Environment

Rakaia Island was converted from a sheep and beef farm and gradually irrigated to accommodate the four dairy farms there today.

Woodstock farm was converted from a sheep and deer operation and has been partially irrigated to accommodate two dairy farms and our dairy support farm.

When we bought Rakaia Island, we inherited the biggest kowhai stand growing on the flat in the South Island.

We treasure that inheritance and all that makes up our environment.

As responsible farmers, we have a duty to enhance our land not just for us and for the generations to come who will enjoy living and working here.

Each year we partner with the local community, including Southbridge School, to plant hundreds of new trees at Rakaia Island. By 2022, our planting programme will create a 1.2km walking track loop with native flora along the full length. Our hope is that this will bring more bellbirds and wood pigeons back to the land.

Opportunities to restore indigenous vegetation are rare and we take our responsibility seriously.

We’ve embarked on a variety of projects aimed at enhancing our unique environment.

Together with the plantings undertaken in association with the pupils at Southbridge School, we’re planting more native species around our wetlands and progressively fencing all those identified areas.

Our boundary fences are set back from waterways so there’s no danger of polluting rivers and streams. We’re committed to maintaining our water quality and every six months we take water samples from around the Island as part of our environmental programme.

The preservation of the wetlands is important to us. We spend a lot of time managing weeds around those areas and have a vigorous pest control programme in place to protect our native plantings.

Moisture probes in the soil help make sure we only use the quantity of water necessary for pasture to continue growing.

Following its latest audit, Environment Canterbury has recognised our environmental vigilance, awarding Rakaia Island an A Grade for the steps we have and continue to take.