wi Pere Trust

Wi Pere Trust Horticulture comprises 79 hectare of permanent fruit crops including Gold Kiwifruit, persimmon, citrus, blueberry, rockitt, and apple.

Three separate orchards combine to make up the diverse horticultural operation: Toroa orchard at Waerenga-a-Hika; Tangihanga orchard at Waituhi; and Manutuke orchard at Manutuke.

And for more than 10 years, Wi Pere Horticulture has been closely and carefully managed by Wayne Hill. Under the watchful eyes of Wayne and the team, each crop develops through applying a Te Ao Māori approach to te taiao.

The operation has the strong support of Trustees who are driven to succeed on behalf of the 550 Māori landowners whom they represent.

Ngai Tukairangi Trust

The orchard is led by Richard, Liam, and Makita and with the wider team have the full support of their Trust board and management team.

The Heretaunga orchard comprises 106 hectares producing delicious kiwifruit and apple and is the largest orchard operation within the Trust’s portfolio.

It is also the largest area of overhead shelter within the country, offering a greater level of protection against wind and hail.

The Board is passionate and engaged, with a strong focus on future growth of business and people and was acknowledged for their foresight and courage to expand and diversify its horticulture business portfolio into high value crops in several regions.

Of course, recent weather events have brought challenges, testing the mana and ngākau of the whenua and of the people. However, the team, Board and Management should be commended for their tenacity, strength, and resolve to remain stalwart.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui.

Be strong, be brave, be steadfast

More information

  • Te Puni Kōkiri is the proud platinum sponsor of this prestigious award. Read more

The winner for the 2023 Ahuwhenua Trophy – Excellence in Māori Horticulture will be awarded on Friday 9 June 2023 in Tauranga.