Pondering pasture to pines?

Wednesday 17 Apr 2019

A rural property near Manawahe of over 800 hectares is currently rolling hills of pasture - but some of this is set to change to pine forests.

The time has come for Viv to sell part of her stake in the pasture and turn a small section from pasture to lush pine.

“In 2005 my husband Alan, or ‘AJ’, and I went into an equity partnership and bought more than 900ha of land here under four titles with two other couples, so there were six of us in the partnership,” says Viv. “We named the land ‘Vista Farms’.

“The land was previously, a long time ago, used for drystock. It had been covered in pine since 1981.

“We quickly sold 68ha out of that 900-plus block, which was physically separated from the rest of the land,” says Viv.

“The partnership changed in the coming years, and in 2011 there were only three of us sharing Vista Farms – my husband, myself and Robin.

“In the first seven years the trees were felled, the land was cleared, fenced, water was put in for stock, yards were built and the grazing pasture was restored. Stock came on as dairy grazers and Vista Farms bought its own stock as well.”

But when tragedy struck in the form of her husband’s death in 2014, Viv decided it was time to take stock and look at her own options. “In 2014, leukemia took his life. He was 56.

“Robin and I have continued on with Vista Farms but I’ve taken a very backseat role – Robin is the person that does all the operations here.”

Viv has three children – one, she says, that is interested in farming and running the 110ha dairy farm 20km away, and two who have non-farming occupations and are “very happy about their brother being on a fourth generation dairy farm.”

The land that Viv co-owns with Robin will be split. Viv wants to hold on to about 112ha for herself, including 20ha of six-year-old pines and an additional 20ha of natives that will go into a QEII covenant, as well as a flat skid site at the top of the farm for a possible house site in future. And it’s no wonder she wants to hold on to it, with it’s vista views of Whale Island on one side, and the fantastic geothermal clouds of Kawerau on the other.

But the rest of the land? Well, Viv wants to turn about 50ha of her chunk of land into further radiata pines.

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Source: Coast and Country News

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