A whanau in farming

Four of the King family and their parents have all enjoyed successful farming careers.

In Boundaries2 Minutes
Ronnie King’s family (left to right): Ronnie, Bridie, Buzz and Dallas.

FOUR OF THE KING FAMILY AND THEIR PARTNERS have all enjoyed successful farming careers.

Growing up in remote Whangamomona (between Taumarunui and Stratford) where their father Ross and mother Polly farmed a ballot block, the two boys Eugene and Ronnie and sisters Nukuhia and Marama all developed an excellent work ethic at an early age.

Through shearing, shed-handing and fencing they collectively were able to raise enough capital to leave their birthplace and buy Mangaroa Station about 55km north of Wairoa in northern Hawke’s Bay and lease Ruakaka Station next door.

This enabled them to divide their labours but reunite for some jobs with Ronnie and Marama and their partners farming Ruakaka and Eugene and Nukuhia and partners farming Mangaroa.

In this way the four families collectively were able to generate enough capital to go their separate ways.

Ronnie and Buzz bought Puketawa Station near Tiraumea in the northern Wairarapa in 2013, Eugene and Pania purchased Kiriroa Station, Gisborne, in 2014, Marama and Rob acquired 310ha near Eketahuna in the northern Wairarapa in 2007, while Nukuhia and Bart Hadfield remained on Mangaroa Station.

Since establishing their separate farming businesses, two of the family and their partners have won the coveted Ahuwhenua Maori Farmer of the Year Trophy. Barton and Nukuhia Hadfield in 2015 and Eugene and Pania King in 2019 while Ronnie and Justine (Buzz) were runners-up in 2017.

Ronnie says the families have always worked well together and always had the long-term goal of individual farm ownership.

Though now separated, they continue to work together through the whanau processing collective and national shearing events in which Ronnie, Bart and Eugene are often called upon to adjudicate.

See Achieving a dream