Ground zero for the Mackenzie Basin – Forest and Bird, Lynley Hargreaves

Aerial view of Mackenzie Country showing irrigated farmland

In the heart of Mackenzie Country, the road from Lake Tekapo to Lake Pukaki curves through Simons Pass, over the remnants of an ancient glacial moraine – a low ridge of rocks carried by a glacier during a previous ice age. It’s here that most visitors to the Mackenzie catch their first glimpse of Aoraki/Mount Cook, gleaming white beyond the tawny tussock landscape and the turquoise waters of the lake.

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A curious anomaly in the Mackenzie Basin – Newsroom, Pat Baskett

There’s a curious anomaly in the set up at Simons Pass station. When it begins operation this spring it will be one of the most modern farms in the country – energy efficient, hi-tech. The tractors will be driverless electric ones, the cows will come in to the robotic milkers whenever they feel like it. The fences will be virtual – GPS-controlled collars the animals wear will ensure they stay within allocated boundaries.

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The Future of Food – Part 1 RNZ


FOR WATER TAX story - Generic cow

Around six billion of us on this planet get our food from fossil fuels. We’re basically eating oil,” says Dr Mike Joy, Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Science at Massey University. “Converting fossil fuel into nitrogen fertiliser is what feeds most of the population on this planet. It has allowed this massive population boom and it’s coming to an end.”

Hear Part 1.