Pastoral farming in New Zealand. An Overview

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Pastoral farming in New Zealand An overview World Rural Landscape Atlas Milano

5 November 2014 Diane Menzies

Agriculture does not simply manage an existing landscape, it creates the rural landscape, possibly nowhere more starkly than in New Zealand. 1

Clarke and Lowe 1992

Agriculture transforms the Earth in ways that respond to farmer objectives and values as well as those of the policy community and stakeholders. 1

Smiley in Nassauer 1997

The New Zealand bush-clad landscape was converted to grassland by forest burning for hunting by Maori, in smaller patches from 1200’s.

Europeans transported their pastoral values to colonies far from home

From the early 1800’s European settlers converted forest to pastoral landscape

The ideal of a fresh green landscape, the pastoral myth, became a driver for European rural settlement.

Pastoralism became a potent cultural and national symbol

But the pastoral landscape is under pressure. Environmental quality is now an issue: water quality, erosion and urban invasion

Changes in pastoral farming over time

From sheep to dairy farming and diversity

To large scale dairy farming

To large scale dairy farming

Dairy farmer values: economic prosperity‌. through sharemilking

As well as resilience, family, community, and environmental health

Research projects

Resilience for the pastoral farmer and community Matt Lay and Catherine Hall

What benefits can be gained for landscape, community and ecology based on the values pastoral farmers hold? ď‚›

The project examines the connection between pastoral farming, ecology and rural communities, from a landscape architecture perspective.


It looks to identify potential benefits for the ecology of a rural catchment, its farmers and the rural community from the development of Manuka plantations through pastoral farmland.

Resilience for the sharemilker: research on accommodation

Architecture Masters research: Catherine Hall, VUW, Wellington

Old Patterns, New Practice Deborah Scott, MLA Thesis Project, VUW, Wellington

• This project aims to explore the past patterns and human intervention with the landscape to develop a productive environment where the ‘living heritage’ of rural New Zealand can be expressed. • The flax industry is used as a catalyst for promoting heritage and ecological values within a working farm system whilst also diversifying the productive landscape of the agricultural sector.

How can the flax fibre industry be integrated into a sustainable farming system?

Ohau River & Kuku Stream, Horowhenua

Harakeke – as an extension of the riparian zone and a diversification of the economy

Looking to the future: Farmers grow grass well but tensions exist

A tension between profitability and ecological and city values

Economic values can be aligned to benefit the rural community

Conservation, tourism and economic values recognised

Bibliography 

Bell C. Inventing New Zealand Auckland, Penguin. 1996.

Clark, J and Lowe, P. Cleaning up Agriculture: Environment, Technology and Social Science, Sociologia Ruralis, 32, (1) 11-29, 1992.

Guthrie-Smith H., Tutira The story of a New Zealand Sheep Station, Edinburgh, William Blackwood & Sons Ltd.1926.

Hunt, J. D (Ed) The Pastoral Landscape, National Gallery of Art, Washington. 1992 ; Bowring, J. Institutionalizing the picturesque: the discourse of the New Zealand Institute of landscape Architects, Thesis PhD Lincoln University, Canterbury New Zealand, 1997.

Lawrence-Zuniga In Moore etc al. 1997. p.64.Lowe, P. and Bodiguel, M. (Eds) Rural Studies in Britain and France, London, Bell Haven Press, 1990, p.14

McKay, D J What do you hear in ‘Wanting to care’? Understandings and Practices of environmental Education, Dissertation, Masters of Applied Science, Lincoln University, Canterbury New Zealand, 1998 p. 47, 51.

Nassauer, J I (Ed) Placing nature: Culture and Ecology, Washington DC, Island Press. 1997, p35.

Smith, N. Member of Parliament, Speech. 1996.

Short, J R Imagined Country: Society, Culture and Environment, London, Routledge. 1991, p34.

Acknowledgements Matthew Lay, Landscape architecture, Unitec, Auckland.

Catherine Hall, Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington Deborah Scott, Landscape Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington

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