2022 Finalists: Atiu Creek Regional Park, Auckland Council – Sheep and Beef
The team behind this sustainable farming operation is focused on striking a balance between farming, conservation and recreation – and showcasing this to the wider public.
Atiu Creek Regional Park is one of a suite of Auckland Council regional parks – all of which are tasked with running sustainable, profitable farms while enhancing the natural environment.
The total size of Atiu Creek is 840ha, with about 300ha devoted to farming. Under the guidance of Ed Long and Fabian Bunting, the diverse business includes a blend of sheep and beef breeding, wool and accommodation.
Good lambing and calving percentages are testament to the good health of stock which are well fed and have plenty of water, shade and shelter. The team runs 1,250 breeding ewes, weaning 1,600 lambs annually, while 85 cows produce about 80 calves each year which are also weaned.
Atiu Creek is a well-managed farm system, with a stocking rate tailored to match environmental conditions. Guided by an electronic Farm Environment Plan, the team has implemented a range of sustainable farming practices. These include the precision application of fertiliser application, along with careful monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions, and the quality of water and soil.
There is excellent fencing across the whole farm, including in critical service areas, around culverts, and to protect bush, wetlands and riparian boundaries. The farm’s biodiversity is constantly improving, supported by an ongoing focus on pest control.
Staff wellbeing is another priority and there are plenty of opportunities for training.
Gifted to the people of Auckland in 2006, Atiu Creek regularly opens its gates to the community – giving people the opportunity to connect with nature while seeing sustainable farming practices first-hand.
Atiu Creek were winners of Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award.
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards