Young father scoops top Māori farmer award

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

The small rural village of Raupunga in Hawke's Bay has been lifted after one of their very own Jordan Biddle was named Young Māori Farmer of the Year.

At just 21-years-old he has taken on a new role as head shepherd at Rawhiti Station in Raupunga which spans over 500 hectares.

"I'm still getting my head around the job but yeah it's probably winning that Ahuwhenua which has opened up a start of a new chapter for me so that's been good, it's been very interesting but I can't wait to see what is around the corner."

The station where he now works was returned to his iwi Ngāti Pahauwera as part of it's treaty settlement in 2010.

Being able to work the land of his ancestors is a dream come true for the young father of two.

"I've been very lucky with the job and how the iwi have treated me and looked after me so I've been very fortunate really."

Getting to where he is today stemmed from working on the farm with his father when he was a teenager.

He says that school wasn't really his thing and he found himself working in the Kotemāori area when he was just 15-years-old while still attending school part time.

At 17-years-old he had his first child and found he had to grow up fast to provide for his new family and was able to get his first permanent job at Waitaha Station.

It's there he spent two years as a shepherd general learning the skills of the trade that have helped him so far in his farming career.

He was given the award over two other finalists based on his industry knowledge, animal welfare practise and commitment to Māoritanga.