Tataiwhetu Trust chairman Paki Nikora is elated to have won this year’s Ahuwhenua trophy for the top Maori dairy farm.
Morgan is in his first season of farming, working as a farm assistant for Sam and Kate Moore on their 155ha farm in Otakiri near Whakatane, where they milk 570 cross breed cows.
The other two finalists were Anahera Hale and Ben Purua.
Morgan says he felt humbled at winning the award. He says not everyone gets such a good start as he did – especially getting such good employers. It was a big week for him and his wife Samantha and he is grateful for the opportunities.
Morgan was born in Taumarunui. In 2007, he moved with his mother, stepfather and sister to Australia where the family sought out a new life.
While in Australia he was involved in the fitness industry, working full time with at a gym in Perth. It was there he and wife Samantha had their three children.
His farming career began when some of his relations offered him some work experience and that’s when he fell in love with the dairy sector and led to him being employed full time as a farm assistant with the Moores. Morgan says he always wanted a career that would involve his wife and family and dairying has done just that.
“The dairy lifestyle suits me – especially being home for breakfast and seeing the kids head off to school,” he told Rural News. “I like the early morning starts and the hard work. Working in the dairy industry is a real treat and as a young father it has given me stability and helped me and my wife develop great aspirations as a collective.”
Morgan says winning the Ahuwhenua Award will bring many new benefits and contacts, but also responsibility.
“I feel now that I have a responsibility to uphold the mana of the Ahuwhenua competition and to shine that light on the young farmers coming through.
“Now that I have made it and those who have gone before me have pulled me through and I am going to reach back and pull the next group of young farmers through as well,” he says.