Wairakei Pastoral Limited is the freehold owner of the 25,685-hectare Wairakei Estate. At the time of purchase in 2004 it was described as one of the boldest ventures in New Zealand’s agricultural history. To create one of the largest environmentally sustainable pastoral holdings in the Southern Hemisphere, was undeniably a project of some scale.
Since the establishment of the Estate, 17,023 hectares has been progressively developed, with this land now in productive mixed use. The Estate’s development requires continuously evolving land use changes in order to establish and maintain the appropriate balance between pastoral activities and ‘retired’ areas. This is recognised as essential in order to achieve environmental and economic sustainability.
Very early on the Wairakei Estate owners identified the need to work alongside selected partners to ensure the level of diversification they knew would be required. One of these key partners has been Landcorp Farming Limited, who were judged to be an ideal ‘fit’ to run the farming operations within Wairakei Estate. This has proved to be the case and a resilient and successful partnership has developed. Kiwi Grazing is a dairy support activity, offering flexible grazing services, with reporting and tracking to suit. Another valued partnership is with Fiber Fresh whose plantings, of largely lucerne, are used in the production of their highly regarded animal feeds. Forestry is also an important contributor relative to environment – protecting against soil erosion, enhancing water quality, providing shelter for stock, as well as generating revenue for the Estate.