Alex and Megen Campbell of Awapapa Station


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2024 East Coast Finalists: Alex and Megen Campbell of Awapapa Station – Sheep and Beef

The family behind Awapapa Station is being successfully guided by a strong vision for the land, its livestock and people – ultimately protecting, developing and sharing it with others.  

The Campbell family has been involved with Awapapa Station since the1960s, leading by example with their commitment to protecting this fragile and vulnerable region.

Today, Alex and Megen are managing the 441ha effective farm, enhancing the contributions of previous generations through a balanced approach that goes beyond making a profit. This includes a horse breeding and handling project which has attracted international attention.

Scientific studies confirm a massive reduction in erosion at Awapapa, thanks to about one-third of the station being covered in trees. This meant it was relatively unscathed by extreme weather events, particularly 2023’s Cyclone Gabrielle.

The cyclone prompted a Ministerial Inquiry into Land Use in Tairāwhiti which highlighted a region in crisis, critical erosion risk and social trauma. Ultimately, it recommended urgent remedial action – in terms of both protective and productive land use.

The Campbells are decades ahead of the inquiry’s findings. Their deep knowledge of aesthetics, how to enhance biodiversity and control erosion is a striking example of hope for the region.

Today about 85% of the station is devoted to livestock which are protected by the extensive poplar plantings. The remaining land has been retired and planted in a mosaic of tree species, including a growing amount of mature and regenerating native bush.  


Regularly achieving financial results above the district average, Megen and Alex focus on a simple, practical stocking policy and forward-focused farming practices.  


Within their forward planning and dedication, they’re proudly following the Treaty of Waitangi’s principles of protection, participation and partnership. 

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