May 30, 2016
More Maori needed in dairy
The Ahuwhenua Trophy has just celebrated Maori excellence in dairy farming but Dairy New Zealand says Maori are still under-represented in the sector.
Maori development manager Tony Finch says new research shows the share of the nation's milk coming off Maori farms is lower than the 10 percent previously, but there is huge potential for more.
He says less than 9 percent of the dairy workforce is Maori, and Maori tend to leave the industry earlier than other workers.
The dairy shed isn't seen as the most attractive workplace, but it's only part of the industry.
"There's a perspective out there that long hours and dirty work are somewhat isolated but things have changed and moved on. It's an exciting field. It's not just about the physical work. The opportunities peripheral to the on-farm work are huge, from science and research to consultancy, finance, the list goes on," Mr Finch says.
Getting maori dairy sector workers including Ahuwhenua winners into the schools is a way to encourage young people to enter the workforce.
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