Maungahina consists of three properties. Maungahina being 600 hectares of rolling hilly lime stone country 8km east of Masterton, in a low rainfall area of about 30 inches. Papariki is 50 hectares 3km east of Masterton all under k-line irrigation and the Miki Miki block is 200 hectares 18km north west of Masterton in a high rainfall area.
It is here in competition with sheep and commercial cattle that Maungahina Hereford, Charolais and Speckle Park bulls are bred and raised for an annual private auction. It has always been the management policy to raise and sell the bulls under natural conditions, and owing to this policy, over the years Maungahina bulls have proved to be outstanding in stamina and constitution.
At present Maungahina have 400 registered cows consisting of Herefords and Speckle Parks, wintering 1000 stud Cattle all performance recorded. At present we are selling up to 150 bulls with two auction sales throughout the year. We consistently keep a top standard of cows that are retained in the herd, giving them one chance, if they don't breed they are culled. Maungahina also runs 800 commercial ewes and 100 stud South Suffolk sheep and 700 hoggets.
We treat our stud stock as a commercial operator would. From a commercial breeders viewpoint they need to be good producers, fertile, sound and durable.
Maungahina buys the best genetics and where possible, try to see the bull in the flesh first. We only use a limited amount of artificial insemination. Our sources of AI semen are from Canadian studs, as Canadians are some of the worlds top stockmen. We want bulls that will perform extremely well in New Zealand and structural soundness is the key to our conditions. You need to see a bull to judge soundness, to see how it walks, moves and stands. Because the Canadians have a similar commercial outlook to New Zealanders their cattle generally shift and perform well in New Zealand conditions.
We use genetics to up fertility, muscling, size and out cross of the genetic base to improve our breed and introduce new bloodlines to New Zealand. Maungahina has imported 22 live bulls – the first from England in 1930 through to six from Canada in the last ten years.
Bruce McKenzie is one of the leading international judges having judged at the National Hereford Show and Sale in Australia, the Royal Welsh Show judging 18 breeds, Polled Show in England as well as Hereford Royal in England, he was invited to judge the Calgary Bull sale (but was unable to attend) and has also judged at a number of New Zealand Royal Shows. Bruce was recently asked to judge the National Angus Expo Show and Sale and the National Angus Youth Judging Competition in Wodonga, Australia.
Over the last 20 years Mark McKenzie has judged many shows, either breed judge or the all breeds judge throughout NZ . A highlight being the all breeds at the Palmerston Royal Show in 2001 at the age of 31. The last few years have been involved with the Beef Expo having judged the Charolais, Herefords and the handlers classes.