Calling All Māori Dairy Farmers; 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award (Dairy) Launched

It’s the turn of Māori dairy farmers to accept the challenge and test themselves against some of the best dairy farmers in Aotearoa. Entries are now open for the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy - BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award.

Published: Rāhina, 14 Whiringa ā-rangi, 2011 | Monday, 14 November 2011

It’s the turn of Māori dairy farmers to accept the challenge and test themselves against some of the best dairy farmers in Aotearoa. Entries are now open for the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy - BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award.

The 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming competition was launched at the FoMA (Federation of Māori Authorities) conference in the Mataatua rohe (Tauranga) on Saturday November 12 by AgITO’s Strategic Relations Manager Peter MacGregor. AgITO is one of four silver sponsors of the award.

Entries for this historic and prestigious competition close on Friday, 27 January 2012.

Peter MacGregor praised the historic competition for its unique role in encouraging Māori farmers to make the best, sustainable use of their resources to build strong agribusinesses which provide good returns to shareholders, as well as long term employment and other economic benefits for New Zealanders of all backgrounds.

He said that competitors often see tangible benefits from entering within a few short months.

“Entrants all receive robust, objective and honest feedback from the judges. This allows them to implement changes and improve their performance regardless of whether or not they are chosen as finalists,” he said.

Strong historical links between Mataatua and the Ahuwhenua competition were highlighted by the attendance of the winner of the 1973 Ahuwhenua competition, John Edwards, at a recent hui hosted by Te Arawa and Mataatua to encourage entries. 

The winner of the 1933 competition, William Swinton, also came from Raukokore near Waihau Bay. In 1940 Mrs Tatai Hall of Te Teko became the first wahine to win the competition and, in 1990/91, Rotorua’s Parekarangi Trust became the first trust or incorporation to win.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the premier award for Māori in agriculture. It acknowledges and celebrates business excellence in the New Zealand pastoral sector and is open to Māori farming properties either owned individually, or managed by Māori Trusts and Incorporations in New Zealand.

Each year it alternates between beef and sheep farms and dairy farms. This is the fourth year since the competition was revived in 2003 that entrants will compete for the Ahuwhenua Trophy for excellence in Māori dairy farming.

BNZ is the Platinum Sponsor for the Award. Gold sponsors are Fonterra, DairyNZ, and Te Puni Kōkiri. Silver sponsors are AgResearch, AgITO, PGG Wrightson and Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Bronze sponsors are MAF, AFFCO, BDO, Māori Trustee, LIC and Re:Gen. Sponsor support will also be supplied by Tohu Wines, Landcorp, Ecolab and FoMA.


Background to the Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Competition

The competition, which has both historic and contemporary prestige, dates back to 1932 when it was first established by Sir Apirana Ngata. It was relaunched in 2003 to take account of the changing face of Māori farming and the increasing importance of Māori incorporations and trusts in the sector.

As well as being presented with the historic Ahuwhenua Trophy, next year’s winner will receive a replica of the trophy, a prestigious medal based on a 1932 design and up to $40,000 in cash and farm-related products and services. The three finalists will each receive a medal and $15,000 in cash or farm related products and services.

Judging Criteria
Entrants will be tested on a range of protocols based on the efficiency with which the property is farmed relative to its potential, effective governance and management of the farming enterprise. While financial performance is an important part of the judging criteria judges are also required to take into account conditions that affect financial performance such as drought and market returns.

Field Days
Each finalist will host a public field day. In addition to the expert feedback they receive from the judges, finalists also benefit from the experiences of their peers, the other farmers who attend the field day. This kōrero often leads to ongoing improvements in performance.

The winner of the competition will be announced at a Gala Awards dinner to be held at the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre on 8 June 2012.

Entry to the competition is free and entry forms are available from all offices of Te Puni Kōkiri and the Māori Trustee or from Joan Nathu, ph 04 803 2851 or joan.nathu@mā Copies of the entry form are available on:

For further information please contact: Pamela Fleming 027 457 5677