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Finalists announced in the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Grower Award 2020

Congratulations to the finalists in the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Grower Award 2020.

Inā te maunga whakahī, he mana nui,

Inā te kaipiki, he mana rangatira.

Ki a koutou kua eke ki te taumata o tēnei tohu, ko te reo whakamihi tēnei o Te Tumu Paeroa e tukuna atu ana i runga i ngā hau mahana o whakahīhī.

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Māori Trustee Dr Charlotte Severne said that Te Tumu Paeroa is extremely proud to sponsor this award. “We’re passionate about supporting our rangitahi who are our future innovators and leaders.”

The finalists are:

  • Brandon Darny Paora Ngamoki Cross, Ngai Tukairangi, Ngai Te Rangi, Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Ngati Porou
    Brandon, 24, works as trainee Orchard Manager for the large kiwifruit orchard management and post-harvest company Seeka.
  • Finnisha Nicola Letitia Tuhiwai, Ngati Te Rino raua ko Te Parawhau nga hapu, ko Ngapuhi te iwi
    Finnisha, 25, works as a Packhouse Manager for Maungatapere Berries located west of Whangarei in a rural town ship called Maungatapere.
  • Maatutaera Tipoki Akonga, Ngai Tahu, Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungungu
    Maatutaera, 26, works as a Senior Leading Hand at Llewellyn Horticulture based in the Hastings area.
    This award was inaugurated in 2012 and is designed to recognise up and coming young Māori in the farming and horticulture sectors. The competition has proved to be very popular and has attracted high quality entrants, many of whom have gone on to take leadership roles in the agri-sector.

Long-time judge Aaron Hunt of Te Tumu Paeroa, speaking on behalf of the judging panel says the standard of entrants in this inaugural competition for horticulture was very high and also reflects the number of young Māori who are making successful careers in horticulture. Aaron says Māori have always been involved in the horticulture sector and in recent years they have been involved in significant new enterprises.

“The sector has natural appeal to young Māori because it offers an outdoor lifestyle combined with excellent career prospects leading to management roles. As judges, we found all the entrants passionate about the industry and enthusiastic about their future prospects,” he says.

Sadly due to current Covid-19 restrictions, it is not be possible to complete the finalist judging process and determine a winner for 2020. The Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee is currently monitoring advice from health officials and will keep everyone informed when it is safe to undertake this next part of the process.

Dr Severne said she looked forward to when the judging could be completed and also acknowledged the incredible mahi being undertaken by Māori horticulturalists and other primary sector organisations during these challenging times.

For more information, visit Ahuwhenua Trophy website - here

Photo (from left to right): Brandon Cross, Finnisha Tuhiwai, Maatutaera Akonga. Credit: Ahuwhenua Committee

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