Wednesday, 02 June 2021 14:55

Trophy win elates trust boss

Written by  Peter Burke
Tataiwhetu Trust chair Paki Nikora with the Ahuwhenua trophy for the top Maori dairy farm of the year award. Photo Credit: Alphapix Tataiwhetu Trust chair Paki Nikora with the Ahuwhenua trophy for the top Maori dairy farm of the year award. Photo Credit: Alphapix

Tataiwhetu Trust chairman Paki Nikora is elated to have won this year’s Ahuwhenua trophy for the top Maori dairy farm.

He never thought the trust would reach such heights in the agricultural sector. Nikora says Maori tend to belittle themselves all the time. However, when push came to shove, the trust decided to give it a go and enter the competition.

There were scenes of great excitement as Tataiwhetu, which runs an organic dairy farm in the Ruatoki Valley, south of Whakatane, was announced the winner and presented with the trophy by the Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

When Nikora was presented with the trophy there were scenes of great jubilation as whānau came on stage to join in the celebrations, which included waiata and a haka. Tataiwhetu runs 432 Kiwi cross cows and carries 188 replacement stock on its two support blocks. They milk once-a-day with the herd producing 129,140 kgMS a year.

The other finalists were Pouarua Farms, which runs 4,600 cows run on nine separate farms located near the township of Ngatea on the Hauraki Plains and Tunapahore B2A Incorporation, a 385 cow operation located at Torere on State Highway 35, on the East Coast of the North Island.

Nikora says Tataiwhetu’s biggest drive now is diversification and it is starting to look and see what that might be in the future.

“As far at Tuhoe is concerned, we are trying to lift the whole image of our iwi into another space and winning this award is a launching pad for this initiative,” he told Rural News. “All the assistance that is coming through from government has helped elevate us to new levels so we can achieve those sorts of things.”

While Nikora was born on a dairy farm, most of his working life was spent in business away from the farm.

Now, he and his fellow trustees to not only make decisions, but also get their hands dirty and work on the farm. Nikora has been chairman of the trust since 2009 and in that time has initiated many changes, which has led to improvements to the farm.

In 2010 it won a Ballance Farm Environment Award for the creation of special places on the farm – including the protection and enhancement of wetlands, landscape features and historical places.

Passion on Show

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says if the people on the other side of the world could see what’s happening in NZ, it would give then an understanding of the passion we have for the land and what we are trying to do in terms of development.

“At the awards dinner, the Japanese Ambassador said it was a wonderful night because it gave him an insight into some of the history of Maori culture and the land, which he compared to what happens in some places in Japan,” O’Connor told Rural News. “I guess inviting more people to be exposed to that would be a wonderful development.”

O’Connor believes NZ has the opportunity to be unique in the world and part of that is incorporating Maori values in the partnership that is NZ. He says values such as Manaakitanga – respect, humility, kindness and honesty; Kaitiakitanga – meaning guardianship and protection and Te Taiao – the environment that contains and surrounds us are special values.

O’Connor claims that, right across the world, people are recognising the importance of health and food and this puts NZ in a good position as a food producing nation.

He says NZ has to do the right thing, which is about the protecting our land, water, cultural and social values and contribute to making the world and our country a better place.

“But it’s not just about moving from volume to value but from volume to values and connecting with the values of our consumers,” he adds.

In his speech at the awards function, Damien O’Connor praised the winners Tataiwhetu Trust as well as the other finalists. He also praised the contribution John Luxton has made to the dairy industry. Luxton is very ill but came along to the awards evening. O’Connor described him as a stalwart and champion of the dairy industry.

More like this

Fast rise to fame for young farmer

He’s only been in the dairy industry for just over a year, but that hasn’t stopped 26-year-old Quinn Morgan from taking out the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Dairy Farmer of the year award.

Honi O'Connor

OPINION: Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor doesn't get too many plaudits these days, but at this month's Ahuwhenua Awards he got one that took him by surprise and, he said, it was one of the nicest things anyone has said to him in a long time.

Kingi Smiler bows out

The man who has led the Ahuwhenua competition for the past fifteen years is bowing out.

Great examples of Maori farming

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor lavished praise on Tataiwhetu saying he had the privilege of attending the field day on their farm in April and saw for himself the work they have put into upgrading the property.


Hort heads for new heights

Pretty impressive - that's how Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor describes MPI's latest prediction that horticulture exports will hit the record…

Machinery & Products

New look for MF brand

Massey Ferguson has a new look for its iconic triple triangle logo, as well a completely new 'Born to Farm'…

Solution to rowdy livestock

After walking away with a Fieldays Innovation Award back in June 2021, Springarm Products has now signed a sole marketing…

Look ma - no hands!

Although this month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is usually associated with the "geek brigade", global manufacturer John…

Telehandler range gets a lift

Kramer has introduced a further two models to its telehandler range – the mini KT144 and the medium-sized KT3610.

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Woof, woof!

OPINION: This old mutt has been pointing out forever just what a dog with fleas - as both a business…

DJ friends?

OPINION: Your canine crusader wants to know just what drugs the politicians and bureaucrats are on in Wellington.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter