Horticulture has joined the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy competition.
The couple farm in the Ruakituri Valley, about an hour's drive north west of Wairoa on the East Coast of the North Island.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy at a special function in Whanganui. The event was attended by 650 people including the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Te Ururoa Flavell, the Māori King Tuheitia, and other dignitaries, politicians and leading agribusiness people from throughout New Zealand.
The Hadfields were chosen from two other finalists, Paua Station owned by Paerengarenga Incorporation based at Te Kao in the Far North and Maranga Station owned by Marty and Janice Charteris who farm at Tiniroto, south west of Gisborne.
Mangaroa station consists of 1,506 ha (1,250 effective) rising to 620m at its highest point on which Bart and Nukuhia Hadfield run 6,200 Romney Perendale ewes, 2,000 replacement ewe lambs and 70 rams. They also run 500 Angus breeding cows and 400 heifers.
The winners, Bart and Nukuhia Hadfield received various prizes to the value of $40,000, while they and the other finalists received prizes to the value of $20,000.
John Janssen, Head of Agribusiness for the Bank of New Zealand, the principal sponsor for the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, says the standard of this years finalists was outstanding. He says this shows that Māori agribusiness has come of age and that some Māori farmers feature among the best farmers in the country.
Also announced at the event in Whanganui was the winner of the Young Māori Sheep and Beef Farmer of the Year.
She was 22 year old Hannah Wallace from Wairoa is the first female to ever win the Young Māori Farmer competition. Te Tumu Paeroa Chief Executive Jamie Tuuta presented the award and he, along with Minister Nathan Guy, acknowledged the strong female presence in this year's competition signalling a new direction in leadership.
The other finalists were Taane Hubbard, also from Wairoa, and Hemoata Kopa from Matawaia in the Bay of Islands.
Hannah Wallace works as a Shepherd General and splits her time between two sheep and beef properties. On a typical week she works three days on the family property which is owned and managed by her parents Richard and Harmony Wallace. It runs 5600 stock units across 1500 hectares. The rest of her time is spent managing Rotanui Station, a part of farm incorporation Te Whakaari, with her partner Jeremy.
In her early career she did a brief stint dairy farming and was an entrant in the 2012 Young Māori Dairy Farmer competition. She says that although she enjoys both types of farming, her dogs are what motivate her to stick with sheep and beef.