May 25, 2017
Ahuwhenua benefits seen by community
Maori farmers will tonight find out who will take home the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori farming excellence but those who competed are already feeling the benefits.
Sonny Tau from Omapere Rangihamama Trust farm near Kaikohe says entering meant the trust had a complete review of its operations.
It got valuable advice and benchmarking from the judges and was able to show its shareholders, neighbours and the wider community what it has been up to.
He says the competition takes into account not just the economic performance but its environmental impact, its cultural dimension and what it does for the wider whanau.
"We have Taratahi (Agricultural Training Centre) working on our block as well, training young Maori to be farmers. In itself the knowledge that comes out of these exercises is huge and is advantageous for Maori as we turn to those blocks that have been uneconomic for years and this block I work on was un-economic for years and years where they just leased it out," Mr Tau says.
When he was appointed to the trust by the Maori Land Court in 2007 it was $1.7 million in debt and it now has asserts worth more that $11 million.
The Ahuwhenua Trophy for best sheep and beef farm and the Young Maori Farmer of the Year winners will be named at a gala dinner in Whangarei this evening.
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