Mahaanui is a 600 hectare hill country sheep and beef farm that has been in Simons family close to 60 years. Simon and Sally farm Mahaanui and host guests from NZ and around the world in their three unique farmstay homes. You may also meet one or more of their three adult children Charlie, Jack and Molly who visit regularly and help out on the farm too.
Simon and Sally are happy to make suggestions to help you plan your holiday activities and adventures on farm, within the local Tiniroto area or further afield to help you make the most of your time in our beautiful Tairawhiti region.
Sally, when she is not helping Simon or hosting visitors from all around the world, works as a nurse manager at the local Gisborne hospital.
Simon has farmed Mahaanui since his early twenties and is still excited by the diversity and challenges the farm throws at him. You will find him 7 days a week somewhere on the farm.
Molly and Jack (twins) and Charlie.
You may meet one of Simon and Sally’s three children visiting their family home when you visit. Now young adults, Molly is sheperding on a local farm and the boys are working in the agricultural science field.
On the 27th September 1962 Peter and Robin Bennett (Simon's parents) bought the Gordons block of 1500 acres for ten pounds per acre. They called it Mahaanui which means “lots of joy and happiness”.
There were only 7 large paddocks and just one was cleared of scrub and fenced well enough to hold stock. They bought 800 ewes (mature sheep) 150 hoggets (young sheep) and 200 cattle with them to start their farming enterprise.
Peter and the scrub-cutting gangs spent the next few years clearing scrub, fencing new paddocks, applying fertiliser and grass seed until the land was able to be farmed more effectively.
They built their new home in 1967 and the cottage went to a local Maori family, Gilbert and Emma Waipari who worked alongside the Bennett's for 35 years. Peter and Robin had 4 children who all loved the farm environment and spent a lot of time on their horses galloping around the farm and jumping the fences instead of getting off to open all the gates.
Simon worked with his parents on Mahaanui after he left school and he and Sally bought into the farm in 1995. They have three children now in their mid twenties who all have farming related careers and visit Mahaanui often. Sally works as a nurse part time at the local hospital, helps on the farm and they both love sharing the Mahaanui experience with their visiting guests.