In 2016 the Awhina Group was offered the opportunity for a subset of the group members to participate in the RMPP Pilot Farm Extension project. The RMPP group consists of six central north island Maori incorporation sheep and beef farms where stock numbers range from 9000 to 35,000 SU wintered.
One of the challenges faced by Maori Trust farms is complex ownership and the resulting need for timely and useful information to be available to all levels of the organisation that can facilitate good decision making. It was decided that the key focus for this group within RMPP would be to develop systems and tools by which farm staff can be better connected to their Boards (and vice versa) to enable more effective communication of key information to allow good operational understanding and decision making.
The intention was that this would be useful for not only Maori Trust farms,but also any farm business where decision making involves more than one person such as corporate or family owned farms. Key areas the group are looking at are measurement and information protocols to develop a bench marking process of key seasonal indicators that will help inform decision making. The group activity started with a GAP analysis of their farm accounts which helped identify opportunities specific to each farm.
Monthly on-farm workshops have commenced where all levels of personnel associated with the farms are working together to review the questions of the month with participants including farm workers, managers and partners, consultants and trustees and in some cases, farm shareholders. These are done under the guidance of a senior farm systems scientist. Connections and discussions across the levels of those involved with each property are developing as is a network across farms for farm staff.
Pukepoto Farm Trust, King Country
Farm Type: Hill country
Stock Numbers: 6200 ewes, 1400 hoggets, 400 in-calf beef cows and heifers, 100 r2 steers, 300 r1 steers and heifers
Wharenui Station, Bay of Plenty
Farm Type: 1088 effective ha, mixed cultivatable and steep hill
Stock Numbers: 4100 ewes, 1400 hoggets, 670 r2 bulls
Tautara Matawhaura Farm Trust, Bay of Plenty
Farm Type: Hill country, 1550ha effective
Stock Numbers: 4200 ewes, 950 hoggets, 100 beef cows, 900 y1 dairy heifers
Tarawera Station, Hawke's Bay
Farm Type: Medium to steep hill country, 2865ha effective
Stock Numbers: 16,000 breeding ewes, 4,500 ewe hoggets, 1,100 breeding cows, 600r1 and r2 heifers
Te Pa Station, Ruapehu District
Farm Type: Flat to steep hill country. 4021ha effective out of 6100ha
Stock Numbers: 20,000 ewes, 5,000 hoggets, 1100 in-calf cows and heifers, 1400 other cattle
Anonymous, Central Plateau
Farm Type: Flat to rolling, 2135ha effective
Stock Numbers: 7300 ewes, 2000 hoggets, 380 in-calf cows, 70 r2 heifers, 70 r1 heifers, 50 r1 steers