Michael Grace and Guy & Carolyn Parkinson of Terawhiti Station


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2024 Greater Wellington Finalists: Michael Grace and Guy & Carolyn Parkinson of Terawhiti Station – Agriculture, Energy (wind farm) 
Terawhiti Station has a colourful history and has managed to adapt, survive and ultimately thrive to a point where it’s achieving more than simply financial prosperity. 
The original block was purchased in 1843, with Irishman James McMenamen taking it over four years later. Today the station is 4,808ha in size and is still owned and farmed by his descendants. 
Located about 10km west of Wellington city, the sheep and beef farm is surrounded by Cook Strait on three sides. Oteranga Bay on the south coast is the landing point for the Cook Strait power cable that connects New Zealand’s North and South islands. Terawhiti is perfectly located to harness Cook Strait’s notorious wind which is why the station now features a wind farm.  
The wind farm became operational in 2009, the same year Guy Parkinson became the station’s manager. A 10year plan was commissioned to turn the farm around and 15 years later those goals have been achieved, with Terawhiti Station now returning a healthy profit with a triple bottom line. 
Using a low-input system that prioritises animal welfare, they run just over 1,300 Angus cattle, along with about 1,800 Wiltshire sheep. In addition to the wind farm, the non-grazed areas are used for carbon credits, Mānuka honey production, rentals and tourism. 
Terawhiti Station was the foundational property in a project that is successfully returning a wild kiwi population to the rural hinterland of Wellington. More recently, the team has partnered with the Wellington Goldfields Heritage Society to restore 19th century industrial gold mining equipment located on the station. 
Continuing their future focus, this team has acquired and developed a finishing farm in Linton that will further boost profitability, reduce their carbon footprint by being able to finish stock more quickly, and free up space for more conservation projects. 

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