Matawhero sales

Monday, October 1, 2018

Matawhero saleyards’ impressive annual ewe sale occurs just outside Gisborne each year in the first quarter. This year 12,000 head of sheep passed under the auctioneer’s hammer, and each of them needed a ride to and from the event.


Photo:  Kiwi Transport 2017 Ltd from Frasertown just inland from Wairoa. The Renault Lander wheels in amongst the action.

The Matawhero sales have a reputation for being productive and achieving respectable numbers. Although they are not the largest sale of their kind, with 12,000 head of sheep passing over the loading ramps it made for an impressive sight nonetheless. Work on the sale starts a good month before the event, organising the farmers/vendors who are selling stock, documenting classifications and the numbers that will be available.

This year’s sale had close to 30 vendors involved, with farms from Wairoa in the south to Tolaga Bay in the northeast, and local farms along SH2 heading back through to Opotiki.


Photo:  It was a beautiful day as passengers waited in the boarding lounges.


Photo: Big gear from both sides of the Atlantic and iconic brands in New Zealand livestock cartage, (left) Central Transport Ltd and (right) Farmers Transport. Alan Lauder’s FH16 flicks up some dust.

Another large organisational task is ensuring the various trucking companies have enough stock units reserved for the days around the sale, to bring the sheep in and also transport them out to their new homes afterwards.

Stock begins to arrive around midday on the day before the sale and the sheep are kept in large holding paddocks overnight. In the early hours of sale day they are drafted into the various consignments and placed in numbered pens. The drafting process requires very good hand to eye coordination, no ‘baa’ codes available to scan on this job, excuse the pun. PGG Wrightson was the major sales agent for this year’s sale, under the experienced leadership of regional manager Jamie Hayward and his team of 10 sales agents, three yardmen, and two administrators, who kept the entire operation running smoothly.

After the dust settled the task of reloading the sheep was handed over to the drivers, who then transported them on to their destinations, whether that was a nice green paddock overlooking Poverty Bay, or a view of the bread over the aisle from the chilled meat section.

The total figure achieved for this year’s sale was an impressive $1,901,373.

Photo: They came from far and wide. Graeme Wright’s FH16 750 powered in for ewe know what.


Photo: What a toiler. This darling old Mitsi Twin Turbo with Cat powered mud flaps (look closely) lined up with the best of them. According to owner Rob Brothers of Matawai she’s been a near faultless 900,000 very tough kilometres.

Photo: It didn’t get any more local than Matawhero Transport. Here a DAF CF85 rolls in.

Photo: The beautiful thing about trucking in New Zealand. Go to the Matawhero sale and even there it’ll be the walk of truck nations. This beautiful Williams Transport Co DAF XF exemplifies it all.

Photo: Heikell Transport’s immaculate fleet were present. No 17 is a R730 with CTI – it obviously sees some interesting country.