Gisborne takes four Farm Enviro Awards

Matawai farmers win three of nine categories in the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Matawai farmers win three of nine categories in the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

TRIPLE WINNERS: Eugene and Pania King, from Kiriroa Station at Matawai, won the Agri-Business Management award, the Livestock award and the Farming for the Future award at the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards last night. Pictures supplied
Nicola and Geoff Wright from Wright’s Vineyard and Winery won the Harvest award.

MATAWAI sheep and beef farmers Eugene and Pania King won three of the nine categories in the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards but the Supreme overall winner was Napier farmer Philip Holt.

A fourth category was won by Gisborne entry Geoff and Nicola Wright from Wright’s Vineyard and Winery at Manutuke.

They won the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award.

The prestigious awards were presented last night before a packed house at the Bushmere Arms at Waerenga-a-Hika.

The Kings are from Kiriroa Station at Matawai.

They won the CB Norwood Distributors Ltd Agri-Business Management Award, the Beef and Lamb New Zealand-sponsored Livestock Award, and the East Coast Farming for the Future Award, which was supported by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Gisborne District Council.

Above and beyond

The judges said the Kings had gone above and beyond what could be expected in the short time they had been on the farm.

“Whanau comes first for Eugene and Pania.”

Kiriroa Station, at the Matawai end of the Motu Road, is 347ha (297ha effective) and the family also lease a further 154ha (60ha effective).

“They had previously been shearing and farming with family on other properties with the goal for each family to end up owning their own farm,” the judges said. “Two years ago that dream was realised for Eugene and Pania when they bought Kiriroa Station.

“It was in need of TLC and so far the upgrade has included capital fertiliser applications, stock yard development and repair, subdivision and the replacement of many kilometres of fencing.”

The judges said the Kings had lifted production levels above the district- wide average, while supporting larger environmental values of whanau, conservation and biodiversity.

“They are a driven, hard-working family who have achieved a huge amount on Kiriroa Station in a short time.

“The impressive performance of their ewe flock and cow herd shows growth rates and finishing weights well above district average.

“Their weka wetland is a blueprint for similar environments.”

Kiriroa Station

Kiriroa Station is home to kahikatea forest and other stands of mature native bush and a further two hectares has been fenced and planted in young native trees and grasses.

Seventy poplar poles have just been planted along ridgelines for wind shelter on the farm and other natives will be planted for shade, shelter and riparian protection.

“Wright’s Vineyard and Winery, winners of the Harvest award, is a business based on hard work, sweat and Kiwi-ingenuity,” the awards night heard.

The enthusiasm and energy Geoff and Nicola exhibited for their family, their business and their organic principles was noted by the awards judges.

The business operates at three sites — the winery and a coastal vineyard at Manutuke, and valley and terrace vineyards in Ormond Valley Road.

The three vineyards are certified organic and biodynamics is practised on the vineyards.

The judges said the Wrights had a great understanding of the soil and its biodiversity, and monitored to deal with issues before they became significant.

“They are living their dream of being sustainable, self-employed and self-sufficient. Their approach is not on quantity but sustainable quality.”

Supreme winners

Supreme winners Philip Holt and his family of Napier have farmed Maraetara Station for five generations and Philip and Robyn Holt have farmed the original part of the station near Bay View for 35 years.

“Trees have been grown on the station for those five generations and Philip Holt is still planting,” the awards night heard.

As well as named Supreme winner, Mr Holt also won the WaterForce Integrated Management Award and shared the Farm Stewardship Award, which is supported in partnership with the QEII National Trust and the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

The other category awards were won by Newstead Farm, owned by Robert and Helen Pattullo, at Puketapu near Napier, who won the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award.

McNeill Farms, a sheep, beef and forestry partnership between John and Sue Upton and Ben and Katie Absolom at Rissington near Napier, won the Massey University Innovation Award and shared the Farm Stewardship Award with Supreme winner Philip Holt.

MATAWAI sheep and beef farmers Eugene and Pania King won three of the nine categories in the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards but the Supreme overall winner was Napier farmer Philip Holt.

A fourth category was won by Gisborne entry Geoff and Nicola Wright from Wright’s Vineyard and Winery at Manutuke.

They won the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award.

The prestigious awards were presented last night before a packed house at the Bushmere Arms at Waerenga-a-Hika.

The Kings are from Kiriroa Station at Matawai.

They won the CB Norwood Distributors Ltd Agri-Business Management Award, the Beef and Lamb New Zealand-sponsored Livestock Award, and the East Coast Farming for the Future Award, which was supported by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Gisborne District Council.

Above and beyond

The judges said the Kings had gone above and beyond what could be expected in the short time they had been on the farm.

“Whanau comes first for Eugene and Pania.”

Kiriroa Station, at the Matawai end of the Motu Road, is 347ha (297ha effective) and the family also lease a further 154ha (60ha effective).

“They had previously been shearing and farming with family on other properties with the goal for each family to end up owning their own farm,” the judges said. “Two years ago that dream was realised for Eugene and Pania when they bought Kiriroa Station.

“It was in need of TLC and so far the upgrade has included capital fertiliser applications, stock yard development and repair, subdivision and the replacement of many kilometres of fencing.”

The judges said the Kings had lifted production levels above the district- wide average, while supporting larger environmental values of whanau, conservation and biodiversity.

“They are a driven, hard-working family who have achieved a huge amount on Kiriroa Station in a short time.

“The impressive performance of their ewe flock and cow herd shows growth rates and finishing weights well above district average.

“Their weka wetland is a blueprint for similar environments.”

Kiriroa Station

Kiriroa Station is home to kahikatea forest and other stands of mature native bush and a further two hectares has been fenced and planted in young native trees and grasses.

Seventy poplar poles have just been planted along ridgelines for wind shelter on the farm and other natives will be planted for shade, shelter and riparian protection.

“Wright’s Vineyard and Winery, winners of the Harvest award, is a business based on hard work, sweat and Kiwi-ingenuity,” the awards night heard.

The enthusiasm and energy Geoff and Nicola exhibited for their family, their business and their organic principles was noted by the awards judges.

The business operates at three sites — the winery and a coastal vineyard at Manutuke, and valley and terrace vineyards in Ormond Valley Road.

The three vineyards are certified organic and biodynamics is practised on the vineyards.

The judges said the Wrights had a great understanding of the soil and its biodiversity, and monitored to deal with issues before they became significant.

“They are living their dream of being sustainable, self-employed and self-sufficient. Their approach is not on quantity but sustainable quality.”

Supreme winners

Supreme winners Philip Holt and his family of Napier have farmed Maraetara Station for five generations and Philip and Robyn Holt have farmed the original part of the station near Bay View for 35 years.

“Trees have been grown on the station for those five generations and Philip Holt is still planting,” the awards night heard.

As well as named Supreme winner, Mr Holt also won the WaterForce Integrated Management Award and shared the Farm Stewardship Award, which is supported in partnership with the QEII National Trust and the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

The other category awards were won by Newstead Farm, owned by Robert and Helen Pattullo, at Puketapu near Napier, who won the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award.

McNeill Farms, a sheep, beef and forestry partnership between John and Sue Upton and Ben and Katie Absolom at Rissington near Napier, won the Massey University Innovation Award and shared the Farm Stewardship Award with Supreme winner Philip Holt.

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