Overcoming adversity part of rich history

Overcoming adversity part of rich history
Three generations of farmers, Ponty, Oscar and Matt von adelszen. Percy Wall (right), the horseman.

If a history spanning more than 100 years has taught the von Dadelszens of Mangapurakau Station anything, it’s to see every challenge thrown their way as a new opportunity – no obstacle has stopped them yet.
The foundation of Mangapurakau Station was laid in 1909, when Percy Wall of Hinerangi Station purchased 3000 acres from Sydney Johnson of Orua Wharo Station.
This was seven years after Percy won the ballot for 1500 acres (Hinerangi), part of the Woburn Station settlement.
The purchase of 3000 acres, at £8 per acre, gave Percy 4500 acres of clean Hawke’s Bay hill country – all of this achieved at only 29 years of age.
The Orua Wharo land was the back block and was known as the ‘wether run’, where male sheep were finished before slaughter and export at two years of age.
This enlarged farm was run as one until the end of WW2 when Percy’s two daughters, Judith and Mary married and inherited some of the land.
Mary married Godfray von Dadelszen and was settled on 1,600 acres of the Orua Wharo purchase, while Judith married John Ormond of Wallingford and received 1,400 acres.
In 1951, Percy suffered a severe stroke so Godfray took over the management of the three farms including Mangapurakau.
Godfray sadly passed away in 1970 following a sudden heart attack so, after graduating from Lincoln College with a Diploma of Valuation and Farm Management, his son Ponty took over Mangapurakau alongside his wife Jane.
Today, Ponty and Jane run the station in partner-ship with their son Matthew and his wife Paula. The property has expanded to 2,500 acres, carrying sheep, cattle and deer.
Matthew is a graduate of Lincoln University with a degree in Agricultural Commerce and he and Paula have four children – Hannah, Ella, Zara and Oscar.
The property is run along with an 80ha finishing farm near Waipukurau running bulls, lambs and caste for age ewes .
This means all sheep and cattle are finished to the works.In 1992 deer were introduced to the mix when an opportunity appeared after the collapse of Fortex, resulting in the price of deer plummeting.
Six hundred deer were purchased at an average price of $65. Today, 1,450 deer are wintered on 400 hectares.
The station carries 670 hinds, half of which are mated to Wapiti stags.
All the progeny from these are sold a month after weaning. The other half are mated to red stags which are selected for velvet genetics.
A major contributor to the profitability of the business nowadays comes from the 350 stags that are velveted, producing over two tonnes of velvet.

Overcoming adversity part of rich history
The foundation of Mangapurakau Station was laid in 1909, when Percy purchased 3000 acres from Sydney Johnson, of Orua Wharo Station. Percy Wall’s first home (bottom).

Other classes of stock include 3,300 ewes and 470 cattle along with 60ha of forestry.
Ponty says the business is facing severe uncertainty with the proposed environmental constraints being mooted by the current government however they hold high confidence in their ability to adapt.
They are already well down the road of fencing waterways and thanks to the establishment of a reticulated water supply back in the 1980s water is available in every paddock.
“No doubt the business will prevail and opportunities will arise just as they have in the past, allowing the family to continue to farm the land as it has over the last 110 years.”
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