Whenua to whānau

The success and effectiveness of Ngāi Tahu Farming is connected to the health and well-being of the lands, plants and animals under our care.

As a Ngāi Tahu company, we understand that it is our responsibility to care for the lands, plants, and animals impacted by our activities. We believe ‘if we look after them, they, in turn, will look after us. This belief guides our operations and helps us to grow, farm, and produce quality products.

Our company has four main parts – forestry, dairy, grazing and growth initiatives. We turn to our Ngāi Tahu values to guide what we do and how we do it.  We do not always get it right, but we are always striving to do better. To ensure we remain relevant and sustainable, we will continue to explore new ways to use the land and create initiatives that complement our core operations.

Cows on the farm Flock of sheep on the farm

He ono pātiti, he kararehe ora

Grazing

Our three high country stations sit at the head of Whakatipu Wai Māori. They share the landscape with the world’s southernmost wine region, and as with the renowned Pinot Noir wines of Central Otago, our landscape and climate produce a truly unique product. Our finishing and other breeding farms in central and northern Canterbury complement the calibre of our high country stations. Our commitment to the five key areas of farming enables us to achieve excellence in quality which is recognised by our domestic and international clients.

Our three high country stations at the head of Whakatipu Wai Māori are the breeding grounds for our beef products. Calves born at the high country stations are nurtured by our staff until they are weaned from their mothers.  This minimises stress and gives our calves the best possible start.  Once weaned, they are transferred to our pastures at Te Whenua Hou and Balmoral in North Canterbury.

Breeding

Just as the making of a good wine is dependent on the quality of the grape, we begin with truly exceptional breeding stock from our high country stations and at our Balmoral farms in North Canterbury. The quality of the calves we raise is fundamental in producing a premium beef product. We carefully select the stock that we work with and ensure that they are raised in a pristine environment with only the best care and feed possible.

Care & expertise

Animal welfare and minimising the stress on our animals is at the heart of how we operate. Our expert stockmen and farmers combine their experience with best practice farming to enhance the wellbeing of our animals.

Feed

Our farmers work with nutritionists to create feed plans for our animals which ensures the best possible diet for their growth and wellbeing. We maintain this feed strategy for all our animals at all times by managing our stocking rates and growing all our feed requirements on farm.

Precision

Our farmers combine their experience with leading technologies to ensure we develop and champion regenerative farming practices. An example of this is our irrigation system that monitors soil moisture and prevailing weather to determine the appropriate level of irrigation. Our system ensures we preserve water and minimises leaching. Leaching is the movement of contaminants (like nitrates) carried by water through the soil into waterways. The risk of leaching is increased when the ground is saturated because this makes it easier for the contaminants to move through the soil.

Continuous improvement

Each year we strive to be better; each year we discover more effective ways to farm and protect our environment. This level of commitment to continuous improvements is only possible due to our intergenerational commitment to farming.

He whenua, he kai

Farming

Ngāi Tahu Farming operates two farming businesses across three locations in Te Waipounamu.  We want all our products to represent our unique story and to convey the genuine care we have for our animals and the land.

${ weather.weather[0].main }
${ weather.main.temp }°c
${ weather.wind.speed } m/s
Whakatipu (Grazing)
Tribal area Takiwā of Arowhenua, Moeraki, Ōtākou, Waihao, Waihōpai, Awarua and Hokonui
Land area 29,197 ha
Water ways Green Stone (River), Capels (River), Te Awa Whakatipu (Dart River), Whakatipu Waimāori (Lake Wakatipu)
Farm type Single high country station (900 cows and 8,000 sheep)
Team 4 permanent and seasonal casuals
Climate A semi-continental climate with high sunshine hours and short, hot summers. Dry autumns and overall low humidity.
${ weather.weather[0].main }
${ weather.main.temp }°c
${ weather.wind.speed } m/s
Balmoral (Grazing)
Tribal area Takiwā of Ngāti Kurī and Ngāi Tūāhuriri
Land area 9,407 ha (2,400 ha pasture and 7,007 ha Radiata Pine and cut over)
Water ways Hurunui (River), Waiau Uwha (River)
Farm type 1,200 ha Irrigated Beef Finishing Farms, 1,200 ha Dryland Pastures (9,000 beef cattle)
Team 6
Climate The region has a temperate Oceanic climate with a mild summer, cool winter, and regular moderate rainfall.
${ weather.weather[0].main }
${ weather.main.temp }°c
${ weather.wind.speed } m/s
Te Whenua Hou (Dairy + Grazing)
Tribal area Takiwā of Ngāi Tūāhuriri
Land area 6,757 ha (150 ha of native bush)
Water ways Waimakariri (River)
Farm type 8 Dairy Farms (8,100 cows), 5 Dairy Support Farms (2,00 Rising 2yr Olds, 2,200 Calves, 150 Carry Over Cows & 500 ha of Cropping)
Team 41 (Dairy) + 8 (Grazing)
Climate The region has a temperate Oceanic climate with a mild summer, cool winter, and regular moderate rainfall.

Tētē Kau

Dairy

Ngāi Tahu Farming manages eight dairy farms at Te Whenua Hou which is 40km northwest of Christchurch. Our farmers combine best practice, leading technology, and cultural advice from the Mana Whenua Working Party to manage the land in a way that is kinder to the environment, optimal for our cows, better for our whānau and our consumers. We work with Synlait and Fonterra to deliver our milk to the world.

Our ability to contribute to the world’s best dairy products begins with our commitment to 5 key areas of farming.

Breeding

We operate eight dairy farms (8,100 cows), and on four of these farms, we produce A2 milk (3,800 cows). We also look after 2,100 calves and 1,850 heifers at Te Whenua Hou. Around 75% of our herd is the Kiwi crossbred cow while the rest is a combination of the New Zealand Friesian and the Jersey breed. We manage an average herd size of 950 cows on a milking platform of 2,400 ha.

Care & expertise

Animal welfare and minimising the stress on our animals is at the heart of how we operate. Our expert farmers combine their experience with best practice farming to enhance the wellbeing of our animals.

Feed

Our farmers work with nutritionists to create feed plans for our animals which ensures an optimal diet for their growth and wellbeing. All our feed is grown on farm, and we are committed to being Palm Kernel Extract (PKE) free; thus the quality of our milk can in part be attributed to the quality of our feed.

Precision

Our farmers combine their experience with leading technologies to preserve water and to minimize leaching. Leaching is the movement of contaminants (like nitrates) carried by water through the soil into waterways. The risk of leaching is increased when the ground is saturated because this makes it easier for the contaminants to move through the soil.

Our farmers use high-tech irrigation systems that monitor the moisture in the soil. They also use NIWA weather stations which can tell us if rain is on the way. These two systems combined help us to determine when and how much water to use on farm. We do this to preserve water and mitigate the risk of over-saturating the soil which can cause leaching. Furthermore, our fertiliser trucks use GPS to track where the nutrients are spread to ensure there is no overlap. Like saturating the soil, overlap loads the soil with nutrients and can also cause leaching.

Continuous commitment

Each year we strive to be better; each year we discover more effective ways to farm and protect our environment. This commitment to continuous improvements is only possible due to our intergenerational commitment to farming.

Man working with timber Newly planted saplings

ProSeed

ProSeed is a leading seed supplier to the New Zealand forestry industry and is highly experienced in seed orchard management.

Proseed specialises in producing and marketing improved seed of radiata pine, Douglas-fir, cypress, and Eucalyptus nitens along with seed of about 400 other tree, shrub and New Zealand native species.

ProSeed are certified by Asurequality and routinely export seed to over 30 countries around the world.

He rākau, he whare

Forestry

We manage 54,000 ha of forests across North Canterbury, Otago and the West Coast. Our Ngāi Tahu values guide our approach to forestry. We want all our products to represent our unique story and to convey the genuine care we have for our land and trees.

On Coast Processing (114,000 m³)

(50% of annual production to Sawmills and Plywood mills)

Off Coast Processing (46,000 m³)

(25% of annual production to Sawmills and Plywood mills)

Export (100,000 m³)

(25% of annual production to Korea, China and India)

Hokitika Greymouth Westport PORT PORT
${ weather.weather[0].main }
${ weather.main.temp }°c
${ weather.wind.speed } m/s
Te Tai Poutini (West Coast)
Tribal area Takiwā of Ngāti Waewae, Makaawhio
Land area 48,288 ha
Water ways Moonlight Creek, Mā he a ui (Grey River), Taramakau (River), Mahinapua (River), Ōhonu (Hokonui/Greenstone River), Mikonuī (River)
Land use Total product of 250,000 cubic meters per annum. Plantation 27,788 (Radiata Douglas Fir, Cypress) Indigenous 20,500 (Podocarp, Beech Forest)
Team 75
${ weather.weather[0].main }
${ weather.main.temp }°c
${ weather.wind.speed } m/s
Canterbury
Tribal area Takiwa of Ngati Kuri and Ngāi Tūāhuriri
Land area 2,597 ha
Water ways Okuku (River), Rakahuri (Ashley River)
Land use Production (leased to external forest company)
Team N/A
${ weather.weather[0].main }
${ weather.main.temp }°c
${ weather.wind.speed } m/s
Otago
Tribal area Takiwa of Puketeraki and Ōtākou
Land area 4,800 ha
Water ways Waihemo (Shag River), Waikouaiti (River)
Land use Hill country being converted to forest Radiata (800ha per year planting)
Team Hill country afforestation programme (800 ha per year planting)

Forest Stewardship Council®

Certification (FSC-C007525)

Increasingly people want to know product origin, who made them, how they are made and whether they have been made sustainably. Eco-credentials such as FSC® are increasingly influencing how businesses and consumers purchase. FSC® certification enables customers and consumers to connect with where their products come from, how they are made, and their impact on the world.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organisation which promotes the responsible management of the world’s forests.

The FSC® does this by setting standards on forest products, along with certifying and labelling them as eco-friendly.

Ngāi Tahu Forestry is committed to managing our forest estates in a manner consistent with the principles and standards set by the FSC®. These principles and criteria detail the minimum standards of forest management required to meet important ecological, social, economic, and cultural values.

Our West Coast forest estate and associated products from this forest meet these standards and have been awarded accreditation from the FSC®.

Man collecting honey from Bees

He tipu

Commercial & Market Development

To ensure we stay relevant and sustainable, it is important that we continue to explore new ways to use the land and create initiatives that complement our core operations.

We actively invest in exploring new business opportunities, improving the connection with our consumers, and building the efficiencies of our businesses.

Our goal is to do more with less, to utilise our land more sustainably and to produce premium quality products.

We are exploring new technologies, new things to grow, and innovative farming methods to develop better farming practices. We also work alongside Mana Whenua, thought leaders, industry experts and partners to ensure farming in line with our values and to grow sustainably.

Here are two of our commercial and market initiatives.

Brands
Opportunity A premium lamb and beef brand from the High Country Stations of Whakatipu
Horticulture
Opportunity A sustainable horticulture business from the fertile Canterbury plains