Page 1






Moving up the Value Chain


Awhiwhenua from good to great


Becoming a Beekeeper

Helping grow the country

Proud to partner AWHI and share your vision Toitu te whenua, Toitu te tangata, Toitu te mana Productive land - Prosperous people - Happy customers At PGG Wrightson we do our part each day in helping grow the country. We work with customers across New Zealand to source the right products and services. Our focus is on leading thinking to enable customers to concentrate on growing their business on a profitable and sustainable basis.

Freephone 0800 36 77 44 www.pggwrightson.co.nz

> > > > >

Rural Supplies Fruitfed Supplies Finance Insurance Real Estate

> > > > >

Livestock Wool Water Seed and Grain Training








ISSUE 3 / 2016





19 AWHIWHENUA - FROM GOOD TO GREAT Training continues for future staff

30 TAIKURA O TE AWA TUPUA Whanganui kaumātua supported by Te Āti Hau Trust


31 PROMOTING THE BENEFITS OF DISCIPLINE & SELF ESTEEM Ruapehu College is funded for their CACTUS programme

5 MOVING UP THE VALUE CHAIN Connecting to our end customer 7 HISTORICAL FEATURES OF TE PĀ STATION Acknowledging the history of the land 10 KANOHI KITEA MANAAKI TANGATA Acknowledging outgoing board member Don Robinson

26 LIVING LIFE ON THE LAND - A DREAM COME TRUE Working the land is in Jack Valois’ blood 28 BECOMING A BEEKEEPER Growing AWHI investment







EDITOR’S PĀNUI AWHI MAGAZINE Editor Mavis Mullins Deputy Editor Amokura Panoho Creative Director Sheree Anaru Photography Quentin Bedwell Graphic Design Dave Pope

ĀTIHAU WHANGANUI INCORPORATION Postal PO Box 4035, Whanganui 4541 Physical 16 Bell Street, Whanganui 4500 Ohakune 22 Ayr Street, Ohakune 4625 Telephone +64 (6) 348 7213 Fax +64 (6) 348 7482 Email office@atihau.com www.atihau.com

ISTUDIOS MULTIMEDIA LTD Postal PO Box 8383, New Plymouth 4342 Phyisical 77B Devon Street East, New Plymouth 4310 Telephone +64 (6) 758 1863 Email info@istudios.co.nz www.istudios.co.nz

Tēnā koutou It has been nearly nine months since our last issue and we have been very busy working on the many kaupapa we discussed at last December’s AGM. It was wonderful to witness such a great turn out of our people and we take that as a good sign for the future. This issue allows us to look into our past while also promoting our aspirations for that future. Surveying our shareholders is another mechanism by which we measure our progress going forward. We encourage your participation to enable us to navigate a pathway that is supported by you. We also provide a historical perspective on Te Pā Station which ties us to our historical connection to the land and reinforces why we try to embed environmental management into our farming practices to look after our waterways, native wildlife, forest and fauna.


There are exciting times ahead as we future proof our business and look to improve our presence on the value chain that exists beyond the farm gate. We can’t wait to share those stories with you. Hei konei rā Mavis Mullins Chairperson

Don Robinson takes a moment to talk with shareholders before the 2015 AGM.





ith an incredible turnout of around 650 shareholders at the December 2015 annual general meeting held at the Wanganui Racecourse, Whanganui, Chairperson Mavis Mullins is confident this is a reflection the incorporation is heading in the right direction. “What a special and valuable sign that our whānau want to be involved and engaged,” says Mavis. “Whether the shareholders’ ‘take’ is good or challenging, their engagement brings us great satisfaction. Thank you.” With a new registration system at the

“What a special and valuable sign that our whānau want to be involved and engaged.” annual meeting working reasonably well, registering for Kaumātua Grants still created delays. “It’s important that everyone keeps their registration cards as these will be used again later this year. Hopefully with a few more improvements to reduce the size of lines we will get people to a cup of tea sooner.” Mavis also acknowledged that there were a lot of good questions from the floor.

“This is one of the best opportunities we get for feedback from shareholders and we really appreciate the questions and feedback we get, no matter how tricky the questions are to answer. “ “As an agri-business we like hearing our shareholders ask important questions around our environmental practices as it keeps us on our toes.” These questions related to stock control, pasture growth, waste management, nutrient planning,




climate change mitigation and soil management.

pricing, storm damage and stock valuations.

A number of these were responded to when CEO Andrew Beijeman provided an operational review of the previous 12 months covering climatic conditions, market update and production across each of the major categories. He highlighted that whilst production was on target, factors outside of this had a big impact on the end result, specifically commodity

Andrew also outlined strategic achievements for the year. This included steps to develop people capability, and to build accountability across the business. An update of strategic focuses for the 15/16 year was given with one of the biggest developments being a move away from leasing hive sites to owning hives and becoming a bee keeper.


“This is one of the best opportunities we get for feedback from shareholders...�


Improving the price we are paid for our products requires AWHI to be more innovative about our connection to the end customer. CE Andrew Beijeman explains.



Sheep on Ohorea Station


or a long time AWHI, like farmers from around New Zealand and the world, have produced and sold commodities. This means that a retailer could swap the wool, meat and milk purchased from AWHI with that from another producer, and the end customer would not know the difference. Because of this farmers are price takers (we have limited power to set or negotiate the price paid for our products) and the profit passed back along the value chain, from end customers back to farmers has diminished. A way of generating greater and more consistent returns is to stop selling commodities, and instead sell differentiated products that consumers want to pay a premium for. To do this we need to produce food that looks, feels and tastes better, we need to farm in a way which is sensitive to the environment, animals and local community, and finally we need to be able to share this story with end customers in such a way that it encourages consumers to buy from AWHI and only AWHI. We are already producing food in a way which is sensitive to the environment, animals and local



community. We need to work harder at the taste elements of food, but more importantly we need to be better at marketing our story to end customers. This is not something we can, or should be doing alone. Working with Partners At the moment AWHI has very little contact with those customers who actually eat the food we produce. These customers usually buy food from a retailer, who buys it from an importer, who buys it from a processor, who buys it from AWHI. If we want to share our story, and improve the experience for the end customers, we need to form partnerships across the value chain – from the farmer right through to the retailer. We also need to form partnerships with other farmers, because whilst AWHI is one of the largest farmers in New Zealand, on the world stage our production is tiny and doesn’t come close to meeting the quantities demanded by most customers.

The trick is finding the right partners, with access to the right customers.

Progress We have been working hard in this area. In conjunction with Merino NZ we are now supplying a proportion of our wool on contract to processors. Some of this wool will make its way into Swandri Jackets, or will be shipped to Glerups in Denmark to be made into felted indoor shoes. We have been working with ANZCO and the Poutama Trust to find and meet partners further up the value chain that align with our values and meet our needs. In doing so we’ve partnered with a group of like-minded Māori owned farms to increase the scale and geographic spread of supply. It would be great to have a supply contract by the end of the year; good things do take time though. To help build and grow relationships with potential partners we’ve invited a few different groups to visit the farms and share a meal with us. It has been great to use our marae for this purpose and to have whānau share traditions, stories, food and entertainment with our guests. In doing this we are starting to form the connection from Tangata Whenua to Customer.


hen driving past the Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation farms you will see the station signs with tongi (geographical reference points) that give a glimpse into our cultural fabric that is centuries old.  AWHI Director Che Wilson provides an insight into the famous pā, Te Ranga-a-Kauika and other key cultural features located on Te Pā Station that had won the Ahuwhenua Sheep and Beef Award in 2007. In 1997 Te Pā Station almost became a hydro lake as part of a King Country Energy project. Fortuitously the project was abandoned. Situated 15 kilometres southwest of Ohakune where tūpuna of AWHI shareholders lived around Karioi in the summer and migrated back to the Whanganui River in the winter. The station was part of an original Māori walking track from Rānana on the Whanganui River to Karioi. It is located near marae

at Ngā Mōkai and Tirorangi and sits beneath the historic Te Rangaa-Kauika Pā site. The site was a principal historical settlement for Ngāti Rangi, the main iwi of the area, to which most Whanganui iwi connect. Te Pā Station follows the Oruakūkuru Road toward the Parapara Road.  It experiences sun and snow and also has a micro-

climate around Omerei.  The wāhi tapu and wāhi tūpuna associated with Te Pā are well known by the whānau on the mountain and over time we will¸ through AWHI magazine, share some of the kōrero associated with the rich cultural fabric that gives Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation its incredible legacy.

“Te Ranga-a-Kauika kei runga Te Ranga-a-Kauika stands above Omerei me Ngā Puke kei raro”  Omerei and Ngā Puke are below



This tongi highlights the pā, Te Ranga-a-Kauika, and its significance to Ngāti Rangi in and around Karioi as well as remembers two of the old station names of Omerei (named after a stream) and Ngā Puke (named after an area) that used to operate during the lease-regime and for a time post resumption. Te Ranga-a-Kauika was not only a key pā site used during the 1810’s musket wars but is also significant as there is an ancestral mouri kai that is based in the vicinity of the pā.  This is not only historic but important for us today as we continue to use these places to grow kai and help sustain us as shareholders and, more importantly, as uri of this special place. Te Ranga-a-Kauika is also the source of the Ararawa Stream, an important awa in the Mangawhero system.  We cross over the Ararawa Stream whenever we travel the Parapara Road between Kākātahi and Raetihi.  It’s at the base of Lilburn’s Hill, and the old Ararawa Station is next to the bridge.  This station has recently been joined to Ohorea which we will talk more about in a future edition.  The Ararawa river is a special tuna fishery and should be respected as it has the mouri kai for tuna in the Upper Mangawhero catchment. Omerei Stream is the connection to the old station name and also feeds into the Ararawa.  The Okiore

also flows into the Omerei and is noted because one of the uses for this awa was as a ‘wai-tuku-kiri’ where tūpāpaku that died in the area were cleaned and prepared for embalming. Mouri kai are significant as they are a framework developed by our tūpuna recognising the physical, spiritual and ecological characteristics of a place.  This combination results in various areas being good for tuna, birdlife, trees and/or other natural resources.  Our tūpuna would then imbue a mouri into a geographic feature or a rock and perform rituals to feed the place in a physical, spiritual and ecological way so as to then reap the benefits from these actions. These practices continue to this day: whānau continue to care for the mouri kai associated with piharau on the Whanganui River and tuna on the Mangawhero.  They enable us to think about how we recognise these tūpuna practices in a modern context as farmers and apiarists while also acknowledging the mana of the land that continues to sustain us as a people.  Being mindful of these tikanga helps us to continue to add to the rich cultural fabric passed to us by our tūpuna as we continue the tradition that not only adds to the stories of Te Pā but also throughout our farm.

“He mouri kai, he mana whenua” “Food emanates from the richness of the land” 8







If the value of a person’s contribution is measured by one’s presence and support, then the shareholders of Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation have indeed benefited from the contribution Don Robinson has made over many years, at the board table and beyond the farm gate. Earlier this year, AWHI managed to catch up with Matua Don at his home so that he could share insights and reflect on his time spent with the incorporation.


t’s a lovely late summer’s afternoon when we visit Don and Jo, his wife of 50 years, at their home in Whanganui. Don has just returned from being at their son Gregory’s shop. A commercial fisherman, Gregory’s store supplies wet fish and has a cafe selling fish ‘n’ chips as well. Don likes to make himself useful there, and normally that means helping to fillet fish. “It’s our great-grandchildren that occupy most of our time these days”, says Don when Jo reminds him that they will have to leave soon to pick them up from their schools and daycare. Their other son, Robin, is a mining engineer living with his family in Australia, so it is obvious that both Don and Jo make the most of the family they have around them. Knowing that Don and Jo have plans, we talk briefly of his early years having been born in Raetihi before his family shifted in 1949 to Koputaroa between Levin and Shannon−and that his background

had been in forestry, having worked at the Winstone Pulp International Mill in Tangiwai. Coming on board with the incorporation in 1996, Don was living at Raetihi at the time and had a small interest in a dairy farm but otherwise didn’t know a great deal about the beef and sheep industry. It was during the period when AWHI was actively undertaking a resumption programme to resume land at the end of 21-year lease cycles, or when lessees sought to surrender their leases early. Prior to 2002, land resumptions were financed from profit and investments, but recent resumptions have had to happen through bank loans. “It’s been a very expensive operation to buy back our own land and pay nearly two-thirds compensation for improvements,” acknowledges Don. “When you compare the improvements we had to pay for, to the rent we were receiving, which



was a very small percentage of the unimproved value of the land, it was very difficult to accumulate funds by collecting rent. You had to do business in a much smarter way and have a bank happy to accommodate these kind of loans.” Reporting on the debt at last year’s AGM, Don recognises the burden the incorporation has. “I was one of the ones that always kept on and on and on about the debt and the way our people sort of calculated that to our share ratio. I was always of the view that because you can’t sell the land you don’t have an asset value like other farmers have. If you owned the land and you could sell it, only then could you classify that as an asset.” Don also recognises that though the settlement with the Crown was a beneficial process that



helped mitigate the financial burden, it didn’t go anywhere near compensating for lost potential. “We could say that to get a reasonable amount to help settle the grievance our people had in terms of the Crown’s actions in alienating us from our land with their settler arrangements, it should have been around $50-$60 million, but we got half of that. We lost potential, and it’s pretty hard to get something back on potential.” Still, Don isn’t looking back on past grievances and is happy with the direction the incorporation continues to head in. Putting in place Te Āti Hau Trust and the assistance being provided for shareholders and their descendants has been an area Don has been passionate about, and sees the turnout of nearly 650 people at

last year’s AGM as a signal that shareholders are engaged. “Even the magazines and annual reports, they are real highlights of the progress that we have made,” adds Don. “Our people do get satisfaction from looking at them; even the cadet boys with Awhiwhenua, seeing their stories. I think that they will never forget to appreciate the opportunity to be selected and given the chance to attain their skills.” Making sure AWHI recognised shareholders was important to Don who often represented the Incorporation and Trust when there was a tangi of a sharehodler. “Normally I would get a notice and so I would visit the whānau and deliver a koha. Sometimes we might provide a tent because of costs for whānau going to the marae, or

perhaps give a couple of mutton. To be able to do that, we buy the mutton normally during culling and box it up and keep in our freezers. I like that we can do that − forward thinking of how to support our people.” Having worked on the Historic Places Trust, Don is also pleased to see results from the conservation and preservation programmes adopted by AWHI which enhances the uniqueness of the land blocks, forest, flora and fauna. “Do you know that we have the Flower of Hades (Dactylanthus taylorii) on our land? It is this rare

plant only found in our country and we have it fenced off and protected on our Ararawa station just this side of Raetihi, in an area by one of the houses,” advises Don. As a final comment, Don encourages shareholders to give consideration to taking an active role with the incorporation. “It was hard to get people on board when I first joined, but I’m very pleased to see the interest has increased and we are conducting elections, which is always a good sign.” Chairperson Mavis Mullins will miss Don’s presence on the board as

he has consistently held the mantle of being the voice of the shareholder. “Don is a man with a good heart for the people, and the energy of a person half his age, that has enabled him to be an active contributor,” says Mavis. “I’d describe him as the “safe and smart pair of hands”− thoughtful, careful, knowledgeable, prepared and engaged. A valued team member and I am pleased he will continue to play a key role in the shareholder engagement area. We wish him and Jo a special time to enjoy those other activities with whānau and friends.” TOITŪ TE MANA


Trusted partner of Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation for the safe and secure movement of stock. He mea whakamana te mahi ki te taha o Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation.


Railway Road, Raetihi - 0800 385 4248


Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation Shareholder Survey To help us make Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation (AWHI) a better organisation, we invite you as a stakeholder in AWHI to participate in our shareholder survey.

There are four sections and a total of 15 tick box questions, with the option to provide more detailed answers if needed. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

This can be completed manually or online, either at http://ow.ly/rRoV3014BMB or by scanning the QR code on your smartphone.

The results of the survey and the winner of the Apple iPad will be published in the next issue of AWHI magazine, due for circulation in September.

To encourage your participation, all results received before 31 July 2016 will go into a draw to win an Apple iPad. Entry details are at the end of the survey.


Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements: Strongly agree


Neither agree or disagree


Strongly disagree

I know and understand what is going on at AWHI I would like to know more about what is happening at AWHI I am happy to read AWHI magazine online and do not need a printed copy I am happy to read the Annual Report online and do not need a printed copy I understand what the financial information in the Annual Report means and am confident to explain this to friends. What information relating to AWHI, would you like to know more about?

Is there any other information relating to AWHI that you would like to know more about?

Please rank 1 - 6 in order of preference, with 1 being your most preferred and 6 your least preferred

Leadership Financial Investments Te Āti Hau Trust Grants & Scholarships Environmental Issues How do you currently access information about AWHI? Select all applicable methods Email


AWHI website

AWHI magazine

Annual Report

Attendance at AGM and hui

Other (please state)


SHAREHOLDER COMMUNICATION Are there any other methods of communication that you would like AWHI to use to keep you and your whānau informed?

How would you prefer to be kept informed about AWHI? Please rank 1 - 6 in order of preference, with 1 being your most preferred and 6 your least preferred

Email Phone AWHI website AWHI magazine Attendance at AGM and hui Facebook How often would you prefer to receive information from AWHI? Please select one option only Monthly





Other (please state)

Additional Comments relating to shareholder communication


Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements: Strongly agree


Neither agree or disagree


Strongly disagree

I feel connected to the land within AWHI I would like to be able to access the land more often

Why might you like to access the land more often? Please rank 1 - 3 in order of preference, with 1 being your most preferred and 3 your least preferred

to visit Wāhi Tapu to collect Kai to collect flax and other fibres for weaving

Additional Comments relating to connection to our whenua



Are there any other reasons why you might like to access the land more often?


Each year we make a profit we must decide how that profit is used. How would you prefer AWHI used this profit? Please rank 1 - 4 in order of preference,, with 1 being your most preferred and 4 your least preferred

Re-investment; to make more money and provide more jobs for our mokopuna Debt repayment; to reduce debt and interest costs Dividend payment; to provide greater income to the owners Provided to the Te Āti Hau Trust; to distribute through grants

Are there any other areas where you would like to see AWHI increase investment?

I would support a reduced dividend payment in order to achieve my number one preference above (or ‘other’ areas, noted above) Strongly agree


Neither agree or disagree


Strongly disagree

Additional Comments relating to investment strategy


Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements: Strongly agree


Neither agree or disagree


Strongly disagree

Neither agree or disagree


Strongly disagree

I am happy with AWHI’s strategy focusing on diversification, production, value and shareholder connections I know why AWHI has debt I am comfortable with the strategies in place to make sure the level of debt does not put AWHI assets at risk All things considered, I am happy with the overall performance of AWHI in: Strongly agree


Providing economic returns Protecting the environment Building a stronger whānau Additional comments relating to AWHI performance



Thank you for taking part in our survey. Draw Entry - Terms & Conditions Entry is open to shareholders of Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation. Only one entry per person will be accepted. Survey must be completed and received in our office before 31 July 2016 to be eligible for entry to the draw. The prize is an Apple iPad. The winner will be drawn by random selection and will be notified by email or phone. Judges determination of winner is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

To enter the draw to win an Apple iPad, please complete your details below and remove survey pages from the magazine. Fold along the dotted lines, seal into the free post envelope and pop into an NZ Post mailbox for collection. All entries must be received by 31 July 2016. First Name Last Name

The winner agrees to their name being published in AWHI magazine (Issue 4).

Shareholder Number

I acknowledge and accept the terms and conditions

Email address Contact Phone


Freepost Authority Number 213928 Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation

Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation PO Box 4035 Whanganui 4541

AWHIWHENUA – FROM GOOD TO GREAT Currently in its fourth year of operation since returning in 2013, Awhiwhenua has had over 20 students go through the programme achieving a level 3 certificate in agriculture, with some returning to achieve the level 4 qualification. CE Andrew Beijeman reports on the aspirations AWHI has for the programme.


ver the last three years Awhiwhenua has been a nonresidential programme, which meant at the end of each day students went home. This limited the hours they could spend training and perfecting their practical skills. TOITĹŞ TE WHENUA


Ngā Mōkai where classroom training is undertaken

Over the next two years AWHI plans to make some changes to Awhiwhenua, so that when graduates finish the programme they can step straight into a job on any farm anywhere in the country, and do their whānau proud. The aim is to make an already good programme great.

chance to adjust to the additional demand of working with and training the students. Only six weeks into the programme and the cadets have learnt a lot. They now know how to keep safe at work, how to batten a fence-line and have spent some time working with stock in the yards.

What’s happening this year?

Over the year the students will gain more experience in stock work, fencing and farm maintenance. They’ll get a huntaway dog and learn how to use it to assist staff with stock shifts on Te Pā. We want them to finish this first year with the confidence that they have the basic skills to go farming.

This year students are gaining practical work experience on Te Pā, with classroom work completed at Ngā Mōkai. This gives greater certainty that students are going to be trained in all the skills that they will need in the future. It also means they learn to do things the same way, and to the same high standard. Student numbers have been reduced to four to give the team at Te Pā a 20


Our plans for 2016-17 This year Awhiwhenua is continuing as a non-residential programme.

There just aren’t the facilities at Te Pā to house students full-time in a warm and healthy environment. Over the next 12 months we plan on changing this by building a new accommodation block at Te Pā capable of housing up to six students. This will further increase the amount of time the students can spend training and will give us an opportunity to teach not only farm skills, but life skills as well. The next thing we want to do is give all students the chance to work for AWHI for at least a year after finishing their first year at Te Pā. This will give them the chance to develop their skills and get a few more dogs whilst working for the incorporation, all while completing further study. To do this we will need to arrange accommodation on

three of the other AWHI farms. What are we looking for in future students? Students are recruited on attitude first and foremost. They must want to be there, have a good work ethic and a passion for farming. They need to be mature, willing to learn and to make mistakes and finally not be afraid of getting their hands dirty. Being able to read, write and do maths are important too, but these are skills that can be improved on during the course. We can’t teach attitude though.

If this sounds like you, google Land Based Training or pay attention to the next AWHI magazine to learn how to be part of the 2017 intake. Why are we doing this? It’s not easy to find experienced and skilled staff with the right attitude. Taking Awhiwhenua from good to great gives us the opportunity to train people in the AWHI way of doing things. This will give us a pool of labour to recruit from in the future, and will make finding and selecting staff easier, and as a result improve outcomes.

More importantly though, Awhiwhenua fulfils a commitment made in the past−to train our people so that one day they can work, manage and care for our farms. The journey continues.








In 2013, a kiwi distribution survey undertaken by Joe Martin from Horizons Regional Council discovered that kiwi were still present in good numbers in bush blocks on Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation farmland. This is outside the estimated southeastern distribution boundary for kiwi − a very exciting result. AWHI reports on the work being undertaken to incorporate a kiwi protection project into Ngā Whenua Rāhui activity already underway on the Ohorea Station.


iwi face significant threats from predation and habitat loss. It is estimated that without predator control, kiwi numbers decline by 2% per annum. Western brown kiwi have significantly declined in number, mainly due to introduced predators such as stoats, ferrets, dogs and cats. There has already been an extensive population crash across their northern range, with kiwi disappearing from large tracts of forests across Pureora Forest Park and most of Taranaki. With no predator control, stoats kill most if not all of the kiwi chicks each year. But for kiwi found in farmland it is even worse as they are usually at higher risk from predators like dogs and ferrets that kill adult breeding birds. Losing adult breeding kiwi causes populations to quickly collapse. Because of this, kiwi have disappeared from most farming landscapes. Finding kiwi on AWHI farms shows that the farms have been managed in a way that has allowed kiwi to survive against all odds.



With a good number of remnant bush blocks designated as Ngā Whenua Rāhui interspersed throughout the farmland, of which Ohorea bush is one, Joe Martin, a passionate advocate for Ngā Whenua Rāhui (refer to AWHI Issue 1), was able to find kiwi in the remnants surveyed. These remnants create a mosaic of stepping stones for kiwi to occupy and connect with other kiwi. Joe works with Horizons Regional Council which has been running a network of bait stations on Ohorea Farm targeting possums for the last 15 years. As well as killing possums, these bait stations have had a knock-down effect on stoat and ferret populations. This could have allowed some kiwi pairs to successfully produce juvenile kiwi to

support other remnant populations nearby. What is the threat to kiwi on AWHI land? The strong population of kiwi on AWHI land could rapidly decline if adult breeding birds are attacked by ferrets or dogs. We also don’t know whether enough chicks are surviving stoat attacks to ensure the population stays strong for future generations. The severe impact of ferrets was recently seen in Tongariro Forest. After more than 10 years of monitoring the kiwi population with transmitters, a sudden ferret incursion lasting a couple of seasons resulted in the death of 26 birds fitted with transmitters. It was clear

that only one or two individual ferrets were doing all the damage. A single ferret could kill all the adult kiwi within a bush block like Ohorea in a short period. Farm staff across AWHI are also committed to managing the behaviour of dogs on the station in relation to wildlife. Developing Ngā Whenua Rahui at Ohorea Ohorea bush (approx. 300 hectares) has been selected by AWHI as a cost-effective and accessible block to start predator control. There is an existing network of old logging roads throughout the block which will give good access to run bait stations and trap lines when re-opened. Ohorea bush is also surrounded by farmland with bait stations for possum control which will provide buffer protection. There are bush remnants close enough to the block for juvenile kiwi to disperse to once they have reached a safe weight (1000 grams), creating a safe population of breeding adult kiwi that will generate juvenile kiwi into the surrounding bush blocks. Predator control in Ohorea bush will benefit not only kiwi, but will ensure the health of the forest is improved. It will complement the large-scale goat control which is being undertaken by Ngā Whenua Rāhui. This year, a massive 4118 goats have been culled from Waipuna, Papahaua, Tawanui, Te Pā and Ohorea.   How would predator control in Ohorea be undertaken? A combination of trapping and bait stations is being utilised to control ferrets, stoats, weasels, cats, rats and possums. Horizons Regional Council, as part of their Kia Wharite project, has offered to fund ongoing maintenance as well as the purchase of traps and bait stations. One hundred DOC 250 traps

have been set up in and around the bush. These traps are serviced on a monthly basis and directly target rats, weasels, stoats and ferrets. This will also provide useful trend monitoring information following the poisoning work. Twenty cat traps will also be set up in and around the bush. The traps will be visited monthly and rebaited. Monitoring success and reporting Predator control can be monitored by recording trap catch, bait take, the number of animals hunted and the hunting effort. These details are recorded as a routine part of predator control work. The DOC 250 trap network will give a good indication of the density of weasels, stoats, ferrets and rats. Monitoring the actual benefits of predator control to the bush and birdlife is however more difficult and time-consuming as it is also important to measure the forest health response to the goat control work that the Ngā Whenua Rāhui team is undertaking. These plots would be revisited every three years. Kiwi call count monitoring is the most cost-effective way of monitoring medium-to long-term changes in kiwi populations. However, the population of kiwi living in Ohorea bush itself is unlikely to change hugely as a result of predator control. This is because territorial adult kiwi will push juvenile birds out of Ohorea to establish their own territories elsewhere. Kiwi do not start calling until approximately 2.5 years old, so kiwi born in Ohorea are likely to be living elsewhere by the time they start calling. Therefore it is more likely that longer-term changes would be detected in the neighbouring bush blocks. The kiwi call count monitoring will be coordinated with other kiwi protection projects nearby, such as at Anini, and also other bush blocks

Map of 2013 Horizons Kiwi Recorder Survey.

on AWHI land, giving everyone a better picture of what is happening to kiwi in the wider area. AWHI looks forward to the day when it can showcase the success of the Kiwi protection programme and Ngā Whenua Rāhui to shareholders. TOITŪ TE WHENUA


LIVING LIFE ON THE LAND A DREAM COME TRUE Jack, along with his three sons, enjoy farm life at Te Pā

AWHI contributor Deena Coster (Te Atiawa) caught up with Te Pā station’s new farm manager Jack Valois who might be of French ancestry, but working the land is definitely in his blood.


n the role for almost a year, Jack Valois (pronounced Valwa) has not looked back after accepting the opportunity to become part of the Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation. Along with managing one of its seven sheep and beef stations, he is responsible for eight staff and four cadets, who work on the farm as part of their agricultural training course.  The teenagers are already shareholders of the incorporation but one day, Valois reckons some of them might end up making sure the farm continues to prosper into the future. “Hopefully at the end of it, they’ve got a job on the farm,” he says. Prior to moving to Te Pā station, the 46-year-old worked for four years at Te Uranga B2 Incorporation, where he managed a sheep and beef farm on the slopes of the Hikurangi and



Tuhua mountains. Before this, Valois worked on a farm in Lake Taupō for about 12 years. But his passion for the land goes right back to his childhood in Pahiatua. His own father managed farms and at the age of 15, Valois left school and went to work as a shepherd. The challenge of managing a bigger farm was what initially drew Valois to the Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation. Much of his farming career has been spent working at Māori incorporations and while the job security was one important factor, the values and ethos of the organisations had been just as appealing. “I sort of knew how they work and I respect what they do,” he says.

Not only that, but Valois believes incorporations like AtihauWhanganui are leading the way in terms of developing a framework for what farming will look like in the future. “They’re getting smarter and they’re getting ahead and I want to go with it,” he says. Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation’s vision of productive land, prosperous people and happy customers sits well with Valois and the way he goes about his work. “You sort of treat the farm as it was your own,” he says. Thinking ahead was something everyone in the incorporation was acutely aware of as well. He says this meant ensuring everyone knew about how decisions made today might impact on the

whenua, whether it was the next day, the next year or in the next generation. Being accountable to the shareholders also ensured everyone kept on top of their game. “At the end of the day, we’re working for them. You’ve got to look after it for them,” he says. While no two days were the same at his job, Valois said he took any opportunity he got to get out from behind his desk and head out onto the farm, which includes about 4,800 hectares of workable land. Along with 40,000 stock units, the latest addition to the farm is bee hives, which produce mānuka honey. The investment into 400 hives is an example of how the AtihauWhanganui Incorporation are constantly looking at innovative ways to maximum their land use,

according to Valois. “It’s making the most of what we’ve got.” He says professional development is another string to the incorporation’s bow. Staff are given incentives to grow and develop in their roles and it is satisfying for Valois to see his staff gain in confidence and skills. Valois says the investment made into employees makes them not only a valuable asset to the incorporation but also attractive to other employers if they choose to move on.

With Mt Ruapehu on their doorstep, the great outdoors is often their playground on the weekends as they pursue their love of sports and hunting. Valois says being part of what he calls the “Atihau people” is a blessing for his family as is being part of a business where everyone looks out with each other, while also taking care of the land. Showing AWHI Directors around the farm allows Jack to showcase his knowledge of the land

But for Valois, he is content. “I’d be quite happy to see out my working career here.” The lifestyle also suits his family which includes partner Robyn Matthews and their three children.

















Whanganui Holden is pleased to offer the Holden range of vehicles to Ātihau-Whanganui. Like you, our trucks are tough and designed to work to make your job less tough, which is why many of you are choosing Colorado. Shareholders can also “piggyback” on the deals we do as we think you have made a huge investment & deserve some of the rewards. Talk to Ken Williams, owner of Whanganui Holden and part of Ignition Motor Group Ltd of Whanganui. 0800-85-55-58 Offers available on new cars sold by June 30 2016 or while stocks last. Not available with any other offers. Private & GST registered customers only.

CO61895 Holden Atihau-Whanganui Inc Mag AWHI press ad 0_1.indd 1

19/05/16 3:07 PM



AWHI is now actively engaged in the honey industry and is taking this new business seriously. Hosted by newly appointed Apiary Manager Ethan Paulsen and CE Andrew Beijeman, board members visited some of the hives while on a farm tour in March to see how things are progressing. Andrew explains the background to this growing business investment. Apiary Manager Ethan Paulsen removes a tray of nectar for Chair Mavis Mullins and other directors to sample


n 2012, AWHI decided to become more active in the management of our mānuka resource by inviting a number of bee keepers to tender for the right to collect mānuka honey from our land. This was the start of our formal relationship with Watson and Son. Since 2012, Watson and Son have harvested over 200,000 kilograms of honey from land owned by the incorporation, from over 3000 hive sites. During these three years, AWHI has been able to learn a lot about mānuka honey, and what it takes to become a bee keeper. AWHI leaps into bee keeping In early 2015, AWHI completed an analysis of the profitability of owning and operating our own hives, in short: becoming our own beekeepers. The results were positive and launched the current journey. Before we could start we needed to recruit an Apiary Manager, someone who could grow the business to 3000 hives and beyond. We were lucky to

find Ethan Paulsen, a Southlandbased bee keeper managing 3000 hives and looking to move back to the North Island to be closer to his whānau. Once employed, Ethan began immediately looking for our first hives, finding 400 available for sale in the South Island through his bee keeping connections. These hives were shipped north and arrived in Ohakune during the first week of November. They were then distributed around Te Pā and Tawanui, and have been collecting honey ever since. We’ve just completed our first honey harvest from these hives and are expecting to yield about 13,500 kgs in total. Watson and Son are still, and will remain a part of our honey business for some time. They are continuing to place hives around our property whilst we increase our own numbers, and have provided a tonne of advice and ongoing extraction and sale

services. What are our aspirations for the future? Over the next 10 years, as more land is returned to the incorporation, we want to grow total hive numbers to 6000. Next year we are on track to place 1000 of our own hives around the property. With this expansion in mind a trainee bee keeper, Kevin McDonnell, has been employed to learn the ropes. We are curently on the lookout for a senior bee keeper and a trainee bee keeper to help grow the business. If you, or anyone you know are interested, drop your CV into our offices in Whanganui or Ohakune. (Address details on page 2). One day we will have our own extraction facilities with our own honey brand. At the moment it is nice to look back on what has been a successful first bee keeping season.



TAIKURA O TE AWA TUPUA Whanganui kaumātua roopu Taikura o Te Awa Tupua performing at the 2015 Matariki event at Te Papa. Image supplied by Gail Imhoff.

Formed in 2010 by the late Morvin Simon with the support of his wife, Kura, Taikura o Te Awa Tupua has become the kaumātua ‘ face’ of the Whanganui community. AWHI reports on their association with Te Āti Hau Trust.


elebrating their sixth birthday recently on January 31, the kaumātua rōpū Taikura o Te Awa Tupua is still going strong given that its establishment gave the over-50s Māori community living in the area the best reason to come out of their homes and participate in activities that encourage music, kapa haka and waiata. “With a 90-plus membership base, new friendships have been forged and past ones renewed,” says committee member, Kataraina Millen. “We have memorised the many waiata that Morvin composed for us over the years and remember[ing] all the actions of waiata ā-ringa has proven to be a benefit in keeping our minds alert and attuned. We



are only too happy and proud to regularly entertain the public and those less capable in the many rest homes around Whanganui.” To date, Taikura has never declined an invitation. Like other community groups, Taikura saw the need to set up a committee to manage its administration and small cache of funds. From the outset it was obvious their group of kaumātua would be in demand. Successful requests to sponsor organisations like Te Āti Hau Trust allowed Taikura to purchase uniforms that gave the rōpū a distinct identity which has certainly become well known around Whanganui and throughout the country.

Over the last six years, Taikura have had a total of $7,800 granted from Te Āti Hau Trust. The initial grant was for their uniforms, the second to support their inaugural participation in the 2014 Matariki Celebration at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington−a yearly event the rōpū participates in−and the most recent grant in 2015 was for registrations for 42 members toward the commemoration of World War I and two-day Matariki celebrations at Te Papa Tongarewa. Though the rōpū has sadly seen the passing of at least 10 of their members over the years, not the least being their founder, Morvin Simon, and committee member, Judith Timpany, the group continues with Kura Simon as the sole tutor.

PROMOTING THE BENEFITS OF DISCIPLINE AND SELF-ESTEEM It’s a crisp, early morning with heavy dew on the grass, and though it’s not quite 6.00am, AWHI directors are starting their day in Ohakune by watching young students at the local Ruapehu College doing drills on the school grounds as part of their CACTUS programme.


he Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit and Support programme, CACTUS, is designed to extend a young person’s mind and physical capability. With a focus on teamwork, goal setting, leadership and discipline, the programme instills discipline and self-esteem into young people, with course leader Senior Constable Lane Demchy utilising a team of volunteers from the Police and NZ Army alongside teachers to



is pleased that Te Āti Hau Trust has recognised the value of the programme by providing a grant of $5,000 for the next two years.

encourage their young charges to look and listen before they act. Early morning drills introduce the Ruapehu College students to physical exercise and teamwork and it’s a time to test willpower and tenacity. “We see students doing something beyond their normal comfort zone by their just turning up this time of the morning,” says Deputy Principal Jason White. “Initially they struggle just to get through one set of drills, but by three weeks they are goal setting and you start to see that self-belief shining through.” Three mornings a week will see students doing their drills, then they

shower, dress in correct uniform and come together for breakfast which is provided by local sponsors and prepared with support from staff and whānau. During this time they normally have a key note speaker address them. Constable Demchy credits the success to date of the programme with the support he has received from his colleagues in the Police force as well as the Army, and has received publicity about his leadership and commitment to the students, being known to turn up consistently, even if he has worked all night. “His investment has shown our students another side to what policing is about,” adds Jason, who

Rick Hepi, ambassador for the White Ribbon campaign, has arrived to speak to the students and senses already the positivity in the room. With his anti-violence message he shares, he wishes there were more programmes like CACTUS across the country. “It’s great to walk into a room where kids are smiling, well dressed and ready to engage and listen. And it’s not even 8 o’clock in the morning!” he says with a laugh. Local resident, Kim Matete is pleased to be part of helping prepare breakfast. “My niece Waimarie is part of this, and she has become very talkative and interactive, so it’s neat to see the changes in the kids’ attitudes, their way of thinking.” Te Āti Hau Trust chair, Te Tiwha Puketapu, was pleased that AWHI got to see the project in action. “Our investment is to assist the leadership programme costs, which include equipment and gear for rangatahi− many of whom are the tamariki and mokopuna of Ātihau shareholders.”

Members of the Waiouru Defence Force, Local Police and Ohakune High School teaching staff who support students participating in the CACTUS Programme



Tomorrow’s farms are in the hands of today’s young people

Because you’re thinking about a degree in agriculture / horticulture, you know scoring $5000 a year will go a long way to help.


To win this scholarship from Atihau Whanganui Incorporation and Ravensdown for 2017, just scan the QR code for an application form or go to ravensdown.co.nz for more details. The winner will also be offered paid holiday work with Ravensdown in a variety of roles to kickstart their career.

Call the Customer Centre on 0800 100 123

Applicants for 2017 academic year must be received by 30 November 2016.


Driven. For your success.

Applicants must be sons or daughters of Atihau Whanganui Incorporation shareholders.











Toi tu te whenua 16 Bell Street, Whanganui 4500, New Zealand Postal Address PO Box 4035 Whanganui 4541 New Zealand © ATIHAU-WHANGANUI INCORPORATION 2016

Profile for iStudios Multimedia Ltd

AWHI Magazine - Issue 3  

Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation magazine. In this issue we acknowledge outgoing board member Don Robinson, report on work being undertaken to...

AWHI Magazine - Issue 3  

Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation magazine. In this issue we acknowledge outgoing board member Don Robinson, report on work being undertaken to...