Station (New Zealand agriculture)

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Walter Peak Station, opposite Queenstown on the shore of Lake Wakatipu.

A station, in the context of New Zealand agriculture, is a large farm dedicated to the grazing of sheep and cattle. The use of the word for the farm or farm buildings date back to the mid-nineteenth century.[1] The owner of a station is called a runholder.

Some of the stations in the South Island have been subject to the voluntary tenure review process. As part of this process the government has been buying out all or part of the leases. Poplars Station in the Lewis Pass area was purchased in part by the government in 2003. The Nature Heritage Fund was used to purchase 4000 ha for $1.89 million.[2] Birchwood Station was bought in 2005 to form part of the Ahuriri Conservation Park[3] St James Station was purchased by the Government in 2008.

Notable stations[edit]

Glenfalloch Station situated in the Headwaters of the Rakaia River, a working Sheep and Beef farm operating a small conference venue

References in literature[edit]

  • Erewhon - Samuel Butler's satire of Victorian society built around his experiences on a New Zealand sheep station but put forward as a location in a fictional country. Butler also wrote A First Year in the Canterbury Settlement
  • Station Life in New Zealand and Station Amusements in New Zealand by Lady Barker.
  • Tutira: The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station [5] - Herbert Guthrie-Smith documents the effect of farming on the environment based on his first hand experiences as station owner.
  • A river rules my life [6] - Mona Anderson wrote this classic book about life on a high country station.
  • High Country Family by Betty Dick, wife of MP Allan Dick

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Orsman, H. W. (1999). The Dictionary of New Zealand English. Auckland: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-558347-7. 
  2. ^ "Conservation Week: Huge chunk of high country station purchased". New Zealand Government. 2 August 2003. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ahuriri Conservation Park opened for the public". New Zealand Government. 8 March 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Iconic Station hosts field day Retrieved on 20 January 2009
  5. ^ Guthrie-Smith, Herbert Tutira: The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station
  6. ^ Anderson, Mona A river rules my life, (1963) ISBN 0-908676-56-5

Further reading[edit]

  • Philip Holden, (1993) Station country: back-country life in New Zealand ISBN 0-340-58848-9