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No. 26 (March 1959)
– 19 –

ANNUAL AWARDS MADE TO MAORI DAIRY FARMERS

The winner for 1958 of the Ahuwhenua dairy farming trophy, competed for annually by Maori farmers under the control of the Department of Maori Affairs, was Mr T. Haeata of Mangakino.

Second place was gained by Mr W. J. Swinton of Whangamata, Thames district, who gained fourth place in the 1957 competition.

Mr J. Peterson of Mangonui, North Auckland, was placed third.

The Ahuwhenua trophy — a magnificent silver cup—was given in 1932 by the then Governor-General, Lord Bledisloe, as an incentive to better farming of newly developed Maori lands.

Again in 1953, when the difficulty of judging between the merits of the different types of farming such as dairy farming, sheep farming and mixed farming was brought to his notice, Lord Bledisloe generously gave a replica of the original cup so that the competition could be run in two sections—one for dairy farming and one for sheep and cattle farming.

Unfortunately, on account of the lack of suitable Maori settlers who were willing to accept nomination in the sheep and cattle section, only the dairy farming section of the competition was run.

The judge of the competition was Mr A. V. Allo, Instructor in Agriculture, Tauranga. In his report Mr Allo commented that the competitors were doing a fine job on their properties.

The winner, Mr Haeata of Mangakino, was settled some five years ago on a property of 133 acres which was formerly part of the Pouakani Development Scheme. Since he took over the farm Mr Haeata has provided a number of excellent shelter belts, all of which have been well fenced from stock. The farm carried a first class Jersey herd in excellent condition. The house is extremely neat and well laid out in lawns and courts, with all buildings in excellent order.

The second place-getter, Mr Swinton, of Whangamata, is an ex-serviceman of the Second World War who is farming a property of 108 acres, 80 acres of which are used for dairying, the balance carrying some sheep. Mr Swinton has proved a keen and energetic farmer with up-to-date ideas and prepared to make considerable personal sacrifices for the sake of his farm. Since he was settled five and a half years ago, he has carried out a sound programme of further improvements to water supply, planting fencing lines with barberry and other worthwhile improvements.

Mr J. Peterson, of Mangonui, who was third, actually has the smallest farm of the 14 entered in the competition. Mr Peterson has transformed his 50 acres from a run-down, uneconomic unit into one that is yielding a good living and is a credit to any man. All the buildings, fencing, water supply and many other improvements have been constructed by Mr Peterson himself and the work carried out to date is a remarkable achievement.

MONEY FOR MAORI PURPOSES DISTRIBUTED

The Maori Purposes Fund Board, at its annual meeting last August, resolved to grant £500 to go towards the cost of carvings in the new dining hall at Omarumutu, a further £250 towards the Opotiki Community Centre, a further £300 towards the Motueka Community Centre, £250 towards Maori art decorations in one of the classrooms at the Tokomaru Bay Maori District High School, £250 for a swimming pool at Hukarere Maori Girls' School, £50 for carved gates at Mahia Maori School and £800 towards the work of the Polynesian Society.

The Board also continued its support to the Investment Societies movement. Help had previously been given to the community development work both at Panguru and Te Kaha, but fresh resolutions changed the conditions of this assistance, so that there will now be no further difficulty in taking up the money. The £4000 loan to the Te Kaha Community Development Investment scheme has now been granted without security. It is also free of interest. The newly formed Taitokerau Maori Investment Society has been given a straight donation of £1000 to help its initial operations. This takes the place of the earlier grant for community development in Panguru.

Subsidies were granted for the publication of Te Ao Hou (£1000), Maori Life and Culture’ by W. J. Phillipps (£450), ‘How to do Maori Carving’ by S. M. Mead (£200) and ‘Maori Action Songs’ by Allan Armstrong and Reupena Ngata (£200). This last book is an interesting attempt to show through drawings and instructions all the actions used for Maori songs.

Grants were made to the following persons: Mr J. B. Palmer (co-editor of the Journal of the Polynesian Society), for studying moko designs, £100; Mr J. E. Nelson, to encourage dramatic work among Maori groups in the Wanganui district, £100; Dr Maharaia Winiata, towards preparing the publication of his thesis on ‘Changing Leadership against the Background of Maori-Pakeha Relations, £100; Mr W. J. Phillipps, to assist him in making a detailed study of Maori artifacts, carvings, etc., in overseas collections, £250.