February 22, 2016
Good leadership measured in Ahuwhenua test
The chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy says this year’s competition shows whanau farms can perform as well as the big corporate's and that wahine Maori can match the men when it comes to managing their land.
The judges this year are looking at dairy farms, and Kingi Smiler says staying afloat in tough times is always a good test for the underlying systems.
Field days will be held next month so other farmers can learn from the three finalists: Ngai Tahu Farming’s two dairy units on former state forest land near Oxford northwest of Christchurch; The Proprietors of Rakaia Incorporation, which milks 830 cows on a 216 hectare property near Ashburton; and Tewi Trust, which milks half that number of cows on its 138 hectares at Okoroire in South Waikato.
Mr Smiler says its chair is Tui Watkinson.
" The land was passed down to her and her sisters and demonstrated clearly with their leadership that they've pooled a lot of their small whanau blocks together, put it into an economic unit on which the whanau are able to both take opportunities on the farm and also to receive the benefits of having a well farmed property," says Kingi Smiler.
There will be a field day on the Tewi Trust farm on March 11.
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