Land War Two by Rebecca Macfie

Greening of the high country: intensive irrigated dairy farming south of Twizel. Photo/Peter Scott

A nor’wester is whistling down the lake and rattling at the windows of Mike and Louise Neilson’s Lake Ohau Lodge.

The snow has mostly gone from the slopes of the Ohau Range, from where skiers and boarders at the Neilsons’ small skifield can look eastwards across a vast ­landscape sculpted by glaciers and desiccating wind, and rippled by the ancient movement of meltwater and braided rivers.