20 Feb 2014

Finalists for Maori farming award

6:32 am on 20 February 2014

Three Maori dairy farmers have been named as finalists in this year's Ahuwhenua Trophy which is celebrating excellence in Maori farming.

Guests and finalists at the Maori farming excellence awards.

Guests and finalists at the Maori farming excellence awards. Photo: RNZ

Two of the finalists come from the Bay of Plenty region, and the third one comes from Taranaki.

The award is for dairy farming this year.

A spokesperson for Ngakauroa Farm run by Ngati Awa Farms Limited near Whakatane, Graham Pryor, says it's the first time his farm has entered the awards and it's a huge honour to be named as one of the three finalists.

The farm was purchased in 2008 and includes six Ngati Awa land trusts.

Mr Pryor says their strength has come from pooling their resources. He says Ngati Awa Group Holdings is bringing together land trust blocks to benefit everybody in the iwi.

Mr Pryor says combining with other trusts and getting them on board was a challenge at first, but he says as time goes by and they perform well, it will get easier and easier.

The other two finalists are; Putauaki Trust's Himiona Farm, and Te Rua o Te Moko in Taranaki.

The final winner will be announced in Tauranga on 13 June.