Bee Products

Bees are valued in New Zealand because they make honey, which is sold locally and exported, and they pollinate crops. Native bees New Zealand has 28 species of native bee. They pollinate plants, but do not make enough honey for commercial use. Introduced bees In the early days of European settlement, bees were needed to […]

Dairy Products

Early farms The first cows brought to New Zealand were Shorthorns, in 1814. They provided milk as well as meat, and were also used for hauling loads. They were milked in a paddock, usually by women and children. Butter was made in a hand churn. Most milk, butter and cheese was eaten by the family, […]

Premium Beef

In New Zealand: • most beef cattle are farmed with sheep on hill country • cattle are fed on grass, not grain • extra cattle from the dairy industry are also killed for meat. Exporting beef After refrigerated shipping was invented, beef was exported to Britain – but New Zealand farmers had to compete with […]

Deer Products

Introduction of deer Deer were first brought to New Zealand in the late 19th century for sport. They spread rapidly because they had no predators, there was plenty of food, and at first they were protected from hunting. Red deer now live in many forests, and there are also fallow deer, wapiti (elk), sambar, sika, […]

Premium Lamb

Importance of sheep farming Sheep farming has played a huge part in New Zealand’s economy. From 1856 to 1987, it was the most important farming industry. But since then, dairy farming has earned more money. Sheep numbers have fallen, from 70 million in 1982 to about 39 million in 2007. The first sheep British navigator […]


People have kept goats for milk, meat and fibre for many centuries. Around the world today, more people drink milk and eat meat from goats than from any other animal. Goat characteristics Goats feed on a wide range of plants. Goats can be white, black, brown or more than one colour, and both males and […]

Kiwi fruit

The kiwifruit is a brown, fuzzy fruit, about the size of a large egg. You slice it open to eat it – the flesh is green or gold with a circle of tiny black seeds, and tastes sweet and slightly tangy. Introduction and cultivation Kiwifruit seeds were introduced from China in 1904, and were planted […]

Meat and wool

After Europeans settled in New Zealand and began farming, wool and then sheep meat were the main exports – at first mostly to Britain. For many years whole carcasses were exported, but today cuts of meat are more common. Grading meat and wool Meat and wool are classified by factors like weight, fatness and muscle […]


If New Zealanders were slow to appreciate the variety and quality of seafood available to them, others were not. Japanese fishing boats arrived in New Zealand waters in the 1950s and were followed by Russian, Taiwanese, Korean and Chinese vessels. They fished for arrow squid, hoki, mackerel, southern blue whiting, hake and barracouta – species […]