Saturday, July 04, 2009

Te Ahuwhenua: Maori Farmer-of-the-Year

I attended this years Te Ahuwhenua Trophy dinner held in the Event Centre, Gisborne, June 19th, courtesy of Meat & Wool NZ. This years competition focused on Sheep and Beef (the annual award alternates with Dairy); the finalists were Morikau Station (near Ranana on the Whanganui River), Hereheretau Station (west of Wairoa), and Pakarae Whangara B5 (north of Gisborne).

Pakarae Whangara B5 took the award but of course the achievement is spread wide and far through the increasing economic performance of these incorporations.

Pakarae Whangara B5, winners 2009

By chance I met Colin Brown, son of 1946 winner Henare Paroane of Clevedon. Colin had brought his fathers medals along, including two place medals from 1942 and 1944. Colin was first to the manuhiri waiting space, quietly awaiting proceedings, and happened to be in the motel unit beside mine.

Colin Brown, Clevedon, with his father's Te Ahuwhenua medals

Some people have waited a long time to see these blocks of land become what they promised to be - a source of pride and income!

Historical Unemployment Figures for Maori

As we seem to be heading into yet more scary data for Maori i thought it timely to get some sort of historical perspective. Māori unemployment rose from 11.3% in 1986 to 25.4% in 1992. By 2007 it had fallen to 7.7% (incidentally the lowest rate since the Household Labour Force Survey began). The rate for our whanaunga o Te Moananui a Kiwa between 1986 and 1991 rose from 6.6% to 28%, the highest rate for any ethnic group.
Simon Lambert

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