A Taranaki dairy farming operation has won this year's top Maori farming award, the Ahuwhenua Trophy.
Te Rua o Te Moko Ltd which runs 500 cows on a 170-hectare farm near Hawera, was one of three finalists for the award.
The farm trust's chair Dion Maaka said it stood out because it was an amalgamation of four separate Maori trusts, representing more than 1000 landowners, who had successfully combined their small uneconomic blocks into one larger and more viable dairy farming operation.
"And it's something quite unique that you get a collective group of owners with the four land holdings combined to form an active business and try and create greater value."
Te Rua o Te Moko also runs a training operation for descendants of shareholders and other young people. Eight graduated from that last year and there are another eight in training this year.
Meanwhile, a first year sharemilker has won the Young Maori Dairy Farmer of the Year Award. He's Wiremu Reid who's currently farming in Southland.