Toitū te whenua, Toitū te tangata, Toitū te mana
Our purpose, our legacy, is to look after nature, so nature can look after us
We are Ātihau-Whanganui Inc, a Māori-owned farming company based at the foothills of Matua te Mana, Mt Ruapehu, in New Zealand’s central North Island.
Our home is a remote wilderness, surrounded by high mountains and deep rivers. It’s here where our ancestors first walked 1000 years ago, and our descendants will live 1000 years from now.
Our purpose is to rejuvenate the land for our people, and reconnect them to their land and customs. We live and work to share the bounty, wisdom and culture of our heritage with others.
By looking after nature, nature will look after us.
We believe in a natural kinship between people and the natural environment, an inseparability of our mutual well-being. In an era where large-scale farming extracts as much as possible out of nature, we walk a different path. We actively renew our natural environment as we craft simply the purest products to share with our customers around the world.
Together as whānau
We believe that genuine care with and for people builds lasting, productive relationships. By treating everyone as whānau, or family, we look to form deep, long lasting, relationships with our customers, partners, staff and other Tangata Whenua.
A commitment to wholehearted care
As guardians of our land and animals we see it as our duty to renew, restore and respect the incredible gift nature has provided us with.
We believe that all life is connected – people, land, trees, animals, birds, insects – we are all in this world together. Committed to the concept of morimori or care, we work to restore our natural environment as it nurtures us in return. It’s something we do for the good of our tamariki and mokopuna, our future generations.
Looking after the well-being of creatures under our care is fundamental to how we operate. Most animals are raised where they were born, so they can live and grow in the comfort of their family herds. Not only are we doing what we believe to be fundamentally right, by raising our animals as nature intended, we create foods that are purer, more nutritious and better tasting.
Our care initiatives include:
Fencing off delicate ecosystems and waterways, and retiring erosion-prone land from farming
Replanting riversides and creating wildlife corridors to restore habitats and build up populations of native flora and fauna
Placing areas under Ngā Whenua Rāhui 25-year kawenata (covenants), ensuring their safety and protection for another generation
Using fertiliser and nutrition supplements sparingly and only as needed
Giving our animals the best lives possible – all Ātihau stock is grass-fed, free range and free from artificial growth hormones
Following the Five Freedoms – a set of internationally-recognised standards for animal welfare
How we came to be
The Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation was established in 1969.
The creation of Ātihau-Whanganui Inc came out of a Māori Land Court order to return the governance and management of 42,000 hectares of land to the original inhabitants of the area, the Whanganui Iwi.
The formation of Ātihau-Whanganui Inc meant the land once again became the responsibility of our people. This involved more than just taking on the mantle of governance and farming operations. It offered the means to preserve and promote our culture, support our education and develop our communities.
Today, Ātihau-Whanganui Inc represents the interests of over 9,000 shareholders and oversees the care of 75,000 breeding sheep, 4,000 beef cows, 700 dairy cows, 2,400 beehives and 728 hectares of established woodlots.
While the process to resume land has been complex, we have worked steadily since 1969 to progressively regain our land. More than 34,800 hectares have now been returned to us and we continue to work towards the resumption of the full 42,000 hectares under our care.
In 2017 Ātihau-Whanganui Inc launched the consumer brand - Awhi. The new brand has a strong paddock-to-plate philosophy to forge closer connections with our customers, and tells an authentic story of nature and care. Together, tikanga and products lead the way to generating value.
The word ‘Awhi’ means to embrace, to support, to nurture. To us, it represents an interconnected and intergenerational approach to well-being that we embrace wholeheartedly