Wednesday, 29 May 2024 08:55

A winner's view

Written by  Peter Burke
Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani chair Kingi Smiler. Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani chair Kingi Smiler.

Kingi Smiler, the chair of Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani (WMI), said after winning the Ahuwhenua Trophy he was both elated and relieved and added it was a tough competition being up against Whakatohera Māori Board.

He says he takes a lot of pride out of winning the award becasue it shows the reward for all at WMI.

"Personally, I like the challenge and so meeting that challenge requires us to work hard and it's really good that our teams work together well. And in doing so, they have managed to achieve this award," he says.

Smiler says WMI has a very dedicated team who does a lot of work around strategy and planning and it's this teamwork that makes things happen.

Meanwhile, Nukuhia Hadfield, the chair of the Ahuwhenua Trust which organises the competition, congratulated both finalists, saying they exhibited the qualities that "make us proud to be farmers and proud to be Māori”.

She sas both have carried on the fortitude of their tupuna to change their iwi and hapu outcomes from adversity to success and now to excellence.

Hadfield also praised the finalists in the Young Māori Farmer competition saying they join the impressive alumni of past finalists and winners whose enthusiasm, competence and commitement to agriculture is evident.

"This gives me the confidence to feel that the sector is in good hands and will evolve in new and innovative ways to the betterment of Aotearoa and the Māori people," she says.

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