Friday, July 8, 2022

Stock work together

No class of stock takes priority on Malcolm and Caroline Rau’s hill-country farm. Malcolm said there were priority stock within each class, but sheep, cattle and deer complemented each other. Ewes help control ragwort within the 640ha deer fenced area by lambing in the deer unit every third year. Cattle graze the deer area on a quick rotation early in the summer to maintain pasture quality and again on a slower rotation during winter.

Malcolm Rau grew up on Puketia Station. He and his wife, Caroline, have managed to expand the business by leasing the neighbouring property. Malcolm says Matawai is a great community and on a good day, the farm is paradise.

Malcolm and Caroline’s twin daughters Fritha and Isobel have started secondary school in Gisborne. Rather than commuting or boarding, Caroline and the girls now live in town during the week.

The couple’s 11-year-old son Murdoch still attends Matawai School, so remains at home on the farm with dad.

Malcolm Rau said it had been a big change for the family, but the children could now enjoy the best of both worlds, in town and on the farm.

Malcolm grew up on the farm in the Koranga Valley, 30 minutes’ drive from the farming village of Matawai and 80 minutes from Gisborne, and does not find it isolated at all.

He is happy to continue farming there and the opportunity to lease the neighbouring farm helped secure their future in the valley.

“On a nice day it’s paradise.

“Everyone’s happy here. It’s a great community.”

A long-term goal would be to expand the farm further.

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