Kiriroa displays its future vision

WHANAU FIRST: Eugene and Pania King, below, showcased their Kiriroa Station at Motu on Thursday in the last of the three Ahuwhenua Trophy field days. Picture by Murray Robertson
ROSY OUTLOOK: Future-proofing is a key part of the King family plan as they look to further develop Kiriroa Station at Motu, where a highly successful Ahuwhenua Trophy field day was held on Thursday. Picture by Murray Robertson
Kiriroa Field Day. Picture by Murray Robertson

Kiriroa Station at Motu was described as an example of turning a dream into a reality when Eugene and Pania King showcased their property on Thursday.

It was the final field day held as part of the Te Puni Kokiri Excellence in Maori Farming Award for the Ahuwhenua Trophy.

The third field day attracted another big crowd of around 260 as the Kings joined Whangara Farms and Gwavas Station in Hawke’s Bay in presenting themselves to the judges and the public.

“It was an awesome turnout,” Eugene King said.

More than 100 quad bikes and side- by-sides were involved in the farm tour, which was described as outstanding.

“We put the word out around our network because we wanted a lot of farmers to turn up, and that’s what happened,” Eugene said.

Ahuwhenua Trust management committee chairman Kingi Smiler acknowledged the Kings for the warmth of their welcome, and acknowledged all three finalists — Kiriroa, Whangara Farms and Gwavas Station in Hawke’s Bay.

“They exhibit all the criteria and hallmarks of excellence the Ahuwhenua Trophy represents.”

Eugene and Pania King purchased the station in 2013.

“We were drawn to Kiriroa because of its mauri. It just felt right,” the couple say in their portion of the Ahuwhenua handbook.

To the field day gathering Eugene said the station didn’t just happen “like that”, snapping his fingers.

“It’s been a journey about turning a dream into a reality.

“We knew as whanau that if we all stuck together and pooled our resources we could do it.”

Since taking over Kiriroa the Kings have put in new fencing for ease of stock movement and management, built new cattle and sheep yards, cropped, and retired land to create the only weka wetland habitat in Tairawhiti.

In 2017 they won three sections of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards for livestock, farming for the future, and agri-business.

The Kings and their wider whanau now own 27,000 stock units spread across the East Coast of the North Island.

“Their transformation of Kiriroa in such a short time frame is remarkable and a credit to their hard work and commitment,” the handbook reads.

The judges said the family have a clear vision for the business to meet their family goals, business profitability and the environment.

“Eugene and Pania are very good at setting priorities and reviewing progress towards their goals.

“They have a robust decision-making process using a strong and trusted group of advisers.”

The judges said the couple’s decision to put whanau first was commendable.

“A key part of working together to achieve their goals is building in time for sport and other family activites as a core component of their business plan.

“They focus on strong whanau connections for the benefit of future generations.”

The couple have set a stretch target of $1500 gross farm revenue (GFR) per hectare.

“Their farm finances are well managed with appropriate budget setting and variance analysis. Their cash flow systems are robust,” the judges said.

“Kiriroa’s GFR has been steadily improving and combined with a low cost structure, profitability has been consistently high.”

The couple have focused on building soil fertility and subdivision for improved productivity and ease of management.

“They have a very good understanding of what is needed to grow more feed and maintain pasture quality.”

The judges complimented the Kings on their “very good” pasture utilisation and animal performance “through close attention to grazing management that is able to cope with seasonal variability”.

A brassica crop has been used to winter most of their cattle, and used as part of a pasture renewal programme.

“Meat production per hectare on Kiriroa is well above the B+LNZ Economic Service top quintile for similar farms in the region.

“Understanding the growth rates from cattle weighed on and off crop, and managed in weight groups, provides useful information.

“The high lambing percentage has derived from high fertility genetics sourced from the wider whanau group, combined with appropriate liveweight targets for hoggets, two tooths and mature ewes.

“Their lambing percentage is also well above the top quintile mark.

“The ewes are weighed and condition scored at key times with targeted management of light conditioned stock. They use the whanau group to market stock to achieve premiums.”

Thursday’s event at Kiriroa concluded the field day part of the Trophy judging process.

The three finalists for the Ahuwhenua will gather with their supporters at the Showgrounds Park and Events Centre on May 24 where the winner will be announced.

Kiriroa Station at Motu was described as an example of turning a dream into a reality when Eugene and Pania King showcased their property on Thursday.

It was the final field day held as part of the Te Puni Kokiri Excellence in Maori Farming Award for the Ahuwhenua Trophy.

The third field day attracted another big crowd of around 260 as the Kings joined Whangara Farms and Gwavas Station in Hawke’s Bay in presenting themselves to the judges and the public.

“It was an awesome turnout,” Eugene King said.

More than 100 quad bikes and side- by-sides were involved in the farm tour, which was described as outstanding.

“We put the word out around our network because we wanted a lot of farmers to turn up, and that’s what happened,” Eugene said.

Ahuwhenua Trust management committee chairman Kingi Smiler acknowledged the Kings for the warmth of their welcome, and acknowledged all three finalists — Kiriroa, Whangara Farms and Gwavas Station in Hawke’s Bay.

“They exhibit all the criteria and hallmarks of excellence the Ahuwhenua Trophy represents.”

Eugene and Pania King purchased the station in 2013.

“We were drawn to Kiriroa because of its mauri. It just felt right,” the couple say in their portion of the Ahuwhenua handbook.

To the field day gathering Eugene said the station didn’t just happen “like that”, snapping his fingers.

“It’s been a journey about turning a dream into a reality.

“We knew as whanau that if we all stuck together and pooled our resources we could do it.”

Since taking over Kiriroa the Kings have put in new fencing for ease of stock movement and management, built new cattle and sheep yards, cropped, and retired land to create the only weka wetland habitat in Tairawhiti.

In 2017 they won three sections of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards for livestock, farming for the future, and agri-business.

The Kings and their wider whanau now own 27,000 stock units spread across the East Coast of the North Island.

“Their transformation of Kiriroa in such a short time frame is remarkable and a credit to their hard work and commitment,” the handbook reads.

The judges said the family have a clear vision for the business to meet their family goals, business profitability and the environment.

“Eugene and Pania are very good at setting priorities and reviewing progress towards their goals.

“They have a robust decision-making process using a strong and trusted group of advisers.”

The judges said the couple’s decision to put whanau first was commendable.

“A key part of working together to achieve their goals is building in time for sport and other family activites as a core component of their business plan.

“They focus on strong whanau connections for the benefit of future generations.”

The couple have set a stretch target of $1500 gross farm revenue (GFR) per hectare.

“Their farm finances are well managed with appropriate budget setting and variance analysis. Their cash flow systems are robust,” the judges said.

“Kiriroa’s GFR has been steadily improving and combined with a low cost structure, profitability has been consistently high.”

The couple have focused on building soil fertility and subdivision for improved productivity and ease of management.

“They have a very good understanding of what is needed to grow more feed and maintain pasture quality.”

The judges complimented the Kings on their “very good” pasture utilisation and animal performance “through close attention to grazing management that is able to cope with seasonal variability”.

A brassica crop has been used to winter most of their cattle, and used as part of a pasture renewal programme.

“Meat production per hectare on Kiriroa is well above the B+LNZ Economic Service top quintile for similar farms in the region.

“Understanding the growth rates from cattle weighed on and off crop, and managed in weight groups, provides useful information.

“The high lambing percentage has derived from high fertility genetics sourced from the wider whanau group, combined with appropriate liveweight targets for hoggets, two tooths and mature ewes.

“Their lambing percentage is also well above the top quintile mark.

“The ewes are weighed and condition scored at key times with targeted management of light conditioned stock. They use the whanau group to market stock to achieve premiums.”

Thursday’s event at Kiriroa concluded the field day part of the Trophy judging process.

The three finalists for the Ahuwhenua will gather with their supporters at the Showgrounds Park and Events Centre on May 24 where the winner will be announced.

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