A sense of pur­pose

NZ Life & Leisure - - Food Producer Awards -

Jodi Bros­na­han says she cried when she ar­rived in the Waikura Val­ley for the first time and saw the house her fam­ily would live in. It was scrawled with graf­fiti, there were holes in the walls and the door was locked with a spoon. The farm build­ings had been let go and all three Maori Trust blocks needed re- fenc­ing but the land it­self was in good shape and the area is blessed with good rain­fall. Sean saw the po­ten­tial and for sev­eral years now he’s been “sort­ing it out” – em­ploy­ing lo­cal peo­ple to help fence, build cat­tle yards and ac­tively man­age the pas­ture. It is now a re­silient farm busi­ness that’s sus­tain­ably man­aged with five in­come streams: beef, lamb, wool, manuka honey and manuka oil. He says he and Jodi have only done what farm­ers do: “Move onto a piece of land and try to im­prove it so that when you leave, it’s bet­ter than when you started.” What makes this such a good story is that they’re do­ing it for the ul­ti­mate ben­e­fit of their lo­cal com­mu­nity on land that’s not their own. “Our phi­los­o­phy is we’ve come on board and we want to turn things around and put mana and re­spect back into these Maori blocks. We see it as a priv­i­lege to have the op­por­tu­nity to take on this land and re­store it to its for­mer glory. Ul­ti­mately the dream is we can get our­selves onto our own block of dirt and the Trust can step in and carry on what we’ve set up.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.