Mātai Ahuwhenua

agresearch maori agribusiness in the field
Our Mātai Ahuwhenua team works closely with the Māori Agribusiness sector. 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.  

agresearch matai ahuwhenua young maori farmer harepaora ngaheu

2018 Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer of the Year, Harepaora Ngaheu

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.

Our Team

Chris Koroheke
Chris Koroheke

Kaiurungi Ahuwhenua Māori
+64 7 838 5250
Email Chris

Tamara Mutu
Tamara Mutu

Acting Sector Manager
+64 21 485 337
Email Tamara

Lee Tane
Lee Tane

Account Manager
+64 21 192 6517
Email Lee


Studying mood and emotion in livestock

Featuring Dr. Gosia Zobel & Dr. Jim Webster

New research exploring the moods and personalities of farm animals is being seen as an opportunity to better understand and enhance their welfare.
The research looks at how animals respond in new and different situations. It is the latest work by AgResearch’s Animal Welfare Team helping to expand the knowledge of livestock behaviour, at a time of growing consumer demand for strong welfare standards.

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.

Lasers from above to 'zap' weeds

Featuring Dr. Kioumars Ghamkhar

Drone-mounted lasers could be used to zap weeds that are posing a billion-dollar problem for New Zealand agriculture.
AgResearch – with partners the Universities of Auckland and Michigan and NZ-based technology firm Redfern Solutions Limited - was awarded just under $1 million in 2017 from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund to look into how to “map and zap” the many weeds plaguing productive land.

Mātai Ahuwhenua

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.