The man who has led the Ahuwhenua competition for the past fifteen years is bowing out.
Kingi Smiler has been the chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trust Management committee since the awards were revived. He also chairman of Miraka, the Maori owned dairy company based in Taupo and is chair of Wairarapa Moana, which owns several dairy farms in the Central North Island.
He is handing over the reins over to Nukuhia Hadfield who along with husband Bart won the Ahuwhenua Trophy in 2015.
Smiler says it’s time for him to retire and says he’s enjoyed every moment in the job.
“The competition has grown from strength to strength and it’s moving in the right direction as it continues to grow. Maori have certainly built the skill and capability and the leadership has come to the fore. They are also connecting their farming enterprise with schools and the community.”
Smiler congratulated Tataiwhetu and all of the finalists, saying the standard of competition this year was particularly high. He says and the judges had their work cut out to come up with a winner and the field days run by all the finalists were extremely good and showed the quality and depth of Māori dairy farming enterprises.
“In the end, Tataiwhetu Trust were determined the winners and they and their staff are to be congratulated for this,” he says. “Their farm is very special and is yet another example of our people working innovatively and hard and focusing on key strategic objectives. They join an illustrious alumnus of past winners.”