Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Wairarapa Moana wins top Māori dairy farming award

Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani have been honoured at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming.

Māori Development Minister, Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister, Nicola Willis, in Hamilton on Friday night.

Ben Purua (Tainui) won the Young Māori Farmer Award 2024.

“Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani are a strong example of Māori dairy farming excellence. It’s about building economic benefits while ensuring kaitiakitanga – nurturing their whenua for future generations and inspiring others.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy, the most prestigious award in Māori farming, acknowledges and celebrates business excellence in New Zealand’s important pastoral and horticultural sectors.

“I’ve seen first-hand the hard work, brilliance and innovation demonstrated by Māori farmers. It’s a critical part of the Māori economy and is a powerful driver in ensuring we get the New Zealand economy Back on Track.

“Māori businesses in the primary sector are going from strength to strength. Statistics NZ data from September 2022 to September 2023, showed the total value of sales in this part of the sector increased by $99 million, up by a third.”

Mr Potaka praised the high quality of all the finalists and looked forward to seeing more of their future success.

“The dairy sector is New Zealand’s biggest export earner – 10% of the country’s dairy farms are Māori-owned.

“The Government has set an ambitious target to double the overall value of New Zealand’s exports in 10 years.”

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