Ma¯ori farm award finalists announced
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.