Māori Agribusiness

agresearch maori agribusiness in the field
At AgResearch we recognise that our partners are distinctive because their whakapapa, values and ownership structures propel Māori businesses towards something different – a supply chain (including the farm and the consumer) that is based on shared-principles (hereafter referred to as a ‘shared-principles value chain’; Whakapapa, Rangatiratanga, Kaitiakitanga, Whanaungatanga and Manaakitanga.

This is a novel, uniquely Aotearoa business ethos that aims to move Māori Agribusinesses beyond business as usual, while at the same time building opportunity for NZ at large. 
As AgResearch watches and learns alongside Māori partners who are in the early stages of developing new indigenous fibre and meat values-based supply chains, we have formed three key Māori Agribusiness Research Themes to underpin their R&D needs; decision making, resource use and value chain. Increasing numbers of our Māori Agribusiness partners are asking AgResearch to co-develop research and development projects that will help them extend their business operations and interests beyond production into processing and marketing.  

Young farmer CMYK

2017 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer of the Year, Jordan Biddle

Not unlike many New Zealand farmers, our partners have identified that they want ownership of product from the paddock to the plate, to have a direct relationship with their national and international customers and to increase


the transparency within the supply chain, therefore spreading the risk and the wealth. But where we at AgResearch add value is recognising that unique to Māori Agribusinesses are their aims to produce food and engage with the whenua in a way that is in keeping with cultural values, that maintains and even restores health and mauri to their land and waters and to be able to leverage the value of the ‘Māori Story’ from their product. This is an exciting area of development and we look forward to growing our partnerships and connection with the Māori Agribusiness sector.


Hogget fertility and what it means for farmers

Featuring Dr. Jenny Juengel

Hoggets are female sheep that have lambs for the first time at one year old, whereas typically on New Zealand sheep farms the female sheep first give birth at two years of age. Often the impediments to hogget lambing are the changes required to farm systems, and inefficiencies in reproduction. AgResearch has studied this area of reproduction to better understand it, and look at ways to improve the efficiency of hogget lambing. Principal scientist Dr Jenny Juengel talks through the issues and potential benefits it can bring sheep farmers, including improved profitability and a reduced environmental footprint.

Strategic winter grazing

Featuring Dr Seth Laurenson & colleagues

With farmers always on the lookout out for simple, cheap methods to improve their farm systems, AgResearch and partner DairyNZ undertook practical research to provide just that. This strategic winter grazing research has developed low–cost approaches for farmers to better manage their land in winter conditions. Our scientists say the pick-up from farmers has been amongst the highest we have seen here at AgResearch – which tells us it’s making a real difference. Here the team talk about how they went about it, the methods, and what the areas of benefit are for the farmers.

Sharon the mutant sheep

Featuring Dr Jeff Plowman

Sharon the Felting Lustre mutant sheep has become somewhat of a celebrity since the media spotlight came on in her in early 2017. She was even featured on the BBC!
This rare kind of sheep has straight wool instead of the usual crimped wool, and presents opportunities for our scientists to learn more about the wool structure and how it might lead to new wool products, as well as what it can tell us about human hair.
In this video, AgResearch scientist Jeff Plowman – who has researched these mutant sheep - talks about Sharon and how she is helping add to our understanding.

A new generation ryegrass

Featuring Dr. Greg Bryan

AgResearch, supported by Government and industry partners, is developing a new kind of ryegrass we think could be a gamechanger for agriculture. The genetically modified High Metabolisable Energy ryegrass has been shown in the lab to grow up to 50 per cent faster than conventional ryegrass, to be able to store more energy for better animal growth, to be more resistant to drought, and to produce up to 23 per cent less methane (the largest single contributor to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions) from livestock. Our principal scientist Dr Greg Bryan talks about the next stage - field testing.

Maori Agribusiness

Featuring Pakihiroa Farms Ltd

What aspects of Māoridom are our partners taking into consideration when farming? Hilton Collier of Pakihiroa Farms, owned by Ngati Porou, talks about their priorities in farming and how decisions are made based on five pou. AgResearch Māori Agribusiness Sector Manager, Chris Koroheke, discusses what working in Māoridom involves.