Ma¯ori farm award fi­nal­ists an­nounced

Marlborough Express - - FOOD - RU­RAL RE­PORTER

Two dairy farm­ing op­er­a­tions are the fi­nal­ists in the Ahuwhenua Tro­phy BNZ Ma¯ori Ex­cel­lence in Farm­ing Award.

They are Ro­torua’s Onuku Ma¯ori Lands’ Trust and the Pro­pri­etors of Mawhera In­cor­po­ra­tion (Hok­i­tika).

The Onuku Ma¯ori Lands Trust’s Bound­ary Road Farm is a 72 hectare block near Lake Ro­tom­a­hana, about 30 kilo­me­tres south of Ro­torua. The farm milks 220 cows which pro­duce about 90,000 kilo­grams of milk solids.

The trust con­sists of four dairy farms, a dry­s­tock farm, forestry, nat­u­ral re­serves and a manuka plan­ta­tion.

Onuku has also de­vel­oped busi­ness out­side the farm gates, start­ing an ex­port honey op­er­a­tion called Onuku Honey. Onuku bought the Bound­ary Road dairy farm in 2004 when the prop­erty was in a run­down state and it re­quired work to bring it back to stan­dard.

The farm has been a good per­former av­er­ag­ing 1214kg of milk solids a hectare. The farm is 90 per cent pas­ture based and uses Far­max and Overseer to as­sist with ef­fec­tive man­age­ment de­ci­sions.

Onuku is part of Project Rerewhakaaitu, a vol­un­tary lo­cal farm­ing ini­tia­tive to help pro­tect lo­cal wa­ter­ways and lakes. Its man­age­ment has cen­tred around re­duc­ing ni­tro­gen and phos­pho­rous loss and main­tain­ing high an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards.

The Mawhera In­cor­po­ra­tion Farm is a 348ha prop­erty in the Arahura Val­ley, north of Hok­i­tika. The milk­ing plat­form is 257ha and the 500 cows pro­duce 190,000kg of milk solids. The in­cor­po­ra­tion has al­ways used 50:50 sharemilk­ers.

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