Shane & Jenny Hood and Kevin & Gill Adshead of Mataia Farm & Manaia Properties


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2022 Finalists: Shane & Jenny Hood and Kevin & Gill Adshead of Mataia Farm & Manaia Properties – Sheep and Beef

This diverse Warkworth farming business has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of the Gardner family who has owned it since 1868.

Jenny and Shane Hood lease 430ha of Mataia Farm from Jenny’s family, with their business getting its income from a mix of agriculture, tourism and hospitality. Another 500ha of native bush is part of an ongoing conservation and restoration project that Jenny’s parents Kevin and Gill are spearheading – and which has resulted in the return of kiwi.

Shane and Jenny finish about 2,000 winter lambs annually and run a mix of finishing and trading beef. They also run a hospitality and tourism business that uses the restored, historic family homestead and offers self-guided walks across the property.

The couple has been farming fulltime for the past 10 years and during that time have transitioned their section of Mataia from a breeding farm to a finishing and trading farm. Kilometres of subdivision fencing has been installed to improve grazing practices, and stock water and handling facilities have been upgraded.

With guidance from industry experts, the couple has successfully improved their farming practices, resulting in a highly efficient, productive and flexible business. They carefully match stock to soils and also take a strategic approach to pasture management.

Since 2005, more than 400ha of the wider property has been retired. Working alongside volunteers, the family have planted more than 7,500 native trees every year, and support intensive farm-wide pest and predator control.

The restoration work led to the release of North Island brown kiwi that are successfully breeding on the property and has also resulted in the creation of Forest Bridge Trust by Kevin & Gill.

There’s a long history of balancing profit with enhancing the environment at Mataia, and the current guardians are proudly continuing this approach.

Shane, Jenny, Kevin and Gill were the winners of Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award and Norwood Agri-Business Management Award.

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