Arohiwi Station - the people's station

An hour inland from Napier and Hastings lies the rolling green hills of Arohiwi Station, a station close to the heart of Presbyterian Support East Coast (PSEC).

Half of the station was gifted to PSEC some 40 years ago by the Late Laura Mitchell (nee Holt), the granddaughter of the original owner, Robert Holt.

Laura, a woman of Presbyterian faith, had established an incredible connection between her family and the Presbyterian Social Service Association Hawke’s Bay and Poverty Bay (Inc.) as it was then known.

In 1978, following the restructuring of the Holt farming enterprise at Puketitiri, Laura, who had by then lost both her husband, Vincent and only child, John, gifted half her shares in the prime hill country property to PSEC in order to help the organisation respond to the community’s needs.

Thirteen years later when Laura died at the age of 83, she bequeathed her remaining parcel of shares to PSEC – a gesture which gave the organisation a 50 percent shareholding in Arohiwi Station.

Over the years the generosity of the remaining Holt family has allowed PSEC to purchase additional shares in the Puketitiri property, and in 2012 it took full ownership of the asset.

Did you know?

Quick facts about Arohiwi Station

  • PSEC is the sole shareholder of Arohiwi Station Limited.
  • The dividend from the farm supports PSEC’s social services, which care for children, disabled and elderly.
  • The Station comprises 962.7 hectares, with a further 77 hectares of leased land. 62.5 hectares in forestry.
  • Considered ‘summer safe’.
  • Excellent reliable water system. Fertile free draining pumice ash soil. Annual rainfall 1600 to 2000 mils. Two to three snowfalls a year.
  • A new lane system now runs across the station. Paddock numbers have increased from 55 to 85 for better grazing.
  • The sheep yards have been rebuilt and covered yards installed.
  • Arohiwi has a flock of approx. 5,500 pure bred Romney ewes.
  • Lambing percentage at Arohiwi continues to rise and was 140% for the 2016/2017 financial year.
  • Arohiwi carries approx. 280 predominately Angus breeding cattle.
  • Arohiwi is at an altitude of between 460 and 750 metres above sea level.
  • As a supplementary winter feed for the stock, swedes and kale are grown at Arohiwi.
  • David Evans has been Arohiwi’s Station Manager since 1992. David is responsible for the hands-on development of the farming operation and is the link between management and the board.
  • On the farm, David is supported by his wife, Margaret, and the rest of the management team. Off the farm, he is supported by Regan Loach of Brown Webb Richardson accountants and Farm Consultant, John Cannon.

The People

Arohiwi Board. Arohiwi Station Limited is administered by a board of four independent directors. The current Board consists of:

  • Peter Tod is the Chairperson of the Board. A Central Hawke’s Bay farmer, Peter is a past winner of the Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year.
  • Marie Burgess is the former Chairperson and also a longstanding former PSEC board member. She has been involved with Arohiwi over many years, which benefits from her farming background.
  • Peter Barnes is PSEC’s elected representative to the Arohiwi Station Ltd board. He has been on the PSEC Board since 2008 and is a former practicing chartered accountant.
  • Sandra Faulkner and her family run a farming business in Gisborne. Her Wairakaia Partnership farming business won the Supreme Award at the 2014 East Coast Farm Environment Awards.