Wednesday, 02 December 2020 07:55

Trophy win surprises jubilant team

Written by  Peter Burke
Chairman of Te Kaha 15B Hineora Orchard Norm Carter is presented with the Ahuwhenua Trophy by Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy, with Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor and Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson also in attendance. Chairman of Te Kaha 15B Hineora Orchard Norm Carter is presented with the Ahuwhenua Trophy by Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy, with Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor and Maori Development Minister Willie Jackson also in attendance.

The winners of this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy for Excellence in Horticulture believed they didn’t stand a chance and never expected to win because their fellow finalists had bigger operations.

But to his surprise and delight, Norm Carter, chairman Te Kaha 15B Hineora Orchard, was called to the stage in Rotorua last week in front of more than 750 dignitaries and whānau at a special gala awards dinner to receive the prestigious trophy. As the announcement was made by from the Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy, there were cries of jubilation from the Te Kaha group and they all quickly gathered on the stage to celebrate their success.

This is the first time in the 87 year history of the competition that the trophy has been awarded for horticulture. In the past, it has been for sheep and beef and dairy.

Te Kaha 15B Hineora Orchard comprises of 11.5 hectares, on which the trust runs a kiwifruit joint venture operation, a commercial pack-house facility and the local kiwifruit spray company in which the trust holds shares.

Prior to the trust’s creation in 1970, the land was largely occupied by different whānau who farmed the block, maintaining a subsistence living growing a range of fruit and vegetables for the local community. The trust now produces 133,000 trays of G3 SunGold kiwifruit and is due to assume full ownership of the land in about three years’ time.

Carter says the win has really put Te Kaha on the map. He says his people have achieved a lot over the years and the win also has some special significance for them.

“Bill Swinton won the first Ahuwhenua cup in 1933 and he was a dairy farmer from nearby Raukokore, and we are related to him. So, for us to win the inaugural horticultural trophy 87 years on is really awesome,” he told Rural News.

Carter says about half their people live in Perth in Australia and he hopes that the trust’s winning of the trophy will encourage many to return home and get into meaningful employment locally. He says while they can’t expand their operation, they hope to assist other whānau to invest in their properties and have something to leave to their children and grandchildren.

Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Management Committee that runs the competition, Kingi Smiler, says Te Kaha 15B Hineora Orchard is a worthy winner of the competition. Smiler says, like the other finalists – Otama Marere from Te Puke and Ngai Tukairangi from Tauranga – their operations are something their whānau can feel proud of.

“The trustees of Te Kaha have shown great vision, persistence and resilience to establish their operation and to achieve some impressive results,” he says.

Smiler believes all three finalists have set a benchmark for future entrants in this competition, which will be hard to eclipse.

“What makes it all the more impressive is that they have done this in one of the most difficult times in the history of the country and they, Maori and the whole country should be proud of their efforts,” he says.

More like this

Trophy win elates trust boss

Tataiwhetu Trust chairman Paki Nikora is elated to have won this year’s Ahuwhenua trophy for the top Maori dairy farm.

Tuhoe Farms wins top award

Tataiwhetu Trust, which runs an organic dairy farm in the Ruatoki Valley south of Whakatane, is the winner of this year’s prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori dairy farm.

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.

National

Guy standing for Ravensdown

Former Agriculture Minister and Horowhenua dairy farmer Nathan Guy is standing for election to the Ravensdown board of directors.

Machinery & Products

Helps tame the wind!

Amazone's recently released WindControl System automatically monitors and adjusts the spreading pattern to compensate for the effect of the wind…

First Claas patent hits a century

While Claas has registered more than 3,000 patents during its 108-year history, the company is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary…

JD invests in robotics

Global giant Deere and Co has acquired Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Too many hits?

OPINION: Well-known professional protestor, John Minto has run off at the mouth without checking his facts.

Good question!

A mate of the Hound's thinks it was more than a bit dodgy when DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter