Saturday, 5 May 2012

"Kaitiakitanga" nurturing our Natural Resources & People for a prosperous future

“Kaitiakitanga” in Maori means to nurture our natural resources & people for a prosperous future.  
This is one of 5 Farm Business Management values set out by Tauhara Moana Trust, one of three finalists in the BNZ Ahuwhenua Maori Excellence in Dairy Farming Award 2012. Maori Trusts have different business objectives to most other NZ dairy farmers. 
The Maori Trusts will not sell traditionally owned land & there is a responsibility to their people (shareholders) that extends beyond an annual dividend. As traditional lands will not be sold there is a responsibility & I believe a demonstrated understanding that they (the Maori Trusts) must care & nurture the land for the benefit of future generations. Sustainability extends to the people & the Maori Trusts desire to encourage their own people into jobs & positions of responsibility on the farms. This is a major challenge for Maori.
 At the moment the very best Trusts appear to be demonstrating good governance over the farm businesses. 
Tauhara Moana Trust has strong leadership & a very good management team.
 The Ahuwhenua Trophy & competition is a very good way to demonstrate “best practice” in Farm Business Management. The performance of the three finalists this year will effectively lift the bar for all Maori Trusts managing farms in NZ. However the real challenge is getting talented young Maori Farm Managers & Sharemilkers. 
Paul Bird facilitated the fieldday (achieving a fine sunny day for a fieldday is ofcourse a facilitation skill)
Tauhara Moana Trust has risen from near financial disaster (Crafars) & recovered during a drought year. This has shown real guts & determination & very good leadership. What I really liked about the management style was the focus on pasture management & the brilliant HR management. All staff are encouraged to take full responsibility for their part in the farm team's performance.
Tauhara Moana Trust’s other four stated business values include:- Integrity, Excellence, Innovation & “Tikanga”. 
“Tikanga” means that we will be respectful of each other’s cultural values.
 In an unstable world, where peace & harmony seem very thin on the ground, I find it uplifting that a Farm Business has a stated business value that includes respect for each other’s cultural values & differences. 
All farm businesses everywhere can learn much from the goverance & business values of Tauhara Moana Trust at Taupo.
 It raises the question….What to you stand for? What are the values which are important to you & your family? Are your family values stamped into your Farm Business & the way in which you conduct business both on & off the farm?

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