Taranaki Winners

PKW Farms LP (Farm 2) dairy farmers Roger Landers and Matthew Kelbrick

Taranaki BFEA Supreme Winners

Roger Landers & Matthew Kelbrick


Ohangai dairy farmers Roger Landers and Matthew Kelbrick are the Supreme winners of the 2016 Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA).

Parininihi ki Waitotara’s 159ha No 2 Farm just east of Hawera has a 100ha mostly flat milking platform and 30ha of pine established in gullies and on steeper contour.

In 2014 the Taranaki-based Māori Incorporation transformed the 50:50 sharemilking structure on Farm 2 to a managed farm. A new effluent system and a 60-bale rotary cowshed with in-shed feeding was built, with Kaponga farmer Roger Landers appointed as PKW Dairy Farm Supervisor, and Matt Kelbrick as manager.

The award judges described Roger and Matt’s management as “brilliant” and said the pride taken in the place was evident. They noted the new regime achieved almost 32,000 kgMS more production with just five more cows. Production last season, from 335 Friesian X cows was 145,067 kgMS and this year, with 325 cows in a System 3 operation, they are targeting 140,000 kgMS.

The judges wrote: “The property is in a fully developed state with excellent infrastructure allowing for future expansion and growth of production. The inclusion of an in-shed feeding system and brilliant management has seen production increase dramatically. The foundation is set for this property to keep pushing for greater things and maintain a great level of production.

“This is the first time for this property entering the Ballance Farm Environment Awards however not the first for Parininihi Ki Waitotara (PKW). It is clear to see they hold immense pride and passion in their business but also the agriculture industry.”

PKW owns 20,000ha of dairy land and has a range of other business interests including crayfishing, forestry and commercial property. The Incorporation states: “We are in the business of innovative, sustainable farm management.”

No 2 Farm is on both sides of the road at Ohangai, connected by an underpass. Around 9ha of turnips are grown on the farm, and 7.5ha of maize on a nearby run off block. Effluent can be spread over 32ha.

The system is set up for 650 cows and is currently compliant for 500. The judges said: “Impressive effluent system which deserves credit for being proactive and seeking sound advice to make use of free nutrient.”

Water is treated as a major necessity to future-proof the business with a new farm system being planned sufficient for up to 800 cows at season peak. Roof water is recycled and the shed uses green water wash from the treated effluent. Solar panels are installed on the cowshed roof.

The judges noted the biodiversity consideration on the farm reflected the long-term view of land guardianship expressed by PKW as a corporate. All waterways are fenced, old oxidation ponds filled in and small areas of the farm are being retired and planted with natives.

Matt lives on the farm with his wife Claire and their children Nathan (9), Cameron (7) and Lauren (4).

The farm employs one assistant, Matt’s sister Bex Kelbrick. Roger appreciates Matt’s passion for the farm and the cows and says “he knows how to get production out of them”. Matt and Roger agree the trust they have in each other allows them to share their ideas and thoughts freely, and this benefits the farm.

The construction of the new shed and other infrastructure overhauled in the past two years has kept both on their toes, “almost like a conversion” they agree. Says Matt, “I like a challenge though and I like to have the place looking good. This is the first job I’ve had where I’ve had the chance to treat the place as if it was my own. It is a privilege to work for PKW, and with Roger”.

The judges commented: “Matt and Roger have a fantastic relationship where they are not afraid to challenge one another to strive for excellence. Matt’s passion for the farm and animals is infectious and this alone motivates others around him to meet goals and targets. They have a close working relationship with the wider PKW group and strive to be the best in what they do.”

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