Whenua Kura announces new Māori Farming Diploma

Ngāi Tahu-led agricultural initiative Whenua Kura has announced the introduction of Lincoln University’s signature Diploma in Agriculture, to the Whenua Kura suite of programmes.

Starting in March, 2015, the Level 5 qualification is a one-year programme offering an introduction to agriculture, and the associated skills necessary for a successful farming career. Areas of focus include: farm management systems, plant husbandry, soils management, livestock production systems, plant and animal health and engineering.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Tā Mark Solomon says the diploma offers Māori working in the agricultural sector and Māori agricultural students a study pathway into farming management and leadership.

“We want to train more Māori to be leaders in agriculture and educate our next generation to be Māori ‘super farmers’, who know and can apply the values of old, with the latest in agricultural best-practice.”

Lincoln University Assistant Vice Chancellor, Communities and Professor of Indigenous Planning, Hirini Matunga says the Diploma in Agriculture is an internationally recognised Lincoln University qualification with an emphasis on agricultural best-practice.

“How we manage our land is a fine balance between personal and collective aspirations, economic advancement and kaitiakitanga – guardianship.

“Through the partnership with Ngāi Tahu, students will be provided with the opportunity to investigate how to apply critical Ngāi Tahu values such as kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga and rangatiratanga to land use and management.

“Whenua Kura aims to train more Māori who understand the challenges and can lead the way in the agricultural sector,” Professor Hirini Matunga says.

Students will live on the Lincoln University campus and the practical 12 week work component will take place at the Ngāi Tahu farms.

Whenua Kura Programme Manager Renata Hakiwai says the diploma offers a higher learning option and a progression on from the Whenua Kura programme’s Certificate in Farming (Dairy), Level 3.

“The Diploma in Agriculture is the next step up for Whenua Kura students and Māori agricultural workers with the relevant qualifications and experience, who want to work their way toward managing the whānau farm,” Renata Hakiwai says.

Open to all Māori, Whenua Kura provides students with:

  • A full-fee cadetship scholarship
  • Internationally recognised Lincoln University qualifications
  • A Māori learning environment
  • Arranged accommodation
  • A curriculum built on sound farming knowledge and practice imbued with kaitiakitanga and Ngāi Tahu values
  • A Māori mentor
  • On-farm learning based at the Ngāi Tahu farms
  • Help getting a job
  • Opportunities to progress onto higher levels of training and career acceleration.

Whenua Kura is a Ngāi Tahu led partnership between Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University, which seeks to grow Māori leadership in agriculture.

For more information visit www.whenuakura.co.nz or call 0800 KAI TAHU (0800 524 8248)to register an interest.

Registrations are also being taken for the Whenua Kura Certificate in Farming (Dairy), Level 3 – course starting in June 2015.