In 2004, Himiona Farm was one of 3 finalists for the Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award.
The Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition was inaugurated some 81 years ago by Sir Apirana Ngata and the Governor General at the time, Lord Bledisloe with the aim of encouraging Maori to improve their farming operations. While farming systems and technology have changed, the Maori value of Kaitiaki of their lands for future generations, remain.
Congratulating the three finalists, the Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, Kingi Smiler said that all three finalists clearly demonstrated that they had reached a very high standard not only in their farming operations, but also in their committment as Kaitiaki of their lands. He says all have been innovative in putting together the organisations that run their farms.
Below is a profile of Himiona Farm as part of the Ahuwhenua competition:
Putauaki Trust is a relatively new entrant into dairying having acquired Himiona Farm in 2006. The farm is situated on the Rangitaiki Plains between the townships of Te Teko and Edgecumbe. The original land they purchased was just 57ha in size but it was opposite the Kokohinau Marae and so the land was spiritually significant. Himiona Farm was surrounded by a number of small blocks owned by whānau who are shareholders in the Trust. There is the added challenge that not all of these are side by side.
Since 2006, the Trust has acquired leases from many of these smallholdings and built up the milking platform to the current 177ha. Himiona Farm is currently running 570 kiwi cross cows and is on target to produce 240,000 kgMS this season. The farm is run by a variable order sharemilker who also employs two full time staff. The farm has a 40 aside herringbone dairy shed – a far cry from the quite primitive 'walk through' shed that was originally on the property. The five-year plan would see more lease land acquired resulting in a milking platform of 213ha and 700 cows producing 280,000 kgMS.