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Chairman's Update June 2022

The COVID-19 lockdown has created an evolving environment that we will all have to learn to live with and the Trustees hope that so far you and your whānau have been able to stay safe and keep well. This update is a brief overview of the key activities undertaken by the trustees and management team to diversify the use of our whenua as well as enhance and restore our whenua; with sustainability and affordability at the forefront of our decision making.

Operational Update

After formally reviewing the operational and management structure, the trustees decided to explore a new way of governance, including a hands-on approach with operations. As a result, a new operational structured was formed and it was decided that Perrin Ag Consultants were no longer required for Farm Advisory services. Deloitte continue to provide administrative support to the trust and the trustees are now working directly with farm managers and their teams with day-to-day business, and only seeking external advice as and when required. This new operational structure has increased efficiency and promoted teamwork across the four farm units, whilst also saving money to the trust.

Pictured left to right: Bryce Hughes (head shepherd) and Max Verschuurn (junior shepherd)

Our core business still remains the two dairy units, a deer unit and sheep and beef and they are still subject to the vagaries of weather. Over the last two years we have had more than our fair share of dry weather patterns. With the effects of climate change upon us, we are committed to moving forward and focus on strategising how we address this. Putting that aside, the dairy farms have, overall, performed reasonably well, and to the levels set in the operation plans and close to the drafted budgets.

We have also been involved in a Dairy Sheep Collective initiative where the vision is to create a Maōri owned sheep dairy industry. The concept is to own the vertical chain in full. After the completion of a feasibility study, we are in the final stages of consolidating an implementation strategy and look forward to keeping you updated with this.

Project Management

As shared with you last year, we employed Lee Warbrick as a project manager to manage our new projects. Her main focus was securing funding for the respective projects and the necessary workforce to carry out those projects. She has been extremely successful in doing this and we have been refining the accountability processes that form key components of her contract. These projects include:

  • Karapiti wetlands restoration on Karapiti Farm.

  • Ginseng – The pilot planting area of 0.5ha under a crop of our pine trees has been successful and we are exploring expanding to planting under other forested areas.

  • The regeneration of Tuna, Kora and watercress in the wetlands on Kapenga.

  • Pest and predator control.

  • Mānuka and honey.


Our Haupapa street property is still being leased and returning a good rental. However, due to the restructuring of the government agency Kainga Ora, discussions with government agencies to obtain financial security to build a five story complex with 60 apartments and based on a Papakainga concept has stalled.

Moni Aroha Committee

Again, the Moni Aroha committee was very active in 2021/2022. As well as their normal work on grants and education support, they have been monitoring and evaluating the farm internship initiative. The workload has been massive, but the rewards have been well worth it. To view the available distributions to owners, please see here.

With the amount of mahi accomplished through these challenging times and certainly more on our horizon, it is important that we attract specialised and energetic talent to join our board to replace our newly appointed trustee Warena Morgan who unfortunately resigned in 2021.

In conclusion, I acknowledge and thank my fellow trustees Nuki Nicholson, Wally Lee, Wena Kopae, Atareta Maika and Pipiana Whiston for their contribution to our meetings and out on the field. I also record our appreciation to our secretary and the Deloitte team and thank them for the efforts they have made for the benefit of our trust.

“Whaia te oranga mo ngā whakatipuranga o Kapenga M”

Nāku iti nei, nā

Roku Mihinui


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