Tunapahore is located at Hawai just off the sun-drenched State Highway 35 on the North Island’s East Coast, near the beach town of Opotiki.

The picturesque 400 ha farm which sits right on the coast has a 132 ha milking platform which runs 400 cows as well as kiwifruit orchards, and a portion of the land left to regenerating native forest.

After taking over the running of the land in the 1980s, the Tunapahore committee has been a showcase for Māori agribusiness and was one of three finalists in the Ahuwhenua Trophy - Excellence in Māori farming in 2021.

Tunapahore Chairman Jacky Mihaere says being nominated for that award felt like winning an Olympic gold medal. “It was a real adrenaline rush.”

Farm manager Janet Poihipi milks 400 cows on the farm with one 2IC and one relief milker and also runs the young stock on the runoff next door.

She admits she might not have the best work/life balance, and her children are always telling her she should have more whanau time. But she is content when she is out working on farm.

“When I’m up at 3am getting the cows in, I’m in my happy place.”