Wednesday, 16 February 2022 14:55

Ahuwhenua Trophy competition another victim of Covid

Written by  Peter Burke
Nukuhia Hadfield - pictured with husband Bart - says it is regrettable, but necessary to postpone events given the current situation with Covid and the uncertainty it has created. Nukuhia Hadfield - pictured with husband Bart - says it is regrettable, but necessary to postpone events given the current situation with Covid and the uncertainty it has created.

Another primary sector event has fallen victim to the current risk of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.

The 2022 Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, which this year will select the top Māori sheep and beef farm in the country, has been postponed due to Covid.

The competition is one of the most prestigious agricultural events and was inaugurated 89 yers ago by Sir Apirana Ngata and then Governor General Lord Bledisloe.

Management committee chair Nukuhia Hadfield says it is regrettable, but necessary to postpone events given the current situation with Covid and the uncertainty it has created.

She says the judging panel had only just started to access entrants to select the finalists, but the management committee deemed it unwise to continue and decided to put the competition on hold until it can be safely reconvened.

"This decision reflects the management committee's wish to ensure the safety of our whānau and wider communities across the country, as well as ensuring the safety and well-being of our judging team and support staff," Hadfield says.

"This also means the rest of our programme is delayed, particularly the upcoming parliamentary announcement, the field days and awards dinner scheduled for May."

She noted that entries for the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award remained open until closing off on February 11. The committee says it will look to modify the dates of this programme to align with the senior competition.

Hadfield says they'll continue to monitor events over the coming weeks and will make further decisions one when judging can recommence, and then also re-set the dates for the other key events in the programme.

She says the competition faced a similar situation in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, but the programme was eventually able to run at a later stage.

"I am confident that we will be able to do the same again later in the year."

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