Local farm contender for national Māori farming award

Te Puni Kōkiri Chief Executive Leith Comer was among visitors to the Kapenga M dairy unit near Rotorua today for the first of three field days on properties of finalists in the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award Dairy.


Published: Rāmere, 27 Paengawhāwhā, 2012 | Friday, 27 April 2012

Te Puni Kōkiri Chief Executive Leith Comer was among visitors to the Kapenga M dairy unit near Rotorua today for the first of three field days on properties of finalists in the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award Dairy.

“This competition now attracts entries from large-scale corporate agribusinesses that are integral to the Māori economy,” said Mr Comer. “The asset base of the 2010 Māori economy was estimated at $36.9 billion and of this, agriculture accounted for $2.5b (2010: BERL Report).”

Mr Comer congratulated all of the finalists and said as one of four major sponsors, Te Puni Kōkiri is proud to once again be involved in the Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition was established in 1932 by the then Minister of Native Affairs Sir Apirana Ngata, and Governor-General Lord Bledisloe for competition amongst ‘Māori farmers and settlers on Native Land Development Schemes’.

When the competition was founded, Ngata was progressing Māori land development initiatives. Initially the competition was only open to farmers in the Waiariki land district. These days the competition attracts entries from properties run by trusts, incorporations and individual Māori farmers that range from successful whānau based farms to large-scale corporate agribusinesses from all around Aotearoa-New Zealand.

“When you look at the history of the competition,” Mr Comer said. “It is no coincidence that farms from the Bay of Plenty and Waiariki regions continue to be represented in the Ahuwhenua competition.”


  • Contact: Leith Comer, Te Puni Kōkiri Chief Executive, mobile: 027 437 4508
  • Pamela Flemming, Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, mobile: 027 457 5677

Background information:

The other two finalists are:

  • Tauhara Moana; field day to be held at 683 Broadlands Road, Taupō on Thursday, 3 May 2012.
  • Wharepī Whānau Trust field day to be held at Waewaetutuki 10, 175 Kaikokopu Rd, Paengaroa, Te Puke on Thursday, 10 May 2012.

Kapenga M Trust is a finalist in the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming (Dairy) Awards

The Kapenga M dairy unit, 20 km to the south of Rotorua is a 330ha property currently running a mixed Jersey/Friesian herd of 1,020 stock units. Its stock performance centres on a strategy of developing high birth weight cows that can harvest high levels of pasture.

Since 2009 the farms total milk production has increased steadily from 241441kg in 2008 to 371169 kg although its herd has only increased by nine cows. Production per cow has gone from 246kgMS to 372kgMS.

The farm is owned by the Kapenga M Trust which has a proud association with the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition having won the Ahuwhenua Trophy for sheep and beef farming in 2003.

The Kapenga M Trust has 915 shareholders of Tuhourangi descent. They own a total of 1,858 hectares which include a sheep and beef farm and a deer farm. The Trust is currently harvesting 100 hectares of forestry woodlots planted 28 years ago.

Proceeds from this harvest, coupled with last year’s record Fonterra payout, encouraged the Trust to consolidate its property and grow its holdings to include land with genealogical connections to its current owners. In 2008 it sold its dairy farm situated some 60 kms away at Mamaku and has bought a 250ha dairy farm adjacent to its Waikite Valley holdings. Both properties are on land that Tuhourangi have a whakapapa connection to since the eruption of Tarawera in 1886.

The Kapenga M Trust pays regular annual dividends to its owners. It also provides education and kaumātua grants and is a Foundation investor in the Te Arawa Future Farming Training program.

About the Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award Dairy

Each year the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, which was first established in 1932 by Sir Apirana Ngata, alternates between sheep and beef farmers and dairy farmers.

This is the fourth year since the competition was revived that entrants will compete for the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Excellence in Māori dairy farming.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the premier award for Māori in agribusiness. 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.

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. Bronze sponsors are Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Allflex, AFFCO, BDO, Māori Trustee, LIC, Re:Gen and Polaris. Sponsor support will also be supplied by Tohu Wines, FoMA, Landcorp, Agrecovery and Ecolab.