Friday, 06 November 2020 08:19

Leadership challenge for young growers

Written by  Peter Burke
Finalists in the Young Maori Grower, Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition for Horticulture: Maatutaera Akonga, Finnisha Tuhiwai and Brandon Cross. Photo: alphapix.nz Finalists in the Young Maori Grower, Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition for Horticulture: Maatutaera Akonga, Finnisha Tuhiwai and Brandon Cross. Photo: alphapix.nz

Finalists in the inaugural Ahuwhenua Young Māori Grower Award 2020 have been told that one of the big challenges is increasing the number of young Māori in leadership roles in the horticultural sector.

The three finalists, 24-year-old Brandon Cross, 26-year-old Maatutaera Akonga and 25-year-old Finnisha Tuhiwai were taking part in an intensive three day study tour designed to provide a range of insights, inspiration and experiences across the horticultural sector. 

The Young Māori Farmer Award was inaugurated in 2012 and is designed to recognise up-and-coming young Māori in the farming and horticulture sectors. This year the competition is for horticulture.

One of the judges of this year’s competition was Primary ITO’s Matiu Julian, who says the group were told that while Māori make up 28% of the workforce in the sector, only 4% are in leadership roles. All three finalists in this year’s competition are in leadership roles, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

Julian says the study tour organised by New Zealand Apples and Pears was used as a platform for observing the finalists and selecting a winner, to be announced in November. He says it was designed to give the finalists an insight into the innovation taking place within horticulture, be inspired by Māori leaders and learn from key people who are involved across the horticulture value chain.

“We visited the Ngāti Pahauwera Development Trust Orchard in Napier. Delivered a leadership programme with special guest Kristy Roa, the 2019 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Sheep and Beef winner, and visited the Plant and Food Research facility in Hawke’s Bay,” he told Hort News. “We were hosted by the Turners and Growers innovation team and Berries Farm NZ and participated in a presentation from Horticulture New Zealand.” 

Julian says the three finalists also had dinner with Ngahiwi Tomoana, chair of Ngati Kahungunu, his wife Mere and Karl Wixon, a designer, educator, project manager, strategist and ‘kaupapaholic’. 

“All the finalists were treated to stories of inspiration and wisdom they will never forget,” he says.

Julian claims the three day study tour offered the finalists a sense of connection and celebration of Māori success – as the next generation of young Māori looking to evolve and live up to the Ahuwhenua Trophy legacy in horticulture. He says the challenge before them is to think about the types of experiences that want to have, how they want to grow and how they can give back to their whānau and communities.

He says there were many examples of Māori excellence for the finalists to be inspired by. Julian says that being Māori is to be gifted with talent and vision with an innate sense for the health and wellbeing of others. This is manaakitanga.

As a special recognition of being the inaugural finalists in the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Grower competition, Peter MacGregor, who has a long and distinguished career in the Māori agri-sector, presented each of the finalists with a miniature trophy.

The winner of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Grower competition will be announced in Rotorua on November 20 at the Ahuwhenua Trophy awards dinner. 

More like this

Tech boost for winner

The winner of the 2021 Ahuwhenua trophy, announced this week, will be getting valuable new insights into their dairy herd's health, efficiency and productivity.

Big crowd for final field day

It's three weeks of waiting for the three finalists in this year's Ahuwhenua trophy for dairy, with the winner being announced next month at a gala dinner in New Plymouth.

Sleepless night pays off for final Ahu field day

About 200 people came along for a field day last week at Tunapahore B2A Incorporation, located at Torere - about a 30 minute drive from Opotiki. This was the last of the field days held by the finalists in this year's Ahuwhenua Trophy for dairy. Peter Burke reports...

Field days showcase the rise and rise of Māori farming

It's that time of the year when the country's top Māori dairy farms claim the spotlight as part of the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy competition to determine the winner of this annual event. For the last two weeks field days have been held at two of the three farms in the competition and as Dairy News goes to press, a third one is taking place.

Good communication the key

As the autumn sun rose in the east, the first of more than 100 people from around the district started arriving for the field day.

National

Northland is going nuts

Pic's Peanut Butter has kicked off a project to look at the feasibility of growing peanuts commercially in Northland.

Machinery & Products

Taking spud harvest to next level

With more than 40 years of two and four-row self-propelled harvester production behind them, the latest Dewulf harvester - imported…

Italian stallions hit the spot

Having got throught the ravages of PSA, kiwifruit production has bounced back delivering record harvests and record prices for orchards.

Blowing life into apple harvest

Probably better known in the viticulture sector, Tractor Repairs and Spares (TRS) is now expanding into the horticulture area -…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Red blooded

OPINION: Your canine crusader had a good old giggle over the reaction to a recent survey, which found that more…

Ouch!

OPINION: Your old mate was intrigued by a recent ranking of Government ministers' performance in the media of late.

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter