fbpx
Print this page
Wednesday, 08 May 2019 08:18

Not just good Māori farms

Written by  Peter Burke
The Ahuwhenua field days attracted big crowds. The Ahuwhenua field days attracted big crowds.

Good Māori farms shouldn’t just be pigeon-holed as good Māori farms, they should just be recognised as top farms globally.

That’s the view of Taine Randell, former All Black captain, who is involved with Ngati Kahungunu. Recently, Randell attended the field days of the finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy, which this year is awarded to the top Māori sheep and beef farm. 

He told Rural News that he was very impressed with this year’s finalists and says that to describe them as good Māori farms doesn’t do them justice.

“They are top performing farms in New Zealand and top farms globally,” he says.

Randell pointed to fact that Whangara Farms, a finalist, was an aggregation of three farms which was fantastic. He also praised another of the finalists, Gwavas Station, which was bought several years ago by the Te Awahohonu Forest Trust with a view to finishing lambs bred on its other farm Tarawera Station. “This is all about moving up the value chain.” 

Randell says the vision and excellence shown by all finalists shows just how good Māori farming is today.

Meanwhile, Beef + Lamb NZ chief executive Sam McIvor says the Ahuwhenua Trophy has been tremendously successful in encouraging Māori farming and the whole farming industry to aspire to excellence.

McIvor was at two of the field days and says ordinary farming leaders can learn from Maoridom. He points to governance as one area in particular. “For me, the Ahuwhenua Trophy is a great way to recognise excellence. What this competition does so well is really dig deep down into businesses to identify what are the strong and weak points, what are the things that drive successful businesses,” he told Rural News

“By their nature, Māori are very proud and competitive, and this competition brings out the best of those competitive juices.” 

McIvor says Māori have a certain entrepreneurial spirit in them and he believes a lot of farmers could learn from that. He says while Māori take risks, they are calculated risks, and this is helped by the fact that they build around them a very strong team of advisors. These may be in farm management, financial or environmental areas.

“One of the things I have observed about Māori businesses is the emphasis on paying off debt. Many of their entities have often had hard beginnings and in some cases they inherited debt and have had to borrow, but they have real focus on paying off debt.

“That’s something unique to Māori. There are pakeha farmers who work hard at paying off debt, but there are others who basically just pay interest.” 

According to McIvor, one of the great things about the Ahuwhenua competition is that it celebrates success in excellence and that those in the competition share their knowledge, especially at the field days. 

More like this

Ahuwhenua Trophy events cancelled 

The Ahuwhenua Trophy field days and awards dinner planned for Māori farmers and horticulturalists has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Inaugural Ahuwhenua hort finalists

All of the three Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists have had remarkable pathways to success with all three having been converted from their original use.

Best of the best for Ahuwhenua Trophy

Three vastly different kiwifruit orchards make up the finalists in the inaugural Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for the top horticultural enterprise in the country.

Featured

ANZCO makes a $30m profit

Meat company ANZCO Foods recorded its best-ever revenue of $1.7b and a net profit before tax of $30.6m for the year ended 31 December 2019.

 

M. bovis – we’re making headway

Ministry for Primary Industries chief science adviser, Dr John Roche on the indications New Zealand is winning the fight against Mycoplasma bovis.

Delays ruled out on water reforms

Delaying the introduction of new water reforms was not an option according to the two cabinet Ministers directly involved – Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

$700m for freshwater clean up

The Government has announced a $700 million fund to support the primary sector and other groups in meeting new clean water standards.